Dota 2 Talent Tree - In depth look at the perk system
Talent Tree in Dota2
Most of the MOBA genre players are familiar with the skill system, where players add points to make the abilities of their heroes more powerful. In Dota 2, players besides allocating points in spells can invest them in the Talent Tree. This feature will furthermore improve controlled heroes with various stat boosts and other bonuses. In this Dota 2 guide, we will be taking a look at the Talent Tree system - read what you can achieve by picking the right talents and learn about the most powerful perks in the game.
What is the Talent Tree
Talent tree allows players to choose traits for their heroes during the game. Those perks are chosen every five levels starting from level 10. On each of the tiers, you will be given a choice between two perks, where you will have to select only one of them. The other trait is discarded, and you won't be able to access it anymore, on the other hand, you will gain a bonus that affects your hero for the rest of the match. Since learning specific talents does not require learning the previous ones - talents might be skipped. At level 30, all of the perks from Talent Tree are learned automatically.
How to pick the right talents
There are no guides that will show you the path that is right for every single game. Every time you join the match, there are different heroes locked, multiple items bought, and many other variables that affect the game. It's up to you to decide whether you want talent X or Y. This choice becomes even more complicated when you have a Talent Tree with nothing but good talents to choose from. You can count on quick guides implemented in the game to give you one build path that will work decently, but overall you should always look at the talents by yourself. Learn their properties, think about the situation in the match, and how can you benefit from your choice and select the perk that will benefit you the most.
There are multiple factors that you have to consider during talent selection. Firstly look at both team compositions and try to determine whether the game will be a long one or a short one. For stretched matches, you want to get perks that offer additional gold and increased experience rates. Those will let you get ahead of the other players, and by every minute in the game, you will become stronger than others. In shorter games, you will be looking for perks that give bonuses to the hero's power so you can both hold the defenses and be more aggressive.
Some of the talents are very situational, but there is one that is worth it almost every time called Cooldown Reduction. Since in Dota 2, there are multiple active items worth purchasing and many builds that utilize them, you always want as much Cooldown Reduction as possible. CDR acquired from the Talent Tree will reduce the downtime after using either item or your skills, so you will benefit from it both ways. It is also very popular to pick Exp increases and Gold boosts. However, we do not advise taking them against heavy pushers and team comps that can end the game early on.
The best talents in Dota 2
DotA 2 has been known in the MOBA genre as one of those games that have multiple "game-breaking" heroes and abilities that can change the course of team fights within a quick moment. When Valve introduced Talent Trees to the game, it quickly became apparent that there will be some very interesting talent choices for players. Some of them are indeed worth picking more than the others, so let's have a look at the best traits that you can pick in Talent Tree.
If you are looking for a hero with the ridiculous talent choices, then you are looking for a Weaver. It is a hero that cannot typically snowball without help from the enemy team, but +35% XP Gains right from level 10 allows Weaver to skyrocket in terms of levels. It is a very Nimble hero that can farm extremely fast, and that bonus will enable him to do it even more efficiently. On top of that, with accumulated experience, Weaver unlocks other talents that are just as absurd as this one. At level 25, he can gain +200 Movement Speed for his Shukuchi, which will transform him into a menace haunting the enemy team. He can enter the fight as he pleases and leaves it when it does not fit his needs. Weaver has one of the best Talent Trees in the game.
Troll Warlord is one of those heroes that doesn't have anything extraordinary in his talent tree, but everything that is there is just solid. It doesn't matter which perks you will be choosing as a Troll since all of the choices are suitable for your character. You can become tankier, you can get some Agility, and you can even improve your skills with decisions made. Talent tree gives you multiple options on dealing damage, and at level 25, you can take "Battle Trance Strong Dispells" to ensure that no one will stop you from bringing harm to the enemy team.
Drow might be a surprise for some of the people watching heroes on this list. Her talents on levels 5, 10, and 15 give a mediocre stat boosts that do not look like anything special. On top of that, she can improve her Gust ability by adding more knockback and longer Silence. However, this is also nothing extraordinary. Overall her perks at those levels are decent but not jaw-dropping. What makes the Drow Ranger so good is her last talent that can be taken on level 25 that gives -50% to Cooldown Reduction. It is an extremely strong late game buff that allows her to spam abilities. On top of that, it works with active items, which are usually a majority of Drow's build. It is one of the best talents in the game.
Before the release of Talent Trees, Goblin Techies were mostly played as support heroes or just as a straight-up joke. People did not know how to use them properly, and to be honest, they were usually becoming much less viable during late-game. It changed with the release of passive perks that allowed them to gain various bonuses. Techies can now gain an additional 30% Exp on level 10, improve Mana Regen by +6 on level 15 or even get +150 gold per minute at level 20. With all of this, they can do what they couldn't have done before - scale. Since pushing is their primary job during the game, additional Exp and Gold are great, and with extra Mana Regen, they can constantly place mines without the worry of running dry on resources. At level 25 with +251 Damage buff to hits, Techies become a right-click machine that can carry games. Great talents overall and finally a way for this champion to scale into late-game.
Doom's Talent Tree stands in contrast with Drow Ranger. A hero with very solid perks early on, but mediocre ones at level 25. As a Doom, you can get either +16% Scorched Earth Movement Speed or +20 boost to the Damage on Scorched Earth. Both of those perks are very useful for the hero that lacks both Movement Speed and the Damage early in the game. +150 Gold from each Devour at level 15 is another great talent that allows Doom to quickly rise in power even though he is not great at farming. At level 20, he also gets a +40 Damage boost for the Ultimate. His Ultimate is one of the strongest in the game, and with that perk, it becomes even better. On level 25, the best choice is 130% Cleave, but in the end, it isn't anything special. With a bonus to gold from Devour and with the Hand of Midas - Doom can snowball out of control extremely quickly and win the games on his own.
Storm Spirit is one of those heroes that have some decent talent choices but nothing to be too excited about until level 25. Mana Regen allows him to sustain longer, Remnant Damage gives him an ability to wave clear more efficiently plus it works great with his last perk, and at 20 you can choose between Vortex Upgrade or a lot of Attack Speed. Things change at level 25 when Storm Spirit unlocks the ability to leave Remnants behind as he uses Ball Lightning. It will allow him to clear entire lanes of creeps instantly and deal tons of damage by setting multiple traps for his enemies on a global range. It is a great DPS increase, amazing wave clear, and a game-changing perk.
Nevermore has multiple solid choices on his Talent Tree. It is safe to say that every single one of the perks that he can get is useful - whether it is for a skill build or an auto-attack oriented game style. With the first one, you can get Spell Amplification, Movement Speed, Raze Damage, and Cooldown Reduction, and with the second one - Attack Speed, Movement Speed, Damage per Soul and Presence Aura buff. With faster spell charges his Raze attack time allows him to combo two Raze distances between cooldowns instead of three. It is just a well designed and perfectly balanced Talent Tree that allows this hero to become better and better as the game goes on.
Next up is one of the most iconic and beloved Dota 2 heroes - Pudge. This type of rotting monstrosity is known for his ability to scale endlessly. With perks taken from Talent Tree, Pudge can become a damage dealer that will solo kill any target that he can hook. +35 Rot Damage at level 10 works great for early farming. 13% Spell Lifesteal allows him to sustain for a long time. Lower Meat Hook Cooldown or longer Dismember both works excellent at finding easy picks for yourself and your teammates and double Heal/Damage from Dismember at level 25 means that no one will be able to leave your ultimate alive. Pudge hard CC allows him to remove anybody from the fight.
With the release of Talent Trees, Sand King has become significantly more viable. On level 10, players can choose between +20 Movement Speed and +200 Health bonuses, which work well depending on the role that you want to fill in your team. +40 to Sand Storm DPS is a notable increase in Damage for a skill that everyone masters as a first one. Level 20 provides either four additional ultimate pulses or +10 Armor. While the first one synergizes well with 50% Slow and Blind from Sand Storm, the second one works great with the +50 Health Regen bonus that you can choose at level 25.
Although Shadow Shaman can no longer obtain a 20% Experience Gain bonus that he could have chosen in the past patches, he still has one of the best Talent Trees in the game. 10% Spell Amplification on level 10 is a Solid Damage boost that allows him to clear waves faster. +125 to Cast Range on level 15 gives him the ability to Shackle opponents that are so far away that they barely can see the Shaman. Additional +2.5 seconds on the Shackles duration adds up to a total of 8 seconds of a single-player stun, and +400 to Ether Shock Damage makes his "Q" a great nuke. Besides that, he can also take the other route and take +1 Wards Max Health and +40 Wards Attack Damage - on levels 20 and 25, respectively. With a combination of these perks and Aghanim Scepter, he can create an army of Serpent Wards that can shred through minions, heroes, and enemy buildings.
The worst talents in Dota 2
Now that we have mentioned the heroes with the best talents in Dota 2, it's time to have a look at the worst ones. Talent Trees were implemented to the game to boost some of the heroes and make the games quicker. While forgotten and underpowered heroes received some benefits that allowed them to rise in strength, some of the meta champions got pretty useless Talent Trees.
Meepo is one of those heroes that were in their prime, but that has now passed, and they are left with nerfed talents that do not work as great as they did. On level 10, Meepo can choose between 20 Damage and 8 Strength. The first choice is an "ok" start, but the second one is way too low to be even considered. Both Poof Damage and Evasion at level 15 are not what Meepo needs at this level. 10% Lifesteal and -4 Earthbind Cooldown are also just "ok," but that's nothing significant, and on level 25 -5s in Poof Cooldown or +400 Health choice is just a choice between bad and the worse. The Talent Tree doesn't give Meepo anything significant, and choices at level 15 make him go on few levels without a power spike - because of that, it is one of the worst Talent Trees in the game. Even though Meepo illusions can stack the same talent tree it is still too weak to help this hero in the long run.
Invoker has plenty of abilities to strike with, so naturally, Valve decided to address them at the Talent Tree. On level 10, Invoker gets to choose between changes on +40 Chaos Meteor Damage or -30s on the Ghost Walk Cooldown. While the first one has an extended downtime between casts, the Ghost Walk is quite useful - but it shouldn't be as an option such early on. On level 15, there is a -10 Cold Snap Cooldown or +1 to Summoned Forge Spirits. These talents are both fine; however, on the hero that becomes useful so late in the game, it would be much appreciated to get some bonus experience or gold on the early level talents. Invoker doesn't need what he gets, and that's the major problem with his Talent Tree. Although talents on level 20 and 25 are decent, it will be too late to pull Invoker from the low experience slump that he found himself in. The Talent Tree is what makes this hero weak these days.
The problem with Slark's Talent Tree is different than the issues that we have mentioned before. There are some viable perks on his Talent Tree that could be quite beneficial for this hero. However, they all have low values. Either +6 Agility or +10 Strength on level 10 is barely anything. 20% Lifesteal and 25 Hit Speed on level 15 is fine, but those are the stats that Slark doesn't need. +1 Second on Pounce Leash and +150 Dark Pact Damage at level 20 is again barely anything, and level 25 talents are just underwhelming. Slark's perks are lackluster and for the hero that fights from a zero attack range, his survivability, spell immunity and damage are lacking. This is the main problem for everyone who plays Slark.
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Tinker is one of those champions that doesn't need stacks of good items or base perks to become useful. With the Boots of Travel alone, he can push lanes through his core AoE attacks and scale exceptionally quickly. Because of that, it doesn't matter that his Talent Tree is among the worst in the game. Since most of the players play him as a pusher - talents like improved Cast Range, Armor, Laser Damage, and Heat-Seeking Missile Ministun are useless and while others might seem decent - they all have low values.
The addition of Talent Trees allowed Dota 2 to balance the game furthermore, increasing the Strength of every hero at the same time. It was made not without reason, as matches in Dota 2 became extremely long and they usually lasted for over an hour. Valve had to do something with increasingly prolonged matches, and this was their answer to one of the biggest issues with their game. If you want to read more Dota 2 updated guides like this one, learn about Dota 2 New Hero or get to know secrets of all attributes like Magic Resistance, Damage Bonus, Hero Attack, Stun Duration, HP Regen, Slow Duration, Bonus Damage, and other features that you can find on our site - make sure to follow us on social media, where we inform everyone about our new articles. You can also directly check out our blog page to see available articles and recently added news however if you are looking for guides on specific heroes like Viper, Underlord, Dragon Knight, Medusa, Bounty Hunter, Crystal Maiden, Axe, Tiny, Ember Spirit, Ogre Magi and others then head over to official Dota 2 Wiki page.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Was Talent Tree a good addition to the game?
Yes. They made games shorter, and heroes became more powerful.
On what levels can you get new talents?
On levels 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 (the last one unlocks all of the talents).
What talents should I pick?
There is no rule, you can go by the guide, but every match is different.
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