A Pudge Life
Pudge is such a fun Hero. The glee at landing a successful Meat Hook will delight you and your allies every time. But, if you’re not familiar with his kit, you might get hung out to rot. Let’s take a look at what makes Pudge tick!
What you Skill depends on your roll. Pudge has two active abilities in Meat Hook and Rot, a passive ability in Flesh Heap, and his Ultimate is Dismember. Typically, alternate between Rot and Meat Hook until your Ultimate. Consider two points into Meat Hook level 2 and 3 for optimal return.
Generally, Rot is considered the best first option. Rot level one applies an 11% movement slow and 30 damage per second (DPS) to enemies if you can get close to them. Usually, at level one, you would attempt to surprise an enemy from the shadows or use the aid of an allies’ stun to get close and apply your Rot. 30 DPS at level 1 in conjunction with the slow could allow you to make an unfortunate situation for your opponent a benefit for you. Kill the enemy Hero and reap the rewards!
Rot can also be used to aid in getting last hits on creeps. Be careful, though, as Rot harms you just as much as it harms the enemy. This does not take into account how much Magic resistance you have built through Flesh Heaps or itemization.
Meat Hook is Pudge’s most important skill by far. This works by shooting out away from Pudge in the direction you aim it, and pulling back whatever it comes into contact with first, be it a creep, an ally or an enemy. It will grab it and bring it right to Pudge’s rotting feet.
Meat Hook is considered a skill shot in that it will not track what you click on, so you must gauge where you throw your Meat hook based on the Heroes’ movement speed and how far away they are standing. Unlike Dragon Knight or Crystal Maiden’s stuns, described here, the best way to practice this is to play Pudge in a ‘friendly’ Unranked game, buy Mangoes and Clarity Potions, and toss those Meat Hooks around. Be ready for criticism. You will get better as you learn.
Meat Hook is excellent in its first level. It used to be that Meat Hook’s range increased with its level. Now, Meat hook has its maximum range of 1300 units at level one. However, to curb the awesomeness of this buff, Valve created a 27-second cooldown at level one for Meat Hook. This is not a spam ability like Skywrath’s Arcane Bolt, as Pudge has a low mana pool to use Meat Hook which is a mana costly skill.
Meat Hook also deals Pure damage, which means that the damage dealt is not negated by any resistance. None. Black King Bar be damned.
Flesh Heap works by increasing Pudge’s health and magic resistance for every Flesh Heap you gain. This skill increases Pudge’s health by increasing his Strength. This works in conjunction with Pudge’s ultimate: Dismember.
Do not skill Flesh heap for a while. This skill is dependent on Pudge being close to enemy Heroes upon their death, which might be a while given the nature of Dota 2. The only time you should skill Flesh Heap early is if you have been successful in being near team fights consistently, are actively taking part in kills, and the opposing team has a significant amount of magic damage.
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Dismember is Pudge’s Ultimate, and it rocks. It pierces all spell immunities except for Linkens Sphere. Paired with Meat Hook (by bringing the enemy into Pudge’s loving embrace), Pudge lays down a stun for three seconds on any enemy Hero so lucky to be his target. Dismember deals damage based on Pudge’s Strength. Thus, as Pudge has kills happen around him and gains more Flesh Heaps, his Strength will rise which in turn increases his Dismember DPS.
Pudge through the years has evolved out of the mid-or-feed spotlight. Unless your name is ‘Dendi’, or my buddy ‘Myth’, I do not want to see you mid. Pudge is a roamer. A roamer who relies on patience and positioning. Two very fundamental aspects of Pudge’s in-game life.
The idea when roaming is to do so out of vision of the enemy team. Anything you can do to land a hook is good. Positioning is key with Pudge. When landing a hook on an enemy Hero, be in a position where either your teammates will be able to aid you in the kill attempt or make it difficult for the enemy to get away. Stand against a treeline, for example, forcing them to run around you and the trees, all the while being burned down from Rot. Pull them towards a stun that your ally has. Run at them from behind using Rot to slow and hook to bring them back when they get away.
Rarely will an enemy try and stand their ground against a Pudge landing a hook unless they are a scary scary fully-farmed Carry and you are alone.
To start, I would suggest a Wind Lace, Tangos, 2 x Mangoes and 2 x Clarities. This will give you a greater starting movement speed and decent health and mana regeneration. The Wind Lace should be built into Tranquil Boots. With the Tranquil boots, before you take damage you can move them into your backpack, take the damage or deal the attack and move them back into your inventory, reducing the cool down to 6 seconds.
Next, build into a Spirit Vessel. This increases your DPS and self-healing abilities while also giving you more movement speed and some magic resistance while you are building your Urn of Shadows.
After your Spirit Vessel, move on to a Blink Dagger. This will allow you to position yourself where you would like to land a hook, or even right beside a hero to activate your Ultimate easily.
Late game, build an Aghanim’s Scepter which will increase your damage and reduce the cooldown of Meat Hook. Finally, build a Heart. You want lots of strength for that damage modifier.
Time for A Little Butchery!
Teamwork makes the Meat Hooks work.