ChaQ’s ultimate guide to advanced solo mid

ChaQ’s ultimate guide to advanced middle lane solo.

Table of contents:

  1. The introduction

  2. All you need to know about the creepblock

  3. When the action begins: the openings

  4. It’s all about the aggro

  5. Dodging smokeganks

  6. Runecontrol

  7. To gank or not to gank?

  8. Doublewaving, what is it and when to use it

  9. Hard matchups and how to deal with them

  10. All the little things you can learn to become a better mid player

  11. Practice – how to and why to

  12. Ending word and shoutouts

Chapter 1. The introduction

1.1 The most basic question: who are you?

I’m a 20 years old student from Poland with 7 years experience in DotA. I started playing encouraged by my friends and went a long way through many W3 platforms:

battle.net ->garena -> Iccup -> RGC – > dotalicious – > DotA 2

I got into Dota 2 beta really early – winning it as one of the first from playdota lottery.

As a player with thousands of hours spent in pubs I decided to try playing in more competitive environment, I went through several inhouse leagues and finally decided to join a team. As polish teams are extremely unstable I went through a couple of them, mostly playing 1 position.

Around 1-2 years ago I became really interested in the “2” – mid role. I started picking only mid heroes in pubs and tried to find every hint and trick possible that would make me play better.

One day I came across EternalEnvy’s stream and him practicing mid with Arteezy. For someone like me it was a gold mine – they talked about every small aspect of fighting for lasthits, positioning and creep control. As Arteezy joined Kaipi and I could watch him in competitive matches and start analysing his moves from the player’s POV. I was surprised how little – as it turned out – I knew about playing mid. As fanboyish as it may sound his mindgames and mechanical skills were far superior to any other player I knew. Special shoutout to him as watching him play helped me create this guide a ton.

 1.2 What competitive experience do you have?

After becoming mid pubstomp player and playing as a somewhat decent level standin I thought that it may be a good idea to find a really highskilll team that would let me develop competitively.

An opportunity came faster than I thought – one of my best polish friends [that I met and added after a pub game] turned out to be a friend with one of the best polish players – sasu. As he was forming a new team I was suggested to him as a really good player and so I became a mid for QWERT1234 – probably the only polish team known to an average European player. And this is where the somewhat sad [for me] part begins – a top 1-2 page pub mid player without any particular high level competitive experience turns out to be a rather mediocre mid for a serious, semi professional DotA.

As you might have guessed I was underperforming – overwhelmed by the skill level gap jump, and soon my rather short journey into playing versus some really good teams ended with a big disappointment. To this day though I’m happy with this experience as playing against some best midders out there has taught me a lot.

Ironically enough, encouraged by this adventure I started practicing even harder to reach level of decisionmaking and skill acceptable at the very highest levels of competitive play. As of today my skill and experience level are nowhere near where they were several months ago but due to unstability of polish DotA scene and my mood variating from very eager to bored of playing competitive DotA I’m currently teamless, playing IXDL-Invite most of the time.

1.3 Why are you writing this guide?

As I’m not planning to join a team in the nearest future and I don’t really care about my enemies getting to know all the tactics presented in this guide, I decided that sharing this knowledge with everyone is the best option. Some people may actually hate me for making presented tricks public, but hey – that’s how the skill progress in DotA world is made: “elite” knowledge becomes well-known so you have to come up with something new! I’m also an author of this lasthitting guide and every positive comment under it made me really happy that someone felt the joy of DotA-discovery reading it. I guess I just enjoy making people play better by sharing some tips and letting everyone test them in real games.

1.4 Who is this guide aimed to?

Well, definitely not absolute beginners. When I started writing this guide I decided that it’s mostly going to cover the advanced and only-known-to-few tactics. If you have troubles lasthitting or don’t know what heroes can go mid – this probably isn’t the most suitable guide for you.

1.5 Mandatory “pros and cons of being a mid player” section:

Pros:

  • You get to play some [in my opinion] most interesting DotA heroes like Invoker, Puck or QoP
  • You can do all sorts of “big plays” with your high level and gold advantage
  •  Playing 1v1 is really fun and there’s no better feeling than killing a good mid player solo
  • You don’t depend on your team that much, practicing mid in pubs is way easier than e.g. offlane

Cons:

  • Mid requires a lot of multitasking: using courier constantly, checking for enemy ganks, controlling the lane equilibrium, harassing, lasthitting and finally controlling the runes
  • The responsibility of  ganking, reacting and dictating the gamepace relies on you
  • As you own the most powerful hero early-midgame, you can also do the biggest mistakes
  • If you lose your mid solo, the enemy player gets a huge advantage that often wins the game
  • This position requires a lot of practice and experience, the skill gap between competitively experienced mid player and regular pub midder is mindblowing

As I said in the introduction – I’m not going to go into details about what playing mid means generally or about what heroes should/shouldn’t go mid and why. I want to break down playing mid layer by layer and talk in a great detail about every one of them separately.

Chapter 2. All you need to know about the creepblock

What I want to start the main part of my guide with is probably one of the most overlooked things in playing solo mid. As basic as it may sound, it’s the infamous creep block. Professional and more advanced players know the importance of a good creepblock, especially in a melee vs ranged matchup.

2.1 Perfect creepblock example pic:

[leftclickclick to enlarge the picture]

perfectblock25

Notice how none of the enemy creeps can see you and how all of your creeps are on the highground.  That means the opponent will not be able to know your positioning and  you are free to harass him.

2.2 Things that perfect creeblock lets you do:

  • Harassing from the highground (enemy can’t trade hits effectively with 25% uphill miss chance)
  •  Controlling the lane and creep balance way easier, makes enemy miss lasthits
  •  Enemy can’t see you and your positioning
  •  If he gets too close you can use one of your spammable spells

2.3 How do I achieve the perfect creepblock?

There are some little positioning tricks that will make your way better than average midder’s that doesn’t know them.

THE RADIANT

So-called RTZ block, you have to stand exactly at this spot where your heroes circle touches edges of stones on the ground in front and to the left of you:

rtzblock2

rtzblock1

As soon as the timer hits the 0:00 mark, you should start walking forward. If you do this properly, you’ll notice how all of the creeps walked to your right instead of one walking around the tower. What this does is basically letting you start creepblocking faster, without waiting for that one creep to join the others:

rtzblock3

THE DIRE

There is no particular trick on the dire side but to maximize the efficiency of your block you should stand around here on the steps, as all of the creeps will spawn just above you:

direblock

What’s the best command to creepblock? Move or Stop-spam?

To be honest, what works the best for me and a lot of pro players is the combination of both. In this video you can see comparison between players: some of them like to hold their hero hotkey to keep the camera centered, Dendi uses screen panning, and Arteezy just clicks the hero hotkey every few seconds to move the camera.

2.4 Letting ranged creep go first – when to do this and why shouldn’t you always use it.

I’ve noticed what a lot of mid-level players love to do is letting the ranged creep go first, then blocking the entire wave of melee creeps. Through testing this by myself I’ve noticed that most of the time this does more harm than good and here’s why:

  • You expose yourself to harass! If the enemy sees that you have 1 creep less[that does the most damage] he will simply start attacking you and he won’t receive quite as much damage from creeps that he normally would
  • You can end up “doublewaved” – I’ll talk about this a little bit later
  • You lose that orientation point in lasthitting. Usually you want to time your lasthit to land just after mage’s attack. By losing that option you make it somewhat easier for the nemy to deny.

There are several occasions on which blocking without the ranged creep is desirable!

  • When you know you have way more damage on the first attack and you are sure you can get the deny (eg. Kunkka with tidebringer)
  • When you are against a really low damage hero (eg. Sf, Quas Invoker)
  • When your creepblock is way better and you just let the ranged creep go first in the last seconds of the block
  • When your enemy is really hard to lane against straight up and you’ll feel more comfortable lasthitting under the tower

2.5 Practice

Remember that creepblocking is really easy to practice in singleplayer. To practice simply make a new lobby, set cheats to “on” and take one of the slots. When the game starts pick QoP, set mode to –wtf and take your starting position. To start the game simply use the –startgame command. After un/successfully blocking your creeps simply blink back with your cooldownless spell and start over. Repeat until you feel satisfied with your consistency.

Chapter 3: When the action begins: the openings

After creepblocking it’s time for something I call openings. For me it’s one of the most important stages during your laning. The first few attacks, moves and decisions show so much about player skill that sometimes I can already predict how easy or hard the game against him will be. The morale aspect of that  should also never go unnoticed – getting the first deny + lasthit combo may work very demoralizing for some players like Idra and make you feel so much better about beating your opponent.

3.1 There are basically 3 situations that may happen after the creepblock, as shown on the graph:

Image

To understand this graph and overall reactions after every kind of creepblock I made a video showing some of the world’s best pucks! [+me]

Why this hero and why only one hero? In my oppinion it’s like every dream of mid player put together: you have the silence, stun, you are mobile, have decent lasthit damage and it’s hard to gank you. Also your first skill gives flying vision over the area and serves as a free blink dagger. In other words: the possibilites it gives and the skillcap it has are far higher than for most of the heroes. About the second part of the question, I wanted to make personal style of players to be comparable and it’s hard to do if they play different heroes.

PS If you want to see the lasthit score, look at the top left, not bottom right. The creepscores on the right appear to be bugged.

Chapter 4. It’s all about the aggro

“What’s that title about?” – you may ask. My answer is: if you learn and master the rules of creeps aggro your skill on the mid will skyrocket. To be honest, after analyzing Arteezy’s play I honestly think this is one of the reasons he’s such a dominant player. Not even commonly known “mid-gods” like Dendi or Ferrari use these tricks as well as him if they use them at all.

Now let’s read a couple of facts that will prove extremely useful later:

  • Creeps will aggro anyone trying to attack allied hero in a 500 radius. That means if you attack a hero while 501 units away from the nearest creep, the creep will not attack you.
  • Creeps have aggro cooldown of 2 seconds. I’ll describe how to abuse that later in this chapter.
  • It doesn’t matter where the enemy hero you are attacking is. As long as you are in 500 radius to the closest enemy creep you might as well A-click hero on a different lane and you still will draw aggro.

Now, as you know the very basics let’s move on to the really advanced things: in a good players’ hands aggro is an extremely powerful laning tool that can be used in many different ways:

4.1 Aggro tricks – securing lasthits

Let’s take a situation like this: Image

You are more or less as far from the enemy creep as your opponent. If your projectile speeds and timings are similar – the factor that decides who gets the lasthit will be your damage. And guess what, the damage on every single hero is randomised before every attack. As a good player you don’t want to rely on luck, you want to use some sort of strategy to have the upper hand in this little game. This is where creep aggro knowledge comes into play. By A-clicking the enemy hero as the creep is getting low and instantly backing off, you drag the creep very close to you without exposing yourself to harass. Let’s say the creep was 500 distance from both of the players. After using this trick, it’s 200 units away from you and 800! from the enemy. Amazing isn’t it?

Notice the circle around my hero, it’s drawn at a 500 range. Currently you can use this command only at private lobbies with cheats on, but if you practice with your friends make sure to turn it on to get used to it later! The best thing you can do when using this strat is to position yourself before A-clicking enemy so that only one creep gets drawn towards you. This will make you push less slower than when pulling all the creeps.

Take a look at this video: Arteezy has memorised the 500 radius circle so every time he rightclicks the enemy, he pulls only the single creep that he wants to move towards him:

As you get more and more advanced in doing that trick, you will discover that the uses of this tactic are only limited by your creativity. On this picture you can see a fight for 2 lasthits:

Image

Most of the players would just accept the fact that you can’t do 2 attacks at once – so you can only get 1 lasthit or 1 deny. But with aggro tricks knowledge you can have both. Simply repeat the regular A-click + back off but instead of lasthitting your creep, deny the enemy one first. As you can see – it’s currently being attacked by the ranged creep, so if you attack at the perfect timing, you should be able to get both the deny and the lasthit to leave your enemy wondering what the hell just happened. This kind of awareness comes with time and experience but if you practice enough, soon you will surprise even yourself.

4.2 Aggro tricks – messing up lasthits

The above tactic can be also used to mess up enemy lasthits in a simple way:Image

As you can see on this picture, there’s one green creep getting attacked by most of the enemy creeps. When the creeps need about 2 attacks to get lasthitted, you have to get most of the creeps in your aggro range then A-click the enemy hero. Obviously creeps will immediately switch their target to you and iIf you did this correctly, opponent will perform the attack leaving you a free deny. Remember that this time you want to get as many creeps as you can in your 500 range circle!

4.3 Aggro tricks – solution to the failed creeblock

Yes, it happens even to the best players  so there’s nothing to be ashamed of. The solution to this is really simple – come close to the creeps as soon as the enemy shows up from fog and A-click him, then run back a little. You should end up with at least some of the creeps down in the river, where you can lasthit them without miss chance. If your enemy plays really passively and is not harassing you, you probably won’t be able to see him for a long time. In that case you can use your creep aggro knowledge and simply A-click enemy on a different lane. Optimally you want to lure enemy creeps into attacking your ranged creep, so the wave starts pushing towards your tower.

4.4 Aggro tricks – attacking enemy without drawing  creep aggro.

This legendary ability, mastered by the chosen few does indeed exist and in fact it’s not as hard to pull off as some people may think. Perhaps you’ve even done it before but you might have not noticed it. If you’ve ever wondered how some of the players attack enemies without being attacked by their creeps – this section is for you. To start off, this works the best against melee/low ranged heroes. Here’s a little video that may help you understand the concept:

As you have probably noticed, despite being in the 500 range aggro zone, I’m not getting attacked by any of the creeps. The magic behind this is amazingly simple: you have to attack the hero outside of the 500 aggro range, then without issuing any other command run to him and attack. What happens is that after you attack, the creeps want to attack you but can’t as you are not in their aggro range. Your attack command triggers 2 second cooldown on their target so as you run to the creeps you have 2 seconds of free attacks on your enemy when you won’t get damaged by the wave. The number of attacks depends mostly on your levels and attribute – for most int heroes it’s 1, sometimes 2 attacks before the creeps start attackign you again.

This mechanic can be used as one of the “openings”: as you approach the first enemy creepwave you can A-click your opponent from 500 range to the creeps and do one or two attacks. He won’t be able to trade hits effectively as he will most likely trigger creeps aggro himself.

Chapter 5. Dodging smokeganks

If you have ever played any higher level DotA, you’ve probably met the biggest nightmare of every mid player: smokeganks. They make you feel in constant danger and you can’t focus on the laning as much. What methods can you use when roaming supports appear during the draft and you know you’ll have to deal with them?

5.1 “Stop the rotation” method

If you want to win mid with an easily gankable hero and you know enemy can make your life a nightmare: get an aggresive trilane against them. This forces them to either stay on the lane and fight back or get detected fairly easily because your allies will call miss as soon as the supports are gone. Remember that as the game starts, before you see most of the enemy heroes on the map – you are not safe, and shouldn’t take any risky moves as they can be just flanking you.

5.2 Colors method

This method works mostly in pubs, where supports aren’t missing from the map as much as they do in more competitive games.

It simply relies on you memorizing the color of player/players that can gank you easily.

colors method

In this game I’ve chosen crystal maiden as the biggest gank threat. If orange dot is missing from the map and enemy carry is not farming under the tower because of CM pulling, I have to play really defensively.

5.3 Scorescreen and enemy carry position method

This method relies on you checking the scorescreen constantly and seeing if enemy supports are gaining any levels. If you feel they may gank you at level 1 and are still level 1 when they should have already done pull or two, you should really be expecting gank soon. Another way to check the position of enemy supports is watching if their carry is farming under the tower: if he is – supports are currenlty pulling, if he’s not then it’s time to start worrying. This method is unfortunately not 100% reliable as they may smoke immidiately after doing the pull and by the time you see enemy creeps back on their safelane you’ll already be dead.

5.4 Observer + sentry method

This one depends on your supports to set observer and sentry ward on a spot from which the gank usually comes. You won’t be able to see the gank coming on the minimap though. You have to constantly be checking that spot with your camera because smoke hides enemy heroes from appearing on the minimap even if you have truesight vision over them and that obviously makes it so hard to detect.

This method does not work anymore as of 6.81 patch.

Chapter 6. Runecontrol

Whether you like it or not – runes and randomness that comes with them often wins or loses games. Controlling who gets the rune is an important factor in how good mid playeryou are. You probably know the basic “start pushing 10-15 seconds before rune spawn” rule so I’m not even going to go into details about it. What I want to talk about instead is what you should do if the enemy secures the rune and what are the ablities that every rune gives.

6.1 Bottle crowing, controlling the courier

The answer to [almost] every problem on the mid: bottle crow. Nerfed in the last DotA version, but still more than viable if the opponent has such a damn luck  to runes or you simply are a melee hero with spammable nuke.

Some bottlecrow tips:

  1. The only significant change that the bottlecrow nerf brought is that you shouldn’t ever use courier’s speed buff as it flies to you from base. Wait until you put your empty bottle in it, then feel free to click this big, tempting button.
  2. If you feel like enemy offlaner or supports are going to get your rune, already fly your courier somewhere into the trees near middle lane and if it indeed is what happens, bottle crow instead of wasting time checking the rune.
  3. You should be especially careful if your opposing team has a Nature’s Prophet or Bounty Hunter. They love sniping couriers and the gold you give them is almost like free tower.
  4. Use item hotkeys in the shop! This makes shopping way faster and can save your courier. If you forgot about it and the enemy Qop is about to jump on it, quickly click shop hotkey then “courier upgrade” hotkey – for me it’s N and 8. If you’re lucky you will trade 220 gold for a kill on an overextending opponent.
  5. You have to have a courier hotkey and all his possible actions binded too. Spamming it and checking if your bottle is already refilled or if surge is available saves a lot of time and sometimes even your life.

6.2 Rune usage

  • Haste: If you sense an opportunity, you can gank enemy safelane with this rune or you can just nuke your mid opponent and make him unable to come close to creeps because of the death threat. Earlygame most useful used 10 seconds before the next rune in order to secure it.
  • Double damage: The “mid autowin” rune. If you get it you should push your advantage to the max: zone out the enemy, deny all of his creeps and get all the lasthits.
  • Invisibility: Before level 6-7 it’s not that useful as  you’re not going to gank anyways and ganking supports usually have sentries. Remember that you can use bottle once after activating it without breaking the invisibility buff.
  • Illusion: Players usually activate the rune, A-click illusions into the enemy and watch them die after dealing 15 damage. This rune actually has more uses than any other: you can stack 2 neutral camps/ancients at once, scout and deny the next rune, bodyblock to kill or send the illusions to his highground to zone him out.
  • Regenaration: Be really aggresive, get rid of all the mana then use it. One very common mistake is overextending to spend all mana then dying in a humilating way. Don’t do that. Please.

Chapter 7. To gank or not to gank?

That is the question. You probably often ask yourself in pubs “should I listen to my teammate? He’s feeding and saying he cant do anything on his lane but I’m just level 3…”

The answer is NO. Never listen to offlaners crying about how hard their lane is, if they tell you to come gank before you’re even level 5/6 it means they have no idea about this game.

7.1 It really is easier to list when it is advised to leave your lane and gank than the other way around:

  • When you are not level 6 but get a rune like haste and see that enemy is low-hped and won’t be able to back in time
  • When you’re level 6 or higher and you see enemies diving your team under the tower. Always carry tp scroll past 6 level in came something like this happens! TP into double or triple kill means a lot at early stages of the game.
  • When you see a fight somewhere near your lane and you’re sure you will get some gold or exp from kills/save your ally
  • when your supports dewarded the enemy so you are sure nobody will see you coming

7.2 Why is level 6 so important?

Mid players usually get their level 6-7 just before the night falls and first wards run out. Ganking enemies earlier simply means relying they don’t have any wards what in fact is gambling. If you gamble and lose – you waste a lot of time, experience and gold what your opponent is going to capitalize on. In the worst case scenario enemy trilane seeing you coming with rune will set up an ambush and even kill you.

If you got your 6, ganked successfully and still havent used your ulti, go back to base and regain mana then use smoke and come back to gank enemy carry again.

Chapter 8. Doublewaving, what is it and when to use it

Doublewaving is a strategy designed to make laning against melee, low ranged and heroes that want to be aggresive early way easier. It may also prove extremely useful if getting level 2 before the enemy gives you a significant advantage.

Example: Puck vs TA

Normally Puck is considered to be severely countered by Templar Assassin. By using this trick though you may gain enough advantage early to snowball and even win the lane. Getting level 2 when TA is lvl 1 you are able to dive under the tower without risking to be hit and you can avoid any harass easily.

So what exactly is this strategy and how do I use it?

To “doublewave” someone means to accumulate a lot of creeps that start pushing him towards his tower. Meanwhile you are free to harass with all the aggro tricks you’ve learned (yes they work on towers too) and deny his creeps as he tanks them under the tower. Here’s a video of me performing this strategy against my friend:

There are few things you have to remember when trying to do it:

  • never let enemy get 2 ranged creeps, actually the first creep that you kill should be his ranged creep – you stop the pushing and you can harass the enemy easier
  • you DO want to focus more on attacking the enemy hero than on lasthitting on the first wave. That way you start pushing ijust in the right timing.
  • use your spells! Using spells like static remnant/illusory orb/scream of pain deals damage to creeps comparable with 4-5 autoattacks
  • dont push too fast! If you kill the first enemy creepwave before your second wave arrives you will just give the enemy a lot of lasthits for free and your plan will be ruined

9. Hard matchups and how to deal with them

There are some heroes that make you want to quit DotA after laning against them. Remember though that every hero in this game is beatable. “OD walks into a bar. There was no counter.”? Not anymore!

9.1 Playing against Templar Assassin

As you just read, there are strategies to make Templar Assassin a beatable hero. One of the most impressive performances I’ve ever seen was Arteezy’s Puck beating TA with treant’s armor. Luckily I have a ticket for that tournament, so here’s a video for you!

Arteezy uses every trick possible to outlane his opponent. His lasthitting under the tower is also flawless this game. Despite not getting any runes he outcses TA severely and even gets a kill with some help of a jungling DS. This video proves what an amazing impact hard work and dedication have on your play.

9.2 Playing against obsidian destroyer outworld demolisher Outworld devourer

This hero is the ultimate antimidder. Unless you play Razor, Kunkka or Lone Druid there’s just not much you can do after he hits level 3. You should not focus on getting farm against an OD. What you’re looking for is experience and rune control. After you miraculously hit level 6, go gank and contribute to the team’s current situation. Maxing the nuke that will let you grab few extra lasthits against him is strongly advised.

PS If everything else fails, there’s always good old “gank him you’ll be fine”.

9.3 Playing against a batrider

Batrider’s sticky napalm is one of the most annoying skills in the game. It makes you turn forever, easy to harass and zone out. I’m probably not going to say anything particularly new here but getting a stick and backing off every time you get 3-4 stacks is a must. One of the biggest flaws on batrider’s laning is his projectile speed. Good bat will get 100% of his lasthits, but as napalm obviously doesn’t work on his own creeps you should be able to farm a bit too. If you don’t die to him by getting caught will already be a big win for your team. Heroes that are pretty decent against a bat are OD, Puck, Queen of Pain and… Zeus !

10. All the little things you can learn to become a better mid player

This chapter is devoted to all the things that are too inisgnificant to deserve their own chapter. Together though, they give you a ton of knowledge that often proves really useful.

10.1 The damage of combined level 6/7 spells

For some people this may seem completely redundant but I’ve seen some pro players checking enemy’s hp before going for a kill. After all it’s always better to know something than not to.

Remember that this is a pure spell damage output calculation . You’ll almost always be able to add 1-4 autoattacks to the combo what will deal somewhere between 50-200 additional damage.

  • QoP lvl 6: 432 dmg, lvl 7: 488 dmg (no shadowstrike)
  • Puck lvl 6: 285 dmg (+75), lvl7: 338 dmg (+75) [75 is the coil break damage]
  • Zeus lvl 6:  439 dmg, lvl 7: 495 dmg (no passive included [40-120dmg])
  • Magnus lvl 6: 312 dmg, lvl 7: 368 dmg
  • Tinker (laser rocket build,no rearm) lvl 6: 428 dmg, lvl 7: 508 dmg

10.2 Dodging Qop’s shadowstrike procs with phase shift/euls

When I died to something I should have been able to avoid I decided to learn how to dodge each one of the shadowstrikes ticks. One of the methods is to count to three and phaseshift every time you are about to get hit, but this metod is not realiable at all. How I do this is by memorising shadowstrike’s status icon, where each tick occurs on the timer then phaseshifting just as it’s about to hit you. Here’s a picture with green lines showing when to use phaseshift to dodge every damage instance :

ssdodge

10.3 Dodging sniper’s assassinate with phase shift/euls/blink etc.

Same as above, this method uses status icon to determine when to blink or use you item that will dodge enemy’s spell projectile. Works every time, regardless of how far from the sniper you are:

sniper dodge

Sniper stops channeling when the assassinate status is just a few pixels to the left from the centre.  Use your spell or euls at that exact moment to dodge the flying bullet.

10.4 TPing out from puck’s coil without taking damage

Sometimes you know you won’t survive puck’s ult orb silence + autoattacks combo, especially if you break the coil. Tping out breaks the coil even in your fountain so that’s not a viable option. Or maybe it is? If you wait for puck’s coil to go past 1/2 of the status bar, you are free to tp back to base and you won’t receive any additional damage! That’s because puck’s ultimate lasts for 6 seconds and tp channels for 3 seconds.

qopcoil111

10.5 Positioning your courier closer to the mid lane

In DotA every second matters a lot. Sometimes the smallest things can win or lose the game. Things like getting your bottle 0,5s faster. I remember dying to pudge just because my bottle was a quarter of second too late to get delivered. You can prevent this kind of situation by positioning your courier as far as possible, but still in the shop’s range. Here’s how it looks like:

RADIANT

courier radiant

DIRE

courier dire

IMPORTANT NOTE!

Positioning your courier like this is definitely not recommended if opposing team has a furion. Sometimes they just tp to your fountain hoping that you do that. Dont put your courier out of the fountain zone against Nature’s Prophet!

10.6 Camera hotkeys

Camera hotkeys are a great way to make checking for rune way easier. If you don’t know what that is – it’s basically binding certain camera position somewhere on the map to a single hotkey, in this case: runespot. In DotA 2 console allows you to bind them once and forever.

To set runespot camera hotkeys paste following commands in your console:

// Top Rune

bind “F4″ “dota_camera_set_lookatpos -2287 1817″

// Bot Rune

bind “F5″ “dota_camera_set_lookatpos 2990 -2400″

Make sure your quotes “” are written correctly cause this site may sometimes change them and your hotkeys won’t work!

10.7 Random useful facts

DotA is an incredibly complex game and there mechanics that even DotA veterans are surprised to discover.

I prepared a short list of random facts that may prove useful when you play the mid solo role:

  1. Windrunner’s powershot only needs to be channeled to 70% for it to deal full damage (0.7s)
  2. You need two or more levels in exort to take off Templar Assassin’s refraction charges with icewall. Orb of venom will not trigger refraction charges.
  3. If someone stands exactly 450 units from your hero, you can hit him with all three Shadowfiend’s razes
  4. If you have troubles with detecting when kunkka fakes his torrent – buy a stick. Whenever you gain a charge – you know it’s coming.
  5. Tinker’s laser miss buff is applied after a short interval. You can dodge it [but not the damage] by using skill like phaseshift or bane’s sleep immidiately after getting hit.
  6. Storm spirit’s overload can be triggered when your projectile is already mid-air. Abuse this to get easy firstbloods.
  7. You can use salves and bottle while under effect of pudge’s level 1-3 rot.

11. Practice – how to and why to

People who play support say that the 4 and 5 positions require the most practice. People who play offlane and carry say the exact same thing. And to your surprise every mid player believes his position is the hardest and needs the most experience. So how, what and with whom do I practice?

11.1 How to practice mid

Host a lobby with your practicepartner, set it to: cheats on, only mid and start the game. Depending on what you want to practice you can set your match to:

  • bottle crow on, runes off: allows you to bottlecrow, this training is usually focused on farming spells usage as you can them a lot and it’s difficult to kill the enemy
  • runes on, bottle crow off: makes you practice runecontrol but sometimes is luck dependant
  • runes on, bottle crow on: balances the luck factor

- if you want to, you can add additional 220 gold with -gold 220 command to pretend your support has upgraded the courier

- some people like to practice with “pooled” tango and a salve: use -gold 190 to start with +damage items

- type -startgame when you are both ready to waste less time on waiting for the creeps to spawn

11.2 Some of the most common/interesting matchups:

  1. Puck vs QoP
  2. Puck vs Bat
  3. Puck vs Storm
  4. Puck vs Magnus
  5. Puck vs Windrunner
  6. Qop vs Magnus
  7. QoP vs Storm
  8. Qop vs Bat
  9. QoP vs Windrunner
  10. TA vs QoP

11.3 Things you get from practicing mid

  • You can master all the aggro tricks I presented you with in this guide
  • You get better at timing your lasthits and “feeling” the hero
  • Your bottlecrow and rune control gets way smoother
  • You learn about some mindgames that come with practice
  • You can learn your mistakes if your practicepartner is better than you

11.4 Where do I find players to practice with?

If none of your friends like to do it, then it’s time to find a new friends :) Try searching popular chat channels like “purgegamers”, “merlini”, “reddit” or “Na’Vi”. If you still haven’t found anyone then try this guild: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/1v1Dota2Guild

If you ask the admin, he will add you to the guild inside the client and there you will find a plenty of players looking for practicepartners. Other good places to search for decent players are are ixdl-Open/Invite channels respective to your continent and big forums like joindota.com

12. The ending word and shoutouts

On the first place shoutout to You for reading this guide, every comment also means a lot to me, thanks! :) Even though writing this took me some time, seeing the final result I don’t regret any second spent on it.

Secondly, shoutout to my first reader and reviewer, HRTS. Thanks for supporting me at late hours when writing this, all the deep conversations and uncountable practice sessions done together.

Special thanks to Arteezy for providing “research material” :D and EternalEnvy for infecting me with this passion to detail and optimisation.

Shoutout to current team QWERT: sasu, Mu7trak, Hypetrak, Vex, SCT,  and other friends from the polish scene: Felstyle, GASIOR,  POzioma, Pietrax.

Sincere thanks to people I practiced mid with: P2W, Breakerr, LaDuelo, hysterial, Grasz, C-yanker, Sephiroth_vg, Pandzior, EmptyJar, Skay and ryze.

Last but not least shoutout to my old friends from Playdota Inhouse days, all the IXDL community, Icefrog and Valve.

Thanks for reading !

If you have any questions regarding mid, feel free to email me at ChaQDotA@gmail.com

Cheers!

 

~Coaching news~

As I mentioned before after publishing my guide to solo mid I got a ton of emails from all around the world and there was one question asked in almost every one of them:

Do you do coaching? Can I 1v1 you? Can I add you for you to tell me what mistakes I make in my laning?

Getting mails like this every day made me think that if there’s demand then maybe I should consider giving it a try.

After a lot of preparations (remember that if I decide to do something then I do it to the best of my ability), some trial coaching sessions and hours of thinking of the format and things to improve I decided that I’m ready to offer you my laning coaching.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For the price of 19.50$ for a 90 min session you will get:

Your replay of choice analysis – laning, gameflow, biggest mistakes
A buch of unpublished 1v1 tips compiled in a handy doc that I have prepared for my students
learning to get the most of the matchups in which you should dominate your opponent
1v1s and deep analysis of your laning – solo mid or 1v1 off/safelane

In case you are interested – don’t add me on Steam – just write me an email at ChaQDotA@gmail.com so we can set the date and preferred voice communication programme to use during the session.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

40 comments on “ChaQ’s ultimate guide to advanced solo mid

  1. Ty Fasulo says:

    very good guide

  2. Kazer says:

    Awesome guide, the only thing i wasn’t able to recreate completely is the RTZ block tho.

  3. Mattyg2787 says:

    Awesome Article. How do you lane a melee a mid hero like DK/Tiny?

  4. urschuca says:

    Awesome guide ! Nice job

  5. DAVE says:

    Very well done. Thanks!

  6. You put A LOT of effort in this guide, well made and highly informative! well done

  7. plouch says:

    This was immensely helpful for me. I learned a lot.
    Can’t thank you enough for doing such a well documented guide !

  8. Jay-D says:

    Really great guide, will come back to this one alot.

  9. thatoneguy says:

    I enjoyed this and will pass it on to my mid-playing friends! As a support, the most interesting part was the one part about attacking enemies without aggroing creeps. Feels like I learned alot! Thanks!

  10. TiNk. says:

    Impressive guide! a thank you from the brazilian community!

  11. Gral. Goat says:

    I read the whole article!! So many information I might have to type some down!
    Excellent job!

  12. George says:

    Thank you very much for this guide. Excellent stuff I enjoyed reading it a lot

  13. L says:

    Just… Thank you! That fucking helped me a lot <3

  14. John says:

    Wow you realy inspired me at the mid keep the good work on !

  15. Mo ! says:

    Really nice guide, full of usefull advices
    Thanks a lot !

  16. 420430 says:

    I have no words to describe how much this guide was helpful to me as a wannabe mid player. Thanks you for writing this.

  17. Devert says:

    Great article! I have been looking for just this type of mid guide :)

  18. Babs says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH HELP ME ALOT I LOVE YOU THANKS FOR HAVING TIME WRITING THIS THAN PLAYING HELPED MID/HIGH- SKILLED PLAYER <3 LOVE LOVE LOVE

    • Babs says:

      1 MORE THING IS IF I WANT TO ASK IS “HOW TO LANE MID MELEE HEROES” THANK YOU SO MUCH KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

      • Kardelas says:

        When u are playing meele mid hearo u have to use ur nukes to farm, u need bottle and situational is stout shield. If u dont have rune, u have to bottlecrow

  19. nitiniu says:

    Thank you. The part about aggro was very interesting. I realized that I do this already, but it has already helped me to know the theory behind it.

  20. Awesome Guy says:

    awesome guide. I was completely oblivious to creep agro techniques until now! Thx alot!

  21. TWB says:

    As someone without the commitment to get good but an interest in what seperates the pros from the chaff, I found your guide incredibly interesting even if I never get to properly apply these tactics. Thanks for taking the time to break down those replays and explain everything in detail without condescension or presumption.

  22. Roberto Fraga says:

    tks man your guide is awesome

  23. Alex says:

    Great guide man! One of the most complex I have ever seen. I love the short videos to demonstrate the theoretical part. Gj

  24. Dimo Stark says:

    Thanks a lot for the guide and i learned a lot from it but i want to ask if you know people who have made similar guides to this one for the other positions :)

  25. Micuniu says:

    To jest kawał dobrego poradnika, dzięki :)

  26. Dito says:

    dang dude this is flawless!!!!

  27. Arvin says:

    This article has been one of the most significant article for mid laner. Could not thank you enough for providing such handsomely written guide !!

  28. Abai says:

    ChaQ you are awesome, thanks !!! :)

  29. Chords says:

    Thanks ChaQ!! :)

  30. Great tips that I cannot deny usefulness! Thank you for sharing such experience with us.

  31. FriendFive says:

    This is deep stuff. Thanks for all of the helpful information.

  32. Ao says:

    wow thank you so much ChaQ, appreciated

  33. JAMes says:

    Great guide. Helped a lot. Thanks loads.

  34. Virudson says:

    This guide is FUCKING AWESOME!!

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