Defence of The Shrines 2/Creep Control Techniques

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This article describes some relatively more advanced concepts in the game of Defence of The Shrines 2 regarding manipulating the Artificial Intelligence of its non-player controlled 'creeps', units that spawn at set intervals and move through predetermined paths towards the enemy shrine, fighting what's in their path.

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Background information[edit]

Creeps are units associated with the Moriya or the Hakurei that march down each of the three lanes. Creeps get stronger as the game progresses. The point where the creeps from both factions meet and fight is called the creep equilibrium. If more creeps are present from one faction then the lane will push in the other direction, shifting the creep equilibrium towards their base.

If the creeps push far enough, they come into the range of a tower. Towers deal large amounts of damage when compared to creeps, so for most of the game this happenstance will reset the creep equilibrium in the other direction. If however the creep wave is large and powerful enough the tower may be overwhelmed.

Creep Equilibrium[edit]

The location of the creep equilibrium can provide a team with a tactical advantage. Creep equilibria situated in an area within your team's map control (meaning: your team has an advantage when fighting there due to vision, proximity to towers, or map topology) allow a team to exert this advantage over their opponents. Most prominently, these things are notable:

  • Creep equilibrium close to your tower allows the heroes in a lane where you have the advantage (either due to numbers or harass ability) to force the enemy heroes far enough away from the creeps that they do not get any experience.
  • The very same also makes it harder for enemy heroes to gank your lane, as the safety of the Tower is close by.

The middle lane[edit]

The middle lane is usually a 1 v 1 lane between two ranged heroes. The creep equilibrium here is not as straightforward, as the runes that spawn every two minutes change up the priorities.

It tends to be fairly difficult to gank the middle lane, as the tower is closer to the heroes than in the other lanes. The ideal position for the creeps is then at your side of the river, just below the stairs for the enemy creeps and just above the stair for yours, as the enemy will have to hit up the stairs. This gives you these advantages if the enemy hero chooses to stand back:

  • While not hitting anything, the enemy hero has no vision of you if their creeps are all downstairs.
  • When the enemy hero tries to hit creeps that are upstairs they have a chance to miss.

The enemy hero may also move up the stairs, but in this case:

  • They are more susceptible to ganks
  • You can usually freely harass them.

Finally, there is one more important thing to remember:

  • A pushing wave in the middle lane right before a rune spawns forces your opponent to choose between giving up the experience for your creeps to the tower or giving up rune control.

Local creep position[edit]

To a lesser extent, the positioning of the creeps in a smaller scale will also affect how easy it is to get last hits. Creeps located closer to your creeps and hero are easier to last hit, it is harder for the opponent to harass you in lane without pulling creep aggro. Vice versa also applies.

Basic Techniques[edit]

Auto Attack[edit]

Auto-attacking refers to the technique of simply letting your Hero attack at will. This keeps friendly units alive, and helps when pushing, but last hits may be missed to creeps. Late game when attack damage and attack speed is higher for most heroes the percentage of last hits missed to creeps is much smaller, and the point gain from the smaller amount of time spent to clear a wave of creeps (allowing you to do something else to gain points) becomes worth more points than the loss from the occasional creep getting a last hit.

Auto-attacking can also be useful in any case if you wish to push a lane forward, since it kills enemy creeps faster. This is especially useful for killing towers. In the early game, however, pushing towards an enemy tower is considered dangerous, as it leaves you far from your own towers and makes it much easier for enemies to gank you.

Last hitting[edit]

If your hero deals the last bit of damage that kills an enemy or neutral creep, you gain a small amount of points in addition to the experience awarded that is split between all allied heroes within XP range.

Last hitting refers to the technique of deliberately timing your attacks to make this happen. In general, heroes in a lane don't attack the creeps until they are low enough to be last hit. This is due to the effect that attacks have towards 'pushing' your lane, which is bad for the Creep Equilibrium in most lanes.

Heroes also give gold when you kill them. Everyone who did damage to an enemy Hero within 15 seconds of their death gets an assist. Range also matters for assists, see the relevant page here. If you were the Hero who delivered the last hit you will get the kill and the bonus gold for it. If your tower or one of your team's creeps gets the last hit on an enemy Hero, the gold is split between all Heroes who got an assist. If only one Hero hit the enemy before your tower or creep killed them, that Hero gets the credit (and the gold) for the kill. If no allied Heroes assisted in the kill, the points are split evenly among all five Heroes on your team.

Towers give a global bonus of points when razed, but they also give a hefty amount of bonus points to any Hero who manages to get the last hit on one.

Roles and last-hitting[edit]

Depending on your role in your team you should focus on different things.

Carries should focus most of their attention on getting last hits.

Supports should focus on denying creeps and harassing enemy Heroes so that their carries can last hit without being harassed. Do not throw away the last hitting entirely as a support, because there are some last hits which are impossible for a carry to get (for example, the creep is being killed faster than a carry could possibly get in the attack range).

Supports can also [[Defence of The Shrines 2/Creep Stacking|creep stack}} to help their carry farm.


You may also attack any allied creep below 50% health. Any last hit on such a creep is called a 'deny', as it prevents any enemy heroes from getting the last hit on that creep. Furthermore, denied creeps grant 50% less experience on death.

Heroes can also be denied while affected by damage over time effects and below 25% health.

Towers can be denied below 10% health.

Using spells on the creep wave[edit]

Many heroes have spells or spell combinations that deal a fair amount of damage (200~400) in an area. These spells can be used to quickly kill multiple creeps and send any creep equilibrium into a pushing state.

Killing ranged creeps[edit]

A ranged creep deals greater damage than a melee creep. Hence, killing the ranged creeps first is the fastest way of pushing a lane aside from using abilities.

Advanced Techniques[edit]

Creep Blocking[edit]

Creep Blocking is a tactic that makes the equilibrium of the lane lean towards your side. This is accomplished by physically blocking your creeps' path with your hero so they take longer to reach the middle of the lane. Since your creeps move more slowly, they will meet closer to your tower, making it safer for you to farm, and more risky for the enemy.

Creep blocking is generally most useful for the first creep wave at the start of the game. In the middle lane, being able to stand on your side of the river - not in the river - to last hit is valuable. The high ground allows you to see your opponent's side of the river, and for ranged heroes avoids the 25% miss chance of last hitting uphill, also see the middle lane section above.

Pulling creep aggro to reposition[edit]

Right clicking an enemy hero while standing within 500 units of an enemy creep, no matter where that enemy hero is, will cause that creep to attack you, following you around until it either:

  • Loses vision of you
  • Is attacked by a friendly creep
  • Is attacked by a neutral creep
  • Dies

You can use this to your advantage within a lane to reposition creeps, putting your creeps closer to your hero and giving you a last hit advantage. In addition, creeps being pulled away may receive less damage from your own creeps, which may allow you to get last hits you otherwise could not. For example, pulling away enemy creeps to allow you to last hit two of them that are at equal and low health without missing one of these to your own creeps.

This technique may also be of use when trying to deny creeps or when trying to prevent an enemy from harassing you without pulling creep aggro.

Pulling creep aggro will push the creep wave slightly as the enemy creeps will miss out on some attacks on your creeps, while vice versa the same amount of missed attacks is not guaranteed (the amount depends on creep position and pull angle).

Hitting your own creeps more[edit]

You can attack any allied creep below 50% health. Using your attacks on allied creeps starting at a higher percentage than is necessary to deny will pull the creep equilibrium back, as your hero is dealing more damage to your own creeps than it is doing to the enemy creeps.

Pulling neutral creeps[edit]

Neutral creeps will follow a hero around for about 7 seconds before returning to their camp. This means there is a certain 'leash radius' to jungle camps. For a number of the camps, this leash radius overlaps with a lane. Hence a neutral creep may be 'pulled' such that it moves close to allied or enemy creeps. This results in the shrine creeps attacking the neutral unit. This will set the creep equilibrium to a diffrent location. Pulling a neutral unit into enemy creeps will push a lane, while pulling a neutral unit into allied creeps will pull the lane.

Usually, neutral creeps can be pulled into allied creeps far behind your towers in the early game. It is quite hard for the enemy heroes to get near your creeps as they are killed by the neutral units. Any creeps that die to neutral units cannot give any experience to the opposing heroes, meaning you are denying 100% of it. This makes this particular technique quite powerful.

This technique is also referred to as 'pulling' in general and is usually done by supports during the first 10 minutes of the game.

Pulling neutral creeps this way requires the hero doing it to leave the lane temporarily, and requires the other heroes in the lane to deal with the enemy creeps (by either fighting them or dragging them behind the tower), so it does have its drawbacks.

This technique requires specific timing for succesful execution, as the neutral unit must be pulled as the creep wave passes by. As creep waves spawn every 30 seconds, the timings are modulo 30 seconds.

DOTS map timings[edit]

Regular dota map timings[edit]

Relevant Statistics[edit]

Attack animations and missile speeds[edit]

Shorter attack animations (on all Heroes) and faster missile speeds (on ranged Heroes) make last-hitting easier.

See also[edit]