Broodmother is one of the most underrated killers in Dota 2. She is so often labelled as a tower pusher (which admittedly she does like no one else) but she is a single target monster with the right build. The heroes that can 1 v 1 Brood and win are very few.
With her excellent and recently buffed talent tree Broodmother is becoming even more of a beast. Brood dominates lanes making her a natural pick for the off lane however she is amazing mid lane hero. With her +25% XP talent she will be making a comeback in the mid lane for sure.
I hope this guide will detail not only the basics of playing Brood well but also some of the more advanced strategies you can use to destroy enemy teams.
One of the most perplexing issues with Brood is her late game weakness and late game team dependence. Her talents have addressed this issue somewhat however it must still be noted as a big weakness. I have lost count of the number games I've played where Brood completely destroys the enemy team in the early and mid game only to loose late game.
This is my first guide and is a bit of a work in progress. I will be uploading more video examples soon. I know the formatting is not the best and constructive criticism is welcome.
So this is often one of the most important questions for potential Brood players. Brood is hard countered by only a few heroes but struggles against many depending on the skill of the players and enemy team. Additionally Brood needs team mates that can fend for themselves on the map and have good awareness of Brood's limitations.
As a general rule enemies with AOE stuns, AOE damage and "tankiness" or heroes that can track down or reveal invisible units can be very hard to deal with. Remember, even though many of the below heroes have ways to shut you down they can also be easy food for you and your babies given the right play style and item build. The better you get the more the heroes that counter brood become regular food.
Hard counters that can solo kill Brood quite easily (you may even consider re-picking):
Legion Commander Single biggest counter I think, not only hard to lane against due to Overwhelming Odds but with a Blade Mail duel you are usually dead. The difference between living or dying to Legion is who initiates on who. If she gets Brood before Insatiable Hunger is activated (usually a Blink Dagger initiation and fast Duel) your gone. With decent levels and item though Brood can kill Legion with Insatiable Hunger's help.
Earthshaker A skilled blink and echo slam can one shot you due to Echo Slam's effectiveness against multiple units. Additionally Fissure and Enchant Totem are also excellent AOE stuns. Definitely killable.
Counters that can enable team ganks to easily kill brood:
Bounty Hunter Invisible Heroes are his bread and butter. Very killable without his friends though.
Spirit Breaker His charge with some dust and a little help from his team are fatal. He can setup ganks constantly and easily. Killable on his own.
Zeus Arc Lightning combined with true sight from Lightning Bolt along with his team can make Broods lane very tough. Extremely easy to kill with Orchid Malevolence though or if caught alone.
Axe Everything about this hero is just a pain. Still Killable.
Bloodseeker - Rupture is scary, carry a TP! Very Killable.
Additional heroes that can cause serious issues
Bristleback - Completely unkillable and hard to play around due to his Quill Spray. I don't list him as a hard counter though as he struggles to kill brood solo and is often not in her lane.
Enchantress Thankfully rare to see her in your lane but all her skills make her hard to kill.
Sven AOE stun with built in AOE attack. Avoid him and pray you have a team mate that can kill him. Almost Unkillable.
Terrorblade Illusions can be hard for brood to deal with.
Tusk Tanky with AOE and burst damage. Hard to Kill.
Undying His Tombstone - Soul Rip and Flesh Golem all a pain. Hard to kill.
Centaur Warrunner Tanky with AOE stun and damage. Hard to kill.
Phantom Assassin Her Blur makes her hard to kill if levelled early and if she builds a Battle Fury late game she can kill spiderlings easily.
Viper Big damage and Corrosive Skin effects brood and all her spiders that attack.
Ursa One of a very, very short list of heroes that can 1 v 1 brood. He struggles with spiders though and is pretty easy to kite.
Phantom Lancer Brood struggles with illusions as she has no AOE damage.
Troll Warlord AOE and good solo target damage.
Faceless Void His Chronosphere can wreck you but once this is over he better time walk out of there or its feeding time
Tiny His AOE stun and damage are brutal. If you can bait him to use them then go in for the kill afterwards.
Shadow Fiend His Shadowraze ability can destroy you and your spiders, I try to avoid him until I get an Orchid then he becomes food.
Dark Seer It's [Ion Shell]] can be placed on your spiderlings causing mass spider death.
Jakiro Very skill level dependant, slow to react Jakiro's are food, good ones are lethal.
Winter Wyvern Great lane counter with Splinter Blast being effective against Brood's spiders. Easy to kill if caught out though.
So looking at these lists you could reasonably come to the conclusion "why would anyone ever pick brood except maybe as a last pick in the perfect draft". Well if play in the high MMR or very high skill ranks I'd say that's spot on. That is exactly where Brood sits.
In the lower ranks however all is much better though. Yes there are a lot of heroes when combined with a competent team that can ruin your game. But remember when I say they can counter you I don't mean you cant kill most of them. You definitely can. And that's where the fun is.
Broodmother is not nearly as complicated as some multi-unit heroes but you absolutely need the basic keybindings setup properly to be effective. Once done you will quickly pick up how to control Brood and her spiderlings. I know this will be old news and already setup and for many of you but just in case here are the basics.
Go to Settings > Hotkeys
Allocate a key to "Select Hero" and a key to "Select All Controlled Units"
Go to Settings > Hotkeys > To Advanced Hotkeys(Bottom of Window)
Allocate a key to "Select All Other Units"
I use two buttons on my gaming mouse for some of these actions but pick what works for you.
While playing, think of your spider babies as one separate unit that you will constantly be swapping between when necessary using "Select All Other Units" for you spiderlings and "Select Hero" for Brood. If necessary you will be able to grab all your units with "Select All Controlled Units". It's not nearly as hard as it may sound and getting into this habit brings your Brood game to a whole new level.
There are of course many other methods of controlling your units but that's the basics.
I have tried many builds, this is the best general build i have found.
I can only suggest this talent build, I am sure other builds will work. the level 10 and 25 talents though I think are more clear. The level 10 "+25% XP Gain" is fantastic and will get you to you level 25 talent of "+8 Max Webs" faster. The webs help you move around the map in relative safety and help address one of Broods biggest weaknesses; her reliance on a limited web pool. The level 15 and 20 talents are more debatable. See what you prefer.
As mentioned brood dominates lanes so she can easily go mid or the off lane.
Brood is usually played solo off lane and I find most players understand this. If I do find another teammate wants to off lane as well I recommend not getting into an argument over it and I usually don't even mention it now. Simply ask for last hits in the first few minutes or so giving you crucial early levels and your completed Soul Ring. As long as they don't start last hitting you should both be fine. The key when running a duel lane is to quickly setup webs in the jungle to farm giving Brood's lane partner some creeps to kill and both of you get your own XP.
Blocking the enemy safe lane pull camp with Observer Wards helps enormously in the early minutes of the lane. The last thing you want is a squishy meal farming under their tower. Far better to have the creep waves meeting "out in the open" for easy kills.
See the next chapter for discussion on Web placement.
What if things are going badly for you or your team?
If all goes well you will kill heroes, take over the jungle and keep pressure on until you eventually push through the enemy rax. What if things go badly and your team is suddenly loosing fights while you stay in your lane? If you are not effectively pressuring towers and killing enemies in your lane at this stage I highly recommend helping out your team at every reasonable opportunity. If things are going badly for your team in the mid game you will most likely be the most effective killer as you will have had a lot of solo XP and gold and you are Broodmother, she likes killing things and is very good at it. Don't be afraid to join team fights! As I mentioned Brood completely destroys most heroes. Add this to your team's capabilities and you will suddenly find your team is winning fights again and back in the game.
Knowing when to push, when to farm, when to move your webs and when to join team fights is the key to winning with Brood.
What if the enemy groups as five and pushes through your lane?
This is one of the most effective strategies against brood. You and your team have to fight. Do not let your lanes towers fall. If you have another teammate that is great at pushing lanes then they can split push another lane but failing this ask for help and stick together. With Brood in her own lane with her allies together you can defend your tower and get kills.
Try to single out the squishy supports first and delete them from the map with the help of spiderlings and Orchid Malevolence. If this was their main initiator then they already have a big problem. The enemy team will most likely take offence at this and attack you. All the better. Hopefully your team joins in at this stage and it's game on. Pick the biggest baddest hard carry on their team and unleash Insatiable Hunger and BKB. By the time they realise brood is killing their hard carry and staying alive while sucking ridiculous lifesteal it is too late. You team is hacking away at them and they are all dying. If Brood must loose her life for the team to win, so be it. Your team can clean up and you will be back to fight again soon. Most often though you will find you just killed three, four or five enemies and are ready for a rax.
There are many variations of placement of Broodmother's Spin Web's. No matter what you do however make sure you are doing it for a reason. Web placement is a key skill with Brood, if your doing it wrong you will severely limit your farm and kills. Web placement will depend on your potential to get kills or be killed and in some circumstances how well your teams other lanes are going.
No matter what web method you choose go to your lane ASAP before the counter reaches zero and place your first web. This will give you time to sort out the Runes and run down the Spin Web timer (40 seconds) so you can place your second web before the lane creep waves meet.
I hope this guide may have given some of you helpful information about Broodmother. If you have not played her much give her a go. The more I play her the more I have found she excels at killing enemies. I have found with practice she is one of the most fun to play heroes in Dota 2. Seriously who doesn't want to be a spider biting peoples faces?