Thread: FJ Presents: The black code

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  1. #1
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    FJ Presents: The black code

    When all you see is darkness, you will never improve.
    When you find the light in the dark, you will finally understand.

    Support me: - Like me <3 - Follow me (LIVE RIGHT NOW!)

    > By liking/following, you a supporting my work. You will also be given updates about me, my life and when my next guides/shows will begin.
    Thank you!


    Hi! My name is FJ, and I am here to show you how to play Heroes of Newerth by the “Black Code”. After years of gameplay, thousands of games, and months of research, I believe the Black Code is ready to be released to the public. This guide has shown me the true beauty behind the game Heroes of Newerth, a beauty I now wish for every person to see.

    Knowledge has been passed on from player to player, and finally – it has all gathered, to be shared by everyone who dares to read it. I fool you not; this read will change your entire view upon the game.
    “The first step to get better, is to realize that you suck” –
    quote NoVa


    This guide is based around my own experience and thoughts, but dozens of players have contributed with their knowledge in order to gather, what is now, the ultimate Heroes of Newerth guide.
    The purpose of this guide is for everyone to learn what they need to know in order to improve. I welcome you to ask all and any questions you may have regarding the guide by sending me an email at - I will make sure to reply back as soon as possible!
    The guide is in no way affected by copyright, and may be shared when and wherever. However, I kindly ask you not to abuse it in any way for your own personal gain.

    Credits to
    :, [fntc]NoVa, S2 Games, everyone who follows The Black Code –these guys are the true champions of Heroes of Newerth. They keep this game alive!

    Please note: This guide is certainly a long read, and some content may be more suitable for some than others. I kindly recommend you to stick with the content that is suited for your skill level, and then work your way upwards. Attempting advanced techniques before the right time is not advisable.
    Use the [waypoints] shown in the table of content below to help navigate through this guide.

    Green color: Content suited for beginners and novices (below 1600)
    Orange color: Content suited for average players (above 1600)
    Purple color: Content suited for skilled players (above 1700)
    Red color: Content suited for high skilled players (above 1800)

    Brief updates:
    Thank you so much for all of your positive feedback. It is very much appreciated.
    - I will be updating the black code as much as i can- and have time to do so.

    > All of your suggestions for improvements will be read and considered. :-) <3

    For those of you who just lost a game with a bad beat:

    Last edited by FJ; 08-03-2012 at 04:10 AM.

  2. #2
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    1- Matchmaking
    .. [1.1] – The queuing phase
    .. [1.2] – Game found, picking phase
    .. [1.3] – Getting the right mid-hero
    .. [1.4] – Handling your team
    2- Inside the Game
    .. [2.1] –Laning phase tips
    .. [2.2] – Making the right decisions
    3- Hero roles
    .. [3.1] - The midplayer
    .... Accepting your opponents.
    .... Runecontrol
    .... When to gank / push?
    .... When dual-laning mid
    [3.2] - The carry
    .... Farming.
    .... The right items.
    .. [3.3] – The support
    .. [3.4] - The initiator
    [3.4.1] – Counter initiating
    .. [3.5] - The suicide lane – only recommended for +1700 players
    4- Drafting, strategy and synergy (Competitive play)
    .. [4.1] – The metagame
    .... The push:
    .... The +1 -> Push
    ... [4.1.1] - Different types of lineups
    .... The push (non-cooldown)
    .... The push (cooldown based)
    .... The ganker
    .... The initiator
    .. [4.2] - Drafting
    .. [4.3] – Team coordination
    5- Mindplays for masters
    .. [5.1] - The big ones / draft ones
    .. [5.2] – Bait scenarios
    .. [5.3] – The smaller ones
    6- General tips and tricks (my favorites)
    .. [6.1] - Heroes of Newerth in general
    .. [6.2] – Matchmaking
    .. [6.3] – Ingame
    .. [6.4] – Heroes / roles
    .. [6.5] – Items / abilities
    ... [6.5.1] – Itemchoices for a carry
    7- Inspiration & Sources
    .. [7.2] - Links.
    .. [7.3] Theorycrafts:
    8- FAQ – Frequently asked questions.
    Last edited by FJ; 03-28-2012 at 04:36 AM.

  3. #3
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    1- Matchmaking

    [1.1] – The queuing phase
    Before you start a game, there are certain things you should consider before queuing up.

    I highly recommend playing with friends. If you do not have any, make some! When you’re playing, take note of the players you enjoy having on your team, and ask them to play with you again. Heroes of Newerth is meant to be enjoyed in company of comrades (that’s why it’s called Team Match Making!)It makes the game much more amusing. Having friends in-gamemakes communication easier and very often encourages you to play better, longer and harder.

    Modes – Generally only applies to soloqueuing

    • All pick (AP): Avoid it. There are three kinds of people here: smurfs, stacks, leavers and ragers. You don’t want to face either. No-matter what rating, everyone will find themselves a champion here, until they realize their setup being completely horrid, due to +3 players wanting mid and two junglers.– However, really good for beginners in order to perfect certain heroes.

    • Single draft (SD): Random mode, drafting is usually pretty random here, and there is no knowing what your opponent might have. Unless you’re trying to force yourself into playing unfamiliar heroes, this mode is not for you.

    • Banning draft- or pick (BD/BP): These are the serious modes, modes you should generally have thumbed up. With a little help from the black code, this mode will be your new way to victory. People will usually be interested in having great drafts and interesting games here. If you are interested in real games, go with this mode.

    • All random (AR): This mode is also known as “manmode”, due to the fact that you do not choose a hero – the hero chooses you. A real boss can master any hero, though I have yet to see a player do that.


    [1.2] – Game found, picking phase
    From personal experience and experience from some of the top players in the game,I have created a foolproof system that will work in every game you play. By picking the correct heroes with the right players, you can ensure a good and quality game. This should be commonly known to every single matchmaking-player in the world.

    Player #1: Sololane - The most important lane should obviously go to the highest rated player.

    Player #2: Carry - Usually fragile, requires a skilled hand to execute properly.

    Player #3: Support - Usually the hardest to play while avoiding being useless.

    Player #4: Initiator / roamer / support – depending on what the last (usually the unreliable) guy picks.

    Player #5: STR-based hero – OJ will very often get caught out of position, and strength-heroes rarely die easily, are usually fairly easy to play.

    Note: Do not get a jungler unless your team all agrees with it. If you pick a jungler without consulting your team first, You will most likely end up with a lane or two that doesn’t work (two melee in the long lane, for instance).
    For semi-skilled players
    : A jungler allows the long lane enemies to roam, meaning your midplayer will most likely lose his lane due to ganks. Unless your only support player is really on the ball, you will end up lacking wards / upgraded courier.

    Note: If your teammate is acting like a complete morron, and will not listen to reason- you're honestly better off my just dealing with it. The typical "Deadwood + Soulstealer"-dual lane mid usually loses, due to both being underleveled and farmed. Just take the punch and deal with it.


    [1.3] – Getting the right mid-hero
    Through my journey, I have made a list of heroes Ibelieve are best in certain brackets, basically meaning that some heroes simply have a definite advantage in some brackets compared to others. Whether you choose to go for STR; AGI; INT – Ranged or melee, is entirely up to you. What I want you to consider, however – is what base damage/armor type you are up against. It is really difficult to win the lane as a ranged agility hero, versus a melee type, seeing as you will get the natural disadvantage due to the base damage. Harassment works, but the fact is that very often he will just go with the standard 250+225+90-build, leaving you with a low amount of last hits, till he will get his bottle – and from here on be very difficult to harass.


    In the attempt not to offend anyone; these heroes are pretty easy to play, and will punish anyone who gets caught out of position, which happens a lot at this bracket. Your teamfight-potential is not great, but honestly; these games barely comes down to that anyway.

    I highly recommend: At this bracket, try to learn a small set of heroes, and excel at them- don't try to know all heroes already.

    These heroes are very reliant on your enemies positioning and poor choice of items. In this rating, you will very often find people wandering around without their team, providing excellent opportunities for ganks. Furthermore, this bracket does not usually have wards, which makes the game a lot easier when playing these heroes. On top of all this, these heroes are very easy to play.

    1600 – 1700
    These heroes are all very strong midlaners and will usually pick up a lot of farm. Once again, this rating usually calls for poor warding and enemies that don’t stick together. On top of this, playing the melee hero on this rating, gives you a natural advantage due to last-hitting. Harassment is at a minimum, even if your opponent is ranged.


    These heroes providea lot in teamfights, and can single handedly turn any fight around at very early levels. Carrying a TP works wonders here, in case your lanes are being ganked. If your opponents decide to dual lane mid, these heroes are also quite capable of handling the lane.

    : Weak against dual-lanes, but some of the strongest 1V1’ers on the board. They are both excellent pushers, and rarely seen defeated in the middle.

    Dual lane mid: The flavor of the current meta-game. You should pick a hero that has easy access to last hits, and have a supporter with a long range. (Glacius/Nymphora/Monarch are ideal for midlaning due to long range and their offensive abilities. Make sure you grab every rune if you’re dual laning mid!
    Preferred dual lane heroes: . (High basedmg and survivability. The slightest bit of freefarm makes these heroes very useful)


    – or Dual lane mid (see above)

    The heroes mentioned above will never lose their lane if both players are of equal skill level. They will always come on top in a 1V1, and will very nicely push the lane afterwards. These heroes are my favorite, seeing as pushing is what the current meta-game loves. Another thing about Torturer is that he works really well when he is accompanied by stunners. He is excellent when it comes to someone trying to gank mid. (If you have trouble, dual-laning mid with a hero like Magmus is easily done, and as soon as you have the edge again – Magmus can just stride out again)

    Preferred dual-lane STR heroes: See above (1700-1800)


    [1.4] – Handling your team
    I have never met a player who claims to be lucky when it comes to getting good or great teammates. Everyone has a story; most people have dozens about how plagued their games have been by teammates who appear to be complete mongoloids.
    However, it is very rare for a player to join a game with the main purpose of losing, though I don’t dare say it never happens. If it does, be sure to report him using the “RAP”-function after the game is over (located in the left hand corner of your HoN screen). Back onto the subject at hand; there are no players who start a game by hating his or her teammates. If players begin to rage it is simply a defense-mechanism used by many of those who have simply have no other ideas on how to handle the situation.

    Here's a few examples and solutions to try and counter their negativisms:

    “I’m mid! STFU!” (The mid guy): This situation is very common, and the best thing you can do is to kindly ask him to let you mid, while ensuring him you won’t lose the lane nor forget about ganking the sidelanes. If you’re man enough for it, the best thing you can do is to put your faith in him with encouraging words, and ensure that he has wards to provide rune vision. He will most likely forget all about being rude, and start being a useful asset to the team instead. (Note: These guys are usually rage quitters if they lose, mainly because they lose their pride. Ganking once or twice for them usually helps a lot!)

    “Hahaha, u mad bro?” (The troll): Trolls are here to annoy you. The more you rage at their idiocy,the happier and more ‘trollful’ they will become. The only approach to this is to be friendly: “Look mate, we all want to enjoy this game, so if there’s anything I can do to make you stop grieving, please tell.” – In almost all situtations, being respectful helps. Don’t forget that trolls are just angry, attention-seeking children. Being the grown up in the situation usually disarms them. If this doesn’t work and if they are literally ruiningthe game and annoying, just ignore them and report them afterwards. Remember to put a lot of work into your report, with timestamps and proper explanation- otherwise it’ll be a waste of time. Trolling and griefing is not allowed.

    ”I’m done. AFK, HF!” (The sad guy): When people say this, they are actually not trying to gameruin. They are simply trying to get attention to an issue. A guy will usually say this after a teamfight, or him getting caught off in a bad spot. However, a guy who says this usually really wants to win. The best way to avoid him going AFK, and ensure him playing better – is to approach him with proper respect. “Hey mate, I’m sorry that happened. Perhaps I should’ve warded or been there for you. However, the game is not over. If I ward for you, would you mind following the rest of us once?”

    - The most important thing to note here is that people will respect you if you respect them.

    Last edited by FJ; 03-26-2012 at 07:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    2- Inside the Game

    [2.1] –Laning phase tips
    The game has now begun, and it’s time for you to shine. How? – Read on!


    • Supporters should always either upgrade courier, or buy 2x wards.
    • Regeneration is needed in all laning situations. Always get 1x Runes of Blight and 1x Health pot – unless you’re running with Iron Buckler/Hatchet or using a special strategy.
    • There are three lanes; The safe, the long and the middle. – The safe lane is always the lane where the creeps will be closest to your allied tower, meaning it’s East (bot) for Legion, and West (top) for Hellbourne.
    • A good lane consists of one ranged hero for harassing purposes and one stunner for defensive or offensive purposes.

    Beginner tips:

    • Priority: Carries always have priority on lasthits. This goes for both creepkills and herokills. If you’re a support hero, don’t try to take their lasthits!
    • Autohitting: Never ever autohit. This means, you do not automatically attack creeps. Use “H” to avoid it, or move around a lot.Lasthitting is key to carries.
    • Denying: Denying creeps is a huge asset to your lane, as it drags the creepwave into a better position to last hit and reduces the amount of experienceenemy’s gain.
    • Harrasing: If you’re ranged, harassing your enemy will make it much easier for you guys to keep control of the lane. If they’re low on hp, they won’t be able to go on you.
    • When harassing: When harassing, do not get behind the enemies creepwave, as that will leave you vulnerable.
    • Ensuring lasthits: With very few exceptions, melee heroes that need farm in order to carry should almost always purchase a Loggers Hatchet, unless your base-damage is high enough that you’re sure you can lasthit with ease.

    Intermediate tips:

    • Keep your distance: Attacking enemies while standing close to creeps will draw creep agro, resulting in the creeps attacking you – this very often leaves you taking more damage than you inflict onto your enemy. (Avoid getting attacked by the creeps, and avoid dragging creeps to the tower)
    • Pulling creeps: The neutral-camp that is closest to your tower can be pulled’ in order to draw your lane close to the tower. Your lane creeps will begin attacking the neutral creeps if you pull at the right time. Creeps can be pulled at X: 16 and X: 46.
    • Never pull without first stacking the neutral camp. (You stack by pulling creeps away from their original spot at X:53-X:54) – By double stacking the camp, your creeps will all die from the neutrals, denying a whole wave of creeps from your enemies. If you don’t stack, the creeps will just be delayed and eventually meet together with your next wave of creeps meaning you will have eight to nine creeps at once next wave. This pushes the lane away from your tower, which you don’t want. – Unless you are attempting to push.

    1. The most vulnerable or least level-dependent hero should be the one pulling (supports), as that leaves the other hero in your lane with soloexperience. Do not pull if your enemies can kill your teammate while you’re gone.
    2. Don’t pull unless your lane is pushed out. Pulling when enemy creeps are already at your tower serves no purpose.

    • Manapooling: Do not save your mana if you have mana regen items. There’s no reason to pool up mana unless you and your buddy are looking to kill the enemy hero soon. Having a full mana pool for 5 minutes is a waste of spells.
    • When to lasthit: As a melee-hero, try to avoid getting close to creeps until the last possible second to avoid harassment.
    • Itemchoices: There are certain items which can make laning a lot easier:

    1. VS Burst magic damage: items that increase your HP poolare recommended: +6 STR, Mystic Vestment, Fortified Bracers, minor totems (build up into mana battery)
    2. VS magic harrasers: Mana Battery / Runes of Blight – the items are cheap, and very useful.
    3. VS Ranged harrasers: Iron Buckler / Ring of Protection (Turn into Ring of Teacher)

    • Blocking neutralcamp: There are a few ways to block the enemies’ pull-camp. Blocking it, means preventing neutral creeps from spawning – so the enemies will not be able to pull it. You block it by having an object granting vision placed within a few yards around the spawn-point. Wards are ideal, but Emerald Warden’s Traps, Scout’s Eyes and Pharaoh’s Rockets can also be used. (Every spell that gives sight)

    Advanced tips:

    • Ganking: If you’re on long lane, and you’re winning the lane greatly, don’t believe the game is won. If your lanepartner is able to survive, it may be a wise choice for you to gank mid. (Only do this, if your lanepartner won’t lose all his farm/lanecontrol)
    • Towerfarming: If your creeps are in towerrange, it becomes difficult to lasthit. Unless your damage is exceptionally high, you need to attack any creep once, while letting the tower tick it down until you’re in lasthit range. Logger’s Hatchet + Autohit can also help you here. A good advice would also be to pull creeps behind tower / tank it away from towerrange, as it will push the lane.Catapults / Ballistas take 3x towerhits if no one else attacks it.
    • Doublepulling: There are ways to pull which doesn’t require stacking, and are usually only wardcountered on Legion side ; this is difficult, and requires practice:

    1. Legion: When you pull the camp, you can Logger’s hatchet/eat the trees behind the camp, and then pull yet another set of creeps. Do this when the original pull is low on hp, so your allied creeps won’t start running back to lane.
    2. Hellbourne: As Hellbourne, you go with a different approach – you can either pull the camp from camp > lane by pulling at: 24/:54, or you can simply pull them when, as described above, the original creeps are low.

    • Initiating: You only want to initiate, if it’s worth it. Kinda obvious, isn’t it? However, when you initiate, you want to initiate on the hero that is mostly out of position, or the easiest target. This is very often the support, seeing as he will not have as many lasthits as the carry. The support will also attempt to harass. The most ideal situation for you to initiate, is when this is the case:

    1. He or his partner has used their spells recently or is out of mana.
    2. Your target is out of position, making the hero an easy kill.
    3. You have “just” leveled, making your skills stronger than your opponents.
    4. Enemies creep wave has just died, meaning your creeps will attack your opponents.
    5. Your :ManaBattery: is full, or you have an hp-advantage.
    6. Remember – never initiate on them if they have a big creepadvantage, unless absolutely necessary. (Also, do not attack with regular attacks if creeps are nearby, this will aggro them)
    Master tips:

    • EXP Priority: There are certain heroes, who benefits way more from experience than others. It is wise to assume, that these heroes should be left alone, and the lanepartner stay out of exp-range. This usually goes for carries that rely on abilities. The exp prio hero should only be left alone, if he can handle it. (EG Creeps near tower, or opponents far away / low level)

    • NEED EXP: Voodoo Jester, Witch Slayer, Nymphora (Scale well with levels)
    • NO NEED EXP:Behemoth, Andromeda, Hammerstorm (Levels matters less, due to stun being reliable either way)

    • Pulling the lane: If the lane is lost, or you’re at a disadvantage, it could be very wise to pull the lane. This is very risky, and requires both you and your partner to be on your toes. You basically pull the enemies creepwave behind their tower, before they meet your wave, and then drag them into a point where you feel comfortable. This will make the lane pushed back towards you, since your wave will usually go directly into the tower. Opponents usually react by following their own creepwave, so if you survive it, they will have lost exp from your wave going into their tower. (Big profit) Another useful point to this, could be that a hero like Behemoth is very neatly able to block enemies from getting experience time after time. This can be done on several points, and im not going to teach you how – since im very much against doing it. However, it is possible, and you’ll simply have to try it out for yourself.

    • The bird move: With a flying courier, you can wait for the creeps to spawn – any time is possible, but it is primarily meant for the first creepwave - when it spawns, you use the courier to agro the creeps, and pull them a bit away from the lane. If they get too close, use the “W” Invulnerability shield. This will make your creeps get into towerrange before meeting enemies, resulting in a very pushed lane.

    • The booboo move: As mentioned above in “Pulling the lane”, you can aggro the creepwave and pull them to wherever you like. This is very neatly done with Booboo, seeing as he is fast, beefy and will not get killed easily. – Same result as above, and also you can control lasthits.

    • Overpushing: If you're completly unable to gain lanecontrol, you can force the enemy to push. This happens if you push your creeps into the enemies' tower, resulting in them pushing afterwards. How do you do this?

    1. You can singlepull a camp (pull without stacking) - this will cause your lane to push a lot, due to you having 2x creepwaves at once, and your enemies' creeps will be in towerrange.
    2. You use spells to clear the enemies' wave, or simply autohit into a push.
    > This is a very useful move, and will provide you with the needed experience. However, your enemies won't get any experience or gold denied this way, and it can be countered by simply pushing against your push.


    [2.2] – Making the right decisions
    Now, this is where it gets tricky. The laning phase is soon to be over, and now you’re looking to get the edge, or even win the game. The first thing you need to do is to ask yourself:

    1. What does my setup lean towards?
    2. What does the enemies’ setup lean towards?
    3. Do I have the advantage? If not, how do I get it? (Perhaps turtling is the only choice)

    It is very important not to misjudge your situation. Here are some very common scenarios:

    Scenario #1 - Pushstrats: Your enemies are looking to push, their setup is very good for that. However, you have the lategame. What do you do?

    • Wards needs to be on defensive, seeing as they will most likely either push or gank and then push. (Lanewards primarily!) – You may have to reconsider if they have a mixture of gankers and pushers.
    • Your teammates need to have TP’s available at any time, so towers can be defended. Pushstrats only works, if you get bunches of towers and goldadvantage.
    • Pushstrats works in two ways; either the entire team pushes, or you split it. Either way, you need to be realistic about the situation – you don’t 5man-TP, if they still have someone pushing another lane.
    • Pushstrats works very well early game, but not late. They usually rely A LOT on physical damage. Armor boots, Ring of Teacher and Bulwark are all very useful items here. Do not be afraid to use AOE-spells to clear waves of minions (versus KOTF / Tempest / Balph)
    • It is very important to note that you CANNOT go for lategame / farmheavy items like Runed Axe, Alchemist Bones or similar. Go for early game items, like Hotbl / Frostburn / Similar.

    In order to get the edge in this game, you need to defend towers. Your opponents will waste a lot of time gathering up and pushing, meaning they will have the level and gold-disadvantage, as long as you manage to defend towers. It is also very important to note, that a single gank can stop their entire team from pushing.

    Scenario #2 – Gankers: Your enemies are ganking all the time. There’s nowhere to farm, and nomatter where you go, you end up dying. What do you do?
    Gankstrats are usually heavily based on burst-damage. Pebbles, Deadwood, Fayde – you know the drill. The point of this strategy is not to go lategame. It is to shut down the core-heroes of the enemies lineup so much, that they will be unable to teamfight. Pubplayers are usually very demotivated while playing against such strats, even though they have the lategame, and will end up conceding before reaching 30th minute.
    However, simple adjustments can counter gankstrats, since many people believe this is the weakest strat against topteams there is.

    • Gankstrats relies on burstdamage. If you make sure to have lots of relevant beefiness. (Armor/HP/Magic armor)
    • Avoid getting farm-items. You won’t be able to either way; the best gankers will attempt to shut down the coreplayers.
    • Wards should split the map ; you should ward around entrances to your lanes / jungle, so for instance, if you are Hellbourne – you would want to ward around midlane, toplane and jungle entrance, so you get the runevision as well.

    1. React to the stage of the game.
    2. Early game: Runewards / Entrancewards
    3. Midgame: Lanewards / Entrancewards
    4. Lategame: Depends on lineup – perhaps it’s your time to gank?
    Stick together, carry TP’s. Gank-lineups are usually very weak in teamfights. They don’t have big stuns or big AE ultimates. That makes them useless in teamfights. So if you decide to go as 5, do it.
    Counterwarding is a big part of playing against gankers. Gankers will usually have wards here:
    o Early game: Runes
    o Midgame: Close to towers for diving, or in jungle
    o Lategame: Jungle / ancients

    - Steamboots > Any other pair. You need the +10 STR.

    Scenario #3 - Turtlers: You have the gold- and leveladvantage. Should we try to get rax?
    Depends on how much advantage you actually have. The easiest way to lose a game, is to allow them to turtle. If you’re that much ahead, there are so many things you can do to ensure your victory.

    • Farm the lanes; if they get out, punish them.
    • Keep their wards down. Bound Eye and map-awareness will handle that.
    • Clean their jungle – get 100% of the map-gold, and give them nothing.
    • Lure them into traps; if 1-2 of them dies, you can get their rax. A good idea is to bait Kongor, and take them as they approach you. (Make sure they don’t have ward’s revealing your trap)
    • Do not overextend. That is the easiest way to lose a game.
    Last edited by FJ; 04-20-2012 at 12:16 PM.

  5. #5
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    3- Hero roles
    One of the biggest parts of playing Heroes of Newerth – is having a proper balance in your team. In order to make a human pyramid work, everyone needs to make his part work. Knowing your role is very important.

    [3.1] - The midplayer
    We’re starting off with what many believes, me included, is the most important role on a team – the midplayer. Back in 2010-2011, many believed that winning mid, meant winning the game. This has changed, due to the metagame being different. The responsibility does not hang on the midplayer himself alone. It is a common misperception to believe the midplayer to be responsible for others lanes lost, but he can be countable for you winning, if played right. It’s a teamgame, so everyone is to blame for losing.
    First of all, stop blaming yourself for losing midlane. **** happens, and the game is not over just because you lose it. There are tons of reasons for doing so, but we’re going to try stopping you from doing so.


    Accepting your opponents
    First of all, you need to think about; what am I up against? What can I do with these items? It’s nearly impossible to make general rules about what items to get. However, I’ll give you guys a bit of advices.

    [you vs enemy]

    Melee vs Ranged Physical: Focus on lasthits / denies - avoid staying close to the creeps for too long. You have the upper hand in damage, so you should get plenty of lasthits.

    Melee vs Ranged Magical: Focus on lasthits – Do not stand close to creeps, seeing as he will use spells to get CK’s. Do not get hit by these spells (get away when creeps are low)Heads up: They will attempt to pre-damage the creeps, so they get low before

    Melee vs Melee STR: Focus on lasthit. (He cannot harras you, meaning you can autohit all you want, and go for only 1x Runes of blight + Logger’s and whatever fits your future build) - Attempt to push when runes are spawning.

    Melee vs Melee AGI: If he has Iron Shield – ignore him. If he doesn’t, keep the pressure up, but again, focus on lasthits – autohit so he gets into tower range. (He cannot lasthit in towerrange, and you can get runes when lane is pushed)

    Ranged Physical vs Ranged Physical: Positioning means everything here. Most importantly, you need to bodyblock creeps, stay uphill. Whenever he goes for a lasthit, make sure to attack him. If the creeps gets pushed too much, you just get semi-close to the range, quickly attack him to draw aggro to the creeps, then quickly pull back. (Check your opponents armor/hp pool/regen/bottle before deciding whether to exchange autoattacks)

    Ranged Physical vs Ranged Magical: Again, positioning – but this time your enemy will most likely push the lane in order to harass you, due to his damage being primarily magical. This means, you will need a bunch of regen, and you will need to avoid dropping low on HP, due to him having burst-damage.

    Ranged Physical vs Melee STR: Do as much as you can to harass whenever he comes into range. It will be difficult getting lasthits, due to his high basedmg. This is why, harassing him works well. (This also pulls the creeps, getting them out of position for him to deny!) – Do not be afraid to use all of your mana early on either, preferably from level 3. The more creeps he gets, he bigger an advantage he gets. (Early bottle on melee will be your doom!)

    Ranged Physical vs Melee AGI: ^ similar to above. No difference honestly, apart from his armor being higher, and damage lower.

    Ranged Magical vs Ranged Physical: Exchange as many autohits as you can. The less regen he has when you get level 3, the better. If you have similar regen at that point, you should be able to outharass him. (If you have AOE-dmg spells, using it to get lasthits + hitting him is really useful)

    Ranged Magical vs Melee STR: This is pretty difficult, seeing how a STR-hero doesn’t need Logger’s in order to get lasthits against you, and can get regen/ early bottle instead. None the less, this situation will be about you putting a bunch of early pressure on him, getting your bottle very early and winning by runecontrol.

    Ranged Magical vs Melee AGI: Harass all you can. Similar to Ranged Physical, an agi-hero who does not have a lot of regen at level 3, will most likely lose the matchup. Punish him for every lasthit he wants!

    Ranged Magical vs Ranged Magical: Similar to Physical V Physical – beware of autoattacks, and attempt not to stand close to creepwaves. Runecontrol is everything in this matchup.81525354 (Bombardier vs Midas)
    If you face a dual lane – you’re all on your own. All you can do is try not to take too much harassment, don’t get out of position, try to get experience and NEVER push the lane. I recommend either laneswapping, asking for support-help or playing very defensively unless you really know what you’re doing.
    Matchid: 82350258 DW vs Pebbles/Nymphora (By NoVa)


    Having runecontrol is very important in any game. A haste or invis can be very fatal the sidelanes, seeing as it will most certainly ensure a successful gank. Similar to how a DD or Illus will ensure lasthits over your opponent, and regeneration speaks for itself.
    You will never be able to out-harass a player with a bottle, who has constant runecontrol. He’ll mirror your damage and regen back the lost HP/MP.
    The best way to keep runecontrol is by doing the following:

    1. Make sure your lane is pushed before the 2nd minute-mark. Clear the enemy creepwave. This way, your opponent will be forced to lose experience / gold, should he attempt to go for the rune.
    2. Ask your teammate to walk towards the opposite rune of what your position lies towards. That way, either you or your teammate will get or guard it.
    3. Keep mobility-increasing tools available; ghost marchers, leap, and blink – things like that.
    4. Use a long-time CC to gain control, this could be a Succubus’ mesmerize or perhaps just a stun.

    Pro tip(for experienced players): If you’re unable to clear the wave with spells, you can use the :30 creepspawn. Walk towards it, and bodyblock it as much as possible. If your opponent does not do the same, you should be able to get the creepwave in tower-range, making the wave die faster, and getting you the edge for the rune.
    - Do not be afraid to ask your teammates to ward. Ask politely. They may just have forgotten it. Ideally, you wanna ask way before the 2nd minute mark, so you don’t miss out the first rune.


    When to gank / push?
    A common midplayer mistake, is to push yourself into a poor situation. You will very often experience your teammates to ask for ganks – sometimes they really need one. However, it is not always ideal for you to do so. If you’re playing a hero which has easy access to getting a tower, it may actually be worth pushing before ganking.

    • Pushheroes: Should be getting levels / tower before ganking. If your opponent leaves the lane, it is the perfect chance for you to score a neat +300 gold for you and your teammates.
    • Gankheroes: Should be focusing on helping the sidelanes. These heroes thrive by levels, and not really by farm.
    • Initiate / utility-heroes: Shouldn’t be focused on getting a bunch of early farm / levels, while still carrying a TP for counter-initiation on sidelanes.

    Note that you shouldn’t leave the lane for anything but a certain double-tap + push, if leaving the lane means your opponent will get tower / go way above you.

    Creeps spawns at: 00and: 30, so if you get a rune at :10, you will most certainly be spotted if you walk straight up behind your enemies, due to the creeps spotting you.

    Note that it is always very situational what you’re supposed to do, and these are simple guidelines you can choose to follow. As mentioned earlier, you should pretty much always gank with a Haste- and possibly invis rune. (Check if the sidelane is pushed or not, before jumping into a gank)


    When dual-laning mid
    In a dual lane, the priority is very similar to sidelanes. However, it is slightly different, seeing as runes will play a big role in the lane. Again, it usually comes down to a bit of luck, as well as communication. It is highly recommendable to call out who’s going for which rune before spawn, so people have time to move.
    While dual-laning in the midlane, you simply have to work together on getting lasthits. The lane creepwave-radius is very short, meaning that unless creeps are uphill, anyone in the midlane can make lasthit attempts. If a lowhp / low-armor hero gets too close to the creepwave, you should always attempt to CC/intiate on him and get as many autoattacks in as possible. It is crucial to seize your chances in high tier games.Heads up: He may be waiting for you to initiate on you, or make a move.

    It is also very important to note that, seeing that midlane is midlane, it is very easy to gank. It has plenty of entrances, and sneaking behind has never been easier. When a team decides to dual lane mid, it usually means they want an active game early on. So watch out for ganks – make sure to have wards defensively, perhaps even at the exit of your own forest – and make sure to call misses asap.

    When facing dual-lanes
    If you're facing a dual lane as a solohero, you are going to have a rough time. However- everything is not lost.

    Mid- and shortlane are the best lanes to be in a 1V2 situation, seeing as it is easier to get lanecontrol and ensure experience.

    When this is happening, there is pretty much only one way to approach this: Take what you can get.
    > If you're facing 1x ranged supporter- make sure you mirror his autohits, so he cannot harass you unpunished. When that happens, that is where you've lost the lane. - only counts if you're ranged yourself though.
    (Remember, supporters usually have way lower armor, less regen and lower level than you, so in a plain 1V1 autohit fight- you should win)

    What you need to take advantage of, is the fact that you will get extra levels. Heroes like can actually pull out tons of damage with a bit of a leveledge. So, be careful- but don't be scared to take your chances against the underleveled support in front of you, if you get it. (EW is especially powerful, due to being able to spam W)

    When being 1V2, do not attempt to get runes unless you're covered by teammates. You need to stick to your lane and get all the experience you can. (Focus on never getting out of position)

    I’m losing, he’s pushing, he’s getting the runes, what do I do?– Ask teammates for gank, or attempt to counter-push and random the rune before spawn, or make sure you get the tower-lasthits atleast. (Do not attempt to gank, when your opponent has the rune, unless obvious situation) – Make sure you as much experience as possible in this situation. If your opponent is winning, he will attempt to either kill you, or get you out of exp-range.
    Last edited by FJ; 03-26-2012 at 07:05 PM.

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    [3.2] - The carry

    The carry, very commonly known as the one who starts off as the weakest link on the team, but will come to carry the heavy burden later on.
    First of all, this is a difficult role to play; not just due to the fact that you’re squishy, and rely so much on farm. But also because choosing the right hero, picking up the right items and making the right team-fight decisions are a big deal every single game.
    The three biggest priorities for a carry goes like this:

    1. Avoid deaths
    2. Gain gold
    3. Gain exp

    Before jumping into itembuilds and playstyles, I’ll tell you a little bit about how to farm properly.

    You all know how to farm, but I’m gonna give you some golden nuggets here, before that however, – please note that the map only has a certain amount of gold available at a time. Use it wisely. (Creeps do not spawn faster, just because you kill them faster!)

    Towerrange: With an early basedamage of 50-55, each creep will need 1x hit (both melee and ranged) in order to get into “lasthit-range” when being attacked by a tower. So, hit the creep once, if your own creepwave is not handling that for you, and then wait for the lasthit. Catapult 3 hits from T1 tower.

    Staying strong: Nomatter where you go, it is always useful to have some way of regenerating health. Having a health-pot can make your life so much easier until midgame, where it kind of loses its effect due to your healthpool increasing. Going back to base is a huge GPM-killer.

    Getting the extra
    : Killstealing is profit for a carry. It provides a boost to your gold, but only do this if it does not blow up the teamfight. Same goes for lasthitting towers; do not use spells on getting towers if it’s not in danger of getting denied. However, keep in mind that faction-towerkills are worth more if taken by your faction, and not yourself.

    What we can conclude here, is that you will be gaining 311 extra gold on the team if you allow your faction to take the kill instead. That is a big deal!
    - It is up to you to conclude whether it is exceptionally important for you to get the extra. However, if you're playing a farmdependant hero, which is hard to get farm on- like - you should take it, honestly.
    (also recommended if you "just" need that last 500 gold from a big item)

    Boosters: Runed Axe & Alchemist Bones can be great GPM-boosters. However, if your opponents are looking to teamfight early, they may not be the best pickups, as they leave you squishy and easily killed in teamfights. The thumbrule is; if you can get Alchemist Bones before 8, or Runed Axe before 20 – it’s worth it. Otherwise, you should get something else, in many cases Frostburn is a better choice on the same heroes.

    Deaths: Do not die. Deaths are a GPM-killer. No really, losing gold from dying, then not gaining gold cause dead, and having teammates being in danger because you’re unable to help them... Do not die!

    Stacking: If you have a way of killing stacked creeps, this is a great way of increasing the gold available on the map. Whispering Helm can very effectively be used to stack neutrals / ancients. By dominating a creep and using it to stack at every X: 53marks that can be a huge GPM booster. Similar to above, Whispering Helm also gives you +20 damage and gives you regen, apart from allowing you to constantly regen from hitting – which helps forestfarmers.

    Town Portals: Having a TP on you, will allow you to get away as soon as you see opponents moving towards you for a gank. It will also allow you to get to wherever the ideal farm-lane is.

    DO NOT TP TO A TIER2 TOWER FROM BASE – Unless urgent protection is needed!

    Static farming: The best carryplayers, know how to do this. It is a trick, allowing a player to stay at the same spot, farming constantly without being in danger of ganks. It works like this: You only lasthit your opponent creeps, while denying your own as soon as they land below 50% hp. This will make the lane pull back, leaving you closer to your base. Keep the lane balanced if you are close to the tower, stop denying creeps at <50% HP.
    To those who may be thinking: That doesn’t sound like a good way to farm. It’s boring and slow; actually, creeps will not spawn faster just because you kill them faster. I do agree though, it is neat to just clear a wave and go jungle – but perhaps your teammates need the jungle farm. This way, you share! (Also, when the creepwave is on your turf, it is impossible for the opponents to get gold from your creeps. See?)

    The right items

    This is the hardest part, and there will always be different opinions about itemchoices. It is a matter of preference, playstyle and opinion. – See MacroHard’s damage-spreadsheet in the link section
    However, I am going to give you some advices on what could be useful tips:

    Steamboots vs Ghostmarchers?:
    Steamboots: +10 Chosen Stats & +25 IAS – Useful VS High burstdamage teams, or PKEY-initiators (Pebbles)
    Ghostmarchers: +24 Damage, High MS increase on activate. Great for ensuring lasthits early all.
    It's a matter of preference and playstyle. However, if your hero is melee and has IAS-based procs like Chronos, or if your opponents has plenty of instant burst,damage – Get Steamboots.

    Frostburn vs Shieldbreaker?:
    Frostburn is generally not dealing nearly as much damage as Shieldbreaker, but it does provide very high mobility, and a very useful HP-increase. Again, if you feel like you’re being focused and has issues with surviving, Frostburn is your choice. If you can easily keep distance or avoid dying, Shieldbreaker is the choice. (Shieldbreaker is very good against low-armor opponents, agilityheroes has high armor)
    - Itempickups, are usually a matter of preference. All I can say is ; don’t get more damage, if you’re getting picked off easily in any teamfight either way.

    Geometer’s Bane
    This item is very useful for scenarios where you want to disjoint/dispel debuffs from yourself. It also provides an excellent activate ability which comes in handy for pushing. It is easy to make, and the items required are both very useful.
    Last edited by FJ; 03-26-2012 at 07:39 PM.

  7. #7
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    [3.3] – The support

    The supportplayer is the guy who likes to lean back and chill, while the rest of the team does the work. – Nah, just joking. This player is the guy with constant mapawareness, who makes sure his teammates gets plenty of farm, does not get killed and wins the game for you. Never underestimate the importance of a supportplayer. Just the fact that you’re there for your teammate, is enough for your opponents not to give a go on you.

    Let’s start off with the basics.
    First of all, it is important to understand the main concept of supporting; supporting means in its very basic understanding to help others. In the very beginning of the game, you help others by getting them farmed, and making sure they do not get killed. The best supportplayers, are able to have a massive effect in the game without pooling themselves with items. Wards are always a priority, seeing as it makes the game so much easier for all other lanes, in regards to not getting ganked and similar.

    The most basic items for any supporthero, are:
    If longlane:
    If shortlane:
    > Do not go for an early chalice. That's retarded.

    The beginning of the game:
    Your most important task is to harass your opponent without receiving damage yourself. The more you harass, the less likely it is for them to bother your farming teammate.
    You should also make sure that the enemy creepspawn /pullspot is blocked by a ward, and that your midplayer has vision of the rune. - I highly recommend warding the runespot at 00:01 - seeing as you will have no idea in what position you will be at the 2nd minute mark. - Unless you have something special planned, do it.

    Priorities of a support:

    • Making sure your teammates have map-awareness (do not get killed, has access to runes, knows where to get the kills off) - WARD
    • Making sure your teammates does not die (have a TP equipped, stick to teammates, never be too far away to help your buddies)
    • Avoid dying – position yourselves well in teamfights, do not go out alone – not even to ward, unless you know where your opponents are already. A support’s most important task is to avoid anyone feeding. – Sometimes, wait for the first wave of spells to be cast before going in on a teamfight.
      • NoVa’s example: Playing Plague Rider, you would have to wait outside the teamfight and far away, in order to not get initiated and possibly killed by Pebbles.

    • Deny creeps; as soon as your friendly creeps drop below 50%, start denying them if you cannot harass anyway. The further back your lane is pushed, the safer you are to farm freely.
    • Counter warding; the less vision your opponents have, the less likely they will attempt to gank, push, get runes or stop you from warding.
    • If you’re unsure of wardpositions, see sections 2.2.
    • Please note, that your life is very rarely as important as anyone else’ at the team. If you can save a teammate with better farm, higher levels and similar – do it. You’re worth sacrificing. (Not in the middle of a teamfight if you have a big CD ready, and your teammate doesn’t. DUH!)

    Itempriority: Wards > Upgrade courier > boots > counterwards > survivability > luxury items.

    Wards: Should be placed according to your own- and your opponents lineup. See section 2.2.

    Types of wards:
    · Laneward: A ward which is placed in front of enemy tower, giving you a clear idea of incoming pushes or ganks, as well as TPs. (Also very good if you, yourself are trying to make ganks happen by towerdiving)

    · Runewards: Wards around rune, possibly Kongor. Initially helps mid, but also reveals roamers in many cases.

    · Jungleward: Warding enemy jungle, in order to line up ganks, or prevent them from stack-farming.

    · Defensive: Wards to help turtling or farming, if you feel like you need time and the enemy is being aggressive.

    · Aggressive: Wards to help with ganking and pushing.

    · Spawnblock: Warding enemy junglecamps, in order for the specific camp not to spawn. (most commonly the pull-camp) – try to also give vision with the wards. Heads up: Too obvious wards are also easily countered, so if the pullspot is very important for- or your opponent- then care!

    · Ancientwards: Reveals when a player is farming ancients, neatly used if you CAN stop him from doing it. – Very useful versus teams who likes to stack.

    Remember: As a support, you’re in charge of bringing dust/counterwards to teamfights, should your opponent have invis-heroes like Fayde, KOTF, Revenant, Nomad, Night Hound or similar.

    Counterwarding: Always worth it, unless opponent ward is useless. (Always counterward before you run into enemy jungle, or attempt to do Kongor)

    Master tip:
    When against high level teams, they will most likely have lanewards if your team enjoys pushing. They will also most likely have aggressive wards, if they, themselves, have gank-initiators like Pebbles or Nymphora.

    :stri: - Easy to make, will give you an edge when it comes to roaming and easy warding. Does, however, not provide any survivabilty.
    :Steamboots: - In my opinion, the best support-boots. The +10 STR gain, (You really don't want to cycle away from that), will make it so much harder for any ganklike hero to oneshot you in a teamfight. Especially important if your hero has a lot of useful cooldowns/spells, such as .
    :PlatedGreaves: - These boots are great, but i honestly dislike them unless you're in very specific scenarios. In order to pile up similar HP as to Steamboots, you would have to buy 2x sets of bracers- resulting in them being a poor cost-efficient item.
    This is getting a bit complicated, but the main thing is:
    :PlatedGreaves: = You're getting oneshot by spellcasters in teamfights, untill you have :FortifiedBracelet::MysticVestments: - making it much more expensive for survivability compared to :Steamboots:.

    Scenarios where Plated Greaves > Steamboots:

    1. If your hero has a high amount of base-hp already
    2. If the enemies' primary damagesource is physical
    3. If you're overfarmed and can afford the extra luxury items to give you Magic Res / +HP

    > If your team is pushing a lot, and noone else went for it- you could. But someone else should.

    Survivability: There are so many easy-to-make survivability items, which makes you so much more present in teamfights.
    :GraveLocket::MysticVestments: :MajorTotem::FortifiedBracelet: - The two mentioned last can be upgraded into powerful luxuryitems such as: :TabletOfCommand::NomesWisdom::Astrolabe:

    Stormspirit vs Tablet: :TabletOfCommand: is easier to make, and very useful versus channeling abilities, or tossing your friends out of CC-locks (Kraken / Chronos-ultimate / Pharaoh Walls) – :Stormspirit:, however, provides a complete invulnerability and can save any teammate in an AOE-situation. Pass judgement yourself, but note that :Stormspirit: is very difficult for a support to make early on. (Also provides close to no surviability)
    Almost always worth getting the Tablet over the :Stormspirit: –if you feel comfortable using the item.
    As a support, it is not a priority to get farm. You will get your farm from towerkills and assists. You taking creeps and kills from other players won’t really help anything. Trust me.
    - As the game progressing, a good idea would be to stack creeps for others to kill. However, usually it is a higher priority to gank other lanes and babysit your teammate.

    Creep-pulling: If you’re on shortlane, It is a very nifty trick to pull the neutral camp, in order to prevent the enemies from getting EXP, and your teammate to get it for free. Do not pull without stacking first, however – seeing as that will make the lane push. (See section 2.1 – laning phase)
    Note that a lot of supportheroes do not need levels like a carry/initiator does. So if you can, and don’t mind, staying out of exp-range can be very beneficial.
    Last edited by FJ; 07-02-2012 at 11:07 AM.

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    [3.4] - The initiator

    Being the initiator, you are required to have immense awareness around both your teammates and enemies. They rely on you to make the move, to make things happen – to see opportunities instead of obstacles.

    The things you need to consider before initiating:

    1. Will we win this teamfight? (Do we have the right items already, would it be worth waiting a bit longer?)
    2. What are the consequences of waiting a bit longer – will they gain, or will we?
    3. Are your teammates prepared for the initiate? – Are they nearby, are their cooldowns ready, how are their manapools?
    4. How is the positioning of the enemy? Will your teammate make them stuck in a big pile, making it easy for your teammates to deal AOE dmg? (For instance, Pharaoh uses hook on a narrow passage, making a target or two very vulnerable. Use the mummies to split the enemy team, or gather them together, making them an easy target for his teammates (eg Forsaken Archer) to shoot them down with channeling line-up ultimates.

    Certain heroes are very good in specific scenarios:

    Narrow passages: :fors: etc. – heroes with line-AE spells will work very well in these scenarios.Most effective, if your teammates position themselves based on the idea of opponents being lined up.

    Open areas outside lane: – without terrain which allows disjoints, juking or creeps to take hits from bouncing ultimates, these heroes will shine. These fights should be chosen if your team benefits from it, or if it hurts your enemy team (for instance, if their setup relies on AOE)

    Clutch areas: AOE Heroes shine in situations where the opponents are clutched up. In these scenarios, vision plays a major role. It is important to know where your opponents are, and even better to avoid them knowing where you are. , - all the similar.
    Jungled areas: Certain heroes really benefit from being able to juke opponents, recover cooldowns and get into the fights again. Quite possibly if they are squishy, and not interested in taking sustained damage. These situations will completely counter any AOE-setup if positioned well. (Intelligence-based lineups) > Heroes who have low cooldowns, are squishy and has good use of juking around.

    [3.4.1] – Counter initiating

    When your opponents has initiated on your teammates, a counter-initiate can turn the entire fight around. A counterinitiate can be pulled off in many ways, and it is up to you to pass judgment on how this should work. We very often see scenarios where the initiator is prepared to TP to a nearby tower, when a teammate is being initiated on. (Initiators should first and foremost, always be prepared for battle)

    [3.5] - The suicide lane – only recommended for +1700 players.
    To suicide lane, means to going on a lane, knowing you will lose. When you’re forced to go on long lane as a solohero, knowing your opponents will have at least two heroes on the lane, you’ve already lost it. Unless your opponents play horribly, it is quite rare to see anyone win such a lane.
    The suicide lane is the hardest lane to play... Well, at least it is the most punishing lane to fail. If you don’t do well on your suicide-lane, you will be sitting in a situation where you will be underfarmed, your opponent will freefarm and you cannot get experience from anywhere.
    However, knowing how to properly suicide lane is your way forward.
    First of all: Pick a hero which has an escape mechanism, or can farm from distance.

    • Proper items: :RunesOfTheBlight::RunesOfTheBlight::HealthPotion:– you will take a lot of harassment on a suicidelane.
    • :GuardianRing:: +2 Armor make you win the harassment-fight if it against a support. A support will usually not have too much regen, and be poor on items due to warding / upgrading. - If against a dual lane, :IronBuckler: can be better. (Also depending if you're melee or ranged)
    • Escape mechanism: Heroes like are ideal for suicide lanes, due to the fact that they can escape If trapped in a poor spot. They are also able to farm from distance.

    Accepting defeat: If you know from start, you cannot win the lane – then don’t even try to. It will only lose you HP. If you cannot win the lane, or even get experience / gold, there’s only one way to go: accept it. Don’t even try to lane if you can’t, it will only make them feed on you. Instead, do your best to secure experience.

    • If you have a blink-mechanic, a leap or similar, you can jump into trees and leech experience, without being in danger of your opponents finding you. (If they’re smart, they can just cut down trees or use the courier to find you, but it works for the beginning. Don’t let them see you do it though) – Care with Valk, since it has a 40 sec CD.

    If nothing is to be done, go jungle minicamps, pull the creeplane or roam around the map. No need to waste time.

    Master tip: If you use the flying courier, as seen above in the section “laning phase”, you can pull the opponent creeps when they spawn, making the point where creeps will meet much further ahead. This will result in your creeps getting into tower-range, causing enemy tower to hit your creeps, making the lane push towards you.

    Why make the move?: This will secure you early experience, which you wouldn’t be able to get if your opponents played aggressively. If poorly reacted to by your opponents, you should be able to keep the creepwave at a safe spot, where you will be getting experience. (Pulling creeps from lane can also make this happen)
    Last edited by FJ; 03-23-2012 at 10:45 PM.

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    [4.1] – The metagame
    The metagame right now, is so much different from what it was half a year ago. This just goes to show that the game is in constant development and that the balance will always be broken by intuitive minds and kindled hearts. As it looks at the moment, Bulwark has overwhelmed the scene. The fact is, that the item is discussed very much amongst balancers ; the item is simply too good. The item has resulted in three kinds of lineups:

    The push:
    STR/Heal/Jungle-based lineup ; this lineup is based around building +armor and regeneration. The thing about this lineup, is that it very hard to win against in a teamfight, due to the tanks being unable to die with the healers still being alive, and the healers won’t be easily killed with proper positioning and the STRheroes helping them out. This setup calls for early pushing, seeing as you have the clear advantage early on.
    The most dangerous part about this lineup is that it is nearly impossible to stop from getting early towers; and these towers will provide the heroes with so much gold. (Not just on the STR Heroes, but also the supporters, who will then be even harder to deal with)

    Way to counter: As mentioned, the lineup is really difficult to face, and it comes in so many different variations. It is nearly impossible to ban your way out of. However, like every setup – there is a way to counter it. You can either meet their setup with a similar strategy, or you can follow the rules on how to avoid them pushing.

    1. Do not allow them to gather. A push-team, (unless solopushers like Tort/KOTF), will attempt to focus on pushing together. If you keep lanes pushed, you will force them to try to defend, which will make them split. This way, you keep the game in check.
    2. Always carry TP’s, and avoid using your mana. The first tower they get makes wonders. A push-strat is weak in teamfights, unless farmed by towers.
    3. The more teamfights you take outside towers, the better. When a push-team is gathered in a narrow section, they will be nearly impossible to kill. On open areas, where you can split the team apart, juke minions and pick off supports; that is where you will find your advantage.

    Wards: You may think “defensively” is best, but no – if you place them on your side of the map, your reactions towards their push will be too slow. You need to know where they are going, when they will be there, and you need to be ready to defend a sap. Remember, push-strats are slow-movers and not very mobile. They do not rely on initiates – they rely on YOU to make the move.
    Hero counters: that makes turtling easier: AOE Minion-clearers () – These are also very good at keeping other lanes pushed. Push-lineup is all about narrow-passage fights. Heroes with AOE/Initiate/CC based on AOE works well against pushers. However, make sure you counterpush the second you win the fight.

    The +1 -> Push
    This strategy was introduced in Dota. Na’Vi’s way of winning trophies, championships came as a surprise to many of their competitors. The famous player from Na’Vi, Dendi, explains in an interview how the metagame has changed, and how the new style of play has made them win so many matches.
    Link to interview:
    The playstyle, revolves around pushing, like the strategy above – however, this is slightly different. This strategy is based on the thought that “any team can turtle a tower, if they’re just 5”, so this strategy says: Well, kill a guy – then push – there is no way of defending a tower versus a push-team, if you don’t 5 players available.

    Example of a +1 -> Push:
    – In this lineup, you have that “unkillable”-syndrom. The interesting thing here, however, is the pick. The pebbles pick makes it possible to actually gank. can stay in jungle for as long as he want, getting beef’d up. Same goes for , who can also sololane, once he picks up a bit of levels/farm, so Demented can laneswap to Pebbles if needed be. As soon as Pebbles picks up some farm, it is all about picking up 1x kill, and then you will get the toweradvantage.
    The gold should be used on wards, counterwards and making sure that pickoffs like this can keep happening.

    How to counter: As you probably already guessed, it is really hard to pick off STR-heroes with Pebbles, which is based on the current metagame right now.
    You may have noticed Fnatic Raidcall’s increasing usage of Deadwood lately. That is due to the fact that where Pebbles is based on magical one-shot damage, Deadwood is based on physical. His abilities even decrease enemies STR. However, the strategy is the same; pick one off – then push.

    Wards: should be placed wherever you feel like may gain entry. He is the key to victory here – the other heroes won’t gank, seeing as they simply cannot.
    What is common for the two setups is that they rely very much on the early game.
    If your team picks up early big-items such as :Steamboots::PowerSupply::IronShield::RingOfTheTea cher::MysticVestments::RingOfSorcery:
    -> Remember to avoid "stacking" items such as the rings, Plated Greaves or similar.

    [4.1.1] - Different types of lineups
    There are countless lineups.. Well that’s actually untrue, but the answer would be a number so high that it would be impossible to try out. For those interested, someone explained that 1.01049341 * 10 ^ 13 unique 5-man teamscan be made.

    In general terminology, you have a lot different lineups – but some simply “shine through”, and you will very quickly be able to determine the overall idea of the lineup. Here are some examples – and remember; all of these lineups are powerful, it Is all about the way you play, and how your opponents counter it.

    REMEMBER: All lineups depend on positioning – be aware of your positions at all time. Armadon stand in front, DS in the back, Tempest hidden – those kind of things..


    The push (non-cooldown)
    As explained before, there’s quite a different types of push-strats. Some are based around picksoffs, some are based around cooldown – and some are just based around overwhelming your opponents.

    Non cooldown based lineup:
    – in this lineup, the enemy will have a really hard time engaging on you early on. A towerkill or two should be handedly achieved, making your lineup tanky and basically “unkillable”- meaning neither of you will be bursted down with a fingersnap, unless picked off.

    : Very difficult to kill, easily pushes – cannot be stopped if you’re too far behind. The ability to “splitpush” if needed be.
    Cons: Low mobility, predictable movements and pushes.

    How to counter:
    Items: Steamboots, Battery, Mystic Vestment, Armorbuffers- such as Ring of Teacher or Plated Greaves.
    Wards: Lanewards, to predict the movements and upcoming pushes.
    General counter: Attempt to get pickoffs before they get settled into position, pop up wards and similar. > If you’re forced to teamfight, make sure you ALL initiate at once.


    The push (cooldown based)
    - Very similar to above, but the thing is – you cannot initiate on this lineup, even they are pushing. Because they will have cooldowns available, and you cannot really jump into that.

    Example of cooldown based lineup: – In this scenario, they are simply picking off towers, and will not allow you to make an initiate on them. You simply have to leave the tower, unless far ahead.

    Certain towerkills, very “newb-friendly”, since most people believe they can stop this lineup from pushing- even though the pushteam here knows that if they engage, they will lose.

    Low mobility, poor teamfights outside towers, does not work well on laningphase nor in 3-4 man teamfights.

    General strategy: As soon as your midhero has hit 6, you can start preparing for a push. Gather up quickly; stick together until a proper advantage has been gained. Only go on towers after a kill, or when cooldowns are up.

    How to counter

    Items: Steamboots, Battery, Mystic Vestment, Armorbuffers- such as Ring of Teacher or Plated Greaves.
    Wards: Aggressive, so you can ensure to get pickoffs inbetween this teams ultimate-pushes. Predicting their pushes won’t help you “that” much, unless you act before they drop the bombs.
    General counter: Push when they have cooldowns. Attempt to get pickoffs – perhaps act earlier than them after you hit the 6th level.


    The ganker
    There are three types of gankstrategies:

    • The gank/carry – where you gank in order to give your hardcarry time to farm.

    • The gank/push – where you gank in order to get the 5-man advantage to freely push a tower.

    • The gank/bully – where you gank in order to keep down your opponents coreheroes.

    Each of them works, but relies heavily on warding. In the 1st scenario, you obviously need a neat balance between warding aggressively to make pickoffs, but also defensively to allow your carry to farm.
    In the 2nd, you will need to ward completely aggressively, to get the certain pickoff. – same goes for 3rd.

    This is the best way to “ensure” a win if you’re winning laningphase, since you shut down your opponents. It also allows you to play your opponents minds, making them feel annoyed by you being a nuisance.

    If you’re down behind with this lineup, you most likely won’t get up again.

    How to counter

    Items: High HP/Magic resistance (Initial burst is key for these guys- they’re pretty useless when down)
    Wards: Defensive early game (runes / ganks) – then lanewards, as they will use ports to kill with PK.
    General counter: Stick together as much as you can. All of these lineups are in a disadvantage in open teamfight battle, due to not having a lot of big aoe cooldowns, nor much healing power.


    The initiator
    The initiator is based around the synergy between combinations of attacks / ultimates. Making an example of such a lineup wouldn’t make sense, as there’s just waaay too many combinations to deal. However- the basic idea is to have an initiator make the move, and then let teammates follow up with all they got. The result hopefully ends up in you winning the teamfight very early, after blowing all your cooldowns.

    Initiators: :chro: Heroes that initiates well without farm / pkey.

    Follow-up: :fors:As seen in the section “Initiator” in hero roles, you will find more about when/how to initiate properly. > These heroes need help "lining up" opponents.

    - The most important thing is the coordination and execution of your initiate.

    Pros: You can pretty much ensure a kill on at least 1-2 of the opponents coreplayers, if executed properly.

    If it doesn’t work out from start, it won’t work out at all. You have one chance to show delicate coordination, otherwise the teamfight will be lost

    How to counter
    Wards: should be positioned according to situation, for both the team and the enemies. The right timing is everything here.
    Items: These lineups rely heavily on magic damage in 95% of the scenarios. Mystic Vestment, Steamboots- you’re good to go.
    General counter: The lineup requires solid coordination- but it also requires you to be in a horrible position before they can initiate properly. If you stay spread and avoid fighting in narrow areas, you should be fine with even farm.


    The carry / the turtle

    There’s only one way to describe this strategy; boring but safe.
    It is very rare to see a well-executed turtle-strat fail to anything but a pushstrat. In return of having nothing to offer early game, it makes up for being unbeatable lategame. An example of this lineup could be:
    – It is nearly impossible to push against this lineup, seeing as they have so much to offer in terms of turtling. In a wide open space, this lineup sucks – but in turtling it rocks. The idea behind this lineup is obviously to make the carry; we all know what happens when SW picks up a bit of survivability along with a Mock of Brilliance.

    Very safe, and allow for tons of mistakes without throwing the game. If two sets of barracks is not lost, the game is still alive. Most players who’ve played for more than a year, will know how many times a Sand Wraith has managed to turn a game around with the help of a Mock.

    If your opponents “spot” you going for this strategy, they can simply pick a Push-strat, and you’ll have no say in this game. There’s no way you can stop early pushing from happening with this setup.

    How to counter

    Wards: Aggressively. You need to make pickoffs happen often, and pick up as much of an advantage early on.
    Items: Push-happy items with a mixture of survivability to avoid the combination of Magic DMG.
    General counter: Shut that down as much as you can. Do not focus him in teamfights if he already has plenty of items. You won’t kill him anyway, before his teammates / passive returndamage kills you.
    - The general idea is to win before the ticking bomb goes off. If you browse through old replays, you will see that about 80-90% of all with :HelmOfTheBlackLegio:Mock::MysticVestments: has ended up winning.
    Gank, push, gank push.
    Last edited by FJ; 06-19-2012 at 02:46 PM.

  10. #10
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    [4.2] - Drafting & Coordination

    The way to draft differs from team to team. Something simply works for one team, while others may fall apart on the same theory. Players and teams are different – that is an undeniable fact.
    However, there are simply some general thoughts about solid drafting, which I would like to share.

    The general idea
    Some people draft to counter, others draft to get an overwhelming lineup. The way I see it, a good drafter will always attempt to take advantage of your players’ strengths. The best example I can give you is [PORT] (R.I.P) – for several months, we have seen Chessie, Limmp and Calebbe dominate in TMM games. How? They have simply picked up what worked, and now they have perfected their plays amongst those heroes. Common for the lineups, is that they are strength-carry based with strong heal-supporters. combined with and similar. – They have now realized that it actually works, even in scrims. This is what they are good at, these are their strengths.

    Fnatic used to base their drafting around the defensive lines. They have recently changed playstyle, in combination with players. However, the players in this lineup know exactly what they are supposed to do when and where – they are also prepared for pushes and ganks on their potential carries. You very often see Fnatic’s draft based around heroes which farm very well, as well as work very well in teamfights. (Duh) – but honestly, they have been known not to get pushers, due to the fact that they don’t have to. Fnatic knows how to defend towers, they know how to execute maximal farm on both sides of the river- this is also done to minimize the amount of farm the opponents will get.
    We have also seen a lot of teams who may not have been as experienced as others, but certainly knew how to push through towers. With the Bulwark arriving, this became even more popular. In respect of these teams, I will not mention names – but it is a very wise idea to accept that you cannot deal with Fnatic in a farmgame, you cannot fight PORT in open mid-game fights, and so on. You base your drafting around your teams strengths.
    We’ll talk about different types of lineups later on in the code.

    Preparing yourselves
    A bunch of teams draft around own strengths, they usually get 2-3 picks that they genuinely want, and then use the remaining picks to counter-draft the opponents. Here are some common theories:

    • If a team picks up , they either want to use her to keep the game active in terms of ganking with her ultimate, or push through with minion-type heroes like
    • If a team picks up or similar – they know that they are weak early on. Meaning early pushing can be a very good option. Hardcarry-heroes have no say in terms of turtling outer towers, due to them being very weak early.
    • will usually keep the game active in terms of pushing, - if not with healers, then by solopushing.
    • have very reliable stuns, which allow them to roam very well.
    • :jere: are lategame healers, compared to , who is an early-game healer, later to be used as a gank-tool.
    • When facing , you want to limit your teams’ squishiness.
    • If a team drafts – it can be to prepare a solo/suicide lane.

    VS Gankers: Avoid squishies
    VS Hardcarries: Make sure you have early push potential
    VS Pushers: Make sure to get heroes with AE spells and works well in a narrow spots
    VS AOE: Get beefy heroes and heroes with save-mechanisms like or healers.
    - The list goes on, but you get the jest.

    [4.3] – Team coordination

    There can be said a hundred things about team coordination. There’s just so many ways that things can be improved, and no team or player will ever tell you that they have perfected their teamplay. However, you can always do your best. It is no secret, that I am a fan of teams like Blackfade, Fnatic and Fray – because you can genuinely see how these guys have been playing together for such a long time, that they know eachothers’ style of play, and this really comes in handy.

    Standard coordination

    Priorities: Who should be farming where? Who should be stacking? Who should get the most experience?
    Generally, you would want your most vulnerable player to farm at the safest place, which is generally at the short lane. (Make sure this place is warded, because he will be a gank-priority) > The best supporters will know when to stack and where – no point stacking ancients if there isn’t anyone to deal with it anyway.

    Items: Who’s going for what? There’s no point in having several - unless you’re planning on split-pushing. Same goes for : , , .
    Generally, if you have 2x ranged carries, you would want the easiest target to go for , while the other does the Glass-cannon builds. provides plenty of survivability, whereas :Shieldbreaker: does not.

    Remember to always call out, when you see something your teammates may find interesting. This could be: I am planning on going <x> item - I saw reactions when I went there, hence they must have a ward around – I am stacking this camp – I believe the rune spawned bottom - <x> Hero is moving towards mid-lane. (These are obviously just examples, but you get the jest – nothing is stupid knowledge, everything counts)

    The higher coordination
    When you’ve mastered the above, it’s time to get into the higher coordination. These are the things which only truly skilled players will know how to, or even be able to.

    - Counter-ganking: As a highskilled player, you always equip yourself with a TP. Should you- or your teammate be in trouble, call out for assistance, and expect a teammate to appear soon enough. This may sound simple, but it is something that comes out an issue in way more games than you may believe.

    - First-aid: You should always expect the best of your teammates, but don’t forget to tell them what you’re expecting. For instance, “I expect you to heal me first, then use Protective Charm” (This way, you avoid using Shrunken Head at a rotten time) – Remember that :Stormspirit: / :TabletOfCommandf Command cannot be used on targets with magic immunity on.

    - Positioning: When you know a teamfight is coming; position yourself according to the role in your team. If you’re a support, you obviously want to stay far away from danger, but obviously not so far that you’re unable to help the enemies’ focus target. Quite similar, big ultimate heroes like Tempest, Hellbringer, Magmus and Behemoth should stay safe in order to avoid getting Pkey-blocked or get CC’d somehow.

    - Initiating properly: Some heroes are simply the greatest initiators out there. Hellbringer will render your opponents stunned for a brief moment, enough for instance a Soulstealer to pump out a full ultimate on the enemy maincarry. However – the move is very hard to pull off, since it requires complete coordination between the initiator, and the follow-up. I could bring several combinations that would fit well together here, for instance Flux + Kraken/Tempest/Pebbles. Make sure your teammates know when you initiate. Counting down even works in some situations.
    You reach the level of higher coordination, when your expectations from your teammates are automatically fulfilled. Until that point, make sure to express your expectations, so you will never get disappointed, and your teammates not upset.
    Last edited by FJ; 04-16-2012 at 03:36 AM.

  11. #11
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    5- Mindplays for masters

    [5.1] - The big ones / draft ones

    Playing the opponent like a puppeteer is an exquisite art, which only very few players are able to master. These are very powerful moves and extremely effective if pulled off correctly. I personally have been tricked tons of times, as well as I have tricked an awful lot of players myself. A magician never reveals his secrets, but I am going to give you a few examples of how the moves are executed.

    Baiting a pick
    Topdrafters will often attempt to bait opponents into picking unsuitable heroes to counter the intended lineup. Example: 82851712 – Tralfamadore leaves Plague Rider unbanned, even though he is a very strong hero. tDM knew that incl would pick him up, and put him on suicide lane, making it very easy for tDM’s shortlane to push the tower with Tempest in the jungle.

    The fake dual-lane:
    vs (at bottom lane)
    will have the natural disadvantage, due to being able to harass the butt off.
    However, suddenly appears out of nowhere, harassing down a tick or two.
    then instantly runs off, leaving to freefarm. What can he do versus a dual lane?
    - Not more than 40 seconds later, appears in the middle. The mindtrick worked successfully. did not dare returning to the lane, due to being there, even though she wasn’t. Valkyrie is now in a level- and goldadvantage, and lost a lane which should have been won. (Successfully executed by Fnatic on a couple of occations with different drafts)

    The supporting Valkyrie (also works with other heroes)

    Executed by drafting a Valkyrie, making the enemies believe you’re looking to use her as a carry- or sololane, but actually intend to use her as a support. Valkyrie has insane autoattacks, as well as the situationally best initiate-stun in the game. She also works way better than most other supports with a bit of farm. She’s very useful and balanced both early, mid and lategame – compared to other ranged supports.

    [5.2] – Bait scenarios
    The best initiates, happens when the enemies come unprepared.

    The surprise attack:
    Executed when enemies are in a lined up in position and unprepared for an initiate. (You must remain hidden to execute this move) – A nice example is shown here: (1:25) > Performed by complexity gaming.

    The scary bait
    You’re standing in an awkward position. You know your opponents will have an easy job killing you; but your teammates got your back. The best bait, is when your opponents have no clue what’s coming to them. It is quite obvious that an Armadon will stand alone once in a while- especially if he is baiting.
    The thing is, however, it is hard to react to such a scenario. High level teams will be scared to initiate on an Armadon, seeing as it is most certainly a bait. If they aren’t scared, and they do fall for the trick and get baited into a rotten teamfight, they most certainly won’t do it again. This is when the mindplay happen, when people are too scared to take the bait. This leaves room for your teammates to do other stuff, while your opponents are pondering if they should take the bait or not.

    The five man hide

    When you’re falling back…. But not quite. Best performed when your enemies have no vision, and believe you to have fallen back from the lane. This has been executed quite a couple of times, but a recent example was when Jollem’s team pretended to push a secondary tower, but felt back due to being fairly low on hp/mana. Half of the opposing team then went to the lane to push it on – possibly counterpush. What they didn’t know, what that Jollem’s team had just hidden themselves in the jungle above, waiting for them to come closer. The enemy team was then ripped apart, and the tower was pushed successfully.

    [5.3] – The smaller ones

    Credit to “blueseph” for providing the community with useful gifs.

    Faking spells:
    When you attempt to make your enemy use defensive cooldowns or move into a direction, leaving you to do other things, for instance take a lasthit, or go aggressive again now that the enemy has his defensive cooldown on.

    1. attempts to stun .
    2. uses Take Cover – cancels his spell and moves forward.
    3. uses stun again. doesn’t have take cover available.

    Another example: Valkyrie uses “W” and instantly stop, to make her Jav’ glow. Then fires autoattacks at opponent. He will be wandering around like a headless chicken trying to dodge it.

    Baiting spells:
    When you know your opponent will use a spell shortly, but you’re able to dodge it.

    Juking: Such a big deal in this game, and changes from player to player, and can get you out of the most clutch situations. I am not going to elaborate a whole lot about this. There’s a couple of links in the bottom-section which you may find helpful.

    Last edited by FJ; 03-23-2012 at 11:20 PM.

  12. #12
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    6- General tips and tricks (my favorites)

    [6.1] - Heroes of Newerth in general

    • Expect the worst, hope for the best.
    • Never let anger take over. It never helps.
    • If you’ve had a bad game go masturbate, take a shower. Get your mind off things. Playing with a bad attitude never gives you a good result. Even if winning, the victory will not be as sweet as if you’re in a good mood. (Remember to consider “why” you lost. What could you have done better?)
    • Cold hands? – Warm them up by letting them soak in hot water for a bit. (or Rub your hands)
    • Crashes?

    [6.2] – Matchmaking

    • Be mannered, always. If there’s a troll around – use childrens’ psychology. If it doesn’t work, /ignore add <user> and report him afterwards, if he’s ruining the game.
    • If there’s no wards / flying courier, upgrade it yourself if no one reacts to your request. It’s a cheap way to win the game, honestly. (Yes, I said win the game)
    • Before initiating on a teamfight, make sure everyone is prepared for it.

    [6.3] – Ingame

    • Avoid autohitting and pushing lanes unnecessarily
    • Doubleclicking an item / ability will toggle “selfcast” – which has different purposes.
      • On Blinks / Portals, a doubleclick will cause the hero to get as close to the base as possible.
      • Target-spells will be cast on yourself with a doubleclick, if possible.

    • Always carry regeneration earlygame and a homecoming stone later on.
    • Come out with your thoughts, suggestions and plans in a nice mannered way. Always.

    [6.4] – Heroes / roles

    • Supportheroes, unless very tanky – should stand in the back of a teamfight. Never to be initiated on. They should always prioritize getting items that benefits the team, rather than themselves. ( ) – Best supportbuild before that is – If against a Physical damage based team, get + instead.
    • Carryheroes should consider teammates and opponents before choosing items.
      • Example: is easy to get, and very useful against low-armor opponents. However, does not work well versus Agility-heroes, who in general have a lot of physical damage reduction. Shieldbreaker does not provide any survivability either. (?)

    • Plenty of heroes have -Blocking abilities, which can save a teamfight. Beware of using your ultimate to counter-initiate. (, , , ,, , -wards)

    [6.5] – Items / abilities

    Buybacks and moneypooling:
    You very often see professional players pool gold instead of buying items. The reason is simple: They either want to surprise the enemy with the item they're making- preventing them from buying a counter. (Example: Hellflower / Kuldra gets hardcountered by a Nullstone) OR The player wants to make sure he has enough gold to buy back, in case he gets caught off in a difficult situation.
    If the hero you are playing, or your role in the game is so crucial- that any death on you will result in a loss, i highly recommend you to save money for a buyback. Simple mistakes like a pickoff can make you lose the game, and a single buyback can turn it around.

    Disjoint abilities/items
    can be used as a bait, and is a great way of getting your opponents ability on CD, and make him waste mana: Barrel Roll, Andro Swap, Leap, Blink, Succubus Sleep, Protective Charm, Shrunken Head, Geometer’s – You get the jest.

    / - ultimate works as perfect initiators for heroes like and . – but only if both of the players in question are prepared for it.

    is currently able to save anyone for a brief moment from any kind of CC/Lockdown. However, heals can no longer be used on SS’d targets. It’s a cheap way to deal with opponents Morph, stuns, lockdowns (Kraken/Tempest or similar)

    For damage purpose;

    only becomes a “better pickup” if the end-result of the –armor ends up being below 10. Otherwise other items will grant you a better result.

    • gets nullified by a single (400g) – but it’s good for counterpushing versus minions.
    • is the best choice versus higharmor / agiheroes – seeing as it in endgame, will let the enemies have a maximum damagereduction of 25% or similar, even with headdress. (Only if your manapool is large) - Does count as an orb-effect.
    • are very commonly used as endgame items. They’re each <560 gold, and won’t be replaced till very lategame. Pick it up. Nearly always.
    • is, without a doubt, the best “teamfight” item, unless the enemyteam consist of high physical damage. (Plated Greaves > Steamboots in that case)

    [6.5.1] – Itemchoices for a carry

    When you're building your carry, it is vital that you consider the strength / weaknesses from your team and enemies. Some things you may want to consider when building items:

    1. Is my teammates damage based on burst? (If so, Hellflower/Kuldra in order to avoid the player to Shrunken, escape or similar)
    2. Is my opponents damage based on burst? - If yes, you need a large hp pool, if you're a focus-target. If not, you might want to consider getting things to make sure you regen over fight- like Whispering Helm.
    3. Are my opponents based on high armor? - If so, perhaps going physical damage items may not be a great idea after all.
    4. Do we have any -armor reduction on my team? What items benefits from that?
    5. Do my enemies have a or- Superior magic target spell ? - If so, perhaps is the right choice.

    If your enemies have +30 Armor, -6 armor won't do much to their total "damage reduction %"

    If your enemies have <12 armor, -6 will take more than half of their damagereduction away from them.

    Perfect farmitem, as it gives you plenty of regen and makes you really hard to gank. It usually requires at least 3 heroes to gank you, when you have this item available. It is also perfect against hard superior magic initiates, Kuldra or Hellflower.

    If you know "when" the magic damage / CC is coming- this is a really strong item. Many people claim that the item is broken, and it can be if used right. Do not get this versus Pkey+CC, seeing as it won't stop anything in that case.

    Great against initiators who deal a bunch of burstdamage, due to the HP-increase. It also provides plenty of MS/IAS, which is great versus chasers. (Magebane?)

    Works wonders against STR/INT heroes with low base armor, easy to make due to the low cost and it being upgradable. However, if your enemy is pushing – it is a weak pickup, since they will have Ring of Teacher, Bulwark, Plated Greaves and similar. No longer pierces Hotbl either.

    Works well against HOTBL – since more hits = faster decharging. It also gives you the disjoint. This one of the best item to start off with. (Only recommended for ranged heroes, unless you have a proc like Magebane’s) – Remember, Illusions only get extra damage from Stats; not bonus- or extra attackdamage
    Should never be made, unless you have a ridic amount of –armor on your team. The item is generally very rarely useful in real games, unless you’re looking for 100% luxury.
    > There's almost always a better item to create. Very similar to Blacksmith, this item is a bit of a diceroll. If you have +300 damage per hit, obviously it can be a good go.

    Should be made if you’re looking for a farm-war or against pushers, if you already have enough survivability.

    Unless your opponents have Savage Mace already, this is one of the best luxury items you can pick up. However, your itembuild will very rarely “need” a Wingbow.

    People say it’s not worth it until 15 minutes after you’ve bought it. The IAS is rarely that useful early game. So unless you’re looking for a farmgame, don’t bother picking it up.

    Ghost Marchers VS Steamboots: Theorycrafting does the work – if you need HP / IAS, Steamboots is the way. However, if you have trouble lasthitting, if your opponent has a lot of chase going on for them, GM may be the right choice. Steamboots is per definition, a better teamfight item, however.

    : If you have high AS and enemies have low manapool – it could be worth it. However, don’t get it for the damage. (Also, obviously vs Jereziah’s shields) – Night Hound will get it cause of the massive Agility-boost.

    Works if the opponent has Wingbow. The damage is hard to make, so make sure it is really what you want.

    Great versus minions-users and pushers, but again; does not provide survivability and is rarely the best choice lategame. Also very expensive. (Pretty unreliable aswell)

    Good opponents will have counterwards, which makes the item less useful. However, it has plenty of agility and a high burstdamage. It also allows you to change position easily, and slow opponents.

    Great great great item. I love it. However, if you just get Bulwark, there’s way better items to get than upgrading to Daemonic. Also a counter-bulwark versus yours makes it a bit meh.

    Very situational. It allows you to farm very well, cause of the regen – and opponents will have a hard time getting you down due to the effect. It also prevents direct initiates on you. If you build this item, you want to follow it up with pure damage items in most cases.

    If you’re splitting your HOTBL, it’s a great item for its cost. However, it is in rare situations you’d never that much HP, and the Geo / FWS would be better for that purpose.

    : Desperate move, good if someone else makes it for you. (It can be made for someone else, by making it on the courier- it drops the second it’s made, you see) – See Zfreek’s replay below.

    Very underestimated item. It deals sooo much damage versus agility heroes, due to the low magic resistance. (note, gets countered hard by very few items; )

    Used for farming purposes, doesn’t have much going for you in teamfights, apart from a bit of damage. It gives you a bit of armor, but so does Bulwark. Also good if your opponents does not have burst damage, but primarily damage-over-time. (, however – provides a great amount of survivability and a sick ability)

    If you’re 2x carries VS 1x overfarmed, this may be your best chance of winning. It is expensive, but under the right circumstances the best item you can get. Note, that this item is often used as an initiator against heroes that you know have popable abilities that can make them invulnerable- or hard to kill. (Predator, Shrunken Head, Drunken Master - and so on)

    : Same situation as above, very useful versus “that one target”. Also amazing if you/your teammates have a bunch of burstdamage, seeing as it turns all damage dealt into true damage.

    Primarily good if your opponents doesn’t have any way of healing themselves, and if you’re not expecting to die. Remember that the AOE-DMG is magic, and a simple mystic vestment + hp pool makes the item pretty “meh”. –but good for farming purposes.

    When needed, primarily versus burstdamage – but in general a very very good item for its cost. Sick in early game, gets weaker as time flies. (Damage abs is 20, enemies’ damage does not stay at those 60-80) - remember this can be split into later on.
    Last edited by FJ; 06-25-2012 at 04:24 AM.

  13. #13
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    7- Inspiration & Sources

    First of all, I would like to credit all of the heroes of Heroes of Newerth. (See what I did there?)

    [fntc] Tal “Fly” Aizik – An incomparable mastermind when it comes to drafting. Many believe, me included, that this guy has made history when it comes to drafting, as well as changing the metagame with exceptional hero picks. A very amusing interview can be found here, showing us just what kind of a mastermind Fly is. I would like to point out, that 90 % of all his calls were accurate.

    [tDM] Mark “Tralfamadore” Seidl – He is the drafter of Trademark eSports, and is known as the US contents very best drafter. Moonmeander very often livestreams tDM’s scrims and some of the smaller tournament, which is a very good source to get some of Tralf’s cents, seeing as their vent/skype is also included in Moon’s stream.


    [BxF] Maurice “Khezu” Guttman – This guy is a master when it comes to playing the core-heroes, which setups can be built around. He very often plays middle, and very rarely loses unless ganked continuously. A very recent interview with him can be found here:

    [fntc] Johan “N0tail” Sundstein - You cannot and will not ever be able to make a list of midplayers, without mentioning N0tail. Even though he has changed his game into a more supportive/roaming style of play lately, he has still yet to be outclassed in the middle. My guess is that his style of play doesn’t fit the dual-lane mid / melee-midlane compared to the old days where it was a 1V1 ranged matchup. (N0tail on <3)

    [fntc] Jascha “Nova” Markuse – Fnatic Raidcall shows us yet another legendary player. This time, in the hands of a support. He has recently introduced us to his new coaching-sessions. I have yet to see a dissatisfied student of his.

    [tDM] Alex “Sender” Wieker – You will not find a better warder than this guy. Whereas Nova may be the better laner / teamfighter, Sender makes up for it in terms of warding and mapawareness. This guy knows exactly when to roam around, where to ward, when to counter.

    [iG] Jeppe “Haxxeren” Jensen – Feared for his play, with good reason. I haven’t seen him just once, but dozens of times turn entire games with that hero. He knows exactly when and where to initiate, who to pick off and how to juggle players around.

    [fntc] Adrian “Era” Kryeziu – The new member of Fnatic shows a lot of promise with his ganky style. We very often see him farm the first 10-15 minutes of a game, and then come out shining with his bursty heroes. Most recently, we’ve seen him shine with heroes like and

    [fntc] Tal “Fly” Aizik – I don’t really have to reintroduce him to anyone, but we all know how well he plays heroes like and similar.

    [BxF] Aydin “Insania” Sarkohi – A very close friend of KheZu, who really knows what he’s doing in that jungle. He’s like Rambo, running around dominating that place. His signature heroes are the likes of and similar – and he really excels and finding the right time and place to gank/push.

    [tDM] Zakari “ZFreeK” Freedman – You very often see him farming for ages in the jungle. He is also known for playing the likes of Midas, but most famous for his exquisite itembuilds made my some of his jungle-heroes. A very famous coincidence of his play, could be found here:– where a certain turns an entire game by himself. How? – Watch and see. It is a match worth your while

    Initiators / Suicide-laners
    [TiG] Henrik “FreshPro” Hansen – Known as the most feared Pharaohplayer out there, as well as other suicidelaners. This guy is capable of everything when it comes to the style of kamikaze. Whether it be Wildsoul, Tundra, Pharaoh or similar, this guy is the one.
    - [tDM] Josh “Bkid” Choi – famous for his love for AOE stunners. He very often plays the initiator for tDM, seeing as he has an excellent analytical mind, which allows him to see the future, before initiating on a teamfight.

    [fntc] Kai “H4nn1” Hanibückers – Most likely the most famous player within the MOBA-genre, if you add the both Dota, Dota2 and Heroes of Newerth. This guy plays everything. Whether it be initiators, semisupports, hardcarries, mobility-carries (Hag) > This guy does it, and he does it well.

    Casters – with Zyori as maincaster, you won’t find a more entertaining cast. The cast is different from the mainstream, due to all the humor Corren (Sneakeee) and Andrew (Zyori) is adding to the games. – Your source to the highest quality of livestreams, allowing 1080p with our very own teddybear: BreakyCPK. (Shoutout to DangerousDan for excellent cameracontrol)

    Credit to:
    Nova, KheZu, Kippetje, Jollem, Dizzyreed, Handsken, Ztarfighter, Xander, MacroHard, and many others.

    [7.2] - Links
    I have done tons of research making this guide possible. Most importantly is the experience gained from playing thousands of games, watching replays and livestreams.
    However, there are quite a few guides which have caught my attention, which I would like to share:– Blackfade’s website, where you will find news, interviews, the community and similar. - The official Blackfade community thread So far, the best livestream I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying, apart from casts. (Featuring the highest level of support-play, scrims with and against the best, coaching and helpful guidance) – Epoch Training Community – The Zen of Mindgames (Blueseph) – Juking guide

    [7.3] Theorycrafts:–an explanation of tower-value from faction kill, contra hero-kill.– A very amusing “need to know” explanation of items. strategies and terminology ; this guide has a lot of theorycrafting putten into it. If you’re not into such things, you may not find it as interesting as I did. This is most likely only useful for players with a higher level of experience. Management and decision making ; I disagree with some of the parts in there, but it is still a pretty good read. It does seem a bit slacky, but it gives you a push into the right direction. Tier tips and tricks – This guy made a gathering of a lot of the known tips and tricks, which are worth reading about. All of the tips andtricks should be inside your head when done reading. – The importance of denying – a decent guide to coordinating a team properly – Hon Fundamentals by Yukari Theorycrafting by MacroHard

    Thank you all for reading!
    - Make sure to request through PM, if there's anything you would like me to add, or would like me to elaborate on.
    Last edited by FJ; 03-29-2012 at 03:35 AM.

  14. #14
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    7- FAQ – Frequently asked questions

    About me
    Who are you?
    My name is Frederik “FJ” Jacobsen, I am a regular ex-competitive player, who has and still is spending a lot of time on Heroes of Newerth, when not interrupted by work, school, family, friends, the gym or the girlfriend.
    In the near future, I hope to start casting high-level inhousegames, tournaments, showmatches and occasionally my own games. My stream can be found @ – You’re more than welcome to show your support by clicking “follow”. I will update the channel and start casting very soon.

    Why are you doing this?
    Well, I am first and foremost a loyal supporter to the community and S2Games. This is my way of showing my appreciation for what have partially kept me occupied for the past couple of years. The black code is my masterpiece – my passing of knowledge. The making of the black code has been an amazing experience. I have been able to cooperate with some of my idols like NoVa and Khezu, who have both helped me a great deal in the makings of this. The black code is not meant to force people to do anything- but it is a first aid-kid for those who are finding themselves lost, whether it comes to MMR, competitive understanding or general enjoyment of the game.
    A full interview can be read here at

    Follow up question: For how long have you been working on this?
    I have no idea. I genuinely don't know.
    I started out putting pieces together back in 2011, where i released my first poorly and hastily written "Bro code". Even though it only took an hour or two to make, the post was so well received- that i decided to go on and make a real version.
    The writing began somewhere around january- but this entire document; which is roughly 85385 letters long, 17.224 words- has been editted and rewritten dozens of times.

    Jascha (Nova) decided to help me out a couple of weeks ago, where him and i critically read through the whole thing. He encouraged me to keep on going, and made me believe that what i was doing was worth it. Having people approve of your hard work, is the best feeling ever. Giving something to people- and seeing them be thankful for it, that is truely a blessing.

    Either way, Nova didn't really correct me as much as i was expecting him to. After all, he is one of the best players in the world- instead, he approved of it and asked me: "Why don't you write a bit more about this, and a little bit about that?"

    To answer the question: This has been a work-in-progress throughout 2011 gathering pieces. The writing began early 2012, and has been editted / rewritten dozens of times. I'm scared to put a number on hours, since the result might make me faint.. But it's high.. It's three digit.

    The black code
    Why was my reply deleted?
    Any non-contributive post, troll or in other way offensive post will be deleted. However, you are more than welcome to give feedback- but please keep it useful. If you’d like to see more different strategies, tell me so and I’ll look into it, but the classic “TL; DR” won’t suffice.

    Will this guide lead me to the stars?
    No, it will not. This guide is created to give you a basic portfolio of the game and all the aspects that are important. Reading this does help you in a lot of different situations because it gives you decision advices and tips and tricks for your play. If you study it carefully, practice your mechanics and other stuff you will potentially get better over time. The idea of this guide is to help you get better step by step, however does this guide in no shape or form guarantee you what you will be at the top of the mountain at some point. You have to think about stuff, you have to learn to coordinate in certain situations and you have to be able to adjust your mindset to all given situations in order to become a better player. Reading and following the guide will help you get better, but in order for you to become a star you have to put more effort in beyond the guideline the “Black Code” shows you.

    What is the best way to improve- apart from reading this?
    If you’ve read and understood the black code, then have a few friends do the same.
    /join clan Honportal Amateur Inhouse League - In here, you will find inhouse-games based on dedicated players who are all using voice-communication to play serious games. It is the best way to improve, as you are actually playing the game, and not just trying to handle your team.
    If you feel like you’re passed that, or you would rather play with friends – that is also a great idea. Scrimming is the best way to improve. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that raging in MM-games will help you at all.

    How can I support “The black code?”
    Spread the word and tell your friends whether the black code has changed your experience with Heroes of Newerth. Show that you care, and help me make a better Newerth.

    I am interested in donating, how can I do that?
    I do not accept donations. However, if you wish to show your support, there are several ways you can use for that:
    - - Follow me
    Last edited by FJ; 05-28-2012 at 10:08 AM.

  15. #15
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    This needs a sticky, and a txt version to download. and a wiki. I love to see community members take such an active roll in improving the game for virtualy everyone. Today sir, you are my hero.

  16. #16
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    FJ if you were a girl, I would kiss you. This probably didn't help me too much because I have learned most of the things mentioned here the hard way. But I am glad you put all the effort into making the road for new learners easy.

    I will definitely forward this to all the newcomers I cross paths with. Also permission to put your counter-talks to trolls, grievers etc as macros?
    Every hero below has one or more new ability effects, Check them out:

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by facedown View Post
    This needs a sticky, and a txt version to download. and a wiki. I love to see community members take such an active roll in improving the game for virtualy everyone. Today sir, you are my hero.
    This. I vote for a sticky in the training section; obligatory reading and very well made, kudos to you FJ. I've added this page to my bookmarks and will forward it around when needed

  18. #18
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    FJ? is that you? from the Halo Wars forums?
    Good thing about playing with friends: you will never get kicked when picking Night Hound as Orange or Brown.

  19. #19
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    FJ for president!
    MoonMeander: Sometimes when I get bored at night I pretend I'm Chtuluphant and charge my girlfriend, pillow, blanket off the bed and yell "MRRHHHHHHHHHH!"
    Parakletos: two kinds of people in the world: people who jump on their **** in the shower and dirty liers
    Fantasy: You definitely are a GIANT contributer that I am, where I am.
    NovyPirat: The only thing riser needs to survive is the island and the others

  20. #20
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    Nice guide, FJ.

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