Peers often tell me that Dota is more about skill of the player, and not really on the heroes themselves.

This talk happened after the epic win of Alliance versus Na'Vi, with me agreeing that Na'Vi had the better lineup in terms of hero strength. One thing I didn't consider was that the Alliance lineup can travel all over the map REALLY well.

I am skeptic though. Is it safe to say, that any dota hero lineup can win against any other hero lineup fairly?

for example, a team picks a lineup of Chen, ezalor, wisp, slayer and rylai. Does that team have a fair chance of winning against Doom, Magina, Sven, Treant, Warlock ( much more rounded team in my opinion)?

Assuming all teams are incredibly skilled at each hero, are the both teams of heroes evenly matched?

Can I have an example of a dota 2 lineup that can NEVER win, or a lineup that's a GUARANTEED win?

  • You named 6 heroes in one team and only 5 in the other.
    – Zikato
    Commented Aug 13, 2015 at 11:14
  • edited and corrected
    – Malky.Kid
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 2:56

1 Answer 1


Your example lineup is viable and can win depending on which tatic is going to be played and player skill of course. However your lineup is forced to go an all in tactic since it will not outcarry the second lineup.

If they can manage to push one lane of rax around the 20 min mark they have a solid chance of getting another lane and win the game around the midgame. Since they have a solid global ganking strat combined with push it will be hard for the enemies to get a solid early to midgame.

But if they play with mapawareness and defensive they will not get picked of too much and stop the first rax push since they could farm their midgame items on their carries.

So in conclusion: Your lineups are not a good example of extreme cases of lineups and therefore can both win.

There are lineups that are unlikely to win. Those are present in AtoD tourneys (DotA reversed) where people pick the lineup for the enemies (making it extremely bad). For example an 5 hero lineup with no early game presence like spectre, riki , etc.

Those will most likely not win vs a rounded or a strong early game team.

And to answer your final question: There is no lineup for a guaranteed win if we are talking competitive CM mode. If you are talking about AP there are good synergy lineups but nothing that would not be counterable. Dark Seer + Naga Siren + any more aoe heroes was once considered extremely hard to beat and navi did it with a fast bkb on enigma and an naturally magic immune hero like juggernaut.

Final conclusion:

Picking lineups in CM mode is taking away a lot of the game already. Forcing enemies into tactics that they expect to beat is an extreme advantage.

  • I've never heard of AtoD before. It isn't popular here in the Philippines. seems like a fun new way to play the game
    – Malky.Kid
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 16:00
  • Now assuming I give extreme lineupslike heroes without early game presence (riki, magina, mort) against heroes built for clash and ganking (venge, rylai, puck) can we still safely say that the first team can win fairly?
    – Malky.Kid
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 16:03
  • well fairly, no. but they have a chance if the good lineup underestimates the enemy and starts to lose a few kills to them. but if you have a 5 carry team (most of them woodsheroes even) and ward their woods you will have full control and it would be a huge handicap for them since they do not get any money. a friend of mine does than go and farm all lanes with the carries and if 1 carry dies the other 2 get farm. if you can handle to farm that way quickly... the discussion is really situational
    – Wandang
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 16:07
  • I guess I just wanted to know if DOTA was at a point where any lineup can win against any lineup, and nobody can say that "your team only won because you had x on your side!"
    – Malky.Kid
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 16:10
  • 2
    there was a time where phantom lancer was that hero x. he was hard to beat and one of the strongest late late game carries. still there are ways to counter it and if you lost you did not counter him correctly. in my opinion at least all heroes in CM mode are balanced. and AP is not meant to be ;)
    – Wandang
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 16:14

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