Written By: Carlo Arcovio
2-1-2, also known as dual-laning refers a classic lane setup: two heroes top, two bottom, and a solo in the middle lane. In contrast to drafts that employ a roamer, 2-1-2 drafts excel with heroes that can easily achieve last hits and are able to harass their opposition.
Patch 7.07 increased more than Dota’s hero pool, the new gold and experience bounties increased the importance on achieving success in the laning phase.
A perfect creep score in lane means earning a dominating lead from the beginning of a match. Denying every creep means that both teams get the same amount of experience from the denied wave. The heavier wallets creeps started bringing to lane means that last hits earn more gold, allowing farming players to buy the biggest and baddest items faster than ever before!
Think about a hero that makes you want to scream when you are laning against them. Chances are, that hero is very powerful in the 2-1-2 meta game. This meta favours heroes that excel in the early game and are able to turn a lane win into a game win. Snowballing heroes like Templar Assassin, Lina, and Viper are recognized as middle lane dominators because of how they can turn an early lead into game-long domination. The snowball playstyle has been adapted to the side lanes and understanding how to win the lane is understanding how to win the game.
Crystal Maiden has some of the lowest stats in the game, but her spells are extremely powerful. Employ her deadly spells efficiently and avoid conflict during cooldown. Try to aim Crystal Nova to that you hit both of your enemies without damaging any creeps. However, do not be afraid to secure the last hit on a ranged creep with this spell, especially if you can do it while damaging both enemies. Crystal Maiden’s Arcane Aura globally helps your team win the laning phase and makes sure that no game is complete without snowballs.
Skywrath Mage has a unique take on the increased importance of lane creeps. He ignores them completely and goes straight for the throat. Skywrath Mage’s prowess in the laning phase is because of Magic Missile’s low cost and cooldown. Stock up on mana regen then sit back, relax, and blast your opponents out of your lane. Skywrath Mage can eat through enemies’ regen in a minute, causing them to cower under their tower and leaving your carry a free lane to farm.
Windranger has a high attack range, base damage, and chance to drive your opponent mad. Windranger can easily harass enemies because of the 100% dodge chance she gains from Windrun. Windrun ensure that Windranger can trade attacks favourable and melt through her opponents’ regen. Orb of Venom is a must have pickup as a support because of the additional damage it adds to her already deadly auto attack.