Updated on September 20, 4:08 p.m. (GMT+8): Changed counters, added more relevant information.
No matter the meta, Juggernaut is almost always one of the most popular core picks in Dota 2.
Yurnero’s unique set of abilities allows Dota 2 players to float from playstyle to playstyle — from an aggressive lane dominator to one of the fastest farming cores in the game. His impact from early to mid-game offers snowball potential that leads to victory.
Juggernaut may have the complete package as a core hero, but that does not mean he’s invincible. Just like other Dota 2 heroes, there are solid counterstrategies that can be applied against him.
Top 5 Dota 2 heroes to counter Juggernaut
Morphling’s Waveform is a fantastic defensive spell against Juggernaut, letting him get out of Blade Fury range and often stopping Omnislash in its tracks. Even without the spell, Juggernaut’s lack of crowd control means that Morphling often can get a good strength Morph off to counteract Juggernaut’s damage.
Morphling is also great at sticking onto targets, especially when they don’t have much defensive spells. In a core-to-core matchup, Morphling generally outscales melee carries like Juggernaut who don’t have the mobility to get away from a sticky Morphling. Items like Eye of Skadi, Manta Style, and Butterfly are natural counters to Juggernaut, all of which are general best-in-slot items for Morphling.
Like Morphling, Windranger has a great defensive spell against Juggernaut — Windrun. This allows her to simply get away from Juggernaut with increased movement speed, and the physical evasion means Omnislash cannot cut through her before a counter item like Monkey King Bar.
Furthermore, Windranger can actively chase and lock down Juggernaut. Shackleshot is a long-range, high duration stun that can restrain Juggernaut, and Focus Fire is fantastic at whittling down any hero — but especially Juggernaut, whose defensive capabilities don’t help with taking physical damage.
Doom, mostly played in the offlane whether as a core or support, has a nifty movement speed boost with Scorched Earth, making an early Blade Fury less effective. Juggernaut likes to get kills in the early game, and having a hero that’s able to get away from his aggressive moves is paramount to stemming Yurnero’s potential.
Doom’s long-duration ultimate silences Juggernaut, cutting off access to his abilities and healing — both Healing Ward and the later Blade Dance lifesteal talent. This greatly cuts down Jugg’s survivability when he relies so much on dodging spells with Blade Fury,
Bane is one of the few supports that don’t melt to Juggernaut. Brain Sap goes through debuff immunity, and so works on Juggernaut even while he’s spinning. This can extend the fight by a precious few seconds, letting any potential support to arrive or just saving Bane from a tough situation.
Nightmare is also a dual-edge sword that can be effective in several ways. The spell’s one second invulnerability window when casted can be a godsend against Omnislash and Blade Fury when casted on allies, while the spell can be used as a very effective setup against Juggernaut.
Bane’s ultimate is what makes the hero even better against Juggernaut. Fiend’s Grip is a classic counter to debuff immune heroes, and Yurnero is no exception. When Juggernaut doesn’t have access to his Blade Fury, Enfeeble becomes even better at limiting the carry hero’s damage in fights.
Skywrath is all offense in this matchup. The long-duration silence can completely destroy Juggernaut without access to dispel items like Manta Style and Satanic, letting his teammates wail on him completely.
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Skywrath Mage’s high magic damage also lets him poke at Juggernaut periodically from long range, and a well-placed Mystic Flare can completely evaporate the carry — even through Blade Fury. He’s an early-game monster that can completely ruin Juggernaut’s game, preventing it from ever kicking off, but later items like Scythe of Vyse and Ethereal Blade can also be sufficient answers to Yurnero’s late game prowess.
Tips and tricks: How to play against Juggernaut’s signature abilities in Dota 2
Jugg players are very aggressive in the early game, for they tend to take advantage of Blade Fury’s damage while flash farming for their first core item. This just means players will have to adopt a more defensive playstyle.
Escape abilities such as Mirana’s Leap, Windranger’s Windrun, or Dark Seer’s Surge will negate any damage from Blade Fury. Run away as fast as you can while Blade Fury is active.
Later in the game, Blade Fury is actually Juggernaut’s defensive skill. Whenever it goes on cooldown, this melee swordsman is very vulnerable to disable and nuke abilities. Use this window of opportunity to either harass or kill him.
Veteran players who are already used to countering Juggernauts usually play the mental game by baiting him to use his Blade Fury. To secure a kill against Jugg, have an ally with a nuke or disable ability gank your lane as soon as Blade Fury is down.
Omnislash is a high-damage, single-target ability that is often fatal to lone players. Counter this by sticking to a teammate, an ally creep, or a neutral creep. This will distribute Omnislash’s damage and even transfer its effect completely to nearby units.
Items to build to counter Juggernaut
Items like Eul’s Scepter of Divinity or Ghost Scepter also nullifies his killing potential. These items are usually bought by heroes with no escape mechanisms.
For players with a higher skill cap, Lotus Orb is an ideal item. It perfectly reflects Omnislash, albeit it requires a good amount of timing.
Tips and tricks: Shutting down a Juggernaut
Juggernaut’s power peaks at mid game where he usually obtains a core item or two. These items help him dish out a lot of damage using Omnislash and Blade Fury.
To shut him down, secure kills against him in the early game. You can do this by either rotating a mid player teammate to his lane or pairing up with a teammate with nuke and disable abilities to slow down his item progression and delay his power spike.