Dota 2: Why and How's of Creep Blocking
Thu 18th Apr 2013 - 6:12pm
Dota 2 is one of the Action RTS games with the mechanic of creep blocking. Creep blocking is when a player walks in front of his creep wave causing them to stop moving periodically and thus forcing the wave to meet the opposing team's wave later than initially intended.
How important is creep blocking?
I think it is the kind of mechanic where it’s so easy to learn that it is important for every player to know how to properly use it. This guide is dedicated for mostly new players to better understand creep blocking and what it does to creep equilibrium as well as what advantages or disadvantages it could serve you.
Ok so let’s start slow- there are three lanes in the game and thus three lanes where you could creep block. Creep blocking is mostly done at the first creep spawn at 0:00 on the in game timer. The reason is because depending on how you block your creeps could change the future creep equilibrium of the lane to your advantage. This can still be done later as well but it is arguably most effective at the start of the game.
Let’s start in the middle lane because I could talk about the safe lane and the long lane simultaneously a little later in the article. It is important to talk about how the middle lane is structured. The map has two small ramps, one on the radiant side and one on the dire side, and both being uphill to the river. Now, in this middle lane you arguably want the enemy creeps to be fighting your creeps just below your ramp. This puts you in a position where you are fogged from your enemy, meaning he cannot see you because he has no high ground vision.
From here you can do many things that your opponent cannot, such as if you chose to harass your opponent you will have the advantage because he can not see you coming at him yet you can see his movements. On top of that, unless he has vision of you then the creeps will not come up and attack you after you have attacked him. Unless he has amazing reaction time along with not having his basic attack on cooldown you should be able to get free hits off on your opponent.
Attacking from low ground to high ground Ranged Heroes have a miss chance and so statistically the hero with high ground should have the advantage in out last hitting. The last key thing from having this position is that QOP is closer to her tower and safer from ganks. If you look at where Pudge is you can see that he is far more extended from his side as opposed to QOP, thus very susceptible to smoke ganks early on.
Quite often good support players will smoke gank mid for first blood if they notice or predict that you will be out of position like that. A good example of this is in the picture below, you can see that not only does the Pudge not have vision of the QOP right in front of him where the fog is but also if a gank came from above the ramp behind him there is no possible way he could survive.
So how do we get you into this advantageous position? This part is a little weird and actually takes some prediction. So obviously if neither side creep blocks the waves will meet right in the middle of the river. I’m going to write out the ways you could creep block in order to get you into this position.
So generally in lower level pubs just a little bit of creep blocking should be enough to put you into that position. This is because for still learning players many of them either struggle with creep blocking and fail or they just don’t do it at all. Unfortunately In the higher level play your opponents will certainly know about creep blocking and should at least be decent at it. At that point you must creep block somewhere between a decent amount and a lot, but careful!
Creep blocking too much will put your enemy creep waves at your tower where they will die very quickly, making them hard to last hit and also making your lane pushed after the first wave dies. But if you creep block too little than if your opponent is good they will creep block a little more and then they will be in the advantageous position. So in order to get it just right it will take a fair amount of good judgement and prediction. Good to note though, that under creep blocking is probably the safer bet rather than over creep blocking when you don’t know your opponent.
So next we talk about the safe lane and long lane. Talking long lane, you generally are playing in a defensive position, especially if you are a solo offlaner. As a solo offlaner you are just getting whatever exp. This means that if your oppo and last hits you can without dyingnents lose control of their creep equilibrium and the lane gets pushed then you are going to have the time of your life. This is why I would recommend not creep blocking in the offlane/long lane if you are solo. It is much better to just see if your opponents will make some sort of mistake and accidentally overly creep block and push their own lane.
However if you are either dual laning or tri-laning your long lane, it could actually prove beneficial to creep block. Depending on what you are up against, you might be able to actually harass and even kill the enemy carry. Majority of carries really don’t have too much lane presence, that is why teams run at least two supports so that the carry can have some sort of hope in farming his lane safely. The reason you want to creep block is because you want to have their carry as far away from his lane tower as possible so that he will not be able to hide under it if you do decide to engage.
You can see from the picture above, the trilane creep blocked a lot forcing their carry to be very far from his tower. Even if the Luna had creep blocked the trilane did it to an extreme point where most likely the Luna would still have been out of position.
So from here talking about how to creep block the safe lane is relatively simpler, since we already had the long lane point of view. So basically if you think you will be against an offlane soloer you want to not creep block your lane because the creeps will end up in a perfect farming position for your carry right under his tower.
From there on make sure you keep the offlane solo away from exp via harassment by your supports and try to maintain a good creep equilibrium. If you think you will be against some sort of offensive dual or trilane than it really is a hard decision to make, if they don’t creep block and you think they will and creep block too much then you could end up with their creep wave being attacked by your tower and a very underfarmed carry. The safest bet would be just creep block your creeps to a very minimum amount just incase they did creep block so you’re still ok and if they didn’t then you should still be fine.
I hope this guide will help you guys understand creep blocking a little better from here on out!