If the enemy team consists of late game carrys it might be a good winning strategy to push as hard as you can to finish the game as soon as possible. However when the standard laning phase ends, teams start to go together and it becomes dangerous to stay on the lane alone or with another teammate. What are some good strategies for pushing, e.g. buying scrolls and switching lanes frequently?

  • 1
    Great answers, but I could only accept one. I chose the one which fits best for the question.
    – nosferat
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 14:11
  • Don't forget the power of Meepo, he can push several lanes all by himself.
    – user49083
    Commented May 25, 2013 at 7:35

3 Answers 3


Dota 2 has a lot of pushing strategies, I can't describe them all to a tee but I'll do my best here to summarize a couple of them:


Most effective in the early stages of the game when your goal is to follow up with a tower push. The goal is simple: eliminate the opposing team's lane presence and pressure the tower with everything you have (usually 2 heroes + a middle rotation). Works remarkably well when your side lanes just hit level 6.

Summoning Heroes:

Super effective in the early stages of the game, this strategy consists of bringing 1 or more heroes that have summon-able/neutral creeps at their disposal to push the lane with your creep wave. Easily executable in the short lane with a well timed stack/pull to start the push, this strategy almost guarantees a tower kill in the early game if the opposing team doesn't teleport to defend it.

Here's a quick list of heroes who are well known to be used in the fashion (but not limited to):

If you're trying to execute this strategy, study your enemies wisely and look for good counter pushers. Dark Seer, Earthsharker and Tinker will make it hard on you to push in the early stages.

Split Pushing

One of my personal favorite mid-late game pushing stategy. This strategy, in a nutshell, consists of having as much of your team pushing a single lane while one other hero gives great momentum to creep waves in another lane. Nature's Prophet and Tinker (with Boots of Travel[BoT]) are kings at this game. Your team is not to team fight during this time as 4v5 or 3v5 engagements will rarely be in your favor.

Note it's also possible for you to have 1 hero push top lane, 1 hero push middle lane and the other 3 stalling bot lane in order to create more pressure on the opposing side. Out of this 1-1-3 split, it's possible to pick off enemy heroes that are trying to rotate to defend.

I'll finish by saying that split pushing is a delicate operation but can yield great results when executed with patience and discipline.

Hope this helps,

Happy Dota!

  • Um, I edited your answer but for some reason the link tags are not working O.o can someone take a look at that?
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 19:01
  • Thanks for the corrections! I can't seem to get the links working, even though they're still well formatted and all... :/ Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 19:20
  • Must have been a temporary glitch ... you did just fine :)
    – Sadly Not
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 0:47

While your thought is strategically the correct one, it's incomplete. You don't win the game by pushing as quickly as possible against a team of carries. As often as not, you'll lose by doing that.

There are multiple components of strong pushing teams:

  • Flashing creep waves: being able to kill an entire creep wave for a low mana cost in a few seconds. Examples are Axe's Counter-Helix, Dark Seer's Ion Shell, Lina's nukes, Windrunner's Powershot, etc. You usually need two of these spells to do this effectively, but there are plenty of options.
  • Tower killers: The faster you can kill a tower and get away, the less time the other team will be able to set up a proper defense. Leshrac's Edict, Lone Druid's Bear, Nature's Prophet treants (bonus points if they can tank it as well)
  • Anti-initiation and teamfight: You don't want the enemy team to be able to come near you without conclusively starting the fight. Heroes that can keep enemies away like Undying, Earthshaker, Shadow Demon, etc. are very good here. These heroes are all strong teamfighters, ensuring that if the enemy team wants to come, they have to do so in a rush which is significantly harder to execute.

Ideally you have all three, but usually two of three is enough. The main things that are going to help you win are taking towers, keeping your own towers alive, and gaining map control. Against a team with multiple carries, it's easy to think you're on a timer, but that's not always true. If the enemy carries aren't able to earn any gold or experience, it doesn't matter how long you wait before trying to take a T3, so get everything ready, get a Mek up, get wards up, etc.

Simple rules for beating a carry-heavy team:

  • Don't give up unnecessary deaths in lane- trading 1 for 1 is good for the carry-heavy team, not for you.
  • You should not lose a T1 tower unless you get something much better for it. 1250 gold goes a long way to getting a losing gold-starved team back in the game.
  • Take enemy T1 towers quickly by ganking a lane and then immediately pushing. A successful gank often nets you a tower if you have strong tower killers. If not, either you've force the opponents to spend time and money sending help or you take a free tower anyway.
  • If your team is at full health and mana (Arcane Boots are important), don't stop after a T1. You should only stop when the enemy has devoted more heroes than you've brought to defending a push.
  • Place wards behind enemy towers and outside or even inside the enemy base. You should easily be able to keep track of enemy movement. If they spend gold on counterwards, that's fine: you have the gold advantage as the pushing team.
  • Take all six outer towers before trying to push high ground. When you do push high ground, try to whittle away the enemy tower every creep clash and force the enemy team to come to you. You should only start a fight if you see an enemy trying to farm another lane (especially if he's without a TP) rather than preparing a defense.
  • Key items: Mekanism, Ring of Basilius/Aquila or Vlad's (these three don't stack), Arcane Boots, Pipe if necessary, Drums, and Bracers or Talisman.

The hardest part in a pub game is convincing your team to stop farming and push. For that, you're on your own.


If you are going for an early pushing strategy you'll have to take the following into consideration.

  1. Team composition - Is your team comprised of good pushers that can apply heavy pressure across multiple lanes? Ideally, you'll want at least 2 great pushers (such as venomancer, nature's prophet, death prophet, broodmother, shadow shaman, enigma, etc). Strong mid game heros such as Leshrac are good too consider as well. If your team isn't ready to commit to an all in push, then most likely it will fail.
  2. Enemy composition - Does the enemy have any good counter pushers? If its only one, then you'll be fine since you can push two lanes simultaneously. If they have two or more, then it becomes significantly more difficult. By counter pushers I mean heroes that can clear out entire creep waves with 1-2 spells, such as Lina.
  3. Effective items - Focus more on 'best bang for the buck' items rather than your end game items. Make that wraith band, bracers, drums, etc rather than going for the expensive top tier items.
  4. Don't get ganked - Make sure you have excellent map vision. Your goal is to push down their towers and barracks before they are strong enough to be effective, but you have to do it without feeding them. Since you are taking on the brunt of the risk by fighting near their towers the entire time, you have to make sure that they don't get an easy gank on you for gold. You have to keep their gold gain at a minimum.

To address your last question, its always good to have 1 scroll handy, but you shouldn't switch lanes often. Ideally you want to be pushing down multiple lanes at the same time. However, if you find that you've pushed down one lane while the others are having trouble, you can consider switching over to the other lane for a while. Switching too often is not effective imo unless you can teleport for free, such as with nature's prophet.

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