DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

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DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by Kine² on 2015-01-12, 17:29

Click Image To View DOTA's Item Explorer

I'll simplify DOTA items into only 5 types

1. Consumable
2. Stat Boost
3. Passives
4. Actives
5. Specials

- Restores, vision Wards, teleports, invisibility Dust. Depletes as you use them.

Stat Boost
- Raises one or more Hero attribute.

- Buy and forget. Stat boost, beneficial Auras, protective talismans. Usually a combination of those in one.

- Requires manual activation, typically with short durations so timing and finger acrobatics is essential. Also comes with passive effects while not activated but generally weaker than their passive only counterparts. There is a cooldown timer between activations and some needs mana to use.

- Almost Hero-like abilities themselves. Some are passives while the majority are actives. I categorize them separately because these require heavy investment. In a typical match you'd only be able to make just one of these and usually after deliberately choosing to do so even before the match started. Most players develop their playbook centered around Hero+Special combos because it makes things easier to remember although I must mention that this isn't strictly a rule. Most Heroes work fine without Specials.


STAGES OF NOOB - suggestion on how to learn DOTA Items.

Stage One
Use Consumables + Stat Boosts only. If your gold is piling up late game, buy the expensive stat boost on the far right. These are usually ingredients for Specials. Learn the game using your Hero's innate abilities.

Stage Two
Dabble with Passives.
Try each of them one at a time using the same Hero to see how it changes things.
Play a single player bot match long enough to get a feel for the effects then abandon it to start another.

example of passives
Early Game


Mid Game

Vlad Lifesteal

Late Game

Hero Skill Upgrade
Monkey King Bar (MKB)

Stage Three
Pick one to experiment
Pick a Hero you think might complement the Active
Build up his Stat Boost and Passive to make the chosen Active work (better)
Pick another Active to experiment
Pick another Hero you think is complementary
Theorycraft on Stat Boost and Passives that might help
Rinse and repeat.

Stage Four : Getting There
Once you've played enough and found a set of Actives you're comfortable with it is time to put those items into a Team context. When you've developed an awareness of which Items helps with What, Who and Where you've most likely graduated from Nub to Casual.

Below are the more common Actives worth looking at early:

Drum of Endurance

- Mana free activation
- 30 second cooldown
- Team attack


- Huge Mana cost
- Powerful passive state
- Team Heal

Eul's Sceptre

- Spammy Active
- Short duration
- Targeted Stun


- Teleport
- Multirole Attack, Defend, Escape
- Takes time to get good with it


- Summons
- Multipurpose
- Cost Effective in terms of Gold and Mana to what it provides
- Good time to learn upgrading mechanics. Buy the same item again to level it up.

Shadow Blade and Shadow Amulet

- Most overused Noob Item in DOTA
- Use it and see why

Manta Style

- Most overused Casual Item in DOTA
- Use it and wonder why

Scythe of Vyse

- Stun
- I have never seen anyone escape this
- Ever
- Almost 6k Gold to make.
- Assuming you average 400g per minute, that's 15 minutes worth of farming.
- The average match lasts 30 minutes.



So you've got a bunch of Stat Boosting items. But which one applies where and on whom ?

There are 3 Attributes in DOTA

- Strength
- Agility
- Intelligence

Strength = Max HP and HP regen
Agility = Attack Speed and Armour (dmg reduction)
Intelligence = Max Mana and Mana regen

Each Hero has one Primary Attribute.
Even though they all have all 3 attributes, one of them is considered their main attribute.
So you have a Strength Hero, an Agility Hero and an Intelligence Hero
Increasing their Primary Attribute will increase their pure Damage per hit (as opposed to spell damage)

This creates certain tendencies between Heroes.

Raising Strength on a Strength Hero will raise:

Max Health
Health regen
Attack Damage

This makes Strength Heroes natural Tanks who can absorb damage as he dishes out his own.

Agility Heroes:

Attack Speed
Attack Damage

A setup geared towards high burst damage and quick explosive kills. Armour although functional is still inferior to flat out HP tank. So they're pretty much glass cannons. On the upside, each point of Healing is worth more to Agility Heroes than it is to the other Hero types. So glass cannons who appreciates a healer support essentially.

Intelligence Heroes are rather interesting.

Max Mana
Mana regen
Attack Damage

Mana generally fuels Hero skills and many of the actives. This means Intelligence Heroes are the spammier bunch among all the Heroes in Dota. Since skills and actives are so diverse, so are playstyles for Intelligence Heroes. Attack Damage being tied to their Mana pool and regen means they are effective combatants on top of whatever their roles may be based on skills and items.

Combat Healer, Attacker Tackler, Ninja Gankers, you get the picture.


Although it is a good idea to Boost and play Heroes based on their primary attribute, it is by no means the only way to play Dota. When first learning the game however it is recommended you stay within the tendencies to better spot the very subtle strengths and weaknesses Heroes have so you may better exploit them later when you get good at the game.



If you're logged in into your Dota / Steam account that page will list out your Custom Builds you may have. You could create builds there and it will appear in-game but somehow it isn't working for me anymore. Here is how I do them now:

1. Start a match and pick a Hero you want to create a Build for.
2. Open the Shop as soon as the game starts and click on the gold Edit button
3. Drag and Drop the current listed items and clear out the Build
4. Click the green Save button
5. Exit the game (you can continue using the in-game UI but it's bugged for me there as well)


If you did it right you should be able to see and edit the Hero build you just made.


In this example I grouped up all the Consumables, Agility Stats, Passives and Actives for lulz


Save your build and go back into a match using the Hero again.
Your custom build will appear in the in-game shop ready to rumble



Some Items especially Specials are 'crafted' made up of one or more other Items + a recipe.

Clicking on such an item in the shop in-game will reveal all the ingredients needed to craft it. If the ingredient is also a compound item click on it will reveal the ingredients to make those too.

One sensible thing to do when drafting an Item Build is to include those ingredients as part of your purchasing plan. Example:



Headdress  +  Buckler

Instead of just listing Mekansm as an item I plan to get, I would also include the ingredients in a step before as a reminder of what my build will look like partially done as I work towards an expensive final Item.

Remember - you lose some gold each time you die. It is good practice to spend all incoming gold on your next item in the list as soon as you have enough. Having those ingredients listed in the Shop's shortcut helps you spend those gold when busy during a match.
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by flibia on 2015-01-13, 00:16

simple. Surprised

I haf horibal speleeng.
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by Azuredawn on 2015-01-14, 14:51

I could write a bit about item orders for a start.

For example, you gotta know what pre-game items you gotta buy, then early game, core, situational, and luxury. Buying boots at the start of the game is so damn situational(only seriously viable in competitive play. I rarely ever see pros get it, and even then it's only by some supports) and I've only seen it bought by people who buy it over regen/branch/stat items.

Also, It's a godsend. I've used it before Valve enabled in-game guides(and honestly I haven't been fucked enough to check those in-game guides out as Dotafire guides work pretty well) and it's been pretty damn great. I first used it to learn heroes, as people write some pretty damn solid guides on how to play your heroes, but they also have some really in-depth guides on Dota in general, such as picks in Captain's Mode, and roles, etc.
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by flibia on 2015-01-15, 00:16

I bet azh gets that last part a lot from people. I'm just joking Razz Creed plays Dota 24/7 now? League is better!

I haf horibal speleeng.
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by Kine² on 2015-01-15, 06:29

PVP is a whole new game.

BravoTango wrote:Situations don't really emerge and evolve like they do in a shooter.

The thinking side of Dota > thinking side of Shooters. But you only get to see this in a team vs team PVP. Or at the very least a pre-made pair in pub games.

There are 3 lanes in Dota. Each one is an income stream. And both teams have access to that stream at the same time ie. on opposite ends.

In vs team PVP you'll be charged with manning one of those streams. To maximize your earnings and deny the enemy of the same. Inches away from opponents who were given similar instructions as you did, to dominate the lane and kick the other fkers out. Team that does it better will gradually pull away in relative strength before earning the right to close out the match.

In that scenario - clicking stuff at the right time is the least of your worries.

The pressure to perform is OMG. Coz if your team starts going down the losing trend, its always someone's fault somewhere in one of those lanes.

Azh breathing down your neck every step of the way don't help either.

Kine press Q. Kine get that last hit. Kine you missed that last hit. Get back Get back. Press Q please. OMG GG. Wait Wait. Nice Nice. Nice kill. We can win this now. Press Q Kine. OMG We gonna lose for real. What is our mid doing. rip pepperonis. Back Back. Go GO Kill him. OMG why didn't you go back !? It's OK we're winning.
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by azh on 2015-01-15, 20:27

Rip in pepperonis honestly. 

But yeah, i wasn't very nice that game. I guess I was having a bad day. Viper (the guy you were playing) basically wins any lane he's in, because his Q ability (first ability) is really good early on. You just attack enemy heroes with it and they die horribly. 

Also, dota is much more strategic that any shooter I've played. You need to know how all 1234123 of the heroes work... and then you need to know how your heroes interact with each other, and how the enemies heroes interact with each other, and how your heroes interact with the enemies heroes, and whether the enemy hero can kill you in lane. If a hero goes missing from the minimap, you need to notice where he disappeared, and where to position yourself so that you're safe if he comes to kill you. If the enemies have certain items, you need to know how to react to that as well. If they have area of effect "ultimate" abilities, you have to not clump up with your team, etc etc. 
The thing you were referring to (clicking on a certain thing at a certain time) is only part of the game (last hitting enemy creeps to get gold).
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by azh on 2015-01-15, 21:36

Guide of my own.

Generally there are 5 positions in Dota.
Position 1 gets the most farm. You are supposed to carry the team. You do all the damage, and have a huge impact in fights. Heroes that are position 1 usually suck without costly items but own when they do have said items. Position 1 heroes get put into the "safe lane" to guarantee them gold. Ex. faceless void, spectre.

Position 2
Usually a impactful mid-game hero. Carries the team throughout the mid game and gives position 1 an opportunity to farm. Usually goes into the mid lane because from the mid lane, you can go to the top/bottom lanes quickly and make kills happen.

Position 3
Usually a tank. Takes the offlane. Hard to kill. Contributes a lot during team fights and does reasonably well late game.

Position 4/5
Supports. Can either help the position 1 in the safe lane or help the position 3 in the offlane/hard lane. Position 4 might get some items. Position 5 constantly buys wards/other support consumables and dies instantly in team fights. Supports are strong in the early game and usually have stuns/disables/nukes. Supports make space for positions 1/2/3 and ensure that they win their respective lanes. They provide vision throughout the game. During teamfights, they stay near the edges and try to get all their spells off before dying. Support is generally the most skill intensive and boring role to play. Good supports will win the game for the carry.

Laning items:
These are generally used to keep you in your lane. If someone harasses you and you have to go back to base to heal, you lose out on gold and EXP.

Tangoes: most cost-efficient healing. Get 1 of these basically no matter what. 2 might be good if you're off laning.

Healing Salve: Heals for a crap ton. Only use it when you are low on life. Careful, it can be cancelled if another enemy attacks you.

Clarity: Replenishes mana pool. Very slow. Can be cancelled if an enemy attacks you.

Stout Shield: Blocks a certain amount of damage when creeps/heroes attack you. Amazing on melee heroes (if you're facing ranged heroes, they will harass you with auto attacks.

Support Items:
Generally buy these if you are a support hero.

Animal Courier: Makes getting items easy.
Flying Courier: Makes your animal courier faster and harder to kill.

Mekanism: AOE heal. Generally every team builds 1 (but not more than one).

Urn of Shadows: Gains a charge every time an enemy dies within a certain range of you. Can be used on allies to heal or on enemies to damage. The heal can be cancelled (kinda like a healing salve). During fights, use these on enemies or on allies (if you know the ally won't get hit). Away from fights, use charges liberally to keep allies topped up on health.

Observer Wards: Gives vision of parts of the map. Very important.
Sentry Wards: Reveals invisible units and enemy observer wards.

Dust of Appearance: Reveals invisble units in an AOE around you. Those units stay visible for a set amount of time. If the enemy has an invis hero, keep one on you at all times.

Gem of True Sight: Gives you true sight as long as you hold it. However, if you die, you drop it on the ground and enemies can pick it up.

Ghost Scepter: Turns you into a ghost for a few seconds. You take more magic damage, but are immune to physical. Once the enemy carry gets scary, he/she can 3-4 shot you. Turning this on lets you get off your spells before you die horribly.

Medallion of Courage: Reduces your own armor while decreasing the armor of a target enemy hero. If you position yourself correctly while using this, you don't die and they will.

Vladimir's Offering: Gives surrounding melee heroes lifesteal+other benefits. If you have a melee carry, get this so they don't have to.

Arcane Boots: Every ~minute or so, give ~100 mana to yourself and surrounding heroes. Great support item.

Tranquil Boots: If you don't attack/aren't attacked, you get lots of health regen. As a support, you won't be last hitting much, so this'll be active often.

Random items:

Force Staff: Pushes the targeted hero in the direction they're facing. Great for saving yourself/your teammates.

Blink Dagger: Blink towards a location. If you've been hit by an enemy, there's a 3 second cooldown before you can blink again. Great for initiating fights.

Eul's Scepter: Lifts an enemy hero OR you for several seconds. You know how they can cancel your blink? Euls yourself. Once you land, you can blink out again.

Mobility on supports is op because of how squishy they become late game. Blink dagger and force staff are generally amazing items on any support hero.

Honorable mention: 

Black King Bar: Gives you magic immunity for several seconds. In the competitive scene, there are BKBs everywhere. This will prevent you from being stunned forever and killed. 

Carry items - too many to mention. Just going to list a few with interesting active abilities.
Linkin's Sphere - blocks the first spell that's cast on you.
Monkey King Bar - makes you hit 100% of the time (some heroes have skills that make you miss auto attacks).
Satanic - gives you 150% lifesteal for a few seconds.
Skadi - makes your auto attacks slow enemies.
Heart of Tarrasque - gives you lotsa health and massive health regen.
Hand of Midas - allows you to turn a creep into 190 gold + 2x experience every ~minute
Scythe of Vise - turns an opponent into a pig for a few seconds.
Radiance - gives you an aura that damages enemies.
Heaven's Halberd - disables an enemy from attacking for a few seconds.
Orchid - prevents enemy from casting spells for a few seconds.

Oh god there is a shit ton im done.
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Re: DOTA - Items - By Nub For Nubs

Post by Third on 2015-01-16, 13:20

Sticky it
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