Hey guys, I’m a high 5k player that’s been doing account boosting/coaching for a while now. Here is a small example
of my work. I strongly believe that anyone can climb up to 4k with just a little bit of effort. In 5k+ games everyone is quite efficient and solid mechanically. Having an edge over your opponents comes down to complex, non-concrete factors, such as positioning, teamwork, and decision making. On the other hand, in games up to 4k you can easily be the best player in the game if you just understand a few simple tips and tricks. I’ve decided to compile some of the biggest misconceptions and mistakes I see from 2k and 3k players. Hopefully this helps some of you guys escape the “trench” and move on to 4k and beyond. These are in no particular order so I’d recommend you read all of them as they are all useful.
1) Playing support too often.
This doesn’t mean you should last pick Spectre when your team already has 4 cores. However, you shouldn’t play support in the majority of your solo games if your goal is to increase in MMR. I’ve played with/against supports in games as low as 2.5k who bought courier + wards + shared tangos, used their spells correctly, and gave a big advantage to their mid/safelanes. Unfortunately, the cores on their team would fail miserably and would get no farm and have no impact on the game, leaving the support player with an almost guaranteed loss.If you insist on playing support, make sure you get enough farm and pick a hero that can still have lategame impact, such as Visage or Naga.NOTE: I’m not trying to say you can’t climb MMR by playing support because that’s not true. You can definitely have a great winrate playing support, but it’ll be harder than if you played solid cores every game.
2) Not understanding that it is not mid’s responsiblity to gank.
When I smurf games I mostly play mid solo. My biggest fear is getting a matchup which I can’t completely dominate. My goal is to completely crush my opponent and snowball from there. If I play against something like an OD or Zeus and all I can do is trade farm, this is a big problem for me. Fortunately, most mids in these games make the mistake of being inefficient and leaving the lane far too early. There was a game I played Tinker vs Zeus, a matchup where neither of us could really deny eachother but we could each get almost every last hit. We also couldn’t kill eachother without support rotations. If the Zeus just stayed in the lane, bought Bottle/Arcanes/Soulring, and got 4 CS every wave I wouldn’t be able to get a big advantage early. However, he decided to leave the lane at level 4 with no boots to roam with his 290 movespeed. He got one kill in 3 minutes and by the time he came back mid I was 2 levels and at least 20 CS ahead of him. From then on I just farmed lane/jungle constantly, got 12 minute BoT + SR+ Blink and took over the game. Let’s take a look some of the things that happen if you try to gank too early:
• You miss a ton of crucial early gold and solo exp from the lane. Unless you somehow manage to somehow net a first blood or double kill, your gank simply won’t be worth it in terms of gold or experience.
• You walk through wards. Most supports ward the runes at the start of the game. For the first 7 minutes, the enemy will have full vision of your rotations and the gank will likely fail.
• You let the enemy mid push freely. Not only do you risk losing a crucial tower, it also becomes abundantly clear you’re trying to gank when you have a whole creepwave pounding on your T1 and you’re nowhere to be seen.
• You aren’t strong enough compared to the enemy sidelane. If you leave the lane at level 4 while the enemy is level 2, you don’t really have a huge edge over them. However, if you leave at level 7 while the enemy is level 4, you have an ultimate and a maxed out spell which is much more impactful.
In most cases, it’s actually better for your team to rotate mid and gank for you. If you are going to gank as the mid laner, only do it in beneificial situations. For example, finding a haste or invis rune or getting a good TP opportunity when the enemy is diving your team’s T1.Keep in mind that losing your mid T1 tower is a HUGE deal, so try not to leave the lane for more than 2 minutes at a time if you don’t have anyone who can take over mid and defend a push.
3) Thinking missing calls are a substitute for wards.
Calling missing is so outdated and is practically useless if you don’t have vision around the map. You can say the enemy mid laner is missing, but then what? He could be going to the offlane, to the safelane, or to the jungle. Are all your heroes just going to stop farming for a whole minute until the mid laner shows himself again? Wards are extremely cheap now and can be bought one at a time. There is no excuse to not have wards up in the early game. At the 7 minute mark, supports should place 1 ward at the safelane rune to spot ganks, and another on the mid highground to help their mid laner. If you’re playing mid and your supports don’t ward, buy at least one of your own and do it for them. It is well worth the investment.
4) Terrible courier usage.
Have you ever been playing safe/offlane and just REALLY wanted your magic wand about 2 minutes in but you needed a circlet to complete it? If you’re that guy that sends a walking courier on an expedition around the world to get a 200 gold item that won’t even help you that much in lane, STOP IT IMMEDIATELY. Your mid lane often gets his bottle around 1:30-2:30. If you’re using the courier for some dumb item at this timing, you can straight up lose your mid the lane. As a sidelaner, you should itemize at the start of the game so that you can buy most of the things you need from the side shop. A good mid that’s farming well and dominating his lane will need the courier almost constantly. Please wait at least until 3 minutes when the courier is flying to get your Aquila, Wand, or whatever other minor item you really need. And for God’s sake, never, EVER send the walking courier to your safelane to deliver you brown boots or some other item which you could easily just buy in the side shop.
On another note, I see people just not using the courier at all when they should. They will leave crucial items in their stash because they’re too lazy to micro the courier. Get used to using your courier hotkeys. Courier usage and bottle crowing are a crucial part of Dota. If it helps you, use a cfg macro to control the most useful courier functions. For example, I use this:
//Courier alias "courier_burst" "dota_select_courier;dota_ability_execute 5;+dota_camera_follow;" alias "courier_deliver" "dota_purchase_quickbuy;dota_courier_deliver;+dota_camera_follow;" alias "rightclick" "+sixense_right_click;-sixense_right_click" alias "+bottle" "dota_select_courier; dota_stop; +sixense_left_shift;" alias "-bottle" "dota_select_courier; dota_ability_execute 5;dota_ability_execute 0;dota_ability_execute 3; dota_ability_execute 4;-sixense_left_shift;" bind "F2" "courier_deliver" bind "F3" "+bottle;" bind "F4" "courier_burst"
5) Not farming efficiently enough.
This is by far one of the most crucial reasons why players stay 2k/3k. The map has a limited amount of resources. It is your responsibility as a 1/2 position player to take advantage of those. No matter how good a team is, they’re going to have trouble fighting against someone with twice their net worth. If you’re playing safelane against an easy offlaner, you should not be missing any CS, even under tower. You should also farm the jungle whenever possible. A similar concept applies to mid. Once you get your bottle + arcanes and/or soul ring, you should be pushing out the waves, then heading to the jungle to stack/farm before going back to kill the next creep wave. For instance, the mid creep wave reaches the ramp at around x:40. You can kill this wave in about 3 seconds with a hero like Lesh/Lina, get every last hit, then go for rune and STILL have time to farm 1-2 camps in jungle before the next creep wave is ready to be farmed. I rarely see anyone do this and it’s the main reason why I never lose mid in these games.
For example, here
is a game where I helped my team get some kills but my main focus was on farming. By 10 minutes I pushed the enemy mid tower then started pushing every wave and farming jungle whenever I had spare time. On the contrary, the enemy Slark mid had 13 (?!) CS since he was trying to gank constantly. This is simply unacceptable. Even though Slark is not a great mid against Tinker, getting barely 1cs/min is horrendous. He could easily have counter pushed the waves with Dark Pact and had at the bare minimum 40 cs by this point. By just leaving the lane and giving me a free lane/jungle, he let me snowball in farm. Before 14 minutes,
I was able to hit 100 cs and get my blink dagger while he managed to only get 4 more creeps. Needless to say, the game was quite a stomp from that point on.
Here are a few basic tips for increasing your farming efficiency at mid. Lots of these apply to safelane as well:
• Treads switch. Put your treads on Strength when casting Soul Ring, Intelligence when using spells, and Agility when using Bottle to regen.
• If you have Soul Ring and Arcanes, drop your Arcanes before using Soul Ring. This will give you around +200 to temporary mana rather than 150, which is often enough to nuke an entire wave at basically no mana cost at all.
• If you’re in a safe position (in jungle, behind t1, etc.) drop +stats items (null tali, point booster) before using bottle charges. This will help you regen more hp/mana per charge.
• Bottle crow. If your bottle is empty, no rune is spawning for a long time, and the courier isn’t in use, send the courier to your hero but DO NOT SPEED BURST. Put your bottle on the courier, use speed burst, send it back to base and shift-queue for it to deliver items. This way you can keep your mana and hp up constantly for farming safely.
• Mid creep waves reach the enemy high ground near T1 at around 10 / 40 seconds past the minute. If you anticipate this you can March/Raze/any other nuke in fog and push the wave that much faster.
• Rotate to jungle when the enemy lane creeps aren’t in danger of dying any time soon to your tower/creeps. Don’t just stand mid waiting for the next wave or attempting pointless rotations that have almost no chance of working. Farming 2 jungle camps (especially if they are stacked) is worth a ton of gold/exp.
6) Bad itemization / skill builds.
I can’t give examples for every scenario here but you should try to build your hero in an optimal fashion every game. For instance, if you’re playing Luna safelane and the enemy has 5 stuns, don’t do something stupid like rush Butterfly just because you’re having a good early game. Buy a BKB and make sure you can teamfight effectively rather than taking unnecessary risks. Similarly, don’t do horrible skill builds like maxing mana break / spell shield early on AM. Watch pro replays / streams and see how they build heroes. There’s a reason lots of builds are the standard, and that’s because they’re the most efficient. Don’t try to be different/cute by getting horrible items, especially if your team is relying on you to carry teamfights.
7) Bad spell usage
If you’re playing Tide/Enigma or some similar initaitor with a long CD ulti, don’t hold on to it waiting to catch 5 people. Solo black hole on a core is perfectly fine, and is in fact better than waiting for the perfect scenario which may never occur. You don’t want to have your spells off cooldown all the time. On the contary, if you’re playing something like Lina/Lion/AM don’t use your ultis just to KS a support who is 100% going to die anyway. Use it for someone else in a teamfight to ensure you get more kills. Remember, it matters very little who gets the last hit. It’s more important to secure kills and use spells optimally than waiting to KS.
8) Thinking you need a tank/hard carry every game.
First off, this isn’t World of Warcraft and you aren’t looking to do a raid on Ragnoros. I can build Bristleback with no boots and 6 hearts but unfortunately my opponents aren’t AI and they can just ignore me and kill the rest of my team. It’s nice to have tanky heroes, but it’s not a necessity. Don’t pick Axe when you already have a jungler/offlane just because you need a “tank”. Similarly, hard carries are not necessary in most games and in fact are quite game losing in this meta. It’s nice to have some late game, but don’t last pick Spectre and go offlane when you already have a safelane Clinkz just because you “need HC”. Laning stage is super important in Dota. If you completely lose your lane because you picked a HC, you’re basically going to be useless for the next 30 minutes. Sure, a team like LC/Spec/SF/Clinkz/NP is terrific late game when everyone is 6 slotted but how on earth are you going to win your lanes and all get farm? It’s almost always better to have 2 supports, 2 cores that get farm priority, and 1 core that makes space than to be really greedy and go for ultra lategame 6 slotted lineups.
9) Bad attitude / flaming.
Not every game is going to go your way. Don’t get upset and start flaming the minute one thing goes wrong. Remember, you are not playing against Team Secret. Even if your team makes a lot of mistakes, the enemy team is also full of bad players. Many times someone gives up and starts ruining the game directly or indirectly when they still have a good chance of winning. If your team makes a mistake, don’t yell at them for it. They probably already know they did something wrong, there’s no need to remind them. You can give friendly advice but for the most part you should focus on your own game.
If you have a team full of cancerous team mates that won’t shut up, just ignore all chat. You can still communicate via chat wheel / voice but you no longer have to see all the “cyka blyat fuck your mother” that goes on. Remind your team to stay positive and cooperate with eachother, but never let a toxic teammate distract you from playing your best. The mute function is very useful and exists for a reason.