[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wdf_1092245.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Choose your hero.[[note]]Left to right: [[AnIcePerson Crystal Maiden]], [[ScaledUp Dragon Knight]], [[MasterSwordsman Juggernaut]], [[HornyDevils Queen of Pain]], [[PowerCopying Rubick]].[[/note]]]]
->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cSFPIwMEq4 What does a hero truly need]]?"''

''Dota 2'' is Creator/{{Valve|Software}}'s remake of the insanely popular ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' mod ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients.'' Valve had hired Icefrog (one of the game's original developers) and have been working on a commercial [[http://www.gamespot.com/news/6281820.html sequel/remake of a sort]]. It was recreated on the Source engine with all-new graphics and UI. It was released in July 2013 after a lengthy closed beta.

''Dota 2'' is known for its relatively high barrier of entry due to its deep, complex, and challenging gameplay on both the mechanical and strategic levels. The game codifies several MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena tropes (as it IS a remake of the game that invented the genre) and has attempted to recreate the intricacies and facets of ''Defense of the Ancients'' as much as it can.

Recent updates about ''Dota 2'' can be seen [[http://www.dota2.com/2010/11/welcome-to-dota-2-blog/ here]]. For information on professional teams and their members, look under the multiplayer online battle arena folder in UsefulNotes/ProfessionalGaming.

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!!''Dota 2'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AbsurdlyHighStakesGame: An unintentional example with the Double Down MMR option available to owners of the International 2017 Battle Pass. Activating this option at the beginning of a ranked match is supposed to double the MMR gain/loss of the match if you win or lose. However, a bug caused anyone who doubled down and lost to be brought down all the way to ''1 MMR'' instead. Now ''that'' is painful.
* AcronymAndAbbreviationOverload: The crossover with the narrator from ''VideoGame/TheStanleyParable'' invokes this during one of this "game has started" lines.
--> '''Stanley Parable Narrator:''' [=GL, HF, L2P, VD, MP3, OBGYN, 3DPDB1D9G=]
* AerithAndBob: Most heroes and other characters in the game have fancy names that you will never see in real life, except for Sven, Lina, Magnus, Chen, Ember Spirit (Xin), Gyrocopter (Aurel), Invoker (whose 'true name of power' is Carl) and Roshan.
* AffablyEvil: The tone of the game means that most of the heroes that can reasonably be described as "evil" often end up as this.
* AlwaysAccurateAttack: No matter how fast you move, you can't dodge auto-attacks and unit-targeted projectiles with moving alone, you need evasion or abilities that can disjoint the projectile. And even then, certain in-game effects make attacks unable to be evaded (with two of the most notable belonging to the items Bloodthorn and Monkey King Bar).
* AmbitionIsEvil: Both Mirana and Luna are driven by their ambitions to be the most favored servant of Selemene. Given that Mirana's very haughty and stuck-up and Luna is violent and AxCrazy, the two of them would be at each other's throats [[TeethClenchedTeamwork if they weren't forced to fight for the same cause]].
* AnnouncerChatter: You can buy different announcers from the ingame store, including a {{Pirate}}, [[VideoGame/HalfLife Dr. Kleiner]], [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} GLaDOS]], and [[VideoGame/{{Bastion}} Rucks]].
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Only one creep can be dominated at a time per Helm of the Dominator. The limit can be increased by buying more Helms and using those to control more creeps, although the value of doing so is another matter.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The description for the item Proof of Courage.
--> In the Red Mist army, cowards were made to cut their hair in shame. Axe has known neither fear, nor shame. Nor a barber.
* TheArtifact:
** The original [=DotA=] mod had two factions of heroes to choose from, plus a neutral side, and normally defaults to allowing the Sentinel (Radiant) and Scourge (Dire) to only pick from their hero pools and the neutrals. However, in practice the standard mode was All Pick, not Normal (which was only activated if the host somehow forgot to choose the game mode, and usually caused the other players to immediately quit the game), so the formerly neutral pool has been integrated into the Sentinel and Scourge sides. Thus there are TrueNeutral characters like Sand King on the Dire, and mercenaries like Bounty Hunter on the Radiant. With the release of Dota 2 Reborn, heroes are no longer affiliated with the Radiant nor the Dire, and are currently only sorted by their primary attribute.
** The ability granted by Aghanim's Scepter is called ''Ultimate Upgrade'', which harks back to the days when it only upgraded ultimates, even if today Scepter upgrades have been diversified to: general hero improvements (Tiny, Meepo, Night Stalker, Wraith King, Drow Ranger, Gyrocopter), upgrades for non-ultimates (Tinker, Chen, Lone Druid, Bristleback, Magnus, Tidehunter, Undying, Pudge, Sand King, Earthshaker, Oracle, Storm Spirit, Mirana and Winter Wyvern), brand new skills (Ogre Magi, Treant Protector, Alchemist, Lifestealer, Morphling, Nyx Assassin, Tusk, Zeus) or any combinations of the four (Shadow Fiend, Keeper of the Light, Earth Spirit).
** The Town Portal Scroll originated from ''[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} Warcraft III]]'', and retained its name and function into [=DotA=] even if there aren't any towns.
* ArtificialBrilliance: Zigzagged by the AI, which combine superhuman reflexes and perfect coordination (particularly when stunlocking a human player) with absolutely braindead game sense, tactics and strategy.
* ArtificialStupidity:
** Just like that Pudge in your pub games, the bots on your side play like idiots, while the enemy bots move and gank together seamlessly. Your bots are more likely to feed the enemy countless kills and making the game impossible for the player to come back from. Bloodseeker bot on the enemy team? Finds you perfectly when you're alone and forces you to TP out. Bloodseeker bot on your team? Runs in 1v5, uses ultimate on one person and gets beaten to death. You can go 30-2 or something with Storm Spirit and the team score at the end of the game will still be like half the enemy's because your bot allies all have 20+ deaths. It's basically impossible to play any hero that doesn't have carry potential because no matter how big of an early game advantage you give your team they'll never be able to carry you unless they're playing one of the rigged heroes like Viper or Chaos Knight (at which point the enemy bots fall apart and will throw themselves at them to die).
** One of the more frequent examples of this is their tendency to respond to a human initiation by ''running away''. You and your team are approaching a tower. There are three enemies behind it. You have your big ultimate up. You know you can blink in, ult, kill at least two of them, and the tower. Everyone is full health. You blink in. You land a perfect ult. You can win this fight. Your team has run away because there's an enemy siege creep. You get stunlocked. The fourth and fifth enemies teleport in. With your last breath you curse your bot allies as they betray you and leave you to die. And then they run in anyway and get massacred themselves trying to fight [=4v5=].
** The game allows you command friendly bots to a degree by pinging the map. Sounds good on paper, but in practice, it tends to just confuse them ''more'' as they often interpret the ping as "stand here and do nothing". Even if the ping is on [[BonusBoss Roshan]] or ''[[FailedASpotCheck the enemy team]]''. Sometimes they might also stand just outside the [=AoE=] of a Shrine currently used by a human player.
** For any given hero, bots will always stick to the same skill and item build, and play in the same role every game (no exceptions):
*** Bot supposedly know that they should not send two carries into the same lane, which doesn't stop them from sending, say, Drow Ranger and Sven to the safe lane and Witch Doctor and Lion to the hard lane... because they consider Sven a support. Indeed, if you play Sven, Windranger, Necrophos, Dark Seer, Pugna,... in a bot match you'll be treated as a support and will have to battle with your other bot for last hits. Of course it doesn't stop the supposedly 'support' Sven bot from building carry items.
*** Mekansm is considered to be an item that should only be built once or at most twice by a team. If a bot team ends up with Lion, Windranger, Death Prophet, Dazzle and Jakiro, expect to see 5 Mekansms in the same team - and built by heroes on whom Mekansm isn't a good item at all.
*** Since they have only received token attention for years, bot roles and builds are often horribly outdated. For instance, supports like Lion, Witch Doctor, Skywrath Mage, Bane and Oracle are often sent to the mid lane; Tiny considers himself a Strength nuker, doesn't build any carry items and rushes Scythe of Vyse; Bounty Hunter (a roaming support) is treated as a carry and builds items like Desolator and Black King Bar; Witch Doctor and Warlock still build Aghanim's Scepter even if a player-controlled Alchemist has given them one; Bristleback having no idea of how his Scepter upgrade works and will never use ''Viscous Nasal Goo'' again if Alchemist gives him Scepter; Bloodseeker always goes mid even if something like Shadow Fiend or Zeus is in the same team; Windranger considers herself a hard position 5 support; and so on.
** Bots are prone to becoming stuck on the pathable cliff north of the rune spot. They go up there to ward but they don't come back down; even if you try to use something like a Force Staff to move them down they'll just walk straight back up. This particular instance was fixed in the Spring Cleaning update.
** The bots' idea of 'supporting' involves buying wards, but not necessarily ''planting'' the wards themselves. The designated support bot is very diligent and will buy nearly all wards that are in stock, but only ever knows to ward the two rune spots, and most of the wards will then proceed to sit unused in that bot's inventory for the rest of the game, which is especially annoying if you need some wards for yourselves only to find that the bots have 8+ in their inventory without placing them.
** On the topic of wards, bots aren't quite aware that Sentry Wards exist, and by extension don't grasp the concept of de-warding. This can get somewhat ridiculous when a bot uses their entire supply of Observer Wards on a hill guarded by a player's Sentry Ward, seemingly oblivious to said wards lasting about half a minute each before being destroyed.
** Bots have no idea how the [[SummonMagic Necronomicon]] item works. They build it on the completely inappropriate heroes (Bane or Dazzle), never upgrades the Necronomicon over level 1, and when the hero dies, they'll just send the Necronomicon units back to the fountain. On the flip side, bots don't seem to realize that the Necronomicon Warrior damages them if they kill it, leading to situations where a low-health bot kills itself on the Warrior.
** Sand King bot has gained a certain amount of infamy for occasionally getting stuck in trees with ''Burrowstrike'' and staying there for the rest of the game (or until a path is cleared through the trees).
** Witch Doctor has a tendency to repeatedly toggle ''Voodoo Restoration'' on and off repeatedly, wasting most of his mana in the process.
** Bots will almost always insist on maintaining a channeling spell for the full duration, even when doing so would make them easy targets for the opposing team's disables.
** When bots have their entire team together, they tend to become a bit... [[SuicidalOverconfidence overconfident]]. It's not uncommon for a bot team to dive several towers for one kill and then reason that the safest escape route is [[TooDumbToLive under the towers they were just diving]] (and predictably getting killed for it). This also makes it almost ''insultingly'' easy to get a TotalPartyKill by luring them into a minefield laid by Techies or just throwing a ''Chain Frost'' at them as Lich, or simply [[HerdHittingAttack being Sven]]. This reached hilarious new heights when the bots were updated to contest the initial rune spawn, which means having all five of them in one place. It's all too easy for a player to throw a spell in their general direction and then bait the entire bot team into the ''Tier 3 tower'', with predictably messy results that more than compensate for giving up the rune.
** Certain abilities in the game, such as Bane's ''Fiend's Grip'', can disable enemies through spell immunity. Bots don't seem to realize this.
** When attempting to escape, bots will prioritize disabling the opponent over booking it out of there. As a result, scenarios ensue where, for instance, a Chaos Knight bot with only a sliver of health will stop, turn around, and throw a ''Chaos Bolt'' at the nearest pursuing enemy... which buys enough time for the other three to catch up and finish him off, whereas he would probably have gotten away if he simply kept running. Made even more glaring by the fact that bots treat all disables the same, meaning that Tidehunter is more likely to waste ''Ravage'' running away from a gank than he is to use it to initiate a teamfight.
** Bots caught out solo seem to get caught in a run/fight dilemma half the time and neither properly escape nor trade hits with you until it's too late.
** Bots don't seem to be able to dodge Kunkka's ''Ghostship'' - he's guaranteed a 4 man boat if he's on the opposing team.
** Bots don't know how to prioritise which items to put in the inventory and which to stuff in the backpack, and can often be seen putting a crucial item like Blink Dagger in the backpack to make room for a lowly Iron Branch or Stout Shield. This even extends to the Aegis of the Immortal, which can't be placed in the backpack, resulting in a bot standing there staring at it followed by the easiest Aegis snatch of all time.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Downplayed with Mirana, averted with Abaddon. Mirana's lines emphasis her ''privilege'' and demeans her enemies as whelps and curs, while Abaddon emphasis more on the ''nobility'' and ''devotion'' to the font of Avernus with only slight references to any entitlement. Mirana, however, isn't outright evil, just more of a haughty high class princess that looks down on anyone who dares trespass her domain and Selemene's.
* AscendedFanboy: Pyrion Flax, a popular Website/YouTube Dota 2 satirist, managed to get his very own announcer pack added to the game and is now a frequent analyst at international tournaments.
* AscendedFanfic: It's a stand-alone remake to a ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' mod. Many of the characters are ''Warcraft III'' characters or units with the SerialNumbersFiledOff.
* AscendedGlitch: Several quirks of the ''Warcraft III'' engine were intentionally replicated, and several quirks of the early beta have been left intact as well:
** Though integral to the game for years, "denying" allied creeps (killing them to deny the enemy the cash and experience reward) was originally an unintended feature. Similarly, being body-blocked by your own creeps was an artifact from ''Warcraft III'', but was kept in because clever players figured out they could continually get in the way of their own creeps, inhibiting their movement and making the line of skirmish closer to their own tower.
** Since neutral creep camps check if there are any units within the camp (instead of checking if the creeps of the camp are dead) to determine whether the camp spawns or not, it is possible to stack neutrals by drawing the existing creeps out of the camp at an uneven minute mark, or to prevent a camp from respawning by standing within it or putting a ward inside it. Though originally glitches, creep stacking and blocking are such an integral part of ''[=DotA=]'' that removing them was unthinkable.
** Although since removed, Valve at one point stated that the technique known as "fountain hooking" would be left in the game. Fountain hooking refers to aggressively teleporting or dragging an enemy into their opponent's fountain, where the high damage will likely assure an InstantKill. While it's most well known with Pudge and Chen, it was possible with a small handful of other heroes as well, such as second-runners, Magnus and Io, who, on one hand, are even harder to pull it off with, but on the other, are potentially capable of grabbing multiple people and returning to the fight afterwards respectively.
* AscendedMeme:
** From the [[http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Techies_responses#Rare "rare" responses]] of Techies[[note]]who is actually one hero composed of three characters, similar to Alchemist[[/note]]: [[http://hydra-media.cursecdn.com/dota2.gamepedia.com/c/cb/Tech_rare_05.mp3 Who said we couldn't count to three, huh?]]
** Zeus has been compared to [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] for having a mustache and a similar body shape. Come [=TI5=], Zeus's ''Heavenly Jump'' taunt makes him jump Mario style, complete with a coin popping out of nowhere.
** The Faceless Rex was originally a joke in Valve's blog about the Faceless Void remodel. People liked the idea so much that one enterprising modeler created a Faceless Rex courier, and Valve decided to include it in the game.
** Outworld Devourer has often been called various names, as a joke about how he has been renamed many times. [[http://i.imgur.com/oMQnnB3.jpg Valve made a nod to it in the Reborn beta]].
** Many joke patch notes are coming from community's memes. Such as Dark Seer's infamous nerf to Vacuum every patch, the "happy little tree" and Earthshaker's dunk from 6.87 patch, and Puck's Illusory Orb speed from 6.88 patch.
** The Nether Lord's Regalia Set, also known as the BZZ set, became infamous among the community for being an extremely common drop in older versions, to the point that fans would start joking about the prospect of a golden BZZ set dropping. After [=TI6=], 25 lucky players received a '''Golden''' Nether Lord's Regalia Set from the Trust of the Benefactor.
* AwesomeButImpractical:
** Sometimes the Aghanim's Scepter upgrade sounds so awesome to make people forget that it is an item that costs 4200 gold and gives subpar stats for its price. The truth is that, 'awesomeness' aside, there are only a handful of heroes on which Scepter is a must-buy item, and its usefulness runs the gamut all the way from absolute core to late-game luxury (which should be gotten at some point but there are more important items)[[note]]Shadow Shaman, Earthshaker, Timbersaw,...[[/note]] to situational or straight-up impractical (most right-click carries can't dedicate a whole slot for an item with weak stats unless if the upgrade itself improves right-click power, while in some cases the upgrade only sounds awesome on paper but is weak in practice) to almost useless and, on occasion, even [[PowerUpLetdown detrimental]] (looking at you, Outworld Devourer). Alchemist can defy this trope due to his ability to quickly farm Scepters and give them to his teammates without consuming a slot, which especially helps slot-starved carries like Sven, Luna or Storm Spirit, and poor supports who can't afford Scepter like Lich or Lion.
** Dagon 5 is the single most expensive item in the game and deals immense damage, but it's simply not efficient to spend a whopping 7720 gold on an item of limited value as the game progresses. As a result, in pro games most heroes never build Dagon at all, and those that do only do so situationally.
** Divine Rapier. 6,200 gold, +330 Attack Damage[[labelnote:note]]most heroes will barely hit 300 damage even in long games[[/labelnote]]... but if you die, [[YouKillItYouBoughtIt it drops to the ground and an enemy can pick it up and use it against you]]. When your team is ahead, building a Divine Rapier is most of the time synonymous with [[NiceJobBreakingItHero throwing the game]]. It's all fun and games to troll the enemy team with your 'carry' Crystal Maiden until they focus you down and nick it, then make an amazing comeback and spend the next 20 minutes hanging around your fountain looking for easy kills. Who's laughing now?
* BalefulPolymorph: Lion, Rhasta, and the item Scythe of Vyse can turn an enemy hero into frogs, chickens and pigs, respectively. Cosmetic items for Lion and Rhasta change their Hex animals.
* BeginnersLuck: Beginner's Luck in Dota is much attributed to how new players think. Dendi, a living legend since the original Dota, mention this in his [[http://read.navi-gaming.com/en/team_news/a_look_at_the_legend_dendi_pudge interview]]
--> '''Dendi''': I can better think about what they (competitive players) will do and predict where they are going. Pub players, on the other hand, always end up just doing some #Yolo move and I’m like: “Where are you going? [[SpannerInTheWorks What are you doing?]]”
* BigNo: Every single hero has a chance to let one out when killed or when their team loses. [[TheUnintelligible Except for Io and Phoenix]].
* BladderOfSteel: If you are not ready to sit for at least 40 minutes non-stop on the computer, then don't press the Find Match button. Matches that last for under 20 minutes are almost non-existent, and the record length for a match is '''4 hours'''. Need a bathroom break? Tough luck, in a pub game nobody will wait for you; even if your hero is dead you still need to pay attention to stuff like scans, fortification, controlling minions or buying back. And if you need to go AFK for an extended period (around 5 minutes or more), then be prepared to look at the defeat screen and receive four reports from angry teammates.
* BondOneLiner: Every single hero (including TheVoiceless ones such as Io and Phoenix through their screeches) gives out a snark, comment or even an EvilLaugh whenever they successfully kill an opposing hero.
* BoringButPractical:
** Black King Bar gives awful stats for an item that costs 3975 gold (10 Strength and 24 attack damage can be purchased ''much'' more cheaply), and all its active ability does is turn you spell immune for a few seconds. Sure, 1k+ damage crits, stat items, and effects like bash and attack modifiers are so appealing because they look flashy, scale well with carry abilities and they make your hero so much better, but without the Boring King Bar the enemy team can and will make you useless by chain-disabling, kiting, silencing, disarming,... you to oblivion. If you're a carry player, you need to get used to building BKB as a first or second item in 90% of your games.
** ''Wards''. Perhaps the least flashy items in the game, all they do is grant vision over an area and have to be replaced periodically. However, vision is extremely important for making good tactical decisions and knowing which fights to pick, and catching a glimpse of an incoming gank squad often spells the difference between life and death. There is a ''reason'' why ''entire guides'' have been written about how to place and remove wards, and in higher level games, you'll rarely see them in stock in the shop for more than a minute.
** Tangos and Healing Salves aren't especially flashy or abnormal, but are a necessity for almost all lanes due to early harassment. In most cases, if you don't buy neither Tangos nor Salves, you can, and will be bullied out of lane (unless if you are a bottle-rushing mid), granting an enormous advantage to your lane opponent.
** The humble Iron Branch is extremely cheap and gives very low stats, but it's also the most cost-efficient stat item in the game (compare an Ultimate Orb, which gives 10 times the bonuses for 420 times the cost). As a result, it's the best way to give heroes more stats in the early game for a low cost, and most heroes (except for bottle-rushing mids) will spend their leftover starting gold on Iron Branches until they run out of slots. Some new players often think that the Iron Branch is useless and their money should be saved for bigger items... without realising that the exceptional advantage granted by the cheap stats will help them win fights and snowball the game in their favour.
** Force Staff has a simple ability which only pushes a single unit. While it is one of the least flashy items in the game, the importance of good positioning in Dota grants Force Staff enormous utility from escaping, chasing, getting into position, saving a teammate, to even pushing a single enemy hero into the middle of your team and letting him get picked off, or into something like Techies' mine stack. Unless if (s)he needs an important core item first or has to transition into a semi-carry, it's never a bad idea for a support to build a Force Staff.
** The Town Portal Scroll, a cheap 50 gold consumable item that simply lets you teleport to an allied building after channeling for a few seconds. It's worth much more than its weight in gold by minimizing your downtime when heading back to base for healing, letting you respond more quickly to enemy dives or pushes, and getting out of a bad situation. As such, you'll almost never see a hero leaving home without one or two.
** Boots of Speed simply increase the wearer's movement speed. Given how important mobility is in this game, they're a core item for every single hero. In a similar vein is the Wind Lace, which gives roughly half the movement speed of Boots of Speed for about half the cost and are invaluable for supports, who spend much of their early game roaming the map and often can't afford early Boots.
* BrainsEvilBrawnGood: The most evil and outright {{Jerkass}}ish ones in general tend towards being Intelligence ones such as Lion, Invoker, Zeus, Shadow Demon, and Oracle while the majority of the truly "heroic" figures are strength heroes such as Sven, Omniknight, Abaddon, Magnus, and Elder Titan. Back when the game's heroes were [[TheArtifact still classified as either Radiant or Dire]], the Radiant had more Strength Heroes, while the Dire had more Intelligence ones, further playing into this.
* BribingYourWayToVictory: Averted by items buyable from the store for real money, as all of them are purely cosmetic (and sometimes inverted, for example, by Mirana's Crescent Bow which changes her ''Sacred Arrow'' from an unscrupulous grey to a bright blue that makes it easier to spot and dodge).
* BrickJoke: The original trailer ended on the shopkeeper asking "What does a hero truly need? That is for you to decide." In 7.00, "What a hero truly needs" was added as FlavorText to [[spoiler:[[BoringButPractical the Town Portal Scroll]]]].
* CallASmeerpARabbit: Quite a few characters, mostly with Sniper and the archers; Sniper refers to arrows as "feather bullets" and Windranger refers to Sniper's bullets in turn as "tiny featherless arrows"
* CallingYourAttacks: Most Heroes (some of them more than others) often either say the name, effect of, or a slang term for their spells during/immediately after casting them, especially for spells that are used specifically against enemies, so long as they don't just outright taunt the other guy ([[WorldOfPun or make an]] IncrediblyLamePun at them) instead.
** Earthshaker is a fairly notable one.
--> "Fissure!"
--> "Enchant!"
--> "SLAMMIN'!" / "ECHO SLAM!" [[ShoutOut or]] [[VideoGame/BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden "CHAOS DUNK!"]]
** Tusk will say some variation on Walrus PUNCH! ("x Punch!") accompanied by large red text reading "Walrus Punch!" next to his target every time it's used on a hero. On a creep, he'll say something like "Disappointing punch!" or "Moderately painful punch!" accompanied by small blue text reading "Penguin Punch!" next to it.
** [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Doom, upon casting his ultimate "Doom", will almost always say something along the lines of "YOU'RE DOOMED!"]]
** Skywrath Mage often says the exact name of his abilities upon using them.
** Surprisingly ''not'' used for the loveably [[LargeHam hammy]] Storm Spirit, despite [[MotorMouth saying something literally]] ''[[MotorMouth every time]]'' [[MotorMouth he uses his no-cooldown ultimate.]] Same thing goes for his other low-cooldown abilities.
** Rubick can do this, since he potentially has access to just about every single spell in the game, and it could possibly be taken UpToEleven depending both on the speed of any given person playing Rubick, and how extensively Valve has recorded/will record additional lines for his stolen spells in the future (as it is already fairly extensive).
* CaptainErsatz: Due to certain heroes from the original mod being named directly after Blizzard-trademarked characters or races, some heroes had to be renamed.
* CastOfSnowflakes: Every character has unique appearances, abilities, backstories, and extensive responses to certain events. All of them are fill in ''very'' different niches in gameplay and team composition, to the point where several heroes' schtick cannot be replicated by another.
* ColorCodedWizardry: Most heroes' abilities are colored in a single color, usually the same one as the background of their abilities.
* CombatPragmatist:
** Split-pushing, or "Rat Doto", involves forcing the enemy team to one location on the map, and then going to the opposite end to destroy their towers and barracks unchallenged. Many heroes (particularly Pushers) such as Nature's Prophet and Broodmother are notable for this. The best counter would simply be to Gank the Split-pushing hero, and repeat as necessary, taking advantage of them being separated from their team to gain gold.
** The "4-Protect-1" strategy relies on your hard carry so much, other members of the team is likely just fight to draw out games for their carry to farm. Or throw their bodies to protect the carry in a teamfight. The result is a super-farmed carry and 4 poor but dedicated teammates, which doesn't matter too much since said carry can demolish the opponent's team by himself.
* CombinationAttack: Many heroes work extremely well in concert with each other.
** Magnus can potentially suck the entire enemy team into a single compact area in front of him and disable all of them with ''Reverse Polarity'' before Sven walks up and uses his high damage and [[HerdHittingAttack Cleave]] to dice them all up in seconds while using ''Storm Hammer'' a smaller area-of-effect stun to give them ''more'' time to beat on their victims and Magnus' ''Empower'' gives both of them more damage and Cleave. Throw Tiny into the mix, who already has great AoE nukes/disables, gets an insane amount of cleave from his Scepter upgrade, and has tons of base damage for Empower to improve, and no combination of heroes could stand any chance against them, provided Magnus starts it off with a good RP, and the other two follow up well (all of them likely with blink daggers).
*** Sven and Crystal Maiden compliments each other, which is also the basis of [[FanPreferredCouple their apparent shipping]]. Aside the fact that both have skills that keep the enemies at place (''Storm Hammer''-''Frostbite''-''Crystal Nova'') so both can wail on the stunned/frozen enemy (moreso if Sven has activated ''God's Strength''), Sven's mana-hungry problem is migitated with Rylai's ''Arcane Aura'', which increases his mana regeneration (and Rylai being a support hero means that she is also likely to buy Arcane Boots to fill up Mana) so he can throw more ''Storm Hammers''. Whereas Rylai's squishy armor and cumbersome movement speed is also mitigated with Sven activating his ''Warcry'', which increases his and allies' armor and movement speed. With Sven's area stun, Rylai can also have an easier time to set her ''Freezing Field'' up.
*** In terms of setting up ''Freezing Field'', however, Tidehunter does the job better as his ultimate, ''Ravage'', is an AOE skill that stuns everyone in the area, which is perfect for team fights. Tidehunter can also help keeping Rylai's enemies in place by using ''Gush''. However, they don't mitigate each others' flaws as much.
*** And hilariously enough, Rylai's sister, Lina, is considered a very compatible partner with Sven. Lina has an area stun (Light Strike Array) that deals a good deal of damage and stun, but there's one problem, she must aim at a ground and she has delay in cast time, thus her stun can be easily missed. Enter Sven and his targetted stun, Storm Hammer, which stuns not only an area, but also aims directly to a target unit/hero instead of a ground area and stuns for two seconds, enough for Lina to set up her stun, which can cause great chain stun that can be fatal for team fights if it caught many heroes, and has the potential to turn the lane they're in into a murder lane, which is bolstered with how Sven and Lina have good DPS via normal attacks. [[TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry Yet another thing the sisters can argue about.]]
*** If Magnus's stun is enough, Ember Spirit could be a very effective replacement, his ''Sleight of Fist'' lets him deal massive damage to groups with Cleave, Magnus's ''Empower'' being worth more than a Battle Fury and boosting attack damage on top of that, can potentially result in a OneHitPolykill as all those overlapping cleaves can easily shred through entire teams.
** Ursa has effectively nigh-infinite potential damage due to being able to do more damage every attack using ''Fury Swipes'', and almost always successfully uses this to kill [[BonusBoss Roshan]] at an early stage of the game. However, he will usually not last long enough without lifesteal effects. Enter Wraith King and his ''Vampiric Aura'' which grants all nearby allies lifesteal.
** Huskar has an ability that deals 35% (technically 26.25% because of most heroes' 25% magic resistance) of the opponent's current health in damage, if you buy Aghanim's Scepter on him the damage is upgraded to 65% (technically 48.75%). Enter Necrophos who has an ability that can deal damage to a target based on how much health it is missing (up to around 1-1 damage for each point of health missing). Targets of this combination tend to die.
*** Huskar's damage is also complemented by Witch Doctor's Maledict, which deals bonus damage every four seconds based on the HP an opponent has lost since the Maledict was cast. If Witch Doctor casts Maledict on a hero with 1500 HP, and Huskar deals 750 damage with Life Break, the Maledict will deal up to 900 bonus damage over time, allowing Huskar to secure the kill even if the target flees. Additionally, both Huskar and Witch Doctor can heal, allowing them to shrug off any damage caused by the opponent during the gank.
*** The dreaded combo that can pwn '''any''' strong teams if used effectively is Huskar with Dazzle or Oracle. The latter two can grant Huskar nigh-immortality with their skills (Shallow Grave and False Promise, to be exact); turning Huskar into the so-called "Raid Boss" that will destroy team by himself and tank everything the opponents throw with ease. If the enemy team is only composed by magic-based heroes, than it's likely a "ggwp" by 30+ minutes mark.
** Tiny's ultimate makes him bigger and stronger for each level put into it, but with the tradeoff that each one reduces his attack speed permanently. Enter Wisp and its ''Overcharge'' ability that gives Tiny just enough attack speed to effectively ignore the attack speed loss.
*** Tiny and Centaur Warrunner is another popular combo: Centaur's melee-ranged stun and nuke are guaranteed to land when Tiny throws him on top of the target, and can then be followed up by Tiny's own stun.
** A little different, but Luna and Night Stalker work fairly well together, as the two of them are among the very limited number of heroes who have a long sight range during the night, both of them have ultimates that turn the day into night and Luna's can even extend nighttime[[note]]Luna's is much shorter, only 10 seconds, but could still easily help make the difference, especially in a team fight[[/note]], and all of Night Stalker's abilities work better during the night.
** Phoenix's ultimate ''Supernova'', involves changing into an immobile egg for 6 seconds which deals massive damage per second in a very large [=AoE=], and will stun and give Phoenix back full life, mana, and refreshed cooldowns on its other spells, but only if it manages to last that long. The other team can only deal with it by either destroying it with a few auto-attacks (only up to a total of 11 on its last level) which kills Phoenix in the process, or just running away from it. Enter Treant Protector's and Faceless Void's ultimates ''Overgrowth'' and ''Chronosphere'', which disable any enemy movement or attacks in a large area.
** While not done terribly often in serious games for a reason, it's still possible to stack up multiple heroes who have global ultimates that can be used simultaneously. A lineup of this will likely consist of Zeus, Nature's Prophet, Spectre, Ancient Apparition and/or Invoker, among others. Results may vary, but [[HilarityEnsues hilarity will likely ensue,]] in one way or another.
*** Heroes will global abilities also benefit greatly when they have Bloodseeker in their team. If an enemy is wounded pretty badly, Bloodseeker's ''Thirst'' [[InjuredVulnerability will always reveal their location]], enabling these heroes to properly set up their global abilities to ruin the day of the wounded enemy, especially the skill-shot ones, such as Suntrike.
** Silencer has an ability to globally silence an enemy spells, while Omniknight has one that nullifies physical damage, which becomes global with Aghanim's scepter. Using both at once leaves very few, if any countermeasures beyond "Mass diffusal blade and black king bar", which is prohibitively expensive at best and a stopgap measure in any case.
** Ironically, Nature's Prophet and Timbersaw can work well together. Timbersaw requires a tree so that he can quickly move around with ''Timber Chain'' and/or deal pure damage with ''Whirling Death'' and hopefully catch fleeing enemies or escape them, which becomes difficult in open areas or places where Timbersaw has already cut down most of the useful trees. Nature's Prophet is capable of spawning trees anywhere and around an enemy. With ''Sprout'', Nature's Prophet can either help Timbersaw catch and kill his prey or help him escape from enemies, which is easily done with ''Teleportation''.
** Witch Doctor and Faceless Void can be a powerful combo if done right. Witch Doctor has the powerful ''Death Ward'', which has the potential to wipe out an entire enemy team in its duration (especially so if he has Aghanim's Scepter), especially early game. However, Witch Doctor has to channel ''Death Ward'' for the duration, ''Death Ward'' has a limited range, and it can easily be interrupted. Meanwhile, Faceless Void has the powerful ''Chronosphere'' that traps everything within it, but Void himself won't do much damage until lategame unless he gets a great start, so he has to rely on his team to do well with ''Chronosphere'' early game. These two ultimates become extremely powerful if used together, for ''Chronosphere'' can hold the enemies in place while ''Death Ward'' relentlessly damages them while they can't do anything about it. This combo was considered so overpowered that developers made ''Death Ward'' unable to shoot inside ''Chronosphere''.
*** While the above is a classic combo, ''Chronosphere'' also works well with Phoenix's ''Supernova''. ''Supernova'' is a heavily damaging ult, but is vulnerable to auto attacks. ''Chronosphere'' prevents melee enemies from attacking the sun, while holding them in place for ''Supernova'' to inflict maximum magical damage, and will disable the enemy heroes for even longer at the end of ''Chronosphere's'' duration.
** The Earth spirit summoned by Brewmaster's ''Primal Split'' has the ability ''Demolish'' which triples the damage it deals to buildings. Combined with Invoker's ''Alacrity'', which massively increases attack speed and damage, towers and barracks will fall with just a few hits.
* CompleteImmortality: Four characters (Keeper of the Light, Enigma, Chaos Knight, and Wisp) are "Fundamentals": beings from the beginning of reality that are ageless and impossible to truly kill. The Radiant and the Dire are also Fundamentals, ones that were cast out by the others for constantly feuding.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard:
** The AI does ''not'' play fair with mana. This means that the Sven you got down to single-digit mana not two seconds ago can suddenly turn around and throw a Storm Hammer at your face even if he doesn't have the means to get the mana needed. That being said, the AI is subtle about cheating, as it's generally not noticeable unless you're playing a hero with some form of ManaDrain and are checking the bots' mana pools, and even then only some of the time.
** The aptly named "[[IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels Unfair]]" bots [[NotPlayingFairWithResources gain XP and gold 25% faster than human players]].
** Zigzagged with the AI's handling of illusions. If the real hero is present along with an illusion(s) of itself, bots will ''immediately'' single out the real one even if they had no logical way of telling (for instance, if the hero just used Manta Style). On the other hand, if the real hero ''isn't'' present, ArtificialStupidity takes over as they wail on the illusion as if it were the real thing.
** Bots have been known to "speed-hack" when being pursued by a player, making themselves ''just'' fast enough that the player can't catch up. However, they at least try to be sneaky about it, in that they generally won't try to pull this on the player if the movement speed difference is large enough to be noticeable.
** If you play Pudge, Mirana or Invoker, try hitting your ''Meat Hook'', ''Sacred Arrow'' or ''Sun Strike'' on a bot that is not stunned, rooted or slowed. Hint: it is harder to hit these skills on bots than on real players. Even if you shoot an arrow from fog that is visible only for the last second, they'll dodge it - they're that good. Even if you use ''Sun Strike'' from the fountain (where there's no way for them to register the spell), the bots still know to stop dead on their track right in front of the [=AoE=] till it pops and then continue on, or to skirt a perfect circle around the [=AoE=] as if trying to troll you.
* ComputersAreFast:
** Whenever you try to blink into the enemy heroes and initiate on them, they will ''immediately'' counter your attempt with an insane reaction time that even the most skilled players will envy. For example, when you blink in with Axe to use Berserker's Call, Lion will instantly turn you into a frog and cue chain stuns after chain stuns from the other bots until you die pointlessly. Dragon Knight and the aforementioned Lion are particularly blatant offenders, as their disables have ''zero'' cast time; if they feel like stunning you, there's nothing you can do about it.
** If you are both invisible and carrying an aura like Radiance or Assault Cuirass, good luck; the bots will ALWAYS pop dust immediately, with 0ms delay in usage. Most people can't notice AC that fast, if at all.
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: Potentially played straight. When a player abandons a game, the gold-per-second they earn is split between their teammates, and so is the gold their hero possesses. Certain heroes who rely on items to carry benefit massively from this (for example Faceless Void, Phantom Assassin and Phantom Lancer), especially if three or four teammates abandon, and can within a few minutes acquire powerful late-game items, allowing them to effectively take on entire teams solo, where otherwise they could only do so after an hour of farming.
* ContinuityReboot: The original [=DotA=] never had much of a story past minor hero and items descriptions, and for the most of it used lore already established in ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' as a base. With the remake being developed by Valve, they couldn't obviously use anything relating to Blizzard products. This gave them the chance to completely clean the slate and create their own fantasy world, giving all the heroes completely new backstories, though still using the original [=DotA=] heroes as a base.
* ContractualBossImmunity: Some abilities are stronger when used on creeps than when used on heroes (''Frostbite'' lasts 10 seconds on creeps opposed to 3 seconds maximum on heroes; ''Enchant'' takes control of creeps and illusions but only slows heroes,...) and some others outright don't work on heroes at all (for example ''Devour'', ''Holy Persuasion'' or Hand of Midas). The strongest neutral creeps are considered to be ancients, making them immune to all abilities that don't work on heroes (with a few exceptions), as well as numerous others.
* CrapsaccharineWorld: Takes place in a bright and colorful world... which is currently engulfed in a seemingly endless war between the titular Ancients. On top of that, nearly every single hero is either straight up evil or has some tragic event in their backstory. Even the out-of-game lore is very much darker than the game's appearance would suggest.
* CriticalEncumbranceFailure: As of patch 6.78, flying couriers will fly 30% slower if they're carrying an empty bottle, in an effort to punish "bottle crowing" for mid-lane heroes. [[FridgeLogic Which makes no sense since the donkey will fly faster once the bottle is filled with water, which makes it heavier...]]
* CriticalExistenceFailure: Heroes fight as they still do when they are at full health, and Huskar actually [[CriticalStatusBuff gets stronger when he loses health]]. The only things that gets affected are the limping or weakened animations of certain heroes that play when they reach low hit points.
* {{Crossover}}:
** Among the announcers you can pick are [[VideoGame/HalfLife Dr. Kleiner]], [[VideoGame/{{Bastion}} Rucks]], [[VideoGame/DefenseGridTheAwakening General Fletcher]], [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} GLaDOS]], [[VideoGame/TheStanleyParable the Narrator]], [[WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty Rick and Morty]], [[VideoGame/{{Fallout}} Mr. Handy]], and [[VideoGame/DeusExMankindDivided Adam Jensen]].
** As part of a promotion with ''VideoGame/TotalWarWarhammer'', the "Warhammer: Treasure of the Old World" was released, which contains cosmetic sets inspired by the ''TableTopGame/WarHammer'' universe.
* CrutchCharacter: Certain support heroes like Earth Spirit and Chen. They are especially powerful early game when enemy heroes haven't yet acquired many items, but their lack of scaling means that they'll fall off rapidly late game when the enemy can catch up.
* CycleOfHurting: Comboing disables for extended periods of time is so common that there is an item, ''Black King Bar'', with the purpose of avoiding this.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory:
** DevelopersForesight has that covered. If you come from ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'', you can enable an option to use the old ''Warcraft III'' hotkeys; if you come from ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'', you can enable Instacast (''LOL''[='=]s Smartcast), bind your TP Scroll item slot to D and your Blink Dagger item slot to F (both common hotkey bindings for ''LOL'''s Teleport and Flash), and place the minimap on the right side.
** The 6.85 patch introduced one: prior to this patch, Healing Salve, Enchanted Mango, and Clarity were used by clicking the item (or pressing the hotkey) and then clicking on the hero you wanted to use it on, or double-tapping the hotkey to use it on yourself. After the patch, hitting the hotkey automatically uses the item on yourself, while using it on an ally requires you to hold down the Ctrl key before hitting the hotkey. Cue players accidentally using Salves on themselves at full health instead of the almost-dead hero standing next to them. That particular change was reverted about two weeks after the patch's release, probably because of this.
%%* DarkIsEvil[=/=]DarkIsNotEvil: This game is an example where being Dire doesn't always mean you'll always be some baby-eating bastard, when compared to the old one.
%%** On the obviously black scale of morality, there's Night Stalker who eats people and wants to bring TheNightThatNeverEnds, the 'Demon trio' taken straight from Hell: Shadow Fiend, Shadow Demon and Doom, and horrible demons on their own such as Terrorblade and Pugna. And then there's {{Eldritch Abomination}}s such as [[YourWorstNightmare Bane]] and [[EvilIsDeathlyCold Ancient Apparition]].
%%** On the light scale, there's Abaddon, [[TheSacredDarkness who is only dark in appearance, but noble in the most part]], Spectre who only wants to go back to her own home, Visage who is just keeping the dead, Magnus, Clinkz and Lycan who are better described as wandering victims of circumstance, and Arc Warden who wants to put an end to the war between the Ancients all together, either through the unification or destruction of both sides.
%%** On the middle of the scale, there's Broodmother who, while certainly villainous and probably slightly close to the black side of morality, only wants to protect her spiderlings and would leave the surface dwellers alone if she wasn't provoked, and Axe, who is really just seeking adventure and battle (and is also looking to sell books based off of said adventures).
* DayOldLegend: Applies to most of the items that can be crafted, especially those that cost at least 1,000 gold to obtain. Apparently, the Shadow Blade was used by a former king, and the Silver Edge that the Shadow Blade can be crafted into was used to assassinate a corrupt king, only for the kingdom to descend into civil war. This makes even less sense if multiple heroes in a game get a Shadow Blade or Silver Edge of their own.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Many heroes have area-of-effect spells that don't do very much damage to single targets at all, or have auras that don't do a lot by themselves. The difference comes when you stack those spells and auras with those of the other four players on your team, which can quickly grind down even the hardest carries in the game under the right situation. That makes tactics very important to players.
** The only way for [[{{Mooks}} creeps]] to get anything done.
* DeathOrGloryAttack: The right time to build Divine Rapier is when your team is behind, outcarried and with hope fading that you can make a comeback. Buying a Rapier is basically a massive gamble that throws all the cards up into the air to land where they will. If you can win that one vital fight where they're not expecting you to wield 330 extra damage, it might just be enough to turn things around. A heroic victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. Either that or they beat you up, put your head down to toilet for a few flushes, steal it, and then stomp you... but hey, that was going to happen anyway, right?
* DeathRay: The Dagon's active ability ''Energy Burst'', which fires a beam that deals instant magical damage to the target.
* DemBones: The Dire has quite a few undead heroes.
* DevelopersForesight:
** Valve had every voice actor do a line for purchasing an Aghanim's Scepter, even heroes without an upgrade. Loads of heroes have had ultimate upgrades added since the lines were recorded.
** The shop's search function has a surprising amount of foresight put into it, allowing you to search items using commonly used abbreviations in addition to the item name. For instance, "bf" brings up Battle Fury and Butterfly, "hot" gets Heart of Tarrasque and Helm of the Dominator ("hotd"), "sy" and "sny" both return Sange and Yasha, and "ags" can be used to search up Aghanim's Scepter. It even takes into account certain nicknames, such as "GG branch" for Iron Branch, "sheepstick" for Scythe of Vyse, and [[SpellMyNameWithAnS spelling Mekansm as "mechanism"]].
* DynamicEntry: Blink Dagger and Force Staff, two mobility items often built by heroes with short-ranged abilities to get into position easier. Also, Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain's Blink skill; Faceless Void's Time Walk; Sand King's Burrowstrike; etc.
** With a patch, Aghanim's Scepter has given the Earthshaker the ability to do this by causing his Enchant Totem ability to have a 900 cast range, causing him to ''[[InASingleBound jump]]'' to the targeted location and then THEN use his Enchant Totem skill. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity most definitely ensues]].
* DysfunctionJunction: Over 100 heroes are included in the roster, and the vast majority of them have various issues and [[DarkAndTroubledPast interesting]] [[RagtagBandOfMisfits backstories]]. The ones that don't tend to be supernatural beings or {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: As the TropeCodifier of the ARTS genre, it has retained many features which others of its kind do not have, most of them {{Ascended Glitch}}es or quirks of the old Warcraft III engine, like denying, free heroes, creep pulling, stacking, complicated interactions between spell immunity and certain abilities,...
* EarnYourFun: Getting into Dota 2 in a nutshell, perhaps of the TrialAndErrorGameplay variety. The developers have tried to alleviate some of this by introducing a tutorial mode, but it's a long and steep learning curve no matter how the game is played.
** Dota 2 is ''extremely'' complex, and calling the game 'unwelcome' would be an understatement. Simply learning the names or the ''existence'' of all heroes and items is important, perhaps even required, and can take a long time. Then there's learning how/when to use any of those things, how they all mesh together, and then actually putting it into practice and getting ''good'' at ''any'' of it (even one hero can take a while), all the while probably going through a ''lot'' of face-crushingly horrible games (to say nothing of learning what the current metagame is at any given point in time). Put all of that together, and you've got yourself one game with one ''gigantic'' skill curve on your hands. However, once you can start directly contributing to your team winning games, you can ''finally'' find out why Dota 2 is widely regarded as one of the most fun & rewarding games on the planet.
** And some says that the true reward of playing Dota is to be able to "watch the game". Dota 2's professional matches are highly entertaining, with high-skilled plays, absurd teamfights, funny moments, and many little things that can only be appreciated by understanding the game itself.
* EmoteAnimation: Not exactly an "animation" per se, but typing "lol" or "lmao" or some variant thereof in chat will actually prompt your hero to laugh. Similarly, typing "ty", "thanks", or using the "> Thanks!" chat wheel command prompts a "thank you" line from your hero.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Most heroes never called by their name in-game, not even in any voice lines either because it is obscure, have the names changed for copyright reasons or have the misfortunate timing of being DummiedOut in their responses. It is easier to list the heroes that downplay (the hero is known by their title but occasionally their names are mentioned in one of the in-game voice lines)[[note]]Arc Warden, Centaur Warrunner, Earth Spirit, Ember Spirit, Invoker, Keeper of the Light, Legion Commander, Lone Druid, Naga Siren, Outworld Devourer, Sand King, Shadow Fiend, Skywrath Mage, Techies, Templar Assassin, Timbersaw, Troll Warlord, Tusk, Ursa, Winter Wyvern[[/note]] or avert this trope (the hero is called directly by their name most of the time)[[note]]Sven, Tiny, Kunkka, Huskar, Io, Elder Titan, Mirana, Riki, Luna, Puck, Zeus, Lina, Jakiro, Chen, Rubick, Pudge, Slardar, Undying, Magnus, Abaddon, Razor, Viper, Clinkz, Meepo, Slark, Medusa, Terrorblade, Lion, Pugna, Dazzle, Leshrac, Visage, Disruptor[[/note]].
* EvilLaugh: Very prominent. Almost every hero has a response of this sort to killing an enemy hero. Oddly, in this game it doesn't produce any {{Narm}} feelings, because whoever just scored a kill will usually feel like a badass, so if you get the laugh response it just makes the experience better.
* EvilVersusEvil: Both Ancients are Evil.
* EvolvingWeapon: The Dagon, Necronomicon, and Diffusal Blade recipes can be purchased up to 5/3/2 times respectively in order to increase the item's power.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Many of the abilities with less imaginative names end up being this. Silencer's ultimate, Global Silence, is literally silences all enemy heroes on the map, Anti-mage and Queen of Pain's Blink instantly move them from one position to another, etc.
* ExcusePlot: Literally invoked in some of the supplemental material. The Heroes are mostly seeking their own personal power rather than being strongly for the Radiant or Dire, with the exception of Arc Warden who is actively trying to end the war.
* FakeDifficulty: The aptly-named Unfair bots: if on the enemy team, they have a bonus to XP and money gain compared to the human players; if on your team, they play like idiots and will throw themselves at the enemy to die.
* FamousLastWords: Expect any given hero (who can speak) to get in a few choice words before dying (and then respawning). Though they'll just as often go for a simple BigNo instead.
* FixedDamageAttack: Pure Damage, which ignores armor and magic resistance. Many sources of it also ignore Magic Immunity.
* FoeRomanceSubtext: Between Kunkka the Admiral and Tidehunter of all people.
--> '''Kunkka''': "Ah, Tidehunter, you cared enough to hate me. [[http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Kunkka_responses#Killing_Tidehunter You can't buy that sort of love!"]]
--> "Ah, Tidehunter, you were my better half."
--> "I never tire of hearing my name on your lips."
--> "There went my soul mate."
** [[http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Tidehunter_responses#Killing_an_enemy All but one]] of Tidehunter's "Killing a specific enemy" responses (and then some) are about Kunkka, and Tide will say any of them quite often ''even if Kunkka is not in the same game.''
* GameplayAndStorySegregation:
** Heroes can range wildly from mere {{Badass Normal}}s with little supernatural abilities ([[AnAxeToGrind Axe]] and [[SpikeBallsOfDoom Bristleback]]) to [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld ancient]] and powerful sorcerers ([[TheArchmage Invoker]], [[SorcerousOverlord Lich]], [[PowerCopying Rubick]],...) and massive [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever towering]] colossi ([[RhinoRampage Magnus]], [[WhenTreesAttack Treant Protector]], [[OurGiantsAreBigger Tiny]]...) to even {{Physical God}}s (Elder Titan, Ancient Apparition, the four Fundamentals,...). However, in-game their power levels are all roughly the same.
** Crystal Maiden can freeze the already frozen Lich, in order to do damage to him with ''Frostbite''. Winter Wyvern can then save Lich... by also freezing him over to heal him, at which point Ancient Apparition can... you guess it, freeze Lich, to stop him from healing. [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/1492 As shown here]].
** No flying allowed: WingsDoNothing (compared to normal legs) except if there's an active ability that explicitly allows a hero to fly. That is why winged heroes like Viper and Jakiro can get stuck on cliffs despite flying constantly.
* GenderFlip: Tresdin the Legion Commander. In [=DotA=] he was a male, horse-riding, mustached, [[FantasticRacism racist to non-humans]], [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin commander of a legion]]. In Dota 2 he has become a woman with somewhat darker skin who fights on foot. The racism is toned down, but she is still somewhat aggressive towards non-humans, especially demons after [[DoomedHometown Stonehall]]. Auroth the Winter Wyvern also has a gender flip as she shares the same voice actor as Tresdin.
* GenreShift: The various holiday events all deviate from the standard 5v5 Ancient-destroying gameplay.
** Both the 2012 and 2013 Diretide events are CaptureTheFlag competitions that segues into a 10-on-1 fight against a buffed Roshan.
** The 2012 Greeviling event was a race between both teams to kill as many Greevils as possible in a set time limit.
** The 2013 Wraith Night and 2017 Dark Moon events were 5-man TowerDefense games where five heroes defeat waves of monsters and heroes for 13/15 rounds.
** The 2014 New Bloom event pit the team against the Year Beast. Slay it and you can get loots for cosmetic item crafting. The most damaging players got a VERY rare Jadehoof courier.
** The Siltbreaker multiplayer campaign in the International 2017 is an action role-playing game where teams of four players engage in a mission to complete objectives.
* GeoEffects: High ground has two advantages in this game: units cannot see higher ground (except with flying vision), and any ranged attacks from low ground targeting a unit on high ground has a chance to miss.
* GodAndSatanAreBothJerks: Neither of the two ancients is actually good.
* GodzillaThreshold: Most of the circumstances in which Divine Rapier is actually seen as a ''good'' idea to buy are when your team is so far behind that defeat is almost inevitable, but the absurd damage a Rapier gives [[CrazyEnoughToWork might]] let you win a last stand.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Neither side is really good, both factions fighting for their own interests.
* HunterOfHisOwnKind: Meta-wise, some heroes are very good at countering other heroes like them, or in special cases, themselves.
** Lifestealer is a tanky, high health hero whose PercentDamageAttack passive added to all his attacks makes him deadly to other tanky high-health heroes.
** Tidehunter is a durable area-disabling teamfight initiator whose ability to shrug off crowd control lets him shut down other durable area-disabling teamfight initiators.
** Bounty Hunter is a invisbility-based hero who can reveal and quickly kill other heroes that rely on invisibility.
** Terrorblade is a high base damage physical GlassCannon who can summon an EnemyWithout, which works best on other high base damage physical GlassCannon heroes.
** Pugna is a squishy, mana-intensive GlassCannon with a CounterSpell ward that causes other squishy, mana-intensive GlassCannon heroes to kill themselves.
** Silencer is a spellcaster hero with abilities that shut down enemy spellcasters.
** Storm Spirit is a hero with a great escape and lots of burst damage who excels at hunting down and killing heroes with great escapes and burst.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Some heroes like [[MightyGlacier Tiny]], [[AnIcePerson Lich]] and [[ShockAndAwe Razor]] have voicesets full of them.
** There are too many [[IncrediblyLamePun Incredibly Lame]] ones to count (although, impressively, it almost never diminishes the overall experience):
--> '''Lich''' (casting Ice Armor): What's a little frost among friends?
--> '''Faceless Void''': In the land of time, the no-eyed man is king.
--> '''Chaos Knight''': Armageddon out of here.[[note]]Double-pun: Armageddon is also the name of his horse[[/note]]
--> '''Outworld Devourer''': Good news travels slowly. Bad news has wings.
** The blog update for Bristleback says:
--> Better watch your back, because Bristleback is back! [[LampshadeHanging (kill me).]]
* HomingBoulders: It's possible for autoattacks and spells to change direction in midair and fly across the map if the targeted hero teleports away or moves away very quickly. This is especially ridiculous with some characters, like Sniper, whose ''bullets'' can spin right around in midair to chase their target, or Tiny, whose ''Toss'' throws a nearby unit to a target enemy, even if the ''Toss'' trajectory makes no sense and bends around in the air. It also gets absolutely ridiculous with skills such as Huskar's ''Life Break''[[note]]he leaps at an enemy for massive damage[[/note]], where Huskar actually [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHrsZo6A0TQ changes direction mid-air]] if his target blinks away, ''even if the target blinks behind Huskar''. Taken UpToEleven with Io, whose ultimate is a global teleport. However, it doesn't disjoint projectiles, so if a ranged hero throws an autoattack that doesn't connect before Io teleports, the attack could potentially fly all the way across the map, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfrNmoxjSeY giving the Io player a nasty surprise.]] Also taken UpToEleven with Hurricane Pike, which gives a hero four shots against one target with no maximum attack range. Cue heroes dying to cross-map ''Impetus'' shots from Enchantress.
* ImmunityDisability: It's usually a good thing to pop BKB in the middle of battle to prevent the enemy from stunning you - but this also prevents your allies from casting healing spells on you. This can also come into play with ''Song of the Siren''; it does not disable (and give invulnerability to) spell immune enemies, which can result in a lone enemy having to fight Naga Siren's team 1v5 while his teammates are sleeping.
* ImpressivePyrotechnics: The Ancients' explosions.
* Instant180DegreeTurn: Averted. "Turn time", or the half-second pause that a hero takes to turn to another direction of running, is an important gameplay mechanic to get used to and one of the balancing factors for melee vs. ranged heroes to ensure that the latter can't just kite the former with complete impunity. One of Batrider's skills actually ''increases'' the turn time of whoever he uses it on. Good luck kiting at all.
* InstantWinCondition: Aside from an Ancient exploding, when a team KnowWhenToFoldEm, typing "gg" or using the 'Good game' chat wheel command in a private lobby will automatically end the game within 10 seconds if no players change their mind and cancel before it happens.
* IronicHell: Getting into Low Priority used to be a slap in the wrist; you're matched with people like you and you just need to play a number of games to get out of it. Now, not only you're forced to play ''Single Draft'' mode (which severely limits your hero options), you have to ''win'' in order for the game to count. To call it TeethClenchedTeamwork would be an understatement.
* IShallTauntYou: Certain characters have specific, mocking lines when killing other heroes. Some even have dedicated taunt animations that can be executed on command if you own the item in your backpack. Axe even has an in-game ability for this too - he magically taunts his enemies and forces them attack him so they cannot attack his (usually easier to kill) allies, and placing the enemies in position to be hit with his other ability, ''Counter Helix''.
* ItemCaddy: Carries are this in general, especially hard carries. Except for a few fairly item-independent ones (like Wraith King), an average carry needs at least a moderate to huge amount of farm to be able to fight effectively, contrasting with the supports who need very little money. On the flip side, however, carries scale much better with items than supports: for example, Crystal Maiden might only need a pair of Tranquil Boots while Medusa needs a minimum of 2 big items to be effective; on the other hand, a 6-slotted Crystal Maiden, although strong, is still very team-dependent, while a 6-slotted Medusa is absolutely impossible to fight against.
* JustTryingToHelp: Some heroes that affect allied units with their abilities (most notably [[GrapplingHookPistol Pudge]], [[TimeStandsStill Faceless Void]] and [[TheParalyzer Naga Siren]]) can cause this if not used right.
* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown: Fountain Camping in a nutshell; essentially when the opponent is winning heavily against a losing team that has no chance of coming back, instead of destroying the Barracks and Ancients to finish them off (and subsequently put them out of their misery) the winning sides chooses to humiliate them by killing them right after they respawn in their fountain, shrugging off the damage from the Fountains built to prevent this and artificially lengthen the game up to an hour without end. Valve decided to discourage such practices by putting the fountain area on high ground, preventing enemies from gaining vision and giving their attacks a chance to miss - although that doesn't stop players from trying.
* KillSteal: Many players build a Dagon for the sole purpose of stealing kills, though it's debatable whether it's worth to spend 2720 gold (or more) on an item which only makes your score look better...
* LaserGuidedKarma: Stories abound where one team dominated the whole game, who then proceeded to TrashTalk and [[{{GIFT}} utterly humiliate the losing side]], only to make ''one'' critical mistake which allowed the other team to turn the table and win the game.
* LegacyCharacter: Due to copyright reasons (like belonging to Blizzard-exclusive races like Tauren or Pandaren) some characters had to be replaced. They are still easy to recognize.
* LightIsNotGood: Despite the use of light and bright colours compared to the Dire, the only thing that the Radiant is 'good' at is environmental friendliness, if the status of Radiant trees compared to Dire trees is anything to go by.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: On the whole inverted: casters are generally stronger in the early and mid game before becoming outgunned by warriors in the late game.
** Since the damage output for casters comes mostly from their burst-damage nukes, they tend to be powerful early game when enemy heroes have few items; but because nuke damage generally scales very badly with items (only 1% more damage per 16 points of Intelligence) they fall short later when enemies become able to shrug their nukes (and their weak auto-attacks) off.
** Compare to physical damage dealers, who rely on right-click auto-attacks enhanced with passive abilities: their damage early on is weak, but scales very well and becomes stronger and stronger as they acquire more and more items, and in the late game they become major nexuses of power.
** This trope is sometimes played straight: some Intelligence heroes (notably Necrophos, Outworld Devourer and Storm Spirit) are carries that start off barely stronger than an Anti-Mage but have abilities that allow them to remain very strong in the late game, and on the opposite end of the spectrum there's Axe, a Strength hero who starts off as a lane dominator and bully during the early and mid game but becomes little more than a walking disable when the game goes late.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Being an ARTS, this is expected.
* MageKiller: [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Anti-Mage]], [[BigCreepyCrawlies Nyx Assassin]], [[UnSorcerer Silencer]], and [[DomainHolder Pugna]].
* MagikarpPower: Hard carries like Medusa or Anti-Mage start the game very weak, spend most of their early- and mid-game farming incessantly and watching out for ganks, but are the strongest heroes late game, able to 1v5 whole teams by themselves if properly farmed.
* MoreThanMindControl: According to the first (of very few) Dota comics, non-heroes exposed to Direstone or Radiant ore quickly become warped by it and turned into creeps. This is ultimately reversible, though not without extreme effort.
* MoneyMultiplier: Hand of Midas, Maelstrom, Battle Fury and Radiance. They are often not particularly effective in combat compared to other similarly priced items (except against certain heroes, like Hand of Midas to instantly kill Chen's creeps, or Battle Fury to counter an illusion hero), but they can massively boost the farming speed of their owners. The only hero who builds Battle Fury primarily not for farming is Ember Spirit, whose ''Sleight of Fist'' synergies well with it.
* MonsterAllies: Chen and Enchantress can turn neutral creeps into their loyal followers. The Helm of the Dominator extends this capability to everyone with its active ''Dominate''.
* MsFanservice: While some humanoid heroines ARE attractive, they're not overly sexualized and don't provide much fanservice other than being attractive in general. With the exception of someone like Queen of Pain, but that [[JustifiedTrope can be excused considering she is]] [[HornyDevils a succubus.]]
* NoExperiencePointsForMedic: You only get assist credit if you ''damage'' the slain enemy. This is why certain melee supports (like Omniknight - most of whose spells protect his allies or slow enemies, or Treant Protector - whose ultimate stops enemies from moving or attacking but does 0 damage) tend to not have great scores since they lack easy damage spells to pick assists up. However, simply being near a dying enemy nets you gold and experience.
** The Spring Cleaning update [[DefiedTrope defies]] this: placing a buff on an ally that kills an enemy or a debuff on an enemy that dies will also grant you an assist.
* NonActionGuy: The two Ancients (the Radiant and the Dire) manifest as defenceless buildings that must rely on towers and heroes to protect.
* NonIndicativeName: The so-called 'Secret Shop' is a secret to no one. In fact, it is one of the first things a new player has to learn when starting Dota.
* NoodleIncident: Tons in the character bios.
* NoSell: One of the biggest mechanics of the game's meta-strategy is that some heroes are complete hard counters to others (such as Omniknight's ''Repel'' being able to completely nullify most disabling abilities in the game), while some items act as hard counters to specific hero abilities (such as Diffusal Blade making Omniknight almost useless), so choosing the correct lineup or item build against the other team can result in this. Again, rewarding good decision making: turn the tide of the battles even when you are behind, if you are smarter than your foes.
** [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Magic Immunity]] (provided by things like ''Repel'', ''Enrage'', and Black King Bar) is a NoSell for Magic damage and most disables, making BKB a very commonly purchased item.
* NotTheIntendedUse: When it comes to game mechanics, this trope is averted - if you can do it, then it's a feature, including denying, suicide, creep pulling, stacking and orb walking, among others (except if the unintended use turns out to be a GameBreaker). Played straight with reports: as can be seen on the report screen, reporting and Low Priority are supposed to be a punishment for toxic players, flamers, spammers, ragers, griefers, trolls, intentional feeders, AFK'ers and game ruiners (as well as quitters, who do not need to be reported). In practice, however, people will report others for literally any reason (most often to blame a teammate or enemy for a loss), and the game does not distinguish between a legit report and a rage report - both are equally effective when it comes to sending people to Low Priority. Expect to make frequent visits to LPQ even if you behave well if you do the following things:
** Play Techies or a Rat Doto hero. Win? Receive five reports from salty enemies for 'picking broken hero'. Lose? Receive four reports from angry teammates for 'trolling and forcing team to play 4v5'.
** Be a famous streamer. People will report you for kicks. You will be in LPQ all the time, and no one will bat an eye.
** Pick an 'out-of-meta' hero or go for an unorthodox build. If you lose, teammates ''will'' blame you for costing the game, and you will be reported.
* ObviousRulePatch: Low Priority queue is supposed to be used to punish players who either troll other people or they constantly abandon games that are going on right now. Unfortunately, players still chose to troll other player by either griefing, or trash talking other and after number of games, they got out of it without consequences. So Valve gradually makes the Low Priority punishment harsher and harsher from requiring into a set number of games played, disabling co-op bots counting as a match, to requiring a set number of wins in order to get out of such queue.
* OminousLatinChanting: Liberally used for both [[BonusBoss Roshan's]] {{Leitmotif}} and Dire's victory theme.
* OurDwarvesAreDifferent: While not outright stated, the Keen (Sniper, Tinker, Clockwerk, Gyrocopter, and the smaller half of Alchemist) share similarities with Dwarves. Most are incredibly smart and sport facial hair, and all are very small in stature.
* PerfectPlayAI:
** When playing with/against bots, they will most often perform perfect chain stuns/disables, even better than pro players.
** Necrophos is a particularly nasty example for the AI's ability to calculate the kill threshold for ''Reaper's Scythe''. As soon as your health drops below that amount, he will Scythe you, and you ''will'' die.
** Windranger bot also has a knack for pulling off bizarre and improbable ''Shackleshots'' with a consistency that would make most players jealous.
* PermanentlyMissableContent: Some cosmetic items (most notably Collector's Cache items) are only obtainable during a certain period of time, and cannot be traded between players, making it absolutely impossible to acquire them once they (or their sources) are no longer sold.
* PetTheDog: No matter how bad or narcissistic they are, whenever you heal a hero, they are genuinely grateful for your help. The sole exception to this is Troll Warlord who will [[UngratefulBastard threaten the helper even if they healed him]].
* PinataEnemy:
** The Necronomicon summons give a tremendous bounty when killed, and the Warrior's ''Last Will'' often isn't enough to discourage enemies from getting it. Micromanagement is important to avoid feeding them to the other team.
** The two outlying Shrines, which are not very durable buildings, situated far from the base, grant no vision and reward the enemy team with 150 gold per hero upon destruction. While they are protected from all damage until a tier 3 tower falls, they are not going to survive long after that, due to their profitable bounty and distance which makes it hard to defend them.
* PowerCreep: This is often a large factor in what determines the meta in competitive gaming. Heroes that don't get nerfs in certain patches (or even actually get buffs) can find themselves retired from the meta simply because a buff elsewhere created a better option in another hero. Icefrog tried to change this in every patch, and finally on the International 2016, ''most of all heroes are played'' in the tournament.
* PowerTrio:
** The Three Spirits: [[RockMonster Earth Spirit]], [[MasterSwordsman Ember Spirit]], and [[ShockAndAwe Storm Spirit]].
** The Demons: [[{{Satan}} Doom]], [[YourSoulIsMine Shadow Fiend]], and [[ManipulativeBastard Shadow Demon]].
** Squee, Spleen and Spoon, the Techies.
** Brewmaster's Ultimate Ability, Power Split, splits Brewmaster into Fire, Earth, and Wind.
* QuadDamage: Runes. Picking up a non-bounty rune grants the hero a powerful effect for a short time. The ones that fit best are Haste ([[NitroBoost maximum movement speed]]), Arcane (reduced mana costs and cooldowns on spells), and Double Damage ([[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin guess]]).
* PermanentlyMissableContent: Every year during The International event, you are given the option to purchase a Battle Pass for unique and exclusive items such as Terrains, Hero Sets and even an Arcana. But the kicker is that fir some items, if you missed some of the items or you weren't there at the International event, you will never be able to obtain the items anymore as some of the items, like Io Arcana are neither tradeable nor marketable and you won't be able to purchase battle pass levels once the International ends.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: If both teams go all-in on a push into the enemy base, it usually turns into this. Known as a "base race" in the community.
** Fighting against some heroes also turns into this. For example, you basically can't win against a Medusa, Arc Warden, Terrorblade, or Phantom Lancer (and maybe Anti-Mage) with 45 minutes worth of farm under their belt. Heck, even Techies qualifies; you can't win against a Techies after 45 or so minutes, prepare to fight for ''hours'' as you repeatedly run into minefields in the enemy base. And, of course, savvy players will tend to pair Techies with one of the aforementioned heroes that require a metric ton of farm...
* RaceLift: Tresdin the Legion Commander. Originally a white man in [=DotA=], they are now a darker-skinned [[GenderFlip woman]]. Doesn't mean she lost all of the [[FantasticRacism racism towards non-humans]] or any of the [[ActionGirl bravado.]]
* RandomDrops: Incorporated using a system similar to ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', in that only cosmetic items drop.
* RandomizedDamageAttack: Chaos Knight has ''Chaos Bolt'', which inflicts a random but inversely-related amount of damage and stun. Upgrading the spell increases both the maximum and minimum values of both the damage and stun, but there's still a big difference between a 275 damage skill that stuns for 2 seconds, and one that does 100 and stuns for 4. Chen's ''Test of Faith'' is similar, but without the stun.
* RandomNumberGod: Randoming heroes, which gives you a random hero and 200 extra starting gold. If a regular player of, say, Dragon Knight or Ember Spirit, gets lucky and randoms one of these heroes, the Poor Man's Shield and extra Quelling Blade from bonus randoming gold can easily help them stomp mid and by extension snowball out of control. On the other hand, if the randomed hero ends up unfamiliar, hard to play (like Earth Spirit or Io), easily counterable (like Meepo) or not fitting with what your team has picked (the 4th hard carry, the 3rd non-scaling support or the 2nd jungler), good luck - you'll be in for a very hard game. A random can single-handedly decide the result of a game completely by luck.
* RareRandomDrop:
** Most treasure chests (except for the earliest ones) comes with a drop list, categorised into rarity tiers. A single standard item will be guarateed to appear when a treasure is opened, but items in higher rarities only have a very small chance to be unboxed. Something with an Extremely or Ultra Rare drop rate (less than 5%) can easily fetch more than 100 dollars on the community market.
** While Rylai's Battle Blessing and the Dark Moon Reward wheel will almost always grant a common item set, courier, announcer or treasure, a player that is exceptionally lucky, spins a lot of time (by spending money) or sold his soul to the Devil might be rewarded with an Arcana from the former or a super rare Dark Moon Baby Roshan from the latter.
** A notorious example is the 2016 version of the Trust of the Benefactor treasure, given to owners of the International Battle Pass. Its list of possible drops include valuable items like Immortal treasures, Arcana items, golden Immortals, promotional, China- or Korea-exclusive and other limited edition items from the early days of the game (most of which cost hundreds of dollars each on the Market or are not marketable at all),... as well as ''any'' random hero set (any set, including many almost worthless 'trash' sets that look barely different from the base model). Cue many people expecting Immortals, Arcanas and other cool items from the three copies of the treasure... only to receive three trash sets that worth less than half a dollar on the Market. Some even bought more treasures on the Market from savvy players exploiting this trope and most of the time they received nothing but more trash sets. After all, it's no surprise when the total copies of treasures number in the millions and the total copies of rare items that can be unboxed by the community number in the hundreds. Valve addressed this in the 2017 version by removing the random hero sets from the treasure, meaning that at worst you'll get an Immortal treasure.
** Slark's Riptide Rumble, a pachinko-like minigame in the International 2017 Battle Pass, where most players tend to win from 500 to 4000 Battle Points per week except for the 10 luckiest ones, who will get a Sunken Relic, an item that lasts until The International 2018 and creates a watery Aegis of Champions effect underneath the hero, or can be pawned on the Market for around $2000.
* RealMoneyTrade: There exists a substantial market of accounts with high (4k+) MMR, as well as 'professional' boosters that will boost your MMR in exchange for money, allowing bad players to spend money and get an MMR far higher than they deserve. Usually this is followed with a losing streak as the boosted account user, hopelessly outskilled by opponents in a bracket in which he does not belong, proceeds to feed and become a useless burden that ruins games for people unlucky enough to be his teammates (as well as a free 25 MMR for his opponents).
* RedOniBlueOni: Respectively:
** [[PlayingWithFire Lina, the Slayer]] and [[AnIcePerson Rylai, the Crystal Maiden]].
** Rigwarl, the Bristleback and Ymir, the Tusk.
** [[ChallengeSeeker Rubick, the Grand Magus]] and [[{{Narcissist}} Carl, the Invoker]].
** [[BloodKnight Luna, the Moon Rider]] and [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Mirana, the Princess of the Moon]].
** [[GenkiGirl Lyralei, the Windranger]] and [[ColdSniper Traxex, the Drow Ranger]].
* ReducedManaCost: Picking up an Arcane rune reduces all mana costs by 40% for 50 seconds.
* RevenueEnhancingDevices: Even if the game is completely play-for-free from the get-go, and you play as ''every hero from the start'', the online store still manages to have a ridiculous amount of purchasable-with-real-money content. With the exception of tournament tickets (which allow you to spectate international tournaments from in-game) though, all of these store items are only cosmetic in nature, a vast number of them can be obtained through Random Drop as above (with even some only being available through drop and not through the store), and none of the availability of the game itself is locked away. An exception to the tournament ticket rule goes to the Major and International tournament held by Valve. You can watch the in-game matches for free, and Valve makes money by selling "See it live" tickets and (for the 2013 tourney) the Compendium/Battle Pass which is $10 for at least $35 worth of content and a promise for more as more Compendiums are bought.
* RivalsTeamUp: Anybody can be teamed up with anybody else even if the lore says that two characters hate one another's guts. Sometimes when this happens the two rivals will have mean things to say to one another, but will still work together.
* RunningGag: Frostivus, ostensibly the [[YouMeanXmas Christmas equivalent]] celebrated in-universe, getting cancelled due to some unforeseen disaster.
-->'''Frostivus 2013 Day 1:''' [[TemptingFate Nothing can possibly go wrong]].
-->'''Frostivus 2013 Day 2:''' BY DECREE OF THE ONLY KING THAT MATTERS - FROSTIVUS IS CANCELLED
** All heroes have a taunt voice-set, but all of them will be about "It's in the bag!". Also each heroes have a quote to curse about the "Shitty/Crummy Wizard!". Some heroes can say it straight, some gets SophisticatedAsHell about them.
* RyuAndKen: As in the original Dota Allstars, players could only pick Sentinel or Scourge (renamed Radiant and Dire for Dota 2) heroes when on that side, alot of them were largely equal to each other, such as Lina and Lion, Sven and Magnus, Omniknight and Abaddon, and others. DivergentCharacterEvolution has ''completely'' changed most of these heroes (Magnus and Sven don't even fall into any of the same roles anymore).
* SchizoTech: Several of the Keen (ie, the Gnome analogues) have incredibly advanced technology, Tinker even having lasers, rockets, and automonous robots. They exist alongside and are routinely beaten by people using arrows and swords. However, Gryocopter's backstory mentions finding an "incomplete schematic for a Gyrocopter, the world’s first manned, non-magical flying device". So, while technology, with the help of magic, is incredibly advanced, pure technology is mostly inept.
* ShipTease: When Crystal Maiden gets her Announcer Pack, her 'Specific hero' quips include on herself, Lina, some ice users (just Tusk, Drow and Lich, she didn't quip against Ancient Apparition and Winter Wyvern)... and Sven. Also if the game goes idle enough, she starts wondering where Sven is. On meeting either Juggernaut or Templar Assassin, Monkey King will hint that the two used to be an item together.
* ShoutOut: Just as with the original, with the sheer number of assets in the game, most anything is a reference to something else:
** A red headed spellcaster named '[[LightNovel/{{Slayers}} Lina the Slayer]]' with the skill ''Dragon Slave'', and an ultimate named ''Laguna Blade''?
** Tinker borrows a lot of Dr. Isaac Kleiner's lines from ''VideoGame/HalfLife''. It helps that he's [[ActorAllusion voiced by the same actor]]. Same for a lot of others.
** If you look closely at the icon for item recipes, the icon in the middle is the symbol of the Combine from ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''. [[StealthPun Because you use recipes to COMBINE items]].
** An item for Tidehunter that replaces his fish is named "[[{{Webcomic/Homestuck}} Squiddles]]".
** Many of the AI bots are named after characters of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment.'' Additionally, Gob and Lindsay's chicken impressions made it into the game as taunts for Skywrath Mage and Vengeful Spirit respectively.
** Sniper shares some of his lines with [[{{VideoGame/TeamFortress2}} another sniper]] and his rifle sounds like the AWP from ''VideoGame/CounterStrike''. And Pudge, of all things, shares his voice.
** Lich and Pugna are obviously better known as the [[{{VideoGame/TeamFortress2}} Heavy Weapons Guy]], the former even citing some of the lines.
** Sand King gives us: "You were expecting... [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas Sandy Claws]]?"
** Nature's Prophet [[TheLorax speaks for the trees.]]
** Upon using his laser skill, Tinker will gleefully declare that he "blinded you, with science!"
** Meepo also gets his share of recycled voice lines, this time from [[{{VideoGame/TeamFortress2}} the Scout]].
** Axe's denied phrase ("YOU GET NOTHING! GOOD DAY, SIR!") is based on Willy Wonka's infamous meltdown scene from the 1971 movie ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''.
** When Earthshaker manages to hit 3 or more heroes with his ultimate, Echo Slam, he shouts "[[VideoGame/BarkleyShutUpAndJamGaiden Chaos Dunk!]]"
** Pudge's attacks, design and exclamation of "fresh meat!" might feel [[http://diablo.wikia.com/wiki/The_Butcher_(Diablo_I) familiar to Blizzard fans]]. There's also the line [[VideoGame/MortalKombat "GET OVER HERE!"]] when he grabs an enemy hero with Meat Hook.
** Omniknight: [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade You chose poorly]].
** Timbersaw: "[[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus I'm not a lumberjack, and no, I'm not okay. I thank you!]]"
*** He also gives us "[[VideoGame/MeltyBlood Cut cut cutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutcutCUUUUUT!]]"
** The items Sange and Yasha, Black King Bar, and Monkey King Bar are all from the ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' series.
** The Monkey King Bar also refers to the weapon of Sun Wukong from ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'', both in its name, and its inability to miss. The Monkey King himself is also set to appear as a playable hero.
** Bounty Hunter bears some resemblance to an older group of [[TabletopGames/{{Warhammer}} rat-man ninjas with shuriken]], and Chaos Knight's backstory, colour scheme, armour, and [[CoolHorse steed]] appear to draw on some [[TabletopGames/{{Warhammer}} other Chaos Knights]]. Gyrocopter and Sniper draw on the aesthetic of [[TabletopGames/{{Warhammer}} a certain other group of]] SchizoTech[[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame -wielding dwarfs]], as well.
** Upon killing Roshan in the Diretide event, he [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay sinks into a pit of lava while giving a thumbs-up.]]
** Beating the newly resurrected Wraith King shows the words [[VideoGame/DarkSouls YOU DEFEATED]].
** Juggernaut's Ultimate ability ''Omnislash'' is named after one of the {{Limit Break}}s from [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Final Fantasy 7]].
** Way, ''way'' too many in the heroes' voice lines. It's easier to just consult the individual heroes' pages on the wiki for details, because listing them would take up a very large portion of the page.
** The 6.86 patch allows the Iron Branch to be consumed to plant "[[Series/TheJoyOfPainting a happy little tree]]". And yes, that's the wording used in the actual item description.
** The item Octarine Core is named after a fictional color in Literature/{{Discworld}}, likely as a tribute to the late Creator/TerryPratchett. The color is described as a "resembling a fluorescent greenish-yellow purple", and fittingly enough, the visual effect of Octarine Core's Spell Lifesteal is colored purple and fluorescent green.
* SinisterSurveillance: A particularly vital concept in the game is warding to gain vision of key areas, and denying enemy vision of key areas. And with 6.87 update, the Scan team ability that can be used to scour an area of enemy heroes.
* SkillGateCharacters: Because the game is balanced around competitive play, quite a few heroes are inherently imbalanced in the lower brackets, where people do not communicate and coordinate with each other, like to pick a lineup with 4 or 5 carries, are too greedy to bother with TP scrolls, wards and detection, do not look at the minimap for missing enemy heroes, do not know how to rotate when a lane is lost or when the enemy has an AFK jungler, do not know how to adjust their build or focus down a dangerous GlassCannon, panic when getting ganked or in a big teamfight with a lot of spells, or give up and start feeding couriers when the smallest thing goes wrong. Whether they are actually Skill Gates or not also depends on the version, since there's nothing that prevents them from being buffed or becoming suitable to the meta so that pros would pick them.[[note]]A fine example of this is Sniper: never seen in competitive prior to 6.82, becoming a top tier hero in 6.83, then fading to obscurity in 6.84 after being nerfed[[/note]] In general, however, the following heroes are usually considered to be particularly effective to stomp noobs (without taking into account their viability in pro games, which fluctuates often) by punishing common mistakes made by new players:
** Riki, Clinkz and Slark: Snowballing solo gankers with good scaling that prey on lone heroes out of position (in other words, everyone in low-level games) and can turn invisible (or always builds Shadow Blade), which is synonymous with invincibility in a bracket where detection doesn't exist except in the form of a Gem of True Sight that is only bought when they have accumulated more than 20 kills, at which point it is likely to fall into the Riki or Clinkz's hands as soon as they see the Gem carrier. Contrast higher-level games, where Sentry Wards and Dust of Appearance are applied liberally from minute 1 if any hero with invisibility is on the enemy team.
** Bloodseeker, Viper and Drow Ranger are snowballing solo gankers/carries that make it impossible for their target to run away except with a [[WeaksauceWeakness Town Portal Scroll]], which low-level players don't bother to carry but are ubiquitous in higher-level play. In addition, no one knows how ''Rupture'' works and still runs away in panic when affected by it, or bothers to check if their HP has fallen below 25% when there's a Bloodseeker on the enemy team; Viper is a very powerful harasser, lane dominator and 1v1 manfighter in the early and mid game; while Drow Ranger frequently builds Shadow Blade in low-level pubs.
** Healing heroes in general (except for Chen, Enchantress and Oracle, whose skill floor is too high for most pubbers). In low-level games, people are too uncoordinated to ShootTheMedicFirst, preferring to hit whichever enemy hero they feel like, giving the healer free rein to keep his team alive (and, in case of Necrophos, wear down the enemy team as well). Healers are also able to mitigate the damage done by out-of-position heroes that get ganked, or by a rich but TooDumbToLive carry that considers himself invincible and jumps to solo the entire enemy team (which is a very common reason of comebacks in the lower brackets). In addition, Omniknight (one of the most, if not the most, prominent examples in this category) is also countered by an inexpensive Diffusal Blade (which can remove his ultimate), but bad players are too inflexible to adjust their item builds, and only build Diffusal Blade on Riki, Spectre or Phantom Lancer.
** AFK junglers (Legion Commander and Lifestealer are the most popular heroes for this, though others do exist). In high-level games it forces the team to play 4v5 during the laning stage, places the entire burden of warding on a starved support, while the jungler himself farms slower than in the lane and is vulnerable to ganks from enemy roaming supports. But all of this is rendered moot in low-level games: playing 4v5 in the laning stage isn't a big problem since everyone is super passive, neither is the lack of a support (the enemy 'supports' are too busy leeching XP and stealing last hits from cores instead of doing the duty of a proper support like warding, roaming and disrupting the enemy jungler). In addition to that, low-level players miss last hits all the time so the jungler actually ends up the richest of the heroes, despite the relatively low bounty of neutrals, and since they don't know how to close games, games always go late and the team with the greedier draft would win most of the time.
** Sniper is a LongRangeFighter that can't manfight anyone at close range, but your carry is too afraid of him to try and get close (especially when being constantly hit by ''Headshot''s), no one has a Blink Dagger, and bad players are more likely to blow their skills on whatever enemy hero that they want to instead of trying to focus down the squishy Sniper first. Bonus points for being a very frequent Shadow Blade buyer in low-level games.
** Axe is a beefy lane dominator whose trade-mark pubstomping tactic is to go into the enemy safelane and kill all of the enemy's creep waves with ''Counter Helix'' before they reach the outer tower, making it impossible for the enemy safelaners to stay in lane. While this makes him ''exceptionally'' vulnerable to ganks, low-level players generally lack the coordination to pull it off and only know to flame the safelaners for feeding and/or getting no farm; and despite this the safelaners (who are usually two melee carries in low-level pubs) still think it's better to get massacred in the lane instead of leaving to jungle or roam.
** Pudge and Spirit Breaker are snowballing solo gankers who are terrifying if they get going, but are easily foiled by wards - which are, of course, nonexistent in pub games (and any wards that ''are'' planted tend to not do anything since [[FailedASpotCheck low-level players rarely check the minimap but are all too eager to spam 'We need wards!' after feeding no matter how bad their positioning were or how many wards are on the map]]) but are almost always picked up as soon as the support can afford them at higher levels.
** Ursa is a MightyGlacier with no mobility who can solo Roshan early in the game and deal insane damage at short range, allowing him to terrorize noobs who do not practise good kiting and positioning - which reduce Ursa to an oversized clay pigeon. When it comes to Force Staff, a counter to Ursa and a very useful item in general, bad players usually think it should only be built on Bloodseeker. Additionally, anyone with an ounce of savvy will keep a close eye on the Roshan pit to score easy kills and Aegis snatches on Ursa if he tries to take Roshan.
** Zeus can dominate the mid lane and snowball with gank gold due to his massive magical damage output, but also gets shut down very hard by the BoringButPractical items Infused Raindrops, Black King Bar, Hood of Defiance, and Pipe of Insight. Needless to say, pubbers tend to skip these items because of the "boring" part of the equation. And good luck trying to convince your teammates to gank the mid lane - you'll be ignored at best and flamed at worst.
** Lich, a good lane dominator, who can simply use his ultimate ''Chain Frost'' to score a wipe against a bad, uncoordinated team who does not know to react to it by splitting from each other. Against good players, however, ''Chain Frost'' is less of an automatic death sentence and more of a combo spell, because good players can simply move away from each other, or into a creep wave and let them eat the bounces.
* SoulEating: Shadow Fiend take souls to power his attack through ''Necromastery'' and release an unholy surge of energy through ''Requiem of Souls''.
-->"So, you're curious where I come from? There's one easy way to find out for yourself."
* StandardStatusEffects: Poison damage, paralysis, stuns, sleeps, slows, and silences are invaluable in teamfights. Several heroes (Venomancer, Viper, Silencer, Bane, Lich, and Spirit Breaker, to name a few) are themed entirely around a specific status effect.
* StatusBuffDispel: Anything that has 'dispel' or 'purge' in its name is able to remove most buffs from the target hero.
* StopPokingMe: In addition to unique lines being stated from clicking on your hero repeatedly ("rare" responses), [[WhatTheHellPlayer they'll also get irritated]] from you trying to cast an ability on cooldown or without enough mana for it repeatedly, or from the game's pause lasting too long.
* StuckItems:
** Certain heroes like Ogre Magi and Meepo cannot drop Aghanim's Scepter due to the way it interacts with their abilities.
** Divine Rapier becomes undroppable except by death, once it is picked up by an enemy hero after its original owner dies.
** Aegis of the Immortal cannot be dropped at all, and can only be got rid of when the carrier dies or the duration of the Aegis expires.
* SummonMagic: Certain heroes have the ability to summon minions that range from expendable (Broodmother's spiderlings) to very valuable (Visage's familiars). The Necronomicon allows all heroes to do this with its active ability ''Demonic Summoning''.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: Characters regularly banter with each other. Heroes will comment on loads of events, including buying a specific item, calling misses, killing certain other heroes, meeting certain allied heroes, getting a cosmetic item at the end of a game, and [[UptoEleven getting banned]] during the ban/pick process in Captain's Mode. Taken to ludicrous extremes with Storm Spirit, who takes this up to LullDestruction. And while it is entirely possible for a hero to be KilledMidSentence, that just prompts their FamousLastWords instead.
* TauntButton: Purchasable taunts are available for certain heroes. While the earlier ones force you to stand still, later ones can be used while moving or [[SoLongSuckers teleporting]] and have a chance to [[TheComputerShallTauntYou trigger automatically]] under certain circumstances.
* TeamSpirit: Teamwork and communication trumps nearly everything else, a properly co-ordinated team will usually beat one with a higher APM because while their enemies trip over each other and blame each other for any mistakes, they'll be comboing their abilities, and keeping each other updated on possible enemy gank attempts. Knowing how to properly treat a childish, crybaby or raging teammate or tilt an enemy player and cause their team to bicker among themselves can do a long way towards improving your MMR.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Played with in regards to many of the heroes that don't like each other, from Anti-Mage being supported by a mage or Templar Assassin (assassin to the Hidden Temple) getting heals from Omniknight (disciple of the Omniscience). And also prominently on the followers of Selemene, Mirana and Luna. On the outside, they look like getting along formally and respectfully when in the same team... But the respect felt forced and their true colors are more revealed when they're on the opposing side: They'd rather have the other one dead so they can be the sole top servant of Selemene.
* ThreeStatSystem: Strength, which determines HP and HP regeneration; Agility, which determines armor and attack speed; and Intelligence, which determines mana, mana regeneration and nuke damage.
* TouchedByVorlons: Several characters have abilities conferred by beings greater than themselves.
* TutorialFailure: Valve's recommended items are infamous for being outdated and sometimes plainly and obviously bad as a result of [[TheArtifact having been left to completely rot over the years]]; for example Lion/Visage/Disruptor/Death Prophet/Meepo Mekansm, Bounty Hunter Desolator, Razor Vanguard, Bane Necronomicon, Faceless Void Mask of Madness, Zeus Aghanim's Scepter,... Their recommended roles are barely better, in that they received a large update in 2015, but even after that update they were still slightly out-of-date, and they haven't received any attention since then. Since 7.00, this trope has been downplayed after Valve decided to update the recommended items and integrate a popular items section into it, which includes the items commonly built by high-level players.
* UnexplainedAccent: A good majority of the heroes have definitive accents despite being from different regions in-world.
** Anti-Mage, Invoker, and seemingly Axe speak with light English accents. Pudge speaks with a more thick urban English accent, as does Bristleback.
** Mirana speaks with a light Greek accent.
** Meepo's accent sounds somewhat like a typical Brooklyn accent.
** Luna has a very thick Irish accent.
** Death Prophet has a very thick French accent, while Phantom Assassin has a more subtle one, perhaps French-Canadian.
** Slark has what sounds like an Australian accent.
** Through her echoing voice, Medusa sounds like she has a high class English accent, or an older American accent, like one from the 1940's -1950's.
** Chaos Knight has a deep voice, but he appears to have a German accent.
** Dazzle has a Mali accent.
** Magnus has an Ethiopian accent.
** Witch Doctor has a Jamaican accent.
** Bloodseeker has a Mexican accent to go with his 'Sacrificial Tribal' Theme.
** Shadow Shaman has an Indian or Iranian accent.
** Sven and Tusk have Nordic accents. Sven sounds more like your typical Viking where Tusk sounds more like a modern Norwegian.
** Brewmaster and Juggernaut have Japanese accents.
** Lone Druid has a Scottish accent.
** Skywrath Mage sounds Middle Eastern.
** Lycan seems to have a Polish accent.
* UnwantedAssistance: Certain abilities, such as Outworld Devourer's ''Astral Imprisonment'', Bloodseeker's ''Bloodrage'', and Bane's ''Nightmare'', can be cast on both enemies and allies, and as a result can screw allies over if used badly. The scoreboard has a "disable help" function that prevents allies from using these abilities on you, intended to prevent this (and {{grief|er}}ing).
* UpdatedRerelease: Before support for the old map was dropped, there used to be a near-perfect parity between each version of ''Dota 2'' and the original ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncientsAllStars'' map from ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', with the majority of differences being graphic, interface or quality-of-life improvements. Several characters work differently because of the new engine, as the old ''Warcraft III'' engine put restrictions on certain spells. Rubick can steal transformation skills (most notably ''Elder Dragon Form'' and ''Shapeshift''), and Luna's Moon Glaives work differently.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: There are a rather significant amount of humanoid male heroes that do not wear shirts.
* WhatTheHellPlayer: Attempt repeatedly to use an ability when it's on cooldown or you don't have enough mana, and your hero will sound more and more agitated/annoyed with your rapid clicking. Troll Warlord especially hates it when you do that.
--> '''Troll Warlord:''' [[http://hydra-images.cursecdn.com/dota2.gamepedia.com/1/1e/Troll_notyet_11.mp3 Now I'm ready, to stab you.]]
** Heroes with a built-in Blink will also [[WhatAnIdiot call you out]] when you [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment buy them a Blink Dagger]].
** Riki, a character whose defining characteristic is being invisible nearly constantly throughout the game, either sounds very confused or gives a snark reply about redundancy when he picks up an invisibility rune.
* AWizardDidIt: The accepted canon behind any bugs encountered within the game is that a particularly shitty wizard is mucking around with the battlefield.
* WorldOfBadass: This is an ARTS, so of course.
* WorldOfHam: Every hero, even the [[ColdHam most subdued]] (but not TheSpeechless), will mock enemies they kill and laugh when they score multi-kills. Also, many heroes will utter a hammy line when using a skill.
** Generally speaking, heroes can be divided into three categories: {{Large Ham}}s, {{Cold Ham}}s, [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and Wisp]]. This should speak volumes about the titular Ancients' standards for recruitment.
* WorldOfPun
* YinYangBomb: The Demon Edge, a sword with a hilt made from Direstone and a blade of Radiant Ore.
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->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cSFPIwMEq4 ...That is for you to decide.]]"''