Monday, October 6, 2014

If-Then Drafting Tips

More Drafting Articles:

Generic Counter-Pick Heroes
Basic Drafting Tips
List of Hero Synergies for Drafting

If-Then Drafting & Banning Tips:


  • If you want to draft direct, burst healers (Omni, Dazzle, Undying), ban Ancient Apparition (Ice Blast)
  • If you want to run Dazzle, ban Axe and/or Necrophos.  Both heroes make Shallow Grave fairly useless.  Ancient Apparition is also very annoying, as his Ice Blast makes healing useless.

Ban (or Pick) Pugna When:

  • You want Sand King (Nether Ward disables Blink Dagger when channeling Epi)
  • You want Skywrath Mage or Zeus (Nether Ward counters both quite handily)
  • You want Lina or Lion

Armor Reduction:

  • If you run armor-reduction strat, ban Omniknight (Guardian Angel counters physical damage)
  • Winter Wyvern is also annoying, as Cold Embrace blocks all physical damage.

Ban Silencer when:

  • you use initiators with combos (Magnus, Brewmaster, Sand King, Storm Spirit, Puck, etc)
Ban Rubick when:
  • you want to run Enigma, Phoenix, Witch Doctor, Bane, Pugna, or anyone with a channeled ult.
  • The enemy team needs a disabler or hard support
  • You plan to have stronger teamfight than the enemy team


  • If you run a squishy carry as a mid hero with no escape, consider banning Vengeful Spirit, Ogre Magi, Rubick, Crystal Maiden, Earthshaker (early ganks) or Batrider (midgame initiation).
  • If you run a squishy, ranged right-click hero (Drow, Sniper, Clinkz, Shadowfiend), consider banning Storm Spirit, Batrider, Axe, or Legion Commander
  • If you want a squishy carry that relies on escapes (Weaver, Clinkz, Bounty), or is highly dependent on low-cooldown abilities (Storm Spirit, QoP, etc), consider banning Doom (and possibly Silencer).  Skywrath isn't a bad ban in this case, either (long silence).

Dual Mids:

You may encounter a dual mid if any of the following occur:
  • Io pick (add Tiny, CK, Sven, PA, etc)
  • Lich + Hard Carry (Terrorblade, Faceless, etc)
  • Two strong semi-carry solo laners picked (e.g. Bristle + Brewmaster)
  • The enemy is running a three-core lineup, and none of the heroes are strong mids


  • If you run a burst lineup, ban Vengeful Spirit (Swap) or Dazzle (Shallow Grave). Chen is also very annoying, but not usually ban-worthy.
  • If you want Batrider, consider banning Vengeful Spirit (Nether Swap out of Lasso)
  • If you are against heroes with good-over-time ultimates (Death Prophet, Brewmaster, Jakiro), consider picking Naga (wait out their ultimates, re-engage).
  • If you want to draft a big-teamfight-ultimate team, consider banning Rubick, Silencer or Naga.  Ban Rubick to prevent spell-stealing, Silencer if you rely on combos, and Naga if you rely on abilities with temporary buffs (Primal Split, etc).


  • If you are facing heroes that typically go BKB as a core item (Sven, Luna, Gyro), consider picking a BKB-piercing disabler (Bane, Enigma, Beastmaster, Magnus).

Illusion Carries:

  • If you want an illusion-based carry (Terrorblade, Naga, CK, PL, etc), consider banning carries with Cleave or multi-target right-click (Luna, Sven, Gyro, Medusa, Dragon Knight).  Alternately, pick your carry last.
  • If you want Meepo, consider banning single-target bursty heroes (Lina/Lion/Centaur/Zeus)

Countering Carries:

  • If you need to counter a tough melee carry, consider a ranged carry that can "kite" the melee carry:  Viper, Weaver, Drow.  Alternately, go Lifestealer and use that health pool against him.
  • If you draft a squishy, farm-dependent hard carry like Spectre, PA, or Terrorblade, ensure that you pick defensive (i.e. not greedy) supports that would do well against an enemy tri-lane.  Ban common enemy tri-lane heroes, or gankers (such as Bounty Hunter or Storm Spirit) if you intend to spend a lot of time jungling.
  • If you want Broodmother, ban Earthshaker.  Echo Slam will destroy you unless you are very good at micro'ing your broodlings separately (and away from) your hero.  Alternately, run a non-Broodling build on Broodmother to mess with your opponents.

Picking Stealth Carries (Riki, Bounty, Clinkz)

  • If you want Riki or Nyx, DON'T ban Slardar or Bounty Hunter - it's too obvious.  Instead, pick the stealth hero later in your draft (or ban Slardar/Bounty if you get last ban).

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