Dota 2 is a game that is built around heroes. There are over 120 heroes to choose from, and each one has their own unique set of abilities that can make them stand out from the rest in any particular situation.
If you find yourself asking who the best heroes in Dota 2 are, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to come up with a definitive answer. That question can be debated for hours on end. And the answer will likely differ from player to player. In addition, it depends on the position you are playing, your playstyle, and in some cases, how your team plans to approach a match.
To address this, I will present the best Dota 2 heroes (cores and supports) for each playstyle and based on possible strategies your squad could execute.
For Aggressive Playstyles
Many players like to be aggressive — looking to fight every minute, pressure enemy lanes, invade the opponent’s jungle, and take risks to try and get kills. This playstyle is quite common in Southeast Asia (SEA) servers.
If this is how you want to play, these are the best heroes in Dota 2 for that.
Ulfsaar is arguably the epitome of an aggressive hero in the game. When players draft him, you can expect to see the hero running up on opponents whenever he gets the chance. Of course, it is important for him to get the necessary items first to increase his durability.
Ursa Warrior is also known for being capable of killing Roshan early, especially if the hero is already equipped with Morbid Mask or Mask of Madness.
One of the best mid heroes in Dota 2, Tiny is used plenty by aggressive core or support players. When assigned in the mid-lane, he can start rotating and ganking early to limit an opponent’s farm. As a support, he can roam as early as he hits level 2.
His low-cooldown spells and high damage output also makes him a candidate for the best nuker in Dota 2 and an aggressive hero who can join — and even frontline — fights anytime.
If you need a support hero who can initiate and control team fights, Clockwerk is a great choice. His long-range Hookshot from out of nowhere can catch opponents off guard, and Power Cogs can separate the core enemies from their supports.
It is also unsurprising to see the little mechanical goblin solo-kill opposing heroes from time to time in the laning phase because of Battery Assault.
For Greedy Playstyles
Going for a greedy playstyle means having to rely on gold and experience to become powerful. Because of this, greedy heroes find it difficult to impact the early game. But once they become online, the greed can pay off and they can change the tides of the match.
When you are planning to choose a hero that plays for greed, be sure that your teammates know so they can adapt to what would likely be a weak laning phase from you.
Arguably the greediest hero in Dota 2, Anti-Mage requires at least four items before he can be effective in any fight. Typically, these items include Power Treads, Battle Fury, Manta Style, and Black King Bar.
But if AM is allowed to farm and snowball, he can become the hard carry he is designed to be. He can dish out high levels of damage, has a lot of magical resistance, is pretty elusive in team fights, and can clear enemy creep waves with ease.
Most greedy heroes can be seen in the jungle taking care of neutral camps. And since Enigma is one of the best junglers in Dota 2, it makes sense for him to be considered among the best heroes in Dota 2 for the greedy playstyle.
The Consumer of Worlds is an excellent disabler, initiator, and pusher. However, he is naturally squishy, so you would want him to be equipped with Black King Bar and other defensive items. The only way for him to do this is to prioritize farming instead of fighting in the early phase.
Weaver in a core position does not require a lot to be effective. But using him as a support will need the player to have a greedy playstyle, as the hero can only be enabled if he has at least two items, such as Solar Crest and, more importantly, Aghanim’s Scepter.
It can be counterintuitive to think of Weaver as a greedy hero, because he can be known for being an aggressive hero. He can effortlessly deal a high amount of damage at low mana cost. However, it is only after he has saved up for Aghanim’s does he become online for team fights.
For High-Ground Defense
Dota stands for Defense of the Ancients. Thus, there are some players who prefer to prioritize defense over offense. Playing for the high-ground defense means biding your time to protect Tier 3 towers and barracks. And when you are able to team-wipe the opponents when they over-commit, you can turn the tables and race to their base.
Below are the heroes who are among the best when it comes to defending against rushing heroes and huge creep waves.
If you enjoy watching the two-time The International (TI) winner OG or the all-world player Miracle-, you must have seen video highlights of their base defense with Arc Warden. Nearly all of the hero’s spells, particularly Magnetic Field and Tempest Double, are perfect for protecting your towers and throne.
But it might take a long time for Arc Warden to come online, as it needs the experience and gold. It is no surprise then for users to rush Hand of Midas when playing the hero.
The personification of a nuker hero, Zeus has spells that give him the ability to quickly clear enemy creep waves and dissuade opposing heroes from diving Tier 3 towers. He also has a constant massive area-of-effect (AoE) damage that can help zone, if not kill, enemies easily.
His ultimate Thundergod’s Wrath is also one of the best in the game. Not only can you deal high magic damage with it, the spell can also provide vision of where all the enemies are, which can give you key information when mounting up a defense.
What also makes Zeus one of the best heroes in Dota 2 is that you do not need hundreds of hours played in the game to use him effectively. As long as you can manage your mana decently, you can help your team win the match.
Probably the most irritating hero to play against, Techies is known for being one of the best defensive heroes in Dota 2. He can place invisible traps that can stop the enemies at their tracks because of the high amount of AoE damage it delivers.
The most recent patches have actually nerfed Techies, limiting the types and number of traps he can place. Even so, he has still proven to be a popular pick not just by those who like to meme, but also those who love playing defensive Dota.
For the Late Game
A Dota 2 match that reaches the 40-minute mark is usually considered as being in the late game. And some heroes are built for the late game more than the others.
In many cases, having the right items and good chemistry among the team members can help you dominate the opponents at that point. But if your squad intends to drag the match, having one of these heroes can give your team a shot at destroying the enemy’s throne.
Spectre is known in the community as the queen of the late game. Having her on your side after about 40 minutes gives you a good chance of winning, even if your team is down in net worth and total kills.
Mercurial is one of the best Dota 2 carry heroes because of her innate ability to deal tons of damage while surviving drawn-out team fights. In addition, she is one of the best buyback heroes, as her ultimate Haunt can transport her quickly back in skirmishes.
Depending on the meta, Chaos Knight can either be the most-contested or least-contested hero in ranked matches. But there is no doubt that CK continues to rank among the best heroes in Dota 2, no matter what core position you play him in.
While he is one of the best late-game carry heroes, Chaos Knight is also effective even in the laning phase. He can control team fights with his Chaos Bolt and Reality Rift. Also, he has a relatively high HP pool.
While Terrorblade can strike fear in the opponents’ hearts, he is not all that intimidating in the early phases of the game. TB can be seen jungling constantly before the 30-minute mark of the match. It is partly for this reason that he is also one of the best greedy heroes.
But once he is levelled up and has the right items, he is simply too difficult to kill. Moreover, the high amount of damage he deals can also cause opposing heroes to die quickly and the enemy buildings to get destroyed in no time.
For Objective Gaming
You cannot win a Dota 2 match by just focusing on team fights and picking off a hero or two every now and then. It is more important to secure the objectives, which include pushing the lanes, destroying the enemy buildings, and taking control of the map.
The characters below are some of the most ideal heroes to use if your team wants to prioritize objective gaming.
Because his abilities give him a powerful global presence, Nature’s Prophet is one of the best heroes in Dota 2 for taking control of the game.
He can switch from lane to lane because of Teleportation and clear creep waves quickly thanks to Nature’s Call. Even if your team has fallen behind in farm, Prophet can turn things around by split pushing the side lanes and going after the opponent’s buildings.
Of course, those are not only his assets. He can also effectively assist in ganks and come to the aid of allies on the brink of death because of his spells.
Regardless of the changes to the hero when new patches are released, IO remains to be a popular pick among players. The Wisp is listed among the best support heroes in Dota 2 because it can empower its allies to be more effective. It is also considered one of the best Dota 2 healer heroes because of the regen it can provide teammates.
Tether it to a tower hitter and that hero becomes nearly invincible to any damage from the tower because of damage reduction and HP regen. Its ultimate Relocate can teleport a teammate to a battlefield or save one from being killed.
The spell can also be used to transport an ally to an unguarded enemy base to destroy the structures, similar to what the TI 3 winner Alliance did on their way to lift the Aegis of Champions in that tournament.
Numerous players will concur that Shadow Shaman is one of the best heroes to choose if you want to boost your MMR (matchmaking rating.) He is useful in almost all phases of the game and can help you win matches even if your team is down big.
Some users like drafting Rhasta for his ability to effectively disable opposing heroes. But there are those who love the hero particularly because of his ultimate Mass Serpent Ward, which can help in taking out buildings quickly.
Do you agree with this list? Like I mentioned, there is no way to create a list of the best heroes in Dota 2 that everyone will agree on. The selection depends on a variety of factors.
What is key is that you keep on practicing and mastering the game to see what playstyle and position suit you best and learn which hero would be the best fit for how you play the game.