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51 Votes

Melee VS. Ranged

February 3, 2013 by xCO2
Comments: 41    |    Views: 76246    |   

Melee VS. Ranged

February 3, 2013


What is melee?

Melee refers to one of two attack types. Melee is the attack type that a close range combatant uses to physically strike a target unit. Generally this ranges from an attack range of 128, with the exception of a few heroes. Most melee heroes tend to be strength or agility orientated.

What is ranged?

Ranged is referencing the second of the attack types. Ranged attacks are conjured items or energy that is slung at a range to inflict damage to the target. Ranged attacks can very greatly in the overall length of attack. Ranged heroes are commonly intelligence or agility based.


I bet you're wondering why I listed this basic information. Well why isn't this relevant? Knowing the difference between these mechanics can make or break a game. I often see a very irrelevant section in guides consisting of pros and cons, I find this to just be a filler to make the guides longer. Within these guides lye a very common misconception, example:


  • Blah Blah Blah
  • Blah Blah Blah
  • Blah Blah Blah

  • Blah Blah Blah
  • Blah Blah Blah

If you're like me, this arrogance irritates you and you just leave. Ignoring the guide forever. If not, then please continue reading this so I may enlighten you on a few concepts you may or may not be aware of.



A guide is generally written by a mediocre DoTA player who wants to share his personal play style with his peer players. The same mediocre player will look at other's guides to see their personal options and then take these guides to heart. The problem with this, is that with most opinions comes falsities. Often a hero will be criticized based on role or attack type:

"A support? No that's lame, where's viper?"
"Dude, we already have 3 carries! We need a support."
"No, I got it, Dazzle doesn't do any damage anyways."

This. DoTA2 matchmaking at it's finest. A misinformed player is not necessarily an ignorant player, just a misguided player. Often times a player provides themselves the notion that because a hero can attack you from a further range, that you automatically will be zoned from the lane. If this is the case then why are Nightstalker and Tiny so well at dominating mid lane? To answer this we have to look at the statistics and truths provided below.



Here is a list of SOME of the items that differentiate between melee and ranged heroes. Some have a quite small margin of difference, and some have a quite big impact on the play style of certain heroes.


Quelling Blade, bonus damage versus creeps: 32%

Vanguard, damage block: 40

Poor Man's Shield, damage block: 20

Skull Basher, bash proc chance: 25%

Manta Style, illusions deal 33% damage and take 350% damage. Cooldown: 35 seconds.

Vladimir's Offering, bonuses: lifesteal 16% and 15% bonus damage. Armor 5, mana regeneration 0.8.

Venom Orb, movement slow: 12%


Quelling Blade, bonus damage versus creeps: 12%

Vanguard, damage block: 20

Poor Man's Shield, damage block: 10

Skull Basher, bash proc chance: 10%

Manta Style, illusions deal 28% damage and take 400% damage. Cooldown: 50 seconds.

Vladimir's Offering, bonuses: Armor 5, mana regeneration 0.8.

Venom Orb, movement slow: 4%



There are certain attack modifications and auras that only affect heroes of a certain attack type. Most of these modifications have quite the impact on a hero. I've provided a list of SOME of these mechanics.


Denied Creep Experience: 36


Vladimir's Offering Melee Damage Bonus

Vladimir's Offering Lifesteal

Skeleton King's Lifesteal

Skadi, Orb


Denied Creep Experience: 18

Orb Walk

Drow Ranger's Ranged Damage Bonus

Ranged Units, Chance to miss uphill: 25%

Skadi, Buffplacer (Can stack with Lifesteal orbs)



Orb walking is a vital skill that allows ranged units to generate some severe harass. This mechanic is exploited by using the current spell system to work in your favor. Usually I'd write this section myself, but due to incompetence, I have brought in two sources to properly display this advanced technique:


" One of the strongest mechanics of some ranged carries is their ability to orb walk. An orb is a unique attack modifier that changes how your auto attacks will affect the enemy or yourself, such as lifesteal (Morbid Mask, Satanic), armor reduction (Deso), and movement slow (Orb of Venom, Skadi). Some ranged heroes, like Viper, Huskar, and Drow, have skills that are orbs you can toggle on and off to give unique orbs. The strength of these orbs is that they cost low mana and they count as spells. The reason why it is important that these orbs are spells is that they do not draw aggro from creeps when in lane. In a typical situation, if you right click to attack an enemy hero in the early game, the enemy creeps will re-aggro themselves to you instead of your allied creeps. When you cast a spell on an enemy, the aggro does not change. This is the real power behind orb walking; you can get free harass on the enemies in your lane while while not taking the counter attack from the enemy creeps.

Let's use Clinkz as an example. Clinkz's W, Searing Arrows, is an orb effect. To orb walk, simply press the W key on your keyboard, then left click on the enemy to cast it. This will allow for long range harass with no creep revenge. " - Awes0meo


" Typically when you right-click on an enemy hero, the nearby creeps will agro you, and attack you. When you cast spells on enemy heroes this is not the case. Orb-Walking involves using abilities that have Unique Attack Modifiers. Select the ability once and click on an enemy hero, this is now considered casting an ability so nearby enemy creeps will not attack you. You can repeat this as many times as necessary. On the contrary, however, if you enable auto-cast for the Unique Attack Modifier and right-click on a hero creeps will attack you. " -



I believe that within DoTA, every basic mechanic is balanced; and punishes the player appropriately. If you are being voided from your lane by Sniper, that's all on you. I'm not saying that DoTA is completely balanced, obviously values change and updates happen often, but what I am saying is that; if you're losing its not the game, its you.

If you have learned anything from this guide, or even if you just enjoyed the little rant, please give this a thumbs up so others may read this and also agree or disagree on this.



These guides are somewhat time consuming to produce, and most of them do lack some at the moment, but for the most part I believe they provide enough information to play properly with the given information. Even though the guide is still UNFINISHED, I still need feedback on how to better it. The opinions and such are always up for change, and your opinion is wanted as long as it's not something that smashes the entire guide because you don't like a little detail. Please keep in mind: if you have the time to read this guide and vote on it then you should have a sufficient amount of time to comment what pleased or displeased you.

Please take the time to provide feedback.
What can I change? What areas need improvement? Is the guide visually unappealing?

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