Game Five

Game ID: 462288522 (download) (Place replay in the “replays” folder found in “steam/steamapps/common/dota 2 beta/dota” and it should show up in the downloaded replays section under the “Watch” tab.)

Encounters With A-God

Gather ’round, kids, and let me tell you about that time I had to play a pub with Arteezy.

What type of game was it?

All Pick. I know, I know. You’re wondering why it was All Pick when I was playing Ranked. Well,, back then I queued for Captains Draft and All Pick both, because I just wanted a game. Happens to be that All Pick happened more often. And don’t even get started on Captains Mode. If I wanted to sit through endless tedium before ending up with the same picks as everyone else I wouldn’t hire prostitutes.

That doesn’t even make sense.

Too bad for you. I’m old enough to not care.

Tell us about the picks! The Picks!

Arteezy randoms Ursa, calls mid. We then random a Disruptor, and I think to myself, “Disruptor and Witch Doctor can be pretty fun,” so I picked Witch Doctor. You know what can be even more fun? Witch Doctor and Faceless Void. Which is great, since we then get a Faceless Void pick. So far, so good.

Why is that?

Well, Ursa is not a strong early game ganker, even as a mid, and he also lacks for team fighting. Witch Doctor and Disruptor don’t roam very well, either. But, with Void around we always have a chance to win team fights. One good Chronosphere can set up both Death Ward and Static Storm, and a strong solo Ursa is still enough of a threat to keep pressure away from Void while he farms. Our biggest problem would be a split pushing and counter-pushing lineup from the other team that could negate our potential team fights and also hurt us because we don’t push that well for most of the game. But even then, any lineup that tries to stall the game will be in trouble since our heroes are all very strong in late game situations.

Did they pick a split pushing lineup?

No, they did not. Their first 3 picks were Shadow Fiend, Invoker, and Alchemist, while we got a Dark Seer for our offlane and to help our team fights even more. They then picked Rubick and bought 2 couriers. Their last pick was Mirana.

I am only dismayed by their Mirana pick, as she will end up in my lane and I’d rather have something a little easier to kill. Void and Disruptor will not be much help there, at least for the first few levels, and we won’t be able to roam very effectively compared to their stuns. However, if they send the Invoker mid, his pathetic base damage and low movement speed will let Ursa get plenty of farm early and also be a threat unless he tower dives while Invoker has Cold Snap.

Nobody would do that!

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Anyway, Dark Seer shouldn’t be in that much trouble early on, before Shadow Fiend gets his souls, but on the other hand if Rubick and Alchemist are hanging around he won’t be able to stop Shadow Fiend from free farming, which is the biggest advantage they have right now. That, or Rubick and Alchemist roam a lot, which would also be trouble for us. Still, with Void, Witch Doctor, and Disruptor we always have the potential to roll a natural 20 and win any fight.

What were your starting items? Tell us!

Tangos x1, GG Branches x3, Ring of Protection x1, Gauntlet of Strength x1. Disruptor took care of the rest with his random gold, and I really wanted to harass Mirana away from Void, who is not strong in his lane, especially against ranged heroes. Plus, I always load up on early stats because I think I’m playing mid even when I’m the 4.

game 5 start

First blood! First blood!

I came relatively close. An illusion rune spawned bottom, which I took, and Mirana let me circle around behind her in the lane and start right-clicking her with all I had. I even got a Cask off, but it didn’t bounce very well. Maybe if Disruptor had been there we could have gotten the kill, but I doubt it. Either way she was going to leap away, and if she’d seen another hero she would have just leapt earlier. I got her to burn her Salve, which is a victory. However, I also took creep aggro and stupidly lead them out of the lane, which gave our creep wave clear passage to Mirana’s tower, and that was free XP for her, and at the same time I had to use my illusions and a lot of regen to keep the enemy creeps from getting into our tower range while Disruptor was stacking. It’s very important to not drag creeps into tower range when trying to keep the lanes from being pushed. They are also harder for Void to last hit under the tower, even when he has a Quelling Blade.

Meanwhile, Invoker kept walking into Ursa’s Earthshocks, which is a silly thing for any hero to do, but especially bad for Invoker since he can’t outrun Ursa to begin with. So Ursa walks up the hill and slaps Invoker in the face a few times, giving him the first blood.

How was the rest of the early game?

Funny you should ask, because that’s exactly what I was going to talk about next.

The basic theme to our early game was confusion and farting around. I am easily frustrated by a lane what won’t get me kills, and I had no interest in jungling with Disruptor, so I figured I’d head mid and see what I could get done. I probably should have stayed in my lane till Mirana ran out of regen or I at least finished my Basilius, but at the time I was just thinking about helping Ursa’s advantage in his lane, before Invoker got stuff like Forge Spirits and Cold Snap. If Ursa did well enough we could get that tower and he could go for Roshan.

It’s about then that things starting to go wrong. Dark Seer declares his lane pointless and starts to leave, and no sooner do I arrive at mid lane than Rubick arrives at bottom lane, and it’s a simple task for him and Mirana to kill Disruptor. With Dark Seer having given up on his lane Rubick was free to do what he wanted, and there was no way I could leave Void alone against 2 ranged heroes with stuns. So I start heading back to the bottom lane. Arteezy chooses that moment to pop the Double Damage rune he had bottled and go after Invoker, having just seen him waste Cold Snap. Unfortunately, Invoker came to the lane with a decent amount of stats (2 Branches and a Circlet), and Ursa is quite low on HP. So he tower dives, gets hit by a Sunstrike, and dies. He might have had it if he’d used all his bottle charges first.

“Warmup game!” announces the A-God.

Seems legit.

That’s what the kids say.

So he goes right back to the lane and tower dives again, this time while Cold Snap is off cooldown. Rubick and Disruptor also show up, so it ends up being a 1-1 trade after Disruptor kills Invoker off, and then Dark Seer comes out of the jungle to save him.

Meanwhile, Shadow Fiend continues to free farm.

What followed were a bunch of rotations and ganks from both teams, mostly centred on the bottom lane, and we got the short end of stick in all of them. I was getting annoyed because every time I wanted to leave the bottom lane Void would start getting his ass kicked and I’d have to go back to fend someone off and keep him in lane with Voodoo Restoration.

Meanwhile, Shadow Fiend solo kills Dark Seer.

We have the basic problem that I mentioned at the start of the game: Rubick and Alchemist are much better roamers than Disruptor and Witch Doctor, and Void can’t hold his lane against Mirana, while Shadow Fiend is so dangerous that nobody can lane against him. Ursa just wants to get enough farm to kill Roshan, but he is always at risk of being caught by Alchemist stuns, Sunstrikes, Sacred Arrows, and Rubick lifts.

The other problem is that I went with a laning item build. It’s very important for most supports to not overspend on early stats not just because they need to buy wards and such, but also because their slots are important in the early game. They need open slots to be able to react to the game. They have to be able to buy a TP scroll, or a Smoke, or a Dust, or more wards. I’m so full most of the time I’m trying to find space to buy Boots. That’s fine if I’m just going to camp a lane and trade harass, but not if I need to leave the lane to de-ward or Smoke gank.

Things continue to look grim till about 10 minutes in, when it finally happens. Void lands a 3-man Chronosphere.

Ooh! Was it pretty?

You bet your ass. They came for him out of the trees, because he looked weak. But a Void is never that weak so long as he has mana and his cooldowns! He plops it down right on top of Invoker, and Alchemist and Rubick are nice enough to walk into it. I was slightly miffed, since I was still level 5, but I tossed my Cask out and did my best to go after Rubick before he could steal Chrono and turn the fight into a Roland Emmerich movie. (Little did I know that Rubick had already stolen Chronosphere, and would continue to steal it. Every. Single. Time.) Disruptor galloped to the rescue and laid down a good Kinetic Field and Static Storm combo, and though Void still managed to get himself killed, we cleaned up and got a 3-1 trade.

So what if Shadow Fiend and Mirana showed up and immediately finished us off. We were testing a proof of concept, and it was a success. We just needed to work out some bugs, if getting killed repeatedly can be considered a bug.

On the bright side, Ursa gets a courier kill in their jungle, and both he and Void have a Midas.

Ew, that’s gross!

Nothing wrong with a Midas when a Midas is called for. Or did you mean the courier kill? It was just a warthog.

So why do you have 2 Urns on your team?

Funny story, that. I was being killed by Shadow Fiend and Mirana, so I was panic buying to get rid of my gold, which meant I had all of my Urn, but it was in my stash and I was dead. But the Urn popup doesn’t actually appear till it’s in a hero’s inventory, so while I was waiting to respawn Disruptor went back to the fountain and bought a full Urn. It was too late for me to sell any of the pieces I bought, since I was dead, so we were stuck with 2 Urns.

We’re 14 minutes in now, mid game is about to start. Here’s how things look:

game 5 mid

The score is 10-17, in Dire’s favour. Void is 1-5, Shadow Fiend is 5-0.

What happened next?

I’m telling you. At 14 minutes they killed Roshan and Invoker picked up the Aegis. Frankly, I’m not even that bothered. If they’re going to kill Roshan then maybe they’ll try to team fight and take a tower, which is where we’re going to have our best chance of getting back into the game. It will also stop Void from continually trying to solo kill a Shadow Fiend who already has his Shadow Blade, and who just turns around and kills Void every time, even after Chronosphere has been wasted.

What actually happened is that Void uses Chronosphere on Alchemist while Rubick is standing right behind him. Rubick steals the Chrono, and we get to lose 3 heroes and a tier 1 tower for for the price of a support Alchemist.

Poor Void.

That’s the thing about a pub Void. It’s a lot like a pub Naga Siren. They can roll that 20 and win any fight, or they can roll a 1 and turn every fight into a Roland Emmerich movie.

You already used that one.

I think it’s worth repeating. Not the joke, but the point. It doesn’t help when the Void seems to be playing from a different planet, either.

After that things got a little better. Ursa had his Blink, which meant that with some lock down he could kill any hero he found. He and Disruptor finally killed Shadow Fiend, and later we got their 2 supports in the mid lane. We started to knock down their tier 1 towers and claw our way back into the game, even while Void continued on his suicidal bent.

But every minute they delayed the game was a minute more for Ursa and Void to use their Midas and get their items.

Did they?

Not quite.

Void jumps into another team fight and lands a Chrono on everyone except Rubick. At 24 minutes we’re down 4 heroes and they look like they want to push all the way to our mid barracks. Even if we respawn, all our ultimates are down. It does not look good. We do manage to hold them off, so they go for Roshan instead. By now Shadow Fiend has his Ethereal Blade, so when we catch him in our jungle he still ends up killing me by virtue of his ultimate and ethereal form. It’s annoying, but at least it stops their Roshan attempt.

What items are you buying?

I’m trying to finish a Force Staff. Virtually everyone on their team-and mine–has some sort of movement ability, from Blink Daggers to Leap, and I’m not interested in being even less mobile than I have to be. I’m too squishy, and I really want to land a decent ultimate eventually, so it’s important that I’m not always totally out of position. That goes both ways: 3 of them might Blink on us, or appear out of Moonlight Shadow, but at the same time half my team could Blink or Time Walk ahead of me, and if Void is going to jump out for a Chrono I have to be able to follow him.

Oh my god!

With most of our heroes out of position, or dead, and our important ultimates are unavailable. They got the bottom melee barracks. Arteezy came back before his respawn timer was up and we got their supports before they could scarper, but it was still a less than desirable result.

We’re getting to the late game now.

game 5 late

Is that a hex on Ursa?

It’s not uncommon. Ursa just needs a few seconds where he can beat on a hero without them running away, and a hex gives him that and all the mana he needs to spam Earthshocks as well.

The score is now 21-32, in Dire’s favour. Void is 1-8, Shadow Fiend is 11-3.

Did you really think you still had a chance?

For the most part, yes. Arteezy seemed to have mostly given up, farming and pushing across the map by himself even as our base was being pushed and Shadow Fiend was ganking anyone alone, but Void was starting to find his game. Whether that was because he was trying harder or the other team stopped thinking he was a threat didn’t matter. He started to land some nicer Chronos, even if he still let Rubick steal it over and over again. Even that stopped mattering much as time went on, since Void had enough items to kill heroes in the Chrono now and the only thing Rubick could do was stop the rest of us from attacking as well. Void can still run around in Rubick’s Chronos, after all. At 32 minutes we won a team fight mid, then took down Roshan. Void took the Aegis, Ursa took the cheese.

“We won,” states Arteezy, with dramatic sarcasm.

“We’re close to losing,” agrees the Alchemist.

Shadow Fiend adds, “Very.”

“Enemy spotted,” announces Rubick. Then he gets jumped by Ursa and dies.

We start to push mid. I kill steal from Void after he uses his ultimate on a fleeing Mirana. Ursa jumps onto Shadow Fiend behind their tier 2 tower, turns him into a sheep, and cuts him to ribbons.

“K we lost lol,” laments the Alchemist. We team wipe them and destroy both barracks in their mid lane.

So you did win?

The game wasn’t over just yet. Void continues down his path, taking one step forward and two steps back, like someone who is convinced they are stepping on imaginary piles of dog shit. After our successful fights and mid push he decides to farm the top lane on their side of the map, with no ward coverage, and gets killed, uses the Aegis and his ultimate, then gets killed again, after buying an Assault Cuirass, leaving him with no gold for a buyback, and us without our most potent team fight setup while their entire team pushes down our top lane. At the last moment they flinch, and back off to kill the Ursa instead.

They come at our top lane again, but this time Void is alive. He lands a decent Chrono, which is followed up by a much better Vacuum into a Wall of Replica, Death Ward, and Static Storm combo that kills 3 of them, with Shadow Fiend escaping by the skin of his teeth.

We’re 40 minutes in, the score is 35-36, in Dire’s favour. Void is 4-9, Shadow Fiend is 14-6. However, Shadow Fiend has been maxed out in item slots for a while, while Void has his Assault Cuirass, Daedilus and a free slot with plenty of gold to spare. Ursa is saving for a Boots of Travel, and the greatest danger we’re in is that our bottom lane keeps pushing in and Mirana has Boots of Travel she can use to stab at our throne if we get careless and team wiped without buy backs.

Did she?

She did try, except we didn’t die. We pushed their top lane, but spent a lot of resources doing so. We took down their tier 3 tower and started working on their barracks, but Mirana had taken down both of our tier 4 towers and had creeps beating on our throne. Then Invoker buys back, gets Boots of Travel, and joins her. Meanwhile, I’m sans TP scroll because I recovered Disruptor’s Gem after he died, and Void and Dark Seer are running around Dire’s base, attacking neither their barracks nor their throne. Ursa TPs home and dies trying to defend our base, but Dark Seer shows up at the last second and kills Mirana and Invoker with a Vacuum + Wall combo. Void continues to run around in their base, doing nothing but give me and the creeps time to take out their top barracks. Shadow Fiend buys back and I die, but not before finishing my Aghanim’s Sceptre.

Dire kills Roshan. Mirana takes the cheese, Shadow Fiend the Aegis. We are 45 minutes in and the score is 41-40, in Radiant’s favour. We have lost our bottom barracks and both of our tier 4 towers, they have lost their mid and top barracks. Most everyone that matters has bought back recently. We are at the point in the game where any team fight could lead to a team wipe, which would be a lost game. This is the late game situation that most people dread. Players like Dendi have even commented on it: at a certain point damage output becomes so high that any mistake, even from a team that has been winning throughout every other point in the game, could lead to a loss.

Ursa gets picked off in the Dire jungle. He has 124 seconds before he respawns and no buy back.

So, you lost?

Our lanes were still pushing, and Ursa died far enough away that the rest of us could get back to our base. Mirana is pushing in our bottom lane, and Invoker TPs in to help. They are beating on our throne! But a Vaccuum, a Chronosphere. They die. Mirana can’t even use her cheese. They are each dead for a minute and have no buy back. It is now a 4 vs 3 situation, but the only ultimate we have is Wall of Replica. But that’s all it takes, now that Dark Seer has a Blink Dagger.

So, you won?

We took out Mirana as she tried, once again, to push in our bottom lane, and then began pushing it ourselves. Void is wandering in their jungle, alone–a trend we have established–but it’s a trick! Four of them come at him from the dark, but he drops his Chrono on them and makes a break for it, giving us ample time to take down their bottom tier 2 and start pushing to their high ground, where their final barracks sit, soggy with the juice of victory.

Invoker TPs in, intent on defending. Ursa and Dark Seer blink on him and put him in the ground. Mirana is still dead! Shadow Fiend is reluctant to get close! Alchemist has no TP scroll! Rubick gets glimpsed back to the river when he tries to help! I drop my Death Ward on 3 of them! Shadow Fiend is down. Alchemist is down. Shadow Fiend buys back. Ursa is down. Rubick is down. Shadow Fiend kills me. Mirana TPs to the mid lane and dies to Void. Everyone has Boots of Travel! Void TPs in and kills Alchemist with the help of Disruptor. Four of them are dead! But their bottom lane has pushed back out, without either of their barracks being destroyed. Alchemist buys back. Void lands a Chrono on the last two Dire heroes, but is only able to kill Shadow Fiend. Rubick steals Chrono, and now Radiant are on the retreat. Disruptor dies, 100 seconds to respawn, no buy back. They trap Void in some trees. Alchemist can’t get vision and stuns himself! Disruptor kills Alchemist with his Necrobook summons. Ursa TPs in on Rubick and Invoker. Mirana uses Moonlight Shadow. Ursa breaks Rubick in two and runs for it.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON,” wonders the Alchemist.

Mirana chases the Ursa too far and dies. I respawn and start fighting off the mega creeps pouring in from our bottom lane. They are the only thing standing between us and victory now, in my mind. Everyone on the other team has respawned, except for Mirana, but things are happening so fast and furious. “I play my DotA a quarter mile at a time,” I think to myself.

Void finally catches Rubick in one of his Chronos, along with Shadow Fiend, and after a nice Static Storm and Vacuum followup the game is won.

game 5 end

Dire Victory

Ranked solo queue record: 4-1

Best Pick

Since Ursa and Disruptor were both randoms, and also don’t define our lineup, I’d have to go with Faceless Void. That he didn’t exactly follow through for most of the game is besides the point. Being able to set up Witch Doctor and Disruptor was always a threat in fights.

Worst Pick

I am torn between Invoker and Alchemist. Invoker ended up doing alright mid, but he was never as dominant as Shadow Fiend could have been, and didn’t contribute as much as a more mobile mid or one that could split push better may have. Alchemist, who did well enough, and was a dangerous roaming partner for Rubick, probably should have been a ranged support who could have helped more with pushing and kiting, and especially damage. He did get a Heaven’s Halberd for Ursa, but we also had a Void to do damage. He just ended up not being that important, outside of landing a good stun now and then.


I am almost tempted to go with the Dark Seer, just for keeping a cool head and being where he had to be when it counted, and also listening when he was told to get a Blink Dagger. But Disruptor kept us in the game earlier on, with some key ganks, while I was running around like an idiot and generally doing nothing useful. He also bought the Gem.


This is the hardest. I would almost put myself there. It certainly felt like I was useless a lot of the time. But the scoreboard says otherwise, and I’m going with Alchemist. He was kind of lost after a while.

Personal Rating

It was a rough game, and at the start I was not doing well. Discombobulated is a word I would use to describe my play in the first 10-15 minutes of the game. After that things got better. I was even happy with the end: I have a tendency to throw any game that goes past ~40 minutes. Part of my nature as a gambler, I suppose. I constantly get caught without buy back, because I’d rather buy my item and let things play out how they will, and I’d also often rather lose a game at 40 minutes than win a game at 60 minutes. But I did my best to keep it together and had buy back saved when I could. I played the conservative role a little too often, avoiding risks when I really shouldn’t have, but it’s difficult to navigate between those extremes. My actual performance was only adequate, but it was more satisfying than my other ranked games have been.


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