The Ultimate Mid-Game Guide: Gaining Map Control
In the first part of this guide, we talked about when you should leave the safe lane as a carry or support player. In this part, we will explain which part of the map you should play on and how you can gain more map control.
New Dota players have a tendency to spread out too far on the map instead of coordinating and moving as a unit. This allows the enemy team to get easy pickoffs and harder for your teammates to help you when in need.
These are some of the steps that you should generally take in the early-to-mid game. Although each game is different, if you can manage to coordinate with your team and follow the steps on time, you can exert great pressure on your opponents which they won’t be ready for!
Pressuring the safe lane
Like we discussed in the first part, the ‘safe’ lane becomes increasingly unsafe after the early stage of the game. This is because enemy heroes from other lanes have multiple approach points to gank and kill your teammates. You can use this to your advantage and do the exact same thing to the enemy safe lane duo.
In most games, the mid lane hero will be ahead in terms of experience, sometimes even gold compared to their teammates. They should be the first one to attempt a gank on the enemy carry.
However, if their laning phase didn’t go too well, the hard support can transition from the safe lane to the off lane and do the same. They likely won’t have as much gold or experience, but supports usually have strong spells in the early game.
It is a good idea to make such an attempt only after you have Boots of Speed and a Magic Stick at the very least. It is also recommended that you carry a couple of Observer and Sentry wards with you to make it easier.
If you’re successful in killing the enemy safe lane heroes or bullying them out of lane, taking their tier 1 tower should be simple.
Remember, the enemy heroes are playing at a disadvantage due to the limited number of paths they have to gank you. If, somehow, the enemy team does manage to outnumber you, it is best to retreat and try to pressure other parts of the map. The mid lane tier 1 tower is an extremely important objective in that regard, so if the enemy mid laner teleports to their safe lane, you can use this opportunity to push mid instead.
Capturing the enemy jungle
Taking over the enemy safe lane not only prevents the enemy carry from farming there, but also provides your carry with two additional neutral camps.
They can alternate between lane creeps and neutral creeps while farming, and then retreat to the secondary jungle or triangle to maintain a healthy flow of income. But the story doesn’t end there.
In order to truly limit the enemy carry’s potential and stop them from reaching their power spike, you need to take over their primary jungle. Similar to how we talked about the primary jungle being dangerous for your carry, it is also dangerous for the enemy carry to farm in perpetuity.
One of the biggest mistakes that bad players make is they never attempt a gank on the enemy heroes in their jungle. They’d rather stay on their side of the map and farm until the other team makes a move. But this is a mediocre style of play.
Using Smoke of Deceit can vastly increase the chances of your gank being successful. You have many angles through which you can enter the primary jungle. Once you’ve accomplished that, the next step is to push the enemy safe lane even further and take their tier 2 tower.
This allows you to capture their Outpost, denying them the experience, vision and teleportation spot that it provides. It massively limits the area of map that they can play on, while opening up new opportunities for you. The best example of this is the mid lane tier 2 tower.
It is a high-value objective that can spell the beginning of the end for your opponent. Just remember to do all these things as a coordinated team!
In the next part of this guide, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of playing on the Radiant and Dire side, and how you can use your faction to your advantage.