DotA-Allstars Hero Strategy Guide to Pudge, The Butcher

Basic Information


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. Even though Pudge is a STR hero, he should not be treated as a tank in the early to mid stages of the game. During that period, he is one of the best solo hero killers in the game. Use that to your advantage.

An undead behemoth seemingly impervious to even the most potent magic, this starving abomination roams the battlefield, continually in search of unwary prey. It is said his victims catch only a glimpse of his monstrous frame as they are dragged them through the shadows, bleeding profusely as a jagged hook etches deeper in their flesh. Wails of agony echo in the distance, only to be drowned out by the Butcher's maniacal laughter as he severs their limp bodies with his great maw. Unspeakable horrors ensue in a deathly silence, a dreadful omen for what is to come.

Basic attributes

    Strength 25 + 3.2
    Agility 14 + 1.5
    Intelligence 14 + 1.5

Advanced attributes

    Affiliation: Scourge
    Attack Animation: 0.5 / 1.17
    Damage: 52 - 58
    Casting Animation: 0.3 / 0.51
    Armor: 0.96
    Base Attack Time: 1.7
    Movespeed: 285
    Missile Speed: Instant
    Attack Range: 128 (melee)
    Sight Range: 1800 / 800

Hero Skills
 Mea[t] Hook [T]

Launches a bloody hook at a unit or location. The hook will snag the first target encounters, dealing damage then dragging the victim back to the Butcher.

Level 1 - 400 range, 100 damage.
Level 2 - 600 range, 200 damage.
Level 3 - 800 range, 300 damage.
Level 4 - 1000 range, 400 damage.

Meat Hook was stealth nerfed in 6.46 and now deals physical damage. This means it is reduced by armor, and will deal considerably less damage in the later stages of the game.

Rot [R]

Pudge releases the disease and filth inside of him, dealing intense damage to and slowing surrounding enemies while hurting Pudge as well.

Level 1 - 25 damage/second.
Level 2 - 50 damage/second.
Level 3 - 75 damage/second.
Level 4 - 100 damage/second.

Flesh Heap [F]

Pudge is made of innumerable rotting corpses, giving him extra protection against spells as well as the chance to add more to his bulk. Adds 10 times as much "bulk" if the kill is a Hero kill.

Level 1 - 4% magic reduction, .03 Str bonus per kill.
Level 2 - 8% magic reduction, .06 Str bonus per kill.
Level 3 - 12% magic reduction, .09 Str bonus per kill.
Level 4 - 16% magic reduction, .12 Str bonus per kill.

 Dismember [D]

Chows down on a target, causing excruciating pain.
Lasts 3 seconds (on heroes) at all levels.

Level 1 - 75 damage/second.
Level 2 - 125 damage/second.
Level 3 - 175 damage/second.

-> Able to Disable units Casting Spells
-> Dismember goes through Avater or Rage but deals no damage

Skill build:
Level 1 - Rot
Level 2 - Meat Hook
Level 3 - Meat Hook
Level 4 - Rot
Level 5 - Meat Hook
Level 6 - Dismember
Level 7 - Meat Hook
Level 8 - Rot
Level 9 - Rot
Level 10 - Flesh Heap
Level 11 - Dismember
Level 12 - Flesh Heap
Level 13 - Flesh Heap
Level 14 - Flesh Heap
Level 15 - Stats
Level 16 - Dismember
Level +17 - Stats


Two GG branches give you some survivability early on, as well as some aid in last hitting. The clarity potions will make sure you don't run out of mana through the early stages of the laning phase, they are also there as a safety net if you miss your hooks. Tangos are there to be able to withstand some harassing and Salve is there if things get really heavy. Last but not least, you have your Magic Stick as the last back-up. It also serves it's purpose as an early mind-game item. As some people will be tricked into thinking you're about to die.
This item build will ensure that you don't run out of health or mana throughout the laning phase.

Your Core Item


These items will ensure that you can tank during mid game, never run out of mana or HP, so you will constantly be on the go, looking for victims to hook.

Hood of Defiance should be preferred if they have more spellcasters, obviously. Other than that, go for Vanguard, it is a way better choice, it will make you fairly unkillable with your allies around you.

And just for the sake of numbers, with Flesh Heap at level 4 you have 37% magic resistance, which reduces the damage you do to yourself with Rot to 69.3 damage. With Hood of Defiance you magic resistance is 55.9%, which reduces the Rot damage to about 48.5. The difference is 23.8 damage per second. It is very negligible in the later stages of the game, but keep in mind that Rot will deal a whooping 82.5 damage per second to you, before you start leveling Flesh Heap.

Keep in mind that Hood of Defiance can be upgraded into Khadgar's Pipe of Insight, which is very beneficial for your team. Combined with your Arcane Boots, you will always keep your team ready for a clash. Go for this item if your team is facing a Sand King, Enigma, Earthshaker or any other high-damaging AoE ultimate hero.

You can also go for a Bottle instead of Magic wand. It's a very good item for Pudge that gives him solid HP and MP regeneration after fights. As you see, I've made it so your core build is quite flexible, depending on what heroes are against you. You're more than welcome to make different combinations.


Early game

It is important that you choose the lane you are most comfortable and familiar with. Using Pudge requires a lot of maneuvering and some tactical plans that require near-perfect execution. So a good lane to setup your tricks is a big plus. Recommended lanes for Pudge is bottom lane for Sentinels and top lane for Scourge.

The early plan is to stay close to the tower and let the enemy push to as close to the tower as possible. It is much safer for you to have the battle close to your tower and it is more dangerous for the enemy since they are a long way from safety. Play neutral at first and don’t be aggressive, the element of surprise is one of the best weapon you have. You can act as if you are not going to be aggressive on the hero and just focus on the creeps, then when the enemy heroes come close to you – that’s when you start releasing that poisonous gas from within and chase-hit the enemy hero to death. Remember that he is very far away from safety, meaning he has a long way crawling home while breathing that deadly air. Another reason why it is good to stay as close to the tower as possible is that you can hook the enemy hero towards your tower, the hero will definitely feel sorry that he was pushing the lane.

Another important thing to consider early game is farming. Pudge needs all the penny he can get to make him the monster that many fears! Last hitting creeps is easy when timed properly, Pudge has a decent damage plus the aid of Rot can make last hitting the creep easier for him. It is very advantageous to turn Rot on and off from time to time as a mean to farm.

Mid Game

This is where the fun starts! With the ideal items and skill build, Pudge can begin the slaughter. By this time, you must be roaming around looking for fresh meat already – victims are best hunted when they least expect it. So make sure to be familiar with some of the ideal hook spot (see details below), the Meat Hook is Pudge's biggest asset – giving enemy heroes the biggest surprise in their life. But hooking is never easy, you need to have a perfect set up, good instinct, lots of practices and above all – luck. It is always ideal to go hunt enemy heroes with a partner or two. It will not only make the massacre faster and easier, but it will also give you the assurance that you wont get ganked incase you went on a bad turn where enemy heroes were assembling.

If the enemy heroes are very cautious, don’t panic and don’t get too impatient. There is always time for dinner, when they are hiding and not leveling up because they fear you then that’s a good sign that they are no longer harvesting well. So instead of wasting your time on hunting them when they are hiding in bases, go earn yourself some more gold – farm more and be more fierce! Farming and killing more creeps leads to greater Strength gain and by the time they come out, you are really the gruesome monster.

Late Game

By this time, your Pudge probably has that 130 base strength or maybe more! With that amount of HP, you certainly can tank with no problems at all. But don't get too cocky about your big HP, a wise man would always stay cautious and always rely on a good plan than using brute force to win. Hooking is still one of your primary asset as it can easily drag one enemy to a trap then that's minus one from their team. Do not use dismember in that situation as you can easily kill the "hooked" hero with a gank, you can save the dismember later on when the two teams clash. Dismember the enemy hero that has most value to their team, or the hero that causes most problem against your team.

Don't forget that you are the tanker of the team plus you are also the main pusher with your rotting skill. Use this advantage to set the tone for your team offense. With the creeps marching towards enemy base, enemy heroes will feel the pressure to defend and that's when you can find your sweet spot and go fishing with some enemy heroes.

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