Dota 2’s competitive meta can change at the drop of a hat. Professional players bring out fresh ideas and new schemes all the time, leading to an ever-evolving roster of heroes that seemingly change day-to-day.
In this Dota 2 hero tier list, heroes are roughly arranged in three tiers to signify their importance in the pro scene. About forty heroes are represented, though Dota 2’s balanced nature means that many more heroes are viable.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of the good heroes—they’re ranked by their popularity in the pro scene, where execution matters as much as the draft.
Even without a major patch since The International 11, the meta has moved on and developed into a different beast. The Lima Major’s group stage gave us a some great insights into the meta, with teams now generally preferring ranged, siege machine carries, versatile offlaners that can buy Guardian Greaves, and supports that can clear waves by themselves.
Dota 2 hero tier list | March 2023
- Nature’s Prophet
Known as the terror of pubs, Broodmother can be similarly horrifying against pro teams that fail to take precaution against her lane-winning and farming abilities. Despite nerfs in this patch after being arguably one of the heroes of the tournament at TI11, the Black Arachnia has become a terrifying infestation in the offlane.
Position three Brood focuses on transitioning into a teamfight hero with pure aura items like Guardian Greaves and Pipe of Insight. Even then, her farm does not suffer thanks to her baby Spiders, infesting every nook and cranny of the opponent’s lane and jungle. These are also valuable scouts, though their vision has thankfully been nerfed in 7.32d. Her annoyance extends to getting a disable of her own now, enabled by her Aghanim’s Scetper that grants the new ability Spinner’s Snare.
Even in games Broodmother lost, she destroyed her lane consistently. She can lose momentum, especially when her own team doesn’t fight around her. Her role is more of a bulky teamfighter rather than the annoying split-pusher of yore, and will likely receive even more nerfs. Brood currently has a 99.37 percent contest rate at the Lima Major, the highest in the tournament at the time of writing.
Lina is not just the best carry in Dota right now, she may just be its most broken hero.
While the hero didn’t receive any nerfs in the current 7.32d patch, the changes to Fiery Soul have finally been noticed. Pros have taken to it like moths to a flame, leveraging it in a unique, low-mana build that relies on right clicks instead of spells to farm.
In the lane, she gains protection mostly from her absurdly long attack range, and generally pairing with a tanky melee support like fellow meta partner Treant Protector. It’s not uncommon to see her completely forgoing regeneration for Blades of Attack and Branches, maximizing poke damage in an effort to drive opposing heroes out of lane.
Since Fiery Soul now gains charges based on targets hit, it’s not uncommon to see Lina hitting full stacks off one spell, as opposed to having to cast three spells in the same amount of time as the previous iteration of the spell. This makes Lina one of the fastest farmers in the game with Falcon Blade and Maelstrom, with barely any mana needed to sustain her speed.
She’s still more than capable in the late-game — as evidenced by years of mid Linas completely decimating teamfights — especially with the now in-vogue Gleipnir build that assists the hero with landing her stun.
Batrider will always be one of the game’s strongest initiators. When the hero also becomes one of the strongest assassins, that’s when we get a balance issue.
The hero received one of its most groundbreaking changes, where Sticky Napalm now deals damage. That helps the hero become an even stronger laner than before, especially in a short lane like mid, and gives extra oomph later into the game. Any Lasso-ed target can kiss their life goodbye — and that’s after several nerfs in 7.32b.
Batrider builds have become nearly standardized, opting for Boots of Travel into a variety of Black King Bar, Blink Dagger, and Octarine Core — up to the game state or player preference. Cast range items have become more in-demand as first pick-ups compared to Blink Dagger, due to the strength of Flamebreak’s displacement. Octarine Core often rounds out the build, allowing you to be constantly flying and peppering enemies with Napalm.
Nature’s Prophet is a hero that never seems to lose popularity, whether as a core or a support. This patch, Prophet is firmly a hero that plays in the sidelanes as a core, thanks to a reduction in his base attack time in 7.32b, leveraging his strong laning to completely crush any opposition.
The in-vogue build for carry Prophets is to go for a greedy Hand of Midas into Maelstrom — two farming items that ensure they are on top of the net worth charts at all times. The build often transitions into Black King Bar and Gleipnir, with more damage and pushing items like Assault Cuirass as luxury.
For offlane prophets, players seem to prefer rushing Aghanim’s Scepter. Though the upgraded skill isn’t new, pros have learned to abuse the powerful roots from Wrath of Nature to play the hero as a pseudo-initiator even without Teleporting. Then, players often transition into a right-click carry by taking dangerous farm only accessible to a hero as a mobile as Nature’s Prophet.
What sends the hero over the top is his absurd level 20 Sprout talents — one makes the spell Leash, and the other gives 100 percent miss chance. Both pierces spell immunity as well, which means stuff like Pangolier’s Rolling Thunder and BKB’ed carries still get affected by a spell with an eight-second cooldown and six-second duration.
Rubick has been the beneficiary of multiple small buffs over the past few patches, which have now tipped him over as one of the best teamfight supports in the game.
Rubick is rapidly gaining popularity in multiple positions, including as a five and two. Both benefit from his recent increase in base damage this patch, making him much more consistent at harassing and right-clicking.
The hero generally ventures along two paths. Mid and soft support Rubicks tend to focus on casting spells, going for items like Aether Lens, Blink Daggers, and Aghanim’s Scepter to steal powerful abilities and turn the tides of any teamfight.
The other way is to focus on repositioning, buying a Force Staff and Aghanim’s Shard as quickly as possible. These two powerful displacements can completely break combos on the other side, being especially effective against heroes like Magnus and Disruptor.
Plus, no matter how bad Rubick is as a hero, Spell Steal is a game-changing ultimate that puts off certain heroes simply by existing. Having all these small benefits combine into a hero borders on absurdity as to his limitless potential — whether as a teamfight god, or powerful savior.
Undying has become the premier position five of choice for several teams. He puts laning, teamfight, and tankiness into a package that requires little farm — the perfect support in a meta of greedy ranged carries like Lina, Nature’s Prophet, and Drow Ranger.
The hero is still one of the strongest laners in Dota, with Decay ruining the lives of most opponents. Going into the mid-game, Tombstone becomes an invaluable spell for scouting and controlling teamfight areas, spawning zombies that can be difficult to deal with for certain lineups. Flesh Golem is also a strong ultimate that applies damage amplification — which even works on Roshan, adding yet another valuable facet to the hero.
Surprisingly, the new build for the historically gold-starved Undying involves maxing Decay and taking the level 10 talent that increases the spell’s damage. This lets the hero reliably clear waves with two Decay casts, and actually lets the hero get some gold that can become important support items like Force Staff, Glimmer Cape, and Lotus Orb.
One of the game’s premier teamfighters that scale remarkably well into the late-game, Pangolier mostly serves as a midlaner, and can also be rarely found in the offlane as a flex pick.
Pangolier’s teamfight prowess is well-documented. Rolling Thunder can lock down key targets for extended durations. Swashbuckle and Shield Crash are annoying mobility spells that also deal a ton of damage, with Swashbuckle scaling with items like Diffusal Blade and Brigand’s Blade. Lucky Shot is also a strong, albeit unreliable disarm that can completely derail a right-click core’s battle plans. With items like Aghanim’s Scepter and Skull Basher, Rolling Thunder and Swashbuckle get even more of an upgrade.
All in all, Pangolier is a versatile initiator that can become a late-game powerhouse. Though his laning might not be the best, he more than makes up for it with oodles of damage and crowd control.
- Death Prophet
- Ember Spirit
- Naga Siren
- Treant Protector
Tier two heroes are safe and stable picks that don’t usually warrant instant bans or picks. While not as oppressive as the heroes in tier one, they can equally strong in a match that favors their skillset.
Of the heroes here, several of them are threatening to close in on tier one status. Enigma and Death Prophets are two of the best offlaners in the meta, and work well with the aura item of choices, Guardian Greaves. Both warp the game in different ways — Enigma’s Black Hole is a spell that must be played around even in the draft, with opponents often forced to address the hero with counters like Silencer and Rubick. Death Prophet is an objective monster with Exorcism, and is difficult to push out of lanes because of her multiple Spirit Siphons.
Naga Siren is becoming the rare exception as a melee hero in the position one role. Builds have settled on getting Manta Style and Orchid Malevolence, giving her a mid-game timing that lets her fight instead of simply farming the whole game. Illusion spam is difficult to counter without the proper heroes, making her a powerful gotcha pick.
- Drow Ranger
The heroes in tier three appear here and there, but are popular enough to be recognized as powerful additions to a team’s draft. They can be cheesy last picks that are impossible to deal with, mesh perfectly with a player or team’s play style, or serve as niche counters to some popular heroes.
In a patch all about ranged carry siege machines, Drow Ranger is one of the OGs. Pros have taken to getting an Aghanim’s Shard as soon as possible on her, which lets her clear whole creep waves with one Multishot. Her crowd control skill, Gust — which only silences — is lacking compared to other popular meta choices, but her damage can keep up with the best of them.
Slark and Bloodseeker enjoy an interesting symbiotic relationship with each other. Slark is arguably the more powerful carry this patch, but is hard-countered by Bloodseeker. This makes the Nightcrawler incredibly popular in pubs, but is stymied by the presence of his counter in a more organized drafting space.