For PSG.LGD’s matchup against developmental team Aster.Aries, top carry Wang “Ame” Chunyu chose to have a little fun.
WePlay AniMajor champion and The International 2021 favorite PSG.LGD has won two games in OGA Dota PIT China with a hard carry Pudge. PSG.LGD has drafted the traditionally awful hero four times, including against Vici Gaming and Elephant. Superstar carry Wang “Ame” Chunyu has averaged an 11.50 KDA with 809 gold per minute on the offbeat pick.
PSG.LGD previously attempted to run carry Pudge against Elephant and Vici Gaming with less success, but two drawn-out matches against Aster.Aries let Ame finally flex the new build. A combination of Overpowering Blink and Aghanim’s Scepter turns Pudge into a magic damage nightmare as Flesh Heap allows carry Pudge to snowball like few other heroes in Dota 2.
Although he is the most popular hero in Dota 2 history, Pudge is rarely seen in competitive Dota 2. Meat Hook is an extremely satisfying skill to land and Dismember is great for locking down enemies with spell immunity. Support Pudge isn’t unheard of in pro Dota 2 matches, but safe lane Pudge is completely novel. The peculiar pick might have been prompted by captain Zhang “y`” Yiping. His Wings Gaming lineup infamously drafted Pudge in the grand finals of The International 2016.
Ame’s goal as carry Pudge is very similar to hyper carries like Spectre and Medusa. He wants to tank damage for his team while dishing a ton out in return. The difference lies in how they scale. Spectre wants to hit creeps for 40 minutes. Carry Pudge wants to start fighting after just getting a bit of farm.
Flesh Heap stacks are the name of the game, so Pudge wants to remain active. Stick close to your offlaner and try to participate in ganks whenever Dismember comes off cooldown. Pairing up with strong initiators will set up easy Meat Hooks and secure Flesh Heaps for the late game.
For the item build, Phase Boots into a Hood of Defiance appears to be the standard. After the basic kit comes the fun items. Aghanim’s Scepter nearly doubles Rot’s radius and increases the damage to a whopping 220 per second. Ame always goes for a Blink Dagger for jumping the enemy backline. If the game goes long, Overwhelming Blink, Assault Cuirass, and Black King Bar are the natural extensions.
As for which heroes carry Pudge counters, he’s best at chasing down immobile heroes like Silencer, Drow Ranger, and most supports. Dismember naturally pierces spell immunity, so Lifestealer and Juggernaut are excellent targets. Aghanim’s Scepter also reduces healing for affected units by 25%, so carry Pudge might be a slight counter to heroes like Dazzle and Necrophos.
Carry pudge is a high-risk pick and if you don’t get the snowball rolling very early, it will spell doom in the late game. The good news is that Pudge’s dependence on kills rather than CS actually works well for greedy team comps. At the very least, players can use this as a way to punish all the hard support Slarks that pop up in ranked games.