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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Basic DoTA Strategy

DOTA stands for Defence of the Ancients. It is a mod for Warcraft 3. Since its inception, there have been a number of good DOTA Strategy guides written about it.

Here are 7 DOTA Strategy 101 tips to help you get into the game.

Tip #1 Farming

Farming means killing creeps or neutrals for gold. The more enemy creeps you kill, the more gold you'll receive. Sometimes when farming becomes difficult, player may turn to farming neutral characters for extra gold.

Tip #2 Last Hit

Last Hit means moving in close to hit the enemy creep for gold. Damaging an enemy creep does not provide gold, so its beneficial for a non-ranged character to move in for a last hit to receive this benefit. This also allows you to stay out of range of the opposing team.

Making a last hit requires a feel of the timing to deal direct damage for different characters. You can get a feel of this simply by playing the game often. A good strategy is to keep the thumb on the "ALT" key so that you can readily see the life line of the creeps, and only move in to get a last hit when its life is low.

Tip #3 Hot Key

Hot Key is an essential DOTA strategy. Different spells are tied to different buttons which when pressed will activate the spell. Since battles in DOTA last only a few seconds, clicking on the icons with the mouse is a little slow.

Tip #4 Mouse

Getting a good mouse is important for DOTA. You'll also enjoy the gaming experience more with a good mouse, skates, and mouse pad. Get it from:

Tip #5 Item Build

Having the right item build will increase the power of your character. Some characters require more health or more speed, or more mana as the game progresses. Knowing the complimentary item build for your character will increase its power and direct damage.

Tip #6 Team Play

In competitive DOTA play, its necessary to play in groups. Public DOTA strategy and Competitive DOTA strategy are different with the latter being more difficult and emphasis on team cooperation.

Tip #7 Mana Required

Always take note of the amount of mana required to cast 2 spells. 1 spell alone will normally not be sufficient to take down an opponent.

Tip #8 Item Cost

By understanding what items need to be built, you'll be able to know the cost and time your return to the fountain. Less trip back to the fountain means more time in the battle field, which translates to more gold and experience for your DOTA character.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Favourite DOTA Strategy - Stone Giant Tiny Strategy


Tiny - The Stone Giant

Range: 128 | Move Speed: 285
Primary: STR
Str: 24 + 3 | Agi: 9 + 0.9 | Int: 14 + 1.6
Damage: 61 – 67 | HP: 606 | Mana: 182
HP Regen: 0.97 | Mana Regen: 0.57
Attack Speed: 1.55 | Armor: -1
Avalanche Avalanche (V)
Send 4 to 5 piles of rocks on an area of 200 AoE to stun and damage enemy land units. Each pile of rock stuns around 0.25 second, and the whole process lasts around 2 seconds.
Level 1 - 100 damage.
Level 2 - 180 damage.
Level 3 - 260 damage.
Level 4 - 300 damage.
Mana Cost: 120
Cooldown: 18
Comment: Your stun skill. Good damage and stun duration. Helps in farming too.Practice targeting it because its cooldown doesn't let you use it again for another 18 seconds if you miss your mark.
Toss Toss (T)
Tiny grabs the nearest unit, friend or foe, and launches them at a location. Upon landing, the unit deals damage in an area as well as receiving 20% of that damage to themselves (this damage increases as your size increases). Cannot toss Elder Form DK.
Level 1 - 500 range, 75 damage.
Level 2 - 700 range, 150 damage.
Level 3 - 900 range, 225 damage.
Level 4 - 1100 range, 300 damage.
Mana Cost: 120
Cooldown: 13
Comment: Basically,your nuke. More spammable due to better cooldown. Good range and damage. Also has a lot of tricks you can do. Just make sure your not tossing an ally hero into the tower.
Craggy Exterior Craggy Exterior (C)
Tiny`s body is made of solid granite, causing great pain to those who attack it. Whenever a melee unit attacks Tiny, there is a chance that they will be stunned for 2 seconds. Tiny will not take damage if he stuns the enemy for that particular hit.
Level 1 - 6% chance, 25 stun damage.
Level 2 - 12% chance, 35 stun damage.
Level 3 - 18% chance, 45 stun damage.
Level 4 - 24% chance, 55 stun damage.
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A
Comment: Great against melee enemies. Darkterror and the like would have a hard time stunning you when they get stunned for attempting to hit you. Note that you do not take the damage when this triggers. Unfortunately does nothing against ranged opponents.
Grow Grow (W)
Greatly increases Tiny`s power and size, but does so at the cost of his attack speed. Will reset all cooldowns.
Level 1 - 40 bonus damage, 5 bonus speed, 20% reduced attack speed.
Level 2 - 80 bonus damage, 10 bonus speed, 35% reduced attack speed.
Level 3 - 120 bonus damage, 15 bonus speed, 50% reduced attack speed.
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A
Comment: Trade speed for power. The cost you save is similar to 2 relics - hyperstone. Speed is easily bought,anyway. Also gives a boost to toss.
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Skill Build

Skill Build:

1. Avalanche
2. Toss
3. Avalanche
4. Toss
5. Avalanche
6. Toss
7. Avalanche
8. Toss
9. Stats
10. Grow
11. Grow
12. Craggy Exterior
13. Craggy Exterior
14. Craggy Exterior
15. Craggy Exterior
16. Grow
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats

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Item Build

Item Build:

1.View Details for Arcane Ring
Arcane Ring
A powerful jeweled ring that glows with intense magical energy. Gives +3 Armor and +300 Mana. Can cast Replenish to restore 135 mana to a 400 AoE around the caster (25 mana cost). 33 second cooldown.
Ring of Protection + Energy Booster + Arcane Ring Scroll
Cheap fix to Tiny's mana problems.
2.View Details for Assault Cuirass
Assault Cuirass
+10 Armor
+5 Armor Aura
-5 Armor Aura
+40% Attack Speed
+15% Attack Speed Aura
Plate Mail + Hyperstone + Chainmail + Assault Cuirass
Boosts Attack Speed and armor, 2 things that Tiny like to have more of.
3.View Details for Power Treads
Power Treads
+65 Run Speed
+35% Attack Speed
+10 Selected Attribute
Boots of Speed + Gloves of Haste + Boots of Elvenskin or Robe of the Magi or Belt of Giant Strength + Power Treads Recipe Scroll
Movement and Attack speed. Negates penalties for up to lvl 2 grow.
4.View Details for Heart of Tarrasque
Heart of Tarrasque
+300 Hit Points
+11 HP/Sec Regeneration
35 Strength
Messerschmidts Reaver + Vitality Booster + Heart of Tarrasque Recipe Scroll
Big Hp boost to compliment your boosted armor.
5.View Details for Kelens Dagger of Escape
Kelens Dagger of Escape
Activated (90 mana, 25 sec cooldown):
Blink (200-1000 range).
Cannot be used by Pudge or Vengeful Spirit
Option Item. Chase/Escape too;. Avoid collision size problems.
6.View Details for The Butterfly
The Butterfly
30% Evasion
+30 damage
30% increased attack speed
+30 Agility
Eaglehorn + Quarter Staff + The Butterfly Recipe Scroll
Option Item. Hit Faster, Last longer. Make damage heroes work longer.
7.View Details for Buriza-do Kyanon
Buriza-do Kyanon
+75 Damage
Passive: Critical Strike
20% Chance 2.2x Damage Multiplier
Crystalis + Demon Edge + Buriza-do Kyanon Recipe Scroll
Option Item. Hit harder. Make them feel pain.
8.View Details for Black King Bar
Black King Bar
+18 Damage
+10 Strength
Activate: Avatar
+5 Armor +30 Damage +200 Hit Points
10 Second Duration 100 Second Cooldown 150 Mana Cost
Cannot be Dropped
Broadsword + Ogre Axe + Black King Bar Recipe Scroll
Option Item. Don't get hexed in the middle of a clash.
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Early Game

Early Game:


  • 4-5 player team: Purchase a Ring of Protection and a Ring of Regeneration, if money doesn't allow, some Tangos and 1/2 clarity potions should suffice. Extra money can be used for consumables.
  • 2-3 player team: Purchase Boots of Speed, Ring of Protection, Ring of Regeneration, a circlet or 2 if money allows, some clarities, more consumables if money allows.
  • solo play: Complete Arcane Ring and Power Treads. Purchase Tangos.


  • 1 melee enemy: Easy unless enemy has stun/nuke skills. Just stay behind creeps,take a free shot if the opponent is foolish.
  • 1 ranged enemy: Slight disadvantage. Stay behind creeps and move in only for the last hit/deny. Your low armor is a disadvantage against ranged.
  • 2 melee enemies: Similar to having one melee enemy. Watch out for a 2-on 1
  • 2 ranged enemies: Request for assistance/lane switch(unless you can really handle it). Very difficult to handle if the enemies are sensible(they will focus on you).
  • 1 ranged, 1 melee: Similar to having one ranged enemy. Watch out for a 2-on-1. Request for assistance if needed.


  • Timely attack creeps with low HP to kill in 1 blow. This ensures that you get the gold. Hit it before the opponent denies. ALT key may help check for targets.
  • If you get Arcane ring early, you can use your skills for farming. Refer to middle game farming for more detail.


  • Do not push yet. Allow your opponents creeps to reach close to your tower. The opponent gets undeniable exp if the creeps get in their tower's range. Also provides safety that your tower is close, as well as keeps the enemy away from their tower.


  • Possible, but not a priority. To kill, harass enemy with hits until half of their health. Make sure you have 240 mana. Time an avalanche with enemy at close range, then move forward and use toss with the enemy hero at the center and with the enemy as close as possible. If you are lucky,you toss the opponent for more damage, if not, you toss a creep. Finish off with regular attacks.


  • Use avalanche on enemy, then flee.
  • Toss a pursuing hero back to the creep waves.Use only if enemy is at close to melee range and a creep wave is nearby.


  • Complete Arcane Ring.
  • Buy a Boots of Speed
  • Purchase items for Power Treads if farming went well


Expected items by end of early game:

Arcane Ring Ring of Regeneration
Boots of Speed Circlet of Nobility
Circlet of Nobility


  • Q: Why Avalanche/Toss as early game skills? Can't I get Craggy exterior/stats instead of toss?
  • A: You would want to utilize both damaging skills early game, because they are most effective in hero killing at this point. Also, you don't need craggy exterior yet because you are not going to be hit by melee units. You avoid damage early game. Same with stats, you're not going to tank damage, or waste spells.
  • Q: Why Arcane Ring? Eul's Scepter could provide the same use, but with cyclone charges and upgradeable to another disable?
  • A: Arcane Ring Is cheaper and is a more reliable source of mana than mana regen early/mid game. You also have no need of bonus intelligence(just for mana). Eul's is also more expensive, making it slower to complete.
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Middle Game

Mid Game:


  • Now that you have the mana, you can use your skills in almost every creep wave.
  1. Wait for creeps to engage.
  2. Move next to the enemy ranged creep, and Toss it into the melee creeps.
  3. Follow immediately with an Avalanche. You get almost all, if not all the creep kills with this method.


  1. Clear out enemy creeps.
  2. Attack the tower, making sure not to get targeted.
  3. Toss a creep making sure that the tower is in the radius.
  4. Repeat until tower is destroyed.


  • Toss->Avalanche: Best for ambushes or forest encounters. Gives you time for toss to cooldown.
  1. Toss the enemy hero (make sure there are no close creeps to toss).
  2. Execute an avalance immediately after enemy drops
  3. Deal a few hits.
  4. Chase and toss for a kill.(Note: make sure to have a tossable unit in close proximity,lest you waste mana)
  • Avalanche->Toss: Best for head-on battle. Deals less damage than a Toss->Avalanche though.
  1. Cast avalanche on enemy hero( try getting the creeps to die too).
  2. Move in on the enemy, Toss the enemy hero.
  3. Hit the hero when it descends.


  • Use Avalance to stun enemies. Try to catch ones in mid-channeling to be more effective.
  • Support fleeing allies by using Avalanche on the pursuers. Cast avalanche ahead of the pursuer/s.
  • Toss a healthy ally (preferably with disables) to a fleeing enemy hero.
  • Toss a mass disabler (Leviathan, Magnus, Axe, etc.) into the middle of enemies for maximum effect.


  1. Stun pursuers with Avalanche. Aim ahead of their chase path for better chance to hit.
  2. Toss chasing enemy into creep wave.
  3. Use a scroll of town portal.


  • Complete Power Treads
  • Buy a plate mail (Decide to go for Assault Cuirass now or later).
  • Work on Cuirass
  • Or buy a Messerschimidt's Reaver


Expected items in inventory:

Arcane Ring Ring of Regeneration
Power Treads Plate Mail
Messerschimidts Reaver


Arcane Ring Ring of Regeneration
Power Treads Plate Mail
Chain Mail Planeswalkers Cloak
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  • Q: Why do I need a Plate Mail so early in the game? And why not Vanguard?
  • A: If you look at your armor, It's a pretty meager amount. The less of this I have, the more damage I take. The more damage I take, the more I am likely to die. And one of the best items to compensate for low armor is Plate Mail. Vanguard does block some damage and add some fat, but Vanguard loses it's effectiveness in the late game, and Plate Mail is cheaper and upgrades to an Assault Cuirass, which helps your teammates as well.
  • Q: When do I complete Assault Cuirass, before or after Heart of Tarrasque?
  • A: This is situational based on the opposition and your play level. If you think you need more HP now(such as with heavy nukers), then finish heart first. If you don't need the HP now, then finish Cuirass.
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Late Game

Late Game:


  • Follow midgame farming strategy.


  • Push as a team. Pushing solo will get you ganked. Use skills to clear creeps, push as normal.


  • Harass the enemy with your skills first before going for the kill, then kill as normal. Though this will be harder, since heroes stick together. Best to stay as a group.


  • Similar team strategy as midgame, except it will be more important to win team battles. Remember to kill disablers and damage units first, leave tanks for last.
  • Use your Black king Bar if you opted for it.


  • Follow midgame fleeing strategy.
  • Use the blink dagger.(if you got it)


  • Complete Cuirass/Heart of Tarrasque(one, then the other)
  • Grab your options


Final inventory:

Arcane Ring Assault Cuirass
Power Treads Heart of Tarrasque

Fill in the extra slot with one of the options:

Black King BarKelens Dagger of EscapeThe ButterflyBuriza-do Kyanon


  • Q: I got all the items now. Which option item do I get?
  • A: If you are in a spell/disable heavy environment, then Black King Bar is a good choice. For maneuverability, Dagger of Escape can help avoid collision problems. If you're against damage heroes, Butterfly can cut a third off their hits(more if against melee). For tank killing, Buriza helps cut them down to size.
  • Q: The game has been dragging on for some time now,what can I do to get the game in our favor?
  • A: Consider switching your treads to a Boots of travel. Easier to escape and chase, as well as Teleportation to ally creep waves attacking the tower, or to go home quickly to defend. You can also sell your Arcane Ring and grab another option, or a utility item(like euls, or diffusal blade).
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Other stuff



Atropos - The Bane ElementalLion - The Demon WitchRhasta - The Shadow Shaman

  • Units with multiple disables: These units have 2 or more disable skills. Lets you focus on the target of choice.

Purist Thunderwrath - The OmniknightShendelzare Silkwood - The Vengeful Spirit

  • Omniknight/Vengeful Spirit: Powerful setup/assist that are always of use.
Aggron Stonebreaker - The Ogre MagiJah’rakal - The Troll WarlordAbaddon - The Lord of Avernus
  • Units that provide bonus attack speed: Boosts Tiny's attack speed, making him do more damage.


Atropos - The Bane ElementalLion - The Demon WitchRhasta - The Shadow Shaman

  • Disablers: Leaves Tiny as a sitting duck(or sheep,or pig, or...). Counter with Black King Bar.
Mogul Khan - The AxeBradwarden - The Centaur WarchiefAnub`arak - The Nerubian Assassin
  • Anti-Melee units: They have skills that punish melee attackers. Attack with a team to counter.
Anub`seran - The Nerubian WeaverBone Clinkz - The Bone FletcherViper - The Netherdrake
  • Ranged Damage per Second heroes: They evade Craggy exterior and eat through your low armor.
Slardar - The Slithereen GuardChen - The Holy Knight
  • Damage Amplifiers: With your low armor, you wouldn't want any more damage.


  • Use your Arcane Ring. Always replenish mana when available. Have allies in the area as well.
  • Do not toss without cannon fodder. A waste of time and mana.
  • If a lack of melee units is noticed, you may opt to take some stats before levels of craggy exterior.
  • If you do not have the attack speed boosting items yet, you may take grow at a later level when you complete it.


Mask of MadnessBlade MailHood of Defiance

  • Mask of Madness: Best in a solo/2 player game. Using Frenzy in a pack of 3+ Heroes is suicide.
  • Blade Mail: If in a predominantly melee environment, this may get some consideration.
  • Hood of Defiance, when there are nukes but no disables(ex. Luna). Cheaper alternative.
  • This build has no orb effects yet. If you think of an orb item will work well, that try it out.


  • Drew: Kudos to the new server and the nifty inventory slots. And for the approval.
  • Yukino_Silvermaine: Tossing ideas here and there. Also Influenced the addition of the Zoom-in Section.
  • The Internet: I am the internet.
  • UPHGC: It's time, isn't it? Visit ALVA at Philcoa in Quezon City, and you might find us there.


  • This would be guide#3 for me. Some new sections added which would probably appear in future guides. The Zoom-in section was sprung from suggestions of Yukino_Silvermaine to justify gameplay decisions and answer some of the possible questions from readers. The reminders are just some things people might forget. A recap of sorts. Things to consider are items that can be used for the hero situationally, or didn't make the build but are still good items
  • Hopefully the bullet format appeals to your tastes. I feel it makes the guide more simple and clean.

DOTA Strategy 2008 Collection