Who am I?
I am yiyirox, a 1.8k immortal player on the Southeast Asia server. I play mostly on position 1 carry and position 5 support. Today’s guide will be focusing on the laning phase in the safe lane, as a position 1 carry player.
Patch 7.19 was released on 29th July, and with every patch, it changes the game meta.
On the previous patches, the position 1 carry player plays on the safe lane with two other supports helping him secure up his farm. This is known as trilaning. The carry should be able to keep the creep equilibrium by denying the waves and getting a huge lead in the lane by gaining more levels as compared to the opponent offlaner. This is known as “babysitting” the carry player. By the time that the babysitting phase is over, the carry player should have sufficient levels to play solo against the underleveled offlaner and not get killed by him. This will free up the two other supports to do support things, such as stacking neutral creep camps, exerting pressure on the other lanes by ganking, or helping the midlane control runes.
However, in this new patch, the current meta has shifted to duolaning. The position 1 carry player now only has one support helping him secure his farm and experience, resulting in a more difficult laning stage for the position 1 carry player. The change to duolaning is due to the change in experience for denies. In the previous patches, denied creeps give your opponent 70% experience of the creep. However, in this patch, denied creeps only give your opponent 25% experience. When you deny the creep, you also gain 25% experience of the creep for your team, as long as it is within the creep experience radius.
Hence, the second support is placed in the offlane to help secure the offlaner lane, as well as exerting pressure on the opponent safe lane carry player. With the opponent position 1 carry player now being contested, he will not be able to get free farm as compared to previous patches, resulting in him being unable to accelerate their farm and hero progress. The additional support will force the opponent position 1 carry player to catch up on their hero progress on other areas on the map, like the jungle.
Having said so, this will also mean that you, as the position 1 carry player, will need to catch up your farm elsewhere on the map, as the opponent offlaner and support will be contesting your lane. But, fret not, I’m here to guide you on how to win your lane, in every possible situation that you’ll meet.
Now, let’s talk about pre-game preparation. You can win half of the game even before the game start with the next two tips I’m going to share with you.
Identify your hero pool
Number 1, identify your hero pool.
Understanding the heroes you can play and want to play as your carry hero is most important. For a start, try to be competent in 3 to 4 heroes, some examples can be Juggernaut, Spectre, to less popular heroes like Chaos Knight or Lycan. By specialising in these heroes, you can focus on improving your gameplay by having your hero as a constant factor. Gradually, you’ll be able to identify heroes that are your counters, which makes your game unplayable.
For example, my specialised hero is Juggernaut, Spectre and Lifestealer. If I am laning against the current meta-hero, Ursa, Ursa counters my whole hero pool. Hence, I must adjust my hero pool to take out Lifestealer and substitute with Clinkz, which can harass the Ursa and keeping myself out of danger. This is as, you will not want to have to play a game where you are constantly playing catch-up on farming for 30 minutes throughout the whole game, and having no impact for your team. Your team will subsequently lose all map control, with no safe place to farm for both yourself and your teammates. By then, there’ll be a very high chance that the game is already lost.
Tip number 2, Mentality
Positive mental attitude is absolutely important prior to launch Dota 2. Do not queue if you are feeling irritated by school, work or anything particular in life if you are intending to win. If you have played a few games and are tilted, stop queuing and do something else instead.
Only play the game when you are feeling good about yourself. When you are feeling good and positive, you are mentally prepared for all situations that will happen in the game. If the game does not go your way, there is no point in flaming your teammates if mistakes happen. Accept that your teammates have made a mistake and move on.
Start of game
The game has actually started immediately upon 10 players having selected their heroes. During the preparation stage, you have 30 seconds to study your opponent line up and decide on what items to buy to prepare to face their offlane and support. Anticipate the amount of harassment you are going to face and to buy the appropriate amount of regeneration items.
Here is my quick guide for a melee hero:
1 set of Tangoes
1 Healing Salve
Yes, you may be wondering, why quelling blade? After contesting the first bounty rune, the safelaner will often go back to block the creeps before the creeps meet. When your creeps meet, you will want them to meet as close to your tower as possible, so that the enemy will be placed at a disadvantageous position, far from their towers. It will take 2 waves of creeps before your creep equilibrium will move towards the opponent’s tower, If you are able to keep the equilibrium, then it will be harder to get to the secret shop without missing last hit and securing the range last hit which is important in this patch. If not, you miss out on the damage for at least 8 creeps to put yourself in a better position to take last hits.
Another specific match up is when you are against Treant. You want to run to your lane ASAP and start to quelling trees near the area where the 1st wave will meet. This allows you to not get too much harass from Treant and keeping a distance from him as his right clicks with OOV wears out your regen very fast.
Another alternative is to get:
2 set of tango
1 Healing Salve
This allows you to trade more aggressively and have enough regen for the 2nd round of trading. This build allows you to delay the courier usage and let your mid and offlane gets the priority for the courier
As for ranged heroes, here’s my guide to itemisation during the preparation stage:
1 set of Tangoes
1 Healing Salve
Stats item/faerie fire
You will want to get more stats item to boost your damage as it is generally harder to last hit as a range hero due to lower damage and also ranged projectiles take time to fly if you are positioned further away from the creeps.
You want to leave the base with minimum 2 sets of regen. This enables you to stay in lane longer while not occupying the courier
During the skirmish of the first bounty rune, if you identify the opponent has lesser regen than you, it is ok to trade regen with them. After taking/giving up bounty runes, run back to the lane to block your creeps.
Once the waves meet, you will need to draw aggro on the creeps on you so that you can pull their 3 melee creeps back to attack your ranged creep. By doing so, you can deny your range creep, which will result in the denial of significant experience to the opponents. As for the opponent range creep, you will want to use your skill, or your support skills, to secure the range creep before they are able to deny their range creep. I will personally prioritize the deny on range creep over the melee creep last hit.
For the first 3 waves, your key goal is to get as many last hits on creeps as possible, as well as cause enough damage to the opponent heroes so they start to use their regeneration items. Generally, you are weaker than the offlane hero, and your lane will be weaker than the opponent offlane as you, the position 1 carry will be paired with the position 5 support. The opponent will be a position 3 offlaner, with a position 4 support. Their starting hero potential is stronger than your starting hero potential in general due to the meta shaping the offlane to be able to dominate the regular carry heroes. Your position 5 support hero will also have lesser items, due to him having lesser starting gold from the purchase of courier and wards.
After the position 2 midlane gets his first healing salve, you can utilise use the courier. The starting 2 to 3 waves will determine what kind of itemization you will need in the lane. Communicate with your support now as he may likely need the courier here as well. Preferably, the courier will now ferry out your second set of health regeneration as well as stats item like Wraith Band. Your support may want to ferry out sentries to deward the opponent if they block your pull camp.
The reason to ferry out regen is to anticipate if you are going to trade even more in the lane and whoever loses out in the regen will generally lose out in the lane as you are more prone to dying and let the opponent accelerate in the lane.
There are generally three possible outcomes of the laning phase, absolute stomp, balanced lane, getting stomped.
In the situation of absolute stomp, that’s the best case scenario! You manage to win the lane 2v2, perhaps your hero synergies with your support and counters the opponent offlane and support combination, or perhaps, it could be due to your superior mechanical skills. You get kills, get the farm and the opponent’s offlaner is not able to stop you from getting your levels and farm. From henceforth, you should continue to exert pressure in your winning lane and try to push the tower to gain the objective. Try to accelerate from there onwards
This situation should be common whereby you trade some kills, get basic items and a decent amount of experience. This should allow you to confidently transit into the jungle to farm neutral creeps while your support stays in the safe lane to gain experience. Continue to exert pressure in the lane as and when possible, and gain possible kills off the opponent offlaner and his support, to prevent them from snowballing in your absence.
You lost your lane. Hard. This generally means the opponent has a huge kill potential on you and you can’t get levels. Any mistake in positioning will be punished with a death. In lanes like this, you want to get experience from it, get your support to pull the side camp if your wave is pushing out. Beware of the enemy diving you with fortification when your support is pulling. Get sentry to deward the pull camp if it is blocked.
Identify your power spike whether it is at level 3 or 5 or 6 to see if you can get kills somewhere else on the map or farm jungle to gain levels. Try to delay your tower from dropping for as much time as possible. You can even ask the other support to rotate to your lane as your opponent will be playing very aggressive and will often be out of position to present a kill opportunity to your team.
Once the opponent hit their power spike, eg enchantress hitting level 6, where it will be impossible to lane, TP to another lane to try and set up a kill or move to the offlane and try to push down the tower to open up the map.
Another alternative is to swap lane with the offlaner so you will not be as behind.
Key timing in the Laning phase
One of the key timing in the laning phase is the 4-minute mark, where the first night falls. This is the timing where it is easier to gank the opponent, hence, communicate with your offlane support to rotate to your lane to set up a kill. Similarly, it is also easier to be ganked, so do play safe if you see the enemy offlane support missing.
The ideal scenario will be you, the safe lane players, you and the safe lane support, to try to push the wave so to under the opponent’s tower. At this point, it is important to have vision in the safe lane or onto the opponent offlane heroes. This is as you will need the space to secure the 5-minute bounty rune spawn. With the lane pushed into the enemy tower, one of the enemy offlaners must be present in the lane to get the experience and gold of the creeps, allowing you to secure both bounty runes at your side of the jungle.
However, all guides are mere guides and there are exceptions to every situation. With the wave pushing out, at the 5-minute mark, a siege creep is spawned and you can capitalise on this siege creep to gain momentum and pressure the opponent tower. If the opponent is not in lane, try to destroy the tower and take an objective off the map. This also gives a small boost of gold to your team, on top of the bounty runes secured.
In a worse case scenario, if you are unable to achieve much in your safe lane, you can consider pressuring the offlaners when you level up and achieve your power spike. Power spikes for each carry heroes are different and you will need to play more of the 3 to 4 heroes you have selected to understand when their power spike comes in. I will be talking more about power spikes of heroes in another video. By the end of the first night, which is the 8-minute mark, you will have to call your offlane support to come to the safe lane when you have reached your power spike to try to destroy the enemy offlane first tower. This will open up more space in the map for you to farm.
This is a tough patch playing safe lane carry in general but you should not let it stop you from playing it now before the next patch. This allows you to learn how to play catch up in general and will benefit you in the long term as you have more experience in dealing with a tougher lane. If you can handle a tough lane and game now, when life becomes easier, you will be able to do much better. Just remember, you want to climb your MMR in the long term and not having short-term gains and ultimately, you want to be better at this game.
P.S I wanted to create a video to show better examples but currently occupied with other things. Feedbacks are welcome
I posted in the main subreddit and thought that should post here as well