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.
The The International 11 Regional Qualifiers and the TI11 Group Stage have given us yet more insights into the meta. Patch 7.32 and the proceeding 7.32b update have completely shifted the drafting priorities of pro teams. The game has since slowed down, with a worse experience curve and passive gold, opening up heroes with longer cooldowns that can immediately change the face of a teamfight.
Dota 2 hero tier list | TI11 Edition
Tier of her own
The hero in this tier appears in, quite literally, every draft. She’s a mobile initiator that can also outfight cores twice her networth—and that makes her priority number one for any drafter.
The initial 7.32 patch wasn’t kind to Marci, but 7.32b has gone a long way toward remedying the hero in the public eye. Nerfs in the 7.32c patch hasn’t done much to drop her popularity—she’s the only hero to have a 100 percent contest rate through the LCQ. Of the 17 games she was picked, 13 of them resulted in victory—making for a 76.47 percent win rate. Through TI11 groups, she has a 99 percent contested rate, according to Dotabuff, at the time of writing, meaning her popularity is holding strong.
Losing the instant initiation and stun on her Dispose hurts, but the hero is arguably stronger than she was pre-patch. She remains one of the best sidelane supports in the game, especially when paired with ranged, quick hitters like Visage and Mirana. It’s difficult to trade against Sidekick, and a good Rebound and Dispose is still more than enough to drag opponents out of position.
Though she has trouble farming, all she really needs is a Black King Bar and Skull Basher — everything else is a luxury. It’s no surprise to see her outpunch cores that have far higher net worth than her, making her weakness generally moot. She’s perhaps the most versatile hero in Dota now, capable of being played across all five roles — though standard protocol leaves her as a position three to five.
- Primal Beast
- Shadow Fiend
Tier one heroes appear in almost every draft, whether it’s banned or picked. Their strength can 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.
Enigma received a relatively small change in 7.32, changing his Aghanim’s Shard upgrade from a pulling Black Hole to improving his Malefice. That, however, modified the dynamic of the hero enough for him to be a perennial drafting presence.
Demonic Conversion is still a fantastic laning spell that constantly denies ranged creeps, guaranteeing frustration on the side of Enigma’s laning counterpart.
The hero has also become less reliant on his Black Golem making him more palatable when playing into counters like Rubick or Silencer. The Consumer of Worlds can instead focus on just spamming Malefice and Midnight Pulses in the fight, aided by his more versatile Shard upgrade. But forget about his ultimate at your peril — Enigma remains perhaps the singular best teamfight hero in Dota, and a Refresher Black Hole can spell the doom of any lineup.
The biggest change to Undying was a Decay buff that no longer “modifies health when expiring.” This means that Undying effectively healed, and enemies took damage, from the spell, and is now far more obnoxious.
This one change alone, despite nerfs to the hero’s other spells, single-handedly elevates the hero’s status as a possible core. Already known as a lane dominator as a support, Dirge suddenly becomes a viable offlaner that constantly saps the health of the enemy carry.
Otherwise, he’s still very much the same hero. It’s always difficult to fight into Tombstone, unless you have specific counters for it. Flesh Golem is a damage amplification spell that works on Roshan, making it far more valuable than just a normal teamfight spell.
Dota 2’s newest hero is a domineering force of nature. What he lacks in late-game utility or damage, he makes up for with one of the strongest laning and mid-game timings of any hero in the roster.
Primal Beast is a menace in lane. He’s able to close gaps really quickly thanks to Onslaught, and Trample makes it nearly impossible to contest creeps if you are a melee or squishy hero. Often played from positions two to four, he also introduces a flexibility to your draft like the Tinys of old.
Pros have gone towards forgoing Uproar until later in the levels, prioritizing the hero’s spell damage. Once ultimate Pulverize comes online, he’s able to lock down key targets with little recourse for your opponents—doubly so when Black King Bar is finally online.
Morphling is almost always a viable pick in the meta, thanks to carries and midlaners’ propensity to bust out the hero in key situations. He’s a carry that provides utility due to his Morph spell—and his ultimate has only gotten more powerful thanks to his new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade.
Aghanim’s Scepter now causes Morph to steal—not just add, steal—20 percent of the stats from your targeted hero. Depending on their attributes, you also steal status resistance if they are strength, attack speed if they are agility, and spell amplification if they are intelligence.
This makes Morphling the single-best anti-carry in the game, and gives Morph a utility that extends far beyond just doing more damage. One click will render the opposing hard carry far weaker, possibly losing nearly a 100 attack speed, chunks of armor and their health.
It’s gotten to the point where teams are first-phasing the hero, banning or picking before immediately protecting their selection. Morphling’s impact on the meta has extended to single-handedly raising the draft priority of some heroes like Ancient Apparition and Drow Ranger—anti-regen specialists that prevent the hero from using Attribute Shift freely.
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.
Overwhelming damage. Physical or magical, Shadow Fiend has it in spades. Adding a slow to his Shadowrazes has only helped the hero become a perennial first-phase hero, either in the safe or midlane.
While carry Shadow Fiend was a bit of a fad in past patches, often electing to skip Shadowrazes for attributes, no player will willingly skip their best skill now. In a role unprecedented for SF, who used to rely entirely on farming creeps in the midlane then heading to the jungle, he’s now a laning kill threat. Shadowraze’s stacking movement and attack slow cannot be underestimated, making it easier for a support to follow up or jump on laning opponents.
Two diverging builds tend to extend after the lane. The far more popular one is the right-click Nevermore, focusing on agility items like Dragon Lance and Manta Style, and picking the level 15 Presence affects Building talent to becoming a sieging machine.
The other is a magic build, constantly using Shadowrazes in fights and buying items like Blink Dagger, Scythe of Vyse, and Aghanim’s Scepter to lock down targets. No matter which build you go, Shadow Fiend is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Arcane Blink, which lets players unleash their Requiem of Souls far quicker in key situations.
Pangolier just deals so much damage. He’s one of the hardest-scaling midlaners in the game thanks to generous Rolling Thunder talents and Aghanim’s Scepter, making him an ideal position two that can soak up farm in dangerous areas. The popularity of the hero has also seen it been flexed to the offlane, allowing players
While his landing phase isn’t quite approaching dominating status, he generally doesn’t lose his lanes thanks to Shield Crash’s cheap mana cost and damage reduction ability, as well as having an escape with Swashbuckle.
When Pangolier gets access to Diffusal Blade, he becomes an entirely different teamfight and ganking monster. Swashbuckles are almost impossible to dodge, allowing the hero to constantly needle enemies’ health and mana pools. Rolling Thunder is one of the best teamfight spells in the game, locking down targets constantly should they find themselves trapped somewhere with easily accessible walls.
- Faceless Void
- Nyx Assassin
- Ember Spirit
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 be equally strong in a match that favors their skillset.
Of the heroes here, several of them are threatening to close in on tier one status. While Faceless Void has received constant nerfs over the past few patches, few can touch the hero’s combination of hard carry potential and teamfight. The hero’s laning phase has gotten progressively weaker, making other carry options like Morphling and Shadow Fiend more appealing—but the hero’s Chronosphere sometimes make it all worth it, especially when paired with heavy damage dealers like Invoker and Leshrac.
Nyx Assassin has become the position four of choice for several teams. The pesky bug is poor in the lane, which necessitates picking strong offlaners. When paired with these heroes, he’s more than capable of providing follow-up stuns, but lacks damage. Nyx scales fantastically later into the game, providing valuable scouting information with Vendetta and providing chain lockdown with Impale and Spiked Carapace.
Leshrac has surged into the meta with a new item build—rushing Bloodstone. No other hero benefits from the item’s combination of spell lifesteal and copious mana regeneration, allowing the Tormented Soul to keep Pulse Nova permanently activated. While it can be timing-reliant, and is susceptible to physical damage, the hero can scale well into the late game when in capable hands.
- Templar Assassin
- Monkey King
- Lone Druid
- Ancient Apparition
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.
Disruptor is increasingly popular as a position five, partially in response to the continued prevalence of Black King Bar. The hero is a strong laner that discourages aggression, thanks to Thunder Strike, and Glimpse feels amazing when the team is ahead. Later into the game, an Aghanim’s Disruptor—whether slowly built up or obtained from Roshan—makes him one of the strongest initiators in the game. Not all teams run it, but the teams that do love the Disruptor.