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Dota 2 Pudge Guide – Builds, Abilities, Items and Strategy

AHHH FRESH MEAT! Considered by many to be the most fun hero to play and by many others to be the most terrifying hero to play against, Pudge the Butcher is a melee ganker hero that specializes in picking off targets one by one with his trademark Meat Hook, and instilling enemies to dance around the map whenever they don’t see the big fat Pudge.

Besides his very powerful Meat Hook which can reel in enemies and save allies, he can also Rot, which inflicts massive damage to Pudge and to the area around himself, his Flesh Heap provides him some resistance to mitigate some of his Rot damage, while giving him even more strength whenever a victim falls near Pudge. His ultimate dismember holds an enemy in place for three seconds in which the enemy will take damage from Rot and all of Pudge’s nearby allies.

So much meat, so little time! Here is Pudge, the Butcher!

Pros and Cons

  • + Can easily kill other heroes in all stages of the game
  • + Tanky due to huge Str and the extra Str he gets through Flesh Heap
  • + Meat Hook is one of the best skills in the game
  • – Melee
  • – Heavily depends on good Hook usage
  • – Low armor, low manapool and low mevement speed

For more help on Dota 2, read our Leshrac, Faceless and Enigma Guide.

Pudge Abilities

Meat Hook
Launches a bloody hook at a unit or location. The hook will snag the first unit it encounters, dragging the unit back to Pudge and dealing damage if it is an enemy.

  • Distance: 700/900/1100/1300
  • Damage: 90/180/270/360
  • Manacost: 110/120/130/140
  • Cooldown: 14/13/12/11

Your main skill, it really takes a lot of practice to master it as it can be used in a lot of different ways and situations.

A toxic cloud that deals intense damage and slows movement–harming not only enemy units but Pudge himself.

  • Radius: 250
  • Slow: 20%
  • Damage: 35/60/85/110

This skill helps you kil enemies after you Hook them in. It also allows you to suicide in case the enemies are about to kill you, denying gold and exp.

Flesh Heap
Gives Pudge resistance to magic damage, as well as bonus strength that increases each time Pudge kills an enemy Hero or it dies in his vicinity. Flesh Heap is retroactive, meaning it can gain charges before it is skilled, which then become active.

  • Magic Resistance: 4%/8%/12%/16%
  • Strength Bonus: 0.9/1.2/1.5/1.8

Pudge’s defensive passive skill. With it you can easily get over 3.000 hp when a game goes over 40 minutes.

CHANNELED – Pudge chows down on an enemy unit, disabling it and dealing damage over time. Lasts 3 seconds on Heroes, 6 seconds on creeps.

  • Damage: 75/125/175 (+0.75× strength Aghanim Scepter Upgrade)
  • Cooldown: 30
  • Manacost: 100/130/170

The dreaded Fresh Meat skill.  Even while channeling you are able to toggle on or off your Rot so that the enemy takes even more damage. The Aghanim upgrade is also very good since it will greatily boost your Dismember damage AND it will heal you by the same amount you’ve dealt.

Pudge Skill Build

  1. Rot
  2. Meat Hook
  3. Rot
  4. Meat Hook
  5. Meat Hook
  6. Dismember
  7. Meat Hook
  8. Rot
  9. Rot
  10. Flesh Heap
  11. Dismember
  12. Flesh Heap
  13. Flesh Heap
  14. Flesh Heap
  15. Stats
  16. Dismember

This is the standard Pudge build. You take Rot level one because it’s one of the best tools to get a first blood, it’s also very good since the slow is 20% at all levels.

Meat Hook is the first skill to max since the range increases by a lot and also the pure damage and reduced cool down. After Hook, you max Rot to kill enemies a lot faster. Finally, Flesh Heap is the last skill to max since you only start getting a big amount of strength from enemy kills later on in the game.

The ultimate Dismember is obviously taken whenever possible.

Pudge Recommended items

Starting: Gauntlet, Gauntlet, Branch, Branch, Salve, Tango
These starting items will give you some nice stats to get some last hits as well as giving extra hp.

Core: Boots of Speed, Magic Wand, Urn, Bottle, TP Scroll
These items are all you need to start the killing. They will take care of both your regen and mana needs. Urn is a very good item to pick since night time should grant you a lot of kills, keeping your Urn with lots of charges to heal yourself and your team, as well as using it offensively to damage enemies.

Boots Choice: Phase Boots, Tranquil Boots, Arcane Boots or straight Boots of Travel
Pudge is a hero that benefits from every Boot except for Treads since he doesn’t right click stuff that much for the attack speed to be worth it. Phase gives you a good increased movement speed to to catch up and Dismember enemies right away, Tranquil gives you extra regen that you need between kills, Arcane boosts your mana pool which is quite low in the beginning and Boots of Travel give you an excellent mobility and allows you to gank around the map a lot faster.

Strong Extensions: Force Staff, Aghanim Scepter, Vanguard, Black King Bar, Pipe of Insight
These items will further boost your survivability. Force Staff allows you do escape and position yourself for perfect Hooks or just Dismembers. Scepter is an excelent upgrade on Pudge, which boosts his Dismember by a lot.

Vanguard will give you some hp and the damage block will allow you to dive towers and take more hits. BKB to make you magic immune against stunners and disablers. Pipe will further reduce the damage you take from your own Rot as well as other sources.

Luxuries: Assault Cuirass, Shiva’s Guard, Heaven’s Halberd, Heart of Terrasque, Ethereal Blade
Both Assault and Shiva will give you a lot of armor which you need to become even tankier, Halberd will give you some hp as well as evasion and a very useful disarm.

Heart will make you very very hard to kill as well as giving you a ton of regeneration when outside fights.

Ethereal Blade as of 6.75 version is really strong on Pudge since he can easily get 200 Str and his Dismember is Magic damage, so when you pair an Aghanim with Ethereal Blade, Pudge will be able to kill almost anything in the late game with this combo.

Pudge Strategy Tips

In the beginning, either choose the solo mid, or go to the safe lane with a support since he is not a very strong laner.

You should get atleast level 6 or 7 and after that start the killing. Ideally it’s a very good idea to start ganking at the 6 minute mark since it’s the time where the first set of wards expire, thus giving you a better element of surprise.

The absolute best runes that pudge can get is Haste and Invisibility. With either of them you can just walk up to an enemy and Dismember, then finishing off with a close range Meat Hook if needed. This method is safer since you don’t need to rely on a perfect Meat Hook.

Killing enemies relies a lot on your hooking, so if you are new to Pudge I recommend you practice your hooks in a lot of games with bots, because nothing is worse in a game than having another guy playing a Pudge and being totally useless missing every single hook.

There is a very useful trick you need to master while hooking which is pressing the S key to stop casting your hook in case you know it will fail, thus saving your hook until you are sure it will hit. Know where are the good spots for hooking and also try to practice hooking heroes that are concealed by the fog (also called blind hooks).

Know when to hook the enemy, and when to hook an allied hero. I know that killing the enemy Crystal Maiden over and over again is so fun and easy but if you have saved your carry Rikimaru then it’s probably not worth it.

Patience is the key to get good hooks, don’t expect to throw random Hooks and be Dendi, you really need practice with this skill.

After a successful Hook, immediately press R and click on the enemy so that they don’t have any time to pop off their Mekanisms/Force/Blink/whatever. An example of this, Queen of Pain is a very easy kill for a good Pudge, but if the Pudge player is bad, QoP will always escape from him.

At late game when you stacked up Str from your kills, always walk in front to try to draw enemy focus to you, allowing your allies to do their thing with less nukes and attention on them. When sieging enemy base or defending your own base, position yourself away from your allies to try to catch the enemy by surprise due to the hook coming from an unexpected angle.