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Tips and Tricks for Pubs: How to play the offlane

by Preston Dozsa May 16
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Tips and Tricks for Pubs is a weekly series focusing on the best strategies for succeeding in pubs.

Out of all the lanes in Dota 2, the offlane is the map's most dangerous. With up to three possible heroes barreling down towards them, the offlaner's goal is simple: to try and survive all the while securing enough farm while preventing the enemy from last-hitting minions. It's a challenging role, but one that is essential to winning games.

As the laning phase gives way to the mid and late game, the offlaner's duties will change depending on the state of the game and what hero they are playing as. But with the laning phase being just as important, if not more so, than the other stages of the game, here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind as you head to the offlane.

Do: Pick a hero with survivability or an escape mechanism

Due to the number of disadvantages in the offlane, an offlaner's primary focus should be to try and gain as much farm as possible while preventing the enemy from doing the same. As such, picking heroes who can either take a lot of damage or can get out of a fight quickly is essential to surviving in the offlane for any period of time. Timbersaw, Beastmaster, and Slardar are all excellent heroes in that regard, in that they are able to pressure the lane while capable of staying in that lane for long periods of time.

RELATED: Spin! Cut! Shred! A Timbersaw guide

To that end, ensure that you pick up some Tangos or Healing Salves before heading off to lane. You ideally want to hit Level 6 without having to head back to base, so any and all items that will keep you alive and fighting just a little bit longer will do much to improve your laning phase.

Don't: Push the enemy tower without help

Unless you have either heavily warded the approach to your offlane or are being backed up by an ally, it is always better to play it safe by trying to get the creeps to match up as close to your tower as possible. It will allow you to secure experience and gold easier, and it will make the life of your opponents much more difficult due to the range of the tower.

RELATED: A basic guide to warding in Dota 2

With that said, getting rid of the enemy safe lane tower opens up a number of entry points into their primary jungle, granting your team a large advantage. Consider your options carefully, as failure will more often than not mean a long walk back from your base

Do: Deny, Deny, Deny

Not only should an offlaner be focused on their own farm, but they should also limit their opponents' farm as much as possible. To that end, denying your creeps is an important skill that should be practiced constantly. Though it is almost always better to secure a last hit instead of a deny, the amount of pressure the offlane will be under makes denying more of a viability than in other lanes.

The recent changes to denying in 7.06 also make denying much more important to gain experience. Now, creep denies grant the denying team 30 percent of the XP bounty, meaning that it is much easier for offlaners to comfortably gain levels.

Don't: Forget the secondary jungle

With the proximity of the Shrine, bounty runes and new camps in the secondary jungles, the offlane now has a small base to retreat to for farm and healing if they are under too much pressure in lane. While it is more ideal to farm in lane and prevent the enemy from gaining farm, the secondary jungle is now a viable alternative for offlaners who are having difficulty managing their lane.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

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