The rank-and file soldiers of the Radiant and Dire. There are several varieties of creeps, such as ranged creeps and siege creeps, which spawn at different intervals. Killing creeps gives every hero within a radius experience points, and landing the last hit on an enemy creep rewards you with gold. Most of the early game revolves around killing as many creeps as possible while denying the enemy team the same opportunity.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Self-preservation is not these guys' strong point. The only reason for creeps to ever retreat is if they lose sight of a hero they're chasing, and even then, they just go back to charging down the lane they came from.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Are We Heroes Yet? comic reveals that all the creeps on the battlefield are normal humans who have been transformed by the Ancients into mindless soldiers.
- Elite Mook: Destroying an enemy's barracks rewards you with Super Creeps, which are larger, stronger, and give less gold and XP to the enemy. Knock down all six of their barracks, and you'll receive Mega Creeps, which can fight heroes en masse and win, essentially guaranteeing a win unless the enemy team is already very, very close to winning.
- Faceless Goons: The Radiant creeps don't seem to have any visible face, while the Dire creeps wear skull-shaped helmets or masks.
- Glowing Eyes: All of them.
- Metal Slime: Siege creeps, to an extent. While their health is roughly on par with the other varieties and their damage output is rather low, they take less damage from spells and attacks (previously they were flat-out immune to most spells), but take and deal extra damage from towers and other siege creeps, making it tougher to consistently land last hits on them (As your siege creeps or tower are likely to steal it out from under you). However, they're also worth more gold than other lane creeps.
- Plant Person: The Radiant creeps are very plant-like.
- Retcon: While the Are We Heroes Yet? comic states that creeps are transformed humans, the A New Journey comic for Wukong implies that they're a race of their own, the prime example from the comic being a creep child that has the same plant-like features as Radiant creeps.
- Siege Engines: Siege creeps, which are shaped like cannons (Radiant) or catapults (Dire), deal bonus damage to buildings and prefer to target them over other creeps.
- We Have Reserves: Played Up to Eleven. The Ancients will produce creeps indefinitely, and will never run out.
- Zerg Rush: Mega creeps will adopt this strategy. While individual mega creeps are not that strong compared to heroes at that point of time, there are just so goddamned many of them, making it very difficult to clear waves of mega creeps or to push against them, and it is also completely possible to get killed by them if you aren't careful.
A creature to carry items to and from your team's base, each hero starts with their own courier. Like a hero, the courier possesses an inventory with 6 slots, but cannot use the items. Losing the courier is devastating as not only will it be unable to carry your stuff, but its inventory will be off-limits until it respawns, and you'll also lose your passive gold income.
As your hero levels up, so too does your courier, gaining movement speed and health and generating more gold for you over time. At level 5, your courier upgrades to a Flying Courier that can bypass terrain. At level 10, it can gain a brief surge of speed. Level 15 allows the courier to deploy wards, level 20 allows it to briefly turn invulnerable, and finally, a level 25 courier gains the ability to use items.
- Critical Encumbrance Failure: Couriers are slowed by carrying an empty or half-full bottle... but not a full one. How that works is anyone's guess.
- Crossover: Amaterasu and Chocobo are available as couriers.
- Evolving Weapon: As your hero levels up, your courier also levels up and gains new abilities.
- Some Battle Pass-tied couriers (Axolotl, Onibi, Wibbley, Sappler the Eager) have different styles that can be unlocked by levelling the Battle Pass.
- Expy: The Deathripper courier is obviously based on the warjack of the same name in Warmachine.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: A few cosmetic couriers have ultra rare, shiny golden versions that often cost dozens of times more than the original one.
- Metal Slime: Killing a courier grants a substantial bounty of 175 gold per hero, or a total of 875 gold for the team, while also rendering the courier and the items it was carrying inaccessible to the enemy team for 3 minutes. The problem is that the courier can fly, and can use Courier Shield to fend off attempts to kill it. While the walking courier is usually an easy kill if caught, it upgrades at the 3 minute mark, at which point all towers are still standing, neither team has map control over the other and it's very hard to stand in a position to snipe the courier without being detected by enemy lane creeps.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Braze the Zonkey is an amalgamation of exactly the two animals you're thinking of.
- Palette Swap: Some couriers have differently-coloured versions depending whether they are on Radiant or Dire.
- Super Speed: Speed Burst can increase its movement speed by 50% and lets it go over the speed cap.
- Team Pet: Many players treat the courier as one.
- Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Corsair, Son of the Storm, which resembles an Age of Sail ship with the sails replaced with a balloon.
- T-Rexpy: The design of Faceless Rex is based on one.
- Arms Dealer: The shopkeeper is not allied with Radiant or Dire, and he seems happy to sell his wares to any hero... as long as they have the coin.
- The Narrator: Narrates the Gamescom trailer.
- Nice Guy: He's quite a jovial and friendly man, sometimes offering the player some tea if they take their time in his shop.
- No Name Given: His name, if he has any, is unknown, and he is only ever referred to as the Shopkeeper.
- Trademark Favorite Drink: He loves tea. In "Are We Heroes Yet?", he is almost always shown with a teacup in his hand.
The Shopkeeper's bird that runs errands for him, and acts as a tutorial guide.
- Sapient Pet: To the shopkeeper.
Couriers introduced in the Diretide, and the key characters of the winter holiday Frostivus event.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Megagreevil camps are very strong in the early game of Greeviling, and may kill even the toughest heroes in a few hits.
- Bragging Rights Reward: The Golden Greevil courier obtained from killing Thyg the Giftsnatch is exactly the same as a regular Greevil. Except he's golden.
- Color-Coded Elements: The Greevil's color is determined by the elemental shards used before hatching the egg.
- Courier: Outside of the Greeviling, the Greevils act as custom couriers.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: If you decided to hatch the egg right away without farming some shards, you would get a Naked Greevil that constantly shakes its butt in a slightly obscene, yet utterly hilarious manner.
- Funetik Aksent: We haz ur prezzenzes.
- Gravity Sucks: Blue Greevils have access to Greevil Hole, a smaller and less powerful version of Enigma's Black Hole.
- Hard Mode Perks: Farming all essence shards will create a Seraphic Greevil, who are notorious for being faster, stronger and more resilient than any other Greevil in the game in the Greeviling game mode.
- Helpful Mook: While the Greevils are described as vicious and outright evil, they make great and funny couriers.
- Hostile Show Takeover: The Greevils ruined Frostivus, stole the Shopkeeper's goods and took over the entire Dota map for themselves.
- King Mook: The giant Greevil who replaces Roshan during the winter. He is basically an oversized version of a Dreaded Greevil who shares Roshan's abilities. However, despite not being the real Roshan, he still awards players with the Aegis of the Immortal on death.
- Metal Slime: Thyg the Giftsnatch, a very rare Greevil miniboss who may randonly appear in one end of the river, making his way to the other. He is extremely tough and if he reaches the other end of the river, he disappears. However, killing him awards all players with Nice Frostivus Gifts, or even rarer, the Golden Greevil courier.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Dreaded Greevils under the effect of Greevil Golem, and the Roshan-Greevil.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Greevils responsible for the Greeviling are the eggs hatched by the players during Diretide 2012.
Nian, the Year Beast
An event boss that appeared in the New Bloom Festival of 2014.
- Attack Reflector: 50% of the Year Beast's taken damage is reflected to the dealer.
- Battleship Raid
- Bonus Boss
- Boss Arena Recovery: The Year Beast can randomly drop Greater Salve and Greater Clarity potions when damaged.
- Bullfight Boss: Most of the time, the Year Beast is charging or diving at a player except when it is channelling a spell, which doesn't happen frequently.
- Cognizant Limbs: The Year Beast's horn and tail can be targeted separately from the body.
- Attack Its Weak Point: When one of these parts are destroyed, the Beast will tumble over for 10 seconds, vulnerable to attack. The Beast will then stand up and continue fighting without its body part; the body part will revive after some time.
- Serial Escalation: Each time the horn or tail revives, it gains more HP and thus becomes increasingly harder to destroy.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: Because the Year Beast is not considered to be a hero, abilities that only affect heroes (like Tinker's Heat-Seeking Missiles, Skywrath Mage's Concussive Shot, etc...) are completely useless against it. In addition to that, it is also immune to several other abilities like Wraith King's Vampiric Aura or Ursa's Fury Swipes.
- Geometric Magic: The Year Beast's Sigils ability.
- Gravity Sucks: Whirlpool pulls units in while dealing damage.
- Making a Splash: Waterball sends out balls of water that follows nearby enemies, leaving trails that deal damage; while Hurricane causes random spouts of water to appear.
- Marathon Boss: The battle with the Year Beast can last up to 25 minutes, or shorter if your team is wiped out.
- Natural Weapon
- Piñata Enemy: With its 750000 HP and massive health regeneration, it's outright impossible to kill the Year Beast. The main objective is only to survive while dealing as much damage to it as possible.
- Playing with Fire: Apocalypse sears the victim with fire.
- Taken for Granite: Much like Medusa, the Year Beast has the Stone Gaze ability, which slows all enemies that look at it, and if they look too long will turn to stone, becoming completely immune to magic damage but taking bonus physical damage.
The Shitty/Crummy Wizard
A gag meta character who is usually blamed for every kinds of bugs happening in the game, portrayed as a stick figure wizard. Every heroes have a line or two about cursing his name.
- Bowdlerisation: "Crummy Wizard".
- Butt-Monkey: Bugs happening? Blame this guy. Even overly pious Omniknight and very kind Treant Protector are not above cursing his shittiness/crumminess.
- Inept Mage: It goes without saying.
- Self-Deprecation: Meta example. The character was inspired by a senior programmer at Valve.
- Wizard Classic: In appearance, at least.
Dark Moon is an event that ran from 26 January to 6 February, 2017. A team of 5 players defend against an onslaught of hordes for 15 rounds. Different enemies spawn each round with the spawns becoming harder every round.
- Action Bomb: Hurtlers can use Blast Off! like the normal Techies.
- Arbitrary Minimum Range: Chaotic Hurlers in round 9 cannot fire near themselves so sticking close is a good way to avoid damage.
- Border Patrol: It is not possible to go near the enemy spawn points, due to the presence of the very strong Dark Moon Towers, whose backdoor protection can never be broken without lane creeps on your side.
- Boss Bonanza: The final round feature four Invoker bosses: at first three of them spawn, then the Final Boss when the previous ones are defeated.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: There is a reason that most players lose in round 8 or 13, if not taking into account the Final Boss:
- Whale-eaters in round 8 have all four abilities of the normal Tidehunter (including an Aghanim's Scepter each and a Ravage with a cooldown of merely 15 seconds). They also hit very hard, are very tanky and immune to chain disables due to their Kraken Shell. They are by far the strongest enemies in the round, and will wipe your team if not dealt with properly.
- Al, the chemists in round 13. They are also very strong and durable, have a Shiva's Guard and three abilities of the normal Alchemist (except for Greevil's Greed). Each requires at least 30 seconds of damage from your entire team, and while individually they aren't very dangerous if you have 2 or more Bloodthorns, it is much more difficult fighting 2 or more, as they can easily shred you with their damage and Unstable Concoction.
- Contractual Boss Immunity: The Elite Mooks are considered to be creep-heroes and immune to some abilities, including Hand of Midas. The strongest of them, the Ancient Creep-Heroes, are immune to even more abilities.
- Decapitated Army: Round 6. The Enthralled Golems are strong and very tanky, but that's because of the Demon Charmers' aura that massively increase their HP. Focus the Demon Charmers first and the Golems will become insultingly easy to get rid of.
- Elite Mooks: Each round (outside of 1, 5, 10 and 15) have one or more enemies that can use skills, are treated as creep-heroes and are much more of a threat compared to the normal mooks.
- Enemy Summoner: Chaotic Hurlers in round 9 can summon the normal mooks in the same round.
- Final Boss: The Dark Magus is the final challenge in the Dark Moon event, showing up when the three Invokers in the last wave are defeated.
- Flunky Boss: The Dark Magus is helped by an army of Forged Spirits.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: The Dark Magus will constantly disappear from the map, summoning Forged Spirits in his place.
- Giant Mook: Whale-eaters in round 8 and Abysses in round 11 are as big as the Ancient itself. Most other Elite Mooks are very big as well.
- The Goomba: The Worgs of the first round are individually weak and can be easily slaughtered by any AoE ability. They might manage to kill the one careless hero or two, but it's very unlikely that a team would actually lose to them without intentionall throwing.
- Helpful Mook: Enemies in the bonus rounds of 5 and 10. They don't attack and drop gold when taking damage.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: The Dark Magus, as the final boss, is expectedly overwhelmingly powerful, able to kill a single player in almost no time. Thankfully, he will wait for the players to aggro him before he starts his onslaught, giving them ample time to prepare for their final showdown.
- Make My Monster Grow: Demon Charmers in round 6 have an aura that greatly increases the size and HP of nearby Enthralled Golems.
- Marathon Boss: Expect to take a lot of time fighting the Dark Magus, whether conventionally or with the Techies mine stacking trick.
- Mini Mook: Most non-boss enemies are smaller versions of heroes.
- Mook Medic: Acolytes of Dezun in round 2 have a modified version of Dazzle's Shadow Wave.
- Night of the Living Mooks: A horde of zombies show up in round 7.
- Piñata Enemy: The purpose of the enemies in rounds 5 and 10. They don't attack, they can't be killed, and they drop a bag of gold when hit by almost everything.
- Pinball Projectile: Tiny Moon Riders in round 12 have a modified version of Luna's Moon Glaives.
- Puzzle Boss: While the Dark Magus is almost impossible to kill conventionally, an insultingly easy way to defeat him is to have a Techies build an Aether Lens and take the +200 Range level 15 talent, then stack Proximity Mines near the edge of the map. While normally they can't be stacked, the added range allows Techies to plant the mines outside the bounds of the map without overlapping with the AoE of the existing mines - which means that the mines will be automatically moved to the point nearest to them within the map (aka the same point as the previous mines). Since the Dark Magus doesn't do anything until aggro'd, the other four players can just chill until the mine stack gets large enough, then lure the boss to the stack and enjoy the victory.
- Siege Engines: Chaotic Hurlers in round 9 look like bigger Dire siege creeps.
- Wolfpack Boss: The Scholar of Koryx, Mind of Tornarus and Agent of Gallaron trio of Invokers fought in wave 15. They are unique, treated as ancient creep-heroes, and are the closest thing the mode has to bosses (excluding the Dark Magus).
Siltbreaker is a multiplayer campaign for owners of The International 2017 Battle Pass. It comes in two Acts. Teams of four players engage in a mission to complete objectives in an action role-playing environment.
- Boss-Only Level: Rhyzik and all Act 2 boss fights are treated as a whole zone all by themselves.
- Elite Mooks: While many monsters in this mode are relatively straightforward, some are more than capable of killing you and require special attention to deal with: Berzerker Hellbears (Howling Weald and Crossroads Garrison), Bonemeal Tanks (Bonemeal Ridge), Silkmire Marauders (Silkmire Pass), Darkwing Spitters (Temple of Ermacor), Sabaku Captains (The Road to Kalabor), Centaur Warlords (The Road to Kalabor and Kalabor Waste), Giant Sandswarm Burrowers (Kalabor Waste), Buzzick Captains and Linebreaker Catapults (Shatterblast Canyon), Frostbitten Giants (Frostbite Tundra), Ogre Seals (Whitecap Lake).
- Flunky Boss: All bosses in the campaign are accompanied by minions.
- Bears Are Bad News: Woodland Hellbears and Berzerker Hellbears, especially the latter, which can hurt you if you aren't careful.
- Charged Attack: Berzerker Hellbears in the first two zones, Bonemeal Tanks in the next area immediately afterward, and the first boss Lucius Longclaw have powerful slam attacks with an extended cast time. When you see them charging these attacks, run - they will hurt.
- Savage Wolves: Dire Hounds, the most common enemies in the first zone.
- Spike Shooter: Alpha Dire Wolves can fire a volley of spikes that travel in a straight line.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The half-man half-wolf Longclaw Skinchangers appear as enemies later in the area. Their leader Lucius Longclaw serves as the boss.
- Protection Mission: The 2nd zone, with the protection target here being Commander Targan.
- Savage Wolves: In addition to the Dire Hounds, this zone adds the werewolf-like Longclaw Skinchangers.
Trial of Gallaron
- Our Banshees Are Louder: The Elite Mooks in this area are Banshees, which can use a weaker version of Bane's Fiend's Grip.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: All enemies in this area, Crones and Banshees, resemble ghosts.
- Arbitrary Minimum Range: The Bonemeal Tank's club attack will not hit you if you move in close.
- Carry a Big Stick: Every enemy in this area wields maces.
- Charged Attack: Bonemeal Tanks have a powerful slam attack with an extended cast time that hurts even harder than the Berzerker Hellbears.
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Bonemeal Ogres are the enemies encountered in this area.
- Smashed Eggs Hatching: Step on a Brood Sac, and a swarm of angry baby spiders will be there to bite you.
- Spider Swarm: Be prepared to face hordes and hordes of spiders in this area.
- What a Drag: Silkmire Marauders will try to drag a hero into the boss chamber with an ability akin to Batrider's Flaming Lasso.
Temple of Ermacor
The Road to Kalabor
- Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The so-called Ogre Seals in this area are obviously walruses.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Ogre Seals can flop forward, sending themselves flying and dealing huge damage to anything caught in their paths. When you see an Ogre Seal preparing to flop, move aside at all costs - it's strong enough to kill even the tankiest heroes if they stand too near the middle.
- Baleful Polymorph: Getting hit by an Ice Giant's green projectile will turn you into a helpless yak.
- Pinball Projectile: Ice Giants have a modified version of Chain Frost, meaning that it's safer to fight them with only one strong hero instead of the whole team.
Crypt of the Odobenus Legion
- Big Boo's Haunt: As is expected from a crypt, all enemies in this zone are ghosts.
Dark Reef Prison
A werewolf leading several marauding packs of in the Howling Weald.
- One-Winged Angel: At half health Lucius will enter his wolf form, which increases his speed.
- Sadistic Choice: Lucius Longclaw has an attack which inflicts the same status as Bloodseeker's Rupture. Try to run from him and take damage the farther you go, or stay still and let him easily hit you with his massive cleave?
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Lucius can take players new to the campaign by surprise, given that has tons of health AND can easily kill even a tank with 5 or 6 hits. And if that wasn't bad enough, he transforms into a wolf when his health is down to 1/3, giving him a bonus similiar to Lycan's Shapeshift.
The warlord of the ogres dwelling in Bonemeal Ridge. He's captured a number of creeps that were defending a nearby town, who need to be freed.
- Carry a Big Stick: He carries a cudgel, which you can get as an artifact after killing him.
The enormous broodmother of the spiders lurking within the Silkmire pass.
- Skippable Boss: You don't need to fight Ankaboot to progress through the area, unless if you're aiming for 3 stars.
Two massive statues guarding the end of the Temple of Ermacor. They come to life to kill the heroes when the latter are attempting to leave the temple.
- Dual Boss: The two Temple Guardian bosses fought together at the end of the Temple of Ermacor.
Rhyzik the Corrupter
A massive scorpion created by Siltbreaker some time in the past. He's become active recently and his influence is spreading throughout the Shatterblast Canyon.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: She switches between two phases (taking flight dropping frost bombs on you and fighting you directly), and is only attackable during the latter.
- Mutual Disadvantage: Against the Paw of Lucius, an artifact that grants a chance to cast Rupture on an attacked target. Since Karaul Silverwing moves around frequently she'll melt from the Rupture, but she can still get the last laugh by dying on one of the nearby cliffs, making it impossible to pick up any items that she drops and causing any respawning dead players to be stuck.