DOTA 2 MID LANE ULTIMATE GUIDE 2021
The most popular lane in any MOBA game, the Mid lane - where players do not have a lane partner and go head to head against the enemy in a solo 1v1 showdown. Most players enjoy the concept of having a lane all to themselves as well as being given the opportunity to dominate the enemy all by themselves, except for when their teammates decide to give them a helping hand by ganking the enemy mid laner in order for their own to get ahead or become even.
Playing the Mid lane sure is exciting and can also be very tempting, but playing it well can be fairly difficult due to the very small and intricate details that make the difference between a good and an average Mid lane player. Today we will talk about the weapons that you need to have ready in order to dominate the mid lane and be a consistent performer.
WHAT IS THE MID LANE?
The Mid lane is the lane which is in the centre/middle of the map.
The Mid lane is separated from the other two side lanes by the jungles.
The mid lane is also the shortest route to the enemy’s base. So whenever your team is in a situation where the enemies are dead without buybacks and you want to end the game right then and there, pushing through the mid lane will be the most efficient way to do so.
HOW DO YOU PLAY MID LANE IN DOTA 2?
Playing the Mid lane well is not an easy task. There are alot of things you will need to focus on if you want to be a good Mid lane player in Dota 2, such as - last hits, denies, pre emptive regen, ganking side lanes, creating space, taking the opponent mid tower, and so on. The mind set a good Mid lane player will carry with them is the fact that they cannot always hope to dominate the lane and crush their opponents. There will be lanes where you will have the advantage based off of the fact that your hero may be a natural counter to the enemy Mid lane player’s hero. There will also be lanes where you will not be able to win the lane due to the matchup disadvantages. Having the knowledge of when you are strong and when you are not can make a massive difference in a sense that you will know your limits against certain matchups, and knowing them will have a significant effect on your playstyle.
Example of an Unfavourable Matchup:
For instance, let’s assume that you are playing Templar Assassin in this matchup against Huskar, which is a disadvantageous lane for Templar Assassin due to the fact that Huskar can easily take out TA’s refraction charges with his burning spear ability. Templar Assassin gets bullied out of the lane and eventually, for the greater good, she has to leave the lane and hit jungle camps rather than sitting in the lane doing nothing while getting out farmed and harassed by Huskar.
Not having the knowledge of this being a bad matchup for Templar Assassin could have gotten you killed in lane several times as TA as a result of trying to contest Huskar in lane.
To see how pro players like w33 play disadvantageous lanes like TA vs Huskar, check out the TI9 lower bracket game 2 of Liquid vs PSG.LGD right here : PSG.LGD vs Team Liquid | Lower Bracket Final Game 2 Bo3 | TI9
Example of a Favourable Matchup:
Monkey King VS Ember Spirit
In a matchup where you will be playing Monkey King against Ember Spirit, it is an advantageous lane for you since Monkey King is naturally good when put up against melee heroes due to his Jingu Mastery Passive. Monkey King has no trouble dominating melee heroes since it is quite easy for him to land 4 hits on them and zone melee heroes such as Ember Spirit and Void Spirit out of the lane when his Jingu Mastery passive is in effect. Melee heroes tend to suffer a great deal when laning against Monkey King for they have to be careful not to let Monkey King have the chance to get his Jingu Mastery passive activated. Not being able to get close to MK usually leads to all their last hits getting denied and they hardly get anything out of the lane, while MK gets uncontested free farm as well as a hefty lead. So, when playing a favourable lane, it is important to exert pressure and be aggressive in order to capitalize on the situation.
Not having the knowledge of being able to pressure these heroes as Monkey King will result in lost potential kills in the lane which would further your lead in the game and make you win the lane even harder than you would by default.
So, having the knowledge of how to play the Mid lane is critical. Knowing the matchups and basing your actions depending on them will win you most lanes, even the ones you are supposed to lose!
HOW TO WIN MID LANE IN DOTA 2 - 5 TIPS
As previously discussed, you cannot guarantee to dominate every lane as some heroes may by default be counters to the hero you are playing. However, having a tight grip on the basic fundamentals will enhance your chances of winning the lane over your enemy.
Being skilled at last hits and denies in Dota 2, buying preemptive regen, efficient spell usage, harassing the enemy whenever you can, drawing creep aggro when needed and proper itemization will help you to win lanes if done with discipline. You cannot hope to win any lane without having the basics covered - as it is the smallest things which create the biggest of differences in the game of Dota 2.
Being as efficient as possible at everything you do during the laning stage as well as throughout the entirety of the game will make your actions twice as effective; this applies to all roles and not just the Mid lane.
So let’s talk and elaborate on the core fundamentals required to win the Mid lane.
1 - Denying Creeps and Securing the Range Creep (THE EXP FACTOR)
In the Mid lane, getting a level advantage is a huge deal. It is in fact so important that it could change the whole demeanor of the lane if it is effectively implemented. Being a level ahead of your opponent means you are stronger than them in terms of stats, as well as the fact that you have stronger spells which allow you to kill your enemy Mid laner before they are able to kill you. Certain heroes such as Void Spirit, Storm Spirit, Pugna and Queen Of Pain gain a huge power spike when they hit their level 6 and unlock their ultimate ability, which allows them to kill their opponent Mid laner if they fail to win the level race.
An example of a Matchup where having a level lead wins you the lane:
A classic Matchup of Storm Spirit and Void Spirit, where the one who gets to hit level 6 first is most likely to win the lane. These heroes have access to their ultimate abilities when they achieve level 6, which make them twice the time stronger as they are able to close the gap and burst the enemy down with their powerful high damage nuke abilities.
An accurate representation of Storm hitting level 6 before Void:
It is important for you to note that, as soon as the Storm Spirit player hits level 6 after getting exp from killing the enemy creeps, he jumps on the level 5 Void Spirit and kills him by being able to close the gap with his ultimate ability.
Both heroes are level 5
Storm Spirit kills the creeps and gets level 6 before Void Spirit
Kills the Void Spirit with the use of Ball Lightning
For the case of Void Spirit when he gets level 6 before Storm Spirit, it
would look something like this:
In this clip, you should notice how the Void Spirit player, as soon as he gets a glance of the Storm Spirit’s level from low ground, jumps on the Storm with his ultimate ability Astral Step - allowing him to close the gap on to the storm, damaging him and eventually leading to a kill. The Storm Spirit cannot run away even if he wants to due to the fact that he is only level 5 and his only escaping tool is his ultimate, which he unlocks at level 6. Understanding the importance of level leads and at what level your hero is able to win you the lane is one of the key aspects on how to win Mid lane.
What you should take away from this is the fact that you should always try to prioritise making sure that you are getting more exp than your opponent Mid laner. Denying your own creeps, securing the enemy range creep and not letting the enemy deny your last hits will set you up to win level dependent matchups like this, as well as any other matchups in general.
2 - REGEN AND PREEMPTIVE REGEN IS MUST IN DOTA 2
Winning a lane without regen, especially in the Mid lane, is rather difficult unless you really know what you are doing. Buying regen allows you to stay in the lane longer, which is beneficial to you as you get more gold and exp from the lane creeps as well as the fact that you can get back to contesting your enemy right after you have replenished yourself. Consider regen for your hero as important as fuel for a car.
Your hero cannot function in a lane without regen just like a car cannot be driven without fuel. Without regen, you will not be able to cope up and will be more vulnerable, resulting in not being able to win the lane simply due to the fact that you will die as soon as you walk up to the enemy when you are low on health.
Tangoes, Healing Salves, Clarities, Enchanted Mangoes and Bottle are the all sorts of regen items that you will be needing to purchase in order to rejuvenate yourself in the Mid lane.
TANGO OR HEALING SALVE - WHICH ONE TO USE?
When you are laning against heroes who have high damage nukes such as Zeus, Lina and Puck - It is better to buy salves than tangoes. Why? Because tangoes cannot recover the damage done by these heroes fast enough for you to get back in the lane and contest your enemies. Salve however regenerates your health back very fast and allows you to get back in the lane so you do not miss out on the gold and experience the lane creeps offer, which further enhances your chances of winning the Mid lane.
CLARITY OR ENCHANTED MANGO - WHICH ONE TO USE?
Clarities are not an optimal option to restore your hero’s mana while laning due to the fact that it takes a lot of time to do so as well as its effect being cancelled when attacked by an enemy hero, which is more than likely to happen in the Mid lane. Hence the safer and more viable substitute to regenerating mana is consuming Enchanted Mangoes as it restores 100 mana points instantly and allows you to use your spells in lane to secure creeps and damage the enemy, further enhancing your chances of winning the Mid lane.
One of the most, if not the most important factor to winning a lane is pre emptive regen. Now What is Pre Emptive Regen? you may be wondering - It is basically buying regen and shipping it with the courier before you are down to low health and mana so that by the time you do get down to low health and mana, your courier will arrive and deliver you the regen without you having to wait for it, which saves time and minimizes the time you will be away from the lane, allowing you to win
the lane if you are not already.
An example of how PreEmptive Regen makes you win the lane:
In this clip, you can see how the Ogre Magi is making a very questionable trade against a Monkey King, which results in the Ogre Magi’s health being almost completely depleted and could potentially have him killed if he continued to keep on trading hits with the enemy Monkey King. The Ogre Magi is now low on health and mana and cannot afford to contest the Monkey King again or get close to him in the lane.
But the Ogre Magi already had a healing salve incoming, hence the reason why they made the aggressive trade with the Monkey King. The Ogre Magi, knowing the fact that they will drop down to low health sooner or later, bought a salve prior to the situation, which allowed them to have the audacity to be able to afford to get low on health without feeling bad about it since they can easily regenerate their health fully with the pre-ordered healing salve.
Preempted regen allows you to be very aggressive and can be the sole reason why you would win a lane. You should try to exploit this method of winning the lane as much as you can, as it is a very good habit to get into and can win you tons of lanes just because it enables you to be more active in the lane if you do it more than your enemy Mid lane player.
So, always buy regen when you know that you are going to be low on health and mana, not when you are low on health and mana. It is efficient and saves you time which later wins you lanes.
3 - Drawing Creep Aggro to Secure last hits
A big fundamental to win any lane is to make sure you secure the lane creeps which give you gold and exp. However, there is a much easier and safer way of doing so - By drawing Creep Aggro. If you are not aware of what Creep Aggro might be, worry not for it is actually quite simple. In Dota 2, Creep Aggro is where the opponent lane creeps change from their current attack target, to you. When you attack an enemy hero within the enemy lane creep’s acquisition range (which is 500 range for melee creep, 600 for ranged creep and 800 for siege creep) they stop attacking your lane creeps and instead start chasing after you. However, this behavior has a cooldown of 3 seconds, meaning they can only be aggroed this way every 3 seconds.
Why would you want to aggro the enemy creeps? Because it helps you get last hits and denies without the enemy hero harassing you or interrupting you. Matchups where you are playing a melee hero against a range hero in Mid is when Creep Aggro becomes a very useful tool, since you are able to move the enemy creeps farther away from the enemy range hero’s attack range to avoid harassment and bring them more to your side so that you can last hit the enemy creeps at safely without any pressure - allowing you to win lanes more often.
To understand more about Creep Aggro, it is suggested that you watch this video made by high MMR player and Pro Dota 2 analyst Jenkins solely about the Creep Aggro mechanic:- Dota 2: Everything you need to know about Creep Aggro | Pro Dota 2 Guides
And in order to understand and practically see the last 3 tips being put into use to win the Mid lane, watch this video done by RawDotaHenry:-
Win Any Mid Matchup with Creep Agro, Regen, Aggression (Dota 2 Coaching Excerpt)
4 - EFFICIENT SPELL USAGE
Being efficient in Dota pays off big time. Even the smallest things such as the way you last hit a range creep can prove to be the reason why you could win a lane. When using a spell in the laning phase, you would want to make sure you get maximum value out of it, for spells in the earlier stages of the game cost a good chunk of your mana due to your mana pool being very limited.
Using your spells to secure a last hit on the enemy range creeps can prove to be worth it as the range creep gives more experience and gold than the melee creeps. Using spells to last hit creeps and deal damage to the enemy hero at the same time is very efficient and should be practiced to be made as a habit if you want to win lanes over your enemies.
Demonstration of Efficient Spell Usage that wins you the Mid lane featuring Professional Player Suma1L:
Observe the clip very well as there are multiple things to be noted
here in a very short span of time.
Firstly, let’s talk about what Sumail’s Lina does in the lane against Topson’s Invoker
Lina right clicks the opponent melee creep to bring it down to a very low amount of health.
Immediately uses Lina’s first spell - Dragon Slave, a powerful nuke to secure the melee creep before the Invoker denies it, at the same time, hits the Invoker with the spell and damages him. Basically, doing two things at once - Two Birds One Stone Effect. It does not stop there however.
Lina’s first spell has a big range, so it reaches the ranged creep behind the Invoker, damaging it just enough to not kill it.
Once again, immediately follows up with Lina’s Second Spell - Light Strike Array, a powerful spell that stuns and damages - in order to secure the last hit on the low hp range creep and at the same time damages and stuns the Invoker to stop him from denying the creeps.
Securing the last hit with the help of the spell, stuns the Invoker in order to stop him from denying the creep which also damages the Invoker. In this manner, Lina gets the most out of her spell and even secures the kill on to the Invoker later on due to all the damage done to him when all Lina did was simply secure farm with the use of her spells in an efficient manner.
Invoker proceeds to die due to the excessive amount of right clicks and efficient spell usage from Lina as she wins the lane fair and square.
5 - RIGHT CLICKING THE ENEMY (ZONING)
Zoning the enemy out of the lane will give you a big advantage which you can implement to win the lane. Think about it this way - If you keep on hitting the enemy to the point where he is relatively low on hp, he will have no other option than to back out and heal himself unless he wants to stay there and die to your right clicks. Most of the time the ranged heroes in Dota 2 do a very good job of zoning the enemy when playing the Mid lane, especially when their opponent is a melee hero. It is easier for ranged heroes to harass melee heroes through right clicks because they can maintain safe distance from their opponents and hit them without having to trade hits. It is usually a bad idea as a melee hero to walk up to a ranged hero and trade hits, because by the time you walk up to them you are going to take several right clicks on your face and lose your health unnecessarily which is not optimal to do as it will force you to back out and invest more on regen, hence slowing down your game.
Zoning your enemy forces them to invest on regen as they lose health, as well as the fact that they have to move away from the lane, which costs them gold and exp and gives you a free and uncontested lane. You can use this to your advantage and implement it to improve the quality of your laning stage and win lanes.
WHEN TO ZONE AND HOW TO DO IT BETTER
You cannot just mindlessly hit your opponent and hope to win the lane. You have to make a couple things sure before you are going to zone your enemies in order to get positive results.
Zoning the enemy is not your top most priority in the lane. Before doing it, you should ask yourself a number of things such as :
-Are there any creeps low enough on hp for me to last hit?
-Are there any creeps that I can deny?
-Does the enemy have more base damage than me?
-Can I afford to zone the enemy? If not, do I have preempted regen?
Now let’s break down these questions and the reason why you would need to ask yourself such queries.
Q- Are there any creeps low enough on hp for me to last hit?
If the answer is yes, then you opt to last hit the creep, and then harass the enemy if there aren’t any last hits for you to achieve. If the answer is no, then hit the enemy if you are able to.
Q- Are there any creeps that I can deny?
Similar to the question before, if there is a creep to deny, you can opt to deny it. But keep in mind that denies are not as important as last hits in a lane. Maybe if we are talking about range creep denies, then you could most probably prioritize denying the range creep over right clicking the enemy. But you can decide between denying range creeps and harassing the enemy depending on the situation and what wins you the lane.
Thanks for reading and have a good games.