Custom Game Roundup: Dota IMBA

by theScore Staff Jun 15
Thumbnail image courtesy of Maelstorm / Dota IMBA

Custom Game Roundup is your weekly highlight of the best (and weirdest) custom games in Overwatch, Dota 2 and more.

Dota 2 has a long history of buffing and nerfing heroes over the years, with the end result being a game that plays very differently now compared to when it first entered beta long ago. This has all been in the name of balance, and though there have been plenty of mistakes made along the way, IceFrog has done a fine job balancing the game.

But Dota IMBA asks a simple question: What if every Dota hero received nothing but buffs for 100 patches straight? The answer, as it turns out, is absolutely broken insanity that somehow manages to be balanced because everything is broken.

How insane is Dota IMBA? Here are a few of the particularly crazy changes that have been made:

  • Sniper's Shrapnel now has global cast range.
  • Faceless Void can now increase enemies' current ability cooldowns with a new passive ability.
  • Centaur Warrunner's Hoof Stomp creates an arena that traps enemies inside it and grants him damage reduction.

But Dota IMBA is more than just buffing heroes. Increased gold and experience gains, lowered respawn times, new item properties and new abilities for towers are just a few of the changes made to Dota IMBA, which all combine to create one of the best custom game modes for Dota 2 that still retains the features and mechanics that make it Dota 2.

The Heroes

Though Dota IMBA's objective is the exact same as a normal game of Dota, the biggest difference lies in the the massive buffs applied to each of the game's heroes that turn them into complete monsters. But not all heroes have been changed equally, as there are two different kinds of heroes in Dota IMBA: IMBA Heroes and Lazy Heroes.

IMBA Heroes are the heroes that take their normal Dota counterpart as a base and gives them custom skills and enhanced mechanics so that their strengths are greatly buffed. Their weaknesses are also kept the same, so a hero that has few escape mechanics will still have difficulty escaping in Dota IMBA. These heroes appear with IMBA next to their names in the draft screen to differentiate them from other heroes.

A good example of an IMBA hero is Sven, who gains a number of additional mechanics to his abilities. Storm Hammer is renamed Storm Bolt, and propels Sven forward, turns him invulnerable during the flight time and stuns enemies that are nearby. Great Cleave can now be activated to focus on one target to grant Sven true strike during the duration. Warcry now increases the strength of all allies in addition to bonus armor, while Sven's ultimate, God's Strength, increases allies' damage and adds cleave to nearby allies if Aghanim's Sceptre is equipped.

Lazy Heroes are much simpler in design by contrast, as they have only received broad increases in power across the board. Lower cooldowns, higher damage, and higher armor are all common buffs to Lazy heroes, and they are included in Dota IMBA to allow for more variety in the draft.

While every hero has received buffs, there are a handful of heroes who are disabled in the mode due to technical and balancing issues. These heroes include, but are not limited to Brewmaster, Lone Druid, Meepo and Shadow Shaman.

Tips and Tricks

Lazy Heroes can be just as powerful as IMBA Heroes

As tempting as it is to select an IMBA hero to play around with their improved skills, Lazy heroes are not weaker by default. Naga Siren may be a Lazy hero, but her Mirror Image creates even more illusions that take substantially less damage and her ultimate is much more spammable. Phoenix can pour out tons of damage in a short span of time, and Lion can stun and disrupt enemies at an extremely fast rate. The IMBA heroes may be flashy, but Lazy heroes are more than capable of holding their own.

Try Random OMG mode

Dota IMBA offers a variety of different game modes and modifications that you can choose from, including a 10v10 mode and an arena mode where the objective is to reach a set number of kills. But the craziest, and one of the most fun, modes is Random OMG, where heroes get random skills from a pool of available skills. You get a random hero, but with random skills it doesn't matter — you might just get an Ursa with Black Hole and Split Shot. This mode makes Dota IMBA even more insane than it already is, and I recommend trying it out if you don't think the regular game mode is for you.

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