As one of the most popular MOBAs in the world and the pioneer in this genre, Dota 2 is a 5v5 game where each person has to choose a specific position. Each Dota 2 role impacts the game and plays a crucial role in winning. That said, one position stands out because it (usually) allows players to show their skills - the mid-lane.
Every Dota 2 midder’s job is to shut down to enemy hero, gain as much farm as possible and help his team when needed. Of course, this depends greatly on the hero because some Dota 2 mid-laners have a slightly different role than others.
Every patch in Dota 2 has a different meta, meaning that mid-laners, supports, offlaners, and carries must adapt. However, there are general rules that every midder has to follow, which is why it is time to check them in this review.
Pick a hero that works well against your opponent
The first important rule you should remember as a Dota 2 mid-laner is that some heroes are better than others during the laning stage. Unless you play with a team and follow a specific strategy, you must be careful when deciding what hero to get. The last thing you want is someone to counterpick you and ruin your game.
Speaking of counter-picking, it is only sometimes possible to get a good hero vs. your opponent because he may pick after you. If that’s the case and you want a solid laning stage, choose a mid-laner that works well versus most enemies. There are several good examples, such as Kunkka, Viper, Batrider, etc.
Speaking of picking a hero that works well, you should focus on more than counter-picking your enemy. Sure, winning the laning stage as a mid-laner is highly satisfying, but the hero you play with should work well with the rest of the team. Hence, you have to be careful when deciding what to go for.
Beware of ganks
Even though playing on the mid-lane can be fun and rewarding, it can also be highly frustrating. One of the reasons for this is the constant ganks you might have to deal with.
Whether you play ranked games or professional matches, the enemy team will almost always try to kill you at least several times. This means that you have to be prepared and use this against them.
You can do a couple of things if you want to avoid getting ganked. You should have an Observer Ward and keep an eye on the minimap. Once you notice a hero missing, you should play more carefully. Supports are the main thing you should be aware of.
Aside from having good vision and map awareness, you should inform your teammates when you are getting ganked. If they know what they’re doing, they will TP to help you and turn things around.
Focus on getting as much farm as possible
One of the interesting things about playing mid in Dota 2 is that you have to fight for every creep. This is true for other lanes, but there is nothing worse than playing against an enemy who denies all of your last hits. Besides losing a lot of gold, you will also feel outplayed, which may have an effect later on.
You should focus on your last-hitting skills to avoid finding yourself in such a situation. This will take time, but it is worth it because you will be much more robust in a 1v1 situation.
Once you know how to hit last, your job will be to get as many last hits as possible while simultaneously trying to land a kill and avoid dying. Some heroes can achieve this much more manageable than others, depending on what you’re playing with.
Only gank if needed, and your hero allows you to do that
One of the biggest misconceptions regarding the Dota 2 mid-lane is that the hero has to gank other lanes. This might be true up to a point, but only in specific situations. Moreover, your hero has to allow you to do that because not all midders are good at ganking. For example, you can do wonders with Batrider or Kunkka, but not Morphling.
Your main priority as a mid-laner in Dota 2 is to shut down the enemy and gain enough farm so that you can work with your team in the mid-game. Most common midders start playing with their team once the laning stage is over. In other words, if you decide to begin ganking, you will lose a lot of farms, which will definitely have a negative effect later on. Let’s also not forget that you risk being killed.
Get a lot of HP regen if needed
One of the big mistakes made by inexperienced Dota 2 mid-laners is that they always need more HP regen. Some of them think there is no need for it, whereas others simply do not want to waste gold so they can get their first “big” item sooner. This is one of the worst things you can do, and it can have a massive impact on your game.
Having HP regen when needed can save you in many situations. Besides the fact that you can be on full HP, you can stay in your lane and get experience/farm. Once you are out of regen, you must do the “walk of shame,” which takes a lot of time.
Like anything else in Dota 2, there are some exceptions to this rule because some heroes are more mobile and do not need much regen. Ember Spirit is one of the first names that comes to mind, but this also applies to heroes like Tinker.