Dota 2

What 7k+ MMR Position 4s do that you should too (WARNING: LONG READ)

Hey guys, once again I am writing a guide based on my analysis on 7k MMR games, with the help of a few of my 7k – 8k colleagues (coaches).

If you are interested in other roles instead, please refer here

  • Carry:
  • Position 5:
  • Offlane:
  • Mid: Coming soon I guess?

Let's start off with a simple one — drafting.

In high MMR games, you never see one-trick pony position 4s like Pudge or Omniknight played as a position 4. This is because these heroes only have a single advantage to their name, i.e. Pudge's only benefit to the team is in skirmishes and teamfights where his Hook is a broken displacement spell if it lands, and Omniknight serves to protect his core, but couldn't really do anything else as a position 4.

Heroes that are versatile are popular not just because they can do multiple things, but also the fact that they generally can be picked early, enabling your other cores to show their hero later to prevent getting themselves countered. You need to have a hero pool of different position 4s that can be picked early / must be picked late, as sometimes you will have to show your hero in the first drafting phase, while in other cases the offlane Centaur / Slardar and the position 5 will show their heroes before you.

Here are some examples of position 4s that can be picked early:

  • Nyx Assassin. Provides vision, generally survivable, provides lockdown, provides waveclear with Meteor Hammer, provides initiation with or without Blink. Only downside is he doesn't really provide a lot of pressure in the lane.
  • Hoodwink. Provides lockdowns, waveclear, vision, generally annoying in the laning phase. Only major downside is he is freaking squishy so try not to get yourself caught.
  • Snapfire. Can be played as a position 4 or 5, provides lockdown, waveclear, follow-up damage. Generally annoying in the laning phase with a few levels.

In some cases, non-conventional position 4s can be picked early, assuming you communicated with your teammates to hide other roles relevant to the hero you're picking.

  • For example, if you picked a Puck / Phoenix and wants to play it as a position 4, get your mid / offlane to not show his hero until the very last. This creates confusion among the enemies, since they couldn't accurately gauge what role your Puck / Phoenix is playing as.
  • A fair amount of position 4s can be switched as position 5s, assuming your position 5 player doesn't pick something super obvious. A Nyx + Ancient Apparition duo generally means the AA is playing pos 5, for example, and will lane with the safelaner because Nyx is pretty weak in protecting a carry in the laning phase.

Here are some examples of position 4s that should be picked later in the drafts, if possible.

  • Rubick. There are too many Rubick fanatics firstpicking him in drafts, which in fact you should be picking him as late as possible. You miss out the chances of enemies picking a sweet sweet Magnus / Enigma if you firstpick him. Plus, Rubick isn't spectacular in the laning phase either, especially considering the ridiculously long cooldown of Telekinesis early on.
  • Almost any support that depends on stomping the laning phase , such as Grimstroke, Dazzle, Treant Protector etc. You'll look like an idiot if you firstpick Grimstroke only to have the enemy instantly counterpick you with a Juggernaut carry and Mars offlane, rendering you completely useless no matter which lane you go to.
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Next up, understand what you should be doing in the laning phase.

There are a lot of things you want to do in the lane, in order of priority. If it isn't currently achievable, move to the next point.

  1. Kill the enemy carry
  2. Kill the enemy position 5
  3. Make the enemy carry miss out in terms of both gold and EXP, by zoning / side pulling
  4. Make the enemy carry miss out in terms of gold, by zoning / side pulling / denying
  5. Disrupt the creep equilibrium if the enemy carry is stronger than your offlane, by side pulling / creep skipping / creepwave stacking
  6. Keep the enemy carry or support's HP low so they couldn't reliably jump on your heroes, and you reserve the possibility to jump on them instead.
  7. Prevent the enemy from disrupting the creep equilibrium by preventing the enemy position 5 from pulling

If your position 4 can single-handedly handle the enemy carry, it may also be wise for you to just keep the enemy support busy, especially by disrupting pulls and keeping his or her HP low.

This is the order you should follow. For example, if your duo is so ridiculously strong you can kill the enemy carry everytime you get into his face, you should by all means do that. If not, kill the support. If you can't do that either, widen the gold and EXP gap by pulling sidecamps… the list goes on.

The key is how do you achieve that. Different position 4s have different power spikes, hence you might not see a lot of killing if you are playing a position 4 Rubick, as opposed to a position 4 Snapfire with a ton of early game kill potential.

Of course, that doesn't mean Rubick sucks as a hero, it simply means Rubick's power spike comes much later, mostly in teamfights. The key is to understand what your hero can do, and how far can your hero go.

Make sure to take the matchup into consideration as well, for example:

  • Snapfire with Centaur has massive kill potential (1/2)
  • Snapfire with Phoenix probably don't have as much kill potential, but can be extremely annoying in the lane. (3/4)
  • Snapfire against Juggernaut or Lifestealer will probably be less useful in terms of kill potential, hence you'll have to settle with disrupting creep equilibrium artificially, or by plain harassing. (5/6)
  • Snapfire + 1 weak offlaner against something like Juggernaut + Grimstroke is terrifying, hence once again, you'll have to settle for something even less, such as (6/7).

Heroes like Earth Spirit doesn't really provide much in the lane, but are exceptionally great gankers with high kill potential in all 3 lanes. Make use of your level 2/3 power spike and gank key targets, it need not be in your lane. TP scroll exists for a reason, and your position 5 can temporarily take your place in the offlane.

Next up, the tower

Unless you're playing some weird position 4s like a Death Prophet, Beastmaster or Lycan position 4, you probably do not have much say in taking towers. You can only try to follow your core who has the ability to push a tower, Ideally, carries nowadays rotate to the offlane at the 8-12 minutes mark to destroy the enemy safelane tower in hopes of taking over the enemy jungle.

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Your job in these scenarios will be to place offensive wards beforehand to spot enemy heroes coming over to defend their tower, stand at a safe position and be ready to counterinitiate with spells shall the enemy team decide to defend their tower (Try not to initiate, the enemy has a tower advantage after all).

However, destroying the tower early is very important for a position 4, because that ends the laning phase for the aforementioned lane. That is also generally when your farming phase begins, because your cores will start rotating or jungling, depending on what they're playing, and you will get to farm a lane.

How do you farm as a position 4?

The biggest difference between high MMR and low MMR games is the amount of things going on, and the speed of execution. You will frequently see heroes still laning and tier 1 towers still up at around 15 minutes in low MMR games, and rotations are generally only done by the middle hero, if at all.

However, in high MMR games, almost everyone can rotate for an objective. Even a carry will rotate mid if that means a chance at destroying the enemy tier 1 mid at minute 8, because destroying an objective not only ends the laning phase for your teammate in their favor, it also enables you to play an aggressive game of invasion. You get entry points into their jungle open, and you can start placing deep wards to disrupt or take over their farm in their jungle.

The high involvement of jungles essentially means a much more efficient resource distribution. When a core can reliably farm the jungle without losing farm efficiency, the lanes are typically given to supports to replenish some farm, get their level 6 or even an early Blink Dagger pickup. This is also how high MMR Earthshakers, even if the hero is rarely picked, can get 12-16 minutes Blink Daggers whereas low MMR Earthshakers struggle with 16-20 minutes Blink Daggers, for example.

With that, here are a few days you can farm as a position 4.

  • Stacking. Stacking is probably the best way for you to get farm. It provides three primary benefits for your team, which being you get stack bonus gold, your cores get accelerated farm, and you get to farm the lane of your core while your core is taking the stacks.

Stacking also serves as a great source of EXP for you to reach level 6 as well.

  • Farm empty lanes / waves. A lot of position 4s probably are confused on when they should be farming lanes and when they should be joining fights. You'll have to understand your hero's power spike to balance farming. For example, a Nyx Assassin / Bounty Hunter is pretty weak during the laning phase, yet at the same time they need levels to be effective later. You typically want to stay in the lane until you reach level 6, then exploit your first power spike to engage skirmishes. After that, at around 10-15 minutes mark, you can generally take lanes as long as your key spells are on cooldown, or you do not have enough HP / Mana to engage in another skirmish. Bear in mind that defending a tower is always a legit argument to farming a lane, so if your cores are fighting and you're defending a tower from a stray creepwave, that should be OK as long as it is early game and you can't really join the teamfight from your position anyways.
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If you can't convince your cores to rotate or jungle so you get a lane, just stack more to bait him into farming the stack then quickly steal his lane. xd

  • Deadlanes. Shoving waves are important to inflict lane pressure, because this forces your enemy heroes to react and commit heroes to defend that tower. However, you need to understand who is the primary wave shover in your team, and who benefits from farm. For example, Phoenix and Nyx with Meteor Hammer are great deadlane shovers because they can clear waves and escape, while other position 4s like a Clockwerk is a terrible wave shover because he lacks waveclear. (This is also why people are playing more position 5 Clocks nowadays) If your position 2/3 is something like a Puck, Ember Spirit or a Lina with Travels, it'll be better for you to stick with your team while they do the deadlane shoving instead, simply because they're much more efficient at it than you are.

Once again, here ends my ramblings. I have a feeling my English is exceptionally terrible in this particular piece of article, but my brain isn't really working properly at this hour so… I hope you enjoy the read.


Guide created by our coaches at Gamejitsu.

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