The Basics of Staying Power in Dota 2
The ability to stay in one’s lane in dota is extremely important for winning a lane, which directly increases the chances of winning a game. The core principle behind this is; the more you are able to stay in lane as opposed to your opponent, the more likely you are to gain a resource advantage. Primarily this means an advantage in experience and/or gold. Understanding this principle is one of the first big leaps a Dota player can make in their development, skill and understanding of the game. Read on to find out what it is that players do to maximize their time away from the base, thereby increasing their impact in every single game they play.
Before the Laning Phase
The first thing to be done is bringing enough ‘regen’ to the lane you are about to play in at the start of the game. This comes in the form of tangoes, healing salves, and/or clarities. The consumption of these items helps regenerate the mana or health a hero has, so they can get back to farming creeps or harassing the opposing laners. You want to always be as close as possible to 100% health, because this makes you as safe as possible to do whatever it is you need to do for your team. Bonus tip: the lower your health, the more likely opponents will try and kill you. So the higher your health, the sooner they’ll think you aren’t worth the effort.
Typically an item is also bought which reduces incoming damage (such as stout shield or ring of protection) so that less of the regen items are needed in order to keep your health high. Which item you choose to buy depends on your matchup (the hero you’re playing and playing against and/or with).
The first item
The first item is often referred to as an ‘early game item’ or ‘laning stage item’. These are very important as amongst other things they often help you stay in the game. Some examples of these would be ring of aquila, tranquil boots, drum of endurance, helm of the dominator, soul ring or headdress. Depending on which of these suits your hero (and situation) best, try to get one of them as soon as possible, and you’ll notice you can cast more spells, get to full health more quickly and therefore get maximum experience and gold or affect the map to your full potential. Please note there are more early game/laning stage items than those that were just mentioned. In the two images provided below, the majority of these items are visualized.
In the event that your opponent is not making you use health or mana, potentially because your supports have zoned them out, then it is not as necessary to get a staying power item. Instead a player can be greedier and go for a farm acceleration item such as hand of midas, or an early game fighting item if their team needs that. This can be a risk however, so always make sure to assess the situation first.
It is very important to choose the correct early item for your hero, and if you really want to increase you skill level, build that item in the right order. As a rule of thumb; get the health regeneration parts of the items first, and the damage parts later. As with everything though; adjust depending on the situation, but that’s the safer way to go.
Once you’ve successfully built this first item, it puts you in a place to last hit creeps effectively because your opponent’s harassment is less significant, roam around the map without having to go back to base as often, or farm camps in the jungle without worrying about them killing you. Follow the link to the #2 ranked dotabuff player on Sven, to see how he builds his items early game (helm of the dominator), which allows him to stay in lane and also farm his jungle as soon as he possibly can.
Positioning & Aggression
While it’s important to buy the right items, if a player positions themselves in such a way that they take a significant amount of damage from creeps or opponents, or in range of a dangerous spell, the item’s effectiveness will be greatly decreased. Also, knowing when you can be aggressive, as opposed to when you need to just tank the hits for a bit is important for increasing your staying power. For more detail on how to play in any lane, and what to pay attention to, take a look at these two episodes by Purge, a renowned Dota 2 Coach.
Take enough HP/Mana regen with you to the lane at the start of the game.
Make sure the first item you buy helps you stay in the game; regenerating mana and/or HP depending on you hero
Try to limit the amount you go back to your base
If you have any more questions please feel free to ask them below, or join the club discord channel via the link below where one of our coaches can help you further with your dota game.