I was recently asked that how do I decide which hero I decide to play into which game and I often explain what key things in ranked all pick make me pick a certain hero. I try to list all of the different scenarios of ranked all pick.
Scenario 1, Forced to first pick:
The situation where no one is picking or saying anything and you are forced to pick first since supports are the best to pick first since they hardly ever tell what lineup they are going to be in. Now I approach this with 100% effective picks that fit in nearly every lineup and these are.
Lion, he fits into every lineup and counters many heroes just by his lockdown and burst and it’s one of my “go to” heroes in solo mmr when I know I have to play at my top level
Venge, good first pick material as well for similar reasons to lion.
WD, really sound hero that can be built aggressively with maledict or passive with heal.
SD, Again one hero that fits almost every lineup with strong laning, combos nicely with multiple heroes with disruption or he can be used as a passive support to protect weak carries in lane and in lategame with disruption.
Scenario 2, Confirm that you have 2nd support in your team:
The situation that I love the most in pubs when I have confirmation or already firstpicked a sound support like SD, lion, venge, shaker, sandking, ogre magi. This is when my options rise to pick a good position 4 or position 5 hero depending entirely on your lanepartner.
Visage, really sound hero whenever you can pick him with a support duo or to face an aggressive dual lane like UD + viper or aggressive 3 lane. Assumption wrecks early fights and going into lategame if you can get the other support to buy wards until you have aghs or solar crest you can take over the game with visage.
Leshrac, excellent pos 4 hero with a stunner support or carry to help him land his stun. Benefits much from pos 4 with items going into lategame and lightning wrecks early teamfights.
SS, greedy support but excellent with a strong pos 5 that helps SS to catch people with shackle and by lvl 6 SS can turn kills into objectives really easily with wards.
Sand king, good ganker vs a solo offlane but weak vs aggressive dual or trilanes. If 2nd support secures safelane sk can jungle by lvl 3 his blink really fast by using sandstorm and then take over the game.
Rubick, this hero is the most fun to play in dota 2 but he really needs a damaging support with him. He does very little dps early on but exels in initiating from long range with telekinesis. Usually I see rubick do will with a hero like AA or lesh that deal much dmg.
Scenario 3, Counterpicking the enemy.
Now this you can do when you get to pick among the last 3 picks when you see for example that your opposing carry is a wraith king or offlane is a hero that can be zoned relatively easily like phoenix or WR or you are against mid like storm.
Lion, again exels in counterpicking and manaburn is good vs WK.
Silencer, counters low hp offlaners really nicely and is good at zoning the solo offlaner out of the lane. Last word even works vs Icarus dive so that when phoenix casts it during word he just flies the whole way back since he can’t stop the dive in silence.
Skywrath, best support to deal single target dmg level 1 with arcane bolt. Strong even vs tanky offlaners like tide clock cent.
Bane, I like to take bane when I know I can get ulties off. Not to be taken when enemies have all the tools in the world to disable your ulti.
Abaddon, Counters heavy lockdown inducing enemies like bane mirana combo or burst and gank heavy team in general. Good at protecting your cores when you have enough lockdown in your team allrdy to kill something. And make sure you have enough ranged heroes to go with abaddon, you don’t want to end up with 5 melee lineup.
Shaker, strong in almost every lineup. Works wonders in all stages of the game but his weakest point is his early levels. If you pick shaker blindly and end up losing your safelane because your carry can’t do anything vs aggressive lane you are going to have a bad game. Very good hero vs heroes that require a lot of lockdown to kill like slark and storm. Very easy to turn early fights with 2-3 man fissure.
Scenario 4, aggressive dual lane:
This is kind of rare but you can run agro dual when you know that your safelane will do fine and opposing team have a weak safelane such as low dmg supports or even jungling axe or enigma and you face only 2 heroes at the safelane.
UD, flavor of the month but really good at the early levels and bullying the aggro lane.
Leshrac, Nice to pair with a normal offlaner like clockwork. Strong dmg with rightlick, long range, good animation and levels in lightning makes him dominate early fights.
Lich, denying creep to abuse lanecontrol and nuking is good. Very strong vs high physical dmg lineup and melee lineups in general.
ogre magi, good armor and hp. Very strong lvl 1 fights.
Scenario 5, Mix of defensive and aggressive support.
Now I admit at this point that these are the heroes I don’t play a lot but that doesn’t need to stop from picking them.
AA, pair with a 2nd support and pick against heal
Dazzle, excellent laner at level 1 and good to save teammates
Treant, punching people lvl 1 and saving globally with armor. Good against pickoff heroes like SB and storm.
Disruptor, glimpse is amazing and ulti is really strong vs some lineups. Can be really weak in some games when you really just need burst and good stun rather than disruptor. Still one of my favourite heroes.