New to Dota 2 and don’t know what to play? We’ve got you. Here are our top picks for the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners!

Thinking about giving DOTA 2 a shot but have no clue where to start? Don’t stress, here’s my suggested five Dota 2 heroes for beginners (as well as some ‘mini-guides’ on how to play them and what items to build). These heroes are easy to pilot and should allow you to score some kills and win some games. This advice comes from a 7K MMR player. If you’d also like advice on how to gain MMR we got you covered.

#1 CRYSTAL MAIDEN

Crystal Maiden
Crystal Maiden

She’s a classic support hero, she has a stun, a nuke which slows and a big epic ultimate. But most importantly, she has a global mana regen aura which helps your team just by existing!  A staple when it comes to Dota 2 heroes for beginners.

How to play Crystal Maiden?

CM is a hard support, which means your focus should be looking after your carry in lane and enabling your team later on. But, it also means that dying a few times doesn’t matter too much.

Play in a sidelane and when an enemy gets too close, Crystal Nova them and follow it up with a Frostbite. This will do a ton of damage and should allow your carry to waddle over and help secure the kill. Rinse and repeat. 

Level up your aura at level 2 or 3 and don’t bother levelling Freezing Field until way later on as it costs too much mana. Freezing Field is one of those ultimates that’s either meh or awesome. Use it during chaotic teamfights when the enemies are distracted.

After the laning phase remember that CM is fragile and moves pretty slow, so stick with (and ideally slightly behind) your team-mates. Cast your spells from range and back off until they are ready again.

What items do I build on Crystal Maiden?

CM starting items

Start with a bunch of regen (I suggest 2 sets of Tangos, 1 Healing Salve, 2 Enchanted Mangos and 2 Claritys) and an Ironwood Branch. This will allow you to stay in lane and cast a bunch of spells.

Next, build up into a pair of Tranquil Boots and a Magic Wand (trust me, Wand is literally the best item in the game).

CM Late game items

After this work towards a Forcestaff then into Glimmer Cape. These will allow you to save yourself AND your team!  (Note: You can use Glimmer Cape on yourself WHILE casting Freezing Field and it won’t interrupt the channel.)

Your late game item should be Black King Bar as it will allow you to cast Freezing Field without worrying about it getting interrupted. (Oh, and buy wards and put them on the hills, your team will appreciate it.)

CM Item Build: Tranquil Boots, Magic Wand, Force Staff, Glimmer Cape, Black King Bar.

#2 JUGGERNAUT

Jugg is a well-rounded carry hero who is strong at pretty much every stage of the game. His ultimate ability Omnislash makes you the king of 1v1 fights, which is very fun.

How to play Juggernaut?

Play in a sidelane and focus on getting last hits. (Learn more about last hitting here) If an enemy walks too close, use Bladefury and run at them. Bladefury does a crazy amount of damage over 5 seconds to units close to Jugg. So, try to stay next to your target while using it. Bladefury combined with any extra damage or a stun will almost always result in a kill. 

Once you get level 6 you unlock Omnislash which makes Jugg bounce around slashing people – doing a ton of damage and making Jugg completely invulnerable. Try to use this on isolated heroes for easy kills. If they survive, use Bladefury to finish them off. After the laning phase, keep hitting creeps to get gold and go fight whenever Omnislash is off cooldown.

What items do I build on Juggernaut?

Juggernaut starting Items

Start with a Quelling Blade (for an easier time last hitting) and a bunch of regen. Throw in an Enchanted Mango in case you run out of mana.

Movespeed is important when trying to use Bladefury, so you are going to rush Phase Boots (start with the Boots of Speed).  Magic Wand is next, as it is perfect for providing a little extra mana for the Bladefury + Omnislash combo.

Juggernaut late game items

Next, work your way towards a Battle Fury. It gives you everything you need, mana regen, health regen, damage and cleave! Great for farming, great for fighting.

Then you’re gonna go for a Sange and Yasha (start with the Yasha), into Aghanim’s Scepter and finish it all off with a Skull Basher.

Jugg Item Build: Phase Boots, Magic Wand, Battle Fury, Sange and Yasha, Aghanim’s Scepter, Skull Basher.

#3 DRAGON KNIGHT

The DOTA anime main character himself. DK is a semi-carry jack-of-all trades type of hero. He’s got a stun, a nuke and he turns into a scary dragon. What’s not to love?

There’s a reason Dragon Knight was the star of the Dota 2 Anime Dragon’s Blood. He might be a bit basic, but when it comes to Dota 2 heroes for beginners, Dragon Knight is a must.

How to play Dragon Knight?

DK can be played in any lane, but he does great in the mid lane, so head there if you’re feeling up to it! Use Breathe Fire to secure last hits and Dragon Tail to help with hero kills.  Put 2 skill points into Dragons Blood early on for sustain and focusing on maxing out Breathe Fire. You only need 1 point in Dragon Tail until later and level your ultimate at 6.

Once you reach 6 it’s time to enter ELDER DRAGON FORM. This makes your attacks and your stun ranged. Use this to bully your opponents and hit towers. After laning, your job as DK is to push towers and initiate fights. When your ult is up, group up with your team to either fight or push. You are extremely tanky, so don’t be afraid to jump go in first!

What items do I build on Dragon Knight?

Dragon Knight starting items

Start with Quelling Blade and some regen. Buy a bottle ASAP. Next up, buy 2 Bracers,  Magic Wand and a pair of Power Treads.

Then save up for your Blink Dagger! This will allow you to initiate by blinking next to people and stunning them.

Dragon Knight late game items

After that, grab a Black King Bar to become truly unkillable and follow it up with an Assault Cuirass for more damage and armour.

Finally, finish it off with a Mjollnir for extra attack speed and damage.

DK Item Build: Power Treads, Blink Dagger, Black King Bar, Assault Cuirass, Mjollnir.

#4 CENTAUR WARRUNNER

Cent is a bit like DK, but more focused on initiation and less on damage (although he still does a bunch of damage). Cent is a strength utility hero with a sweet AOE stun, a massive nuke (which does damage to your target AND yourself) and a fun ultimate.

How to play Centaur Warrunner?

Cent is best played offlane with a support (if they have a stun that’s perfect). Focus on last hitting and use stun if the enemy gets too close. If your lane opponents are ranged, put a point or two into Retaliate. 

Your kill combo is Hoof Stomp, whack them a few times and finish them off with Double Edge. Both spells are short range, so you need to be close. Cent’s spells also have low cooldowns and mana cost, so don’t be stingy with ‘em.

This combo gets a lot easier if your lane partner has a stun or slow – allowing you to close the distance to land a Hoof Stomp. Otherwise, wait until you are level 6 and you can use Stampede to give you (and your entire team) bonus movement speed to close the gap.

After the laning phase, your job is to start fights. Whenever Stampede is ready, group up with your friends and find someone to trample. (Note: Stampede can also be used defensively to help you or your team get away). 

What items do I build on Centaur Warrunner?

Centaur starting items

Start with Quelling Blade and rege. Make sure you get at least one Healing Salve! Next, you are going to want a Bracer and a Ring of Health. This will make you even more tanky and give you some health regen.

After that, grab a Boots of Speed and Magic Wand. Then use your turn your Ring of Health into a Vanguard.

Centaur late game items

Now you will need a Blink Dagger which is Cent’s bread and butter, allowing him to land his combo nice and easy. Finally, grab a Hood of Defiance and eventually a Heart of Tarrasque and you will be a horse GOD!

Cent Item Build: Ring of Health, Boots of Speed, Magic Wand, Blink Dagger, Hood of Defiance, Heart of Tarrasque.

#5 OGRE MAGI

Do you like gambling AND annoying your enemies? Then Ogre is the guy(s) for you.

Ogre Magi is a tanky support hero with great spells and a very fun RNG-based ultimate which will really help trigger your opponents. Ogre Magi is one of the best Dota 2 heroes for beginners.

How to play Ogre Magi?

While Ogre is a support, he’s not ranged, so instead of hitting your enemies from range, you are going to slow them with Ignite and whack them with your club. Fireblast provides you with a basic stun and nuke, so use this in combination with Ignite if you’re going for a kill.

Ogre’s 3rd spell is Bloodlust and it’s going to make you everyone’s best friend. Bloodlust is a buff that increases move speed AND attack speed. Use this on yourself and your carry to make you both run and whack faster.

Now the fun bit. Ogre’s ultimate is a passive ability called Multicast. This gives all your spells a chance to cast multiple times. Meaning you can Ignite everything around you, stun someone repeatedly and Bloodlust a whole bunch of allies at once. 

(Multicast is the most satisfying when it triggers on Fireblast and you straight up KILL a hero from basically full health. It even makes a wonderful noise, trust me, you’re gonna love it)

After the laning phase, simply run around Bloodlusting your team and casting Ignite and Fireblast on anything that looks at you funny. Didn’t get a Multicast? Don’t worry, run around until your spells are off cooldown and try again!

What items do I build on Ogre Magi?

Start with lots of regen (especially mana regen for more Ignites and Fireblasts). Build Magic Wand and then Arcane boots for more mana in order to cast more spells.

After that you’ll want an Aether Lens so you can Fireblast people from further away. (It also gives you more mana for more spells!)

Finally, you are going to build Aghanim’s Scepter because it gives you Unrefined Fireblast. That’s right, A SECOND FIREBLAST.

You get the idea, Fireblast, Fireblast, Fireblast. Keep casting all your spells until you Multicast, then cackle maniacally as your enemies burn! 

Ogre Item Build: Magic Wand, Arcane Boots, Aether Lens, Aghanim’s Scepter.

Dota 2 heroes for beginners: Closing words of wisdom

DOTA 2 can be a pretty daunting game to get into, but once you have a vague idea of how the basics work, it can be a LOT of fun. Don’t worry too much about winning or losing or dying too much. Just get a feel for the game and try to learn a few heroes! DOTA is especially fun with friends, so talk them into joining you, show them this Dota 2 heroes for beginners guide and enjoy.

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Gabe

Gabe "TCGDota" Phillips

| Twitter: @TCGdota | Twitch: tcgdota

TCG is a 7k MMR dota player from Australia. His special skills include staying positive in solo queue and playing the Maracas.