Image from Fall 2016 Battlepass
The world is going through unprecedented times right now. Everyone is encouraged to stay inside so if you were thinking of starting Dota (the highest paying esport in history), now might be the time!
In this article series, we’ll be going over the five roles in Dota 2 for newcomers to get a good feel for what to expect when playing this game.
The carry, also known as the 1, is the star of the team. The carry is called the carry because this player is expected to carry their team to victory. This means you put the team on your back and carry them to hit the enemy ancient until you win.
Of course, every role is equally important, but a special emphasis is placed on the 1. Roles in Dota 2 are called 1-5 to signify the farm priority each player gets and to describe their general playstyle. The carry or the 1, has the #1 farm priority on the entire team. This means the whole team must contribute to ensuring that their carry gets as much farm as possible.
Farm means killing creeps to accumulate gold. Gold is important because this is what you buy items with and items are hugely influential in Dota. The more expensive items you have, the more you can do in this game, which leads to game winning plays, which leads to a win.
The items carries generally buy are known as “right-click” items. These items boost a hero’s attack damage which means you can kill enemy heroes or enemy buildings easier. Killing buildings is how to win the game, and killing enemy heroes is how to ensure no one gets in the way of that.
Of course, players can buy any item they want, but other roles are expected to buy more utility items so the carry can focus on becoming as strong as possible.
The general expectations for carries are to farm farm farm. Even if your team is dying in team fights, they’ll still be happy (for players who know the game) that you’re farming in the jungle because a carry’s farm is one of the win conditions for this game.
There is a delicate balance between farming and fighting when you’re playing the carry. More than timing your last hits, finding a balance between when and where to farm, and when and where to fight, is the hardest learning curve for carries.
Finding this balance is very important because you don’t want to be farming the jungle while the enemy is killing your ancient. This is an advanced skill that can only be achieved through experience.
Every hero has a different balance they must find. A hero like Naga Siren generally will be ignoring team fights for most of the game and focused on farming. A hero like Anti-Mage is in a similar position because without items, he’s largely useless in fights. A hero like Faceless Void is a hero that can join team fights as soon as level 6 because his ultimate is one of the best team fighting spells in the game.
The early game can be from minute 0-10 or 0-15 depending on the game. Here is when you shouldn’t be doing anything other than farming.
At this stage of the game, most heroes are focused on winning their lane. Carries aren’t known for their strength in the early game so they depend on their supports to help them secure the lane farm. Heroes at this stage are too weak to farm the jungle so the best place to get farm is in the lane.
Of course, your enemy wants to stop your farm so there will be battles in the lane. Your support’s job is to help you get farm and harass the enemy so that you can get as many last hits in the lane as possible.
Early game is the lane phase. If you’re on the Radiant side, the “safe” lane (where the carry farms) is in the bottom of the map. If you’re on the Dire side, the “safe” lane is in the top of the map.
Advanced lane strategies involve lane swapping (to get a more favorable match up in the lane battle), aggro tri lane (bringing three heroes in the “off” lane to win the lane you’re not meant to), and just being unpredictable with your lane presence.
Mid game is usually from 10-20 or 10-30 minutes. Here is when games generally end or when the outcome becomes apparent.
For carries, mid game is where the balance between farming and fighting is very important. You need to know when to join your team for fights or when to ignore everything and farm.
You also need to be aware of the enemy’s movements. If they kill you, your farm gets interrupted and theirs grows. This is not something you want to have happen.
Here is when communication is at a premium. The most impactful moments that influence the outcome of the game happens in the mid game. Teams can snowball out of control at this stage so here is when you must be sharpest.
Late game is usually from 30+ minutes. All games end here if they make it this far. Here is when the carry is expected to become the monster that your team has been waiting for. Here is the make or break moment when all your farm is meant to come “online.” If your farm is poor, expect to be flamed by your team.
At this stage of the game, you must join team fights and coordinate with your team to kill the enemy and kill the base. Mindlessly farming at this stage of the game is high risk because if you get killed, respawn times are very long so the enemy could end the game before you respawn.
“Anything can work in Dota 2” but there are some heroes that fit the carry role better than others.
Carries are some of the most exciting players to watch because they’re the ones who make flashy plays, do the most damage, and kill the enemies.
The carry role is the role with the most pressure on the team. If you lose, it’s the carry’s fault. If you win, it’s because of the supports who made the space for your farm.
The carry is good for players who enjoy the glory of the game. Getting huge, buying expensive items, and taking on the burden of winning for your team.
Every role is important, but the carry is the most special role on the team because of the expectation to “carry” your team to victory.
What are everyone’s tips for new players playing carries? Is the carry role a good role for new players to play?