Start with Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven’t already read them.
Dota 2 is a massive game. Very few people will ever learn everything there is to know about it. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the game is the number of varied, interesting heroes you can play as. There are 110 heroes to choose from (as of patch 6.85), and the way the game has balanced each of them to serve a specific role within a team is one of the most astonishing things about playing it. One of the reasons people play Dota 2 for thousands of hours is because it never gets old, and the fact that no human being will ever see every possible five-versus-five team lineup is a big part of this.
It’s a testament to the design of the game there isn’t a “bad” hero in the game. On or against the right team, any hero can feel powerful or fun to play. But some heroes are better than others. We’ve ranked every Dota 2 hero in order, from worst to best. We’ve used a patented formula which calculates the quality of every hero using factors such as aesthetic, range of utility, abilities that make you say “wow,” cleverness, and the ever-accurate “fun factor.” This list was compiled after using these and other metrics to create a rubric by which to judge every hero, then moving names around on a Google document. If you have questions or concerns about the nature of this important scientific document, please let us know in the comments below.
Next week: the finale!
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56. Centaur Warrunner: Centaur Warrunner (known by his dear friends as Bradwarden) is a buff horse man with an axe. It's fun to be Bradwarden; he can stomp his feet, hit enemies so hard he hurts himself, and can make his team run at max speed, barreling over terrain and enemies alike. He's also the beefiest hero in the game, which means that few heroes can trade hits with him early on, and it's nearly impossible to kill a Bradwarden who's gotten a early lead.
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55. Enchantress: Enchantress gets to have the same fun Chen does by controlling neutral monsters around the map, but the best part about her is that she doesn't rely on them. She can get the same early lead by thrusting the monsters towards the enemy base before opponents can deal with them, but she also evolves into a powerful creature on her own, using her Impetus attacks to deal damage based on how far her attacks fly. She also has a ridiculous amount of durability, with a powerful heal and an ability which her enemies' attacks down to a crawl.
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54. Puck : Puck is one of the most fun heroes to watch in Dota 2. His skillset allows for some highly-demanding, highly-rewarding play, and there's a reason one of the professional scene's most exciting moments is named after one of his abilities. Unfortunately, the game's outgrown him; he's rarely picked anymore, even in regular matchmaking games, largely because many of the heroes who do what Puck does more easily have gotten stronger, while Puck has remained largely stagnant.
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53. Abaddon: Though he's not as easy to use as, say, Lion or Omniknight, Abbadon is a support you can have just about anyone play without losing you the game. All of his abilities synergize in such a way that he can keep teams alive long past their expiration date, and he doesn't sacrifice his own safety for it, either; when he dips below a certain amount of health, he'll turn any damage he takes into the health, which goes well with his health-draining Mist Coil ability. He's hard to kill and makes others harder to kill—a tough combination to deal with without the proper coordination.
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52. Doom: Doom is the devil. He means business, and he can cast a powerful pentagram that prevents you from casting spells, using items, or doing anything that isn't running away or attacking, really. It's a spell so strong Doom named himself after it. He can also eat monsters and take on their abilities, which gives him some utility at every stage of the game. No one hero can really counter Doom, and must instead buy items which can diminish his usefulness on the battlefield. He might be a bit of a one-note character, but it's a powerful note to rely on.
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51. Juggernaut: Juggernaut mixes a few aspects of Dota 2 in ways that make him both accessible to newcomers and fun for veterans to play. His abilities let him get out of tough situations, heal himself without having to return to base, give you a powerful slashing attack I can only describe as "very anime," and some great scaling throughout the game. He's not the best hero by any means, but he's got something for just about any kind of player, which makes him an easy choice for players looking to start and not play paper-thin support heroes.
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50. Ursa: Ulfsaar, also known as the Ursa Warrior (also known as just Ursa, or "Fuzzy Wuzzy," a moniker I swear I did not make up) is another hero who, like Slardar and Centaur Warrunner, relies on items to close the gap between him and his foes. What makes Ursa a favorite for many players, however, is his Overpower and Fury Swipes abilities, which let him shred most enemies in seconds, doing more damage with each successive hit. This also makes him one of the few heroes who can singlehandedly defeat the most powerful enemy on the map, Roshan, before the ten-minute mark. When playing against an Ursa, always keep an eye on the Roshan pit—you never know when you'll see him try to sneak in a kill.
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49. Enigma: The Black Hole defines Enigma like a bad relationship. It's an incredibly useful spell which, with the right setup, can lock entire teams into positions long enough to win fights single-handedly. But it has one of the longest downtimes in the game, and without it, it's hard for Enigma to do much in fights. A good Black Hole will save you, make you the envy of players everywhere; a bad one, like missing five enemy heroes who were in plain sight, will ruin you. There's more to him than that, (he can spawn cute little copies of himself), but most players pick him so they can land Black Holes and feel cool.
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48. Medusa: Medusa defies the common archetype of "women in competitive games" simply by sticking closely to the Greek myths that inspired her. She was once beautiful and all that, and then turned into a monster. But she's much stronger for it, becoming one of the hardest-to-kill heroes in the game in due time. Few other heroes can outfight her, and she take a beating thanks to her Mana Shield, further spitting in the face of women trending towards low-health, high-damage roles.
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47. Tusk: Tusk's a fun hero to just look at. He's one of Dota 2's silliest champions, speaking in a thick Swedish (I think?) accent and running around with a giant boxing glove and icicle. He can turn into a giant snowball and uppercut enemies, launching them towards the screen. The funniest thing is that not only is it ridiculous to do, it's also one of the most effective skills in the game at locking down a single target. He's a big lovable oaf, something Dota 2 doesn't have enough of.