Dota 2
Dota 2 Main: How To Choose Your Hero

Dota 2 Main: How To Choose Your Hero

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Tired of switching between heroes? You’re not alone! With more than 120 playable heroes in Dota 2, it’s really no surprise that you may be struggling to find the perfect main. Plus, each hero has unique abilities, strengths, and weaknesses that contribute to the game’s dynamic matchups.

This guide will detail a step-by-step approach to choosing a main in Dota 2. By the end, you’ll find a hero that complements your talents, preferences, and intended playstyle. We’ll also offer some hero suggestions to help you master your craft, whether you’re in the midlane, safe lane, or offlane.

What Is A “Main” In Dota 2?

A “main” is your preferred hero in Dota 2. Think of it as your “signature” character—one that sends shivers down your enemies’ spines! You’ll likely spend a huge amount of time practicing this hero’s abilities and mechanics, including how it synergizes with varying team compositions and how you will deal with counter-picks.

Tips For Choosing Your Dota 2 Main

We put together a Q&A filled with key questions you should ask yourself when deciding which hero to make your main in Dota 2. We suggest using the filter options in the “Heroes” menu on the Dota 2 game client to streamline your search for the perfect main based on your responses to the cues below.

What Role Do You Want To Play?

The first step is identifying your preferred Dota 2 role. Do you see yourself as a carry, midlaner, offlaner, soft support, or hard support? Whatever you decide, the Dota 2 hero pool will be narrowed down accordingly. This is because each role has a unique set of responsibilities and is best aligned with specific playstyles. 

For example, if you want to be the primary damage dealer, a carry hero like Slark or Chaos Knight may be the best fit for you. Or, perhaps you prefer a durable and disruptive tank that runs head-first into battle? In this case, an offlaner main like Bristleback, Mars, or Axe may be your best choice. 

Note: There’s actually no hard-and-fast rule about heroes being strictly played as a specific role. For example, Anti-Mage is best played as a core, but some ambitious (or highly skilled) players have picked him as a support. Selecting a hero who is adept for the role you want to play is generally a good idea.

How Complex Do You Want Your Hero To Be?

The next step to finding your main in Dota 2 is determining the hero’s complexity. Some heroes require more technical skill and situational awareness, particularly regarding itemization and objective-taking (e.g., when to fight, gank, push, or farm). It also requires a solid understanding of the hero’s power spike and scaling.

For example, Invoker has a high skill ceiling that requires advanced mastery of his ability kit. This includes effective mana management, positioning, map awareness, and timing to land combos. Likewise, Meepo also has a steep learning curve and is not appropriate as a main for new players.

What Traits Should Your Main Have In Dota 2?

At this point, you should have narrowed the list of candidates for Dota 2 mains quite substantially. The next step is to decide on the hero’s overall playstyle. For starters, do you prefer fighting from a distance as a ranged hero, or do you want to be in the thick of all the action as a melee hero?

You will also want to consider traits specific to the hero. Here are a few examples (you can choose more than one):

  • Disable: Do you want your main hero to have a guaranteed disable (e.g., stun, root, or silence) in their kit?
  • Durable: Should your main have a high degree of sustain for team fights?
  • Escape: Do you want to have an ability like a blink or invisibility to evade death?
  • Initiator: Do you want to initiate team fights?
  • Nuker: Do you want your hero to rely heavily on spells to deal damage?
  • Pusher: Do you prefer to siege and destroy towers and barracks?

Pro Tip: In addition to these attributes, you can also be more granular and consider whether you enjoy playing with heroes that have vector-targeted spells, your competency with specific items, the hero’s mechanics, or other personal weaknesses.

Are You Comfortable With Micromanagement Heroes?

You’re nearly finished! The next question is: Do you want your main character to be a micro hero? Specifically, do you want to control multiple units during the game? And no, we’re not necessarily talking about Meepo or illusion heroes like Naga Siren or Phantom Lancer.

Micro heroes can also include those who innately require items like Manta Style. These heroes have significantly stronger farming ability, split push, map control, and outplay potential. But  they also come at the cost of drastically complicating your gameplay. This means expertly watching and reacting to what’s happening on the map and controlling multiple units at once.

Have You Found Your Perfect Match?

The last and most crucial step in finding your main in Dota 2 is to simply play and experiment with the heroes you narrowed down, at least until you find the perfect hero for you. Jump into unranked games or fire up a bot lobby so you can tell first-hand if you agree with the hero’s abilities and playstyle.

The idea of finding the “perfect main” is subjective and will take time. What may be an ideal pick for one player may not be the best fit for another. Some heroes that may not speak to you initially could also grow on you as you master them. Lastly, don’t be afraid to try unconventional strategies—forge your own path!

Now, let’s put these tips into practice. In the image below, you can see that we’ve filtered melee carry heroes with a moderate complexity level and an escape ability. We then continued eliminating heroes based on other traits, such as micro-management and personal weaknesses (e.g., Armlet toggling).

After eliminating these heroes, we have the following candidates as a potential main in Dota 2:

  • Faceless Void
  • Monkey King
  • Slark
  • Marci

So, Who’s Your Main?

Deciding on your main in Dota 2 can be daunting, especially given the massive roster of heroes with unique abilities and roles. With some help from our guide, though, we hope you’re a step closer to finding a hero who best aligns with your personal playstyle and strategic preferences. This means you’ll also need to figure out your role in the game, whether you want to be a carry, midlaner, offlaner, soft support, or hard support. The choice is yours!

Be sure to also check out our Dota 2 betting page to place your bets on your favorite esports teams and tournaments.

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Written byTHP

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