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Dota 2 item and build guide - Pudge

Updated on May 16, 2014

"Ahhh...fresh meat! "

If you are new to Dota 2, be sure to check out my guide for beginners here.

"In the Fields of Endless Carnage, far to the south of Quoidge, a corpulent figure works tirelessly through the night--dismembering, disembowelling, piling up the limbs and..."

Pudge, without a doubt is one of the hardest heroes to master. He is especially hard to use against a team that is aware of his presence and what he can do. But, should you achieve a high level of skill with him, the reward is most definitely worth it.

One of the best gankers
Not very item dependent
Mana problems
Has potential to deal huge damage
Needs skill, his main skill is a skill shot
Huge Strength gain-per-level
Level dependent
[Q] Meat hook
[W] Rot
[E] Flesh Heap
[R] Dismember
Huge PURE damage nuke
Good slow
You will get all the stacks you collected even if you haven't leveled it
Good Disable
Very long range
You can use it to lasthit
So it's a waste to get it early on
Hold enemys in place so your team can finish them off
Can be used to save allies
Good combo with hook and dismember
After the buff you just snowball 10 times faster
Great for picking off enemies in team fight
You can deny yourself


  • Meet hook:
    • The tip of the Meat Hook is what drags the units to Pudge, so touching the Meat Hook in any other part than its tip will not trigger its effect. The Meat Hook can only pull units when it is being extended. If the hook touches a unit as it retracts, nothing will happen to the unit.
    • Meat Hook will pull magic immune and invulnerable targets but will not mini-stun nor deal any damage to them.
  • Rot:
    • Using Rot doesn't interrupt channeling.
    • Rot on level 1-3 won't disable a Healing Salve.
  • Dismember:
    • Dismember is a channeling spell.
    • Pudge's response when Dismembering a hero is heard by all other heroes across the entire map.
    • Total damage : 225/375/525 (+2.25× strength with Scepter).

Skill build

Best build

Skill build explanation

The skill build is very straight forward with Pudge

Meat hook (Q) is maxed first for the increase in damage and range.

Rot (W) is second also for the increase in damage.

Flesh heap (E) is maxed last because as explained before, it's retroactive, meaning you'll get ALL your stacks you've collected from before once you've put a point into it.

Pudge doesn't really have core items to be effective, because all he really needs is skill and levels. That being said, there are items suited for ganking such as:

  • Phase boots: These will help with Pudge's slow movement speed, and helps position better for hooks
  • Bottle: Solves his mana problems, can be replaced with Arcane boots
  • Force staff: Allows him to further extend his reach for Meat hook (Q), or be used to escape/save allies
  • Drums of endurance: Extra hp, mana, movement speed
  • Hearts of tarrasque: With the combination of Flesh heap (E), further increases his hp regen
  • Aghanim's scepter: Helps him survive during Dismember (R)

Early game:

  • When trying to control your lane, make sure you get close enough to Rot (W), so that you're Hook (Q) is more reliable in close range.
  • You can effectively start roaming at level 5. With Lvl 3 Hook (Q) you have enough range to be a threat. But getting to level 6 is more reliable since you have the extra disable.
  • Try to farm your boots and bottle so you that ganking will be easier.
  • Getting early kills is vital for snowballing.
  • Wards increase your Hook (Q) accuracy by a lot. so get some of these if your supports aren't getting any.

Mid game:

  • Knowing whether to Hook (Q) an enemy or ally is important
  • This should be your time to shine. you should be ganking as much as possible
  • You should not be farming creeps, unless you are working towards a core item.

Late game:

  • Try to create unfair fights. Hook (Q) their carry or any important hero in their team.
  • THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO HOOK (Q)! Don't just Hook (Q) anything.
  • Your decisions are VERY important in the late game. 1 good enemy Hook (Q) can win a team fight, 1 bad Hook (Q) can lose a team fight.

  • Click on the ground when you want to Hook (Q). Don't click on the hero, especially when trying to hit a moving target. This will result in a miss often
  • Units can't attack and move at the same time. Use this to your advantage. Cast Hook (Q) at the beginning of the attack animation of your enemy, that will ensure that they can't move while the hook is flying
  • Look at a hero's general movement speed and plan your hook accordingly. Check if the hero has a movement speed altering spell on him.
  • When you start your combo with Hook (Q) try to start your Rot (W) as fast as possible. This will ensure your target is slowed once they are hooked.
  • You can still activate Rot (W) while you are channeling your Dismember (R).

DotaCinema's guide to Pudge

Are you good with Pudge?

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    • SimilarSam profile image

      Sam 2 years ago from Australia

      Ahhh Pudge, I'm completely useless with him as a character but he is just one of the best to player in my opinion. It's nice to know that 29% of other people in the poll are in the same boat... Love the guide!