Dota 2’s competitive meta can change at the drop of a hat. Professional players bring out fresh ideas and new schemes all the time, leading to an ever-evolving roster of heroes that seemingly change day-to-day.
In this Dota 2 hero tier list, heroes are roughly arranged in three tiers to signify their importance in the pro scene. About forty heroes are represented, though Dota 2’s balanced nature means that many more heroes are viable.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the good heroes—they’re ranked by their popularity in the pro scene, where execution matters as much as the draft.
Though many wished for patch 7.31 to bring radical changes to its heroes, the adjustments to the roster and map have been mostly subtle. Though the new neutral creeps are cool additions to Dota 2, it seems like it’ll take a while more for players to figure out how best to take advantage of their impact.
- Death Prophet
- Templar Assassin
- Ember Spirit
Tier one heroes appear in almost every draft, whether they’re banned or picked. Their strength can either come from their flexibility, allowing teams to easily slot them into lanes as they see fit, or overpowering might that no other hero can quite reproduce or counter.
Death Prophet’s Exorcism was already one of the best team fight and pushing abilities. But with the recent patch, the skill’s damage has nearly doubled on buildings, thanks to an undocumented change in damage type.
Combined with her innate laning prowess with good attack animation and low-mana Crypt Swarm, high movement speed, and great trading tools with Spirit Siphon, she’s able to slot in anywhere from positions two to five.
Her viability in all three lanes and four different roles is what makes her a first-phase regular, letting teams remain flexible while securing a strong piece. And with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade that fears enemies, she’s a fighting force to be reckoned with later in the game even when her ultimate is down.
Templar Assassin is possibly the most broken hero in Dota 2. That assertion comes from Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, one of the world’s best hard carry players, so it’s reliable information from someone at the top of the game.
Once purely a midlaner, Lanaya has seen a resurgence as a pure hard carry, popping up just as frequently in the safelane. Her physical damage potential is truly ludicrous, and Psi Blades helps her to get her attacks off reliably and safely—and even spills onto other enemies to make her a pseudo-AOE carry.
She also provides immense utility for important objectives. Templar takes Roshan down with ease, thanks to Refraction and Meld, and can keep an eye over any immediate areas with Psionic Traps. With a Shard, those same Traps even Silence, which are very useful against mobile heroes that are usually Lanaya’s bane.
The hero that terrorized TI10 is still around, and he’s arguably even better than before as a hard carry.
Now with access to Aghanim’s Shard—which makes Tree Grab, his primary farming tool, permanent—at 15 minutes, he accelerates faster towards a scary hard carry timing. He can still be susceptible to getting kited, but once he latches onto somebody, his combination of immense magical and physical damage will kill almost anyone.
He’s more one-dimensional than before, but teams are still experimenting with pushing the hero to the mid lane. Tiny’s natural bulk makes him near impossible to push out of the lane, and Water Runes means he constantly has mana to spam out his nukes.
Plus, no other hero in the game capitalizes on hero deaths as well as Tiny. With Tree Grab, he takes down buildings with ease, which makes losing any team fight to the hero even more devastating.
The Wisp never really goes away, having been favored by pros since time immemorial. But instead of being just a buff bot for a late-game carry, Io has become a much more active hero.
The hero gives a boost of spell amplification with Overcharge now, making his companion’s spells that much more painful. He’s often paired with magic-focused midlaners like Storm Spirit and Leshrac, who benefits greatly from the spell amp and the increased mana regeneration. Plus, Io mitigates their squishy natures with health regen, and brings heroes around the map to fight any battle.
Then, later in the game, Io can be paired with the carry again, making for a synergistic relationship with his cores throughout a match.
Mars has become the quintessential offlaner for the 7.00 generation of players. The god of war is ready for battle, anytime and anywhere, thanks to his low cooldowns—even Arena of Blood, at 90 seconds, is low for that impactful of a team fight ultimate.
He also scales well later into the game, with many players favoring a carry build-up like Desolator and Satanic. It’s why pro teams have experimented with shifting this hero into different roles, with mid and even safelane viable choices in the current meta.
Yet, he’s still flexible enough to go pure utility. Even when stuck in the offlane, without a great lane, he can always contribute with his hard lockdown, and retain edge case usefulness against ranged carries with Bulwark and Arena’s projectile-blocking.
Still one of the game’s premier midlaners, Xin’s recent buffs have once again catapulted him to the top tier of heroes.
Ember Spirit’s Sleight of Fist no longer deals reduced damage to creeps as of 7.31, making the skill even more reliable as a last-hitting tool. The ever popular Orb of Corrosion and Phase Boots build also makes him hit like a truck, but still keeps him safe at a distance.
He’s also one of the best gap closers in the game due to Fire Remnant, which allows him to get up close and personal to take out valuable backline targets.
Teams have experimented with playing Ember Spirit in the safelane, going for a Battle Fury buildup that capitalizes on the immense physical damage Ember is capable of outputting. He’s still not very capable of just manfighting most other carries, but his instant burst damage and ability to be anywhere are effective tools that let him dance on the edges of the fight.
Donté Panlin only received slight buffs in the latest patch, but other factors have turned him into an adaptable two to four.
The new Diffusal Blade, which now costs 1,000 less gold, has become the item of choice for Pangolier. With Swashbuckle’s multi-hits, he can easily take out 160 mana—and deal 160 damage—making it a lethal, damaging combo.
Pangolier is arguably even better in the midlane, where his relative laning weakness is alleviated by the presence of Bottle and Water Runes. He’s also free from having to go for utility items, with many pros opting to rush Diffusal Blade.
In a lot of ways, he functions as a pseudo-Ember Spirit—but Rolling Thunder’s team fight capabilities and role flexibility can be more valuable to certain teams. Lucky Shot can also be extremely annoying, but isn’t reliable enough to be counted on as a hard counter to right-click carries.
- Sand King
- Storm Spirit
- Monkey King
- Shadow Demon
- Keeper of the Light
Tier two heroes are safe and stable picks that don’t usually warrant instant bans or picks. While not as oppressive as the heroes in tier one, they can equally be strong in a match that favors their skillset.
Of the heroes here, several of them are threatening to close in on tier one status. Sand King, once purely an offlaner, has been seeing play in mid. Much like Pangolier, he circumvents his weaker laning—except against melee heroes, because Caustic Finale still slaps—with the ability to farm huge stacks with Sandstorm. It’s common to see the hero building up to Ethereal Blade now, to further increase his burst damage.
Medusa is one of the best carries in the patch, and is flexible enough to move to mid. But she’s extremely weak in the laning stage, and needs more items to get going compared to her carry counterparts like Tiny and Templar Assassin. She makes up for it with her immense late-game bulk, as well as her base defense capabilities.
Enchantress is a more esoteric pick than most since she requires micro, but can be incredibly strong in the right hands. Enchant allows her to practically win any lane with a strong creep, and is also a useful dispel tool against the likes of Pangolier’s Shield Crash damage reduction and Ember’s Flame Guard. She’s also nigh unkillable to right clicks, but is incredibly weak to burst damage from spells.
- Dragon Knight
- Faceless Void
The heroes in tier three appear only occasionally compared to those in tiers one and two, but are popular enough to be recognized as powerful additions to a team’s draft. They can be cheesy last picks that are impossible to deal with, mesh perfectly with a player or team’s play style, or serve as niche counters to some popular heroes.
Pugna is slowly gaining popularity as a support. The reworked Nether Ward, which now reduces spell damage in an area, is an incredible tool against Blink initiators like Sand King. A Shard upgrade improves its cast range, and allows Life Drain to refract off the ward to all eligible targets. Decrepify is also a fantastic save in the right hands, countering cores with heavy physical damage. Life Drain is used mostly as a save, and can even restore mana. While he’s squishy enough to die to a light gust of wind, expect to see the hero rise up in tier.
Good old boring Dragon Knight is still mostly the same hero—a stout body that’s impossible to push off the lane, whether it’s in mid or off. But his buffed Aghanim’s Shard, which makes Fireball 80 damage per second, gives him a capable wave clear and an additional tool to contribute in fights. It’s the kind of Shard that you instantly get at 15 minutes, giving the usually one-dimensional hero a whole new facet.