Captains Mode

Learning to draft in Dota 2

7.03 The Rat Revival

When we say Revival it isn’t to say that split push once [A]gain becomes the dominant strategy in the meta, so let’s not get ahead ourselves. But it is back, viable as a focus, strong per situation, overwhelming in the outdraft – no longer just the fifth wheel that ends up as the designated tower hitter for a four-hero deathball. Continue reading “7.03 The Rat Revival”

Last-Picking Carry (Battle Cup)

Went 1-1 this week in Battle Cup, knocked out in the semifinal. We opened with a similar strategy to last week, but with no Rizod we looked at Tinker + roaming support to replace the Visage. We like the vision and map control they provide; combined with a Tinker they make it difficult for enemy teams to split up. If they stay grouped they get outfarmed, or have to siege into March of the Machines.

Our draft order this Cup again went 4-2-5-3-1, but with me shifting to carry and two friends replacing last week’s 4 and 1 role players. Let’s talk a little about carry last picks. Continue reading “Last-Picking Carry (Battle Cup)”

RD2L Season 11: Player Draft

Sunday night marked a totally different kind of draft, the Reddit Dota 2 League player draft for the PST-SUN division. I formed a brand new squad, which I’m calling Duck and Goose 1 2 3 or DAG# for short.

Captains that have signed up pick six rounds of players to fill their roster. Pick order is roughly determined by ascending MMR. Being ~4.4k, I had the 14th pick of 25 captains. It was tough to navigate, lots of strong picks that did not fall to us, but I think we’ll be competitive. Anyway here’s how I approached the player draft: Continue reading “RD2L Season 11: Player Draft”

Echo League W2: Pockets and Respect

Thanks for Breastsfast reveals its first pocket strat this week, the support Drow in all its glory, which I lament will be banned forever until the end of time – probably. Not everyone scouts, right?

We match that highest of highs with a lowest of lows in game 2, a strat I call “Dirge, Midas, wander, feed” that belongs in the dumpster (which is actually just recycling for me). The collapse is a spectacle, so if you’re into videos about like, earthquakes, rock bands, wall street, etc. have a view. Or y’know some people just prefer to watch me lose.

A disappointing but educational 1-1 result with the tenacious Dream Tanks sends us to the drawing board. So let’s examine what parts to enhance and what to replace entirely.

Continue reading “Echo League W2: Pockets and Respect”

Winter Minors W4: Bedazzled

Had a rough series against the stand-up guys on North America’s Hope (no DB link, couldn’t secure ticket). Now, we were outclassed by these players, and of course it’s easy to defend a draft by just saying “we were outplayed”. But I think that hero picks can feel more or less effective even in an all-out stomp, and that we can still identify a draft’s strengths and weaknesses. So let’s try. Continue reading “Winter Minors W4: Bedazzled”

Winter Minors W3: New Roles

Super epic series this week vs Selling Mayonnaise. Had to do some role swaps. Our offlaner is in Australia, and our carry had an emergency. Our 6th man is a support player, and our short notice stand-in is also a support player. So with four supports, this is a good week to try everyone out at new roles.

The main takeaway for me, at least in terms of moving natural support players to core, is that we should try to turn up the tempo. These guys have been playing support for a long time, and it is most natural for them to try to impact the game as quickly as possible, potentially at the cost of farm. So probably best to enable that playstyle and mentality. Practice matters too, we just don’t farm as efficiently as we would if we were all veteran core players, so trying to fight earlier reduces our exposure to that weakness. Continue reading “Winter Minors W3: New Roles”

The Visage-Tinker Opener (Battle Cup)


Notched my first Battle Cup trophy of the winter season on Saturday (Tier 5). Our cup strategy was to abuse Visage-Tinker cheese, expanding on its global burst by drafting heroes with initiation, lockdown, defensive utility; whatever was most needed. We’ll first talk overall about draft planning, bans, why that opener. Then follow it up with game by game draft notes.

Continue reading “The Visage-Tinker Opener (Battle Cup)”

Aui 2000 on Terrorblade

Aui2k blew my mind with this gem just 10 minutes into Merlini’s bcup stream:

“Pick him Terrorblade mid. … You know when you Q you steal auras”


Every team fight, Terrorblade gets to steal Null Field, Vengeance Aura, Atrophy Aura, and Presence of the Dark Lord when he casts Reflection. That is just gross.

Echo League W1: Don’t be Afraid

Played our first opponent a couple nights ago, Lich Gonna Have Your Girl. Here’s a cast link. The matches continue through the caster’s next two videos. For the result here is a dotabuff link (spoilers).

Biggest takeaway for me is don’t be afraid – draft our signature heroes in the face of counters in the first phase, and make the correct pick at the end even when the worst case scenario is scary and ugly. We have a really strong squad, have to count on our boys to execute; we can win this league outright barring any egregious smurfing.

Just a few individual draft notes: Continue reading “Echo League W1: Don’t be Afraid”

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