18.12.2023, 09:06
22.05.2024, 07:11

Counterpicks for Pudge in Dota 2

Pudge, colloquially known as "the Butcher," is a hot ticket in the Dota 2 landscape. Roughly 80% of clashes on both the amateur fields and professional tournaments see Pudge taking an undeniable role in the fray.

This character is known for its multifaceted skill set – often taking the helm as a team leader or providing crucial support. With considerable damage output and a generous health pool, Pudge balances active and passive abilities to his advantage.

Statistics from Dota 2 developers show a win rate (a ratio of victories to defeats) for this butcher at a steady 51%.

Playing Pudge is no light task - novices may find selecting strategies, gearing up the character and building abilities quite daunting. However, going against the Butcher is typically more accessible, with the optimal challenge presenting itself when one selects a unit equipped with high-damage effects and a knack for aggressive, swift attacks against this butcher.

Who is Pudge in Dota 2?

Pudge, the battlefield butcher of the Endless Carnage, was a carrion scavenger who later turned cannibalistic.

As a hero, he deals significant damage despite a lower attack speed. Due to his high health pool, Pudge can stand tall in skirmishes against several enemies simultaneously.

Pudge is widely used as a distraction tactic — he consigns opponents in a fight, allowing his comrades to inflict critical damage effectively.

Pudge – most popular hero in Dota 2

The butcher's strength lies in his passive ability, increasing his power with each enemy killed. The "quick death, fast resurrection" strategy can be detrimental against Pudge.

Butcher's arsenal contains four abilities, two of which can be upgraded:

  • "Meat Hook" — Pudge throws a hook and pulls in an opponent for close-combat attack. On hitting the target, the hook deals damage up to 360 HP. Creatures are slain instantly;
  • "Rot" — The Butcher slows down the opponent, emitting a poison that affects nearby characters, including himself. Upgrading this ability enhances the potency of the poison and prevents the opponent from healing;
  • "Flesh Heap" — A temporary immunity to piercing damage, this ability, when passive, boosts strength with each enemy killed;
  • "Dismember" — Pudge consumes the opponent alive, gaining strength and regenerating a portion of his own HP. An upgraded ability allows the butcher to swallow compatriots for healing purposes.

Strong damage enables the butcher to farm quickly and stand against formidable opponents in the early game. Pudge pulls in the opponent with his hook, aiming to take them down with strong blows or extend the fight to call for reinforcement from allies.

Pudge is capable of replenishing his health pool by consuming opponents alive.

Dismemberment – Pudge's strong ability

A robust Pudge is one with a leveled-up passive skill. If the hero has scored 10 or more kills, it's practically impossible to take him down 1v1. Playing as a pair is effective against a strong Pudge.

Pudge doesn't farm for long – he doesn't have pressing requirements for artefacts and equipment.

Counter picks for Pudge in Dota 2

The key strategy while facing off against Pudge is to die less and prevent the butcher from levelling up his passive capabilities. If the character launches a surprise attack and tries to duel using their hook, your best chance is to run – Pudge is notoriously slow, which makes escaping fairly easy. If allies are close by, you can collectively take down the butcher.

Counter picks – Heroes that can hold their ground against Pudge rather than run away. These characters can even endure a one-on-one showdown with the right skill upgrades.

On the Midlane

Pudge in the midline is quite the rarity. Generally, the butcher prefers the jungle for farming and the lane for regular gameplay. However, if the character catches you off guard at mid, it is better to flee and call for an ally.

The task of counter-picking Pudge mid should be bestowed on agile heroes with optimized talent, who can evade the hook throw: Razor, Invoker, Viper, Mirana. Experienced players utilize stun against Pudge in mid to incapacitate the butcher.

Mistakes in the midlane manifested as lost duels empowered Pudge. The more heroes Pudge knocks down at mid, the stronger he becomes in the lane. It's better to concede mid to the adversary and dedicate time to farming.

On the Lane

Compared to midline, it's easier for characters with significant piercing damage and the ability to reduce an opponent's armour to face off against Pudge in the lane. Characters with high attack speed, Ursa, Doom, Slark, Wraith King, Phantom Lancer, would be solid choices.

You can secure an additional advantage against the butcher by using artefacts that reduce armour and enhance agility.

The ability 'Rot' slows down the butcher's opponents

The best strategy for counter picking Pudge on the lane is to team up. The current level of the butcher's armour is unknown, and an ally can provide guaranteed endurance or timely escape if necessary.

Pudge's Passive Ability: How to Deflect

Pudge's passive ability cannot be knocked off. The butcher accrues stat growth not immediately, but at the moment of ability activation. In the early minutes of the game, Pudge is vulnerable to ranged characters, mages, or swift damage dealers - heroes with potent physical damage.

Who counters Pudge in Dota 2 the best of all

Using Dota 2's win rate statistics, we can deduce which heroes best counter Pudge. The heroes demonstrating the most significant successes, surpassing a 50% win rate in confrontations are:

  • Bristleback boasts a remarkably high health level. It's near-impossible for Pudge to engage Brist in a one-on-one brawl. Brist's ability to inflict slowness leaves the lumbering butcher exceedingly sluggish. Britt's potent attacks will effortlessly penetrate Pudge's armor, although the clash could become quite lengthy for Brist;
  • Clockwerk possesses a passive mini-stun capacity every 0.7–1 sec, thereby neutralizing the butcher's active effects;
  • Weaver may not manage to slay Pudge in a duel, but can certainly avoid being butchered. With high mobility, Weaver can easily evade Pudge's attacks;
  • Slark works well paired with support; with proper healing from a partner, this hero can swiftly eliminate the butcher due to ample physical damage;
  • Lifestealer, with its vampirism ability, saps health and takes XP for itself. Pudge has ample health, making him for Lifestealer a veritable fount of regenerative life.
Lifestealer exhibits the most impressive effectiveness in combating Pudge.

Counterpicks for Pudge in Dota 2 may include Beastmaster, Chaos Knight, Doom, Earth Spirit, Io, Lycan, Night Stalker, Phoenix, Slardar, Timbersaw, Undying, Wraith King, Bounty Hunter, Broodmother, Lone Druid, Chen, and Oracle.

Lifestealer — the optimal choice for playing against Pudge

Since it's not necessary to counter Pudge at the onset of the game, seasoned players select their counter following farming stages based on the array of items compiled by their heroes.

Who Pudge counters: which heroes are easiest to shut down by this character

A souped-up Pudge on the line can counter any character, with the exception of its direct counters. The Butcher has shown the best results in duels against Necrophos, Spectre, Axe, Sand King, and Sniper.

Pudge often pairs with a hero who can stun. The Butcher deals a critical hit on the stunned opponent.

The best ally for "meat" when playing against a tank is Ursa.

Which items are effective at countering Pudge?

Rookies are clueless about how to counter Pudge. Veteran players employ an array of items and artifacts when playing against Pudge:

  • Manta Style yields illusions and confuses Pudge; the butcher can't determine the real target and frequently deploys abilities on the decoy heroes;
  • Orchid impedes Pudge's effects, with the exception of his passive ability;
  • Force Staff propels adversaries over a considerable distance, optimally to be used not against the butcher but against nearby allies.
Illusionists pose a challenge to Pudge even without artifacts, but the butcher can always make a blind pick of the correct target, stun, and dispatch swiftly.


Pudge is a versatile character. Due to his popularity, seasoned players have developed strategies to counteract this butcher, enabling even novices to challenge Pudge.

While the butcher can be a complex hero to master for newcomers, Pudge won't pose a problem for experienced opponents at both mid and on the line.


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