The hero choices in Dota 2 are among the most versatile in all Esports. There are 121 unique heroes in Dota 2 with their strengths and weaknesses.
No heroes in Dota 2 are similar, as every hero comes with their skillset. It forces players to have different approaches for different heroes. As such, some heroes have been more popular than others within the Dota 2 community.
The list dives into some of the most iconic heroes in the game's history, keeping Esports and amateur scenes in mind.
Note: This list solely reflects the opinions of the author
Dota 2 has a rich legacy of unique heroes
Rubick has one of the best hero designs in Dota 2. His primary abilities are not that special. He has a disabling ability, a nuking ability, and a passive that increases his magical damage output and cast range.
But Rubick's ultimate ability, Spell Steal, is a game-changer. Using this ability, Rubick can steal the last spell an enemy hero used. Considering Rubick can steal ultimate abilities, enemies must think twice before using their spells.
The possibilities are endless with Rubick, and the hero is responsible for some of the most exciting moments in Dota 2 history. Players like Xu "fy" Linsen, Yazied "Yapzor" Jaradat, and Jesse "Jerax" Vainikka have made this hero their own and given the fans several iconic moments.
#9. Dragon Knight
Dragon Knight is one of the first heroes that new players are advised to play. The hero is easy to play and has one of the best lores in the game. His lore has been adapted into an anime, Dota: Dragon's Blood, which further increased the hero's popularity amongst the player base.
Dragon Knight's toolkit is basic, but his ultimate ability, Elder Dragon Form, is one of the coolest in Dota 2. When using this ability, the Dragon Knight transforms into a Dragon. While in his Dragon form, he gains new modified abilities.
Although DK is not a common sight in pro-Dota 2, he is very popular in public games. With Dota: Dragon's Blood Season 2 coming soon, his popularity will only ever increase.
Earthshaker is one of the most picked heroes in both pro and amateur Dota 2. The hero has an amazing skill set. His first ability, Fissure, is one of the only abilities in the game that can create an unpassable barrier.
Using his passive ability, Aftershock, he can chain stun enemies to death. But his most important ability is his ultimate, Echo Slam. Echo Slam is one of the best abilities in Dota 2, capable of winning games and, sometimes, even tournaments.
Earthshaker is one of the most picked heroes in pubs. The hero is responsible for some of the most iconic moments in pro-Dota 2, including the $6 million Echo Slam at The International 5.
Enigma has given fans more iconic moments in Dota 2 than any other hero. The hero's ultimate ability, Black Hole, is the most hype ability in all of Dota 2. This ability allows Enigma to disable and deal massive damage to enemy heroes within an area. As a result, this hero has been one of the most picked in the pro scene.
Viewers and casters love an Enigma game. Picking Enigma almost guarantees a few amazing plays. Black Holes are game-changing. In an Enigma game, both teams must play around Black Hole's timing. One multi-man Black Hole can win the game for Enigma's team.
The sheer strength of Enigma's ultimate makes him one of the best heroes at positions four and three. As long as Black Hole is there, Enigma will remain one of the most iconic heroes in Dota 2.
Juggernaut is the third most-played hero in Dota 2 history. The hero has a 22% pick rate on Dotabuff.com. The simplicity of his playstyle makes Juggernaut a favorite among amateur players.
Pro players play Juggernaut frequently since it is one of the only carry heroes that can deal both physical and magical damage. His first ability deals magical damage. His second ability can provide massive amounts of healing for his team. His third and ultimate ability is physical damage-dealing abilities.
As a result, Jugg is always helpful in the game, no matter what the situation is. Thanks to this amazing versatility, he has been a staple of Dota 2 for a long time.
#5. Shadow Fiend
Shadow Fiend (SF) is the quintessential mid-hero of Dota 2. In the early days of Dota, players had to be good with SF to be considered a decent mid-player. The hero can deal huge damage to enemies with every single one of his abilities.
He is one of the most popular heroes in pubs and has been occasionally picked in the pro scene. His ultimate ability, Requiem of Souls, is one of the most satisfying burst damage abilities in the game. This ultimate has made SF one of the most popular heroes since very few enemies can survive a perfect Requiem.
SF's other abilities also deal magical damage. His passive abilities amplify physical damage, making him one of the best offensive heroes in the game.
Invoker has one of the highest skill caps in Dota 2. Quas, Wex, and Exort are his three basic abilities. However, using combinations of those 3, Invoker can cast 10 unique spells. These spells can do everything from dealing damage to protecting Invoker.
As a result, Invoker is one of the best mid heroes in the game. The possibilities of this hero are endless. The hero is also very versatile as he can be played in different styles. He can also be played in position four, increasing his versatility.
Invoker is one of the most stylish heroes in Dota 2 and requires a high amount of skill to play. Mastering Invoker is something players hold a lot of pride over. He is also the fifth most picked hero of all time.
Io, the wisp, is one of Dota 2's most famous heroes. Although IO is one of the least picked heroes in the game, his impact on the pro scene is undeniable.
Initially, Io was a support hero. He could save allies from the jaws of death and heal them up to full health in a matter of seconds. But at The International 9, everything changed. OG's carry player Anathan "Ana" Pham began playing Io as a position one hero. Using this unconventional strategy, OG won TI9.
Even before TI9, Io had been one of the hardest to balance heroes in Dota 2. After TI9, it became even more complex. The hero is one of the most picked heroes in the pro scene and has never been out of the meta.
Like SF is the quintessential mid-hero of Dota 2, Anti-Mage is the ideal carry hero of Dota 2. Players like Xu "Burning" Zhilei and Amer "Miracle" Al-Barkawi have become legends of this hero.
The hero has a notoriously weak early game and needs to have multiple items to be useful. However, once Anti-Mage is farmed, it becomes nearly impossible to win a game against him. Thus, the hero requires a very high amount of mechanical skill and game sense to play.
The hero is popular even outside of Dota 2. He has a high pick rate among amateurs and pro players alike. Miracle famously played Anti-Mage in a game, where he became the first-ever 9,000 MMR player.
If any hero had to be the face of Dota 2, it would be Pudge. Pudge is the most picked hero in pubs. He has had the highest pick-rate in the game since being released. Although pros rarely play the hero, Pudge is still the most iconic hero in Dota 2.
In the early days of Dota 2, Pudge was a common sight in the pro scene, especially in the hands of Danil "Dendi" Ishutin. But he slowly fell out of the meta and is rarely seen. Meat Hook, Pudge's first ability, is the most iconic skill shot in Dota 2. Dendi used this ability in the infamous Fountain Hook incident at TI3.
Although Pudge has fallen out of favor in the pro scene, he is still the most picked hero by a huge margin in pub games. It looks unlikely that any hero will be able to dethrone him from his rightful spot as Dota 2's most iconic hero.