Looking for tips in Dota 2? This is a comprehensive guide to playing a Mid Lane character in the MOBA title.

There’s a lot of pressure for mid lane players in Dota 2. For one thing, there are no teammates to rely on there, so any mistakes and misplays are magnified. Unfavorable hero match-ups can feel borderline unplayable as you’ll need to endure and survive through a difficult landing phase. If that’s not enough, these players are the expected mid-game playmakers of the game, as successful rotations can snowball into a fast victory.

It’s a high-stakes and punishing environment where players need to step up their game. But those who embrace the challenge can lead the team and set an aggressive pace that causes enemies to feel threatened in their own jungle. There are many nuances to squeeze out minor advantages in the mid lane, but there’s a short guide to get you thinking about essential mid lane concepts in Dota 2.

Maintain Lane Equilibrium

Maintaining favorable lane equilibrium is a fundamental aspect of controlling any lane in Dota 2, but this skill is crucial for mid laners. The ideal lane equilibrium should have the creep wave fighting near or on top of your high ground without drawing tower aggro. There are dozens of concepts to cover fixing lane equilibrium, such as creep blocking, denying, and dragging them back with aggro. But in general, playing close to the tower creates a safe zone while allowing you to zone out your opponent more effectively.

Most of your time on the mid lane will be locked in a 1v1 duel against another opponent. Depending on the match-up, your goal will either be to get solo kills or survive the early game. There are even matchups where the momentum will shift between each player depending on their levels. For example, Ember Spirit can attempt to take down Huskar in the very early levels, but after that, it becomes a miserable lane for Ember Spirit. Against harder matchups, it’s better to keep the lane shoved right under their tower as you’ll look to make an impact elsewhere.

Shove Creeps to Make Plays

Great mid laners understand the different applications for shoving creeps into the enemy tower. Against a bad lane, you can immediately nuke the wave to push it into their tower, causing the lane to constantly swing and forcing your opponent to farm under their tower. This technique is great against heroes with high harass and poor wave clear, like Sniper.

On the other hand, it also works if you’re on the winning end of the match-up and whittled down your enemy with constant poke damage. You can punish careful players by shoving the creep wave into their tower, pressuring them to go back or risk death. Additionally, you can keep the lane shoved to look for opportunities in the side lanes.

In higher levels of play, the mid player often lends their lane to support, preventing the enemy mid from leaving while also allowing the support to farm. Furthermore, they can delay fast-pushing heroes like Leshrac and Death Prophet, who can easily destroy a tower if left uncontested.

Runes and Ganking

The first power rune appears on either side of the river at exactly 6 minutes, repeating every 2 minutes. The mid lane who can grab these runes will pose a threat to the side lanes, especially if they manage to snatch Haste or Invisibility. Unfortunately, there’s a fifty percent chance of where the rune will spawn. A well-placed ward and the help of the supports allow the mid lane to secure the power rune more effectively. Ideally, the mid lane and support should split up to cover both spawn points, but if the enemy mid lane is comfortable to take the duel, it’s better to double-up and hope luck is on your side.

Many traditional mid laners have the most impact after the landing stage ends. Heroes like Queen of Pain, Void Spirit, and Invoker put their level advantage to excellent use and should put their power spikes to good use by roaming and ganking. Even if they can’t find a key target, pressuring the side lanes is enough to draw enemies to defend their tower, or else they’ll slowly lose their foothold on the map.