Hi guys! I’m a semi-competitive dota 2 player, ranking it at 4.7 K MMR. So recently I’ve seen some posts and comments about how illusion heroes (PL, Naga and TB) were often pretty OP.
Since I have a lot of success in Ranked matches against those types of hero I tought I’d do a guide to try and help players out. Again; I’m not perfect, If I were I’d probably be over 6K, but then again, playing against illusions heroes is one of my strengths and I thought I’d share some advice with you. Also because frankly, I think those kinds of heroes aren’t really viable in competitive dota (Naga to some degree) and rely on gimmicks and incoordination. I’ll start with some heroes who I think are good (and bad) against all sort of illusions heroes, than break down specific heroes and strategies to do vs PL, Naga or TB.
Sand King: His ult doing simply massive damage in a large AOE will often clear out every single illusion and render the main target very low; since the lane pressure is very weak due to immense amount of farm these heroes require, he can easily obtain his blink dagger before the illusion carries can fight, and make their lives a nightmare
Axe: More spins, more damage to identify the target and the low health pool of the illusion heroes will able many kills with his ultimate.
Earthshaker: Same principle as Axe, his stun will permit to identify the ‘’real’’ hero and his ult will do massive damage to the Carry and his team as well.
Timbersaw: Most heroes won’t have enough damage to kill him, will have a hard time sustaining his lane presence, and the pure AOE damage will wreck their low health pools and illusions.
Lion: Mana Drain and Hex will instantly destroy illusions, and his death finger his often too much too handle for these low HP heroes.
Also: Any Carry who is potent with Bfury or possess a form of cleave (AM, Tiny, Sven, Kunkka), note that this DOES NOT include PA’ as her timing on Bfury is often much slower and will let the illusion carry enough farm to sustain the damage.
Templar Assassin: A hero built to do massive amounts of damage on a single target; she is also quite vulnerable to radiance, a bad all around hero vs the illusion gang.
Rubick: Very squishy, his relative lack of damage will often not be enough to identify the correct target or sustain his control trough the auto attack pressure. Out of the 3 main illusion heroes, only Naga has interesting spells to steal that are easily obtainable (PL’s invisibility might be nice, but it’s hard to steal)
Doom: This one might seem counterintuitive because at base Doom sounds like a hero that counters anything, everyone and even your momma. But in reality Doom will not negate most of the heroes’ damage , which comes from the illusions.
Bane: This one can be very good, but it takes a little bit more of experience, but as you probably guessed it, individual hard control is often not the way to go against illusions heroes.
Mirana: Her arrow becomes really hard to land and her starfall is quite mana intensive making her unable to counterpush very easily, she has a hard time contesting the lane if she’s in the offlane as well.
With that goes any carry that is intensive single target damage: Lifestealer, Wraith King, Lycan, Chaos Knight etc.
Pocket Strategies (Vs individual heroes).
Lich Offlane: That one might sound a bit ridiculous, but it is amazingly effective versus Terrorblade; he’s simply not able to sustain the eternal spam of AOE damage that Lich does and it he starts to make illusion or drop low intentionally to swap you can always launch your ult at him.
Puck with Dagon: His instant AOE damage and silence will prevent TB from swapping you once he’s low health from the nukes, Dagon is only there to close the deal.
Tidehunter: Anchor Smash will reduce the base attack damage of TB and his Illusions; since metamorphosis augments the base damage, the reduction will be massive; Illusions will deal literally no damage since their small damage output will be blocked by Kraken Shell. His ult is also pretty good.
DO: Stay back and farm your damage/mobility items while he takes his
DON’T: Force a fight before your ultimates are up unless you have a massive hero advantage, because his damage is unsustainable early on.
Death Prophet: Since Naga relies on her ult to escape, DP’s long ass silence is a great way to prevent that escape, and combined with her insane early game push she will limit the parts of the map where Naga can f arm to a minimum.
Zeus (if mid): Zeus’ lane harass will often be too much to handle and will make her go out of lane.
DO: Gank her mid if your hero comp permits it; the ideal time is the mid game as she will generally only have a radiance (which doesn’t give any defensive stat) while your supports will have their first big item (blink/mek) and ultimates.
DON’T: Be too aggressive early on; her high base armor and good lvl 1 spells can prevent you from having the mid game edge you will need to shut her down later on.
She is however a bit more vulnerable than TB
Dark Seer: His ion shell will make any melee carry’s a living hell, his escape and high armor/HP will also prevent most of the kill potential his lane would have. He’s also very good in the mid game as he tends to have more farm than any other offlaner.
Leshrac : His AOE stun is pretty good; but his strength lies in his diabolic edict which will not stop when he goes invisible; even if you always buy detect, sometimes it does run out before the kill Is completed and diabolict edict is a nice asset.
DO: Try to abuse his insanely weak lane presence, try to agro trilane against him and get an aggressive early game carry (Slardar, Gyrocopter etc).
DON’T: Try to force yourself into tower diving kills, teams will try to protect him and WILL TP, instead focus on killing his supports and the other lanes, so the gold he will still amass won’t be enough to atone for his early game inexistence.
That’s pretty much it. I think in general the mistake lower tier level players do is that they try to gank the illusion heroes at any price; often ending up in super aggressive positions where they feed the gold that the illusion carry didn’t have any way in a semi controlled lane. Your mid game items are much more crucial to being able
If you want to check my creds here are two ranked matches vs top NA players
I hope you enjoyed it!