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I've played a bit of LOL here and there but not a lot, never any HoN or dota and was wondering if people could recommend any champions for my first few dota2 games.

Its hard to set in step in to a game with so many options.

If it helps, on LoL I often play as Caitlyn, Cho'Gath, Karthus, Ryze or Tristana.

also, if people want to comment any tips that have for the change over they would be more then welcome.

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9 Answers 9

up vote 45 down vote accepted

To start off, I suggest taking a look at this list that ranks each and every Dota hero by "difficulty" to play, based on six main areas of Dota "knowledge":

  1. Hero/Item Knowledge
  2. Map Awareness
  3. Positioning/Reflex
  4. Farm/Last-hitting
  5. Micro Management
  6. Survival Priority

I would say that this list is a nice guide to reference if you are looking for heroes to play based on your various areas of familiarity with the game (for example, you can sort heroes by their map awareness rating if you think you aren't very good at it).

In general, heroes with an escape mechanism, a stun or disable of some sort, and aren't very farm dependent make for the easiest heroes to pick up and play in my opinion. These heroes tend to usually be Intelligence heroes and often play a support role, although there are some exceptions.

Some examples:

  • Venomancer Dota 2 Venomancer: An Agility support hero that has a multitude of skills that damage and/or slow enemy units. Venomancer's wards can allow you to push/farm a lane pretty safely, and his passive slow and gale can be used to gank enemy heroes pretty effectively. Venomancer is not very farm dependent, and his ultimate can do devastating damage to enemy heroes. Make sure to safe his Poison Nova ultimate for team fights, or at times where you can hit multiple enemy heroes at once (and have someone to help you take them down). Like the other heroes mentioned below, he has poor HP and mobility.

  • Vengeful Spirit Dota 2 Vengeful Spirit: An Agility support hero with a decently ranged and damaging stun, a low cost armor reducing "wave" spell, a damage aura, and a situational ultimate that swaps the position of you and your target. In team battles or during ganks, you should be focusing on stunning an enemy and reducing their armor with your wave. Her "Swap" skill should be used to initiate ganks, or to pre-empt a team fight by taking out one of the enemy heroes to give you an advantage. Since Swap can potentially put you in danger, however, you need to be careful when to use it. You can also use Swap on an allied hero to save them, although you may end up sacrificing yourself as a result. VS's weaknesses are low HP, mobility, and a low mana pool, although getting Mana boots on her can solve that issue.

  • Crystal Maiden Dota 2 Crystal Maiden: She has a stun, a slowing nuke, and an aura that gives global mana regen to you and all heroes. A very useful hero that can support and set up ganks when coming from the jungle, or just a hero that can harass the enemies in lane while babysitting (protecting) a carry. Her weaknesses are her low HP, slow movement speed, the fact that she has to stand still while casting her ult, and the fact that her abilities don't scale well into late game. That being said, even if you yourself are having a bad game and end up getting underleveled, her aura still makes her useful to allies.

  • Lion Dota 2 Lion: He has a stun, a hex, a mana draining skill, and a very powerful nuking ultimate. The fact that he has two disables makes him incredibly useful as a lane ally as well as in team fights. Like Crystal Maiden, he has the same weaknesses such as slow movement speed and low HP. He also has mana issues, since his spells have large costs. Depending on how you build him, however, you can sustain your mana reasonably. For example, skill impale and mana drain early. In lane, you can harass heroes by impaling them followed by casting mana drain on them. Alternatively, you can harass with impale, then use mana drain on the ranged creep to replenish mana a little bit more safely.

  • Lich Dota 2 Lich: Another support that has a slowing nuke similar to Crystal Maiden's, a Frost Armor skill that lets you buff allies with armor, a skill that lets you sacrifice an allied creep to gain mana, and an ultimate that is a nuke that bounces between any nearby enemy units. Like CM, he can be useful to set up ganks or to babysit carries, and like Lion he can sustain his mana by using his creep sacrificing skill. He has low HP and can have mana issues. His ultimate can be hard to aim correctly as it is a situational skill, but when in doubt, you can always cast it on an enemy hero as an extra nuke, or just cast it on a hero during a team fight.

  • Skeleton King Dota 2 Skeleton King: A tanky carry that has a stun, a passive critical, a life leech aura, and an ultimate that uses mana to resurrect him should he die (the ultimate has a cooldown so you can't just keep resurrecting over and over immediately). Like yx. said, you really only have one skill, which is your stun. Use it to chase down enemy heroes, or to get yourself out of a tight situation such as a gank. His passives make it very easy for him to kill jungle creeps. He suffers from a low mana pool, slow movement speed, and low mobility in general (after your stun, many heroes are capable of running away from you).

  • Sven Dota 2 Sven: A tanky carry similar to Skeleton King in the fact that he has a stun (except this one hits in a small AoE around your target). His stun is one of the best level 1 stuns in the game, and can be very useful when trying to get a First Blood or initiating ganks. He has another active skill that increases the movement speed and armor of you and nearby allies, which is useful for closing in on enemies or for running away. His ultimate adds a large number of damage to your regular attacks for a period of time, which is extremely useful for pushing down towers or in the middle of team fights. While farm dependent and has a low mana pool like Skeleton King, his natural tankiness and passive cleave skill makes killing jungle creeps easier.

By no means would I say that these are necessarily the best heroes, but picking them up and learning how to play them correctly lets you familiarize yourself with other aspects of the game, and make the transition to more intermediate and advanced heroes easier later along the road.

As a final note, the heroes I listed above are considered EASY TO PLAY but are not necessarily EASY TO MASTER. All have some sort of slow or stun in their skillset, allowing you to stay relatively safe throughout games. These are heroes that allow you to work on fundamentals without worrying too much about things like "what playing a support means", or "how to be good at last hitting" or "what items you should buy". There are optimal ways of playing each of these heroes (which you are unlikely to do when first starting off on DOTA), but these heroes' skills put less of an emphasis on that, and allows you to be immediately useful to your team.

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after thinking about it a bit, this depends a lot at the play style as well. I'm terrible with squishy roles like Lion and CM since I love to lead rather than support. –  z ' Apr 25 '12 at 22:21
    
@yx. Not just that but I think it also varies when you talk about the skill of the bracket you are playing in. Heroes like CM, Lion, and Lich all can become massive feeders if you haven't developed the necessary fundamentals to understand how to keep yourself safe, and to understand the role you play on teams. –  Kotsu Apr 25 '12 at 22:36
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In low bracket play, you can practically play any hero you want and the odds of one team winning over the other are practically 50/50 due to the low skill of players. –  Kotsu Apr 25 '12 at 22:45
    
The guide is a bit skewed in terms of metrics, ie, void @ 23 while lycan @ 15 when lycan needs far far more out of you than just right click, place your ult correctly, and Q away when dying :P But otherwise great answer. I recommend the addition of tidehunter or sand king on the list as an initation option. –  hkf Apr 26 '12 at 3:30
    
@hkf It is definitely not perfect, especially when you get to the teens-mid 20's. As I commented below, however, I feel like heroes such as Tide and SK play such crucial roles as initiators that beginners may struggle with making the correct decisions (of when and where to use their Ultimates) and will develop bad behavior that could be detrimental to them in higher up bracket play. –  Kotsu Apr 26 '12 at 4:48

I haven't played LoL and Dota 2 was my first game in the genre, but here are the heros I found easiest to play. Most of them are quite tanky (or can escape) to cover for mistakes that might occur while learning:

  • enter image description here Skeleton King: With 3 passive abilities, all you need to learn with him is when to stun and when to charge in and tank and when to withdraw (don't go in 1v4 :P). He's very tanky and can jungle quite well as well.

  • enter image description here Dragon Knight: Also quite tanky, has one of the longest stuns in the game. Dragon mode makes your stun ranged, which makes it even better.

  • enter image description here Juggernaut: Blade fury makes you immune to magic and is great for both starting a battle and running away. Healing ward improves survivability and omnislash will solo gank most heroes.

  • enter image description here Ursa: Very easy to learn. Once you get the hang of jungling with him, you'll easily be the most powerful member on your team and win most pub games. Make sure you get a blink dagger sooner rather than later though.

  • enter image description here Queen of Pain: Lots of spammy skills, not heavily reliant on items to be good since primary source of damage is from abilities. Blink is also great to have.

I also highly recommend trying out a few coop vs AI and/or just play on a match with you + 4 bots against 5 bots just to learn the items and skills.

Images courtesy of the dota 2 wiki

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I would just add on the list Lich King and Vengeful Spirit as they are viable from start to the late game without any items. –  StupidOne Apr 25 '12 at 14:43
    
@StupidOne true, lich is pretty awesome but I would consider him slightly more towards intermediate as his ult needs proper timing to use otherwise you waste it on a bunch of creeps, same for VS and proper swap timing. With SK, I literally didn't know jack about the game and still managed to do pretty well just by auto attacking :P –  z ' Apr 25 '12 at 14:45
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I wouldn't recommend 3 carrys and one of the most skill intensive midders as a recommended newbie list. –  hkf Apr 26 '12 at 3:25
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Queen of pain requires very fast reactions to be effective, definitely not a noob hero. –  user27318 Jun 9 '12 at 13:57
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you have to remember the skill level of everyone involved. Yes using those characters in high end Dota 2 may require a lot of skill, but we're talking about low level play here, where its not uncommon to have 5 carries vs 5 carries. I'm simply listing the heros that I (as a beginner) found easy to play with. There are not many special effects you have to keep track of with these guys, just straight up damage with decent survivability. –  z ' Jun 21 '12 at 12:34

This is kind of old but I don't agree too much with any of the suggestions, so I'm going to give my own.

Supports:

  • Lich: Very simple to dominate a lane and learn how to harass effectively while doing so.
  • Venomancer: Ward spam is obnoxious and simple, and his ultimate+snare are both very strong in ganks/teamfights.
  • Warlock: There's a whole group of people that like playing healers. Warlock is the simplest one among them and can contribute to teamfights easily by dropping a giant demon and a great slow.

Carries:

  • Skeleton King: High DPS, good base stats, 3 passive abilities, and a targeted stun. It doesn't get much easier than this: a very good measure of whether your last hitting is up to par.
  • Viper: Ranged and doesn't die easily, and has some simple abilities that allow him to put out high damage without much micro intensive skill or farm.
  • Lifestealer: He's a very simple jungler that can deal great DPS. His ultimate is complex, but you can just use it to farm faster and be well-off anyway.

Gankers:

  • Windrunner: A lot of new players swear by this hero. She's hard to kill in lane because of Windrun and Shackleshot and Powershot are both very strong abilities in ganks.
  • Sven: Strong 2 second AoE stun, and then he hits stuff. That's about all for this hero to be useful.
  • Ogre Magi: Very simplistic point and click abilities that actually ends up being a lot of fun due to his luck element. He's a strong ganker and useful at all points of the game.
  • Beastmaster: If you ignore his pets (which you probably shouldn't do, but can as a new player) this hero is very straightforward to play and has one of the best single target disables in the game.

Initiators:

  • Tidehunter: very simple initiator that can be effective without a Blink Dagger. His ultimate is probably the single strongest spell in the game.
  • Earthshaker: Learn how to use a Blink Dagger to initiate. Not the easiest hero to play in lane, but probably the easiest true initiator.
  • Clockwerk: Very position-based initiator that is hard to bring down and has good crowd-separating skills with his ultimate and Cogs. Will force you to position well for initiation and counterganks.
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While I agree with some of your choices, listing heroes with skillshots (WR, Clockwerk) or require remembering to use your items (ES) seems a lot to have to take in for a newcomer who is learning the game on the go, regardless of past experience with LoL/HoN/etc. I personally don't think my list of suggestions is perfect either, but these are some things I kept in mind. Also, while WR isn't super hard to play, people seem to pick up bad habits with her when they move up brackets but fail to understand her role/how to utilize her. –  Kotsu Jun 9 '12 at 17:17
    
@Kotsu ES is very simple to play other than his Fissure. Expecting a new player to be able to use an item isn't a huge leap of faith, I don't think. WR/Clockwerk are simple enough and have no-risk skillshots. If you miss, you don't die- you just don't get to engage. WR is rarely played in her standard suicide solo role in low tier games, but the jump isn't too difficult for most people. –  Decency Jun 10 '12 at 17:10
    
@Kotsu What bothered me with your list is that it's all supports, other than Skele. That doesn't help a new player learn, it just helps them win without learning which is counterproductive in the end. VS and Lion are both very hard to play well, VS being in my opinion the hardest support hero in the game to utilize well. –  Decency Jun 10 '12 at 17:12
    
I chose heroes based on how fundamentally easy their skills are to utilize correctly so that a beginner could learn DoTA basics without the distraction of trying to figure out how to use more complex skills. While I did go pretty support heavy with suggestions, I made note that these are heroes that can lead to an easier transition to the more complex, more interesting, and of course more important game changing heroes and are not necessarily heroes you need to stick with. –  Kotsu Jun 11 '12 at 3:16
    
Overall, beginner hero suggestions are pretty subjective and are up for debate, but the difference in opinions is helpful in any case for people to see. –  Kotsu Jun 11 '12 at 3:17

Dragon Knight, Lich, and Tiny

Dragon Knight is a tank and can farm and kill easily with his ultimate.

Lich excels in team fights. Ultimate and shield your allied carry and the job's done.

Tiny with acrane boots, dagger, and dagon makes you just dominate. Just stun and throw, and use dagon if you have can kill someone easily.

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I think a really good begginner class would be windrunner. She has shackleshot which can hook them to the tree and finish them off with her second ability. She can run quite fast and is ranged so good to try out for begginers

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CM, QOP, SNK, Lion, Jugg and DK are definitely not beginner friendly heroes.

I would recommend Tidehunter: use your ultimate to stun as many opponents as possible before you die in team fight.

Venomancer: use your ultimate and Gale to poison as many opponents as possible before you die in team fight.

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I agree with Venomancer, I haven't gotten to editing him in yet. I have to politely disagree with you about Tide, however. While Tidehunter is definitely easy to use, I don't recommend him as a beginner hero. New players often misuse Ravage, which is an extremely key ultimate in most games to use correctly. Someone who doesn't understand the appropriate time to Ravage can cause you to lose. –  Kotsu Apr 25 '12 at 22:36

I've just got into DotA 2 from LoL and I really love the game, but I've still got much to learn! In my mind the easiest champs for me at first were mostly the champs with nukes like:

Lina, Queen of pain, Crystal Maiden, Zeus!

Also as I mentioned, I played LoL. For me, csing was a little easier, but csing in DotA 2 is still harder combined with the denying! I also think ranged carries are easier then the melee champs because you don't need to risk getting harrassed or being hard cc-ed when trying to cs!

The ones I liked were Drow Ranger and especially Clinkz because all of his abilities seem to be basic and just add either damage, movement speed and attack speed while the ultimate steals a little health and damage for Clinkz if activated on a creep!

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Honestly the best hero for a beginner (I've played in small money tournaments and taught several friends from completely clueless to easily carrying public unorganized games) is and always will be Dragon Knight.

  1. Dragon Knight is a ranged hero during fights. Melee heroes are less forgiving because they have to waste tons of time switching targets and have much more down time if they are don't know what they are doing/indecisive. DK can pretty much always be in range of anyone and hit them.

  2. Dragon Knight has easy to use spells. He has one of the best stuns in the game. It is on an absurdly short timer, undodgeable (unlike many other spells) and has an OK range. His breath of fire is a point and click damage spell. His ultimate you turn it on when you are fighting heroes or attacking towers.

  3. He is forgiving. In team fights often times he will be ignored until other people are focus fired down first because he is relatively hard to kill as is and his standard build (BKB into Cuirass although I'd throw in a Halberd before AC against auto attack heavy teams and finish off with Satanic/Daedalus) involves him building hybrid defense/offense items. Beginners need to learn and it's hard for them to learn if they die instantly all the time because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time like with most of the cast. DK gets to live longer.

3a. He has 0 cast time and 0 cast delay on his spells. Beginners often get punished heavily for not taking cast time and cast delay into effect and often have no idea what the two are. Cast time is how long your guy takes to wave his hands in the air or whatever before the spell is done. This can be interupted either by you canceling the command or being stunned/silenced. Cast delay is after the spell is complete there might be a bit of a delay before anything happens.

  1. Perhaps most importantly, because of his design, he is almost never useless under any condition or at any stage of the game. Many of the harder heroes in the game have very specific timing windows during which they must 'make something happen' or they become useless.

Ex: Clock becomes much less useful when his main targets acquire BKB QoP and Pudge must create advantages during the window where the base damage on their spells is enough to seriously threaten everyone Chen must push towers during the window where neutral minion puppets are not simply cannon fodder for heroes (past lv 10ish) and ideally where they are often times stronger than heroes (lv 1 - 5)

or 'stall the game out/have their team stall until they become useful

Ex: AntiMage's team must stall for him to acquire battlefury (ideally 12 - 14 mins) and treads plus manta (ideally 25 - 30 mins). Medusa's/Phantom Lancer's team must stall the game for as long as humanly possible.

DK has the unique position of being possibly the hardest semi carry in the game because he is ranged (ranged is always better than melee), has an AoE attack (absurd combined with ranged, especially with spells like vacuum or Clock's cogs), and high agi/str end game stats. He has a stun that can be used to temporarily drop enemy DPS to 0 (this is called anti-carry) and has Halberd as a core item (also anti carry ish). And at lv 6 he can start to chip away at towers and is almost as useful as a Puck or QoP or Pudge with runes (Note that DK is played solo mid in competitive, he uses the DD and haste runes exceptionally well) although he is more comparable to a Shadow Shaman in that he pressures towers when his ultimate is up and has comparable spells (tail is like hex with worse range, breath of fire is like forked lightning but more reliable also DK's spells are much more mana efficient). However unlike any of the listed heroes who want one or two items and then end the game around LV 16, DK is fine having the game drag along until LV25 with 6 items although he is out carried by the hardest carries (although none of those heroes are useful at 6).

Because of this, beginners can be relatively active and play with relatively little pressure on a macro scale as well as the micro scale and be useful all game long.

This is one of my closest friends. He has been playing for 8 years and DK remains one of his favorite heroes. Note his 100% win rate. I highly recommend you check out his replays for pointers. He is probably easily at least in the top 5% of all players.

http://dotabuff.com/players/87094329

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Try these: 1. Lion, Crytal Maiden, Sven, Earth Shaker, Vengeful Spirit et al: Stun, slows, and disables come in handy. Good for ganks and escape.

  1. Slark, Dragon Knight, Omniknight: Built in heal and regen

  2. Axe, Centaur Warrunner: High HP

  3. Ursa: More life = More damage, survivability = ownage

  4. Troll Warlord, Phantom Assasin, Drow Ranger, Spectre, et al: Good killers though farming is vital.

Avoid Invoker, Magus, Princess of the Moon, Pudge.

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You seemed to have name some Dota 1 characters there (eg. techies, centaur)... –  Albort Jul 29 '12 at 23:48

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