Dota 2

Dota 2 Itemization Guide for All Roles

Hey guys, xuisoko here.
What does a hero truly need? Much depends upon the hero, the shopkeeper would say. But it isn't so simple. I know it's TI time, but I still decided to write a little guide for this week.

I've noticed that a lot of players struggle with the concept of proper and timely itemization. (Including me, sometimes). So I took a deeper look into that.

You can watch the YouTube Video here –

In the video there is a quiz to test your knowledge, and also a lot of examples I can't write up here because it's gonna be super long. I'll throw in cool things here and leave some of the advanced stuff in the video.

1. Starting Items

Most common starting items and their uses among pro players:

  • Ironwood Branch: Everyone's favourite biggest value item.
  • Circlet: used for trading, surviving lanes, and builds into null/wb/bracer
  • Slippers: used on ranged carry/mid like Drow/Arc against mele heroes that won't hit back, to maximize damage. If you are against ranged, you prefer circlets.
  • Gauntlet of str: supper niche, only heroes like huskar, or soulring buyers take that.
  • Mantle of int: same as slippers, but for int hero.
  • Boots of speed: good for pos 4.
  • Ring of regen: a good alternative to bracer, gives more hp regen. Good on agility heroes that suffer in lane against harass like PL.
  • Magic stick: Amazing item on sidelines, possible item on mid against stupid heroes like Zeus, Batrider.
  • Ring of protection: 175 gold for 2 armor, a complete counter to blightstone and physical damage abilities. Very good item.
  • Orb of Venom: Take it on heroes like Antimage, Monkey king as carries and pos 4 sometimes. If you can hit people, or you are on a kill lane, OOV can up your game a lot. never take OOV on farming lanes.
  • Blight stone: Pos 4s take this to harass pos 5s. Smart carries counter with ring of prot.

Regen items differentiation and advanced use:

  • Tangoes: heal 336 hp, with a 10% better value than salve. Is generally better than salve if nobody is pressuring you. (On average you save ~10 gold with each tango) Don't mind the 20 gold difference, the value is around 10 gold difference since salve heals 400 for 110g.
  • Salve: Amazing against heroes like Shadow fiend, which spend their entire mana pool in exchange for your hp. Sf mana pool = 2 mangoes, which can be refilled by 1 salve. 2 mangoes = 130 gold, 1 salve 110 gold, EZ maths, you win game.
  • Mango: generally when trading, if you have a mango, you want to trade it for a kill, a save, or making the enemy waste a salve. If you effectively trade your mangoes for enemy salves, you win game. 65 gold for 110 gold, each exchange wins you 40 gold.

2. Baby Upgrades

  • Wraith band: Best used for trading on the lane. 1, or maximum 2 wraith bands per game is optimal. In patch 7.30c most of the times you see 0 on good players. Dogshit item for farming. Gloves of haste gives you a ton more compared to a wraith band. No smart person would go 4 wraith bands to go jungle, when a power treads + elvenskin gives you more, and won't actually be sold because it saves you 4 slots.
  • Bracer: A glorified ring of regen. The ring costs 3 times less and gives more hp regen. If you want hp regen take the ring. The good thing about bracer is that it gives 8 damage on strength heroes. This is a lot.
  • Null talisman: Amazing item. Some heroes benefit from it if they need 10-20 damage to nuke a wave with a certain spell. KOTL used to be a good example, why people built 3 nulls to nuke a wave. It gives spell amp. So if you are playing a hero with 2 nukes that are slightly short of killing a wave, make 1 or 2 null talismans, they will amp up your damage with spells and you can farm super quicker.

3. Boot Choices

  • No boots: Heroes like storm, Qop, Weaver can choose to go bootless. This isn't an optimal choice always but can allow these heroes to rush an item like orchid for example and then go back for boots. This applies map pressure against greedy heroes.
  • Brown Boots: – Super value, a very acceptable choice on some heroes even throughout the entire game.
  • Wind Lace: – A good alternative to boots if you pair it with a neutral item giving MS like Fae grenade. Also can be picked up for extra ms if you have a slot on a hero that benefits from it like ELDER TITAN OF HELL.
  • Power Treads – Best boots for farmers. Gives double stats on meepo. Swap treads on each cast, swap treads on regening. Insane value.
  • Phase boots – Not many people know this but the % ms increase component scales. That means if you get a yasha, or another instance of MS, your phased state of phase boots gets faster. This means these boots scale throughout the game. Good with heroes that have big turn time, or an innate ms ability like RAzzor.
  • Arcane: – DISSASEMBLE AVAILABLE FOR FREE. Cool boots, mana, good for str supports like dawnbreaker that build into lotus orb or holy locket.
  • Tranquils: – Cool for roaming heroes, gives more MS, makes you faster and saves u gold from regen. It's a mini old school heart of tarrasque guys. My preferred boots for pos4.
  • Travels: Great item, greedy choice, amps up your farm. If the game isn't going to end soon, you can skip a major item for this on midlaners.

4. Support Post laning start itemization

This is a valid sequence of purchases that can lead to you having a good game.

  1. Starting items

0.1 Possible choice between Ring of basi, headdress, buckler if needed. (Very rarely, if core asks)

  1. Boots
  2. Either tranquil upgrade or Wand.
  3. Raindrops
  4. Blink on pos 4 most times – Either force staff/glimmer/medallion on pos 5.
  5. Whatever else team needs (Either aggro or defensive item)

5. Differentiation between aggressive and defensive items

Don't take this item sequence for granted. Is your team consisting of heroes like Lina that can take down enemies on their own without your help?

IF yes – then buy defensive items to support your lina.

If no – then buy aggressive items to kill people when needed. Sometimes when you don't have kill heroes, you will fall behind, and you feel pressured and you feel scared and you want a force staff to save people.

But if your hero has a capability like Skywraith mage atos, that enables you, go for it, instead of a glimmer.

On a general note, aggressive items are much more costly than defensive ones. More expensive.

6. Glimmer Vs Force

Glimmer is cool, shorter cd than force, scales better late game since cores won't carry any detection due 0 slots. You can use more than 1 glimmer per fight.

Good vs AOE damage. Cheaper.

Super value. Partially countered by detection and entirely by nulifier.

Force staff: take this against skywriath mage, invoker, or other heroes that want you to stay in one place like slark, lifestealer, etc.

Countered by nullifier.

7. Core itemization

If you need to farm and you are the carry, most likely you need mana regen. That means one of 4 items:

  • Echo sabre
  • Mage Slayer
  • Battlefurry
  • Orchid

If you are a carry that doesn't need mana to farm like lifestealer, void, etc:

  • Maelstrom
  • Mask of madness

have in mind that these are farming items, you shouldn't get one of these each game. If you need to fight there are other alternatives.

8. Carry's choice: SNY or Manta?

  • Manta better for farming, dodging projectiles, disjointing silence and root.
  • SNY better against burst, absolute disables like lc duel, bane ult, instant stuns like fissure from fog, lift from rubick, etc.

SNY and manta are a mix of farming and fighting items. These items are very good if you aren't certain where the game is going since they give you a good mixture of everything.

9. Offlaner specifics

As an offlaner – does your team have another way of initiating? If yes, get utility or ego items like Vanguard to push t1 into whatever your team needs.

If no, you might be the guy who gets the blink first (Not always the best case.)

Vanguard rush on some heroes is as powerful as hotD rush. IF you are on a hero like underlord you can take the lane by yourself.

10. Don't Autopilot

Are you playing QOP? Don;t rush orchid just because you've done it 1000 times. If this game is full of squishy heroes that can't escape with their spells and they will easily die, go kaya into BKB shard.

This way you can tackle multiple enemies at once, and if they are squishy enough with no escape mechanisms orchid is a waste of gold.

This is just one of a thousand examples.

Hope this was useful, I'll help with anything I can, if you know something cool please also make sure to mention it in the comments.




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