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    Dota 2 – What Can We Learn from Riyadh Masters

    The Meta is in a really healthy place with a lot of viable heroes and it can still be made even better with some small adjustments, so instead of concentrating on stats, we are going to look at what general concepts better teams utilized throughout the tournament. Learning and implementing those in your gameplay will surely advance you through the ranks.

    Position One Carries — Make Timely Rotations

    There is a “first move advantage” in Dota, so in general, when two equally farmed cores meet, the one who attacks first will have better chances of winning. That’s why many carry players now set the tempo themselves.

    Much like in the glory days of CDEC and Agressif, rotating with your ultimate to the opposing lane is considered a good move. Now you don’t even need to spend a TP on such a move, and can return back to farming right after, courtesy of Twin Gates.

    So if you are playing heroes like Faceless Void, Monkey King, Juggernaut or any hero with either a good setup ability or good damage, do not hesitate to make a move at an opportune timing. It is going to net you more gold and it will also stall and tilt the enemy carry.

    Same move can be made mid with the help of a TP scroll, but it is usually a bit riskier, since you will be facing a hero who will have a level advantage over you. That said, Faceless Void with a ranged DPS core on his team in mid is a very scary combo.

    Position two mids — Wisdom Rune is a full bottle rune

    This is a play not available to all mid heroes, but it is worth considering on many meta position two cores, such as Snapfire, Puck or any of the spirits. You know that the enemy support will want to take the 7 minute Wisdom in their offlane. You know that you will usually have an easy time killing them, so go and capitalize on it.

    That can really propel your own game, but it also creates an advantage for your supports, over enemy supports. A very noticeable advantage, since level six powerspike will come out earlier for your team and it can quickly snowball into a strong midgame. Supports are already incentivized to check the Wisdom runes and this way you will have a numerical advantage for the small skirmish, will probably get a kill and your team will get the bonus XP from the rune.

    On top of it, it also fully refills your bottle, so at the very least this invasion can be used to get some resources back, while also scouting the enemy triangle and Tormentor area for potential Ancients stacks. Just make sure to give Bottle to your support so that they get the XP from the Wisdom rune, while you get the refill.

    Position three offlane — greed is good?

    It feels like a lot of stronger teams currently play tri-core. Three DPS cores in all three lanes, with strong setup supports like Clockwerk, Spirit Breaker or Elder Titan to start the fights.

    The job description on the offlane heroes is still more or less the same: you jump and kill enemy supports, but now it is usually done by heroes like Lycan, Broodmother and Legion Commander.

    With that in mind, we feel like it is good to be somewhat greedy in this patch. Do take the towers when you can, but don’t go for long strolls through the enemy territory in Smoke, trying to find a kill. You are better off getting the next item pushing the lane, getting some tower pressure going and then punishing the defenders if you can.

    These meandering Smokes simply don’t work on the bigger map. Unless you already have deep vision and you are already somewhere close to the enemy you want to gank, playing objectives and playing farm past the laning stage is simply more efficient.

    That said, there are Wisdom runes where you can usually get a quick and easy support kill at the 14 and 21 minute mark, and even if you don’t, there is a team XP bonus and an Ancient camp to farm.

    Position Four and Five Supports — pick your favorite child

    As a support, you are essentially playing babysitter to three capricious crybabies. Unlike real parents, though, you will have to pick a favorite if you want to win and in most cases it should be either Mid or Offlane player.

    The reason for that is simple — they are the players you will be playing with for the most of the game, creating space for the “youngest one”. Them having a good start is necessary for the success of the team.

    In practical terms it means Twin Gate rotations from your safe lane to your offlane usually have a higher priority. It is also much easier to sandwich the enemy this way.

    It also means controlling Active and maybe even Water Runes for your mid. At least one of the supports has to rotate and help out and it is usually the safelane one. Make sure to tell your carry you are rotating out and if the carry dies, it is mostly on them at this point. They don’t really need to be too greedy.

    Closing thoughts

    It feels like the new patch is still being explored, with new moves and concepts still emerging. There were only a couple of weeks between the Bali Major and Riyadh Masters and in this short window a lot of new ideas were conceived, tested and implemented at the highest level of play.

    Hopefully we will see more of that in the future. After all, the International is rapidly approaching.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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