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Dota 2: How to Deny

A common question in Dota 2 is how to deny creeps, towers, and even other heroes. Let's dive in to learn about this.

A big mechanic that separates Dota 2 from other mobas, such as League of Legends or Heroes of the Storm, is the ability to deny. You may have heard about this mechanic or you're a brand-new player who isn't entirely sure how to pull it off. If that's the case, then keep reading to learn how to deny in Dota 2.

What is a deny?

Simply put, a deny in Dota 2 is the act of killing a friendly unit. Before you think "wow, why would I want to do that?" (or, alternatively, ""I can't wait to do that!"") consider the fact that this can be extremely smart. Since gold and experience are so vital to generating an advantage in Dota 2, you can cripple the enemy in the late game if you are smart about denying in your gameplay.

This is done with regular attacks, so you need to be in close enough range to do it.

There are a few kinds of units that you can deny, so let's read about some specifics next to get you winning more Dota 2 games.

How to deny creeps in Dota 2

Dota 2 how to deny

The deny symbol is normally an exclamation mark, but you can have custom effects.

Maybe you've tried to deny your own creeps before but couldn't do it. The number 1 thing to know about denying creeps in Dota 2: you can only start attacking your own creeps when they have less than 50% health. The second key is that just right-clicking them doesn't work.

In order to deny a creep in Dota 2, you need to issue the attack command (default "A", though feel free to bind it to whatever you want. If the creep has less than 50% health, your hero will start to attack it. This will deal their normal attack damage, so now you have to make sure that you don't bring your own creep so low that the enemy gets an easy last hit. You have to time it to deal the killing blow, ideally, though if you manage to disrupt their last hit, which might still be worth it at least.

In Settings, under "Options," you can modify the behavior of your right click to attempt to deny allies. Then you don't have to issue the attack command.

Here's why denying creeps is really important: the enemies will get only 50% experience from it, and of course, 0 gold. Reducing the farm of enemy heroes is a huge step in reducing their advantage for later, slowing them down, and making them weaker. Also, helping kill your own creeps will make the enemy creep wave push closer to your towers. In general, especially for the carry of your team, it's much safer to kill creeps if you are closer to your own towers. It also means you'll be harder to gank.

That's why, if you see any of your creeps below 50% health, you can start killing them. But, make sure to prioritize last hitting over denying, unless you are the support hero.

How to deny towers in Dota 2

Dota 2 how to deny towers

Your own towers can also be denied in Dota 2. To deny a tower in Dota 2, issue an attack command on the tower while it has 10% health or less. Your hero will then keep attacking the tower until it's denied, though you can cancel this.

Note that the setting we discussed above, "right click to deny allies" does not apply here and you have to issue the attack command to deny a tower.

Why is this beneficial? Towers give gold to the entire team that vanquished it, and some extra to the hero who dealt the last blow. By denying it, the enemy team will only get half the gold, and they won't get that last hit bounty either.

This is harder than denying creeps, because there are so few towers, and they are precious. Most often, a couple of enemy heroes will be attacking a tower with some creeps, so you sometimes might have to try to sneak a last hit in order to deny it. Otherwise, in the event that you defended the tower and the enemies leave, and it is at very low health (if you issue the attack command and your hero won't attack it, that means it may still have too much health), you can finish it off. It may be better to do that, so that the other team doesn't get the extra gold later. A low-health tower won't last long.

Of course, don't deny your tower if your allies want to teleport to it, or if you have some way of healing it, like with Treant Protector's Living Armor.

How to deny Heroes in Dota 2

How to deny Heroes in Dota 2

You can also deny other Heroes in Dota 2. This is done similarly to a creep; issue the attack command or right-click them if you have the right setting. This can be very powerful, since the enemy won't gain any experience or gold from a potentially big kill. The denied Hero still loses gold and will not gain a Teleportation Scroll.

However, unlike creeps, friendly Heroes and allies can only be denied under specific circumstances. Typically, they are under a powerful spell that will kill them soon. An exclamation mark will appear over an allied hero that you are able to deny. You'll have to deal the final blow carefully, and also judge whether they might survive it -- you don't want to bring them closer to death if there's some healing around!

Heroes need to have 25% health or less and be affected by certain spells. Here are the spells that make Heroes deniable:

  • Doom from the Doom Hero
  • Queen of Pain's Shadow Strike
  • Venomancer's Venomous Gale (remember that Venomancer's Ultimate, Poison Nova, doesn't kill)

That's pretty much it when it comes to denying in Dota 2. You can practice this in real games, AI games, or the game's laning trainer. Remember, being detailed-oriented about every little interaction is what separates good from great Dota 2 players.

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