How to Play Pudge: Dota 2 BEGINNER Guide 2024

The bone-chilling line from Dota 2’s Pudge the Butcher still sends shivers down the spines of even the most... Stalingrad | 1. April 2024

The bone-chilling line from Dota 2’s Pudge the Butcher still sends shivers down the spines of even the most seasoned players. This grotesque hook-wielding abomination has cemented himself as one of the most iconic and fan-favorite heroes in the entire MOBA genre. Despite being a difficult strength hero to master, with underwhelming mobility and farming potential, Pudge’s unparalleled game-changing plays and highlight-reel hooks have propelled him to legendary status. Let’s tear into the guts of a beginner’s guide on how to truly harness the Butcher’s terrifying power in 2024.

Pudge’s Abilities and Talents


At the heart of Pudge’s gameplay is his ability kit packed with disables, damage, and utility:

  • Meat Hook – Pudge’s signature skill launches a hook to drag an enemy or ally toward him, dealing up to 360 damage.
  • Rot – A damaging aura that slows enemies but also hurts Pudge. It can be upgraded with Aghanim’s Scepter.  
  • Flesh Heap – Passive magic resistance and bonus strength gained from hero kills nearby.
  • Dismember – Disables a target while dealing damage based on Pudge’s strength, also healing him.
  • Eject (Shard Upgrade) – Allows Pudge to swallow and spit out allies, healing them over time.

Pudge’s talents focus on enhancing his hook, rot, dismember, and flesh heap abilities at key level milestones.

Itemization and Gameplay Tips


While incredibly tanky if played correctly, Pudge starts out squishy in the lane. Managing his rot self-damage is a key early game along with building sustain items like bracer, magic wand/stick, and raindrops. 

Depending on the role, safe starting items include tango, quelling blade, circlet, branches, and faerie fire. Pudge synergizes best with heroes that can set up his meat hooks like Outworld Devourer or aid his ganks post-6 like Bloodseeker.

Core Pudge should rush Blink dagger into BKB and team utility/initiator items like force staff, Atos, overwhelming Blink, Shiva’s guard, and eventually luxury scalings options like Aghanim’s, dragon, or Bloodstone.

Support Pudge prioritizes cost-effective aura items like an urn, spirit vessel, and tranquil boots into blink/force staff, and other teamfight control tools like Aghs, Lotus Orb, or Ethereal Blade.

Laning and Role Discussion


While historically a mid-lane ganker/control hero, Pudge has cycled between multiple roles over the years:

  • Mid Pudge – A level/impact-focused version that aims to dominate mid and start roaming around levels 6-7 to secure kills through hooks and dismember damage/heal. Struggles against strong ranged laners.  
  • Offlane Pudge – An offlane lane bully that aims to harass enemies out of the lane and create space for cores. Effective only with proper save/rotation support.
  • Support Pudge – A roaming/sacrificial support that focuses on landing hooks and dismembers. Weak against lockdown and slippery mobile heroes. Struggles to scale outside utility.
  • Carry Pudge – Occasionally revived in specific “tanky” metas, primarily itemizing for durability and stat scaling like heart, Shiva’s, Aghanim’s, and damage over utility.

Modern patch 7.33 sees Pudge lean more heavily into his traditional roaming support role once again after a stint as a viable carry.

Counters and Synergies


Despite his unrivaled three-spell lockdown combo and scaling durability, there are still counters that can disrupt Pudge’s rampage.

  • Viper – Pudge melts quickly against Viper’s poison and high magic damage over time. 
  • Necrophos – Devastates Pudge with Heartstopper Aura and Reaper’s Scythe HP removal.
  • Slardar – Armor reduction absolutely cripples Pudge’s effective HP pool.
  • Huskar – Can instantly remove over half of Pudge’s health with his burning spear.

Strong Pudge allies include disable setup heroes like Outworld Destroyer, global vision from Night Stalker, and synergistic abilities like Bloodseeker’s Rupture.  



Mastering Pudge in Dota 2 requires next-level hook accuracy, rotations, and decision-making on when to go aggressive or peel for teammates. While a difficult hero to truly leverage, there are few more satisfying feelings than landing that long-range dismember on a key target to singlehandedly turn a fight. Just make sure to watch out for Viper…Pudge definitely does not like snakes.