Dota 2 Guide: How To Not Suck Playing Pudge

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The Butcher is a fun hero to play, especially if you know how to make the most out of his skills.
The Butcher is a fun hero to play, especially if you know how to make the most out of his skills. Valve

Dendi’s (ah, the good old times) ability to play Pudge in Dota 2 – and actually utilize him in the most efficient way possible – has inspired public gamers like me to pick and play the hero. Now, I am no pro, and I am still trying to get my way around this hero, but as someone who actually watched hundreds of videos of pros and high-ranking players use the Butcher, I can say I have obtained information that might help you with the hero.

This is just a quick guide with tips designed to level up your Pudge-playing game. From picking the right items to roaming properly, hopefully you can learn a thing or two from this guide. So, without further ado, here it is.

Which Skill To Pick First?

If you want to play in the safe lane, Pudge’s Hook is the first skill to pick. It just gives you and whoever it is you are playing alongside in the lane the advantage. You can hide in the trees near the Tier 1 tower and hook enemies. As long as your hooking skills are impenetrable, you should be able to dominate the lane.

But if you are more of a hybrid-build Pudge (i.e. taking mid lane or offlane and a becoming a semi-carry), Rot would be the ideal skill to level up. It is good for last hits, giving you an edge on farming. In most cases, I’d go with Rot and Flesh Heap, with Hook at Level 1. Sometimes, there are matches when you just do not have the space to hook enemies. So, it might be better to dominate the lane early mid-game and obtain gold for items.

Items and Items

As a roamer, your goal is to make sure that you have proper health and manage regeneration. You can go with Tranquil Boots, which is a very, very handy item early in the game. It allows you to just sit and wait for your health to regenerate. And once you have hit enough health points, you can go back to roaming and killing enemies. This would sometimes mean stacking up with either Mangoes or Clarities for mana regen.

For a mid-game set of items, I’d say go for Phase Boots (if you think you have enough health regen with Flesh Heap), Urn of Shadows, and Dagger. This should make you a versatile killer in the field while allowing you to go in and out of fights.

For situational builds, Pipe Insight is best if you have a handful of magic dealers, or Crimson Guard if some melee heroes are quite a pain to deal with. These items should give your team the much-needed health regen and damage block.

As you can see, I build my Pudge’s item set depending on what matters the most. If I am more of a roamer, I’d go with regen-type items. It really depends on the situation you are dealing with, so make sure to have some go-to items.

Playing Him

Pudge requires a lot of patience. You have to be willing to stay out of an enemy’s sight and wait for the right trap to be set. This is especially true with his hooks. You have to swing it at the right time and discern where the enemy will go. Again, it requires patience – do not rush your hooks. Believe me, your teammates will continue to nag you if your hooks do not land. Do not mind them, though. Just focus – not everyone is good at Pudge’s Hook anyway.

Lastly, it is ideal that you know when the perfect time is to be aggressive. Pudge is one of the best tanks out there. His ridiculous health regen can make a difference in every situation. If you see an opening, initiate an attack and remember to use your Dismember wisely. For instance, if you see a Lion and Lifestealer from a distance and your team is ready to gank them. Obviously, you either hook Lion or Dismember him instead of Lifestealer. Why? That is because if you go with the latter, the former can easily disable you with his Impale and your Dismember channel goes off.

Playing Pudge can be really fun, so do not take each game seriously. You can always improve. Heck, even Dendi can fail in his hooks. No one is perfect, no matter how flawless they can look. Enjoy Dota 2 and remember: “You'll look good with an apple in yer mouth!"

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