What are micro heroes in Dota 2 and why you should start playing them

Dota 2 has a vast variety of heroes to pick, up to 124 options. Yet, micro-based heroes remained the least popular hero group. Heroes such as Chen, Broodmother, Visage and Arc Warden have the lowest pick rates, and for good reasons.

Micro-ing is tough.

Yet, the subtle art of playing a hero of this type is what separates the good players from the great players.

Dota 2 micro heroes

The art of Micro-ing in Dota 2

Micro-ing is a playstyle whereby a player has to control two or more units during a Dota 2 game. The levels of micro-ing is often evaluated based on how much micro-ing duties the hero needs, which depends on the particular hero’s skillset.

For instance, the reason Chen is notoriously known as the hero with the worst pick rate is because he’s essentially obsolete without any controlled units. His skill, Holy Persuasion, allows him to control any creep and use the skills/passive auras that these creeps have. As such, in a worst-case scenario, whereby Chen just lost all his creeps after a terrible team fight, he’s practically useless until he regains his creeps from the jungle.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Arc Warden, which is arguably one of the easier micro-based heroes to use. His ultimate, Tempest Double, creates a copy of himself, with the same skillset and items. This lets Arc Warden use his skills and items twice, but that’s not its greatest advantage for being a micro-based hero.

Since the Arc Warden double scales alongside the actual hero, it’s essentially having two heroes to do your bidding.


Image source: Su

Illusion-based heroes

More often than not, micro-ing isn’t just limited to units that have active skills to use. Many pro players use advanced techniques of micro-ing to truly bring out the extra units’ capabilities. Even on a hero that can technically have multiple units but doesn’t have any skills themselves.

For instance, Nature’s Prophet’s treants and Lycan’s Summoned Wolves. Players can use these units to block an opponent’s path or even at times, put them in an unescapable spot. Every unit occupies space, so it’s not possible to run pass them unless the hero has Phase Boots. This comes in handy in the mentioned heroes’ situation, as they don’t have reliable disables within their skillset. Instead, they can leverage on their summoned units for some cheeky plays of their own.

Why pro players pick micro-based heroes?

While micro-based heroes remained the all-time low among the playerbase, they are much more prominent in the competitive scene. In fact, Chen has remained a viable pick for hard support players in pro teams.

When micro-ing isn’t a challenge, Chen offers various benefits on very low resources, fitting in a hard support’s game. He can jungle on his own, gain enough gold to buy healing and support items without falling off in a role, which the team practically do not give any resources.

Even in competitive play, it’s oftentimes a numbers game that puts one team’s edge over the other. Lone Druid, Arc Warden and Meepo rely on the exponential farm it can generate exponentially to truly snowball in the midgame.

Abed “Abed” Yusop’s Meepo at TI6

Best micro-ing play in TI

And lastly, micro-ing has also been responsible for making some of the most overlooked plays in the International Championships’ history. One particular example tells the tale of Anathan “ana” Pham’s Phantom Lancer at TI8. At one point, PSG.LGD caught ana while he’s farming some Ancient creeps near the Dire Secret shop. In his last breath before he realized his death is inevitable, he sold one of his items to have enough gold for buyback.

However, what many viewers and casters alike, failed to notice was ana micro-ing several of his Phantom Lancer illusions to move as if it was his actual hero. This bought enough time for ana to make the quick calculation on how much gold he needed for buyback and sold his item.

As TI12 creeps closer this year, micro-ing will surely be a true testament of the pro players’ skills to win the championship. So, it’s high time to get over that fear of not being able to control multiple units simultaneously because the benefits truly outweighs its difficulty in your ranked games.

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