Dota 2

Sixty games of safelane carry: change your mind edition

So, I decided I'd opt for playing safelane cores instead of either offlane or supports. Why not, I've exhausted the other options, and if I can't gain MMR doing this, I'll probably never climb.


I think it was a bad pick given the situation, and I also played the game really badly. I think the Disruptor and Invoker were the first phase picks, and that much AoE silence and control were really not in my best interests. A lot of the time as PL, I find I fight too much, I don't farm enough and if I turn up to fights, I don't turn up late enough in the piece. I end up lacking patience and getting Static Stormed and die.

Overall I think I deserved to lose and it reminded me that picking squishy AGI heroes that need items to survive, and then farming for too long without getting said items, was a recipe to lose. Ideally, I think I should've picked a different hero, but I don't know what I should've picked. The three best vacuum-matchups I can see on d2pt are Anti-Mage, Riki and Alchemist for Disruptor and Invoker.


I felt like I got kited a lot in this game, but I've picked Naga against Riki a few times now, and she feels really good against that hero. A 2-5 second root in Ensnare, Diffusal Blade to ruin his tiny mana pool, I have no issue with Naga vs any of those heroes, maybe Invoker if played well enough, but this one wasn't that good if I'm honest. Centaur didn't feel that rough to lane against, and I just hard camp-pulled a lot and it was fine. Yeah, apart from getting kited a bit in the game it felt like a winnable game, and we got the result.


God, was I awful in this game. The first two enemy picks were Dazzle + Witch Doctor, and my first thought was Weaver, and then they went Slardar Jugg, and I didn't really think about the fact that my hard support went Zeus, which… ugh. He gave me mostly solo XP which was nice, but you can't really do much to a Slardar and I blame my pick. I died more times than I should have in the early game, but in the midgame I really made a point of not showing on the map until Slardar was clearly somewhere else, and only then pressuring a lane. Ember carried us pretty hard, but started to lose his advantage as the game went late. I love Aghs shard on this hero, it's so good.

There was this one point in the game, pretty late in the piece, where I got an illusion rune. Slardar had been hunting me all game, and I used an illusion to bait him into a Blink+Crush, and then he died after we jumped him, and got rax, eventually winning the game. I mean, it wasn't just that, but it was satisfying to know that even though I got absolutely smashed in the early game, that I could come back and at least impact the game in some way.

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I stayed as quiet and as rageless as possible, didn't get mad and just tried really hard to have some kind of game impact. I had to play really scared for most of the game, but overall it was really fun and we ended up winning.


I saw the Nyx+Lina pick, and thought… eh, I don't want Medusa here because Nyx, but then I remembered it's probably a Crusader Nyx and we had a Huskar so I imagined he wouldn't be a super late-game hero, and that we maybe needed a hyper-carry kind of hero. I saw the Tinker and CK picks and thought "I've played Medusa into CK before, it feels pretty good". Not having played into Tinker much, I figured Manta would be really good for the Laser miss chance, and then they last-picked Viper for the offlane. I was like "fuck yeah!" I've played Medusa vs Viper in the midlane and she doesn't care about Viper at all. If he hugs the creep wave she can Mystic Snake and secure ranged creeps, and damage him in the process. If he Nethertoxins the wave, you get freefarm, and Viper doesn't have super high damage in the early game to deny your CS much, so I felt pretty good with the pick relative to their picks and the CK and Viper was really encouraging for me.

The Viper didn't do shit to me in lane, and the Lina had a hard time harassing me 'cause my Puck pulled a lot which was really nice. I did a lot of hard camp pulls and it felt really good to get some CS that way, too. I got Manta Skadi in about 24 minutes, which I thought was a little slow, but it's mainly because I rushed Manta without getting a genuine farming item first, like Mask of Madness, Maelstrom or something like that.

My Puck and my Huskar went hell-for-leather a lot of times, and I fed two kills that I thought were unnecessary, but I didn't get punished super hard for it. Overall, I felt I played the game pretty well and it ended up being a fairly convincing win I thought.

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So it's three wins out of four games so far, and I'm feeling pretty decent about safelane carry at the moment. I'm down four games from where I started, but I was down about eight or nine not long ago, so I'm feeling pretty upbeat about the change. There's roughly 40 more role queues left before I have to "recharge" my points, but I'll definitely go back to playing safelane core once I've done my 15 games of 4 points.

I'm hoping that eventually I'll get to about Archon and then see what happens from there.

As an aside, I've been doing the last-hit trainer in the training tab, started on STR heroes and the challenge was to get 3,000, and then attempt another finish in the 3 minutes with 3,250 or more points. I've done it on all STR heroes up to Sven, and now I'm on Tidehunter.

It's really been interesting because you start to realise why you have a rough laning phase on a lot of heroes. See, I like the ability set of Sand King, but in terms of last-hitting, boy do I struggle with his ~50 starting damage on top of enemy creeps having 2 armour. He feels like a melee Huskar, he's just really not-strong in terms of last-hitting. I think my least favourite heroes were Clockwerk, Doom , Earthshaker, Huskar sucks too if he can't dominate a lane, Io was hard, but less difficult than I pictured it, I didn't enjoy Slardar, Snapfire was pretty shit, Spirit Breaker is kinda bad but for Doom reasons, not the starting damage reasons. I really enjoyed Abaddon, Axe, Beastmaster, Centaur in particular, CK was pretty good despite being variable in his damage, he deals quite a lot of damage generally and his animation is pretty good, DK is pretty functional in last-hitting, Earth Spirit felt really crisp to last-hit with, despite having relatively low damage, Kunkka, Legion, Lifestealer, Magnus were all really straightforward, as was Mars and Night Stalker, I've played a fair bit of Omni and I've always enjoyed his last-hitting, Phoenix was like Io – less difficult than I'd imagined – Pudge is really easy to last-hit with but has no armour obviously and Sven was Sven: he deals shit-tons of damage early in the last-hitting department. Tidehunter I just finished in a couple of attempts, and on to Timbersaw, whose starting damage is… harder for me to play than what I'm used to. I find that the higher the starting damage, the easier it is for me overall, but it's really making me think about my hero choices a little more not just in the context of in-game counters and timings and whatnot , but also in terms of how I'm going to feasibly get farm against the hero they have in lane, not just versus their ability set, but also their starting damage and likelihood of denying me. Plus, securing ranged creeps is pretty important too. Tiny is basically Doom when you factor out his ability set: solidly high damage with no AGI and no attack speed gain naturally, and as a result if you aren't very frugal with how you dish out your attacks, you can be always a step behind, missing CS and denies because the enemy's attack speed and animation outplay yours.

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It was interesting because I had a discussion with another user in my Wraith King nerfs post about the draft, counter-picks and what it means to have mostly support and offlane counters, but few genuine core hero counters. I didn't realise previously just how big a deal that is, given the current pick order.

Anyways, I'll endeavour to play more carry games this week, and hopefully I'll have some more learning experiences from it. It's not really about the MMR anymore I just really want to learn and understand the concepts of the game better.


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