Dota 2 Item Guide: Helm of the Dominator | EarlyGame
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Dota 2 Item Guide: Helm of the Dominator

Dota 2
Dota 2 Item Guide: Helm of the Dominator Lycan
Which heroes, except for Lycan, can utilize the Dominator? (Credit: Valve Corporation)

In today's edition of our Dota 2 Item Guide series, we'll be taking a look at one of the neglected items in the game — Helm of the Dominator. Is it good, and should you buy it?

You can find more Dota 2 Item Guides on our website. Today, we'll be going through Helm of the Dominator, and Helm of the Dominator II. The latter wasn't even listed in the shop for a long time. Yep, it was that bad.


Dota 2 Item Guide: Helm of the Dominator

Let's take a quick look at Helm of the Dominator:

  • Patch created: Patch 4.0 (a really long time ago)
  • Total cost: 2350 gold (6000 gold for level 2)
  • Grants: +6 All Stats, +6 Health Regen, +6 Armor (+20 All Stats, +8 Health Regen, +8 Armor for level 2)
  • Active: Dominate - Takes control of one neutral target unit (can target ancients with level 2), and sets its movement speed to 425, and max health to a minimum of 1000 (1800 for level 2). Also provides the unit with +25 base attack damage, +12 health regen, +4 mana regen, and +4 armor.

Helm of the Dominator is an old item in Dota 2, and certainly had its spikes in popularity. Right now, it's in an okay position, but it's definitely not selling like hotcakes. We'll be discussing mostly the level 1 version of this item.

For 2350, it's a tempting purchase. The item is as balanced as it gets, in terms of stats, considering that an Ultimate Orb is roughly the same price, and provides you with +10 in all stats. You're not getting HotD just for the stats, though. It's an early-game item, so the health regen and armor will increase your sustain a lot.

The active is what makes the item good. Dominate allows you to take control of a neutral unit, or an enemy creep/summon. Note that you won't be able to target enemy Necronomicon minions, siege creeps, creep-heroes (LD's bear), or ancients (not true for level 2 HotD). The fun doesn't end there, as the controller unit will also get extra regen, armor, and damage.

This basically gives you another hero by your side, at least in the early game. A unit that moves at 425 movement speed, does more damage than enemy supports, and has a unique ability. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but here are some of the best neutral creeps that you can get:

  • Kobold Foreman - Speed Aura (Move Speed Bonus: 12%)
  • Ghost - Frost Attack (Move Speed Slow: 25%, Attack Speed Slow: 25)
  • Harpy Stormcrafter - Chain Lightning (140 base damage)

  • Centaur Conqueror - War Stomp (Stuns heroes for 2 seconds, non-heroes for 3)
  • Alpha Wolf - Critical Strike (20% for 200% damage) and Packleader's Aura (Attack Damage Bonus: 30%)
  • Satyr Banisher - Purge (Move Speed Slow: 50% for 5 seconds)
  • Ogre Frostmage - Ice Armor (Armor Bonus: 5; Move Speed Slow: 25%; Attack Speed Slow: 25)
  • Hellbear Smasher - Thunder Clap (Damage: 150; Move Speed Slow: 25%; Attack Speed Slow: 25)
  • Dark Troll Summoner - Ensnare (Immobilizes a target enemy unit for 1.75 seconds)
  • Mud Golem - Hurl Boulder (deals 75 damage, stuns for 0.6 seconds) and Shard Split (on death, splits into two Shard Golems that also have Hurl Boulder)
  • Wildwing Ripper - Tornado (summons a Tornado that slows and deals damage) and Toughness Aura (+3 armor)

As you can see, there are many options, but most of the time it'll be pure luck whether you'll get the one you want.

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Best heroes to buy on

HotD gives you an extra creep, and you'll usually see it on heroes that already have some built-in unit summoning. There are exceptions like Clinkz of course.

  • Lycan
  • Beastmaster
  • Chen
  • Enchantress
  • Io
  • Dark Seer
dota 2
Dota 2 art is so pretty! (Credit: Valve)

Clinkz would've been on the list, but with some of the recent changes to his talents and spells, it's hard to recommend him. Helm of the Dominator was a good pick because it gave you a creep to consume when you needed it. Now, he can just pick the level 10 talent and eat a skeleton instead.

Lycan, Beast, Chen and Enchantress can control multiple units at once, and the first two would usually go for a Necronomicon. Helf of the Dominator is usually used for extra crowd control, or extra damage with the Packleader Aura. In addition, you can use a dominated creep to stack neutral camps, scout Roshan, bait the enemy team, or safely break wards.

Dota 2 Io Helm of the Dominator
Io players used to rush HotD. (Credit: Valve Corporation)

Io is one of the heroes that can easily skip boots, and get over 450 movement speed with HotD, thanks to Tether. Dark Seer can cheese you with Ion Shield, and a fast enough unit that has stun (hello Centaur Conqueror).

Is the item worth it?

Helm of the Dominator is definitely worth it, but only on the right heroes — and there's only a handful of them. The upgraded version, aka HotD 2, doesn't bring a whole lot to the table. It costs over twice as much, and gives you some extra stats and the ability to target ancients with Dominate. In theory, it can be a great pick early on, but there are usually better choices for that much extra gold, and you'll be better of with the basic version.

Dota 2 Helm of the Dominator 2
Helm of the Dominator 2 wasn't even listed for some time. Let that sink in. (Credit: Valve Corporation)

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