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.

With the lack of a traditional, huge post-The International 11 patch, there has been a fair amount of shakeups in the meta even with just a few nerfs to strong heroes here and there in patch 7.32d. The once-terrifying Marci has now become one of the game’s meekest supports, leading others to fill her shoes.



Dota 2 hero tier list | February 2023

Tier one

  • Lina
  • Treant Protector
  • Rubick
  • Tusk
  • Broodmother
  • Batrider
  • Death Prophet

Lina

Dota 2 Lina Fiery Slayer wallpaper
Credit: Valve

Lina is not just the best carry in Dota right now, she may just be its most broken hero.

While the hero didn’t receive any nerfs in the current 7.32d patch, the changes to Fiery Soul have finally been noticed. Pros have taken to it like moths to a flame, leveraging it in a unique, low-mana build that relies on right clicks instead of spells to farm.

In the lane, she gains protection mostly from her absurdly long attack range, and generally pairing with a tanky melee support like fellow meta partner Treant Protector. It’s not uncommon to see her completely forgoing regeneration for Blades of Attack and Branches, maximizing poke damage in an effort to drive opposing heroes out of lane.

Since Fiery Soul now gains charges based on targets hit, it’s not uncommon to see Lina hitting full stacks off one spell, as opposed to having to cast three spells in the same amount of time as the previous iteration of the spell. This makes Lina one of the fastest farmers in the game with Falcon Blade and Maelstrom, with barely any mana needed to sustain her speed.

She’s still more than capable in the late-game — as evidenced by years of mid Linas completely decimating teamfights — especially with the now in-vogue Gleipnir build that assists the hero with landing her stun.

Treant Protector

Dota 2 Treant Protector Emberbark loading screen
Credit: Valve

Treant Protector’s laning strength and delaying tactics have always been a core part of the hero’s identity, but recent buffs to Leech Seed and Living Armor have made Rooftrellen even more oppressive in the sidelanes.

Leech Seed receives buffs at almost every point, now dealing and healing more damage, is faster to cast, and now has scaling cast range. The spell is now an ideal way to both initiate and deter aggression. The slow and healing almost always encourage opponents to start running away or risk sustaining two heroes. Plus, this is the hero with the highest base damage in the game — painful whether it’s aimed at heroes or creeps.

Recent buffs to Living Armor also made the spell much more effective at lower levels, now providing 6 armor at level one — more than an Ogre Frostmage’s shield. This makes it an incredible value point for defending allies or buildings across the map, once again gumming up opposing offensive moves.

Later in the game, Treant continues to annoy by stalling pushes with Living Armor, eventually able to help in teamfights with his powerful ultimate, Overgrowth. 

Rubick

Rubick in the Dota 2 trailer
Credit: Valve

Rubick has been the beneficiary of multiple small buffs over the past few patches, which have now tipped him over as one of the best teamfight supports in the game.

Rubick is rapidly gaining popularity in multiple positions, including as a five and two. Both benefit from his recent increase in base damage this patch, making him much more consistent at harassing and right-clicking.

The hero generally ventures along two paths. Mid and soft support Rubicks tend to focus on casting spells, going for items like Aether Lens, Blink Daggers, and Aghanim’s Scepter to steal powerful abilities and turn the tides of any teamfight.

The other way is to focus on repositioning, buying a Force Staff and Aghanim’s Shard as quickly as possible. These two powerful displacements can completely break combos on the other side, being especially effective against heroes like Magnus and Disruptor.

Plus, no matter how bad Rubick is as a hero, Spell Steal is a game-changing ultimate that puts off certain heroes simply by existing. Having all these small benefits combine into a hero borders on absurdity as to his limitless potential — whether as a teamfight god, or powerful savior.

Death Prophet

Dota 2 Death Prophet loading screen
Credit: Valve

Death Prophet’s changelogs seem to seesaw rapidly, which speak to how finely-tuned the hero needs to be in order to not be completely broken.

Exorcism is always the spell to think about when playing against Death Prophet. It’s a teamfight, pushing, and Roshan-taking spell in one, making it an incredible ultimate that can single-handedly propel the hero into the vaunted halls of OP-ness. She’s now mostly played as position three, occasionally flexing to the midlane.

This patch, she’s a perfect candidate for the new Guardian Greaves rush that has become this patch’s default build for offlaners, using the mana to sustain her low cooldown spells. Mekansm is also a great item to boost her low armor, as well as providing a burst heal when her Spirit Siphon isn’t enough to sustain herself.

Tusk

XinQ's Tusk carry build helped PSG.LGD win.
Credit: Valve

The International 11 winner, Tundra Esports’ Leon “Nine” Kirilin, popularized the hero as a high-tempo midlaner on the biggest stage. It’s now a popular hero as a mid core or soft support, with unparalleled utility in one package.

Mid Tusk — now perhaps a more popular option than its support counterpart — generally leverages his decent laning presence and strong ganking to snowball out of control. The hero generally rushes Desolator to keep up his physical damage, and synergizes nicely with his Tag Team and Walrus Punch combo — even just by himself.

Snowball is a many-edged sword that is simultaneously offensive and defensive. Being able to drag allies into the Snowball makes it a strong save against certain heroes, while it remains a high damage nuke even without its defensive aspect.

Tusk’s important level 15 talent helps the hero retain relevance later into the game by adding damage to his Snowball, allowing him to clear creep waves with these two spells without needing to stop for a farming item.

Broodmother

Dota 2, Broodmother
Credit: Valve

Known as the terror of pubs, Broodmother can be similarly horrifying against pro teams that fail to take precaution against her lane-winning and farming abilities. Despite nerfs in this patch after being arguably one of the heroes of the tournament at TI11, the Black Arachnia has become a terrifying infestation in the offlane.

Position three Brood focuses on transitioning into a teamfight hero with pure aura items like Guardian Greaves and Pipe of Insight. Even then, her farm does not suffer thanks to her baby Spiders, infesting every nook and cranny of the opponent’s lane and jungle. These are also valuable scouts, though their vision has thankfully been nerfed in 7.32d. Her annoyance extends to getting a disable of her own now, enabled by her Aghanim’s Scetper that grants the new ability Spinner’s Snare.

Even in games Broodmother lost, she destroyed her lane consistently. She can lose momentum, especially when her own team doesn’t fight around her. Her role is more of a bulky teamfighter rather than the annoying split-pusher of yore, and will likely receive even more nerfs.

Batrider

Dota 2 Batrider Burning Jack Bomber
Credit: Valve

Batrider will always be one of the game’s strongest initiators. When the hero also becomes one of the strongest assassins, that’s when we get a balance issue.

The hero received one of its most groundbreaking changes, where Sticky Napalm now deals damage. That helps the hero become an even stronger laner than before, especially in a short lane like mid, and gives extra oomph later into the game. Any Lasso-ed target can kiss their life goodbye — and that’s after several nerfs in 7.32b.

Builds have become nearly standardized with Batriders, opting for Boots of Travel into Blink Dagger, Black King Bar, and Aghanim’s Shard — which has become more reliable now that it applies Napalm every other attack. Next item choices include Aether Lens, for easier initiations, or Witch Blade, for better damage — though most eventually get both. Octarine Core often rounds out the build, allowing you to be constantly flying and peppering enemies with Napalm and right clicks.

Tier two

  • Ember Spirit
  • Tiny
  • Naga Siren
  • Mirana
  • Beastmaster
  • Lycan
  • Pangolier
  • Naga Siren
  • Pangolier
  • Nature’s Prophet
  • Ursa

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 strong in a match that favors their skillset.

Dota 2 Ember Spirit
Credit: Valve

Of the heroes here, several of them are threatening to close in on tier one status. Ember Spirit never seems to slink away into obscurity, and he continues to be a strong midlaner that rarely gets pushed out of the lane. Constant Sleight of Fist spams with Orb of Corrosion remain effective to push out enemy heroes and steal ganking kills. Eventually, the hero becomes a menace with his long-range initiations after a Scepter upgrade to his Fire Remnant, along with high magic damage items like Gleipnir and Sange and Kaya.

Tiny, much like Tusk, is a strong ganker that can function at both the two and four. What makes this hero less effective is that he lacks instant initiation until he gets Blink Dagger, while Tusk can immediately rush a Desolator. Tiny can still scale incredibly well, however, with many midlaners opting to get Aghanim’s Scepter for access to Tree Volley — then capping it off with high physical damage items like Daedalus.

Tier three

  • Slark
  • Bloodseeker
  • Spectre
  • Mars
  • Riki
  • Sniper
  • Drow Ranger
  • Dark Seer
  • Riki
  • Hoodwink
  • Enigma
  • Invoker

The heroes in tier three appear here and there, 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.

Dota 2, Slark announcement
Credit: Valve

Slark and Bloodseeker enjoy an interesting symbiotic relationship with each other. Slark is arguably the more powerful carry this patch, but is hard-countered by Bloodseeker. This makes the Nightcrawler incredibly popular in pubs, but is stymied by the presence of his counter in a more organized drafting space.

Meanwhile, Spectre is rapidly gaining popularity as a hard carry. Blademail rush, often forgoing Boots, into Power Treads and Aghanim’s Scepter seems to be the settled way to play the hero. This gives her decent farming speed, even against neutrals, and provides global ganking presence on a short cooldown. Expect to see this hero get more popular, especially since she’s a decent counter to the meta Lina.

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