Tips and Tricks for Pubs is a weekly series focusing on the best strategies for succeeding in pubs.
Out of all the objectives in Dota 2, few are as important at winning a fight or turning the tide of battle as Roshan. The huge experience bonus he provides, alongside the powerful Aegis of the Immortal, is often all that a team needs to close out a game or turn a losing fight into a winning one.
With that in mind, let’s look at the Dos and Don’ts for taking Roshan.
Do: Communicate with your team that you would like to take Roshan
This might seem obvious to some people, but communication is key to ensure that your team is aware and ready to take Roshan. I have played plenty of games where a teammate strolled up to Roshan, died, and promptly yelled at the team for not backing him up.
Talking in voice chat, typing out a quick message in text, or even just pinging Roshan’s location in the hopes that someone will follow you are better options than simply charging in silently.
Don’t: Try to take Roshan by yourself — unless you’re Ursa
At low levels, Roshan is extremely difficult to take by yourself, and the fight is still difficult even as the game drags on. High level core heroes may be able to take Roshan by themselves the later a game goes on, but it’s always best to have an ally at your back to help secure him quicker and to help defend in case things go wrong.
That advice goes out the window if you pick Ursa, who is arguably the best hero for soloing Roshan, even at Level 1. Fury Swipes lets him easily take down Roshan by himself, and Ursa rarely needs support if there is no other threat around him. Be forewarned, however, that picking Ursa will tip off the enemy to a possible early take, so tread carefully when you do go for the kill.
Do: Ward around Roshan’s pit
The key to taking Roshan is knowing when is the best time to take him. And the best way to know when to take him is by warding his pit. Observer and Sentry Wards cannot be placed inside the pit itself, but they can be placed along the outside of it to ensure that all routes to the pit and around it are covered. That way, your team will not be caught off guard if the enemy team decides to ambush you while you are distracted by Roshan.
Don’t: Forget to deward
Conversely, your opponents will be warding around the pit as well if they know what’s good for them. If you don’t deward around the area around the pit, including the two stairs next to the pit’s entrance, the enemy team could be clued in to your team’s Roshan attempt. If you’re not attacking a team who is attacking Roshan, try to avoid a fight around the pit whenever possible, as fights in that location frequently devolve into pure chaos.
So stock up on Sentry Wards or purchase a Gem of True Sight to hunt down enemy wards around the pit, as it could mean the difference between a stolen Aegis and a succesful take.
Do: Use Smoke of Deceit
As often as Roshan’s pit is warded on the outside, both wards cannot detect units that are affected by Smoke of Deceit. With that in mind, Smoke of Deceit becomes an invaluable tool in taking Roshan, as it allows your team to approach him undetected. With no way to attain vision of the pit unless the enemy is physically inside it, you can safely take Roshan so long as you don’t bump into the enemy along the way.
Beyond using Smoke to get into the pit itself, going invisible also allows your team to get the drop on the enemy team if they do decide to take Roshan in your stead. Ambushes are difficult to defend against, and catching your opponents off guard will often result in a healthy set of gains for your team.
Don’t: Focus on Roshan to the detriment of other objectives
Roshan provides tangible and immediate benefits to you and your team if he is killed, but he is not the be all end all of winning a game of Dota 2. While taking Roshan is often the better option when deciding whether to take him or an outside Tower down, it is sometimes better to farm creeps or push down a Tier 3 Tower instead depending on the current status of the game.
If the entire enemy team is dead, securing Mega Creeps for the middle lane is arguably just as important, if not more so, than running off to take Roshan. In that specific situation, your team can then move to Roshan while the enemy team is dealing with the middle lane, which is now under considerably more pressure. Taking Roshan is important, but not to the detriment of the other objectives.