''Defense of the Ancients: Allstars'' (abbreviated to ''[=DotA=]'' or just ''[=Dota=]'') is a user map for ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII: The Frozen Throne''. Based on the earlier ''Defense of the Ancients'' user map for ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII: Reign of Chaos'' which itself was based on the earlier ''Aeon of Strife'' user map for ''{{Starcraft}}'', [=DotA'=]s current popularity has given ''[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} WC3: TFT]]'' longer shelf life than intended (with ''[=DotA: Allstars=]'', as it was previously called, acquiring sponsorship from BlizzardEntertainment itself as a Spotlight Map in the Battle.net Hall of Fame).

''[=DotA=]'' is, in a nutshell, a team game where you choose a HeroUnit with unique abilities, kill creeps and heroes for gold and buy items with gold to make your hero even more powerful, and attempt to destroy a central building in the opposing team's base (the titular "Ancient" which you are defending), while they do the same to you.

Of course, once gameplay starts, it's rather more complicated than that. There are ''lots'' of heroes, each one with their own roster of abilities, strengths, weaknesses and applicable tactics. You don't get to control '''anything''' but your hero. No base, no resourcing, no research, nothing. So you'd better learn to make the most of him/her/it. There are lots of items, each one offering a different advantage and requiring a [[ItemCrafting different combination of other items]] to create. The game is such SeriousBusiness that players are basically expected to follow the most efficient methods, and people who won't play nice are encouraged to quit, since their teammates would rather play one short than with someone selfish or incompetent. As it's a ''team'' game, it is about strong interactive between players; a ItsAllAboutMe guy is, if anything, more likely to help the ''opposition'' by providing them with lots of free kills and experience. (If he's GenreSavvy, he'll instead go play with bots, or find other casual players who haven't yet fallen into the StopHavingFunGuys mentality.)

The mod [[GenrePopularizer popularized a new genre]]: dota-likes, also called "MOBA", {{Multiplayer Online Battle Arena}}, by ''LeagueOfLegends'' players and "ARTS" (Action Real Time Strategy) by ''HeroesOfNewerth'' players. (Someone missed a bet by not calling them [[ShotoClone Dotaclones]]; but then, Riot Games invented the "MOBA" title largely to ''avoid'' having to refer to ''[=DotA=]''.) For a free mod, it has spawned an awful lot of "legitimate" gaming attention: those two games and Gas Powered Game's ''VideoGame/{{Demigod}}'' were the first wave of imitators, with the second wave consisting of ''VideoGames/HeroesOfTheStorm'' by BlizzardEntertainment and a Source Engine port, ''{{Dota 2}}'', by ''ValveSoftware''. It is being produced concurrently with ''[=DotA=] Allstars'' - in fact, its developer, [=IceFrog=], was hired by Valve for precisely that purpose - and the two games play basically identically despite being on different engines. It also provides {{Retcon}}ned content for the character page.

It also has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXKd7uuehlw&feature=fvsr an awesome song about it]].

Visit the [=DotA=] website [[http://www.playdota.com/ HERE]].

It also has a [[Characters/DefenseOfTheAncients character page]] (in progress) that's [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters bigger than this very article]].
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!!This series contains examples of:

* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Ancient Apparition, Mask of Madness, and several others more.
* AnnouncerChatter: From [[VideoGame/UnrealTournament "First Blood!" all the way to "Holy shit!"]] and including Pudge's [[{{VideoGame/Diablo}} "AHH... Fresh meat!"]].
** [[MemeticMutation M-M-M-M-MONSTER KILL!]]
** '''OWNAGE!'''
** '''HOLY SHIT!'''
* AerithAndBob: The super creeps that spawn in -sc mode: Ancient Hydra, Siege Golem, and Scary Fish.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Atropos the Bane Elemental is "an elemental force personifying the nightmares and fear of the world".
* TheArtifact[=/=]GameplayAndStorySegregation: The Sentinel/Radiant and Scourge/Dire factions. Everyone plays modes like All Pick and Captains' Mode, where "Dire heroes" can play for Radiant and vice versa.
* AscendedGlitch: Pudge's GrapplingHookGun can be curved due to a bug in the ancient code. Everyone knows it, and being able to "curve hook" properly is now regarded as essential to playing him well. (There are more, but less known.)
** The entire game floats on ascended glitches. Alternating attack clicks and movement clicks at the right time so you can shoot while moving? That's not a glitch, that's skill. Luring a jungle monster away from its spawn point at the correct moment so another copy of it spawns and you can kill both with area effect abilities? That's skill. Using the invulnerability granted by the extremely brief transformation time of attack style toggling skills to dodge stuns and projectiles? It's possible. In fact, the whole concept of killing your own minions to deny your enemies experience and gold started out as a bug. If you play the game as it ''appears'' to be, you're a [[{{Scrub}} noob]].
* AscendedMeme: The Priestess of the Moon's Arrow skill was, for some reason, referred to by many Filipino players as "Jumong" (after a Korean period drama which aired sometime in 2009-2010). Several versions later, the hero's name would sometimes be replaced with "Jumong".
* AttackReflector: The Spectre and the Centaur Warchief both have some ability to do this with spells. The 'Blademail' item gives an opportunity for the wearer to fully reflect all damage back to all attackers for several seconds.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Divine Rapier. +300 damage (insane), but drops on death and can be used by enemies if they pick it up. If you buy one of these, guess who the entire enemy team is going to target first?
** It's like a "Kick Me" sign that adds 300 damage!
** On the flip side, if your team is losing hard, this item is all you can count on. Go big or go home.
** The really, ''really'' hard all-DPS zero mobility carries like Troll Warlord. Amazing DPS, but nothing's going to let you just walk up to them and bash their brains out.
* BackFromTheDead: The ''Aegis of the Immortal'' item and King Ostarion's ''Reincarnation'' ('''IT IS CUSTOMARY TO QUOTE ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER WHENEVER YOU DIE''') skill allow for penalty-less revival.
** All heroes that get killed will eventually get revived automatically, but the process takes time that increases with level and players lose out on gold-making opportunities while dead. Death Isn't Cheap.
** Especially since you can buy your way out of the revival process... by spending outrageous amounts of gold.
* BackStab: Part of Riki's shtick.
** Not to mention Gondar and Anub'arak's ''Windwalk'' and ''Vendetta'', respectively; the latter is a LimitBreak version of the former. Unlike Riki's passive, though, the bonus damage isn't relative to where you strike your enemy from.
* BackStory: Every hero has one of varying length.
* BalefulPolymorph: The ability of Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse, as well as on some heroes like Rhasta the Shadow Shaman and Lion the Demon Witch.
* BeamSpam: Luna Moonfang's ''Eclipse'', which originally hit you with up to 12 {{Death Ray}}s at once. This was such a massive GameBreaker - like, the "[[OhCrap Oh shoot]], the other team got Luna; [[ForegoneConclusion we're going to lose]]" sort of GameBreaker - that it's since been nerfed by: having the beams fire sequentially instead of all at the same time; requiring an extra item to get off the full number of shots; putting a cap on how many Lucent Beams a single target can take; and ceasing the firing sequence when Luna gets killed.
* BearsAreBadNews: Ulfsaar the Ursa Warrior? [[UnstoppableRage Definitely.]] Syllabear the Lone Druid and his bear? Well... Maybe. He got better in the 6.60s.
* BetaTestBaddie: Harbinger the Obsidian Destroyer, according to his tooltip story.
* BiggerIsBetter: Tiny the Stone Giant's LimitBreak, although [[MightyGlacier the new strength cuts his attack speed]]. Also Roshan, every time he respawns.
* BlessedAreTheCheeseMakers: The cheese item restores a massive amount of HP and mana, and is obtained from beating Roshan ''three times.'' Previously you only needed one.
* BloodBath: By bathing in blood, Strygwyr the Bloodseeker can heal his wounds, including ones which would otherwise prove fatal.
* BoisterousBruiser: Sven the Rogueknight, based on his skill descriptions, such as "Sven is here to pump you up!" or "Sven gets pumped up!"
** That's because he's based off Sven-Ole Thorsen. (and even funnier is that some of the time, Sven's name changes to Arnold Schwarzenegger - Thorsen HAS collaborated with him for a long time, starting with ''Film/{{Commando}}''.)
* BodyHorror: As of 6.72, Naix can infest his own teammates and if you switch while he's inside you he can turn you inside out like alien spawn (for better context he's a zombie).
** Though it becomes hilarious when you infest an ''illusion'' of ''yourself''.
*** Equally ridiculous is Rubick using spellsteal to copy Infest. Then both of them unknowingly infest the same person. Needless to say a [[ClownCar creep is smaller than both the heroes in him]].
** Also applies to Broodmother but it's spiders instead (not that that's any better).
* BoringButPractical: Disabling and support heroes. Like it or not, almost no all-DPS team will be successful, and these fellows are vital to success.
** AwesomeYetPractical: Aggressive supports, Earthshaker in particular. Come packed with stuns, good damage and excellent team buffs, and are absolutely hilarious to play.
** The cheap stat boosting items like Bracers are another example.
* BonusBoss: The fountain. It will [[ForegoneConclusion shred]] [[CurbStompBattle any team]] that doesn't go in geared for it; fortunately, its destruction is unnecessary.
* BoomHeadshot: One of Sniper's passive skills. It doesn't turn foes he kills into [[{{ChunkySalsaRule}} chunky salsa]] though. A properly-timed Assassinate, on the other hand...
* BossInMookClothing[=/=]GiantMook: The Mega Creeps.
* BountyHunter: Gondar, the, well... take a wild guess.
* CannibalismSuperpower: Lucifer with his Devour. Only works on creeps, though.
* CarryABigStick: A Tiny with Aghanim's Scepter can pick up a tree to use as a War Club.
* CastFromHitPoints: Much of Huskar and Icarus's schtick; Avernus's death coil.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: AI versions often have them getting experience and gold faster than their human counterparts if the mode isn't set to disable it. And don't let me start on the move speed...
** Although the experience and gold can be disabled, they're much better at getting last hits (the ones that count for the bonus gold) than most humans. What's really an issue is how they seem to cheat percentages -- especially when using Phantom Lancer and Ogre Magi.
* ComputersAreFast: The Invoker is a unique hero that uses three types of orbs in different combinations to "invoke" up to 10 different spells, with a wide variety of effects. In human hands, the Invoker is only powerful if the user knows which orb combos invoke which spells and can change the orb pattern and invoke the spell quickly. In AI hands, orbs are changed and spells invoked in the blink of an eye, allowing an AI Invoker to instantly invoke just the right spell to kill the enemy or escape. If an AI Invoker is on your side, you'll probably be frustrated with it taking all the kills. If an AI Invoker is on the opposing team, [[OhCrap run.]]
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: Played with Meepo. To be more specific: his ultimate allows him to split into up to 4 copies of himself, which have their own attacks and skills. The downside, however, is that if one of them dies, they all die.
* {{Courier}}: In animal form.
* CrosshairAware: These appear on the Sniper's unlucky victim whenever he uses ''Assassinate''; it's only visible to the Sniper's allies, though. A variation on this is used to warn targets of Barathrum's ''Charge of Darkness''.
** The target is warned by the fact that they have this little tiny status effect with a gun on it that says something like "You are about to die" (It doesn't really say that but it should!)
* DealWithTheDevil: A few Scourge heroes, in their backstories, made pacts with the Lich King for some benefit or another.
* DemBones: King Leoric/Ostarion, Lich, Ethreain, Pugna, and Clinkz belong to the Boss/Hero variety. The little skeleton warriors summoned by the neutral Dark Troll Warlord creeps are of the mook variety.
* DesperationAttack[=/=]DeathOrGloryAttack: Sacred Warrior's ''Life Break'' and Soul Keeper's ''Sunder''.
* DifficultButAwesome: Various characters have hard-to-use skills that reward those who bother to put in the time to master them. Invoker is the best example.
** Invoker especially. He has access to ''ten'' ultimates, formed through different combinations of three lower, passive abilities. These near GameBreaker mechanics are generally seen as a reward for mastering what is often called the most difficult character in the game.
* DynamicEntry: Various heroes have moves that allow them to move from place to place while dealing damage to enemies, such as Morphling's ''Waveform'' or Sand King's ''Burrowstrike''. Initiator heroes with a Blink Dagger also exist to do this, teleporting into the enemy formation and using a spell to start team fights off with their side in a better position.
** The Storm Spirit's ''Ball Lightning'' deserves special mention, since the only limit on its range is your mana capacity and it deals more damage the farther you've traveled.
* ElementalPowers: Most of them seem to possess at least one or more elements but the rules of ElementalRockPaperScissors don't apply.
** The Invoker is a good example.
** The Orb of Venom is a recipe to form the Eye of Skadi, an ice-based item with Cold Attack and a frozen projectile.
* EntitledBastard: This is a MOBA. You can expect to see a lot of people who demand that you buy wards or give them potions, then won't tell you where to ''place'' the wards. You can also expect a lot of people to complain at you for not doing everything in your power to save them, while willingly throwing you under the bus when the time comes to save ''you''.
* EntropyAndChaosMagic: One of the characters uses a chaos damage spell.
* EpicFlail: Rigwarl, the Bristleback.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Axe's ''Counter Helix'' and Juggernaut's ''Blade Fury''.
* EvilTwin: Terrorblade is Magina's twin brother in their background stories.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* ExcusePlot
* ExtremeOmnivore: The Tango allows the bearer to consume trees for health gain.
* FanDumb : Go to Battle.net and see it for yourself.
* FinishingMove: Some moves like Axe's ''Culling Blade'' and Necrolyte's ''Reaper's Scythe'' are most effective when the enemy is running low on health. Using them may cause accusations of {{Kill Steal}}ing though.
** Axe's ''Culling Blade'' is especially notable, as it is the ''only'' attack that can break through ''Shallow Grave''. To elaborate, ''Shallow Grave'' prevents the unit or hero it's cast on from dying, no matter how much damage s/he takes. However, ''Culling Blade'' dispels the effect before doing damage. It also goes through Lord of Avernus' Ultimate and kills him instead of adding health.
* FireIceLightning: Invoker's passives, Exort Quas Wex.
* FogOfDoom: Slark the Nightcrawler turns into this and chases you.
** FogOfWar also counts as FogOfDoom in a different sense: it doesn't chase you, but it can conceal enemies preparing to disable you, and even if you know they're there, you can't click on them, so your options are limited. Using this to your advantage when escaping death is known as 'juking'.
* FourIsDeath: 4x Multicast, courtesy of Ogre Magi.
* ForMassiveDamage: The ''Critical Strike'' skill, and the Crystalys and [[{{VideoGame/Diablo}} Buriza-do Kyanon]] items, which give whoever equips them the ''Critical Strike'' skill. And if that's not enough for you, Phantom Assassin's ''Coup de Grace'' has you covered.
* FullBoarAction: Rigwarl is a PigMan with [[{{SpikesOfVillainy}} spikes]].
* GameMod
* GenreBusting: It's like a multiplayer RPG was shoved into an RTS game. More or less.
** [=DotA=]'s genre is so hard to define that, even when this game invented it, people can't agree on what to call it, the term "MOBA" (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) is arguably the most popular term, but veteran Dota players hate the term because of drama, other attempts are ARTS (action real time strategy), RTSRPG (real time strategy role playing game), and the list goes on, this is the reason most players simply use Dota as both the game and genre name.
* GlassCannon: Most of the Agility heroes, though some of the higher-tier ones have escape mechanisms to let them get away -- if they can use it before getting stunned and nuked. Some of the nuke-heavy intelligence heroes are this as well, such as Lina and Boush.
* GravitySucks: Enigma's Black Hole, Dark Seer's Vacuum.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Tiny's ''Toss'' skill. Some {{troll}}ing Tiny users usually use ''their own allied heroes'' to do this, intentionally putting them in harm's way.
* GroundPound: Many of the area-damage spells in the game involve this.
* HealingFactor: All heroes to a modest degree and depending on items, but primarily Huskar and Alchemist.
* HeroSecretService: While initiators and tanks fit the traditional "bullet-taking", gankers go about it more proactively by hunting down and killing enemy heroes before they can threaten the carry/ies.
* HeroicSacrifice: Initiator and tank heroes are supposed to draw fire and usually die so that their squishier teammates can mop up the enemies afterward.
* HopeSpot: Many, many times a player will have run his low-health hero almost to safety when an enemy pulls out a last-minute spell that gets the kill. Sniper's and Zeus's ultimates are the most reliable to use for this, as they have the range to get the kill while keeping their casters safe.
** A popular mainstay of [=DotA=] videos are kills using perfectly aimed global or otherwise long range skills. [=PotM=]'s Arrow, Clockwerk's Rocket and Invoker's Sun Strike are common examples.
** Spectre can pull it off with a Haunt as well, especially if they're fast enough to replace the illusion with the original.
* HumanPopsicle: The temporary result of being a victim of the Crystal Maiden's ''Frostbite'' or Twin-head Dragon's ''Ice Path''.
** More recently, the Ancient Apparition's ''Cold Feet'' and ''Frozen Mark''; and Winter Wyvern's ''Cold Embrace'' (though it heals while you're frozen).
* AnIcePerson: Rylai the Crystal Maiden for the Radiant, Ethreain the Lich, Auroth the Winter Wyvern, and Kaldr the Ancient Apparition for the Dire.
* ImplacableMan: Anyone with a way to gain spell immunity can look like this for a short while, since disabling spells don't work on it -- except for some Ultimate spells, but the heroes with those don't show up in every roster. It helps to have enough HP and armor so that those on the receiving end can't simply use physical DPS for a kill.
** Juggernaut, while using his ''Blade Fury''. His name fits.
* InstantWinCondition: Ancient Fortress destroyed? Game over, no matter how many enemy heroes you and/or your team shredded.
* ItemCrafting: 55 recipes and growing.
* JokeCharacter: Some (nerfed) heroes are arguably this...
* LethalJokeCharacter: ...or this.
** Meepo the Geomancer deserves special mention here. A fragile little kobold. His Ultimate creates a permanent, weaker clone of him (that can't use items besides boots), three at maximum level, that are even EASIER to kill than the original. Oh, and if one dies, they all die. The 'Lethal' part is that having a total of four little kobolds equals 4x the hurt, and possibly 4x the experience. Of course, it takes insanely good micro to play him well...
*** Meepo can actually dish out incredible damage if one figures out the secret to Meepo's ultimate. [[spoiler:One Meepo's cooldown is independent of the other Meepo's cooldowns. So if all four kobolds are huddled and all four use ''Poof'', you deal approximately 1120 damage. Combined with a spammable ensnare and an 80% slow, you are, good sir, a terrifyingly lethal joke character]].
** Another one in the form of Kael the Invoker. He's the ONLY hero who lacks the attribute bonus all heroes have -- a fact that, coupled with his status as an INT hero, means his HP is shit. Unlike most heroes, all he can learn are 'reagents', which give him hp regen, movement speed and/or damage, as opposed to nukes like most int heroes do. However, his ultimate lets him [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin invoke]] up to 10 spells (no more than 2 at a time), based on the current combination of his three reagents. Of course, the player needs good memory of the 10 possible invokes and their combinations to use him at all, though. Definitely not one for newbies.
** The Sniper gets a special mention here as well. Since he's small and starts with low health, slow movement speed, low damage, no escapes, no disables, low attack speed, this Hero seems quite pathetic... until he [[{{TookALevelInBadass}} levels up, gets good items and starts killing everything in sight]].
** Rubick the Grand Magus' main gimmick is that he ''steals spells'', and this is entirely reliant on what the enemies cast. Otherwise, he is effectively the only hero that has an incomplete skill set, and he is immensely squishy and has subpar intelligence growth for an intelligence hero. However, he is effectively one of the only heroes that can make enemies ''counterpick'' themselves (especially prevalent with Bounty Hunter and Enigma), and can be an absolute horror if the player knows what spells to steal and when.
*** Pudge can't use Blink Dagger because it would not only make him too broken with Meat Hook, but would also allow him to lock enemies in unreachable places. Rubick can steal Meat Hook, and he can use Blink Dagger. No wonder most people that play as Rubick know how to use Meat Hook better than most people who play as Pudge. Vengeful Spirit is also forbidden from using this item for the same reason -- in her case, the Nether Swap ability potentially allows her to do the same thing.
* LevelGrinding: The start of every match involves this. For some heroes, specifically the low-tier, highly item-dependent hard carries, this becomes ForcedLevelGrinding.
* LightIsNotGood: Radiance, whose glow damages most enemies near its owner. This item has recently been buffed to allow for the DPS to be turned off at will: before that change, a clever enemy would be warned of the user's presence if he started taking damage before he could see the user, especially with its very conspicuous cosmetic effect on the damaged enemies.
* LightningBruiser: Chaos Knight (between his ''Reality Rift'' and having the second highest base movespeed), Lycanthrope (in his Shapeshifted SuperMode) and Slithereen Guard (with ''Sprint'' active) are the ones who fit conceptually. Dark Seer's Surge can also give its target maximum movement speed for a short duration.
* LimitBreak: The skills first accessible only at Level 6 and improved at Levels 11 and 16 (a.k.a. Ultimates), with the exception of the Invoker's. Of course, many of them are simply much stronger versions of more common skills or spells, whether it be in more damage, briefer cooldown, smaller mana cost, larger area of effect, ''etc''. A few examples of this subtype:
** ''Blink Strike'' or ''Phantom Strike'' --> Spiritbreaker's ''Nether Strike''
** Entangling Roots (the passive skill of Syllabear's Spirit Bear) --> Treant Protector's ''Overgrowth''
** ''Impale'' --> Tidehunter's ''Ravage''
** ''[[ForMassiveDamage Critical Strike]]'' --> Phantom Assassin's ''Coup de Grace''
** Dagon --> [[TheSlayers Slayer]]'s ''Laguna Blade'' and Demon Witch's ''Finger of Death''
** ''Mirror Image'' --> Chaos Knight's ''Phantasm''
** Refresher Orb --> Tinker's ''Rearm''
** ''Shadow Strike'' --> Viper's ''Viper Strike''
** ''Wind Walk'' --> Nerubian Assassin's ''Vendetta'' or Stealth Assassin's ''Permanent Invisibility'' or Slark's ''Shadow Dance''
** Smoke of Deceit --> Mirana's ''Moonlight Shadow''
** ''Silence'' --> Silencer's ''Global Silence'' or Doom's ''Doom''
** ''Corruption'' --> Slardar's ''Amplify Damage''
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: Inverted with most of the Strength (warriors) and Intelligence (wizards) heroes. The latter usually have spells that do fixed amounts of damage, meaning they do a lot of hurt early on, but later in the game the physical damage Strength heroes dish out is a lot more than that 300 damage early on.
** One of the main criticism made to the game is that it's becoming carry-centered, the best tactic is arguably turtling (choosing two instead of one carry, sometimes even three and defending for almost an hour until the carries are fully equipped and the casters are useless), the main developer realized this and most of the latest updates are focused on balancing the game to discourage people from playing a carries+stunners team.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: There are currently 112 heroes in Dota, with more on the way.
* LoopholeAbuse: "Deny". See AscendedGlitch above.
* LoudOfWar: Many of the spells in the game involve screams and roars (either to damage the enemy with soundwaves, scare the crap out of him, or pump up one's teammates).
* MadBomber: Squee (no, not ''that'' {{Squee}}), Spleen, and Spoon -- the Goblin Techies.
* MadScientist: Lesale Deathbringer the Venomancer before his mutation.
** Razzil Darkbrew the Alchemist, as implied by his backstory.
* MageKiller: Magina the Anti-Mage. Honorable mention goes to Oblivion's Nether Ward.
* MesACrowd: Any hero capable of generating illusory copies -- especially the Phantom Lancer (whose copies can copy themselves). The Manta Style item allows any other hero to have this ability as well.
* {{Mooks}}: The game is very particular with them; one wave every 30 seconds spawns in each lane. One wave of [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Treants]], Druid of the Talons, and Glaive Throwers for the Sentinel; [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman Ghouls]], Necromancers, and Meat Wagons respectively, for the Scourge.
** [[MookChivalry They will pursue any Hero relentlessly even to some point towards the forest, even though they're well aware that the Hero can actually kill all of them with one lucky blow]]. Scourge creeps are [[WhatMeasureIsAMook really, really mookish to the point where some Scourge heroes can actually kill them for their benefit]] (at least some Sentinel heroes like Ogre Magi can at least give them some edge, by casting Bloodlust on them).
** Well, big as they are, [[GiantMook Mega Creeps]] don't fare well that much given that at least 2 strong heroes ally to fight them... well... [[DeathOfAThousandCuts if they can survive being hit by that many Mega Creeps]], that is. Not to mention that for all that effort, they only earn the killer around 20 gold or less.
* {{Munchkin}}: Some of this map's mechanics (particularly mathcraft) are appealing to these types of players.
* ObviousRulePatch: A few, with Batrider's ''Sticky Napalm'' being [[{{Nerf}} nerfed]] to work with Radiance only under very specific conditions being the latest.
** Another one is that Blink Dagger[[note]]allows the user to teleport a short distance[[/note]] cannot be used by Pudge[[note]]has a hook that pulls other heroes to him[[/note]] or Vengeful Spirit,[[note]]has a spell that trades places with the target[[/note]] to prevent them from trapping other players in unreachable spots.
* OhCrap: "(Enemy carry) just bought back into the game!", particularly on a barely succeeding push.
** "[Enemy player] has just bought Divine Rapier!", especially when the fight seems to already be a ForegoneConclusion beforehand.
* OneManArmy: Downplayed. It all comes down to player skills.
* OverratedAndUnderleveled: Various heroes are described in their stories as ancient ''things'' that should have become nigh-godlike with their age, but for balance everyone starts at Level One.
* ThePhoenix: Icarus.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: The Stealth Assassin has one of the smallest character models, but can easily be devastating.
** Same for the Sniper. See Lethal Joke Character above.
** Tiny. His size reflects his name early on, but [[IronicName doesn't later.]]
* PlantPerson: Furion and Rooftrellen. As each have the GreenThumb, they can make plants grow to be used for their advantage. Furion can even make trees into additional creeps!
* PowerNullifier: The various ways of Silencing opponents, disabling their spellcasting ability. Used right, they can turn a fight around.
** There are even a few skills that prevent enemies from attacking!
* PracticalTaunt: Mogul Khan has this as one of his spells. While buffing himself up with tons of extra armor, he taunts his enemies magically such that all nearby enemies are forced to attack him, preventing them from attacking anyone else for a few seconds. Combined with his ''[[CounterAttack Counter Helix]]'', he can easily wipe out batches of creeps with this.
* RainOfArrows: The Windrunner's Focus Fire, Medusa's Split Shot, and Clinkz's Strafe skills.
* {{Revenge}}: Vengeful Spirit, as her name implies.
* SadisticChoice: Strygwyr's playstyle; it's even lampshaded in his FlavorText. To be more specific: he has one skill that gives him a significant damage boost, and another that increases his movement speed and gives him a visual of an enemy with low health. This allows him to kill enemy heroes with just his base attack. Should his enemy be capable of outrunning him, however, he has another ace up his sleeve: his ultimate skill, ''Rupture'', damages the enemy as they move, leaving the enemy to choose whether to try and withstand his basic attacks, or to attempt to escape while still taking damage from ''Rupture''.
* SeriousBusiness: This is a MOBA. Selfish players need not apply.
* ShockAndAwe: For starters: Razor, Zeus, and Raijin. Also heroes carrying Maelstrom or Mjollnir.
* ShockwaveStomp: Many characters have spells that deal damage or stun enemies over an area by smashing the ground really hard.
* ShoutOut: Lots and lots. One example is the Sentinel Hero [[{{Slayers}} Lina, the Slayer]].
** Mogul Khan is sometimes given the name Mogul [[MrT Khant touch this]]
** Phantom Lancer is obviously based off Kimahri Ronso from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''.
** [[StarWars Boush]], the Tinker with the impressive HighTech weaponry should also count.
** A few item-examples: [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast Aghanim's Scepter, Linken's Sphere]], [[PhantasyStar Sange&Yasha]], [[{{VideoGame/Diablo}} Buriza-do Kyanon]], [[{{DungeonsAndDragons}} Heart of Tarrasque]], [[JourneyToTheWest Monkey King Bar]]...
** The description of the Batrider's skill ''Firefly'' includes the phrase ''[[Series/{{Firefly}} "You can't take the sky from him!"]]''.
** Lanaya is a [[{{Starcraft}} Dark Templar]], and Lesale Deathbringer looks suspiciously like a Hydralisk (Well, kind of. The H-lisk model was included in ''TFT'' as an EasterEgg, but, as [=DotA=] proves, there's no reason they can't be employed in gameplay.)
** Yurnero the [[{{UsefulNotes/Hinduism}} Juggernaut]] and his LimitBreak, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Omnislash]].
*** Sometimes Yurnero's name will be replaced by "[[Film/XMenTheLastStand I'm the juggernaut bitch!]]"
** [[EdgarAllanPoe Nevermore]] the Shadow Fiend.
** Also Rikimaru, the [[{{Tenchu}} Stealth Assassin]].
** Aggron Stonebreaker is probably based on Aggron from Franchise/{{Pokemon}} although it is debatable since the hero Mountain King from the ladder maps also has the random names "Aggronor the Mighty" and "Bor Stonebreaker" (his data is an edited Mountain King hero template when viewed in an Open Objects version of the map).
** [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And]] [[{{Futurama}} Zoidberg]]
*** No, really. He has a courier named after him.
* SincerestFormOfFlattery: The makers of LeagueOfLegends went so far as to [[http://www.leagueoflegends.com/learn/dota_and_lol list why they think their game is different]] from (read: better than) this one.
** HeroesOfNewerth is an even closer imitation; having copied most of the mechanics, items, and more than 30 of [=DotA=]'s heroes. It slowly changed some things to differentiate a bit but it is still very similar overall. [[http://www.playdota.com/forums/3944/heroes-newerth/#post47254 [=DotA=]'s current developer actually allowed S2 to do this]].
* SkillGateCharacters: Gondar the Bounty Hunter and Rikimaru the Stealth Assassin both rely completely on their invisibility to be effective. Gondar's Wind Walk grants him no bonus movement speed, and if he's detected, it can't save him unlike other windwalks, while Rikimaru's is the reason he's more than just a decent semicarry with a silence. In lower-level play efficient invisibility detection is completely unheard of. Moving just slightly up in general skill level (particularly when playing against compulsive Wards users) renders these heroes both nearly useless.
* SpamAttack: The Ursa Warrior's ''Overpower'' skill (maximum attack speed for up to six attacks), the Windrunner's ''Focus Fire'' skill (maximum attack speed on a single target for a significant period of time or until the target is destroyed; this can even be casted on towers).
* StuffBlowingUp: The Goblin Techies's arsenal is composed of landmines of various effects, [[TakingYouWithMe and an explosive suicide attack.]] An old strategy for the Techies is spamming many (if not ''all'') [[StuffBlowingUp Remote Mine]] in a lane, so you can catch a fleeing/passing-by hero in the explosion. It has been recorded to work on ''entire parties'' (yes, 13 mines exploding on your face ''HURT''). Later strategies involve placing mines in places where enemies walk not expecting anything to happen, like near neutral creeps, or in front of Roshan, etc.
* SquishyWizard: The INT heroes, of course. Plus, their nukes become less effective (with the exception of a few skills) as the game goes on.
* SteamPunk: Gyrocopter, Tinker, and Clockwerk.
* StoneWall: Some tanks, like Centaur Warchief or Treant Protector. Their weak attacks, however, mean that enemies don't really have the incentive to wipe them out first, at least if the enemy survives their disabling skills, and thus defeating the purpose of their existence.
* StopPokingMe: Several heroes in [=DotA=] 2 seem to lose their patience if you keep telling them to do something they can't do or aren't ready for.
* SuffersNewbiesPoorly[=/=]SocialDarwinist: The [[{{GIFT}} ugly side]] of [=DotA=]'s community. Somewhat understandable, in that newbies tend to die a lot, feeding the other team with extra gold and experience, and turning what would otherwise be a close game into a rout, ruining people's fun as much as a troll doing it deliberately.
* SuperMode: Several ultimate spells, such as the Dragon Knight's ''Elder Dragon Form'', the Lycanthrope's ''Shapeshift'', Keeper of the Light's ''Spirit Form'', or the Alchemist's ''Chemical Rage''.
* SuspiciouslySmallArmy
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: You're supposed to be doing this, as with the first. It's particularly visible in the AttractMode video: A successful gank often involves the attackers coming out of seemingly nowhere, putting the target down fast, then disappearing before reinforcements can arrive.
* SummonMagic: A few heroes have spells to summon minions. The Necronomicon item allows other heroes to do this too.
* TakeThat: In [=DotA=], there is an item called "Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse", after Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, who used to manage [=DotA=] All-Stars (he created many heroes, as well as Roshan). In Dota 2, it's called just "Scythe of Vyse", most likely because Steve Feak has become one of the LeagueOfLegends developers.
* TeleportSpam: The Juggernaut's rendition of ''Omnislash'' acts this way. Furion has a Teleport skill, but its animation is too time-consuming for him to spam this ability.
** Tinker after he gets Boots of Travel.
* TestosteronePoisoning: [[http://www.scribd.com/doc/11590030/King-Leoric-the-Skeleton-King This]] Skeleton King guide. (Warning: {{NSFW}} by a long shot!)
* TimeStandsStill: Faceless Void's ultimate, ''Chronosphere''. Within the area of effect anyway.
** And for everyone but himself and whatever minions he may have picked up (the latter applies only if he has an Aghanim's Scepter; otherwise, a poorly-executed ''Chronosphere'' may leave his allies even more vulnerable to unaffected enemies).
** Night Stalker's Ultimate, it changes the time of day to midnight and stops the clock for a set duration.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Hero synergy is a big factor in deciding whether your team wins or loses. Also, if the players on your team starts bitching and blaming each other rather than co-operating... well...
* TotalPartyKill: A farmed carry is supposed to be able to single-handedly wipe the enemy team. Of course, if the enemy is packing disables then it will (usually) fail.
* TropeCodifier: While AOS and several other maps of the type preceded it, DOTA is the most well-known of the maptype and the one by which newer entries into the ring are judged.
* TrueSight: All towers and Sentry Wards. There is also the item ''Gem of True Sight'', which, unlike most items, drops upon death for balance reasons.
* UnstableEquilibrium: If you aren't good at killing creeps and staying alive in the beginning of the game your hero will be very weak later on. Especially brutal with the agility heroes, who need to farm expensive items to be effective.
* UpToEleven: Alot of skills are simply more powerful versions of items or other skills.
** Bash - Sprit Breaker's Greater Bash
** Cleave - Kunkka's Tidebringer and Sven's Great Cleave.
** Critical Strike - Skeleton King's Mortal Strike, Juggernaut's Blade Dance/Chaos Knight's Chaos Strike.
** Teleport - Nature's Prophet's [[NamesTheSame Teleport]].
** Endurance Aura - Spirit Breaker's Empowering Haste
** Cyclone - Invoker's Tornado
* VideoGameRemake: Valve's ''[=DoTA=] 2'' is this rather than a sequel, being the original mod ported to a new engine with new lawyer-friendly artwork and animations, as well as an overarching original backstory for the characters that removes any link to their original [=IPs=].
* ViolationOfCommonSense: Denying. "Denying" a creep is TeamKilling an allied {{Mook}} whom the ''enemy'' is about to kill. Players get a gold bonus every time they kill anything; denying is solely for the purpose of preventing this and halving the [[ExperiencePoints XP]] the opponent gains. And yet, the disparity eventually becomes apparent as the level gap increases between a player skilled at denying and a less dexterous opponent.
** The concept of last-hitting (which denying effects). Why do you only gain gold if your hero deals the finishing blow? Then again, this mechanic is inherent in ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', so it's not [=DotA=]'s fault, but still.
* WaveMotionGun[=/=]KamehameHadoken: Keeper of the Light's ''Illuminate'' spell. It takes several seconds of charging, but does a lot of damage over a ''huge'' area. (Not ''too'' hard to dodge, but you still have to disengage from battle, and after a while the EXP differential will add up.)
* WhenTreesAttack: Rooftrellen (a hero with one of the best strength ratings in the game). Furion can also make creeps out of trees.
* WholePlotReference: Tinker's backstory in ''Dota 2'' was changed to something like this: He and a few other scientists went to a ''Violet Plateau'' and did a number of experiments, but one [[TeleporterAccident opened up a portal and monsters]] from another realm came out. Only one Tinker survived, using [[OneManArmy only his wits and weaponry]]. [[VideoGame/{{Half-Life}} Sound familiar?]]
** Additionally, Tinker is voiced by [[ActorAllusion Harry Robins, the who is the voice of Dr. Isaac Kleiner]]. Subsequently, not only do Tinker's lines contain multiple references to Half-Life, many are paraphrases or direct quotations of Dr. Kleiner himself.
* WingsDoNothing: Terrorblade, Balanar, Lucifer and Akasha.
* WorldOfPun: Technically found in ''Warcraft'' but in ''Defense of the Ancients'' the hero responses are heard constantly. Nearly every hero with a voice says some sort of pun. Nearly every response by the Pandaren Brewmaster is a pun.
* WreathedInFlames: Lina Inverse.
* YouWillNotEvadeMe: Most notable with Pudge, who has a hook that can reel the enemy to him, and Clockwerk Goblin, who has a hook that can reel himself to the enemy.
* ZombieApocalypse: One of Dirge the Undying's abilities.
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