Dota 2: Dynamic Duos

2013-06-22

Like many of you, there are times when I queue with a friend with the intention to lane together. However, with 100+ heroes to choose from and a limited time to decide, it can sometimes be a chore to pick the coolest and most fun ways to duo lane together! With this dilemma in mind, today I’m going to be giving you a rundown of some of the most fun and powerful dual lanes currently in the game.

These lanes are picked from the best quality vintage heroes, each pair rich in kill potential, with a long lasting impact on the overall game. They’re also fast-acting, in that you’re able to go for kills at level one if you so choose! But enough with the marketing buzzwords, onto the fun!

Sven + Lina/Sand King/Leshrac

This is the epitome of, and standard for, an aggressive duo lane. Two stuns, both of which deal significant damage, and good follow up damage in Sven’s autoattack and Lina’s nuke, or Leshrac’s lightning. On top of that, Sven’s stun is targeted, meaning that you can’t miss the setup! Sven stuns, Lina stuns, and they quickly finish off the target. If you’re substituting Sand King, you’ll lose a bit of burst and range, but it’s still possible to do. Overall, Lina and Leshrac are probably the two best choices.

The lane is also great because Sven can transition quite well into a mid- and late-game monster with early farm. If you do this lane successfully you’ll both be swimming in gold, giving you early upgraded boots, more roaming potential, and earlier BKB/Blink.

How to Counter: If you’re against this lane (or playing it and want to know what to watch out for), look at heroes with strong early game tank or disjoint abilities. Treant Protector is a strong counter, as Living Armor negates much of the three-hit-burst of the combo. Heroes like Puck or Sand King can also avoid the combo entirely through smart use of their skills. Visage can be a decent counter with early levels in Cloak. Another Cloak, the item, is also a fantastic countermeasure, as much of the combo’s damageĀ  is magical.

Crystal Maiden/Venomancer + Juggernaut

Again, an extremely standard pub dual lane. Super high first blood potential against an unprepared lane, and a strong mid/late-game transition make this combo a great way to have some fun. Nova/Gale into a Spinning Juggernaut, possibly with boots first, is extremely hard to get away from at level one. On top of that, at level two CM will also have a root that deals damage, and Veno will have slowing wards or autoattacks.

The main downside to this lane is that it’s so often used that most pubs are prepared for it. On top of that, you don’t have a true stun, meaning that you’ll run into issues with a few slippery heroes. Still, early kills on a Juggernaut can let you snowball extremely well.

How to Counter: Mobility. Any hero with a blink should have no trouble avoiding first blood, and still be pretty safe at least until the CM/Jugg are level 5. If it’s a Veno instead, blinks become even more effective. Clockwerk also gets a mention here because he will absolutely laugh at Juggernaut’s spin attempts due to his cogs. Again, an early Cloak can help against this lane, but it isn’t as important because CM/Jugg don’t have as much magic damage to worry about as you go into the mid-game, compared to a Lina, Leshrac, or Sand King.

Undying + Keeper Of The Light

Here is one of the more interesting and less-seen duo lanes. While not as good at setting up a long term victory as some others, this combo can help your team crush the early-mid game and go for a fast win. Undying’s Decay, combined with the infinite mana from Keeper, means that your opponents will always have 3-4 stacks on them. This, in turn, means that a single KOTL Blast + Tombstone or Soul Rip is often enough to kill a hero outright.

If you run this lane, be sure to push hard, as Undying will quickly fall off in effectiveness past about 25-30 minutes. Besides that this lane has no significant downsides.

How to Counter: This one is a bit tricky, because there’s no “x hero wrecks this lane” advice to give. Instead, good ward vision to avoid Keeper’s nukes, and staying split in lane to avoid two-man Decays are the best way to deal with it. Blinks can be good for avoiding zombies, and the cleave abilities of Kunkka and Gyrocopter can also prove effective.

Bane + Mirana

One of my personal favorites, against many people this lane can be sure to cause intense feeding on the part of the enemy team. Bane’s Nightmare, followed by a near-guaranteed 5-second arrow from Mirana, as well as a Starfall and Brain Sap, will kill any hero that gets targeted correctly. It’s a near 1000 damage combo at level 3-4, on top of any autoattacks you may do. Be sure to choose targets correctly to avoid getting counter-initiated on, as both of your heroes are fairly fragile.

Mirana can also be a formidable mid-game carry, meaning that the gains from a well-run lane won’t peter out half an hour into the match. Bane as well has a solid mid/late-game disable to help the team.

How to Counter: Here, you have two choices. Strike first, or dodge. There’s no real hero counters to the combo, similar to the KOTL + Undying lane, so you’ll need to play smart. The most important thing to remember is that trying to autoattack a hero will transfer sleep to you. If they sleep your lanemate and are setting up the arrow, but you’re farther back near safety, you can attempt to attack your teammate to wake him up and allow him to dodge the arrow that spells his doom. Also keep in mind that while Leap and Brain Sap are decent defensive tools, both of the enemy heroes have a very low HP pool.

Weaver + TreANT PROTECTOR

While far more passive than some of the other lanes here, this combo still carries an intense power. Living Armor, combined with Shukuchi and Geminate Attack, means that a Weaver can tower dive early to great effect. This is more subtle a lane than the others. For one, the Tree and Weaver don’t technically have to be in the same lane, though Leech Seed gives even more tower diving potential. Weaver also scales much better than any of the other heroes listed here. If he can get a strong early game advantage, that can be the start of a huge snowball.

Be sure to use Living Armor often! Don’t forget that the spell is global, so if the Weaver doesn’t need it at the moment, a different teammate can probably benefit. Also, since it works on towers, the Weaver can be in a solo hard lane without much fear of an early push shutting down his fun.

How to Counter: Good luck! Right now this is one of the strongest combinations of heroes in the game, even in the competitive scene. The best counter I’ve seen is to put heroes like Slark or Dark Seer against the Weaver to quickly burn down LA charges, similar to how Templar Assassin’s Refraction is countered. The problem then is that Weaver is still a very mobile hero, so expect that you’ll need help to gank him.

Axe + Dazzle

This combo takes advantage of “creep cutting,” or standing in between your opponent’s tier 1 and tier 2 towers and catching creep waves as they come. With a shield and spin at level one, Axe can easily tank creep waves, and Dazzle’s heal keeps him safe and makes sure that it’s dangerous for enemy heroes to attempt to intercept them.

Be sure to level Battle Hunger at 2 and 3 to keep pressure on enemy heroes who wont have any creeps to last hit! Doing this will let you take a fast T1 tower, and possibly pick up kills along the way.

How to Counter: Two ranged heroes with stuns or nukes can cause a lot of problems for Axe. Make sure that you don’t get in range of his Taunt or spin, as you can quickly take a load of damage. You just have to outlast the Axe/Dazzle combo. If you’re having problems with Battle Hunger, you might have to pop back to your t1 and last hit under the tower.

Huskar + Dazzle

Here we have one of the funniest combos in the game. Huskar’s Berserker’s Blood makes him more powerful when his hit points are low, and Shallow Grave can keep him at alive at 1 HP! Max stacks of Blood makes Huskar a force to be reckoned with, and the minus armor to enemies from Dazzle’s ult certainly doesn’t hurt.

This combo picks up steam around level 3-5, so don’t expect miracles before then. If you’re interested in learning a fun way to follow up the early game, check out our Huskar Guide!

How to Counter: Axe! Culling Blade will dispel Shallow Grave and kill Huskar outright. Other than that, purges can slow him down, and be aware that if Shallow Grave has already been used on Huskar, you can just kill the Dazzle instead.

Shadow Demon + Kunkka

This is incredibly strong in lane against any hero that isn’t extremely durable in the early game. Disruption sets you up for a perfect Torrent every time, and the physical damage output of the illusions plus your heroes is extremely high. On top of that, most of the time you’ll have a Soul Catcher on the target, making the combo just that much more potent.

You might have to practice the timing of the two abilities to get used to it. Also, keep in mind that you can Soul Catcher a target while it’s Disrupted. Early kills and levels on Kunkka make him a monster in the mid-game.

How to Counter: This is another difficult one. If you have a hero like Wisp, it can sometimes be possible to Tether away before the Torrent hits, but it’s a small window. Most blinks are too slow to actually avoid it. Your best bet is to just make sure that you don’t get too far out of position, and have your lane mates be aggressive if a Disruption lands. Getting a fair amount of damage on the SD or Kunkka can let you go for a turn around.

Viper + Venomancer

Go team poison! While lacking hard stuns and disables, this duo will crush nearly any lane early on. Both heroes do a staggering amount of early game autoattack damage, and combined with the slow on Gale and Viper’s attack modifier, no one who runs will get very far.

This lane works best when played extremely aggressively: any time an enemy even thinks about leaving their tower, go crazy on them. You’d be surprised at how many kills you can get.

How to Counter: Run! Well, not if you’ve gotten hit already. The trick here is to be able to get away through the slows, so look for blinks, or abilities like Dark Seer’s Surge to get away quickly. Be extremely careful, as a small positioning error can lead to a fast tower dive.

Wisp + Chaos Knight

One of the most powerful hero combos in the game. Tether combined with Reality Rift means that you’ll always get the stun. On top of that, you get a boatload of regen in the lane, damage from Chaos Bolt and Spirits, and global map presence at 6. The only way to escape a Wisp/CK teleport into Reality Rift is to be lucky.

Even better, CK is still a very powerful mid- to late-game carry, so if you snowball in lane it won’t stop any time soon. If you’re doing well with the kills, keep in mind that Wisp can grab an Urn, heal itself, and Tether to CK for two person healing.

How to Counter: Map awareness. You have to notice when the Wisp might be ulting, so be sure to keep an eye out for the incoming teleport sound and graphic. If you see it, run unless your team is all in place to help you. The best way to deal with this is to force the game to go late, with two carries on your team. Wisp is one of the most banned heroes for a reason.

These should give you a good starting point for any two-man adventures you embark on. Be sure to keep an eye on TheMittani.com for news, features, and articles for Dota 2!

This article originally appeared on TheMittani.com, written by Dimirti.

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