Dota 2 Runes: Which Are The Best? (All Runes Ranked Worst To Best)

dota 2 runes

Runes are an integral part of Dota, as they provide you and sometimes your team with huge bonuses that can help you turn around a teamfight or escape with ease. They are often overlooked and underrated, something that we hope to change with this article. Runes deserve more recognition and exposure as the right rune, at the right time can potentially win you the game. 

To raise awareness for the runes and help you win games, we rank the Dota runes, with all the 10 runes ranked from the worst to best. The rankings for these runes also have a brief explanation along with the description and usage of them. The rankings are based on the current meta.

10. Illusion Rune

Don’t get us wrong, but the reason why illusion runes get ranked so low on this list isn’t due to any significant weaknesses that it has, but only due to its inability to compete with the other runes. The illusion rune creates two clones of the hero, dealing 35% of its damage while taking back 200% of it. The illusions last for 75 seconds.

The rune is highly helpful for carry heroes as it can help them push lanes while they farm the jungle or vice versa. The main flaw in the illusion rune is the 200% damage that they take back, making them highly squishy and unreliable. The rune also acts as Manta Style, as you can dispel certain debuffs and also make you invulnerable for a split second, making you dodge any incoming projectile. 

Illusion Rune is great for?

  • Split-pushing lanes and deceiving enemies in a teamfight
  • Dodging any incoming projectiles and spells
  • Dispelling any negative debuffs that the enemy may have applied 


9. Invisibility Rune

The invisibility rune is undoubtedly the most underrated in the game. It does exactly what it says, it renders one invisible. The duration of invisibility lasts for 45 seconds, but it breaks away when you attack or use spells and items. This rune can be a godsend if you are absconding your enemies and find this in the wild, or it can also be useful when you are ganking any enemy lanes, as you can do it without raising any suspicion. 

The reason why the rune is ranked low on this list is due to the fade time. See, you do not instantly turn invisible, there is a rather massive fade time of 2 seconds, meaning the enemies can still attack you or use spells/items on you. If there are any buffs to the fade duration, then this rune will be ranked higher on the future list!

Invisibility Rune is great for?

  • Escaping enemy ganks as this rune turns you invisible 
  • Planning and ganking enemy lanes without them suspecting anything 


8. Haste Rune

We all have heard of haste makes waste, but not in this case as the Haste rune can save your life as it cranks up your movement speed to 550, making you zoom past your enemies without any difficulties. 

The duration of this rune is only 22 seconds, but you can make the most out of it by planning a quick gank on the enemy support or you may also activate it in sticky situations. The rune has been nerfed in the past but is highly useful in certain scenarios. 

Haste Rune is great for?

  • Absconding from your bloodthirsty enemies, as it provides you with increased movement speed
  • Chasing enemies and planning unsuspected ganks


7. Regeneration Rune

All the runes on this list are highly useful, but no other rune makes your face light up as much as this regeneration rune. The regeneration rune slowly regenerates your health and mana by 6% of your maximum HP, while lasting for 30 seconds. If you regenerate fully or get hit by a hero (both physical and magical damage) before the duration is complete, then the effect expires.

Imagine being a low HP mid-hero, sulking while your counterpart happily farms the lane and denies all your creeps, but the spawn of a Regeneration rune acts like a miracle and saves your life, potentially turning around the trajectory of the lane. Though there are minor buffs to the rune, it is highly useful and has saved millions of lives of all low HP players!

Regeneration Rune is great for?

  • Heroes running low on HP, as this rune heals them up completely 


6. Shield Rune

One of the newest additions to the power runes is the Shield rune. The rune is bliss for squishy heroes and a nightmare for heroes that are facing it. The rune grants an all-damage barrier that is equal to 50% of your maximum HP. The shield rune saves the lives of all heroes and hence is useful for all roles. Even if you are a tanky hero, this buffs up your already tanky nature and makes you a bullet-proof killer.

The all-damage barrier means that it soaks up all damage types (physical, pure, magical) and deals less damage to you for 75 seconds. If you are absconding from your bloodthirsty enemies and find this in the wild, then rest assured they can’t deal any damage to you, making you pretty much invulnerable under its duration.

Shield Rune is great for?

  • Squishy heroes with low HP or low armor
  • Tanking a fight, as it allows you to frontline without taking too much damage


5. Bounty Rune

Unlike other runes on this list, the Bounty rune is one rune that is loved by all heroes regardless of the positions they are playing in. The rune provides them and all the allies on their team with gold. The number depends upon the time elapsed in the game. The initial base gold is 40 and you get 36 extra gold for the next rune, providing extra 9 gold for your teammates. 

The initial Bounty rune spawns at the bounty rune spots and the power rune spots at 0:00 and then spawns every 3 minutes at the bounty rune spots in the jungle of both teams. The rune is exceptional as it can provide the extra gold you need to purchase your high-value item or to have just enough for the buyback. Unlike other runes, this rune stacks, meaning if you don’t pick them up, they won’t expire!

Bounty Rune is great for?

  • All heroes in the game as it provides a bonus gold
  • Heros lagging in farm or saving up for their buybacks


4. Arcane Rune

The most loved rune by all the spellcasters is undoubtedly the Arcane rune. This rune is highly exceptional and of high value due to the benefits that it provides. Upon usage, the rune provides a 30% cooldown reduction, meaning you can use your spells faster, all the while reducing the mana cost by the same 30%. 

You can pretty much use double the spells for 30% less mana, making it a rune for spellcasters like Timbersaw, Invoker, Puck, and many more! Heroes who struggle with low mana pool and high cooldowns on spells will also have a great time with this rune.

Arcane Rune is great for?

  • Spellcasters as it reduces their cooldowns and mana cost per spell
  • Heroes who have a low mana pool or high cooldowns on their spells


3. Water Rune

One of the elemental runes in the early game is undoubtedly the Water rune. This rune spawns on both sides of the river in the middle lane at 2:00 and 4:00 minutes into the game, making it easy for both mid-heroes to regenerate a small chunk of HP and mana. Water Rune is a lifesaver for all mid heroes as it saves them from a walk of shame all the way back to the base.

Water runes provide 40 HP and 80 Mana, which is not much but in crucial situations, it can save you from a severe wreckage. Water runes can also be bottled, providing more value as the bottle offers charges after consuming the bottled rune. In summary, the Water rune is an ideal rune for the mid-laner in the early game.

Water Rune is great for?

  • The struggling mid-laners can regenerate their HP and Mana, saving them from the enemy onslaught
  • Bottling up the rune to save it for later.


2. Double Damage Rune

Prepare for trouble and make it double! Double damage is an excellent rune as it does what it says, simply doubles your base attack damage for a decent duration. All attacks dealt under this duration will deal twice your normal damage, affecting heroes, creeps, and even buildings. Double Damage is an excellent way to deter your opponents as most enemies would dare not face a powerful carry hero bestowed with double his ungodly damage. 

Double Damage Rune is great for?

  • Carry heroes with high physical damage as it amplifies their damage even more
  • A late-game ambush is never complete without double damage


1. Wisdom Rune

The most recent addition to the game is the Wisdom Rune, the rune is highly effective as it provides 280 base XP, which is further multiplied based upon the time of the game it is picked at. Experienced players let the rune sit for a while, that is unless it is under threat of being snatched up by the enemies. The Wisdom runes spawn on either side of the map, near the Tormentors.

The rune starts spawning every 7 minutes into the game, starting from 7:00. Upon picking the rune up, you get increased XP, and along with that, your ally with the lowest level gets some extra XP. This is a win-win situation as you can gain XP and also provide it to your lagging teammate. 

Wisdom Rune is great for?

  • Heroes struggling hard with gaining XP and levels
  • Core heroes who are close to hitting their power spikes


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After spending 11,352 hours, slaying Eldwurms and winning the mid lane, Sid is still awfully bad at Dota 2
Gamer Since: 2008
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Currently Playing: DotA2, CS:GO, Rocket League
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