In this section, I'll discuss how you should be playing Luna to get the most out of her in the context of low-skill and pub games. I'll be breaking this down into a general discussion of tactics & playstyle, as well as covering what you should be doing at each stage of the game and then finally some more complicated or advanced things you can do to improve your game.
The coverage of recommended behaviour at each game stage is mostly an expansion and elaboration of the basic priorities discussed in the Alt-Tab Tips section.
Because this section is by far the largest, I'm giving it a table of contents of its own.
Section Table of Contents:
- General Playstyle
- Early Game
- Mid Game
- Late Game
- Further Tactics
The ideal playstyle for this Luna
build is a combination of aggression, speed and rapid, accurate assessment of the state of the game. Between Luna
's high movement speed and Town Portal Scroll
s, you can quickly traverse the map, using your high burst damage with Lucent Beam
to gank & teamfight and your high sustained AOE damage with Lucent Blessing & Moon Glaive
to push lanes and farm.
's low health and lack of an escape mechanism make her susceptible to CC-based teams and ganks, so while you need to be aggressive to maximize her potential, you also need to be smart and cautious - push when your enemies are distracted, gank when you know where your enemies are and have wards protecting you while farming.
Solo middle is by far the best lane for Luna
to take, for several reasons:
- It is extremely difficult for the opposing hero to avoid your Lucent Beams in the tight confines of mid lane, allowing you to deal large amounts of damage from a safe distance once you hit level 5.
- Luna has amazing last-hitting and denying, the latter allowing you to slow your opponents XP & gold per minute significantly, and given the solo mid hero is generally important to the team as a whole, this is quite significant.
- Luna can make very good use of every rune type.
- Luna is great at pulling off rapid ganks and pushes on the side lanes before quickly returning to mid.
- You benefit hugely from both the early experience (due to the potency of your ultimate and your Lucent Beam at level 7) and the early gold (you need immediate speed, health and light mana regeneration).
Occasionally you will (gasp
) have to play elsewhere - because there's a hero who actually can solomid better, or because a pub ally just won't listen to your requests, or because the enemy mid is a hard counter to Luna
Soloing long lane is also acceptable, although obviously you can't gank as well, you don't get the runes and the geography makes it a little less easy to keep your enemy within Lucent Beam
range all the time.
If you must duo lane, then ideally you want to do so with a babysitter - preferably one with a stun or hard slow and a nuke in order to make getting in-lane kills easier, but at minimum you want someone with mana regeneration abilities or items to fuel frequent Lucent Beam
Worst case scenario: You're in a duo lane with another ranged carry. My advice: Steal all their last hits and kills as well as you possibly can - you're playing low-skill pub games, so you can't trust them to carry for you.
Priority 1: Farm
Your first priority early game in lane is to get as farmed as you can. Between your decent base auto-attack damage and Lunar Blessing
's damage buff, you should have a fairly easy time last hitting the creeps in your lane.
However, simply getting all the last hits (while impressive) just isn't good enough - you not only way to get last hits, you also want to deny your lane opponent their last hits and maintain & manipulate the creep equilibrium to your favour; essentially, you want to control your lane
Creep equilibrium is the degree to which creeps are pushed one way or another. Even or perfect creep equilibrium is what happens when the very first creep waves hit each other without any creep blocking; they meet in the middle of the lane. If you push the current creep line toward your enemy's tower, then it makes it safer for them and more dangerous for you, because they are nearer to their tower and you are further from yours and thusly less and more susceptible ganks, respectively.
Manipulating creep equilibrium is very important; if you push the creep line far enough to be under their tower, it does arguably make it harder for them to last hit (due to the tower firing on your creeps) but any good enough player will still be able to do so, and the next creep wave will push the line far back toward your tower. It is much more effective to deny your creeps yourself instead of relying on their tower to do so, not to mention it also prevents a portion of the experience gain from the creep death.
Aside from denying and auto-attacking your own creeps to pull the creep line toward your tower, you can also manipulate the creep equilibrium by partially creep blocking waves other than the first one, though generally you don't want to go back to do this unless you've already gotten all the last hits for your current wave.
In middle lane, keeping the creep line toward your tower is even more important than on the side lanes, for Luna
. This is because of two effects of your opponent being uphill:
- You only have sight on uphill enemies if they are/just have been attacking an allied unit, meaning you can only fire off Lucent Beams and auto-attacks at your opposing enemy when they choose to attack (assuming you can even get them off given the delays of human reaction time and network ping), lowering your ability to harass and generally giving an information disadvantage.
- Ranged heroes like Luna have a 25% chance to miss while attacking targets uphill from them. Of course, this also applies to other ranged heroes going mid, but it is a problem magnified by Luna's short attack range - it makes you more vulnerable to enemy harass.
On the topic of creep blocking: You should generally creep block the first wave in mid, but ideally only enough to put enemy creeps just outside of your tower range (assuming your opponents have not blocked at all). You do this for two reasons: so if they blocked the creep equilibrium isn't pushed toward their tower, and so if they didn't block the creep equilibrium is pushed toward your tower. Knowing and pulling off the right degree of blocking takes a little bit of experience, but isn't too hard.
Priority 2: Harass
Your second early game priority is to harass your opposing hero(es). You have two main tools for harassment: Lunar Blessing
-empowered auto-attacks and Lucent Beam
A good rule of thumb for harassing with your auto-attack is to do so whenever the enemy is in/near range and you don't immediately need to last hit or deny. Obviously, if they respond with auto-attacks or abilities of their own and are going to do more damage, this tactic isn't going to work, so you'll instead need to go for auto-attack harass when they're either busy doing something else (like moving in for a last hit or deny) or when they've already drawn creep aggro (so they're taking more damage to start with).
Harass with your Lucent Beam
whenever you have full mana (so as not to waste your mana regeneration), or once it is level 3+, whenever their health is looking a little too high. Always, always keep enough mana for Eclipse
+ one Lucent Beam
- the Eclipse
for kills and counter-ganks, the Lucent Beam
in case you need the ministun to keep someone in Eclipse
range for long enough, or to finish off an enemy post Eclipse
if it was hitting two targets.
There are two main goals with harassing:
- Keeping your opponent's health low enough that they can be killed with a few good auto-attacks and a Lucent Beam, or a partial Eclipse, or an even half-decent gank from an ally.
- Keeping your opponent hurting enough to be either backed off from the creep line totally (which is cool if you can keep them out of experience range), or just enough that you deny all their creeps (which is often better because it usually means they're still close enough to be susceptible to ganks, rather than hiding behind their tower).
Priority 3: Kill
In the early game, Luna
isn't particularly focused on getting kills, but it's still your third priority because you can frequently net a few by abusing your opponents' playstyles and by intelligently countering ganks.
If you're harassing well and thusly keeping your opponent on low health, you can often net easy kills by just running up and firing off auto-attacks & Lucent Beam
s, or by calling in a gank from an ally with a stun or slow.
Additionally, you can abuse certain in-grained DotA player responses to your advantage - one great example being that if you run up behind your enemy's creep line, next to them, they'll generally retreat to their tower, expecting a gank or the like. Against Luna
, this is suicidal, as you keep moving behind their creep line and pop your Eclipse
when their creeps aren't in range of it's AOE, resulting in a quick kill. You'll usually take a few tower hits doing so, but you'll almost certainly survive. Remember to Lucent Beam
if it looks like they're getting away.
Often you can also get free kills if you see a gank coming and your Eclipse
is up. Simply move just far enough behind your own creep line that the enemy creeps are not in range of Eclipse
, wait for the ganker to come at you and pop your Eclipse
when they're too close to run away. If the ganker has a stun or a silence, then pop your Eclipse
when they're just out of their stun/silence cast range, keeping in mind the small cast time on Eclipse
, and then immediately move toward them to minimize the chance of them successfully stun/silencing and running out of Eclipse
Priority 1: Gank
Mid game, you want to get fed as much as possible, and the best way to do that is to gank. A lot.
Choosing your moment:
Choosing your target:
- When Eclipse is up and your lane opponent is missing or (preferably) dead.
- When you've just grabbed a Haste or Invisibility rune (Illusion runes are better used pushing, due to Luna's Moon Glaive working on illusions).
- When you see an enemy going to gank, defend, push, etc. via a nearby ward, leaving them out of position and none the wiser to your gank upon them.
- When an ally is fleeing from chasing enemies (either gank the chasers if you can, or gank another lane while their allies are distracted ganking yours).
Choosing your weapon:
- Delicious Food.
- People without blinks.
- People without invisibility, unless you're taking Dust of Appearance and know how to use it (recommended that you do; invisibility heroes are frequently more susceptible to ganks than those without because of over-reliance on their invisibility as an escape mechanism).
- Anyone without inbuilt magic immunity (too hard to gank mid game without your Lucent Beams, Eclipses or any ally CC).
- Get close to them and drop your Eclipse when the enemy heroes are the only ones in range.
- Get between them and their escape route and drop auto-attacks, animation canceling and physically blocking their movement to maximize your damage and available time.
In both cases, fire off your Lucent Beam
whenever it is up - unless you know they're going to try to drop a Town Portal Scroll
/ Boots of Travel
, in which case you save it to interrupt their channel. Remember your Lucent Beam
has a long cast range, so you might be able to last hit a low hp fleeing opponent between it and the movement speed boost from popping your Drum of Endurance
In all cases, having an ally there to help you is a good thing - maybe some nice CC on your target, maybe some extra damage output, maybe a meatshield in case of counter-ganks - but do not
let them get the last hit. Yes, you want them to get assists, because it increases the total gold and experience gain for your team, but make no mistake: in pub games, you have to be the one to carry, so devour that food, by theft if you must.
Priority 2: Push
Seeing as you win the game by pushing into your opponents' base and destroying their Ancient (well, that or making them ragequit, but that's far less satisfying), pushing when you can is a good idea.
When to push:
- Immediately after having just ganked a lane, begin to push that lane. If your enemies have already teleported into the lane in a futile attempt to save their fallen comrade, instead swap to the next lane over and push it.
- When most of your enemies are dead and the others in other lanes.
- When the enemy team is distracted (by a teamfight you can't easily get to in time / aren't needed in, by defending against a push elsewhere, by trying to counter-gank, etc.).
Pushing at this stage is rather simple for Luna
: Between your high auto-attack damage and at least a level or two in Moon Glaive
, all you really need to do is right-click occasionally. Ideally, animation cancel to somewhat improve your damage output (although of course this is less effective as the game goes on and your attack speed increases beyond the range of human reaction time to improve) and try to attack in such a way that you still last hit every creep in a wave, but there's really not much too it.
Do be wary of ganks and strong defender heroes. If the enemy team is counter-pushing on another lane, you'll have to judge whether your Moon Glaive
is leveled enough and your damage sufficiently high enough to justify you continuing to push rather than defending.
Always, always keep a Town Portal Scroll
on hand during pushes for fast escapes and defending - if you don't have one, then buy one from the side shop if you're on the side lane, or have the flying courier bring you one if you're mid (If the courier isn't flying by now, either politely ask your allies to buy one, or just go ahead and do it yourself - it's worth the cost. If you don't have
a courier, proceed to cry).
Priority 3: Defend
Keeping your towers up is a good idea (it helps with the whole 'not losing' thing), and Luna
is great at defending - Moon Glaive
your way through creep pushers like Enchantress
and Nature's Prophet
and Lucent Beam
to poke enemy heroes from afar.
That said, protecting a tower is not worth your death, even if you do succeed. Neither is denying one. This is especially true for you, as you are the carry (and following this guide, dohohoho), and thusly likely significantly higher level than most of the other players and on some sort of killing streak - if the enemy team kills you, they will gain a large amount of gold and experience between them. Don't let them get that advantage.
Protecting your base tower, however, is different - if you are sure
that you will save it, then dying to do so is worth it. Once your base tower is down, that lane is far too open to being back-doored, so they're extremely important.
Priority 4: Farm
You still need a bunch of gold to fuel your expensive item purchases, but now farming is less about precisely timed last hits than it is about bouncing your Moon Glaive
s through everything in sight.
You'll get a decent amount of farm by just pushing lanes a lot, but at this point you can also take on every jungle camp (Ancients
included) without taking much damage, due to how fast you kill the creeps with your Moon Glaive
s. Take jungle creeps when you're not busy doing something more important and when you're not going to immediately need the small amount of health you'll lose doing so.
You can also consider farming the enemy jungle if you have a lot of wards, pushed lanes and map control in general.
Priority 5: Teamfight
While your full teamfight potential doesn't really come into its own until late game, once you have a level or two in Moon Glaive
you can deal some serious teamfight damage between it and Eclipse
, so joining any teamfights going down can be a good idea.
However, like defending towers, teamfighting is not worth you dying - not even if you get kills (unless you get a lot
of them). At the start of the mid game, you're likely saving up for large cost component items (e.g. Eaglesong
) and dying would significantly impede your ability to buy them. As such, you don't want to go into teamfights you don't have a really, really good chance of coming out alive in.
That said, as the mid game progresses toward the late game, you begin to have bought your more expensive components and team fights begin to be more and more important (as teams become able to capitalize on winning a teamfight by pushing & possibly raxing lanes), so keep the shifting nature of this priority in mind.
Priority 1: Teamfight
At this point in the game, individual kills are largely pointless: unless your opponents are completely ******ed, getting a gank on a lone enemy will simply result in the rest of them playing defensively while they're down. Sure, this buys you some breathing room, but you want to be winning by now.
As such, your number one priority right now is to win large-scale teamfights where you take out 3-5 of your enemies without losing more than 1-2 of your own heroes, leaving you in a good position to capitalize on your victory by pushing, raxing, taking Roshan, or some other such game-moving play.
In lategame teamfights, your actions should go a little something like this:
- If there are any enemy/neutral creeps around the area of the teamfight, clear them or have your allies clear them ASAP. You want your Eclipse and Moon Glaives to only be hitting enemy heroes in order to maximize your effectiveness.
- Hang back slightly and let your initiator or tank start the fight.
- Once the teamfight has begun, position yourself to hit the squishiest targets most and pop your Eclipse.
- Focus your auto-attacks on the carries and then the tankier targets (as long as they don't have a Blade Mail active!), letting your Moon Glaives mop up any of the supports left alive.
- Use your movement speed, Drum of Endurance charges and Lucent Beams to hunt down and last-hit any fleeing enemies.
Once you've won a teamfight, you need to immediately
take advantage of this. I cannot stress how vitally important this is to winning lategame; if you do not take advantage of teamfight victories, you are asking to lose
On the flip side, you also need to take steps to mitigate the damage your opponent can deal if they
win the teamfight instead. Basically:
- Try to have all the lanes pushed toward your opponent at all times - the further back their creep line is, the longer they'll have to spend pushing before they can take your base towers & raxes.
- Try not to leave Roshan alive lategame, ever. If he's not alive, your enemy can't gain the gold & respawn advantage he provides while your team is down.
- When you're buying items lategame, buy them only once you have enough gold for the entire item (and preferably a safe margin above that), don't buy them one component at a time - not only do you likely not have the slots to hold more than 1-2 components anyway, but you want to leave a large amount of gold in your pool so you can buyback in an emergency. Yes, this does put you at risk of losing a lot of gold if you're dying frequently, but if you're dying that often you've got bigger problems.
Priority 2: Push
In the lategame, as previously mentioned you should almost always have the lanes pushed toward your enemy, but in addition to this, you need to push into their base every viable chance you get - this is, after all, how you win the game.
When to push for their base:
- When you've just won a teamfight and they're all dead (or at least mostly, and preferably without buyback) - see above.
- When their team is distracted by defending, roshing (if your team can't/won't take them at Roshan), teamfighting (and you can't get there fast enough), etc.
- When your team is pushing another lane - split-pushing is a great idea, made more awesome by the likelihood of you being able to push faster than/as fast as everyone else on your team combined.
- When their team is pushing another lane.
's ability to push lategame is one of the highest of any hero - it takes all of 2-3 very rapid attacks to wipe a creep wave, and you mill through towers insanely fast between you and your Manta Style
illusions. In addition, once you have taken their base tower, your (and your illusions') Moon Glaive
s will bounce between their raxes and surrounding buildings, essentially giving you a form of cleave against buildings!
Not only does this make your raxing (and hence back-dooring, always keep this option in mind) faster than almost any other hero, it also causes you to 'automatically' get the last hits on the numerous small 100-gold buildings around the enemies' base, meaning a successful push + rax will often give you nearly enough gold for another Luxury
Priority 3: Defend
I mentioned previously that when your enemy is pushing is a good time to push for their base on another lane. While this is true, it is not true in all
More specifically, you have to be able to judge whether or not their team can push faster than you, taking into account any team members on both sides who are defending. Often times, it'll turn out that you can push faster, and if you are faster by a significant enough margin, then it's a great idea.
You do have to be faster by a significant
margin, however, or else it is all too likely that the enemy team will simply wipe your team and port a few of them back to take care of you while the rest of them wreak havoc in your base, before you can do enough damage to make the sacrifice worthwhile. Fundamentally, this judgment call takes experience and intuition, and you'll get better at making it as you continue to play the game and the hero.
Defending in the lategame is a little different from in the mid game, where most of the time you're just trying to scare your enemies off. In the late game, it is much more likely to turn into a teamfight centered around one of your towers - likely a T2 or base tower. As such, you need to treat it much more like you would a teamfight, taking into account that you have some slight extra DPS on your side from the tower, as well as unparalleled vision within your base (including True Sight
) while your tower and other buildings remain up.
While the above covers the vast majority of what you need to know and do to pubstomp with Luna
, there are a few bits of supplementary information and further tactics you may find useful.
Use of Runes:
Hopefully you know what each of the runes do and how rune spawning works
, so I'm just going to briefly mention how each is generally
best used as Luna
- Rune of Double Damage: During early game & mid game, use it to gank or push. During late game, have your team initiate a teamfight and rape face with it. Once you have a Manta Style, make sure to have them out before you pop it so they gain the benefit as well.
- Rune of Haste: Use it to gank, escape, or quickly roam the map to defend or join teamfights.
- Rune of Regeneration: During early game, if you see one with your rune spot wards, quickly burn all your mana harassing with Lucent Beams, then go grab it to fill up your mana and start again (you may want to leave enough mana for an Eclipse if it is on cooldown, so as to provide a safety net while going for the rune).
- Rune of Invisibility: Use it to gank or escape during early and mid game, and use it to scout and get into the perfect position for a teamfight during lategame.
- Rune of Illusion: Use it to push, farm, or teamfight - because Moon Glaive works for illusions, you really need to use this against a lot of targets. Don't waste this on a gank.
I'm not going to bother telling you where to place wards, because A: You're the carry, not the support ward-***** and B: You can google a ward guide pretty easily
What I will do is tell you the following: Have someone on your team warding (other than you, dipstick), or you're somewhere between 40-80% more likely to lose. Having ward coverage is that ******* important - you need
to know where your enemies are, what they're doing and where they're going as much as possible
. Much of DotA is about information and behaviour, and well-placed wards give you a whole lot of the former.
You need to be able to avoid ganks, counter-gank, gank jungling enemies, defend against large surprise pushes, surprise teamfight at Roshan
, know when to stay in a lane and when to get the **** out of dodge, know when your enemies are all on the other side of the map and you should be pushing and know when they're all coming to screw you in the *** and you need to drop a Town Portal Scroll right ****ing now
If you don't have wards, you are going to either have to play a whole lot more defensively, or just get repeatedly, brutally murdered. Either way, you're going to lose out on opportunities to be killing, pushing, initiating teamfights, etc. and it's going to hurt your gameplay a ****ton.
If you've got a mate or two to bring with you, have one/both of them ward as supports. If you don't, ask politely and insistently for your pubs to ward. If they don't, try explaining how necessary they are and then asking again. Try asking a specific player
to buy and place wards, as one of the consequences of human psychology means that asking a specific individual in a group to do a task rather than asking the whole group of people is much more likely to get results
(yes, I did just science you, *****es. Deal with it).
While I'm not going to discuss the placement of wards in general, I will once again mention that having a ward giving sight of the opponent's side of the middle lane riverbank can be a very powerful tool for harassment - it lets you throw long-range Lucent Beam
s uphill, letting you harass even very canny or cautious players. I would only recommend doing it if they are, though, as otherwise it is an unnecessary expenditure.
If you find yourself having free time in lane between waves, or if you're overly pushed back or forward, then you can use the time to stack the Ancient camp
for later snacking.
The act of drawing neutral creeps away from their camp just before the neutral creep respawn time (every minute at x:00, with the first spawn being the odd one out at 0:30), causing a second lot of creeps to spawn in the camp. Usually this doesn't happen because the presence of any unit (including wards) too close to a creep camp at the spawn time prevents the camp from re/spawning.
Generally, to successfully stack a creep camp you have to aggro the creeps at the x:50~53 second mark, running away as soon as you do. The creeps will follow you for ~7 seconds before turning around and heading back to their camp, thusly keeping them outside of the spawn-blocking area at the x:00 mark.
This tactic is most efficient while mid, as it takes a lot longer to get to the Ancient camp
from the close lane, and it's not at all viable from the far lane:
Boots of Speed
Travel time from mid
Travel time from short lane (near end-far end)
I don't bother to list times for higher movespeeds, because usually by the time you have enough extra movespeed to make a real difference it's no longer laning phase for you, so these timings are irrelevant.
Regardless of the specific time it takes, the most important thing is to not leave the lane to stack the camp if you could otherwise be farming, denying or effectively harassing during that time period - these things are of more worth, the former because it provides immediate
gold and experience, which is important, and the latter two because it helps prevent your enemy from gaining a gold & experience advantage.
Keep in mind that the more creeps you've stacked, the earlier you may need to pull as the creeps will partially creep block themselves getting out of the camp. This puts an upper limit on the number of times you can practically stack a given camp.
Once you have at least a Butterfly
, you should be able to take the stacked creep camp (hopefully with as many as 4-5 stacks, more if you can manage it) pretty easily. If you want to be totally safe, wait 'til you also have lifesteal, as you then will take very little damage, or simply get someone to guard you / heal you during it.
If you've gotten your Butterfly
in good time (say, around 30~33 minutes) you'll likely be around level 15-16, at which point it requires 1600~1700 experience for a full level up. An Ancient camp stacked 5 times will provide, on average, 1320 gold and 1775 - in other words, a decent portion of your next item and a level up. Obviously, if you can take the stacked Ancient camp earlier, while still in the laning phase - by juking the creeps, or by getting help from allies, or whatever - you can then proceed to stack it again while continuing to lane, allowing you to reap still more of a gold & experience advantage from it.
Aside from the basic technical skills (last hitting, denying, lane control, micro, skill combos, etc.) and the game knowledge (hero statistics, skills, standard tactics, items, item builds, etc.), much of being good at DotA is about information and behaviour. Map awareness, wards, tracking enemy item builds, etc. covers a lot of the information portion. Mind games cover a lot of the behaviour portion.
I'm not going to cover mind games in general, because once again you can just google
it and related
That said, I will mention a few aspects of the art of mind games with respect to Luna
's specific capabilities.
is so absurdly powerful in 1v1 fights, especially early game, that there is far more value in luring the enemy into a 1v1 or 1v2 fight against you than there is for most heroes. In fact, you can frequently get easy kills by allowing an enemy hero to gain enough of an apparent advantage - say, a Haste rune - to make them aggressive and cocky enough to attempt to gank you, and then simply stand just far enough back from your creep line/close to your tower to drop all your Eclipse
beams right on their face as they rush toward you at 512 movespeed. It's a little like watching a particularly stupid bird fly right into a window: hilarious
, and a little sad.
You do have to make sure than the advantage you allow them isn't one so great that they could actually kill you instead, and you have to take into account any missing enemies while working this out, as surprise ganks while baiting an enemy can be disastrous
Not everyone is as familiar with Eclipse
's mechanics as you are (or at least, as familiar as I hope you are by now ._.). Specifically, while many people know it can't hit invisible units, far fewer know it can't hit units that are within range but out of line of sight. You can abuse this by luring enemies who are "safe" near a creep wave or neutral camp around a patch of trees/corner and just out of line of sight of the creeps but within Eclipse
radius, letting you hit their unsuspecting self with the full force of your ultimate.
When fleeing from or juking a chasing enemy past a friendly tower, once/if they have tower aggro immediately Lucent Beam
them - the 0.6 second stun on it is enough to let the tower get in at least 1 more hit, 2-4 depending on their movement speed, timing and behaviour. Often times this will cause them to turn around and head back out, in which case you should immediately follow and drop repeated Lucent Beam
s if there's any chance of you killing them - or at least forcing them back. Do not do so, however, if it's likely there's another enemy coming in to mop you up (i.e. don't try this in Clinkz
or Bounty Hunter
games if they're missing or too nearby).