8 Popular carry heroes and a good way to counter them!
In this section, I will show you some of the best ways to counter some popular carry picks. Carries can be countered by not just Hero picks but also specific item builds, so I will include both. There are many ways to counter a hero, I will give you below what I feel are the best 3 items and/or heroes to counter
How to counter Anti Mage?
Top 3 Anti-mage counters:
- Berserker’s Call prevents Anti-Mage from escaping with Blink, and works well with Blade Mail against Anti-Mage’s relatively low health.
- Counter Helix deals pure damage, ignoring the protection from Counterspell.
- Counter Helix will trigger even if Axe’s depleted of mana, which will make Anti-Mage take more damage than he’s dealing.
- Axe’s low mana pool makes him a bad target for using Mana Void.
- Axe’s high base health regeneration allows him to dominate the lane against Anti-Mage, especially with a support.
- Rupture deals damage through Blink, dissuading Anti-Mage from using it. This allows Bloodseeker to get early kills on Anti-Mage, preventing him from snowballing.
- However, Anti-Mage is one of the few heroes who can avoid the damage from Rupture if he does it correctly.
- Blood Rite silences Anti-Mage during teamfights, preventing him from Blinking away.
- Bloodseeker’s abilities also deal pure damage, which bypasses Counterspell.
- Doom shuts down Anti-Mage’s escape capabilities with Blink. The ability also deals pure damage, which ignores the protection from Counterspell.
- If Doom has Aghanim’s Scepter, Infernal Blade can hit Anti-Mage loses his Mana Break and Counterspell, weakening both his offense and defense.
- Doom’s low mana pool causes him to take little damage from Mana Void.
How to counter Phantom Assassin?
Best 3 Counters of Phantom Assassin
- Jumping in with Phantom Strike makes Phantom Assassin an exceptionally easy target for Berserker’s Call.
- The bonus attack speed from Phantom Strike also means that Phantom Assassin will proc Counter Helix numerous times.
- Black King Bar is generally useless against Axe’s abilities and item build, as Black King Bar doesn’t prevent Axe from finishing Phantom Assassin off with Culling Blade. It also doesn’t work against Berserker’s Call and Counter Helix.
- Blade Mail is an item that Axe purchases every game, and it can be used to turn Phantom Assassin’s critical strikes against herself. The situation becomes even worse if she’s affected by Berserker’s Call, as she has no way to stop attacking.
- Monkey King Bar grants accuracy to counter Blur – PA’s worst nightmare on any hero!
- Blade Mail turns Phantom Assassin’s massive burst damage against her, dissuading her from attacking.
How to counter Void?
Best 3 Void Counters
- Mist Coil and Aphotic Shield enable Abaddon to keep an ally alive during Chronosphere.
- Borrowed Time prevents Faceless Void from killing Abaddon during his Chronosphere.
- Fire Spirits does damage over time, preventing Faceless Void from backtracking the full damage with Time Walk.
- Fire Spirits applies a big attack speed slow, stopping Faceless Void from doing many attacks while in Chronosphere.
- Sun Ray can heal allies and damage Faceless Void from outside the Chronosphere.
- Supernova can be cast outside of Chronosphere, forcing Faceless Void to step away from it, lest he’ll take a lot of damage
– Wraith King
- Wraith king has an amazing ultimate against void. You can kill him only once during the Chrono.
- Wraith king also usually builds into radiance and blade mail which are very good against void
- Aeon Disk will prevent damage taken for a while, which may keep the wielder alive during Chronosphere.
- There are many players who ignore this item for some reason, especially on lower ranks. This is must-have item against void and can win you many matches
How to counter Juggernaut?
Best 3 Juggernaut Counters
- Windrun negates the damage from Omnislash.
- Windrun gives Windranger enough movement speed to get out of Blade Fury range.
- Focus Fire goes through Blade Fury.
- Fury Swipes is not protected by Blade Fury and allows Ursa to harass Juggernaut anytime.
- Enrage reduces the damage taken from Omnislash.
- Eul’s Scepter of Divinity and Ghost Scepter prevents Omnislash from hitting entirely.
- Shadow Blade, Silver Edge, and Glimmer Cape can stop Omnislash
How to counter Slark?
Best 3 Slark Counters
– Phantom Lancer
- Slark has no sustained AoE to deal with Phantom Lancer’s many illusions.
- Doppelganger lets Phantom Lancer dodge Dark Pact and Pounce, and partially wastes the duration of Shadow Dance.
- Spirit Lance can give vision of Slark via spawning an illusion, making it harder for him to juke and gain the passive bonus from Shadow Dance.
- Phantom Rush helps Phantom Lancer chase down Slark when he jumps away with Pounce.
- Berserker’s Call forces Slark to attack him, even during Shadow Dance.
- Counter Helix will hit Slark in Shadow Dance, with pure damage. It also triggers frequently against Slark’s high attack speed after having stolen agility with Essence Shift.
- Culling Blade finishes off Slark before he gets a chance to slip away and regenerate his health, preventing him from playing the hit-and-run style often associated with Slark.
- Illusory Orb and Phase Shift allows Puck to avoid most ganking attempts.
- Waning Rift and Dream Coil makes it very hard for Slark to escape bad situations.
- Puck’s abilities used together also deals significant magical nuke damage, none of which are targeted and thus cannot be avoided by Shadow Dance.
How to counter Terrorblade?
Best 3 Terrorblade Counters
- Plasma Field can destroy Terrorblade’s illusions or damage them heavily.
- Static Link decreases the bonus damage of Metamorphosis.
- Storm Surge also gives Razor high mobility, thus nullifying effects of Reflection.
- Eye of the Storm along with Aghanim’s Scepter can quickly reduce Terrorblade’s armor.
- Even if Razor has no disables, he will often carry a Black King Bar, making Sunder and every other ability that Terrorblade has useless.
- An Aghanim’s Scepter upgraded Laser allows Tinker to blind Terrorblade and illusions.
- Tinker can also clear Terrorblade’s illusions and stall his pushing attempts with March of the Machines.
- Reaper’s Scythe can kill Terrorblade quickly before he has chance to use Sunder.
- Ghost Shroud protects Necrophos against Terrorblade’s high attack damage.
How to counter Spectre?
Best 3 Spectre Counters
- Spectre has no way to prevent Blink, for escape or initiation. Anti-Mage can easily pick off enemy supports and Spectre cannot do anything about it.
- Mana Break burns through Spectre’s low mana pool.
- Manta Style’s illusions prevent Desolate’s damage.
- Even though Anti-Mage is out carried by Spectre in the later stages of the game, a competent Anti-Mage with a Battle Fury can easily outfarm and get ahead of Spectre before she can come online
– Storm Spirit
- Storm Spirit can exploit every one of Spectre’s weaknesses, and thus is one of the best counters against her.
- Spectre has to be in melee range to deal damage, making her likely to trigger Static Remnants and susceptible to being kited by Overload procs.
- Electric Vortex can lock Spectre down as she doesn’t like to build Black King Bar.
- Ball Lightning gives Storm Spirit multiple advantages:
- Spectre cannot evade Storm Spirit, as Ball Lightning is superior to Spectral Dagger in terms of mobility.
- Storm Spirit can kite her and her Haunt illusions when it’s later in the game due to her having no form of pseudo-blinks (Reality is far inferior to Ball Lightning).
- It is very difficult for Spectre to deal any substantial damage against Storm Spirit with Desolate. Ball Lightning grants invulnerability and can mitigate damage done from Dispersion and Radiance.
– Winter Wyvern
- Arctic Burn makes it nearly impossible for Spectre to juke into the trees.
- Cold Embrace negates all of Spectre’s physical damage. Furthermore, Cold Embrace will generally outheal Desolate.
- Winter’s Curse can taunt illusions, not only wasting the entire duration of Haunt but also turning its illusions against Spectre’s own team.
How to counter Phantom Lancer?
Best 3 Phantom Lancer Counters
– Ember Spirit
- Sleight of Fist, allows Ember Spirit to destroy all of Phantom Lancer’s illusions.
- Flame Guard also deals significant damage to illusions, and protects against Spirit Lance.
- Phantom Rush is unable to catch Ember Spirit when he teleports to his Fire Remnants.
- Berserker’s Call helps locks down Phantom Lancer in a group of illusions.
- Counter Helix clears Phantom Lancer’s illusions quickly.
- Blade Mail Phantom Lancer’s high damage is bad against Blade Mail, an item Axe almost always gets.
- Battle Fury’s cleave damage helps destroy Phantom Lancer’s illusions. BF on any hero will destroy PL!
It takes both skill and savvy in order to make the most out of the carry role, but masters of the position truly feel like gods of Dota 2. It’s not easy taking on the burden of securing ultimate victory for your team—but there are few things that feel better than knowing you were the one that lifted your comrades to triumph.
To sum it up remember these key 5 tips:
- Evaluate early in the laning stage what “type” of carry do you need to play for your team – one that needs to be effective in the 30-40min mark or what that is farming for the super late game paste 50mins+
- Based on the evaluation from above, make sure you choose your item build accordingly – don’t go Radiance build on Spectre if you don’t have a strong early game team as your team won’t be able to drag the game out long enough for you to get farm!
- Concentrate on farming during the laning stages as a priority and if needed change lanes/move into the jungle to ensure you keep your GPM up
- Each hero in Dota 2 has power-spikes. Medusa needs Manta Style and Skadi to become relevant, Sniper needs Hurricane Pike and Maelstrom, Anti-Mage needs Battle Fury, Manta Style, and Skull Basher. Once you hit these timings, it is very important to make something happen on the map, rather than keep on farming.
- Don’t take risks! – you are the role your team invests heavy into and funnels all the gold/xp into. Deaths mean you are not maximising your GPM/XPM – the best carry, is a safe carry. You “carry” the weight of the team on you!
Consistency and solid fundamentals are both keys to success as a carry player. If Dota is a new game to you, consider playing Support and learn the fundamentals before transitioning into the Carry, Mid or Offlane role.
If you want me to cover some more heroes and counters – please let me know in the comment section and I will prepare it for you!