T1.Karl’s Water Rune trick will help you dominate the mid lane

By Kenneth Williams


Jun 10, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Water Runes are supposed to make Dota 2’s mid lane more fair at early levels, but Karl “Karl” Matthew Baldovino’s trick can secure both Water Runes on any hero.

Southeast Asian champions T1 started off their WePlay AniMajor playoffs run with a huge upset over Team Aster. T1’s coordinated team fights hinged on mid laner Karl, who racked up 6 kills and 17 assists across both stomps. 

In game two as Magnus, Karl used a simple, yet incredibly powerful trick to secure both Water Rune spawns. He heads for the bottom rune right as the timer hits two minutes. Both runes spawn, but he immediately teleports back to his mid tower and runs to the catch the other.


Karl’s lane opponent Liu “White丶Album_白学家” Yuhao also rushed a bottle on Death Prophet, which was now left empty and useless at two minutes. Karl got 620 health and 420 mana for just one teleport. He used the extra resources to Skewer White丶Album_白学家 under T1’s tower for heavy early damage and a significant farm advantage. 

Stellar play from the entire T1 squad earned them an impressive victory over the Chinese DPC champions. Their next AniMajor playoff match will be against North America’s victor Quincy Crew.

How to secure both Water Runes

Karl’s mid lane tech trades a TP Scroll for both Water Runes. It sacrifices some early map mobility for a sustainability advantage, but most mid laners stay put until they have level six. 

Keeping an eye on the enemy mid laner is very important for Karl’s rune trick to work. They need to be focused on the creep wave and not immediately headed towards the rune.

The best way to pull this trick off is to clear the enemy wave as quickly as possible and force them into a situation where they need to choose either the runes or farm. This trick also needs the enemy mid to not be challenging for the first rune with a stun. A hero like Storm Spirit or Ember Spirit would be able to just cancel an enemy’s channeling without any effort, wasting both mana and a TP Scroll.

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This is still an incredibly strong trick for mobile heroes that like rushing Bottle will make the most of the rune TP. Karl’s own Magnus is a great choice since Empower helps push and Skewer can catch the rune if your lane opponent shows up. Queen of Pain, Puck, and Mirana all fit the bill but any mid laner works if they have strong wave clear.

Since the Water Runes spawn at the two and four-minute marks, you can actually do this trick twice. The enemy might call for a support to secure a Water Rune, but even then it helps your carry or off-laner by giving them an easier laning stage.

Keep in mind that if you don’t get both runes, you’ve thrown away a TP Scroll and 75 mana. If you’re not sure it’ll work, don’t force it, but if you can pull it off it gives you a big advantage.