I am rather new to Dota 2, and so far found that Sniper and Death Prophet are the easiest heroes for me to play with, but the moment I play against humans, they fall horribly short - one of the guys I was playing against said that they are "squishy", which I assume means "soft" or "easy kills".

What hero would you guys suggest that a newbie plays with that are "not squishy" yet is suitable for a newbie?


I have also played with Drow Ranger, and found her damage very impressive, but getting to a level where this becomes evident is harder than I thought.

  • Squishy is less about being easy to kill and more about having less hp/defense than other "hard" characters which can take a punch better than others.
    – zero298
    Dec 5, 2014 at 13:42
  • 3
    Well being tanky (opposite of squishy) is not only a matter of hero but also a matter of what items you get. On the top of my head some tanky heroes that are easy to play are Centaur Warrunner, Dragon Knight, Viper, Sven and Ogre Magi. They are fairly simple to understand and you shouldnt die as easily as on Sniper with them. However most are melee hero so youll need to learn how to play in melee range. I advise you to take a look at this guide which will guide you in your early games of dota
    – WizLiz
    Dec 5, 2014 at 13:44
  • I voted to leave open. There are heroes that the community has agreed upon that are easy to learn. You can pick one of those along with some defensive items to successfully answer this question.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Dec 5, 2014 at 14:25
  • Tank, or durable heroes are heroes which high amount of hp or high rate of regen. Some examples are Tiny or Abaddon. But these heroes normally have less dps (damage per sec).
    – Kim Minseo
    Dec 9, 2014 at 1:32

5 Answers 5


Death Prophet is actually not a squishy hero; or at least, she becomes very hard to kill assuming you don't fall behind. Sniper is another story, however; he is extremely easy to kill if you are even slightly out of position. He has no mechanism to escape from dangerous situations, which is why Shadow Blade and even Blink Dagger are common items on him. He still has very weak defensive stats, and Shadow Blade can easily be countered. He was never played in professional games until recently because he was simply too weak, and even now he is an extremely situational pick. I don't know if he'll be picked nowadays because his Headshot got changed from a bash stun to a 100% slow, which means that it doesn't go through magic immunity anymore.

If you like Death Prophet, I encourage you to continue playing her. Once you know how, she is one of the hardest heroes to kill in the game. Here are some tips:

  • Play mid or a solo lane if you can. Why? Because you want to hit level 6 as soon as possible. Your ultimate allows you to instantly put massive pressure on an enemy tower, and it makes you virtually impossible to kill in a 1v1 (and many 1v2s).
  • When your ghosts from your ultimate return, they heal you as well, so if you're in a terrible situation, use your ultimate and juke (avoid allowing the enemy to get vision of you) for as long as possible. If they continue chasing, they will likely die to your ultimate which automatically attacks them.
  • Using your silence is key to not getting ganked early. It is one of the best silences in the game, with a fairly large AoE and duration. If people can't use their spells, they can't kill you; it's that simple. You will probably want to put just one point in this until much later; the benefits from putting more points into it aren't very high (just 1 second duration increase).
  • Your passive is also key to your survival. Death Prophet is one of the fastest heroes in the game with this passive, and with Phase Boots she's un-gankable if you catch even a slight wind that the enemy are coming. Mana cost decrease for Crypt Swarm is also obviously important.
  • Items like Shiva's Guard and Bloodstone are great on Death Prophet. DP has a powerful, spammable nuke, and an ultimate that slowly kills the enemy team for you. She benefits more the longer a fight carries on, so you want to build items that make you hard to kill. Bloodstone gives you a lot of HP and gives you the mana you need to cast Crypt Swarm virtually as many times as you want. Shiva's Guard gives you a huge amount of armor and makes enemy carries cry, and then their tears get stuck frozen to their faces.

If you need more assistance, you should watch videos online. DotA has a very supportive and established video-making community with tons of high quality content, and it will accelerate your mastery of the game greatly. Hope this helps. Believe in the DP!

P.S.: As far as Drow Ranger goes, get used to that, that's how carries operate. They require a lot of farm and maintenance before they get to a stage where they can start fighting the enemy team. Once they do, however, they are very good at putting out rapid, consistently high damage. The best carries also have good defensive abilities (as an example, Faceless Void has both an escape mechanism and a passive chance to dodge abilities and attacks, as well as a bash chance to boost his damage; he was considered one of the most powerful carries in the game until recently). Drow trades that defense for an extremely fast track to high damage thanks to her ultimate. She still has her gust, though, which is quite a good defensive ability.

  • Thank you! I now have new hope. Death Prophet was a fun hero for me in Dota 1. I will play some more with ole Krobie :-) Dec 6, 2014 at 14:58
  • If you like death prophet you might want to try other nukers or disablers. Some suggestions are shadow shaman and lion.
    – Kim Minseo
    Dec 9, 2014 at 1:34
  • @KimMinseo Actually, Razor strikes me as a hero that's quite similar to Death Prophet. He focuses less on the actual casting part and more on auto-attacks, though, but his kit is still designed to outlast the opponent and chase down targets. Dec 9, 2014 at 15:09
  • @LucasLeblanc Razor is an anti-dps carry hero, neutrailising the enemy carries quite well with his Static Link.
    – Kim Minseo
    Dec 10, 2014 at 22:49
  • @KimMinseo Yes, he shuts down carries in team fights as opposed to casters like Death Prophet, but his play style and tactics are overall similar; take a solo lane, get fast and beefy, outlast/outchase your opponents, auto-targeting ults, etc. Dec 10, 2014 at 22:57

Generally, the Limited Heroes pool is a pretty good set of "starter heroes" to try as a new player. Out of that list, the following are naturally pretty tanky:

  • Tidehunter: passive damage block from Kraken Shell plus enemy damage reduction from Anchor Smash make him extremely survivable.

  • Juggernaut and Sven are both fairly survivable melee heroes. Sven has a ranged AoE stun and a temporary runspeed/armor buff that can be useful both offensively and defensively. Juggernaut has a magic immunity ability and a healing ward.

  • Dragon Knight has strong armor and HP regeneration, but no good innate way to escape from enemies.

  • Omniknight's kit is almost entirely based around healing and blocking damage. He has abilities that can grant either total physical or spell damage immunity to himself or allies.

  • Razor can steal attack damage from enemy heroes, which can make him extremely survivable against enemy right-clickers as long as you can get Static Link off properly.

  • Wraith King is naturally tanky, and also has Reincarnation, which can often give him a free second life upon being killed.

On any hero, building defensive items can often be a smart idea if you find that you need more survivability. Many melee heroes will take a Stout Shield (and possibly upgrade it to a Poor Man's Shield) for extra defense in lane. For more fragile heroes, there are things like Medallion of Courage or Mekansm for extra armor, Force Staff for an escape mechanism, or Eul's Scepter or Scythe of Vyse for a disable that could buy you time to get to safety. Late-game, Heart of Tarrasque, Linken's Sphere, and Shiva's Guard can also potentially be very useful depending on what hero you're using, and the composition of the enemy lineup.


All strength heroes are, inherently, "tanky", with their relatively high health pools regardless of items.

However, looking for a "tanky" hero as a solution to finding yourself dying often is not the best way to view your problem. I suggest another way of looking at your choices instead!

Positioning in DotA, where you stand, based on what vision of which heroes are where and what you know you don't know, is key to avoiding death. Say you're playing sniper on radiant in the bot lane. You can prevent an incoming gank on you by looking at the minimap, noticing which enemy heroes are not on the minimap, noticing what wards would normally reveal them, and (if you're lucky) "missing!" calls from teammates. To dodge the incoming gank, just noticing these suspicious factors and hiding behind the tower until the minimap repopulates, you don't always have to limit yourself to tanky heroes, or heroes with an escape mechanism.

The instinct of where the other team is with limited information, and noticing it as you're playing, is a player quality often called "map awareness". Like a lot of things in DotA, you learn it from playing a lot. You'll learn to have this awareness more quickly the more conscious you are of it.


Although I agree that Death Prophet (DP) is not a squishy hero, I personally feel like DP is hard for new players to use because she is very easy to kill early on in the game (squishy).

Personally I would recommend Tidehunter, as he possesses good survivability as a result of his skills Anchor Smash and Kraken Shell.

As Tidehunter, you would want to level your skills as follows (the number refers to which skill should be upped each subsequent level, from left to right): 3, 2, 3, 1, 3, 4, 3, 2, 2

My suggested skill progression will provide you with enough damage to burst your opponent using Anchor Smash, while also providing survivability. Anchor Smash will reduce the attack damage of enemy heroes and, combined with kraken shell, means you might take low or no damage at all.

Feel free to replace Gush with another point of Kraken Shell for extra safety. I did not include this in my suggestion because sometimes you'll need tools to chase your enemy when your team comes to bank.

For the item build, if you are facing high damage per second (dps) heroes, one item that you should definitely pick up is Vanguard (I know the damage block won't stack with your Kraken Shell, but Vanguard will provide you with a good amount of health and regeneration).

If you are facing an enemy with magical burst, buy Cloak and a Vitality Booster to increase your hp.


"Tanky" is not the only opposite of squishy. Heroes with good escape skills are also much harder to kill than sniper and death prophet, who have low health and no built-in escape.

Heroes like weaver can be good in this regard - he has a skill which makes him move faster and turn invisible, making it easier to get out of sticky situations. Other heroes with good escapes which I might recommend for a new player are, Batrider, Bounty Hunter.

Some other tanky heroes which have not been mentioned yet are Bristleback and Abaddon. Bristleback just has high defense and HP in general, and Abaddon has an ultimate which stops him from dying for a short time - often long enough to run away or keep fighting and secure a kill.

Another common tactic is to take heroes which do not have an escape, and buy the items Shadowblade or Force Staff, both of which give you a good way to escape. Shadowblade works well on Sniper as it gives you attack speed. Force staff works well on a lot of heroes as it gives you intelligence and a little health regen.

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