The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting – How to Draft for Each Game

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The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting – How to Draft for Each Game

Learn how you can master the art of Dota 2 drafting to help your team get a good start to the game and snowball their way to victory.

Most pros believe that the drafting phase decides almost half the match outcome in Dota 2. We’ve all seen it – a team drafts poorly and gets punished hard by the opposition ending the game before the clock timer hits 20 minutes.

Even in your Pub matchmaking, the team that drafts better wins most of the time. But then again, expecting your Pub teammates in dota 2 to draft like the pros is like asking your Earthshaker to land a 5-man Echo Slam. It happens; but it’s not that likely,

However, education starts at home, and raging at your teammates to pick better heroes isn’t going to help you much in the long run. As long as you’re drafting your hero with a clear objective, you’ll see a major increase in your Dota 2 win rate. Before you know it, you’ll be playing at the highest levels with the pros that you grew up watching!

So how do you draft like a pro? You start at the basics.

In this article, we’ll teach you the ins and outs of drafting in Dota 2 so that you can start picking heroes that best fit the game, not just for yourself, but also for your entire team. Let’s get started.

4 Tips to Make Your Dota 2 Drafting Better

Drafting in Dota 2 might seem intimidating at first. There are hundreds of heroes here, and each hero has hundreds of counters. If you’re planning on calculating every single variable, you’re in for a tough time.

So, how do the pros do it? Well, they start with the simple things.

What do I want to do in the game? Do I want to fight early, or do I want to farm? Which heroes are my team good at? These are just some of the many questions that they think about when the pros are drafting.

Thankfully, since you’re drafting for yourself in a pub game in most situations, you don’t need to worry about all that. You can just go with the heroes you want to play.

However, if you want to play with your friends as a 5-man stack or you want to scrim with your team against opponents, drafting is something that you don’t just have to learn; you also need to master it.

Here are four simple yet effective tips to make your drafts better in Dota 2:

Understand the Hero Roles:

The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting - How to Draft for Each Game

Each game of Dota 2 is played by 10 players, 5 on each side. So when you’re drafting for your team, you’re basically picking 5 heroes out of the 124 heroes that are available in the game for your team to use.

Now, simply picking 5 late-game carries that deal insane damage isn’t a good idea here. The Dota 2 map, despite how it looks, is pretty small. There are not enough farming spots in the game for five heroes to farm and get all their items while hitting their key timings.

You need to understand the five roles that are in the game:

  • Position 1 or Hard Carry:

Usually the greediest hero on the team. The goal of the Hard Carry is to farm the map and get his items so that he can help his team end the game by taking the main objective, the enemy’s Ancient.

Example: Terrorblade

  • Position 2 or Mid Laner:

The Mid Laner is usually the playmaker in the game. This hero goes to the middle lane, gets his key items, and starts playing around with his team, creating space for the Carry to farm safely.

Example: Ember Spirit

  • Position 3 or Offlaner:

The Offlaner, also called the Utility Carry, acts as a tempo controller in Dota 2. Offline heroes are usually tanky and can come online pretty fast with minimal farm.

Example: Legion Commander

  • Position 4 or Soft Support:

The Soft Support plays similarly to an Offlaner, but he doesn’t take up as much farm. Similar to the Mid Laner, the Soft Support role is usually given to heroes with playmaking potential.

Example: Rubick

  • Position 5 or Hard Support:

The Position 5 hero on the team is the one who makes sure his cores are having a good start to their game. Hard supports focus on winning the vision war with the enemy Warding and Dewarding their map when needed.

Example: Lich

When you’re drafting, you need to make sure all of these roles are filled with viable heroes in your draft. Figure out your game strategy and choose heroes that best fit the bill.

Knowing What to Ban:

The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting - How to Draft for Each Game

Banning is an important part of the drafting phase of the game. Each team gets to ban seven heroes that neither team can play in Captain’s mode. In normal Ranked Matchmaking, this number is increased to 16 heroes in total.

In Captain’s mode, you need to ban heroes depending on what you’re trying to achieve in the game. For example, If you’re going for early team fights, banning heroes that counter that strategy is always important.

You also want to ban heroes that are hard to play against for the heroes that you are planning to pick for your team.

Finally, take a moment to consider which heroes are currently strong in the meta. If you’re not planning to pick them, taking them out of your opponent’s hands by banning them is a good idea.

Learn Hero Synergies:

The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting - How to Draft for Each Game

Dota 2 is an extremely strategic and tactical game. While all of the heroes in the game are different and unique, some heroes share a lot of synergies between them.

For example, Storm Spirit and Keeper of the Light can be a deadly combo in all stages of the game. Storm Spirit relies on his Mana more than any other heroes in the game. And Keeper of the Light, with his Chakra Magic spell, can keep him topped off at all times while Storm Spirit wreaks havoc on the map.

Io and Tiny used to be a devastating combo back in the early days of Dota 2. But there are still many other devastating hero duos and trios available in the game.

To get better at drafting, you need to understand these hero synergies and use them to your advantage.

Don’t be Afraid to Go for Cheese Picks:

The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting - How to Draft for Each Game

Cheese picks in Dota 2 work like a final “Gotcha!” to the enemy team. There are many heroes in Dota 2 that are hard to play around if you don’t have a counter for them in your lineup.

Heroes like Huskar, Broodmother, or even Tinker can take over the entire game if the matchup is good for them. If you think your enemy team’s draft doesn’t account for these types of heroes, don’t be afraid to pick them up as the last pick of your draft.

Master Dota 2 Drafting

The drafting phase of Dota 2 feels almost like an entirely different game. You need to look at the big picture when you’re drafting for your team while making sure your opposition can’t pull a fast one on you.

When things get tough, it’s always best to get back to the basics. The simple tips we talked about here should help you draft for your team in a way that wins you the game. Good luck!

The Basics of Dota 2 Drafting – How to Draft for Each Game
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.