DOTA 2 is an incredibly successful MOBA and regardless of how much competition it receives, it consistently remains on top of the charts. Although the game has a large and diverse roster of characters, sometimes you just need a straightforward tag like Mars in DOTA 2.
He’s a Melee-type character that is great at dealing damage, carrying the team when necessary, and is a very durable character to play as too. Despite being a Melee character, he has attacks with a decent amount of range too such as Spear of Mars and Arena of Blood.
It’s never a bad idea to know the crucial skills about Mars’s skills and abilities. That helps you know what to do both when you play as him and against him. Having knowledge means having a head-start, which is very useful in a game like DOTA 2.
So, let’s jump right into our guide and see what makes Mars DOTA 2 such a good tank character to play as!
Mars’s Background and Role in DOTA 2
Mars is a relentlessly powerful deity that has a deadly shield and a legendary spear. He is referred to as the first son of heaven and it is implied that he was even more brutal than Zeus himself.
After waging countless wars, he finally began to question his purpose and whether such ways were justified. Eventually, he gained a new perspective and began to lead his army for a just cause – to put a stop to pointless destruction.
When it comes to gameplay, Mars is a tank-type hero. His abilities are full of destruction and he has enough durability to make up for his lack of mobility.
His attacks vary between melee and ranged, so that allows him to take care of on-screen enemies with ease. And as you must have realized by now, Mars is a great option for carrying. Because he can keep the pressure on the enemy team while his allies can take care of the rest.
So, he’s not a very versatile character. If you want a straightforward tank that you can use for a specific role in the game, then Mars in DOTA 2 is what you’re looking for.
Mars is a hero that is all about aggression and pressure. What he lacks in mobility, he makes up in terms of range and durability. Thus, his abilities reflect these traits as he has offensive and defensive options at his disposal.
- Spear of Mars – Mars throws his spear in a ranged attack that damages every enemy unit that it hits. The first enemy that is hit gets knocked back. And if they are knocked directly towards a wall-like object (including trees), they are temporarily impaled and stunned.
An upgraded version of Spear of Mars exists, in which Mars impales up to two enemies. And the spear leaves a trail of fire behind as well that deals damage and slows movement speed.
- God’s Rebuke – Mars uses his shield to smash the enemy in front of him. This knocks the enemy back and damages them with a critical hit. It also has True Strike.
- Arena of Blood – Mars summons a circular arena that traps the enemy inside. Undead warriors of the Ash Legion block enemy attacks and movement, aiding Mars further. And spears attack enemies that are near the internal edge of the arena. This knocks them back further too.
- Bulwark – Mars uses his shield to block a portion of each physical attack that is directed towards his front or sides. A toggle allows players to lock the direction that Mars is facing. This reduces movement speed and redirects 70.0% of the attack projectiles that are aimed towards Mars’s allies. The redirected projectiles go towards Mars instead.
An upgraded version of Bulwark creates invulnerable soldiers in front of Mars if toggled. These soldiers move with Mars and deal extra damage with his attacks and slow down enemies that are hit. Only one soldier hits an enemy at a time, though.
As stated earlier in this guide, Mars is a straightforward hero. The strategy that you need to learn as him is to consistently switch between offensive and defensive maneuvers.
If you’re playing as an Initiator, then prioritizing Arena of Blood and Spear of Mars is a good idea. Try to max them out and deliver as much damage and pressure to your enemies as possible.
Builds with a focus on tank items is the way to go. Options such as Crimson Guard, Heaven’s Halberd, and Vladmir’s Offering are great. And since he’s weak to magical damage, Pipe of Insight can help fill in the gap.
When playing as a carry, you will be using the Spear of Mars often. Your focus will be on hitting enemies in a way that they become distracted and scattered – so that your allies can finish the job.
Items such as Vladmir’s Offering, Black King Bar, Desolator, and Blink Dagger are most commonly used as a carry build for Mars in DOTA 2.
So, pick whether you wish to play as a carry or as an initiating tank. Then, based on that, pick the right items and max out the attacks that suit your playstyle the most. Once you’re at full strength, simply destroy everything in your way.
Best Mars DOTA 2 Counters
If you’re up against a Mars main, it’s useful to know what heroes you can use to counter him in DOTA 2.
- Lifestealer – By using Rage, Mars’s initiation tactics are negated if the timing is correct. Additionally, Feast delivers damage and heals Lifestealer at the same time, so it’s useful against a durable tank like Mars.
- Axe – Berserker’s Call forces Mars to face in the chosen direction, which can be a good distraction. Counter Helix is a pretty strong option that can rival Spear of Mars too.
- Zeus – As the father of Mars, he is also a character that deals massive damage. On top of that, he has low cooldown for his skills like Arc Lightning and Lightning Bolt – which can be a great counter for Mars. And Static Field can bypass Bulwark too.
- Riki – Her Blink Strike ability gives her bonus backstab damage and Tricks of the Trade can bypass Bulwark.
- Faceless Void – He can use Time Walk to escape and even enter Arena of Blood, which helps him recover from Mars’s burst damage. By using Chronosphere, he can reposition himself behind Mars too which can ignore attacks like Bulwark.
Other notable mentions include Undying, Ogre Magi, Shadow Fiend, Storm Spirit, Pangolier, Outworld Destroyer, Necrophos, Batrider, Huskar, Lina, Viper, Underlord, and Tusk. All of them have something that can counter Mars’s abilities.
That’s it for our guide for Mars in DOTA 2. Always remember that DOTA 2 is a balanced game, so even with a counter you might still experience difficulty in winning. A good Mars player can still fight back against the counters – but using them does give you an advantage.