My name is Tope aka AZY. I am an ex-professional HoN/Dota 2 player that has now retired from competitive gaming and living in Australia. I’ve been playing competitive HoN/Dota 2 for 12 years with my highest achievement playing in Dreamhack Winter 2011. I currently have 7150 MMR with an Immortal ~500 rank. Since retiring from the competitive side of the game I now play casual pubs with friends, coaching and boosting.
The Carry Position – Position 1
When we talk about Dota 2 roles, we talk about Position or “Pos” 1 to 5 – but why is it called Position 1? The history behind the naming goes back to the days of Dota 1. The Position system was invented by the Chinese scene & players. It is supposed to give an understanding to the team around the priority of farm/gold for each player on the team – with Position 1 being the number 1 priority (carry role) and Position 5 being the least priority (hard support role).
The main objective of the Position 1 role is to farm and have an impact as the game goes later and later. Pos 1 given the most last hits and farm throughout the game, as heroes in this position are typically those that are extremely weak early on and need farm in order to be effective in the mid to late game. They are expected to do the most damage and contribute in teamfights around the 40 minute mark onwards, and will “carry” teams with their consistent damage output—hence the name.
Current Dota 2 Meta Carry Heroes
The meta scene in Dota 2 keeps varying so it’s always important to stay up to date with the meta. Below are some of the meta carry heroes in my opinion.
Support Heroes I like to lane with
As a carry player, getting as much farm in the early game is the most important for the role. Personally I like support or Position 5 heroes that are able to successfully zone the enemy heroes giving me the ability to control the lane equilibrium and maximise my farm. Below is my top 4 supports I feel are able to excel easily at zoning enemy heroes by themselves.
Starting items and Laning stage strategy
Everything begins with starting items. You must take the next advice as a rule: you should never come to the lane with less than 3-6 Tangoes. Having less regen will result in inevitable loss in the lane. Moreover, it is also important to get more healing items in case you were forced to spend all the regen you have bought at the beginning of the game. For example, if the timer reaches the 4th minute and you have only one Tango left in your inventory, you should definitely bring some more. Laning stage for a carry usually ends around the 6-8th minute, so during that time, it is very necessary for you to maintain a full supply of health.
Starting items can always vary from hero to hero, however below are the basic starting items for more Melee carry heroes. Range heroes would just replace the Quelling blade with more stat based items.
Quick Tips during the Laning stage!
The most important trick in the lane any carry player should know is a creep aggro. Knowing and mastering the mechanics of dragging creeps closer to yourself will allow you to farm very effectively.
To drag enemy creeps closer to yourself you need to position yourself near creeps and then use ‘Attack’ command on one of the enemy heroes. Not many people know this, but you can use ‘Attack’ command on ANY hero on the map. Let’s say you lane in the bottom lane and you need enemy melee creeps to attack your range creep to deny it, but the enemy offlaner is not showing. In this case, you can move your camera to the top or middle lanes and then use ‘Attack’ on the enemy hero there. The creep aggro trick is good for securing last-hits, messing last-hits of your opponent and killing your ranged creeps.
Knowing when to leave the lane
As you get better and in high ranked/pro games, it is quite common for a carry player to leave the lane quite early into the game. The reason to do so is quite simple: ‘safelane’ is not very safe actually. In fact, ‘safelane’ is the easiest one to gank out of all lanes. So quite often, when enemy supports or midlaner decide to make a gank, they would prefer to gank the enemy carry. The other factor is that offlaners usually get a lot stronger with levels, so when they get to level 6 you no longer want to lane against them.
Basically, if for any reason you do not feel comfortable in your lane anymore, do not be afraid to leave it. For me this mark is normally between 6-10mins in the game however there is no hard and fast rule. Move to the jungle or even teleport to another lane and farm there – you are Position 1 so what you want to do, where you want to farm is priority, your team will adjust around you.
In between 5th to 20th minutes the gameplay of a carry (Position 1) is dedicated to farming. It doesn’t mean you should entirely disappear from the map for its duration, but you should definitely hit creeps efficiently at that time. Try to keep a simple balance during that time: 70% farming, 20% split pushing, 10% fighting. Do not skip an opportunity to join the fight if you can get something out of it, but stay away from unnecessary dives and inefficient moves. If joining a fight, generally try to be the “cleaner” – the one that comes in towards the end of the fight and “cleans” the easy kills.
Keep an eye on a match duration timer to make stacks, pay attention to the minimap to avoid ganks.
Ensure wherever you farm, you are “smart farming” – what does this mean? Well Smart Farming is about having a set pattern for every 1min. A good example is the triangle route highlighted below. Kill the “triangle” creeps, move to the mid/side lane and return. Repeat this pattern every 1 min once the creeps respawn.
The 2 options for your Cary build
When playing the Carry/Position 1 role, as you are farming you need to make one of two decisions, this will impact that way you play your role:
Come online quick, play for the mid-late game
When do you play this style?
- You have a Position 3 that is a “semi-carry”
- You have a team that is more late game
- You are not farming that well in your lane
This style is all about ensuring you can come online around the 25-30min mark and possibly look to end the game/win by between 40-50mins mark. You want to ensure you build items that allow you to come online quick – items like Desolator, Maelstrom, Echo Saber and Mantastyle
Farm it up, play for the super late game
When do you play this style?
- You have a Position 3 that does not transition to the late game well
- You have a team that is more early game and can make your space early easily without you
- You are farming well/have the free farm
This style is all about playing for the super late game, focusing on a build that enables you to have the ultimate advantage past 50-60mins+ however this build does have some drawbacks. By focusing on itemization for the super late game, you need to ensure your team can drag the game long enough. Common first items for playing into the late game are Radiance and Battlefury – both of these after the early investment will assist in maximizing your GPM. The longer the game goes, the better for you!
Strong Mid-Game Carries (30-45mins)
The following heroes are some of the best examples of Mid-Game carries – heroes/item builds that come online around the 30mins+ mark and are able to ‘snowball’ the team to win before it reaches a super late game. Once they get their “core items” – like the examples below – they come online and don’t really need to farm anymore. They should transition into starting to gank with the team once they get these items.
Shadowblade + Diffusal
Desolator + BKB
Mask of Madness + Maelstrom + Manta
Morbid Mask + Blink + Skull Basher
Strong Late-Game Carries (50-60+mins)
Some heroes below that are extremely strong late game – with the right items and farm they can almost 1v5 late game. When playing with these heroes it’s important to ensure you understand your strength. The objective for you is to farm and for your team to drag the game as late as possible. Often it’s better to avoid fights early game and let your team 4v5 – some executions of course like Spectre where you can use your ulti to still try to snipe some kills as you are farming. Here’s some builds that I like on the 4 heroes I picked below:
In the next article I will write about 8 popular cancer dota 2 heroes and how to effectively counter all of them. Stay tuned 😉