Dota 2 Lane Control and Macro Survival Guide

Dota 2 Lane Control and Macro Survival Guide by Mr. HaM

It is always easy to find a nice guide regarding mechanics and/or particular hero but most crucial things, regarding DotA, are so rarely spoken of.

I’ve managed to find some parts of random guides over the internet which I’ve been reading like 6-7 years ago and by adding a few sentences here and there plus the complete revision (which took several hours lol) – I did publish it as it is without taking any credits.

Lane Control

Let me get this straight so that each and everyone of you that are reading this could understand. If you don’t do last hitting on the creeps, you’re not playing DotA at all. Last hitting plays the biggest role in deciding which side has more lane control.

Last hitting can do a lot more than just getting gold and denying experience – it is also used to prevent ganks. It’s very common nowadays to see people blaming their teammates just because they fail to report missing heroes well guess what? Instead of relying on your teammate and blaming them, you should just practice your last hitting and lane control.

To really last hit well and produce positive result, there are two parts that you should really have to master and understand. The first one is the micro (micromanagement) aspect and the other one is the macro (macromanagement) aspect. Micro simply means how well you control your hero. For example, how good you are with your keyboard and mouse while the macro aspect focus more on the bigger picture.

Micro of Last Hit

I know most of you know how to last hit but for those of you who don’t, practice makes perfect. Read some aggro guides like

for mid or other random guide for side lane where you will find, for example, how to farm with 2x melee heroes vs 2x range heroes and similar – in this case and for easier farm, you’ll pull creeps closer to you by getting into aggro range of enemy creeps, clicking „A“ + right clicking on enemy hero then going fast b. Just an example.

Macro of Last Hit

This technique or theory is called the Yin & Yang factor.

The creep wave in DotA is well balanced with both sides having the same number of creeps and having the similiar attack speed and attack damage. Now the theory here is that if you don’t request your hero to deal any damage to the enemy wave, the place where the creeps from both side meet will always be the same.

If your hero takes one hit on the creep, the balance of the creep waves are disturbed. So basically, in order to restore the balance and make the creep waves stay in a constant place, for each of the hit that you deal with the enemy creep, you have to deal the same amount of damage back to your creep. It’s a simple concept of ‘give and take’.

Consistency plays a major role in this advance last hitting technique. So whenever you’re last hitting, it is better that you train yourself to last hit with only ONE hit on each creep and not two nor three hits, due to the fact that allied creep can only be denied when their HP are lower than half. That way, it would be easier for you to control the balance.

With this knowledge in mind, you can manipulate and make the creep waves to meet whenever you want. That will help you a lot in staying in a lane farming from a very safe distance that will keep you from being ganked – click play in the next video and scroll to 3:55 time mark to see Yin & Yang theory in action.

There will be times when your enemy will stay in the forest waiting for you to push futher so that he could gank you but guess what, that will never happen and every second he wastes that way, the more time you will buy for you and your team to progress toward victory.

Besides that, you can also counter-push your creep back to your towers. It is something called ‘lane deny’. Basically it’s just denying your creeps whenever they’re at half HP, just to maximize the deny output. That is, pushing the balance to your side.

Another techique is known as creep pulling / stacking but I will not go into further details with this because you’re already familiar with it (to stack, hit neutral at 53 then run the other way). There a lots of guides regarding this, read them. Don’t be lazy, look at us – we are writing guides for you, dear reader :)

Minimap & Map-Awareness

The minimap is by far the most famous tool in DotA. It tells you everything you need to know about the happenings of the map. It tells you the the enemy’s location and it helps you time your attacks, etc.

It is very common in DotA that the player whine whenever they are killed by a missing hero whom his teammate fail to report earlier. Well most of them just fail to make use of the minimap. All of this wouldn’t have happen if the player checked his minimap constantly. By ‘constantly’ I mean every few seconds.

Now, maybe, you may think it is not of a big deal but the more the practice, the more u’ll look at mini map constantly and at the regular intervals – no matter is it early / mid / late game – and you’ll always have map awereness. For example, to know when your team is grouping up so you can act in time (joining them if you are able to).

* Always practice Last Hitting
* Be consistance when last hitting. Always remember the ‘Give and Take’ concept, the ‘Yin and Yang’ factor – one hit for one
* Always check your minimap for missing hero everytime a new creep wave comes out which occurs every 30 seconds: 01 and 31
* Join team fights if able
* Stay alive

Macro Survival

Now that you know how to manage a lane, it’s time to learn how to survive and not getting killed. Now, we will cover the concept of surviving and how to avoid from feeding.

A Game Of Clicking

As ridiculous as this might sound, DotA is basically just a game of selecting and clicking. So basically, to survive – just avoid being selected! Now when we talk about being targeted, we talk about focus fire.

We could write here about lane positioning (especialy in a three lane setup) but let’s try to make it simple as possible and let you ponder about that particular setup while watching this video:

Armed with new knowledge (importance of positioning), keep the next thought in your head about big teamfights.

It’s almost always more important to stay in the fight at it’s origin than to run off alone to chase a fleeing enemy.

Helping your allies stay safe and finish off the heroes they are all focusing on is almost always a better idea than running away hunting low hp heroes, as it keeps your team collectively stronger and safer, as well as doing the same for yourself.

We have seen a nice self control (in the contrary to the obsession) in the video above but let’s talk about greed now for a moment in the next section.


Lots of the deaths in the Normal / High Pool of DotA was caused the by player himself. It is part of human nature, be it in life or in DotA, it is hard for people to let go, even the smallest stuffs.

In other words, you are allowing the enemy to be able to kill you. For example, it really sucks to see a red HP enemy hero running away from you but what sucks even more is chasing him and dying along the way.

We are our own worst enemy and greed is something we have to overcome at the end of the day, not the enemy that got away.

Always remember that your death isn’t worth a kill, especially if you had already outleveled everyone. If your enemy got away, let it be because he has to waste his time going back to base and regen. Make that a consolation.

Learn how to let go because if you don’t, obsession is what comes right after. And if you’re not able to shake out of it, that can really screw up your entire match.

* DotA is just a game of selecting and clicking
* Find out the reason why you’re being targeted and overcome it (stay low if you’re support)
* Disturb/taunt your enemy if they like to focus you and use that to your team advantage
* Know when it is safe for you to enter the battle followed with a plan where to hide if needed
* Always carry a teleport scroll with you
* We are our own worst enemy
* Learn how to let things go
* A death is not worth a kill
* Always plan your attacks, set your limits and have rules of engagement
* Never ever disobey your own rules of engagement

Thank you for reading,

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