Dota 2 - How to Juke

Jukes: How to not Die

Dota 2 has one of the most intricate set of rules for impassable terrain of any game in its class. The free pathing associated with flying type skills, and the rapid movement abilities that allow you to traverse cliffs and ravines open a whole world of escape options that we call Jukes.

Impassable terrain tends to be overlooked in its utility for escapes. In the panic of a fight, instinct takes over, and you run straight for the closest route back to the fountain. This is not always the best idea- in fact, it usually isn’t. Unless the enemy has no chasing power, you’re going to be caught out and killed. Running towards impassable terrain and traversing it can often buy you the few seconds you need to channel a teleport scroll, allow backup to arrive, or let your blink dagger cooldown enough to get out of harms way.

The hidden paths layered throughout the Dota forest are an escape artist’s heaven. In addition to the easily accessible paths, there are a number of hidden paths that can be reached by blinking or removing a tree or two. These spots are numerous, easy to find with a little exploring. For the lazy juker, there was an excellent reddit post made a few months back on enabling a pathing navigation grid that highlights available paths through the forest:


A further intricacy of the Dota forest is Line of Sight interaction. Most players know of the usual juke spots, and will probably search them very quickly when seeking an escaped quarry. Furthermore, anyone with a vision skill is immediately going to reveal the juke spot you’ve just run in to- giving the enemy team line of sight to attack you. Carrying a tango or quelling blade can allow you to escape the area that the enemy will be searching. And chances are, they aren’t going to notice the tiny little path you cut to escape.


If you really want to take juking to the next level, the Iron Branch is your friend. Iron branch can be planted at the entrance to a forest path, blocking the enemy from following you for the final kill. Furthermore, it can be used to trap an enemy in a forest path for up to 20 seconds, essentially deleting them from the game unless they have a way to get out. This is extremely useful in the early game when an enemy is aggressively diving your tower, and you need a slight reprieve.


Line of sight disruption leads directly into the various escape tactics. Escape tactics can be categorized into a few different categories. Blinks, invisibility, rapid movement skills/items, and teleportation.


There are only a few heroes in the game who use targetable teleportation skills: Io, Chen, and Keeper of the Light (the rest function enough like blinks or teleport scrolls that they have been excluded). Teleports are arguably the most powerful escape tactic, because they are hands down the most effective at removing a hero from pursuit range- usually taking them all the way to the safety of the fountain. More importantly, the ability to cast that escape on an ally makes for a very potent team oriented escape.


When playing with an ally who has a teleport skill, it’s a good idea to establish a signal for needing an evacuation teleport. If voice chat is available, the signal usually ends up being “GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE.” When voice chat is not available, a sequence of two pings at your location, or typing a short message like ‘TP’ in chat works just fine.


Communication is essential in using any of these skills. Teleport skills are a lot like drunk sex in that regard. Even in the heat of the moment, get consent before teleporting a buddy. Someone with a Heart or healing skills might just be jumping out of the fight for a few seconds to heal, and really isn’t going to appreciate being teleported away from the battle. Non-verbal consent can usually be inferred though- a ¼ HP Crystal Maiden frantically running from away from Tiny’s enormous tree trunk is probably giving enthusiastic non-verbal consent to be teleported.


The closest thing to teleports are blinks. Blink skills are some of the most valuable skills in the game- evidenced by the high value placed on blink skills in Ability Draft. Blinks let you instantly jump into the safety of the woods, giving you time to teleport out, or recover yourself and blink right back into the fight. If you’ve played Dota 2 for any length of time, you probably know how to disjoint spells that are flying at you. A more obscure usage of blink disjointing, is interrupting high cast point spells by breaking line of sight. Blink dagger has an instantaneous cast point, making it perfect for this, especially for getting away from high impact, high cast point ultimate skills like Doom. It’s important to note that exiting cast range after a hero has begun casting will not end the spell, you must break line of sight.




dota 2 how to juke

Moving on to invisibility: Invisibility is one of the most widely available escapes, but also the easiest to counter. It is an innate skill of a lot of ganking heroes like Bounty Hunter, Clinkz, and Riki, and a situational item pickup for heroes like Kunkka, Slark, and Tusk. Invisibility, like blinking, is useful for disjointing spells. Even when you know the enemy has detection, popping an invisibility skill/item during a fight to disjoint a critical stun is an extremely useful tactic. Furthermore, invis items/skills like Shadow Blade and Shadow Walk have damage bonuses, and the extra damage from the initiation attack after going invisible can be an unexpected strike for the opposition.


When you do go invisible to escape, you should always change directions after fading from sight. Most seasoned players will track the direction you were headed in and fire off spells to try and intercept you. Key escapes can be made by doubling back and slipping into a hiding spot behind the enemy while they chase after you down the lane- in the opposite direction. It’s also important to vacate the area where you were as quickly as possible. In lower skill brackets, the enemy team will often drop delayed sentry wards or dust to try and find you. It is imperative that you be long gone and out of range of these items, or at the very least outside of their line of sight (and preferably teleporting away as soon as you’re hidden).


Finally, we come to rapid movement. These are skills and items that allow you to temporarily heighten your move speed to escape a fight, or cover short distances quickly. Notable skills in this category are Sand King’s Burrowstrike, which lets you instantly jump up to 1300 units with scepter, Magnus’s Skewer, and Morphling’s waveform, to name a few. Furthermore, all of these skills allow you to cross over impassable terrain. Escaping to the top of a ward spot that the enemy can neither see nor reach is monstrously effective, and gives you all the time in the world to teleport or heal.


Juking is an essential tactic for playing Ranked Dota 2. It is the saving grace that prevents you from feeding a lane that the enemy is dominating, and can be the only reason that you survive an unexpected gank. The best way to master juking is practice and observation. Watch what pros do, take note of how an enemy jukes you, then try it out in every one of your games. You’ll fail a few times, but the eventual payoff is more than worth it. 

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