Out of all the positions in Dota 2, the mid-laner or Position 2 requires arguably the most versatile skills and a good understanding of the map.
Even so, it is one of the most sought-after positions when queuing up in public lobbies. Do not be surprised when you match up with a teammate who also wants to play Pos 2. In that scenario, you can use the function roll in Dota 2 to determine which of you can take the lane.
However, some players, particularly newer ones, back out from playing the mid. That is because the mid player has to solo lane with limited assistance during the earlier phases of the match.
Having said that, it can actually be helpful for novice users to try Pos 2. Because it can let them master how to last hit, learn how to zone the opponent (which means to keep enemies out of range of your creep wave to limit their farm), and understand map awareness and control.
This guide will discuss who are the best mid heroes in Dota 2.
Roles of the Mid-Laner
Before I present who the best Dota 2 mid heroes are, it is essential to learn first what roles they play.
Most mid-laners play to create space for their teammates. This means that you help allies gain sufficient experience and gold, particularly in the laning phase. Creating space is even more important when your carry is having a bad start to his game.
The mid hero can help out by pushing a lane aggressively so that some foes will rotate to that lane to put a stop to it. Another way is for the mid hero to make a rotation himself and assist the teammates who are having their farm disrupted. The best mid heroes in Dota 2 also know when it is necessary to sacrifice their lives for their carry player.
Controlling the timings of a match has been the name of the game even back when Dota was still a custom game in Warcraft III.
To control the tempo means to scale effectively in terms of level and gold in order to enable the hero’s abilities and put the pressure on the opposing players by rotating to the side lanes and getting early kills. This can result in the enemy team consuming so much of their resources to prevent the tempo controller from getting free rein in the game.
De Facto Carry
There are also situations where the Pos 2 will have to carry the game.
For instance, if you pick the likes of Templar Assassin, Storm Spirit, or Queen of Pain, chances are you will transform into the carry at some point in the game. This also entails that you will have farm priority and need to learn how to level up fast in Dota 2.
Another reason that a mid-laner has to be its team’s carry is when the Position 1 is having a bad game. A strategy teams exploit that has proven to be effective is limiting the growth of the opposing carry. They do this by harassing the Pos 1 in the lane and invading its jungle. In situations like this, the mid has to make up for it by serving as the team’s carry.
The Best Dota 2 Mid Heroes
While any hero can work well in the mid under the right player and with the right strats, there are some heroes that are more ideal than others for the solo lane.
Some of the characteristics of the best mid heroes in Dota 2 include having wave-clearing abilities, high damage output, innate mobility, and sustain capabilities. It also helps if the hero has an escape mechanism in order to survive possible ganks.
For Novice Players
Queen of Pain
An easy pick for Dota 2 newbies who want to try the mid-lane, Queen of Pain has the skillset to harass opponents, push for objectives, and move around the map.
QoP is difficult to lane against because of all her basic abilities. Shadow Strike can poison an opposing hero, slowing it down, doling out a significant amount of damage, and healing herself. Blink grants her mobility and the ability to move in and out of team fights. And Scream of Pain can cause high damage output and clear creep waves.
Part of what makes her a great semi-carry mid-laner is her ultimate, Sonic Wave. It deals great burst damage (up to 550 without Aghanim’s Scepter). QoP can start being active around the map by time she gets to level 6.
The Stone Giant is among the most flexible heroes in Dota 2. You can put him in nearly every position and it would work out fine. In fact, Tiny even has a case to be considered as one of the best support heroes, as he can initiate team fights, create advantageous positioning, and save allies as a roamer or hard support. His kit also makes him a viable carry hero, particularly in recent patches.
However, his natural position is arguably the mid-lane. Because he is soloing the lane, he can level up quickly. And once he is at level 4, he can start going around the map for pickoffs on squishy targets, such as agility or intelligence heroes.
Tiny’s Ava-Toss (Avalanche then Toss) combo has the highest damage output of any two-spell combination in the game. When done correctly, it can deal 1,095 damage before any reduction. This is what makes a Pos 2 Tiny a scary early and mid-game hero.
Even if enemy heroes have already picked up damage reduction or spell immunity items, such as Black King Bar, Tiny can still be potent in the late game. More so if you buy him Aghanim’s Scepter and Daedalus or Silver Edge. Additionally, he can tank damages for his ally carry because of his high level of HP and armor.
For Mid-Level Players
A look at Dotabuff stats will show that Storm Spirit is the most-used hero in the mid. And it is for good reason.
He has quite good in the laning phase, can scale well into the late game, and has the ability to catch and disable opposing heroes for a significant period of time. His knack for crowd control in team fights, thanks to his Static Remnant and Electric Vortex spells, also make him a solid partner for his ally carry.
One more argument for Storm as one of the best mid heroes in Dota 2 is his inherent mobility, as he is able to move from lane to lane easily when needed and even during the early game.
What makes him a difficult hero to use for beginners, though, is that he requires correct mana management. The spell that makes him OP is his ultimate Ball Lightning. While the skill allows him to charge across the battlefield (or escape from possible death) in no time, it does consume a lot of mana.
Templar Assassin is a common fixture in competitive and ranked matches. Her immense physical damage has plenty of users including her in their list of the best carry heroes in Dota 2.
She can clear waves and farm quickly because of her Psi Blades, and she is definitely in consideration when discussing the best junglers in Dota 2. Furthermore, she can be an amazing ganker with the right item build.
Aside from her high damage output, TA is also adept at evading incoming damage. Her Refraction ability can block up to six instances of attacks from enemies, and Meld allows her to become invisible as long she remains still. Take note, though, that these are also offensive spells, because they increase her attack damage.
To make the hero reach her full potential, it needs a lot of practice from the user. Firstly, her attack range is relatively low, making her susceptible to an ambush if you overextend. Secondly, you will need to master the right sequence of casting her spells, especially after buying Blink Dagger or Aghanim’s Scepter. This is to ensure that the damage she deals is maximized.
There is no doubt that Invoker is one of the best mid heroes in Dota 2. But mastering how to use the character requires hours and hours of practice.
Invoker is unique in that his abilities depend on what combination of reagents (Quas, Wex, and Exort) are called out by the user. In total, the hero possesses a total of 14 abilities in his arsenal that can be used offensively and defensively.
His abilities allow him to gank even in the early game, help out in team fights wherever in the map, protect his teammates from impending death, initiate and control team fights, and sustain well in the lane. All of these make him a solid pick for the mid-lane.
Puck’s appearance may not look intimidating at all. But no one should underestimate how much of a bully it can be in the mid.
The Faerie Dragon has lots of wave push and farming potential, due to her Illusory Orb and Waning Rift skills. It can also survive spells and projectiles, saving itself from death even with a sliver of health, because of Phase Shift and Ethereal Jaunt.
In team fights, Puck is the perfect Pos 2 hero, as it has effective crowd control and disable potential, thanks to Waning Rift and its ultimate Dream Coil.
Bear in mind that Puck is one of the most mechanically complex heroes to use in Dota 2. It requires a high level of speed and precision when casting spells — it would not be a surprise to hear the mashing of keyboard from Puck players. Moreover, using the hero necessitates superior intuition and understanding of the map.
Having discussed all of these heroes, it is essential to understand that the best mid heroes in Dota 2 are those that can mesh well with the other heroes in your squad. Thus, communicating with your teammates is a necessity. This is to ensure that there is synergy among the heroes you are using.