Here is why off-laners need to stop buying starting items

By Kenneth Williams


Jul 11, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Helm of the Dominator is one of the least-bought items in Dota 2, but Tundra Esports off-laner Neta “33” Shapira loves rushing it.

According to Dotabuff, Helm of the Dominator has been purchased in only 0.06% of public matches over the past month. It has a bottom-tier 46.86% win rate, but a new off-lane build centers around the item’s solid stats and infinitely useful active.

33’s Tidehunter build notably rushes Helm of the Dominator as the very first item. Boots, Magic Stick, and Bracers are all postponed. The optimal inventory at six minutes is just a Quelling Blade and Helm of the Dominator. Tundra’s off-laner rushed the item in three out of five games against OG in the Western Europe qualifier for The International 2021.

The most striking part of this spicy off-lane build is the starting item kit, or rather the lack thereof. Tundra’s Neta “33” Shapira starts with no items at all. Anchor Smash and 740 starting health is enough for Tidehunter to save 925 gold for Helm of Iron Will. He repeated the strategy with Brewmaster in game four against OG. Other tanky off-lane heroes like Mars, Slardar, and Underlord could try rushing Helm of Iron Will. Five armor and health regeneration are enough to sustain the early laning phase.

18 stat points, six health regeneration, and six armor is nice, but the ability to control a neutral creep is the real draw of the item. A similar sentiment drove double-TI champions OG to draft Chen multiple times in the WEU qualifier. Helm of the Dominator makes creeps just as tanky as level-four Holy Persuasion. There are several powerful auras available in the jungle, including 30% bonus damage from an Alpha Wolf or six health regeneration from a Satyr Banisher. The extra unit also offers a new method of scouting the map and scaring enemies away from disputed territory.

The dominated creep’s usefulness is limited only by the controller’s creativity. Tundra off-laner 33 accelerated Oliver “skiter” Lepko’s farm on Anti-Mage in game two by dragging enemy creep waves into skiter’s farming pattern. He even parked a ranged creep near OG’s base to snipe couriers. Creative players can find tons of clever uses for Helm of the Dominator.