Dota Basics

Great uses of TP Scrolls: You Must Know

Mid Game

Mid game is defined as the part of the game where teams move around the map and begin to push and destroy towers. Most heroes will be between level 6 and 11 and have access to their ultimates (at level 6). If we just reference pub games, there won’t be a lot of coordination, but some of your players will start moving where the fights are, or moving where the best place to get last hits, or farm is.

This stage of the game is going to be completely weird for new players because their sense of teamwork and game direction is terrible. Everyone on your team is going to do what they think is best, and usually best for their gold and experience intake, rather than the team’s as a whole. To make things worse, organizing them for something different than their plan can be difficult as well. The mid game is the part in the game where playing with friends who are willing to work together makes the game a lot more fun.

Again, this stage is generally categorized by pushing. Pushing towers is important for two reasons: the first is that your team gets a lot of gold when a tower dies. When your team destroys an enemy tier 1 tower (the first ring of towers), everyone gains 120 gold. If the tower gets denied (towers can only be denied if they are below 10% hp), then your team only gets 80 gold. Higher tier towers are worth more gold, but that’s still an 800 gold advantage for your team if you get the last hit! It’s extremely important that your opponents don’t deny your tower, since it’s equivalent to 1-2 hero kills in terms of gold!

In addition, if you are the hero to get the last hit on the enemy tower, you get an EXTRA 150-250 gold on top of the 120 from the bounty, which means you can get a massive gold advantage (equivalent to 1-2 kills) from getting the last hit on the tower, rather than it being denied. Towers give your team a BIG gold advantage.

The second advantage that pushing towers gives you is map control. Map control is your ability to see your opponents’ movement, move undetected where you want, and use that tactical information to influence the game in your favor. With the towers in the lanes, they not only provide resistance to pushing, they also provide true sight (to see invisible things) and vision of your opponents. When towers are up, there are simply less paths to walk without being seen. Most importantly, towers provide a team a place where they can use Teleport Scrolls (or TP scrolls) to teleport to.

A Teleport Scroll costs 50 gold to purchase, and 75 mana to use. You can use them to teleport to a building your team controls, which helps you adjust to your opponents’ tactical maneuvers and set up some of your own. It’s one of the most important items in the game and you should ALWAYS carry one once you reach about 8 minutes into the game, though sometimes earlier.

Great uses of TP Scrolls:

  • If your mid hero gets ganked, you can teleport into the lane and back him up with a stun or a slow, and maybe turn the kill around.
  • If you respawn in your base and your team is pushing top lane, you can teleport to top lane so that you can get there faster and waste less time walking.
  • If you barely survive a teamfight, you can immediately teleport home to your fountain so that you can start healing faster.
  • If you find a strong enemy hero with good chase but no stun, you can simply teleport home to survive.
  • Activating a Black King Bar before you begin to teleport will prevent most spells and abilities from cancelling the completion of your teleportation.

If you have few towers, half of those tactical options that TP scrolls provide for you aren’t available anymore.

Another way that towers being dead helps you is it gives you more space to place aggressive Observer Wards, and makes it harder for your opponents to place Observer Wards since there are more paths you can travel now.

An Observer Ward (or obs ward) is an item that has limited availability that you can place on the ground or cliffs that gives you vision for 6 minutes. It’s invisible to enemies (unless they have truesight/invis detection), and helps you track your opponent’s movements and make decisions based on that.

Placing Observer Wards is an essential part of the game that gives you big advantages. Your team should be placing them throughout the game in locations that:

  • you expect your opponents to move through, areas that give you a tactical advantage to have vision of such as outside towers
  • up high ground since you can’t see up hill
  • by the Roshan pit

Sometimes you even want to place wards deep in enemy territory so that when you move into their territory to gank, your ganks become easier.

In the Laning Stage you should be placing Observer wards in lane to see enemy heroes ganking by walking through the lane or at the river rune spots to see rune spawns and help your mid get them.

In the mid and late game, you should be warding based on how the game is going, like where you expect the enemy to be, or where the fights will be. If you are behind, the enemy will be close to your towers. If there is no clear advantage, perhaps wards across the middle of the map is safe. If you are ahead, you should be warding closer to their towers where you plan to start fights. Here are some examples.

Example of Even Game Warding

Example of Losing Game Warding

Example of Winning Game Warding

Another early use of wards is to block the enemy jungle camps. Warding the pull camp operates on the same principle as stacking. If there is something in the camp, the camp will not respawn at the :00 mark, and wards count as something in the camp. If you then ward the pull camp, creeps will not spawn there, and that prevents your opponents from pulling! You will often block the enemy pull camps to prevent supports from pulling against you.

The last aspect that defines the mid game is that there will be a lot of ganks. At low levels ganking will be very prone to mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice it. The best ganks often involve one to three heroes depending on how many stuns and how much damage you need to get a kill.

Dota is about efficiency so it’s important that you move as groups of two or three to get ganks off while your other 2 players are farming elsewhere on the map. It makes it harder to predict the ganks in addition to allowing your team to profit heavily instead of just a moderate amount.


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