Dota Mastery: How To Stack Neutral Creep Camps In Dota 2
Ever since patch 7.09, stacking neutral creep camps gives a bonus gold bounty to the hero that stacked it.
This bounty has increased substantially since then, to the current value of 30% bonus after patch 7.28. If you want to get better at playing the support role, stacking camps should be on your to-do list in almost every game. Doing so not only accelerates your income to allow you to get your next item, it also speeds up your core’s farming process and brings them online sooner.
There are a few important points you need to keep in mind when stacking creep camps. Let’s see what they are.
Where to stack
Just because it is recommended that you stack, doesn’t mean you should do it anywhere and everywhere. You need to think about where you cores prefer farming, where it’ll be safe for them to take these stacks, and also if they’re capable of taking stacks at all. Most heroes will be vulnerable during this process, especially if they’re taking ancient camp stacks. So, it’s generally a good idea to stack on your half of the map.
One of the best places for your carry to farm after the laning phase is the secondary jungle aka the triangle. This is the area near your team’s secret shop that has one ancient camp, one hard camp and one small camp. Since your carry will be limited to only three camps in this area, it is necessary to stack here. It is also quite easy to defend, since the ground is at a double elevation to the river, and any incoming enemy heroes will be easy to spot.
Vision and timing
Stacking is just half of it. The other half is to provide vision to your team with Observer Wards in the area. Placing a few Sentry Wards along with that ensures that the enemy team doesn’t have vision over you. It also spots invisible heroes that may be trying to scout your stacked camps. Stacking takes time and effort, so you need to protect them as well!
The pull timer for stacking is quite simple. All the camps in the game have a timer of xx:54 right now. And for every stack that you’ve already made, the next timer should be earlier by 1 second. This means that for a double stack the timing is xx:53, for a triple stack the timing is xx:52 and so on. Also, remember that when pulling the camp, do so in a direction where the spawn box is the narrowest. You can see the spawn box of neutral camps by pressing the ‘Alt’ key.
Almost every support hero can stack at least two camps at the same time with their spell. Ancient Apparition with Chilling Touch, Vengeful Spirit with Wave of Terror, Oracle with Purifying Flames, the list goes on.
But there are some that can stack three, sometimes even four camps at a time. Phoenix is one such hero. Using your Fire Spirits, you can draw four camps out of their spawn box at once. This is easier to do in the Dire jungle, particularly near the safe lane. Another such hero is Shadow Demon, who has a short cooldown and long range on Shadow Poison, which can be used to draw aggro of the neutral creeps. Winter Wyvern can stack three camps in one go thanks to the long range of her Arctic Burn, provided the camps are relatively close to each other.
If you are good a micro-managing multiple units at a time, then heroes like Chen, Enchantress and Enigma can also be used to stack multiple camps. But this is easier said than done. So, if it’s not your cup of tea, you can always rely on the aforementioned heroes.
Players in the lower brackets will often make this one mistake after stacking camps for their cores. They’ll stand near them while they’re farming these camps and leech the XP from it. Instead, you should take this opportunity to go to a lane and farm the creeps there. Not only does it push the wave, but it also gives you a good deal of XP and even more gold in addition to what you get for stacking.
Take this advice from Team Liquid’s Insania who talks about the same thing in his Masterclass. Always use your time as a precious resource and think about what moves you can make on the map. The days of bankrupt supports are over!