Game Nine

Game ID: 469393083 (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.)

I’m going to get this out of the way right now. I am not as bad a Naga player as these games are making me look. Statistically Naga is actually my most winning hero, and I even played Naga in a non-ranked game before this one and had no trouble winning, and again in a ranked game after my placement matches and it was another easy win. It just happens that I am no longer capable of playing carry Naga, at least not without a team built around it.

I also played very poorly.

So, spoiler alert, we lose this game.

Game Type: All Pick

Pick Phase

My Naga is our second pick, after we random a Nature’s Prophet and they random an Ancient Apparition. We get a Pudge. They random a Lich. We pick a Queen of Pain. I’m not going to be mid, and I probably won’t be offlane. They pick Tusk and Storm Spirit. Our last pick is Rubick, their last pick is Alchemist. Looks like I’m the carry.

game 9 start

Starting Items and Lanes

Tangos x1, GG Branches x3, Slippers of Agility x2.

I’m going to be in the bottom lane with Rubick. I figure there’s an even chance that we get Tusk or Lich there, and either is fine with me. They would both be early kills. Turns out, though, that we get both of them. I guess they decided to cut their losses against the Queen of Pain in the top lane, where she would be able to Blink away if they tried to Frost Nova into Cold Feet. If they get Unstable Concoction into Cold Feed she would be dead anyway with or without Lich’s help. With both Tusk and Lich in the lane the chances of us getting a kill go way down. I will also be getting less creeps, which isn’t helpful when I’m already going to do a terrible job at getting last hits.

First Blood

We almost get it. Rubick picks up an Illusion rune and starts chipping away at them. Eventually our creeps push their tower and Rubick goes for a lift on Lich. I hit him with a Rip Tide, and Rubick cancels the Lich’s Salve with another right-click. I decide not to dive their tower, though. I am only marginally faster than Lich, and their creep wave is coming. As far as I was concerned I would have had to dive too deep to get the kill. Looking back, I probably should have gone for it. Lich gets away with 27 HP. I go away miffed with myself. If I wasn’t on a losing streak, if I was in a lane with someone I knew, if I was sitting in a comfortable chair instead of a pile of lumpy cushions, if any number of things were different then I may have been in the mood to make a play instead of in the mood to not want to get a play made on me. Like I said, I played poorly.

I make up for that decision a minute later by choosing to net and attack Tusk while Rubick is too far away to back me up, which means I’m just wasting mana while Tusk walks away. Turns out that two bad decisions don’t make a good one.

First Blood is finally achieved by the Queen of Pain, who is maxing Shadow Strike to try and get the maximum harassment possible against Alchemist and Ancient Apparition. She catches the support running alone in their jungle and chases him down until he gives up the ghost (get it?). Then we finally kill Lich in our lane. Then a couple more when Rubick and I catch their Ancient Apparition in the river, kill him, and then I set Pudge up for an easy Hook kill against Tusk by netting him under their tower.

Tusk and Ancient Apparition come right back and make an attempt on my life. As dumb as I am, I decide that two people who have just tried to murder me will not immediately try again. Well, they do, and I die. At least I bought first.

Mid Game

Now it’s time for me to start making real decisions. Which hasn’t been working out well recently. Maybe if I had myself a team captain who could tell me what to do I’d have a better time with carries. I remember having some fun with them way back in DotA 1 when I was a sometimes member of a pretty good team. It’s not so bad when there’s someone to give feedback for item builds.

In this game I have decided, after we maintained a steady enough lead through the early game, that my team was equipped to handle a few team fights, and I would do the most good by helping Nature’s Prophet with his split pushing. I have my Phase Boots and Ring of Aquila, and at level 9 I take a point in Mirror Image so I can push the bottom tier 1 tower.

My only excuse was at the time I didn’t know Queen of Pain was maxing Shadow Strike over Scream of Pain. I assumed that we had enough AoE to be dangerous in fights and fend off their pushes, so my primary concern was to get enough items that I wouldn’t be a solo kill for Storm Spirit or Tusk while I tried to push and hopefully catch up in farm. As it turns out, I was wrong.

So, yeah, I started building a Linken’s Sphere. It’s not even that bad of an item on Naga. It helps her farm–and she is a very mana hungry hero–it helps her illusions, and it would protect me from getting zipped and pulled and killed before I can Song and get away. There were a couple of problems, though. The first was that I still ended up going back for Drums because I kept dying, and the second was that I was not farming well at all, which I usually try to make up for with hero kills, but I wasn’t getting many of those.

At 18 minutes in my team was ahead in gold, ahead in XP, ahead in towers, and ahead in kills. But I was behind in farm. I was the weak link, and pretty soon that would be exploited.

Alchemist got his Shadow Blade. We ran out of towers to push. Storm Spirit got his Orchid. The next 10 minutes of the game was my team getting picked off 1 or 2 at time until Dire felt they had enough map control to take down Roshan, which they did at 25 and a half minutes, giving Alchemist enough gold to finish his Assault Cuirass.

Late Game

We held them off for a while. Nature’s Prophet and Queen of Pain camped out their top lane, trying to keep them busy. I sent my illusions down the other lanes to keep them pushed, but I had no stacked jungle camps or ancients to farm in the meantime and I was falling further and further behind Alchemist. At 33 minutes I had Phase, Aquila, Drums, and a Yasha. He had Phase, Shadow Blade, Assault Cuirass, and a Heart of Tarrasque . It was clear that when a fight finally happened we were not going to be the winners.

The penny dropped in the top lane, where Alchemist successfully ganked Nature’s Prophet and then start to attack our tier 1 tower. We rushed to defend, but the rest of their team was smoked up near the secret shop. Pudge died, then Rubick died, and then I failed to use Song and died as well. They pushed down our tier 2, then our tier 3, then our top lane barracks.

Alchemist TPed back to the top lane to take down Nature’s Prophet, who trapped himself in the trees with his own Necronomicon minions. We were not equipped to fight back anymore, and they weren’t giving us any more space to split push. I died another pointless, stupid death in the mid lane, and that was that.

The end scoreboard says it all.

game 9 endDire Victory

Ranked solo queue record: 4-5

Best Pick

Storm Spirit mid against Pudge. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Worst Pick

Hard to say. Usually I’d say Tusk, but he did fine. I’d also say my Naga pick, but I didn’t particularly want to play her as a carry. It was either Naga or the Rubick not getting a different carry.

MVP

Alchemist. He recovered well from a fairly bad start, and then provided the momentum his team needed to win the game after they were quite far behind.

MUP

That’s me. I stand by my Naga builds in general. I think they are justified, and more often then not they do work. But I made poor item choices and even worse plays, and I lost the game. There’s nothing more to say.

Personal Rating

See above.

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