In Dota 2, "Ganking" is the act of one or more heroes rotating from their lanes to ambush and kill an enemy hero.
However, the word "Gank" is not exclusively related to gaming or esports as is the popular belief. The word predates the advent of online gaming and can be seen in the lyrics of many '90s rappers like Tupac, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E. Initially, the word Gank meant to take or steal something.
But with the rise of video games, Gank became an informal verb in the world of gaming meaning "Using underhanded means to defeat or kill an enemy." In Dota 2, ganking is a very crucial part of the game. Lanes can be won with just one well-timed gank from where the ganking team can snowball the game.
Several heroes in Dota 2 are designed specifically to be good at ganking. These heroes are mostly utility heroes and can be played as an off-laner or as a support.
Note: This list solely reflects the opinions of the author.
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Top 5 Ganking heroes in Dota 2 7.29c
Some honorable mentions must go to heroes like Puck, Storm Spirit, Ember Spirit, Void Spirit, etc. These are all mid-lane heroes that get a huge power spike early in the game and can easily get 1 or 2 kills if they rotate to any of the sidelines.
5. Night Stalker
Dota 2 has a day and night feature. Every 5 minutes, the game switches between day and night. During the night, heroes have reduced vision on the map and they have to be more careful when moving around. The game starts during the daytime after which it alternates every 5 minutes.
Night Stalker is in his element during the nighttime. His passive ability, Hunter in the Night, gives him increased movement and attack speed during nighttime. Mostly played as an off-laner, Night Stalker becomes the strongest hero on the map during the first night cycle.
This makes the hero an ideal ganker in the early game. Players can rotate to mid and secure an easy kill on the enemy mid-laner as soon as the clock hits 5 minutes. Night Stalker players can keep this up for the entire duration of the night and go back to farming when the night ends for maximum efficiency.
Pudge is a hero synonymous with ganking in Dota 2. His first skill, Meat Hook, is Dota 2's most iconic ability. Pudge launches a hook in a straight line which catches any unit it comes in contact with and pulls them towards Pudge dealing pure damage along the way.
This ability makes Pudge one of the best ganking heroes in Dota 2. Players are advised to use Smoke of Deceits when ganking with Pudge. The best time to gank mid-lane is at 2, 4, and 6 minutes when the runes spawn in the river. This allows Pudge to land an easy hook on the enemy, trapping them on the high ground.
A successful hook early in the game almost guarantees a kill unless the enemy has the ability to blink.
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Tiny is possibly the best ganking hero in the Dota 2 pro scene. Tiny's first skill, Avalanche, is a ground target ability that continuously stuns and damages enemies. His second skill, Toss, throws the unit closest to Tiny at the targeted unit.
These two skills make Tiny one of the best heroes to gank with, in Dota 2. Tiny can toss enemies back at his teammates after stunning them with Avalanche. This also deals massive amounts of damage to the enemy unit.
Players are advised to try and get behind enemy lines and toss the enemy back into Tiny's teammates. This secures an easy kill on almost every hero in the game.
In Dota 2 7.20, Tusk's third skill was replaced. The old skill Frozen Sigil was removed and replaced with Tag Team. Tag Team applies a negative debuff aura around Tusk, slowing and dealing bonus damage to enemies. This new ability turned Tusk from a good ganker to a perfect ganker.
Tusk's other abilities, Snowball and Ice Shards, are also perfect abilities to gank heroes with. Snowball is a long-range stun that rolls Tusk into a snowball and launches it at an enemy. Ice shards create an impassable barrier on the map.
Players are advised to rotate to other lanes and initiate with Snowball. After landing the stun, players can block off the stunned enemy using Ice Shards. Finally, activating the Tag Team maximizes the damage and secures an easy kill.
Although that's not the case for the Dota 2 pro scene, Lion is the perfect ganking hero for pub players. Lion's first and second skills are hard disables. Earth Spike stuns enemies along the line of the cast while Hex simply hexes an enemy hero.
With these two abilities, Lion can disable enemies for 3.9 seconds, up to 6.6 seconds at higher levels. As a result, Lion is very strong early in the game. Very few heroes can survive being disabled for over 3 seconds without buying items.
Players are advised to rotate to other lanes under the guise of Smoke and chain their disables one after the other for maximum efficiency. If Lion's ultimate, Finger of Death is available, players should use it whenever available to secure easy kills.
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