The ultimate Dota 2 Guide is back!
In my last articles, I wrote about the 2K MMR Trench and how to get out of it, and how to support like a professional. Today, my guide is on ‘how to push your MMR efficiently and quickly’. In general, there are three ways to increase your MMR depending on your current MMR level: Split-pushing, solo-killing, or teamwork. I’ll try my best to explain why and how. But first, you need to know something.
“MMR is just a number.” That’s a fucking lie, yeah. MMR is your matchmaking rank that decides how good you play Dota, end of discussion. But there’s more to it than meets the eye:
- Even good players can have low MMR simply because of wrong choices, bad picks, noob teammates, picking supports in low MMR, etc.
- You can’t decide how to push MMR for a given MMR range for sure. It’s situational and depends on many factors.
- Sometimes you get stronger enemies working as a team in low MMR.
- Sometimes you get noob enemies solo-farming like 500 MMR SEA Ursa players in high MMR brackets.
So, I said all that just to tell you that you can’t decide which one of the three MMR pushing techniques you should employ for your MMR range. Each match is different and might have players of the skill level you didn’t expect.
Therefore, there’s no specific rule as to which strategy to employ in which case. But mostly they’ll be fitting like this:
- All three, if employed after enough practice, work like a charm in very low and low MMR range.
- Split-pushing: Works good anywhere from 0 to 2K generally. After and around 2K (sometimes around 1.5K too), you get players who will actively stop you from split-pushing and if you’re not able to get around such obstacles, you’ll be dead weight (or even a feeding machine) for your team.
- Solo-killing: Solo-killing depends on your skill. It works on almost all MMR levels (but for high levels, it’s preferred to use teamwork rather than solo-killing). But you have to be really good. A good deal of knowledge about situational item builds and counter-picking is a must.
- Teamwork: Good teamwork can make you win any game except if your enemies are better players who are also working as a team. However, it’s impossible to see good teamwork in low MMR levels so if you’re playing as party in low levels – teamwork is your best option. If you’re playing solo in low levels – there is exactly a 0% chance that you’ll be able to play with teamwork, especially with noob SEA or India players.
Split-Pushing: Destroy their towers and win the game
How split-pushing pushes MMR:
- By split-pushing, you kill enemy towers when enemies are busy/in a teamfight.
- The lesser towers the enemy has, the more pressure mounts on them and the more creep-push there will be, accelerating further push.
- A pushed lane keeps enemies busy defending it.
- Certain enemies might be unavailable in teamfights for defending lanes.
- Certain enemies will farm much less if you’re constantly split-pushing.
- So you play pubs and want to push alone one lane when enemies are seen elsewhere? Well, as ArtStyle believes (read.navi-gaming.com/en/team_news/top10_pub_geroev_ot_artstyle), “Most of the time people will allow you to [split-push] since in pub games no one really knows how to deal with split-push.” He’s known for playing reckless and nuking heroes so you can believe him.
What is split-pushing:
Split-pushing is splitting away from your team when they’re going to fight (or even defend or push themselves). You go to a far lane from the active one, and try to kill the enemy tower. Always have an escape mechanism.
Let’s take an example. You’re Lycan playing from Radiant. You’re farming in your jungle. You see three teammates going bottom lane to defend it. You do nothing. You wait for enemies to show up. Enemies show up. 1, 2, 3. There’s your window of opportunity. You TP to your top lane, massacre enemy creeps, and take their tower with your creeps all within 30-50 seconds. Enemies start TPing there. You turn on your ultimate and run off with a 650 movement speed.
This is also called ratting and can be very irritating, but is a very, very easy technique to win quickly and push your MMR. With that same Lycan, if you’re not getting any opportunity to take towers, you’re defending, or trying to get kills with or without your team – you’re doing it wrong.
How to do split-pushing:
- Always keep TPs. Don’t let enemies know your motives – when are you going to push, when you’re just going to farm even if the lane is open, etc. Surprise enemies by suddenly appearing at their tower and destroying it quickly before they can come to save it.
- As a rule of thumb, always wait until you’re confirmed that no one who can one-on-one kill you can come to save the tower you’re about to push. Wait until they’re all engaged (I mean farm, not just stand in your fountain). And push when they’re least likely to come and save their tower.
- Sometimes you can’t be fully sure to not have company at the tower. Sometimes you can’t leave a lane open and not push to trick your enemies. There, you have to take risks. However, your chances to kill a tower decrease in such situations.
- Swiftly cleaning enemy creep waves while saving your own waves behind you creates a good force of creeps and if enemies are busy in fighting, defending, farming, or staying dead – these creeps can do wonders.
- Pushing means creating more space. If the top tier 1 Dire tower is down, the Radiant top lane has much less pressure. In split-pushing, you create space alone with the help of creeps (and the Siege Creep is your best friend).
- By split-pushing you also take down barracks, tier 4 towers, and even the ancient, all by yourself. It just depends on the game.
- As a split-pusher, if the enemy team has farmed carries – you aim for mega creeps as it will keep them busier. If enemy team can be handled easily, just aim to kill the ancient and win the game.
- It’s also your job to tackle enemy split-pushers and creep-pushing if none of your teammates are available.
Good split-pushing heroes:
A good split-pushing hero needs to have a combo of abilities and items that can be used to quickly tear down enemy towers. He or she also needs enough attack speed and damage to swiftly slaughter enemy creep waves. If creep waves hinder you, it gives time to enemies to come and protect their tower.
- In my opinion, the best split-pushers are Lycan and Clinkz.
- Other good split-pushers are Nature’s Prophet, Anti-Mage, Morphling, Phantom Lancer, Broodmother, Naga Siren, Venomancer, Leshrac, etc.
- There are some more which can be played as split-pushers but either lack building-damage or are better if played with team: Tinker, Meepo, Drow Ranger, Troll Warlord, etc.
- A lot of pushers can also be played as split-pushers. Here are some strong normal pushers: Death Prophet, Tiny, Enigma, Lone Druid, Dragon Knight, and Shadow Shaman. However, it’s not generally recommended to use team-players like Death Prophet to push alone. She’s much better pushing with the team. In contrary, there’s no point for Clinkz to push with team while his abilities allow him to take down some other tower while having enough time to escape an ambush (killing two towers is better than one, isn’t it?). You can use pushers as split-pushers, but only if really needed.
- This guide is about intentionally split-pushing to win the game. But sometimes there are certain special situations where even a frontline carry finds it better to split-push to win rather than engaging in fights. For example, in a recent match I witnessed a true heroic deed. Our Chaos Knight was well-farmed, but our Outworld Devourer failed miserably, feeding a lot. Enemies were pushing well, we were dying, and my healing wasn’t working against their monstrous attack speeds. So while they were pushing, fighting, doing Roshan, farming, and even solo-killing, our CK took up the role of a split-pusher. He pushed multiple towers, using his Phantasm (which is pretty good for pushing) just for towers. The enemies were a bit overconfident and our CK was a good split-pusher. He died sometimes while pushing, yes, but in the end their ancient fell before ours – so it didn’t matter.
- If you’re a good split-pusher, you’ll give your team an upper hand in teamfights. If you’re pushing a lane and you can’t be killed easily – then a powerful enemy carry has to come to stop you. At that same time, your team initiates a teamfight somewhere else – a teamfight where one of the powerful enemy carries is unavailable. Even if you fail to push, your team has killed at least three enemies. And now can take down the other two easily or push.
- A split-pusher can also activate when the other teammates are already pushing. This creates a two-fronts situation and it’s very pressurizing for the enemies. When I split-push, I sometimes like to play with enemies. I stick with my team, eating their mid tower. When all of them are there, I TP to another lane and start pushing that one. Most enemies become confused, and either a lot of them TP to stop me or no one leaves the fight on mid in fear of losing it.
- If you’re a split-pusher, you can’t be a carry. So suppose both teams have two supports, the equation becomes like this: 3 enemy carries vs. 2 carries in your team. Therefore, if you’re not playing your role of split-pushing well, the enemy team has an upper hand and you should rename your profile to Dead FeedMachine Weight.
- It needs a lot of practice to figure out the correct time to push, when to clash with defending enemies, and when to run away to save your life.
Solo-Killing: Don’t let enemy carries stay in battles
How solo-killing pushes MMR:
- Solo-killing stops enemy carries to accumulate farm or kill your teammates. The more time you can buy for your team, the more push there will be from your side.
- It’s the best technique to win in some terms. Because if enemy carries are dead you’re getting more and more time to farm, push, kill others, etc., and you have lesser pressure.
- If enemy carries keep dying, they won’t be able to scale in late-game. This makes things easier for your team. It’ll be very easy for you to win. If you keep them from scaling as much as you are scaling, you can single-handedly take down all 5 enemies – no matter how tanky.
- Even if you remove one powerful enemy carry from the battlefield, the other enemies are easier to kill. This has a multiplier effect. The moment your team kills one more, there are just three. You solo-kill another support, now just two – probably defending from creeps. This situation is ideal, you can harass them by switching lanes, hard pushing an undefended lane, or doing Roshan.
What is solo-killing:
Solo-killing means chasing enemies which are alone, low-HP, or easy to kill. Not every hero can solo-kill. You can also kill multiple, it all just depends on your own sense and skill. You break off from your team, just like in split-pushing, and let your team do the normal stuff. However, you split off to look for victims. A farming carry, a defending support, a roaming disabler – you sense them (wards, map sense, hero abilities), you reach them, you kill them. Easy.
How to solo-kill:
- Pick a hero you’re very experienced in. Farm adequately in early game (some heroes can easily kill early game too). And once teamfights and pushes begin, kill enemies who are separated from their team or are an easy target.
- Supports are easier to kill, like a Dazzle or a Crystal Maiden. However, your first priority is enemy carries. Your ultimate goal is to win the game, and if you kill a support while leaving the carry to do that farm or push – your chances to win decrease.
- Another skill you need as a solo-killer is the ability to divide enemies. The moment you separate an enemy hero from the team, your chances of killing spike.
- Solo-killers also fight in teams. Suppose you see a weak enemy hiding behind the enemy carries – you go over and kill that hero. This lessens the enemy count, gives you farm, scares enemies a bit (a fast Sven killing a support standing back in 5 seconds and coming back to join the teamfight will always scare enemies), and thus it’s easier for you to win the fight.
- Each solo-kill awards you gold and XP more than a team kill. It also increases the pressure on enemies. Also, it creates a psychological fear in enemy mindset. They’re afraid to go out alone and their first tendency after even glimpsing you running towards them is to turn back and run away.
- You should always take out time to farm. The more easily you’re able to farm, the stronger you are as compared to enemy carries. When a couple enemy carries are dead and you see no target, just go and farm. The better items and higher level you have, your solo-killing power increases further.
Good heroes for solo-killing:
A good solo-killer needs abilities and items that enable him or her to chase, some can also disable, finish up the enemy fast, and maybe also have an escape mechanism.
- My favorite is Bloodseeker. Bloodseeker’s abilities make him an ideal solo-killing destruction machine. I have done 40-60 kills with 0 deaths using Bloodseeker. You just need the correct items and nice supports on your team.
- The best solo-killing heroes of the game are Pudge, Clinkz, Drow Ranger, Tiny (with a Blink), Sven, Templar Assassin, Riki, Sniper, Shadow Field, Queen of Pain, Phantom Assassin.
- There are others which could be very useful in lower levels: Ursa, Huskar, Sniper, Riki, Phantom Assassin, etc. Faceless Void and Spirit Breaker can also solo-kill.
- Solo-killing is one of the most fragile techniques. If you accumulate farm and solo-kill but your team is not scaling right, enemies can still win. You have to balance between solo-killing and team-pushing in such cases. If you believe your kills alone will be able to make you win in late-game, you could be wrong – especially if there are enemies that are well-farmed. They can kill you, end your killing streaks, and while you’re dead for 70 seconds and your team did no significant push because you were roaming all the while and they were dying – enemies can push 2.5 towers in one blow while you’re still dead.
- All heroes can’t solo-kill. Some heroes are meant to stick with team. It’s important to know that fact. Suppose you farm a lot with Dragon Knight with amazing items. Still, if you stick with your team it’ll be much easier to win the game than if you roamed to get kills.
- There is a good deal of risk involved in solo-killing, especially early game when towers can still damage you a lot. It’s important to not get carried away by your desire to kill, you might end up getting ganked or tower-killed, which is just humiliating.
- Turn on the ‘Holding ALT Shows Tower Attack Range’ option (Settings gear>Options) and pick up the habit of regularly checking tower ranges by pressing the Alt key. Also, force-attacking on an ally creep resets the tower’s range (also turn on the “Right Click to Force Attack” in the same window, left side, if you prefer). Even if there’s no creep to deny, just use your auto-attack on one.
- Not all games are conductive to solo-killing. And if enemies like to stick together, as they do in high MMR brackets, it’s hard to solo-kill.
- Shadow Blade (and Silver Edge) is an effective solo-kill item. Many solo-killing heroes can use the invisibility and damage bonus.
- I’ve mentioned that supports are easier to kill – but never underestimate your enemies. Never. Even a support can kill you or at least get you killed. I mentioned Dazzle and CM as good solo-kill targets, but I’ve killed noob solo-killers using these two in plenty, in cold blood, and laughed on them. Never go overconfident unless your farm is really solid. You will know to which extent you can go if you stay calm and play with a cool head.
- Don’t go in visionless fog just because you think there would be somebody. The entire team can be there waiting to kill you within 2 seconds. Dying is counterproductive.
Teamwork: Play strategically with team co-ordination, needs a lot of practice
How teamwork pushes MMR:
- When players work as a team, their chances of winning the match increase more than they can increase by any other playing style.
- Good teamwork means good understanding and communication. When you listen to each other, help each other, and make strategies to gank, push, Rosh, farm, defend, kill, etc. together – you’ve unlocked the very secret of playing Dota 2.
- It’s a team game, and if all pieces of the puzzle fall to the right spots, nothing can stop you from winning. I have seen heavily farmed carries and deadly solo-killers melt down in front of a weaker but cohesive pool of well-drafted heroes.
What is playing with teamwork:
- Doing things together and with each other’s consent.
- No flaming and no selfish decisions.
- Good communication, selfless supporting, and planned-out ganks and pushing.
Suppose you’re on Radiant bottom, defending your tier 1 tower from two enemy heroes. Your two teammates are pushing top with creeps. You ask them to come help bot, and they TP bot right away. Now two things happen:
- You save your tower, which is a huge achievement.
- You get one or two kills on bottom, which serves as a reminder of how well-communicated you guys are and it’ll be a mistake to take you lightly.
Players who play with teamwork experience a much higher success rate as well as gaming satisfaction, because in the end, as humans, we’re social creatures. When you listen to a Sven trying to push a tower, and help him – you’ve earned his respect. In a teamfight mid-game, the same Sven will waste his stun just to help you survive and go out of battle zone even if he was low on mana.
If you all act like self-absorbed elite carry players, no one will save anyone and will just look for kills. If the enemy team isn’t pure messed up – it will be able to wipe your team off, one ego machine at a time.
Togetherness makes gameplay smoother. And although it increases the chances of your victory, togetherness also gives a positive boost to your morale. You know people are there to help you.
Sometimes even 5-player parties don’t understand the importance of communicating and end up losing to 5 different people from around the world who just happened to listen to each other.
How to play as a team:
- Always try to communicate. Microphones are required to communicate effectively. Especially when you reach high MMR levels, you’ll find there’s a dire need to communicate over voice to really win.
- If you’re a carry, help gank. If you’re a disabler, help setup kills for the carries. If you’re a support, be selfless and help your comrades. If you’re an initiator, always be there in teamfights and tower defense situations.
- Understand each other. Understand their abilities, and how each spell of the five heroes in your team can be utilized together to win the fight.
- Using the right ability at the right time is central to playing with teamwork. As a professional player, you’ll figure out what abilities can turn the tide of the game if used correctly.
- And the most important thing: When to drop that ultimate? When to save that ally? When to preserve that high-mana-cost nuke spell for a bit later use? Think all these in the larger context of the whole team, not your own benefit or increasing your kills. If you do, you will be able to win the game even if your kill count is small. Winning is necessary to push MMR, not kill count.
Good teamwork-based heroes:
No matter what hero and role you’re playing – a nuker Lion, a split-pushing Nature’s Prophet, a harassing Shadow Demon, a terrifying Night Stalker mid, a pro Invoker, a mega kill Weaver – there’s always a chance of teamwork. Sync and communicate with your team and plan out your strategies and attacks based on team feedback.
If the rest of the team can keep the enemy Shadow Fiend occupied on mid, you ask them whether you can go kill the farming Anti-Mage. You ask if the laning Jakiro can pair up with you for a quick tower kill. You ask your team to create space on bottom so that you might farm in your jungle. That’s how it’s done. Adapt your role and hero and be driven by collective ambition to win, not your own ambition to get kills (or any other thing, for that matter, like even supporting).
- Good teamwork can help you win battles, but it’s quite hard to pull off. If you’re just sending >Push Now or >We Need Wards responses every 5 minutes and not trying to actually communicate – you’re not a team player. Nope. You’re a bossy bitch who deserves to be bled dry by the hands of a 0.28s attack speed Bloodseeker while being torn apart by Bane’s Grip for a long 7 seconds.
- Nice teamwork comes with practice and knowledge. You need strategies, good grasp over item builds, and an excellent map sense to make an effective team-play. Just ganking together isn’t teamwork.
- Suppose there are five battalions in an army. When they breach the walls of enemy fort – of course all battalions will come together and help each other. But just to breach that wall, they needed months of pre-planning and a huge amount of dedication, comrade-support, strategy-making, and communication. So coming together when weak enemies are falling back from their 50-HP-remaining tower isn’t teamwork at all. It’s called being an opportunist. But getting that tower to 50-HP within 10 minutes of game using nice planning and distraction, now that’s teamwork.
Deadly aspects of the game
If you ask others to gank and nobody ever listens, every match – welcome to hell MMR of below 2K. You try to solo-kill but your team is feeding. You’re split-pushing but your team is so pathetic that the enemies are pushing more than you could even if tower fire froze for you. Here’s a guide to come out of the 2K MMR Trench.
If you’re primarily a support then, let’s be frank, you can’t really do any of these. You can’t split-push, you can’t solo-kill, and you can’t be the leader of the team. First thing you should do is start playing carries – but what you play I have no right to change. I’m a support player myself. So here’s a guide about how to support like a pro and lead your team to victory.
That was it for this guide. I hope you liked it and if you did, leave a comment down below. Keep in touch with Spiel Times for more gaming, technology and esports related information, news and stuff.