DOTA can be an exciting game, where two teams clash against each other in order to take down the opponent’s Ancient Structure. Often at times, one team works exceptionally well in team fights – perhaps their combinations are better timed, or their heroes have synergies … or they are simply the better players. In which case, they keep winning team fights. This is where Rat DOTA comes into play.
Rat DOTA is about consciously staying away from team fights and instead focusing on split pushing other lanes. Since the goal of the game is to tear down the opponents’ structures, Rat DOTA is about focusing on that final goal and stay away from all engagements.
Huh, so we do not get Kills?
Yes, that’s pretty much it in a nutshell. If the opposing team is crazy overpowered, or well fed due to your earlier mistakes, then Rat DOTA is the way to go. Stop feeding the opponent and start farming. This is the way you can catch up with their levels and then force them into making mistakes.
Err … so no team fights?
Well, you tried that already and that did not work out so well, did it? This is where the maturity of the team comes into play. It’s more of a mind game and you are testing your powerful opponents if they are going to go out of their way to engage in team fights.
So how does this work?
The thing about team fights, is that if all the team travels together, then that leaves the other lanes empty and ideal for split pushing. That’s what you do! You strap on Boots of Travel on your Carry, and get another hero who can quickly travel around the map. Then using these two heroes, you keep attacking structures in undefended lanes.
By the time the opponent team rushes to defend these lanes, you have done the damage and are away in another lane attacking another structure. Imagine the kind of frustration the opponent will feel, the anxiety of anticipating where you are going to strike next, versus holding the urge to rush you alone and getting ganked in the process.
Which Heroes does this work well with?
Furion, Meepo are classic heroes to use this tactic. Crystal Maiden can be a good support for this strategy as well.
Does this approach work?
You bet it does! It is even done on the professional circuits, where the level of game play is far higher than pub matches. Here is a video of a top tier team showcasing their Rat DOTA skills.