Proper Itemization in Dota 2

Are you familiar with proper itemization in Dota 2? If not, look at this comprehensive guide to learn how to build items correctly!

Did you know that the most expensive item in the game is the Divine Rapier? It costs 6,600 gold. It greatly boosts damage, but if the hero carrying it dies, the rapier will drop and can be picked up by the enemy team.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of itemization and provide tips on how to build items properly. We will also cover the different hero roles, how they affect itemization, and the different types of items and their benefits.

After reading this post, you will better understand proper itemization and how it can help you and your team succeed.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, this article will provide valuable insights and strategies to improve your gameplay.


Proper itemization in Dota 2:

  1. Buying items at the appropriate time can significantly affect the team’s performance.
  2. Your itemization can be based on the itemization of the enemy team.
  3. Certain heroes have specific item builds crucial for their performance, such as Earthshaker requiring a Blink Dagger.
  4. Build offensive items for more damage and defensive items for more sustain.
  5. Essential items may only sometimes be necessary, and situational items like Mage Slayer can be built when needed.

Importance of Proper Itemization

pangolier dota 2

Proper itemization means selecting the right items for a hero based on the hero’s role, the situation of the game, the enemy heroes, and the hero’s strengths and weaknesses. It also involves considering the cost and timing of the items and how they synergize with the hero’s abilities and playstyle.

item progression in dota 2

Selecting the right items can give heroes the edge to turn the game’s tide and win team fights. It can also help them to farm more efficiently, increase their survivability, deal more damage, and improve their mobility. 

On the other hand, poor itemization can lead to heroes being weak, ineffective, or easily countered by the enemy team.

phantom assassin

Additionally, it requires knowledge of the game, the heroes, and the items available. It also requires careful analysis of the game situation, such as the state of the lanes, the objectives, and the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Players who master proper itemization can gain a significant advantage over their opponents, contributing to their team’s success and improving their chances of winning.

Understanding the Game and Hero Roles

ranked roles in dota 2

The main objective of Dota 2 is to destroy the enemy team’s Ancient, located in their base. However, this task is difficult and requires several intermediary objectives to be achieved along the way. These objectives include taking down enemy towers, securing Roshan kills, and invading the enemy jungle to gain control over resources and map vision.

support heroes

Another key aspect of the game is understanding the hero roles and how they contribute to the team’s overall strategy. There are generally three main hero roles in Dota 2: carry, mid, and support.

faceless void

The carry hero is responsible for dealing high amounts of damage and securing kills, while the mid is often a high-impact hero that can make plays across the map. The support, however, is typically focused on providing utility and protection to the team, such as healing, crowd control, or vision.

late game items

Each role has a different itemization strategy based on its unique strengths and weaknesses. For instance, cores usually focus on getting items that will give them kill potentials, such as damage, attack speed, or mobility items. 

Meanwhile, supports will often build items that provide survivability or utility to the team, such as Mekansm for healing, Force Staff for mobility, or Glimmer Cape for invisibility.

Itemization Strategies

Proper itemization can make all the difference in winning or losing a game. It’s important to understand the different types of items, their benefits, and when to build core items versus situational items. Here are some key strategies for proper itemization:

Understanding Different Types of Items

item guide

Items in Dota 2 can be broadly categorized into three types – Early Game Items, Mid Game Items, and Late Game Items. Each type of item has its benefits and drawbacks. Early Game Items like Wraith Band and Bracer are cost-effective items that can provide an early-game advantage.

butterfly and abyssal blade

Mid Game Items like Drums of Endurance and Diffusal Blade are often picked up when a player wants to fight and push objectives. Late Game Items like Butterfly and Abyssal Blade provide the highest stat bonuses but cost the most gold.

Core Items vs. Situational Items

situational items

Understanding when to build core items versus situational items is key to proper itemization. Core items are items that a hero usually builds every game because they provide essential benefits to the hero’s playstyle and abilities. 

black king bar

Situational items, on the other hand, are items that are built based on the specific needs of the game. For example, heroes may opt for a Black King Bar if they face much magical damage or disables.

Hero-Specific Item Builds

earthshaker with blink dagger

Each hero in Dota 2 has specific items that significantly increase their impact on the game. For example, Earthshaker benefits greatly from a Blink Dagger, while Tiny is often built with an Echo Sabre. Night Stalker can be devastating with a Black King Bar. 

Other hero-specific items include Anti-Mage’s Battle Fury, Bristleback’s Vanguard, and Leshrac’s Bloodstone.

Tips for Effective Itemization


Knowing what items the enemy team is building is crucial for effective itemization. It allows you to counter their strategy and build items that can give you an advantage. For example, if the enemy team has a hero building much armor, building an item like Desolator can help you deal more damage.

proper itemization in dota 2: Storm Spirit with malevolence

Timing is also important when it comes to itemization. Certain items, such as Blink Dagger or Orchid Malevolence, can have a huge impact early in the game, while others, such as Heart of Tarrasque, are better suited for later in the game. 

It’s essential to consider the timing of your item purchases and when they will be most effective.

Furthermore, deciding when to invest in defensive or offensive items is crucial for itemization.

daedalus and bloodthorn

Offensive items like Daedalus or Bloodthorn can help your team deal more damage, but defensive items like Pipe of Insight or Black King Bar can help protect your team from enemy abilities and spells.


To recommend items, open your shop by pressing your hotkey, search for the item you want to recommend, and then left-click it while holding Ctrl + Alt on your keyboard.
To send a gift of an item to a particular friend in Dota 2, the friend must have been on your friend list for at least 30 days.
You can gift up to eight items as a maximum limit per day.
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