Dota 2: General Tips for the Mid Lane

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Dota 2: General Tips for the Mid Lane

ESTNN takes you through some handy tips every mid laner in Dota 2 should know.

Like other MOBA games, Dota 2 consists of five players whose job is to pick some of the available heroes and defeat the opposing team. To achieve their goals, players have to fill in different roles. Some Dota 2 players have to lead their team, whereas others’ role is to support them.

The so-called “leaders” are called “cores”. Each team usually has three cores, but there are cases where we can have two or even four cores (it all depends on the matchup). Aside from the team’s carry and offlaner, the third core is usually the mid laner. This hero’s job is to gain levels as much as possible and use his advantage to help his team after the end of the laning stage.

In theory, every hero can work in the mid lane, depending on the situation. However, some heroes are definitely more popular than others, especially if they are “hot” in a given meta. We know that the mid lane is among the most interesting things in Dota 2, so let’s learn more about this position and everything players should know.


One of the best things about Dota 2 is that everything is possible. Unlike in League of Legends, where some heroes have to be in certain positions in order to do something. Dota 2 is different. Every hero here can take a given role and be good at it.

With that being said, the mid lane is slightly different because the hero needs to be good in a 1v1 matchup. Although there are many cases where the mid heroes are not really in a 1v1 environment, most games are like that. 

Besides knowing how to utilize a given hero, the player also needs to know what he is doing. Apart from winning the lane, players should be to help their team secure kills or objectives. Of course, this is not always the case because many people pick carry-type midders whose job is to farm as much as possible before they become strong enough to fight.

Aside from the farming midders, some Dota 2 patches favor tempo controllers like Puck or Razor. Although they can farm, people prefer to use their high damage output early on and provide more space for their team’s carry to do their job.

What to be aware of

Many people disagree, but the mid laner is the most challenging position in Dota 2. Every role has its specifics and it may not always be accurate, but in most cases, the mid laner’s job is more complicated. 

The first thing you have to be aware of is that you have to play against another player in a 1v1 format. This may be like a walk in the park, depending on your opponent, but there are cases where you won’t be able to do much. As you can imagine, dying in a 1v1 scenario is one of the worst things that can happen to you. Besides the fact that you will give your opponent a massive advantage, you will lose tons of gold and experience, which can be crucial.

In addition to the 1v1 match, every mid laner will eventually get ganked. This is one of the worst things about this lane and one reason so many people choose something else.

There are cases where you can’t anticipate that someone will gank you, but usually, it is the other way around. Experienced players can expect ganks just from the heroes that enemy players go for. For example, if you see that you have to go up against Queen of Pain and there are heroes like Pudge and Spirit Breaker in the game, you will most likely be their go-to target.

Another thing to remember is that you need to have map awareness. Keeping an eye on your team and opponents’ positions, as well as things like runes and the creep wave is key. In fact, this is one of the things that differentiates the top mid players from those who play for fun.

Heroes to focus on

Before we share more information about some of the top mid heroes in Dota 2, it is important to know that every meta is unique. The fact that a given hero works in some patches doesn’t mean it will work in others. That’s why you need to keep an eye on the meta and use the heroes that shine.

If we look at some of the best players in the world, we can say that they use multiple heroes in the mid lane. Names like Invoker, Shadow Fiend, and Storm Spirit are among the most popular options for this position. Templar Assassin, Ember Spirit, and Void Spirit are the preferred alternatives, and they all have a similar role. Puck, Razor, Tinker, Zeus, and QoP are also popular picks that can do a lot of damage and snowball really fast. 

Choosing the perfect hero for the mid lane depends on a lot of factors. In addition to the current meta, you also have to know the heroes your team will go for, as well as your opponent's options. In some cases, your job will be to farm and carry your team, but you may have to pick heroes that will allow you to participate in teamfights.

Picking the right items

Another thing that will help you become a better mid laner than most players is to think carefully about the items you will go for. This is extremely important because it will determine the course of the game. 

One of the most common mistakes inexperienced players make is choosing late-game items when they need something to fight early on. For example, we can still find Ember Spirit players who prefer to get Battlefury instead of things like Maelstorm and/or Drums that can help them and their team early on.

Besides picking the best items for your team, you also need to get things that will help you against your opponents. Usually, this includes buying at least one defensive item, such as a Black King Bar or a Eul’s Scepter of Divinity.

Needless to say, this guide can’t include everything about this position in Dota 2 because it will be too long. Instead, it tried to point out some of the things you should know before taking this position.

Some people assume that being a mid laner is easy, but this is not the case. Make sure to practice as much as possible if you want to become better and make a name for yourself. Don’t forget that the mid laner is often the team's star.

You'll find more Dota 2 news, guides and even DPC betting tips, here on ESTNN.

Dota 2: General Tips for the Mid Lane
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.