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Dota 2 MMR: Seven Tips to Reach 7K

Dota 2 MMR: Seven Tips to Reach 7K

Dota 2
12 Jun

Climbing the MMR ladder in Dota 2 is not easy. Players must constantly improve to stay ahead of their competition and learn new things as they face stiffer opponents.

I recently hit an MMR milestone and decided it might be worth it to share how I got there with others. Keep in mind that the advice in this article is what worked for me, so it may necessarily be right for you. However, there's probably at least one or two things here that'll help improve your game.

Seven Tips to Reach 7K MMR in Dota 2

Figure out your playstyle

Best offlaners to grind MMR in Dota 2 patch 7.34b Three offlaners, three very different playstyles. (Credit: Valve).

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles" - Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu didn't play Dota 2 but his advice about knowing what you're capable of still applies. It is pivotal for players to figure out what they like to do and which heroes are best at that.

I'm not talking about roles, we all know a mid-laner and hard support are different, that part is obvious.

But within roles, there exist different ways to play it. Oracle and Phoenix have very different approaches to support. A similar chasm exists between Ursa and Faceless Void carry, or Ember Spirit and Templar Assassin mid.

Before queuing up your next game, take a moment to think about what you enjoy doing in Dota 2 and what you're best at, and stick to heroes within that role that elevate your playstyle.

If you're not sure, check your hero win rates. You might love playing Rubick but if you lose a lot with him, perhaps backline supports aren't for you.

Know yourself, and you've already won half your battles (and some MMR).

Keep your hero pool small

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee

Yatoro hero pool at TI10 Being diverse is great, but mastering heroes is better. (Credit: Valve).

When Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk won The International 10, people were amazed at his diverse hero pool. He played 14 heroes in 20 games at TI10, achieving two rampages along the way.  Yatoro's hero pool gave Team Spirit an incredible drafting advantage at the event.

You are not Yatoro.

Playing Dota 2 for a couple of hours a day makes it very difficult to practice multiple heroes. With patch changes and meta updates, being good at just a handful of heroes is enough to grind MMR.

Related to our first point, find your playstyle and pick the best three heroes who do that job. It's the faster way to improve and allows you to focus on map and macro movements instead of figuring out how to play your 15th hero mediocrely.

Farm. A lot.

Anti-Mage No need to tell AM players this. (Credit: Valve)

"Therefore a wise general strives to feed off the enemy. Each pound of food taken from the enemy is equivalent to twenty pounds you provide by yourself." - Sun Tzu

This is what I struggled with as a position four support. I had the mentality that I must always be pressuring my enemies to have an impact on the map. That worked until I was about 5k MMR, and then I stagnated.

While I won some games doing this, in others I'd fall behind, and trying to corner the enemy led to me feeding, which set me further behind, and a vicious cycle was born.

Most Dota 2 carries don't need to be told to farm, but this needs to be mentioned for other roles, particularly supports.

In between going from lane to lane, it's fine to use your 10-second spell to clear out a creep camp or push a lane. Shoving out lanes is one of the best things to do, as it forces enemies to defend buildings instead of hunting your allies.

I'm not suggesting you go to your side of the map and compete with your carry for farm, I'm saying that it's worth it to chuck out a couple of spells at an empty lane to farm it.

Not only will you positively impact the map, but you'll be higher level and better equipped for the next engagement, making it far more likely you'll win.

Don't let wards, sentries, and Smokes max out

Crystal Maiden Dota 2 facet Warding is everyone's job, not just hers. (Credit: Valve).

The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.” - Jim Mattis

Have you ever looked at the shop and seen that you have four Observer Wards or three Smokes and thought "Somebody should really get on that"?

Do you know who could buy them? you!

Certain consumable items in Dota 2 have a maximum charge in the shop. When that happens, no more Smokes or Wards will restock till the old ones are bought.

This means it's a terrible thing for you to have three Smokes in the shop for the first 20 minutes, you could have gotten two extra Smoke uses and STILL have three available at the 20-minute mark.

These consumables are valuable resources that should be used, and there's no excuse for any role NOT  to get them. Smokes are 50 gold for crying out loud, that won't delay your Battle Fury/Orchid/Eternal Shroud!

Buy Smokes and Sentry Wards, it may sound counter-intuitive for some roles to do so but it is not. This is about improving as a Dota 2 player and grinding MMR and the best way to do that is not let powerful consumables waste their restock timer.

Get stat items in the early game

Bloodstone's nerf destroyed Leshrac. Leshrac has the highest stat gain in the game. (Credit: Valve)

We're getting to some specific advice now and one of them is that you should focus on winning the laning stage as hard as possible.

Winning the early game sets the tone for the team entering the 10-minute mark. A stronger team can start snowballing here, take down towers, and control the enemy's access to the map.

It all starts from doing well early, requiring the right items. Mainly items with a lot of stats.

If you watch professional games, the best players in the world often start with three or more Iron Branches, and maybe a Circle or Gauntlet of Strength on top of it.

Top players recognize the value of winning the laning stage and the immense advantage more stats provide to achieve that goal. Most heroes gain six or seven stats when they level up,  roughly what two Iron Branches provide.

Extra stats start you at a higher level, allowing better trades and more mana for spells. It's worth doing simply because the enemy will do the same, so why accept that disadvantage?

As much as naked boots and Tangos can be fun, it's a grief on most heroes and not worth it.

Tilt queuing will destroy your Dota 2 MMR

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." –Mark Twain.

Dota 2 MMR tilt que Yeah... don't do that. (Credit: Valve).

Dota 2 is the best game ever made. But it may not be the best game to play all the time.

Some days it seems like the world is against you, well at least your Dota 2 allies are. The four.... let's be generous and call them people, on your team have the skills and coordination of a particularly unruly group of cats.

Your enemies on the other hand have melded their minds together into some sort of super brain. They have perfect teamwork,  exceptional synergy between their items, and they are probably better looking than your allies to boot.

And somehow each match is the same, you and four baboons against what can only be Team Spirit on their smurfs.

What do you do in such situations? how do you win?

Well honestly, sometimes the matchmaking algorithm is messed up, or you're having a bad day. Either way, the best thing to do is stop playing.

Take a break, watch a show, go for a walk, get a meal, or take a nap. There is plenty to do besides losing more Dota 2 MMR.

If you're having a bad day, do yourself a favor and stop.

Take a second to see what the pros are playing

Team Falcons wins second championship in a row. Falcons are soaring right now.

"Learning is a lifelong process" - Peter Drucker

The Dota 2 meta is constantly evolving, what's strong today can be unplayable tomorrow, while heroes regularly rise from the ashes and claim their spot at the top.

This never-ending evolution can make it hard to stay on top of the game and figure out the best heroes and how to play them. Luckily, you don't have to.

There are hundreds of pros streaming their games on Twitch, most sticking to their preferred role and happy to answer viewer questions.

Watching the best play while they narrate their moves can teach you more in one hour than you'll get in a week of grinding Dota 2 MMR.

If you're ever unsure what to play or how then tune into an ongoing tournament or pro stream and learn from the best.

I hope these pieces of advice were helpful, it's a little longer than I thought but I hope it was as enjoyable to read as it was to write.

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Featured Image Source: Valve

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