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I am playing dota2 (100h+) and I still do not get what are the circumstances which lead to be targeted by the enemy tower.

What causes the tower to attack the hero instead of the creeps?

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up vote 19 down vote accepted

The towers will attack enemies in this order:

  1. Closest enemy unit or hero attacking a friendly hero with auto attack
  2. Closest enemy unit or hero attacking the tower itself with auto attack
  3. Closest enemy unit or hero attacking any friendly unit with auto attack
  4. Closest enemy unit
  5. Closest enemy hero
  6. Closest enemy catapult

The tower will switch targets if:

  1. The targeted enemy unit or hero dies
  2. An enemy unit or hero targets a friendly hero
  3. An enemy hero being attacked by the tower manually attacks a friendly unit or hero (in which case, the tower will select a new target based on the above priority order).

Last one is a weird mechanic that got greatly exploited during last few months,if you get targeted by the tower and click attack button and click on friendly creep the tower will start attacking the next target as if you got out of the attack range.It is getting its popularity since it enables you to attack tower with minimum interruptions(running away+running back from the tower range).To me it looks like a major bug since it makes no sense as a mechanic.

The thing that you mostly experience during the game is that you move inside the tower range (while it is attacking another unit), and then click attack on an enemy hero, which will make the tower attack you.

More discussion here and here.

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gosh this explains so much! every second game there was a "WTF WHYYYY??" thx you very much – braunbaer Jun 12 '12 at 21:46
This isn't quite detailed enough. For example, attacking an enemy hero makes the tower prioritize you when retargeting, but only if none of your creeps are attacking it also. If they are, you won't draw aggro. Also, the tower will attack you if you're attacking it instead of allied creeps, but only if the unit it's currently targeting dies. – Decency Jun 12 '12 at 23:29
It feels like if you smack the tower while no minions are hitting it (because they are fighting another minion line, chasing a hero, etc) it will target you as well. – gnarf Jan 19 '13 at 8:38
@gnarf agreed - If there are no friendly heroes in combat, the rule that I've observed is that when it's current target dies the tower will target a) the nearest enemy unit that is hitting the tower (low health first) b) the nearest unit (low health first). Because of this, when I'm hitting a tower while my creeps are in range but not hitting the tower themselves, I always step away from the tower for a second when its about to switch target, this means it targets another creep rather than me. – Ian Apr 16 '13 at 15:00
Fyi, that "weird mechanic" is a direct result of reason #2 for the tower switching targets. – Ajedi32 Oct 13 '14 at 17:33

There are one important method to reaggr tower. If you attacked by enemy tower and allied creeps present near the tower, you can reaggr tower by press 'A' (Attack) and click on allied creep.

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You should add this as a comment instead, unless you're planning on expanding your answer as by itself it doesn't really answer the question. – Kotsu Jul 31 '12 at 15:33
I could not add this as comment. I have no possibility to add comment to previous post. Maybe because i have low rating here. – gnusarev Jul 31 '12 at 18:24
Ah, I forgot about that. Well now you are only 9 reputation away from being able to leave comments! – Kotsu Jul 31 '12 at 18:36

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