Hi guys and girls, my name is SilverHunter from Dota 2 Portal. Welcome to the 5th episode of our Learn Your Role show, aimed towards the beginners to understand the basic things about each and every Hero role. After covering the Support, Carry, Jungle and Offlane role, it’s time to cover the Initiators role. So grab some popcorn, make yourself comfortable and enjoy! From the name of the role, you can conclude that its goal in the game is to initiate something.

We are not talking about initiating the flaming and raging within the team, we are talking about wining the games with the perfect positioning and surprising the enemy with a massive ult like Black Hole or Reverse Polarity. Because your goal in the game is just that; since you have some pretty excellent spells and ultimates for AoE CC (Crowd Control), you have to be present in almost every single team fight. If you fail to show up on time, and fail to use your combo, the loss of the game is almost certain. Even if you ARE in the team fight, you have to watch over your positioning in order to plant your combo on as many enemy heroes as possible. There are so many IF-s in the life of the Initiators, that many of us agree that this particular role is certainly one of the hardest, if not the hardest role to master. However, this role is not the main Hero role. It’s a sub-role, since initiators can be the great junglers, like Enigma, or great mid Heroes, like Magnus, or great offlaners, like Batrider, or great supports, like Warlock.

With that being said, it’s important that you understand that your main role comes at the first place. Junglers need to get the first core item as soon as possible or gank from the jungle, mid Heroes have to watch over the runes and use them to gank if they can, offlaners have to be defensive and do their best not to die, while supports… Well, just buy wards and you are fine. However, these Heroes turn into a deadly and powerful tool as soon as they hit their 6th level, and their role as Initiators become much more important. So, in order to be a great initiator, you have to have some big AoE spells for locking down? Well, that’s not completely right. With more experience, you will see that there is a sub-sub role, called semi-initiators, though not listed as the official role. Great examples of such Heroes are Spirit Breaker or Clockwerk. They have the ability to initiate on single targets, and have the HP to survive the incoming enemy hate. These semi-initiators are here to drove away the attention from the main initiator in their team. By doing that, more often than not, the enemy team will focus their hate towards the semi-initiator to bring him down and forget about their positioning.

Take a look at the following example: Spirit Breaker charges into the enemy team, initiating the fight. He immediately gets focused down by the enemy Heroes, who cluster in the narrow space around him. They’ve forgoten about the Spirits’ backup, called Enigma, who is on its way to land a perfect 5 man black hole. Another example can be seen here: Dire decides to initate the team fight by sending the Tiny in the river. Radiant tries to take him down and punish him for his „bad” positioning, but one of the Dire supports uses a Force Staff to bring him back. In that moment, Magnus rams into the clustered enemy team and lands a great 4 man RP. Of course, there will be cases where real initiators will start the fight first, without sending in the semi-initiator. That situation is ideal, since you don’t risk your semi-initiator dying in the process. If playing as the real Initiator, you should always keep an eye on the enemy positioning and react in a split second to punish them. But, if you end up having the problems with landing your combo, then your mid Hero, or other Hero with a lot of HP or some great semi-initiating ability should initiate first and make room for you.

Great semi initiators, and fairly easy for beginners are Vengeful Spirit with her Swap ability, Beastmaster with his Roar, Tusk with his Snowball, Alchemist with his Stun, Huskar with his ultimate, Night Stalker during the night, Spirit Breaker with his Charge, Undying with his Toombstone, Treant with his overgrowth and others. But the real initiators are the following, though some of them could not be the great for beginners: Earthshaker, Magnus, Batrider, Dark Seer, Enigma, Lich, Outworld Devourer, Puck, Warlock and others.

So what’s the conclusion? First of all, you have to understand whether you are a semi-initiator or a full initiator. If you are a semi-initiator, then I am sorry to say that you will be the one who should initiate most of the fights and probably die in the process. If you end up playing as the real initiator, then it’s way too important to land your combo on at least 3 people, or 2 key heroes in the late game (like Carries). Don’t be impatient, coordinate with your team, make sure to notify them if your ult is still on cooldown and practice, practice and practice..

As found on Youtube