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I understand what a carry does(being carried at first, then carry its team to victory).
What I don't understand is what a half-carry (or semy-carry) does. What are the main differences between the two?

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Is it just me or a carry is a hero which focuses on damage dealing not what you just said even though yes, most carry heroes need to farm at first to be efficient on their role(other players should leave last hit on towers/creeps to the carry hero). –  Fofole May 2 '12 at 8:16
    
possible duplicate of Why do some heroes fit some lanes better than others? –  Decency May 2 '12 at 15:55
    
The question was asked in a comment there and I edited it into my original answer. –  Decency May 2 '12 at 15:55
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Half-Carries or Semi-Carries are heroes that have the potential to carry the team in mid and lategame but will lose most likely to any "hard" carry.

The difference is the fact that a semi-carry has a better early game (escape mechanism, better farming tools, more teamfight potential for mid-game and overall more flexible[movement and items]) resulting in a much faster scale to late-game.

Examples of semi-carries are:

  • Mirana (she can dish out a ton of damage but can also gank, solo, farm with spells, etc)
  • Queen of Pain (aoe spells to spam and farm, ganking , solo) simply carries the team till late [when magic dmg isn't relevant anymore] and then pass the role to the real (hard) carry.

compared to hard-carries:

  • Faceless Void (needs a babysitter, has no teamfight potential until he has his core items, no aoe spells to farm creeps)
  • Spectre (same as void)

Furthermore the hard-carry has a ability that scales incredible well in late game (semi-carry lack these). For example: void - backtrack + time lock; spectre - dispersion + desolate; weaver - geminate attack; morphling - morph + adaptive strike; naix - feast + rage.

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Magic damage isn't relevant in late game ? ... –  Fofole May 2 '12 at 11:09
    
imo not because it does not scale as physical dmg. Earthshaker can still be a threat but no one would consider him a carry right? QoP on the other hand does around 1.2k reliable damage in a teamfight which can be reduced or completely annulled. a hardcarry can do alot more in a teamfight. –  Wandang May 2 '12 at 12:37
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@Fofole INT carries like OD, Enchantress, and Silencer all have pure damage attack abilities that lets them compete in lategame by ignoring opponent armor. Still, they usually can't outcarry an agility carry 1v1 simply because the items to do so just aren't as good without innate high attack speed, which AGI carries have in spades. –  Decency May 2 '12 at 16:07
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That wasn't my point. He said magic damage is irrelevant in late game which is false. As for obsi, his arcane orb deals true damage but take alone him with hex/shiva refresher. With 2 good ulties he deals more damage than probably most of the carries. This was just an example, point beeing magic damage is as valid as physical damage in late game. –  Fofole May 3 '12 at 4:56
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Comments are not meant to be used as a place for extended discussion. If you would like to engage in discussion, please consider using Arqade Chat. –  FAE May 3 '12 at 7:58
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