Pudge is undoubtedly the most loved hero of the Dota 2 community. Although the hero isn’t among the top picks in the competitive scene, it is still considered an important factor of a few pocket strategies brought in by professional teams.
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And it is always interesting to watch a Dota 2 game with Pudge and if he is a good player then the fun just gets doubled.
Today, we will be taking a detailed look on how one can improve himself as a Dota 2 Pudge player and how he can be of maximum impact in any game.
So if you are here to get gud with Pudge then this is your lucky day as we bring to you just what you are looking for.
Without any delay, let us jump into it and start getting better with Pudge.
Dota 2 Pudge Guide: When to Pick the Hero?
First things first, let us discuss Pudge’s playstyle and when and when not should the hero be a suitable pick in the game.
This in itself is a key pointer that differentiates good Pudge players with the best ones. One just cannot pick Pudge in every game. This is because every Dota 2 game is different due to different picks and the strategies that a team wants to play the game.
A quick suggestion in this regards is to pick Pudge when you have relatively more squishy/ early game heroes. Pudge works really well if you can combo him with some other CC heroes. Any hero that can help in lining up your Meat hook is an instant plus. Other than that, if there are heroes who can follow up after your meat hook-dismember combo will allow you to have an easy way out if things get awry.
This is really important for pudge as in many situations, when you land the sweet Meathook onto the enemy, he counters it with a spell of his own and runs off with ease. If the opponents are near by, they can immediately come to the hero’s rescue and result in a demise of Pudge himself.
Below, I am highlighting heroes based over which you can make a better decision if you should pick Pudge in MM or not.
The list doesn’t stop here but will give you a better idea of when Pudge would be a perfect pick for you. Now that the draft is out of the way, we will jump over to the playstyle of the hero and how you should play the hero in the game.
Pudge is a high risk, high reward kind of hero. If you are landing your hooks perfectly, you are literally the HERO of the match.
However, if not, Pudge can simply become an easy picking in the later stages of the game because his main damage dealing mechanism is simply not being used as meant.
But this is what makes Pudge among the favorite heroes as well. No matter the patch, no matter the meta, Pudge remains a top pick. His ability to literally take out one enemy out of a fight makes him a favorite pick in many situations.
The amount of terror that Pudge bestows onto the enemies is something that they have to deal with throughout the game.
And even if you are not hitting your hooks, the constant fear puts enemy heroes on their toes and makes them constantly worry about their position.
In the early times, Pudge was mostly played as a mid-lane hero. And this is probably what gave Pudge the fame he has today. Na`Vi’s Dendi started to play the hero as a mid-lane and ever since then Pudge became a popular pick.
At that time however, Pudge’s pick and laning was solely based over his ability to get an early lead as well as levels that allow him to get the much-needed Level 7.
But with the passage of time, the hero was starting to get countered and the games quickly became an easy 4v5.The meta also allowed Pudge to transition more towards the support role and now he is mostly played as a roaming support.
But Pudge is probably one of the very few heroes whose impact is extremely great as a position 4/5 support player.Here are the recent Meta changes to help you better understand the hero.
In the past, Pudge’s Meathook got the maximum range and damage at Level 7. Now however, he gets the full range right as soon as you open the skill on Level 1 or 2. Damage was never really why the skill was favored and is just considered a plus.
This has now made Pudge and even better pick for the support role who can do well from early levels with little or no item requirement.
Like any other roaming support, your role as Pudge is to obstruct the enemy hero’s experience and gold by constantly harassing him. Just running at him with your rot on is probably the least you can do to make him run.And if you can land a good hook onto him in the starting phase, an easy kill can follow up with the help of your ally heroes. The best possible impact you can make in the early stages is the mid lane.
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This is because the enemy hero in mid as little to no chance of error since he greatly relies on the extra experience and gold to carry in the later stages of the game. If you deny him that, it makes the job of your mid player a lot easier.
If the enemy hero isn’t giving any roam for a potential gank and harass, you have done your job. Now, you are better off doing the same in other lanes with your second target being the enemy carry.
In normal conditions, the enemy carry would be up against your offlane hero who would likely be having a hard time against the heavy aggression. Roaming towards the lane would not only allow the enemy carry to be on the back foot but also give your offlane more room to get creeps and the much needed experience.
The positioning of your hero makes you better than others. Whenever roaming, be sure to do it as silently as possible. The only thing that the enemy team sees of your Pudge should be a grappling hook onto them.
Hit or miss, your job now is to move on. This is because in case you get a hook onto the enemy hero and your team is able to kill the hero, your job is done and you have denied the hero a lot of XP and Gold. Plus you had created room for your allies they can work with for the next few minutes.
And even if you have missed your shot, staying there isn’t going to bring you or your team any good. So it’s better to move to help out your carry or if needed going back to the mid lane.
Remember, as a Pudge your role is to create fear onto the enemy heroes and the only way to do that is by constantly being on the loose. And this not mean you shouldn’t be doing anything else.
Apart from Pudge, you are also a support hero for your team. This means you will be contesting runes and stacking camps for your core heroes. Plus being a strength hero allows you to tank whenever necessary in case of taking stacking camps or going for the towers.
Pudge works well with little items as well. Hes not your core AM who needs 30 mins of farm or atleast 4 items to make an impact. Pudge has a high impact right from the start of the game with the items allowing him to do so even better.
Apart from the early courier, wards and smokes, your focus should be to go save up for one item at a time. Here are some of the most picked items for Pudge that will greatly help you in the game.
The first go-to item. Helps in roaming and quickly recovers the HP lost due to fights and the use of Rot. Many people favor Arcane boots over this but this depends on the situation at hand. If no one else is an obvious Arcane carrier then you have to take the responsibility.
Urn of Shadows
Good for healing and works great with your Meat Hook and Dismember combo to deal extra damage to fleeing enemies.
The item gives you the much needed increase in Mana pool along with a 250 increase in cast range. What else does Pudge need?
While not heavily favored, Glimmer Cape allows Pudge a 15% passive magic resistance and the ability to go invisible for 5 seconds plus an additional 45% magic resistance. Enough to help Pudge or ally heroes make out of tough situations.
Eul’s Scepter of Divinity
Gives Pudge a much needed boost to mana regeneration along with a +30 movement speed bonus that helps him be more effective in rotations. The cyclone allows you to set up for your hooks or dispel a few spells on you.
Great for initiation and if build with Euls, give you an easy way out of almost every team fight gone wrong if timed correctly.
Many players prefer Force staff over the Blink Dagger. This is because of the extra stats from the item plus the ability to use it any time. The item can be used for better positioning or help you or your allies out of tricky situations.
Almost always, the skill build for Pudge would remain the same. You can see it below:
Now let’s talk about the talents of the hero and why you should prefer one talent over the other.
While +5 armor talent has now been changed to +30% XP Gain. This is good, but +35 Rot Damage seems like the better choice. Pudge does rely much on XP. Secondly there is no other way to increase Pudge’s CC damage. You can go for the +30% XP increase if you have been struggling in the early stages.
+13% lifesteal is by far the better choice than going for a +12% Rot slow. The increased slow will allow Pudge to prevent mobile heroes from running but Pudge will spend more time standing in the front line and this is where the lifesteal will give him more sustain and durability.
Going for the 180 Gold/Min has a 74% pick rate. And this is for a reason. Something that doesn’t come that easy for Pudge is the gold. This talent allows pudge to build late game items if necessary. A 15% cooldown reduction means a 1.65 seconds reduction in Meathook cooldown and 3 second reduction on Dismember. That hardly matters in the later stages of the game and thus going for the 180 Gold/min is the obvious choice.
The Level 25 talents has its pros and cons. I however, prefer to go for the +3s dismember duration. While the +2. Flesh heap would literally double up your strength, in many cases that hardly matters in the later stages of the game. If a Pudge is on Level 25 that means that every other hero has also unlocked their last talent. At this point, disabling an important hero for 6 seconds is more than you can ask for.
With this, I will wrap up the guide and give you the chance to rate it. As a Divine player, these are the things that I myself keep into consideration whenever playing Pudge. Do note that a good Pudge is not just about landing hooks. Being good with hooks can take you a long way but its not going to win you every game if you are not doing the other things. Do let me know how you liked the guide and how effective it has been in making you a better Pudge player.
You won’t get better in a day but the things mentioned here will help you in the long run and definitely improve you as a Pudge player. Continue practicing and stay tuned to Kill Ping for more such guides of your favorite heroes in Dota 2.