Thursday, 25 July 2013

Dota 2 Guide to Stacking and Pulling creeps

This guide has been updated to version 6.81 although the last change introduced to creep pulling was in 6.79 which was this change.
* Creeps now meet a bit closer to the tower in your offlane

This mostly affects the pull timing and also the change in making the pull camp into an easy camp means you have to stack 3 times to completely deny all your creeps for the enemy.

Anyways hello everyone and welcome to this Dota 2 guide on Stacking and Pulling Neutral creeps.

A lot of times during games when I play carry I would ask one of my allies to pull the creeps only for them to reply with something like " I don't know how to" or " I no speak english" either that or they simply are very bad at it. So to help all players learn this very simple yet very useful trick I decided to write this guide and hopefully you guys will find it useful. Keep in mind that while some heroes can use more advanced pulling and stacking tactics, this guide is helpful no matter which hero you use.

Part 1:Creep Stacking.

Neutral creeps spawn every minute at the same locations, however Neutrals will not spawn if there is already a camp there. Creep stacking is a method used to force creeps to spawn anyways by first baiting the original camp away so that the computer thinks there are no creeps in the Spawn point and makes a new camp anyway.

It sounds a bit complicated to explain with words so lets try pictures instead.
Creeps spawn at the first 00:30 mark of the game.
I attack the creeps to lure them away from their camp at the 00:53 mark.
And now there are two camps there instead of one.
Creep stacking is very easy to learn, simply attack the creeps at every :53 seconds of the game and you will be able to stack them, simply attack the neutrals and then run away and they will chase you, then by the time they come back to their camp there will already be another second camp there.

You don't have to use your hero to stack the camps, anything will do.

Here I attack the camp with a Treant instead of using my hero.
Chase Chase.
And Voila, its stacked.
You can use any sort of summon or unit to pull, this is very efficient to do while your hero is farming the lane you can stack the camps using Summons like Enigma's edilons, Beastmaster Boar, Broodmother's Spiderlings, heck you can even pull using an illusion rune.

Stacking ancients is just as easy as stacking normal camps.

Attack at the XX:53 second mark.
Come at me bros

It should be noted though that after 3-4 stacks creeps start bumping into each other and don't leave the camp fast enough to allow a new set of neutrals to spawn there, so if you have a 4 stack somewhere then start stacking a different camp.

Blocking Camps.

If you know your enemies will stack their camps then there are several ways to block them, the easiest and most used way is simply to drop a ward at the camp and this will stop any creeps from spawning.

If however you don't want to use wards (or your supports won't buy any for you) you can still stop the neutrals from spawning by putting anything in the area, whether its a summon, an illusion, your own hero. All of these things will stop the neutral camps from spawning, just be sure to be there at the right time.
Here's my treant blocking the first 30 second spawn.
The first minute of the game is a bit unique. You can start stacking creeps from the first minute, because the first time neutrals spawn will be at the 00:30 second mark, meaning that if you stack the first camp at 00:53 seconds game time, you should have a double camp by the first minute of the game. and you can continue to stack every minute after that since creeps will no longer spawn at the XX:30 second mark anymore.

You cannot block camps by using Couriers though so be aware of that.

Part two: Creep Pulling.

Creep pulling is one of the best things any support can do, it basically allows support players to farm a little while they deny enemies gold and exp at the same time. Its an extremely effective tactic to master.

So how do you pull? firstly its best to start by saying only a few camps in the game can be pulled by every hero and these will be the ones this guide focuses on. Some camps can only be pulled by very specific heroes that would need their own guide on, so lets just focus on the easy pulls today.

Pulling is just like Stacking in the sense that they are all about timing, to pull creeps all you have to do is attack the neutrals in the XX:12 or XX:42 seconds of the game then run into the lane. Ranged heroes are better at this as they don't need to be so close to the camp they are pulling and wont take as much harass.

I position myself near the pull camp so I don't miss the timing.
Attack at the XX:12 second mark or XX:42 mark.
Voila, pull the neutrals back to your creeps.
Both teams can also pull at the top lane using another creep camp, this tactic requires that you eat one tree first otherwise you can pull do to not being able to hold creep aggro long enough.

I ate a tree to allow this camp to walk straight to the lane instead of taking the long way around.
Hit and run to the lane and hope you get the timing right.
 Half Pulls.

Its best to pull camps after you stack creeps first so that all the creeps you pull die and the enemy gets no gold or experience from them, if you pull a camp without stacking first then usually 3 creeps will live and the lane will get pushed hard.

However lets say you had to go to the lane to gank or something and weren't in time to stack the camp but you still want to deny farm to the enemy then you should do a half pull.

Instead of pulling the entire creep wave, you instead pull 2-3 creeps instead and let the others pass, its not as good as pulling a full wave but you get to deny at least 50% of the farm the enemy gets so its still huge.

All you need to do to half pull is simply attack the neutrals a little later than usual, normals pulls are like I said at the XX:12 and XX:42 mark, Half pulls are done a couple of seconds later at the XX:15 and XX:45 mark, simple no?

Perfect half pull.
Attacked a bit too soon and got 3 creeps instead of 2 :/

Half pulls are a bit complicated in that they depend a lot on how fast the neutrals move, Mud golems for example move at 270 MS, while the wolf camp moves at 350 speed. Pull the faster camps a bit later by a couple of seconds and you will be fine.

Double Pulls

Probably the hardest way to pull is to pull two creep camps. Double pulls is to basically pull more neutrals just as your creeps are about to kill a neutral camp.

Neutral mud golem is about to die.
In the above image please note that you must eat a tree between these two camps otherwise you can't pull the upper camp.
Attack and pull the centaurs to my own wave.
And that's a double pull

Dire can do the same thing as well of course.

Double pulls are a bit more complicated and I cant give a time for you to follow, just watch the health of the neutrals and start pulling when you think the neutral camp will be almost dead by the time you come back.

I don't recommend double pulling really because its quite hard to do, if you somehow manage to skip stacking then simply do a half pull instead. Its much easier to do and far less risky.

Lastly ( if you've read till now thank you) I would like to say that if you are pulling and the enemy shows up, do not deny your own creeps. If you do the enemy will get the deny exp ( 2/3 for melee heroes, 1/2 for ranged) but if the neutrals kill your creeps enemy players will get no exp at all, so try to always let the neutrals get the last hit.

And that's all for this guide, hope you found this useful, drop me a comment if you have a question about this guide or anything else you'd like to know more about, thank you for your time.


* Yoshitsune-sama   For his advice on adding a section for stacking ancients.
* Sven2k For telling me that couriers no longer block neutral spawns, something I made a mistake in mentioning in my guide.

Lastly if you're interested in more guides I wrote please check these out.
Skywrath Mage Guide.
Anti Mage Guide.
Hand of Midas Guide.
Guide to Picking the right Position.
Who needs Aghanim.
Guide to warding.