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[Guide] Lane Control (Warcraft III - Dota)

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The first and most important part of the this game is Lane Control. It's the most crucial part of the game where it could determine how the game would grows.


Now what is lane control you might ask. It's basically about how well you manage your lane, be it going solo or sharing a double. Lane control only applies mostly during early game where stuffs like experience, gold, creep stats and so on are taken into consideration.


There are several things that we need to master to have a better lane control and the first one of them is last hitting.



Why Last Hit?



Let me get this straight so that each and everyone of you that are reading this could understand. If you don't do last hitting on thecreeps, you're not playing DotA at all. Last hitting plays the biggest role in deciding which side has more lane control. I bet you're probably bored by people telling you or reading in all the guides telling you to last hit. Like it or not, it's the core of the game. If you don't at least try to do it, you're going to be outplayed and pwned.


Most of the guide around tells you to do last hit on the creeps but most of them didn't even mention why. Well last hitting can do a lot more than just getting gold and denying experience. It can also be used to prevent ganks. It's very common nowadays to see people blaming their teammates just because they fail to report missing heroes well guess what? Instead of relying on your teammate and blaming them, you should just practice your last hitting and lane control.


Some of my friends which laned with me early on request for lane switching just because they can't get the creeps because I last hit everyone of it. What's worst is that some of them wouldn't even try tolast hit at all. To be honest, the only person that can only screw upmy last hitting after I've been playing DotA for so long is my bro.Yes, he is a giant noob for knowing how to kill steal only but he's the only one that could outsmart me in last hitting the creeps. Other than that, no one could outlast-hit me.


There's an old saying that "you can't fail if you don't give up," and everytime whenever I see my teammates just give up last hitting, I would get really, really pissed. Which bring me back to my main point,if you're not doing last hitting, you're not playing DotA at all. Being competitive is what DotA is all about and if you wouldn't even try to outplay your own teammate, you're taking the route down to loser-hill.


How To Last Hit?


To really last hit well and produce positive result, there are two parts that you should really have to master and understand. The first one is the micro (micromanagement) aspect and the other one is the macro (macromanagement) aspect. Micro simply means how well you control your hero. For example, how good you are with your keyboard and mouse.While the macro aspect focus more on the bigger picture.


Micro Of Last Hit


I know most of you know how to last hit but for those of you who don't,practice makes perfect. The key to effective last hitting lies in the ranged druid/necro creep. Try to keep your Alt button pressed at all times(unless you're using 1.22 version. you can just check the "always show health bars" function) to see the creeps health and focus your eyes movement between the creeps health and the druid/necro's animation shots. While waiting for the creeps' health to go low, move your heroes left and right or back and forth. This is where tempo builds up. Believe it or not, the sound plays a big role in last hitting too. Let your mind wander off while you are focusing on the druid/necro shots and just move your hero according to the sound tempo. When it's time to score a creep,Right-Click it.


Macro Of Last Hit


This technique or theory is something I would like to call the Ying & Yang factor.


First you have to imagine that each creeps represents a tin of beer and a wave makes a pack of it.


Now each of the single red square represents the creep health points.The creep wave in DotA is well balanced with both sides having the same number of creeps and having the similar attack speed and attack damage. Now the theory here is that if you don't request your hero to deal any damage to the enemy wave, the place where the creeps from both side meet will always be the same.


If your hero takes one hit on the creep, the balance of the creep waves are disturbed. So basically, in order to restore the balance and make the creep waves stay in a constant place, for each of the hit that you deal with the enemy creep, you have to deal the same amount of damage back to your creep. It's a simple concept of 'give and take'.


Consistency plays a major role in this advance last hitting technique.So whenever you're last hitting, it is better that you train yourselfto last hit with only ONE hit on each creep and not two nor three hits,due to the fact that allied creep can only be denied when their HP arelower than half. That way, it would be easier for you to control the balance.


With this knowledge in mind, you can manipulate and make the creep waves to meet whenever you want. And this thus far has helped me a lot in staying in a lane farming from a very safe distance that kept me from being ganked. There were several times that an enemy stood in the forest waiting for me to push further so that he could gank me, but I just keep the creep waves balanced the waves can't be pushed.Eventually, he took off after waiting for like minutes.


Besides that, you can also counter-push your creep back to your towers.It is something called 'lane deny'. Basically it's just denying yourcreeps whenever they're at half HP, just to maximize the deny output.That is, pushing the balance to your side.



Creep Pulling & Creep Blocking


Besides the Ying & Yang technique, you can also use these two techniques to pull your creeps closer to your tower so that it would be difficult for the enemy to gank you.


Creep pulling is a technique of pulling the neutral creeps out of their lair far enough so that your creep wave can engage them and get their travel course changed. The key to creep pulling successfully is through timing. Just check your minimap on your creep wave's location and their movement speed. Then just time your hit on the neutral creeps and lead them out so that they'll bump into your creep wave.


As for creep blocking, it's a technique of using your hero to block the creep by standing in front of them. It always ticks me off whenever I see people blocking creeps every time the first wave of the game comes out because they don't even know what creep blocking is for, they just do it because pros are doing it without even asking why. For example,the Sentinel bottom lane, blocking the first wave would just engage the Sentinel tower with the enemy's creep wave and what happens next is the second wave being pushed further to the enemy's side. Which is a bad thing because it leaves you vulnerable to gank. Only creep block whenever you have to, not whenever you want to.


Minimap & Map-Awareness


The minimap is by far the most famous tool in DotA. It tells you everything you need to know about the happenings of the map. It tells you the the enemy's location and it helps you time your attacks, etc.


For me, I like to set the color option so that each and every single heroes on the map has different colors. Everytime at the start of the match, I'd like to memorize and match the colours the enemy to the hero that they're using so that I could tell the location of each hero whenever I just look at the minimap later.


It is very common in DotA that the player whine and bi*** whenever they are killed by a missing hero whom his teammate fail to report earlier.Well most of them are noobs who just fail to make use of the minimap.All of this wouldn't have happen if he checked his minimap constantly.By 'constantly' I mean every few seconds. For me, personally, I would check the minimap whenever after a creep wave.


5 is a very small number and counting it by looking at the minimap could save your ass.


Animation Canceling


Animation canceling is the act of canceling your hero back swing animation so that he could do another attack or cast another spell after the first one.


The reason why people do animation cancel is to maximize the damage output and to counter Silencer's Last Word aura. Basically, Silencer's Last Word only kicks in after the whole animation for a spell has finished but if you manage to cancel the animation after the spell has dealt the damage, the aura won't affect you.


To do animation canceling, you just cast your spell and immediately commands your hero to move forward then cast another spell. The trick here is when you're ordering your hero to move, be sure to only click it ONCE and not spam it after the projectile or the spell has already hit your enemy. After you has canceled the animation, be sure to wait for a quick pause before you continue with the second spell. It's something called 'canceling too early' because the whole animation canceling won't be that much effective.



Always practice Last Hitting.

Be consistance when last hitting. Always remember the 'Give and Take' concept, the 'Ying and Yang' factor. One hit for one.

Pull the creeps or block the creeps whenever your lane is pushed far away.

Remember the colours of the enemy heroes.

Always check your minimap for missing hero everytime a new creep wave comes out.

Always practice Animation Canceling. Stay Alive!


Credits: DesTroyeR-

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