If you’ve been reading my Beginner’s Guide series like a good little beginner (sorry) you may have noticed my apparent disdain for cooperation. Everyone in the Dota 2 community is a raging teenager with nothing constructive to say, right? So what’s the point in even attempting to work together with them? Now that you have a few games under your belt, and you’ve gotten a better feel for the player community, perhaps you are ready to actually talk to some people and work together to kill opposing players in a coordinated fashion. Ultimately, this aspect of the game is what defines Dota 2 and how you as a player enjoy it.
If you’re laning with a lane partner, there can be many opportunities for coordinated actions against your enemy laning opponents. In order for this action to be successful, you must communicate with your laning partner and devise a plan of attack. At this beginner level, this plan need only be very simple, and only needs to cover the absolute basics. These are which enemy Hero to target, who goes in first, and when to go in. Heroes in Dota 2 are tough and powerful; they are not like creeps. If you’re facing two enemy Heroes in-lane, you and your lane partner will want to focus both your efforts on a single target in order to maximise the likelihood of success. Who goes in first and when to go in are slightly less fundamental, and most of the time comes down to instinct and your general “feel” for the situation. If you’re unsure of your lane partner’s general awareness, or you prefer to prepare thoroughly, it can never hurt to talk to your lane partner and come up with a specific plan.
Deciding on the particulars of your plan is also crucial to success. In terms of which Hero to target, there can be several factors which come into play here, the most obvious one being which Hero dies quicker. Heroes are not created completely equal in Dota 2… some Heroes have lower HP or lower armour compared to others. Thus, these Heroes will tend to die quicker if you target them. In terms of who goes in first, some Heroes possess abilities and/or traits that make them suitable for initiating the action. Stunning or slowing abilities are the most suitable, as they make an enemy Hero an easy target for you and your lane partner. The next priority is durability… Heroes with higher HP and/or armour have a greater chance of initiating and surviving the encounter. As to when to go in, this is logically left up to whoever goes in first (or the initiator). He or she must assess several factors such as friendly and enemy Heroes’ current HP and mana pools.