How to Get Better in the Laning Phase?

How to Get Better in the Laning Phase

Do you wonder why no matter how many times you kill the enemy in the laning phase, they seem to be able to end up as strong as you who have been farming?

During DOTA 2 Back to Basics Online Coaching Session 2, “Lane Management”, we covered what it means to win/ lose/ draw in lanes, strategies to get resources during laning and how to manipulate creep waves to your benefit.

To help you improve your laning, we decided to share some tips from our session.

Definition of Laning Phase

The starting phase of the game is when all heroes are at its weakest – referring to HP, skill and damage. This phase lasts for eight to twelve minutes – until the hero gets sufficient resources to move on to the next phase. The indicator is usually when the hero reaches level six and/or gets their first early-game core item.

In order to have a fighting chance past the laning phase, we need to know what is our “bottom line”, also known as our losing condition.

Losing Condition

How do we lose in the lane? Simple, by not gaining any resources, gold and EXP, during the laning. This means that by getting EXP during the laning phase, even though you are not winning but at least you are “not losing” the lane.

This applies to the enemies as well. Even if they die multiple times but end up getting EXP out of the lane, they are “not losing” because they managed to get some resources. That is why they can still keep up in the game despite the deaths in the laning phase.

Getting the Most Out of the Lane

With this in mind, here are three tips to help secure the lane:

    • Control the Creep Wave
      Make sure you keep your creep waves nearer to your tower. This way enemies will think twice before approaching the creeps. After killing your enemies, remember to pull back the creep waves.
    • Practice Creep-Pulling
      If you are playing at the side lanes, pulling neutral creeps (NC) is a good way to quickly pull the creep waves. However, if you miss the timing, you might end up pushing the waves instead! Practice pulling from both NC camps and not forgetting the double-pull.
    • Make Use of Creep Aggro
      When playing against a strong lane, try using creep aggro to attract creeps to yourself. This gives you a chance to get creeps nearer to you while resetting the creep wave equilibrium.

Remember to focus and prioritise on the resources your heroes need while keeping in mind the losing condition. With this, go ahead and win some lanes!

Why Last Hit Matters for Every DOTA 2 Player

Why Last Hit Matters for Every DOTA 2 Players

In a game of DOTA 2, getting resources is very important. How fast we get the resources determines our strength over the enemies and ultimately leading to our victory.

There are many ways to gain resources, but it all boils down to one key mechanic: last hitting. That is why in the first session of our DOTA 2 Back to Basics Online Coaching, we went in-depth with last hitting, explaining:

      • how it works,
      • why it is important,
      • and practical ways to improve this fundamental skill.

Last-hitting is so important that we have decided to share some tips here.

What is Last Hitting?

For those who might be new to the game, last hitting is the key in-game mechanic when the hero receives the gold bounty from dealing the finishing blow to enemy creeps. Specifically in DOTA, you are allowed to "last-hit" ally creeps, also known as deny. Deny is important as it denies the enemies from the bounty, hence its name, and provides you with 20% of the bounty starting from the 7.20 game patch.

Why is Last Hitting Important?

At the start of the game, every hero is at its weakest, with minimal damage and "expensive" skills - they cost mana and have a cooldown. This means you have to rely on your "right-click" last hits to gain resources. Once you have significant higher damage compared to your enemies, you can get the last hits/denies more easily while posing as a threat to your enemies in the same lane.

Case reversal, if you are weaker in last-hitting: your enemies will outlevel and overpower you at the start. This forces you to either leave the lane or wait for an opportunity to last hit as there is no way for you to trade hits or compete for last hits. This is the position you would want your enemies to be.

Even if you have a hero with skills of high damage, low mana cost and low cool down (for example, Zeus' Arc Lightning), you are not going to secure any gold without knowing how to last hit with your skill. Worse still, if you are unable to get the last hit, this provides the enemy with a higher chance to deny you.

Last Hitting and Support

Last hitting is also important for supports. Many have the misconception that since you would not be touching creeps in lanes, it is not important to last hit well. Actually it is precisely this reason why you need to last hit even better.

A support needs more resources because a huge percentage of your gold does not go to stats e.g. Smoke of Deceit, Sentry Wards and early Tango for mid-laners. You cannot be a threat to the enemy if you remain weak. It is even more disadvantaged if you become a potential victim. Finding resources is challenging, as all lanes are dedicated to your cores while you are unlikely to be strong enough to jungle on your own. That is why you cannot afford to miss opportunities such as:

      • last hitting Neutral Creeps (NCs) after you have pulled the creeps,
      • denying/hitting the creeps that your core/enemy is going to miss,
      • and when there is an opportunity to stand in the lane while waiting for your cores to return.

Remember every creep counts, such as getting your boots as early as possible. Buying team items such as Sentry Wards and ganking for the team should not be your excuse to be under-farmed.

Common Problems Faced and How to Handle Them

      1. Inconsistent Last Hits
        It is advisable to warm up in a lobby before finding a game to make sure you get used to the hero. You want your last hitting to be accurate and instinctive.
      2. Distracted by the Last Hits You Have Missed
        Remind yourself that everybody misses last hits, including the pros. In every game, it is always important to focus on what to do next rather than the mistakes that just happen. Last-hitting helps to train our focus, which will affect how you play the game as well.
      3. Facing Opponents Who Can Last Hit Better Than You
        To improve, it is important to practice last-hitting with the heroes that you are going to use. Different heroes have different base damage and last hit timings due to their attack animation. For a start, you can practice in a lobby with heroes who have low base damage and slow attack animation as this requires you to plan your last hits carefully. Allow yourself to only use 1 hit on each creep to practice your accuracy. If practicing alone in the lobby is boring, find a friend to practice last hitting/denying with you in a 1v1 lobby.

Apply what you have learnt about last-hitting and see your games improve!

DOTA2 Back to Basics Online Coaching April-May 2020

DOTA2 Back to Basics Apr-May20

Simple yet Powerful Lessons to Improve Your Gameplay

DOTA 2 is a complex game, and the constant changes just makes the game even harder. That is why we have designed this Back to Basics course to strengthen your core understanding of the game so that you can develop skills that transcends through the patches.

In each 45min-session done in lecture style, we will explain each topic and there are simple exercises that you can do on your own to start your journey to be a stronger player!

Below are the topics that each of the 8 sessions will cover:

    1. What is DOTA - 7 April 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • Why resources matter and the real reason why last hit matters
      • How to master last-hitting like a pro?
    2. Lane Management14 April 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • How does winning the game by “losing” the lane work?
      • How to own your opponents in lane?
    3. Hero (Part 1) - 21 April 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • What heroes should I play to win games?
      • How to start winning games with your favourite hero?
    4. Hero (Part 2) - 28 April 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • How do I win in a losing matchup?
      • Learn the art of making a comeback in losing games!
    5. Power Spike - 5 May 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • Why does timing of items matter and what does all the numbers in the stats mean?
      • How does snowballing works and how to be ahead in the game?
    6. Drafting - 12 May 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • How can drafting make the game easier for you
      • Why does my enemy always have a better draft? Discover the secrets to the foundation of drafting in this session.
    7. Roles - 19 May 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • What should I be doing based on my roles and team strategy
      • Farm? Gank? Plant wards!? Don’t get confused and find out what you need to do to win games in DOTA 2.
    8. Analysing games - 26 May 2020, Tues 7pm-7.45pm Singapore time
      • How does the MMR System affect my games and how to use the scoreboard
      • Trying to get out of the MMR trench? Wondering why you’re losing games despite a great KDA? Come join us in this last session to learn how to beat the MMR system and transform your red day to green days!
Each session at S$10.
All 8 sessions at S$70.

DOTA 2 Back To Basics Additional Tutorials Available at S$50/Session

Not sure why you’re unable to apply the concepts learnt during lectures? Show your replays* during tutorial and we will review mistakes and provide tips** on how you can perform better. Learning can be lonely, so join with the other students and get the chance to learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses! It is capped at 4 students per session, making sure that you get the most out of each tutorial.

*Replays are based on the exercises mentioned at the end of the respective lectures. The exercises will also be emailed to you after the respective lectures, so do check your junk mail in case it gets there.
**Review and tips will be scoped based on that week’s topic

To enhance your learning experience, you can sign up for tutorials! Tutorial sessions are available on Thursdays (2 days after the lecture) 7pm-8pm. At every 1-hour session, each participant will be provided 15 minutes to go through their replay. During the 15 minutes, the coach will review your replay and:

      • Identify key mistakes
      • Provide explanation on how it can cost your game
      • Suggest practical exercises to overcome your weaknesses

It is recommended that the participant attend the lecture before joining the tutorial.

Things to Note for Tutorial:

      • This tutorial is NOT an open Q&A session!
      • Attendance will be taken during each session. Only 1 attendee for each email address registered.
      • No refund and transfer are allowed once payment is made.
      • The 15 minutes provided to each participant includes setup. Please be ready with your replay or your time will be allocated to the other participants.
      • Please be prepared with your replays during the tutorial. You are required to share your screen with the replay (video or via in-game client).
      • If you turn up unprepared with your replay, your 15 minutes will be allocated to the other participants. E.g. 1 participant didn’t provide a replay. The remaining participants get 5 minutes extra to go through their replays.

ABOUT THE COACH: Ruth “Potatofluff” Lim

Ruth is on staff with SOOS OIO as an Esports Coach and co-developed TeleTrip, an offline gaming community event. She conducts DOTA 2 foundational classes and workshops for Esports Academy under SCOGA and also teaches the module “Team Management” in Informatics Diploma for Esports and Game Design.

Ruth Lim coached a competitive DOTA 2 team TenTwenty in 2017 that won CPL Championship DOTA 2 Edition 2017, came in 1st in Dew Challenge 2017 and represented Singapore in Asia Pacific Predator League in 2018. Ruth managed Team Impunity FIFA Online 3 who got 3rd in EA Champions Cup (EACC) Winter Cup 2016 representing Singapore. In 2017, she coached Team Impunity FIFA Online 3.

Ruth graduated from Temasek Polytechnic with Diploma in Games & Entertainment Technology and SIT-University of Glasgow in Bachelors of Science with Honours in Computing Science. She also holds a CoachSG coaching certificate.

Well recognized in the DOTA 2 community, Ruth attended numerous international gaming tournaments, got to know and learnt from many of the top players worldwide. Ruth hopes to share her knowledge and experience to gamers in Singapore and beyond.

Registration Form

Password must be at least 7 characters long.
Password must be at least 7 characters long.
Please select the respective Lectures that you will like to sign up for. Payment will be made through PayPal at the submission of this form. No refunds will be provided upon confirmation.
Please select the respective Tutorials that you will like to sign up for. Payment will be made through PayPal at the submission of this form. No refunds will be provided upon confirmation.


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