Dota 2: How to Play with Anti-Mage When He is Not the Meta Carry?

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Dota 2: How to Play with Anti-Mage When He is Not the Meta Carry?

Dota 2: How to Play with Anti-Mage When He is Not the Meta Carry?


Since Dota 2 is one of the best MOBA games in the world, you can choose from all sorts of heroes while playing. If we look at the current Dota 2 patch, we can find a lot of popular heroes. However, Anti-Mage is not one of them, which is why the hero is not as big as he once was.

To be honest, many Dota 2 professionals consider AM to be the worst hero in the game right now. Since he needs to farm a lot more than other cores to be effective, he relies on a good laning stage to snowball. Consequently, people who have to go up against him can easily counter the right-clicking monster by picking an aggressive lane.

Even though AM is not the best Dota 2 carry right now, the hero can work as long as you know how to play with him. While we do not recommend using him all the time, let’s look at a couple of important things you can do should you pick him in the current meta.


Make sure your laning stage is on point

As mentioned, one of the big reasons why Anti-Mage is not worth it in the current meta is related to his need to farm. Even though there are other hard carries that also require tons of items, they can take part in fights or have specific abilities that make them useful in the early/mid-game. Sadly, this isn’t the case for Anti-Mage because he needs tons of items.

The only way to get a solid start in the game is to have the best laning stage possible. Sadly, this is a lot harder than it seems, especially if you have to play against an aggressive offlaner. The good news is that it isn’t impossible, especially if you have good teammates.

For starters, you need to have one excellent lane support to help you with harassing and farming. There are several options that work well with Anti-Mage, but if we only focus on the current meta, our option goes for Treant. Even though he isn’t a ranged hero, he can do damage and heal you when needed, which is a plus.

3-lanes are not that popular in the current meta, but if you want your AM to succeed, you will probably need to run a 3-lane. Assuming that Treant is one of the supports, the second option has to be something that has a disable. Lion and Venge are among the first options that come to mind, but your team can also get Witch Doctor or something similar.


Your goal until the mid-game is to get as much farm as possible

One of the common problems among lower-tier Dota 2 players is that they need to know what they need to do in a specific game. Assuming you’re playing with Anti-Mage, your goal must be to get as much farm as possible and prepare yourself for the mid-game. 

When it comes down to farming with AM, you must secure as many last hits as possible during the laning stage. On top of that, you must farm the nearby camps, ask for stacks and clear them once you get the needed items (more about this later).

Of course, the fact that Anti-Mage in Dota 2 has to farm as much as possible doesn’t mean he can’t fight at all. On the contrary, once you have your ult, you can keep an eye on the minimap and TP when needed to score a kill. Anti-Mage is exceptionally strong against targets with low mana, so keep that in mind.

Item Builds

Perhaps the most important thing when it comes down to playing with Anti-Mage in Dota 2 is related to choosing the correct items. Even though this is not one of the heroes where you can experiment with a lot of things, there are 2 types of item builds you can go for.

The first one is the classic Battlefury + Manta rush, which allows you to farm faster and be more effective in the mid-game. If you choose this while playing with AM, you need to get your fury as fast as possible. However, this doesn’t mean you should skip PT because, let’s face it, no one likes a Brown Boot + Battle Fury Anti-Mage.

Once you get your hands on this item, it is time to start farming the side camps and clear the stacks your supports made for you. Of course, you have to use Blink to reach the lane and camps faster because this increases your farming speed.

After getting your Battlefury, the next step is to buy Manta Style. Once ready, you can pay more attention to your team’s fights and participate in them when needed.

Putting the Anti-Mage Battlefury Dota 2 build aside, the second option you can go for is the so-called “fighting build”. People who choose this option usually rush Manta Style right away or go for S&Y. We’ve also seen AM players with Diffusal Blade, which is an exciting item choice for this hero, and it can work in certain situations.


Mid & Lategame

Assuming you’ve survived the laning stage as Anti-Mage and your team hasn’t lost yet, you have a really good chance at winning. Teams that have to go up against this hero know that they’re playing against the clock, which means they will force team fights and try to hunt you. Fortunately, AM is one of the most mobile heroes in Dota 2, which means you can easily dodge them and split pish.

Split pushing is one of the critical things every AM player has to do to be effective. Considering you have a Battlefury, you can easily cut waves and push fast. Sure, you won’t be able to push faster than the entire enemy team, but they won’t be able to fight all the time because someone has to go back and push the lanes. 

Your goal must be to split push and farm for as long as possible, at least until you have all the items your need. If that happens and you enter the late game, it all comes down to making the right decision at the right moment.

AM can easily solo almost all heroes in the game, and his damage output is really impressive. However, he is vulnerable against disables, so you have to kill those targets first or wait until they’ve used their ability. 


Anti-Mage is among the weakest carries right now, but he is not unplayable. As long as his team helps him, he can easily carry them to victory and make the life of his enemies a living hell. However, this will take time, and it isn’t as easy as it seems, which is why people prefer the meta carries, such as Lina.

Dota 2: How to Play with Anti-Mage When He is Not the Meta Carry?
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.