8 Tips To Improve Your MMR as a Midlaner
If there is one thing that anybody from low Herald to High Immortal agrees with is that the Midlane role is by far the most important one in Dota 2. It requires advanced mechanics, solid decision making, and good itemization. On top of that, the rest of the team expects the player to dominate his lane, being always ahead in cs and ganking the side lanes.
But why do we see the lower MMR bracket struggle to perform accurately whereas the higher-ranked players always play with much more precision? Sometimes it just seems so natural and simple for things to work out in the midlane in the higher divisions.
This guide will include the 8 things that will boost your confidence, improve your Midlane gameplay, and help you gain more MMR. We will start with fundamental tips that apply to almost all the midlane matchups and then we will proceed to more advanced tips.
Push the first creep wave
It is one of the most important things to do. Why should you do it though? If you push the first creep wave, the creeps are going to meet under the tower. Therefore, he has to last hit. That is an excellent opportunity for you to play aggressively, harass him under the tower, and even more important to deny him a lot of creeps. It is considerably harder for anyone to last hit under the tower while the opponent attempts to deny. Consequently, you will gain EXP and Level advantage. You can capitalize on that advantage by forcing things the moment you are level-headed since you have more spells to use as opposed to your opponent. This is something you can do in the long run as well, but be careful later in the lane for position 4 rotations!
There are some exceptions to this theme depending on the matchup. For example, Viper vs Ember Spirit, Void Spirit, Kunkka, or TA. In order to push the first creep wave, you skill Nethertoxin. You push the creep wave to his tower, get level 2, skill your Poison Attack and you apply pressure. From there, if the lane is close to your tower and you have the high ground advantage, it’s not in your best interest to push it. It’s more beneficial to control the creep wave and harass the enemy midlaner if they try to contest it. Similar heroes to Viper are Razor or Queen of Pain.
Securing the range creep
If I had to stress one thing out, that would be it. The range creep gives you the most experience and therefore it is of utmost importance to secure it. If you get denied your range creep you are already at a big disadvantage. You need to skill the spell that will allow you to snap that range creep. Some examples are Remnant on Storm, Pulse on Void Spirit, Sunstrike (level 1 exort) on Invoker, Tidebringer on Kunka, and Scream of Pain on Queen of Pain
(OG. Topson explains the best way of farming, Episode 15 – Midlane Masterclass)
Playing around Runes
Right now, at patch 7.29, a single rune spawns every minute. There is a double water rune at minutes 2 and 4, a bounty rune at the 3rd-minute mark, and a double rune (bounty rune and a random rune) at the 6th-minute mark. In simple words, there is an infinite amount of resources right next to the midlane. You can and should always use skills to secure every creep that you feel might get denied. At the same time, you want to push the lane before these runes appear. While the other midlaner is busy having the creep wave under his tower, you have more than enough time to secure at least one rune whereas some heroes can secure both runes (Queen of Pain, Puck, etc)
Stacking the small camp
Do you feel like you need to have better timings? Well, that is the secret. As we previously said, there is an infinite amount of resources right next to you. Taking advantage of these is the way to stay efficient. Push the creep wave before the runes appear, stack the small camp, and pick up the rune! You can do that for both water runes and bounty runes! At the 3rd minute mark, you already have a triple stack waiting for you which you can take any time you want as long as your hero allows you to! Heroes like Shadow Fiend, Storm Spirit, Void Spirit, Puck can take this stack and boost their EXP and Gold!
Understanding the matchup and each hero’s power spike
To understand that concept you need to be aware of heroes’ power spikes αnd play around them. For example Viper vs Pugna. Whoever gets level 6 faster has instantly kill potential on the opponent. The whole laning stage point is to deny as many creeps (or focus on the stacks we previously mentioned to get some EXP advantage). As a result, you can be aggressive the moment you hit level 6 and your enemy is still level 5. The same principle applies to every spirit hero. Void Spirit, Ember Spirit, or Storm. Whoever hits level 6 faster gains a kill potential on the spot and should play aggressively by forcing a fight!
Adapt your gameplan
What happens when you are on the losing side? What happens if you are the Void Spirit that is level 5 and you play versus the level 6 Storm? Usually, you need to be proactive. That means you need to see that coming. Most likely, he is going to be level 5 and you are going to be level 4. The common build for Void Spirit is 1/1/4 which is known for killing heroes. But since we are going to play from behind it makes more sense to max Dissimilate(W) (rather than pulse(E)), since the spell allows us to kill the mid creep wave faster, jungle more efficiently, and take that level 6 as fast as we can! Queen of Pain is a great example as well. You might feel like going for more levels in dagger since the spell is very valuable and you can dagger your opponent constantly. What happens though in an unfavorable matchup? With the same logic, taking more levels in a scream of pain, maximizing your farm to get your item power spike(usually orchid), and then start moving around a map is the most solid idea!
Ranged vs Melee
In a range versus melee matchup, where you are the ranged hero it is important to last hit with abilities while you auto-attack the enemy at the same time. That way you apply pressure while you keep up with your farm and push the enemy under the tower, constricting him there, and getting some stacks or runes uncontested. Good examples are Necrophos, Puck, Storm, Pugna, Lescrac, Lina.
If your hero is not mobile, do not gank!
Often, you will hear your teammates ask for help because the lane is not going well for them. Unless you have a mobile hero like Queen of Pain, Void Spirit, or Puck you should primarily focus on farm and getting to your item power spike that will allow you to gank effectively. For example, on heroes like Lina and Lescrac that would be Euls, for Dragon Knight and Tiny, it would be dagger or shadow blade. While you farm these items, you should kill the mid creep wave fast, protect your mid-tower, and apply pressure to the opponent’s tower the moment the opponent is gone as long as your hero allows you to do so (Lina, Lescrac, Pugna). However, if you manage to find haste or an Invisibility rune at the 6th or 8th-minute mark it is a great moment to make something happen to the side lanes.