Dota 2 - How to make the most out of the offlane
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Regardless of what people might say, playing offlane is one of the hardest things to do in Dota 2. You have to continually be looking out for ganks while simultaneously trying to get as much farm and XP as possible. Also, you need to avoid feeding the enemy carry, which is a straightforward thing to do in this position.
As if that's not enough, once the laning stage is over, you have to focus on doing as much "plays" on the map as possible. Even though this might seem like an easy thing to do, that's far from the truth.
With that said, let's take a look at everything you need to know about this position in order to make the most out of it.
Choosing the best offlaner
This is definitely the hardest and also the most crucial decision that you need to make when you decide to play offlane. Unlike every other role, a lousy pick choice here can have devastating consequences, so keep that in mind.
Generally speaking, you should aim at picking a hero that can survive against the safelane from your enemy team. This all comes down to the pick that they have, whether it has stuns, slows, etc. If there are many disables, it's a wise idea to get something that has an escape mechanism or something that's tanky. On the other hand, if the safelane from the enemy is very weak, picking a hero that can crush it can be an excellent idea. For example, a well-picked Timbersaw can absolutely demolish the weak safe lanes, so keep that in mind.
In an ideal situation, you should aim to pick either last or second last. However, this rarely happens in pub games because the carry players tend to wait forever. If that's the case in your game, just pick a hero that usually does well in the offlane. For example, heroes such as Dark Seer or Legion Commander are generally considered as safe picks.
Getting enough HP regen is a must for every single position in Dota 2. However, when it comes down to offlane, this is by far the most important thing. You need to get as much regen as possible if you want to sustain yourself on the lane.
Once you take care of that, it's advisable to have at least one Observer ward in a place where you can easily see the rotations from your enemies. Of course, you need to be very careful when you place this ward because it can easily be dewarded.
After you buy your movement speed items, your other items will depend heavily on the type of hero you've picked. In most cases, you will be obliged to buy a team-fight item or something that allows you to initiate, such as a Blink Dagger. Of course, this can vary a lot.
Gameplay during the laning stage
As we mentioned earlier, your main goal when you play offlane is not to feed the enemy carry. Although this might sound simple, it is actually a very hard thing to do, especially against certain heroes. If you are laning against a line-up that's impossible to survive against, your main goal has to be to get as much experience as possible.
Although you will lack the farm, you will at least not give free gold to your enemies. What's more, if things are going bad on the lane itself, you can try to farm the nearby camps. This is a great way to get some extra gold and experience, especially if you are falling behind in them. Once the enemy pushes the wave towards your tower, just go back on the lane in order to soak up as much experience as possible.
You can also try to play "on edge" by pulling the creep towards you. This is a very cool mechanic that can quickly be done if you press the attack button on the enemy hero. When this happens near the creep, the entire wave will start to attack you, which means that you have a window of around two-three seconds actually to move them towards you. If you time this right, you can easily "force" the enemy to push the wave towards you.
What happens after the laning stage is over?
The answer to this question depends heavily on what type of hero you're playing with. Some offlaners have the uneasy task of being the playmakers of the team, which means that they need to make stuff happen on the map. In other words, these heroes have to get a specific set of items that enables them to do their job. For example, a Tidehunter will usually rush to buy a Mechanism, followed by a Blink Dagger so that he can be useful during fights. On the other hand, heroes such as Clockwerk will nearly always rush a Force Staff because this item helps the hero a lot.
However, there are also other types of offlaners that basically serve as a second carry. If that's the case, just try to farm as much as possible before you accumulate the items you need. A very good example of such a hero is Timbersaw. Once he gets a couple of items, this hero can quickly punish every single hero on the map.
It's important to remember that you are playing as a position three. This means that you need to leave the farm to your carry and mid laner if they don't have the space on the map to find any. Although this might seem like a no-brainer, it's something that many people tend to forget.