Tanks, front liners, initiators – whatever you call them, these heroes are the ones that play on the front lines. One reason why they are called initiators is that they come with great hp and abilities that make them capable of initiating a team fight. In addition, tanks, carrying more hp and abilities are supposed to centre the fight to themselves so that other heroes can bring damage to the enemy team. However, not everyone plays tank the right manner, and with your tank going down, your team is bound to face damage head-on. Here’s a view on how to proceed with your tank in Dota 2 to get on the winning side:
If you’re mostly playing Turbo mode, then farming won’t be an issue for you there. However, farming your tank in a ranked match can be an issue if you miss those last creep hits. Apart from that, you should not engage enemies right away, not when you’re not at least at level 6. This should be kept in mind while playing a certain hero. For example, Underlord is a great choice because of its passive ability to decrease enemy attacks. On the other hand, Bristleback’s quill spray is quite effective in damaging enemy heroes while securing creep kill.
What’s the point here to note is that playing a tank certainly doesn’t mean that you go on fighting. Your hero needs to be farmed and it should have the necessary items to fight. There’s no point in just fighting because enemy carries would decimate you and your team if you’re not farmed. So, when picking up a tank, ensure that you team up with a support or a pusher but not a carry because carries themselves need a farm. You or the carry player would need to compromise on farming from the creeps, which is unlikely if there’s no coordination.
Avoid Fighting Head On
Another mistake that most tanks make is taking on enemy gang head-on while their team is not close. One thing that most games have shown is that continuous stuns by enemy supports, silences or disabilities can make your tank vulnerable. Even with Aegis of Immortality, or Abbadon’s Ulti, your tank is going to die if you march into enemy team alone.
The point of the tank is to initiate the fight while the rest of the team makes a collective attack. If you walk in alone, you’re bound to get direct attack and die, unless you’ve got radiance, the heart of tarrasque, and black king bar, which can open a window for escape.
Again, if you’re running into the enemy team, make sure you go prepared. From radiance to blademail, you can make several items that would bring physical immunity. Heart of tarrasque is an excellent way of generating health but you would need to get out of damage range to let it regenerate your health. This all comes with the build of your hero and farming to increase your level, leading to higher HP.
Escape When Needed
If you’re a tank that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should keep engaged in the fight. There are times when you can withstand the damage; however, once you feel you’re done and see an opportunity of falling back, then go for it. You can recover and pounce again but there’s no point to dying when you know that your team won’t be able to do anything. You can fall back, regroup and engage again. Ghost Sceptre and Ethereal Blade are another way of escaping for even bit of a moment for health generation. Blink Dagger is the most appropriate, but it goes on countdown so you better time your retreat.
Don’t Head Start Too
Tidehunter is a great example of tank players that shouldn’t be in fight head-on. It’s Ulti fits best with the combination with the Blink Dagger, which can certainly turn over the match. However, if you’re familiar with Dendi’s iconic turnback to ravage using Rubick, then you better time it well because you’ll probably lose everything.
Evasion Is A Great Idea Too
It’s not that if you’re a tank you need to make fighting items only. Evasion is a great way to strengthen your tank hero. Not only it will add agility to your attacks but will reduce 25% of incoming enemy attacks. The more misses and evasion, the lesser damage will occur to your tank and the more lastingly you can fight. This added with Black King Bar will reduce incoming damage to just physical attacks and you’ll be able to engage enemies easily. However, one thing to remember is the enemy hero or heroes should not have armour piercing items such as Monkey King Bar or True Strike since that will negate the effects of evasion, causing the same amount of damage as before.
Use Block Items
When you cannot evade, it’s better to block. Items such as Vanguard can block incoming damage, minimizing the effects according to your armour. However, such items are most useful as the game is in the early stages. Since with the progress of the game, both your and enemy heroes will get fat, and most probably have a high damage-inducing ability. Hence, it’s better to switch to fighting items.
This is the core of this guide. There’s no point of farming or building items when you can’t time your attacks. Even if you’re in mid-game, your tank should be able to get control of the game by timing your attacks the right manner. You can engage with Axe, Abbadon, Underlord or any other tank but there’s no point to it when your attacks aren’t timed perfectly.
Make sure to communicate with your teammates so that you can guarantee the support. Next, time your move; blink your way into the enemy group, stunning or taunting them in any way so that your teammates can make their move. Keep in the fight as long as possible by targeting the one with the least health.
The enemy team will likely keep their focus on you so you should buy your team as much time as possible. Once you’re down on HP, go for the kill or fallback. Even if you die, make sure the enemy team loses at least two heroes. A support and a carry would be a great kill. Considering the game’s situation, the enemy team will use buybacks, and you can retreat for the time being to regroup and attack again. The rest is skill and conscience as well as keeping your cool and communication with the team.