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The Best Dota 2 Heroes for Beginners

What are the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers. However, we’re willing to bet that you’ll most likely receive recommendations along the lines of Sniper, Drow Ranger, Crystal Maiden, Juggernaut, Lich, Bristleback, and the likes.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these heroes. They have fairly basic skill kits and aren’t too complicated. But, if you’re a complete beginner, playing these Dota 2 heroes isn’t exactly as easy as they sound. You’ll find yourself making tons of mistakes, after all, and these heroes aren’t exactly as forgiving as more seasoned players believe they are.

So, with that said, if these common recommendations aren’t the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners, then what is?

Tidehunter

Ravage has often found itself as part of some of the biggest players in Dota 2 tournament history.

Tidehunter is a “melee strength hero” in Dota 2. He is often played in the offlane. His innate ability to harass enemies and take damage means that he can often hold his own against two enemies, and sometimes even three, in the lane all at the same time.

In a way, he can be described as the prototypical tank. He also looks like one too, as he is essentially an oversized bipedal turtle. However, one good reason why he’s a good hero to play for beginners is that he is tanky.

His passive, Kraken Shell, allows Tidehunter to block a portion of all incoming physical damage. It also negates negative status effects if you take more than 450 damage if the skill is maxed out. He also has Anchor Smash that deals a huge amount of damage to nearby enemies (no more aiming!). At the same time, it also reduces their attack damage.

As an added bonus, Tidehunter can also slow down enemy heroes using Gush and make them easier to take down for the rest of the team.

The best part here is that his ultimate, Ravage, is impactful at all stages of the game. It’s an Area of Effect skill that stuns and damages enemies inside a sizable radius. It doesn’t take an expert to know that all you have to do is to go into the middle of the fight and cast it. It’s that easy.

Tidehunter is also the kind of hero that’s essentially played the same way at all skill levels. This means that you’ll have plenty of footage to watch online. You can also watch professionals play Tidehunter to learn how they are able to hold their own in the offlane against two enemy heroes on their own.

Gameplay and Item Tips

Items such as Magic Wand and Arcane Boots are both an essential part of Tidehunter’s kit. Both are also part of a late-game upgrade to Guardian Greaves that helps improve the survivability of Tidehunter and his team while also giving him a larger mana pool.

Another essential item for Tidehunter is the Blink Dagger. This is your main positioning tool. This allows you to literally get into the middle of a fight in a blank, cast Ravage, and have a huge impact.

You can also buy a Refresher’s Orb so you can cast Ravage twice in rapid succession in huge fights. This can help you secure objectives or the fight or even the game.

Other notable or situational items for Tidehunter include Force Staff (better positioning), Aghanim’s Scepter (improved offensive potential of Gush), Pipe of Insight (useful against magic spells), and Shiva’s Guard (gives you an Area of Effect active that slows and damages enemy units around you).

Your goal as Tidehunter is to keep the enemy team constantly guessing due to the threat of you casting a Ravage out of nowhere.

Viper

Viper is a true bully that will teach you a lot about the mechanics needed to play the middle lane well.

If you want to understand the concept of farming, last hitting, and harassing enemy laners in the middle or mid lane while playing a forgiving hero, Viper is your guy.

Viper is an agility ranged hero in Dota 2 and is often played in the middle lane. He has a slow and poison (Poison Attack), Area of Effect poison with debuff (Nethertoxin), and a passive that adds magic resistance while also poisoning all attacking enemies within a certain radius (Corrosive Skin).

Finally, Viper has an ultimate that deals a huge amount of damage over time to a single target in Viper Strike.

The great thing about Viper is that the hero has a good attack animation. This means that it’ll be easier for you to secure last hits. The hero can also effectively harass or bully other heroes from afar and is not an easy target to take down as well.

Although Viper does tend to fall off late-game, transitioning more into a utility core, playing Viper can help you learn more about mid laning basics early in the game and the importance of securing objectives or the win early.

Gameplay and Item Tips

Your five main items as Viper is the Magic Wand and Arcane Boots, which you later upgrade to Guardian Greaves, the Rod of Atos, and an Aghanim’s Scepter.

Playing as Viper means that enemies are inclined to run away from you. If they run towards you, that means they’re either not right in the head or they’ve got back-up coming. Either way, your instinct is almost always to fight. But, if in case they do try to run away, the Rod of Atos lets you use Root, an active single-target skill that basically pins down enemy heroes for a few seconds.

Guardian Greaves just makes you tankier. Then, by buying an Aghanim’s Scepter, you drastically improve the functionality of your ultimate (halved mana cost with cooldown reduced to 10 seconds).

Other items to consider are Heart of Tarrasque (better survivability), Black King Bar (spell immunity), Mjolnir (improves DPS potential of the hero and adds wave clear potential while also allowing the hero to tank more), and Octarine Core (Spell Lifesteal for more survivability).

Ogre Magi

Ogre Magi is a fool-proof hero that's hard to take down and will let you learn a lot about how to play as an effective support player without dying so much.

Most supports are often too squishy. Those that aren’t, like Undying, aren’t nearly as impactful until you learn how to position yourself better. Only one can let you play aggressively, gank and roam, doesn’t die fast, and has an impact almost the entire game. The hero that we are talking about is the Ogre Magi

Ogre Magi is one of the few melee intelligence heroes in Dota 2. He’s also the tankiest among them. More importantly, he is very forgiving to play because his skills include a stun (Fireblast), a harassing tool in the lane with a slow (Ignite), a movement and attack speed buff (Bloodlust), and an ultimate that has a chance to let you cast a spell for up to four times efficiency (Multicast).

Gameplay and Item Tips

Ogre Magi is an unusually effective baby sitter. The hero doesn’t need to take care of its paired core in a conventional sense. Instead, what the hero can do is to drive enemies out of the lane so that the core can last hit and farm in peace. You can do this by taking advantage of the tanky nature of the Ogre Magi, as well as high base attack damage and health regen stat.

Because you have a stun and slow with damage over time, you can set-up for fairly easy kills or, at the very least, force enemies to stay under the protection of their towers for most of the laning phase.

Most heroes really can’t win and trade hits against an Ogre Magi early on in the game.

The best part here is that building a Hand of Midas (gives you access to an active skill that lets you convert enemy units to gold) on Ogre Magi lets you take advantage of the Multicast potential of the item.

Because of this, even if you only build a basic Arcane Boots and Magic Wand item combo early on as you spend most of your money buying Observer and Sentry Wards, you’ll have a way to make a lot of money and earn levels throughout the entire game. This means that you can roam, gank, as well as earn levels and even buy items.

Wraith King

Armed with more than 1 life and a straightforward skill set, the Wraith King is as forgiving and as basic as Dota 2 heroes come.

Another forgiving hero that lets you learn the basics of playing as a core in Dota 2 is Wraith King.

The hero can take a lot of damage and even live against thanks to his ultimate, Reincarnation. He also has a reliable stun and damage that has a short cooldown (Wraithfire Blast), an aura lifesteal (Vampiric Aura), and a damage boost passive with an active that lets him push fast (Mortal Strike), which is also why he’s often played as a hard carry.

The great thing about Wraith King is that the hero can survive well in the lane without a lot of babysitting. Then, for more farm potential, a Wraith King can be played safely inside the jungle to farm.

Now, because he is still a core and a hard carry at that, Wraith King does fall behind quickly if not played properly. However, he can catch-up quickly if left alone for a few minutes. Not to mention, the hero isn’t too complicated to play, has high base attack damage with huge damage potential, and doesn’t die easily.

Gameplay and Item Tips

Because Wraith King has high kill potential right from the very start, the hero should be paired with another support that has a disable and can initiate from afar.

With that said, what makes Wraith King unique is that he is one of the most straight-forward heroes to use Armlet of Mordiggan on. Basically, you just use it when you’re fighting against an enemy hero. This is why it’s a core item for the Wraith King along with Power Threads and Blink Dagger so you can close in on enemies in an instant.

Black King Bar should be your top priority following those three items for spell immunity. Because, even though he is fairly tanky, the Wraith King is prone to be kited around. This item helps solve that. At least, for a moment Then, for added damage potential, you can either opt for a Desolator.

You can then follow the rest of your build up with DPS items such as an Assault Cuirass or a Mjollnir, depending on whether your priority is survivability or wave clear, respectively. You can also get Heart of Tarrasque if your team needs you to tank more damage.

Ideally, you should try to finish the game after you’ve built your fourth item. This is because Wraith King tends to fall off against other hard carries super late in the game.

What Heroes Should Beginners Avoid?

One of the most popular heroes in Dota 2, Pudge is reserved best for people with significant amounts of experience and knowledge about proper positioning, as well as map awareness.

Well, for starters, the heroes we mentioned earlier in the introduction aren’t exactly good for beginners.

In the case of Crystal Maiden, Drow Ranger, and Sniper, these are all squishy heroes that require a fair amount of experience to play properly. You need some level of map awareness and proper positioning to know where to place your heroes in the lane while you’re farming and/or roaming, as well as during clashes so you don’t get picked off easily.

Lich is also another common “beginner” hero in Dota 2, but the problem here is that a newbie Lich Player will not know how and when to use Frost Blast and Sinister Gaze, let alone Frost Shield. So, even though these skills look very basic, improper use can make it difficult for whoever the Lich is laning with to farm.

Bristleback is a potentially good hero for beginners. However, the problem with the hero is that it has minimal impact if it’s not played right. The hero does have a catch-up mechanic, but it’s not necessarily something that a beginner can take advantage of. The same goes for the Juggernaut, especially since his ultimate (Omnislash) is not as straight forward.

This should already go without saying but beginners should avoid heroes that require a high mechanical skill level. This includes Invoker, Meepo, and Tinker, among others. Other heroes that seem very simple but require a high degree of skill to play are Pudge, Techies, Tusk, Vengeful Spirit, Lion, Shadow Shaman, and Witch Doctor.

Conclusion

Of course, the beauty of Dota 2 is that you can literally play any hero however you want, which is something that professional players are great at doing so that they can catch their opponents off-guard. However, those are people who live and breathe the game, so don’t blame us if you get flamed and reported if in case you try and freelance like they do.

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Written By

Ray is a freelance content writer based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.