Dota 2 Analysis: Herald, Guardian, Crusader matches

Herald, Guardian and Crusader are the three lowest Matchmaking Rating (MMR) you can get in Dota 2. Players in this bracket are most likely new players or players who has minimal knowledge on how the game works. These players have a ton of stuff they can learn from the game to become a better player and increase their MMR. Hence, in this post, I will shed some light on how to win a Dota 2 Ranked Matchmaking game as a Herald, Guardian or Crusader based on the analysis I’ve made.


The pictures above represents the top trending heroes for Herald, Guardian and Crusader bracket for November 2019.

Lets begin our Dota 2 Analysis with what we can see in common. In all of these 3 brackets, we can see some heroes that has some sort of vision mechanics.For example, Zeus possessing skills that provides detection such as his Lightning Bolt and Thundergod’s Wrath and Riki having a passive skill that provides invisibility.

Players in these brackets generally have issues such as:

  1. Vision
  2. Detection
  3. Gameplay

This small list of issues is enough to change the game result. Lets go in-depth for what you can do to solve each of these issues.


dota 2 observer ward - vision
Observer Ward

In the lower brackets, players often disregard buying Observer wards. We can see the effects of this by looking at the pick and win rate of Pudge in Guardian and Crusader brackets which is ridiculously high.

Not having adequate vision would cause heroes like Pudge to dominate the games as he could simply hook without his opponents knowing where it’s coming from. This often results in successful ganks or kills by Pudge.

Suggestions for vision issues

In these brackets, I would suggest two option; either purchase more Observer wards or pick heroes who provides vision.

The former is easier to do but often times harder to achieve than the latter in the low MMR tier. Doesn’t matter what role you are playing, just buy some wards and plant them. They are cheap for the amount of information they provide. On top of that, players in these brackets would rarely deward which makes the wards last for its entire few minutes lifespan. Good deal I’d say.

If that’s too much to ask, you can opt in for the second option, pick heroes who provides vision. Heroes like Zeus and Spectre has high win rates in these brackets which implies that the vision they provide contributes to winning the game.


Detection saves lives. I mean it. Seriously.

With the high pick rates of Riki(10%) and Slark (22%) in these brackets, buying detection could literally mean saving your team mates or even better, killing them. Assuming Slark gets a Shadow Blade, that is.

Detection, just like vision in the low MMR tier, is often ignored by players. They are viewed as nothing but unnecessary expenditure. This is a common mistake which leads to pick-offs and the opponents Snowballing.

Suggestions for detection issues

Two options, again. Pick heroes that provide detection (worse) or just get detection (better).

Sacrificing your lineup for detection is an acceptable solution. This is because:

  1. Your lineup becomes weaker
  2. Detection providing heroes like Zeus only provide temporary detection and does not provide precautionary detection like a Sentry Ward does


There’s a lot of mechanics in Dota 2 that contributes to winning a game in Dota 2. From items to heroes to the Dota 2 terrain itself. Gameplay, is another thing. It involves a player’s decision making on Positioning, Items and Skills Utilization, and Objectives.

Lets focus on Objectives for this tier. For the low MMR tier, I’d highly recommend you to pick a strong late game hero such as Spectre and focus on split pushing.


Simple. Because the lack of vision from the opponent team would make you harder to get picked off while split pushing. Also, taking towers will boost your team’s net worth since gold gains are slow due to lack of farm and constant deaths.

Apart from that, players in these brackets would usually drag the game by not taking down enemy towers.

These factors are what makes a late game hero viable in this tier.

Apart from picking strong late game heroes, you could also ban your opponent’s favorite hero since most players have a small hero pool in this tier. To do so, you can use 3rd party programs such as Dota Plus by Overwolf to identify what are your opponent’s favorite picks. I have also made a post mentioning Dota Plus by Overwolf. Check it out!


Being in the Herald, Guardian and Crusader bracket doesn’t mean you’re stuck there forever. Try to minimize mistakes and improve on utilization of hero picks and item utilization as well as decision making. There’s a lot of Dota 2 Analysis out there that you can study and apply to get out of the low MMR trench. Good luck!

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