Dota 2 is one of the premier MOBAs that came out in the past decade. It’s a sequel to the popular Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne mod—Defense of the Ancients (DotA), the originator of the genre. With 119 heroes at a player’s disposal, it opens up great plays, and amazing moments for players to experience. One of these heroes that we’re going to talk about today is Luna, Dota 2’s ultimate late-game base pusher. Here’s our guide on how to play as Luna in Dota 2.
Also Read: Dota 2 vs LOL: Which MOBA Is for You?
Who Is Luna in Dota 2?
Luna in Dota 2 is the Moon Rider, a former leader of a group of vagabonds known as the Scourge of the Plains. However, her army was destroyed. Now, she’s far from home, starving, half-mad and near death, she wanders near a beautiful forest. There, she encounters a beautiful beast she’s never seen before. Driven mad by rage, she chases after it, determined to at least kill it and relive a slight shred of former glory.
Time and time again she chased the beast, and the beast evaded her every time. Then the beast stopped on a clearing atop a high hill in the forest. She brandished her dagger, intent on killing it when the beast pounced and took it away from her. After that, hooded figures appeared in the woods and spoke reverently of her actions.
It’s revealed to her then that she has unwittingly endured the sacred rights that the Dark Moon warriors do before joining the Order. The Dark Moon worshipped Selemene, goddess of the Moon, and asked if she wished to pledge her service. Without hesitation, she joined the order, becoming the Moon Rider, the ever-loyal guardian of Nightsilver Woods.
Dota 2 Luna Skills
Luna in Dota 2 is a Ranged Agility hero with pretty good early game laning capabilities. Depending on how she’s built, she can be a great carry hero, a good roamer, and even a surprising burst support hero. However, her main role is to carry the team to victory, killing enemy heroes, as a great lane pusher.
Most of the heroes on Dota 2 have four skills in total with some exceptions (e.g., Invoker, Spectre, and Shadow Fiend, to name a few). Luna has four abilities when she was added to the game, which remain relatively unchanged. These abilities all help in ensuring that she chases down enemies to kill them swiftly, and to help in pushing lanes.
Here are the abilities that make Luna one of the top Dota 2 late-game carries.
Luna fires a beam of pure moonlight to an enemy, dealing magic damage and stunning them for a short duration. The level of the beam corresponds to how much damage she deals as well as the cooldown after a cast. Do note that Lucent Beam cannot pierce spell immunity, so it can be blocked by Black King Bar or Lifestealer’s Rage.
Lucent Beam is Luna’s main magic damage skill. It has decent damage, range, and a mini stun. The player can also improve Lucent Beam’s damage, reduce its cooldown, and increase its stun duration.
Next, Linken’s Sphere will also be able to block a cast from Lucent Beam. This means that the item can shield the Hero from damage and stun. However, the item has a cooldown, so it’s something to bear in mind.
Lastly, Aghanim’s Shard would improve Lucent Beam’s capabilities in three ways. The first is that it allows players to target a specific area. Immediately after targeting the area, the beam will hit a hero unit inside the said area on a radius. Up to two random targets can be hit by the Lucent Beam, which has a reduced mana cost.
Next on the list is Moon Glaives, which allows Luna to hit multiple units due to her weapon bouncing between targets. Each bounce will deal less damage of course, but the sheer number of bounces at max level makes this moot point. Given enough time and the appropriate items, Moon Glaives can wipe out entire waves of enemies and even buildings.
The ability does have a few quirks though. For one, the ability works with Quell and Critical Strike, which makes items that give said abilities valuable for a Carry Luna. In addition to this, the bouncing glaives will always have the same speed as the first glaive attack. This means items that can increase projectile speeds can affect the speed the glaives bounce with.
Lastly, it can bounce back towards already-hit units. However, allies and wards won’t get attacked by a bouncing glaive. When Luna deliberately attacks an ally or a ward, the glaive won’t bounce back on said ally or ward again. The glaive also won’t be able to hit beyond the Fog of War. So if a Hero gets away quick enough, they’ll be able to avoid the Moon Glaive bounces.
Next, is Lunar Blessing, which gives allies extra attack damage on a radius around her based on the skill’s level. In addition to this, the skill also gives Luna increased night vision every time she levels the skill.
It does, however, have an interesting quirk. See, the skill specifically states that only allied heroes can be affected by it. However, normal creeps can be given the Lunar Blessing buff, which buffs their damage and firepower.
Luna calls upon Selemene’s power and unleashes a shower of moonlight upon her enemies. The shower takes the form of Luna’s Lucent Beams. The ultimate has a fixed duration, range, and amount of beams that drop down from the sky that scales by skill level. The ability also changes the time from day to night for 10 seconds in addition to having a maximum amount of beams that can hit a unit.
Do note that Lucent Beam’s current level directly affects how much damage Eclipse would do. If the player hasn’t leveled Lucent Beam, they won’t be able to use Eclipse to deal damage.
Aghanim’s Scepter, however, will completely change the way Eclipse is used. Firstly, the ability will no longer have a limit to how many times an enemy gets hit by Lucent Beams. Secondly, she can target the ability to allied units, buildings, herself, or an area. After that, it increases how many beams drop, makes them drop down faster, and lengthens the ability duration. Do note that if Luna dies, the ability immediately ends, and no Lucent Beams will fall. It also doesn’t hit invisible enemies or those on Fog of War. Lastly, the beams will always prioritize heroes.
Dota 2 Luna Talents
Talents were an addition to Dota 2 that was added on Patch 7.00. They are traits that are special to every hero in the game that has unique effects. The effects of the talents are usually self-explanatory.
Talents can be taken every five levels after a Hero reaches Level 10. After reaching the prerequisite level, a Talent Tier will be unlocked, allowing them to choose one of the Talents on said Tier. They will then move on to the next Talent Tier after gaining five more levels until Level 25.
After reaching Level 25, this changes. Every time a Hero levels up, they can choose the Talent that they haven’t chosen on previous Tiers. They’ll choose a Talent starting from the Level 10 Talent Tier on Level 26 and will be able to get the next talents on each tier when they level up to Level 30.
These are the Luna Dota 2 Talents as of 7.30:
- +.4 Seconds Lucent Beam Mini-stun
- -8% Moon Glaive Damage Reduction
- -20 secs Eclipse Cooldown
- -3.5 Seconds Lucent Beam Cooldown
- +Global Lunar Blessing
- +100 Lucent Beam Damage
- +.2 Seconds Eclipse Lucent Beam Mini-stun
- +35 Lunar Blessing Damage
How to Play as Luna in Dota 2
Luna’s playstyle is one of complete aggressiveness. She always wants to get in the fight and ensure that the enemy is dead at her glaives. Her abilities help in this, allowing her to get close quickly using Lucent Beam, and finishing them off with Eclipse and auto-attacks. Do note, though, that she can be an incredibly squishy hero and does need ample defense to live longer.
Luckily, Agility is her main stat, which means she gains additional damage the more Agility she has. It’s also lucky because Agility is the stat that governs how much defense a hero gets. This means she can be surprisingly tanky if she has enough Agility. We’ll talk more about this when we discuss which items to get for her later.
Lastly, Luna is a pretty flexible laner that can lane on any of the three lanes. She’s great on Midlane against some heroes and can be decent whether in the safe or off-lane. Do note, however, that Luna has no in-built escape skills. Thus, she can be pretty vulnerable against ganks on Midlane and Toplane. Keep that in mind when choosing which Lane you’re going for. Of course, this depends on which heroes she’s up against, but we’ll talk more about that later.
Suggested Skill Progression for Luna in Dota 2
It’s usually suggested to get Lucent Beam as early as possible to have a way to deliver a mini-stun. This is for the Carry Luna playstyle as it opens up great kill opportunities for you and your teammates. However, you might want to go for Lunar Blessing instead if your support has a skill that can do something similar.
After that, there are two ways you can go from there. The first is to get either Lucent Beam or Lunar Blessing. The second is to immediately get Moon Glaives, as it allows you to farm faster. If you went for Lunar Blessing, it’s usually a good idea to get Moon Glaives as it allows for faster farming.
After that, it depends on whether you’re going for a Carry or a Farming playstyle. If you’re going for a playstyle where you go AFK for a bit and just farm, then maxing out Lunar Blessing and Moon Glaives is a good idea. If you’re going full carry, it’s a bit different. You want to max out Lucent Beam first before getting a single point of Moon Glaives or Lunar Blessing. Those two skills might stay at Level 1 until you reach Level 8 yourself. This is because this is the point where you get Level 4 Lucent Beam and unlock her ultimate.
Suggested Talent Build for Luna in Dota 2
Luna’s Dota 2 Talents are also incredibly specialized in either a Farming or Carry playstyle. Depending on what skills you pick, your Talent choices may change. You might want to focus on Moon Glaive and Lunar Blessing talents if you wish to scale into the late game with physical damage.
Meanwhile, picking all the Lucent Beam talents allows you to immediately gank and kill opponents. There’s a bit of a caveat here, though. On level 15, you might want to get the increased movement speed to get to places faster. However, this is moot if you’re building items like Boots of Travel, or getting Scrolls of Teleportation all the time. And besides, Phase Boots is a thing.
Dota 2 Luna Item Builds
Depending on your playstyle, there are also two ways for Luna to build her items. She can either increase her physical damage or her magic damage. There are pros and cons for both, but usually, Physical Damage builds are more popular due to how fast she can auto-attack.
Here are some of the more recommended items depending on what type of damage a player prefers. Do note that some of these items are situational and will depend on who the player is fighting against.
Physical Damage builds are pretty obvious when you think about it. The build has a pretty linear progression due to the benefits that each of the items can give to Luna at different times in the game. Here are the items that players prioritize to get when playing as Luna in Dota 2:
Power Treads is usually the go-to boots when it comes to most heroes and for good reason. The sweet, juicy stats that the item gives is great to have on early game, and even late game. In addition to this, players can change which stat to buff using Power Treads. Need more Mana Regen? Go for Mana Mode Power Treads. What about more Health Regen? Go for Strength Mode Power Treads.
In Luna’s case, the Agility version of the Power Treads item is the way to go. It gives her an additional 10 points on her agility stat, which increases her attack speed, armor, and damage. Do note that the item already increases the hero’s attack speed, but having more agility increases it even more.
However, there might come a time when you need to replace Power Treads with something faster, like Boots of Travel. But that’s on the late game, and we’ll talk about that later.
Manta Style is an item that’s essential for Luna due to the sheer amount of stats it gives her. In addition to this, Manta Style creates illusions of Luna, and these illusions have the Moon Glaives passive. This means they can attack more enemies, giving Luna incredible pushing capabilities.
Mask of Madness
Mask of Madness is another great early game item for Luna due to how useful it is. It gives her lifesteal, as well as increased damage, and attack speed. And do note that these are just the passives. If activated, Luna gains additional attack speed and movement speed at the cost of a pittance of Luna’s armor. However, you’re not able to cast any spells. But since two of your skills are passive, there’s no downside to Mask of Madness.
In addition to this, once you’re in the late game, you can disassemble it to regain the items needed to create it. Once you do so, you can immediately work on both the Satanic and Butterfly items if you have the money.
The main reason for Dragon Lance being on this list is twofold: It gives her additional stats like Power Treads, and it gives her increased attack range. This is one of the rare items that do this, and it’s one of the cheapest items on this list. This makes it incredibly cost-effective. When you’re done with the item, you can immediately go for the Hurricane Pike, or disassemble it and get Aghanim’s Scepter.
The Butterfly is yet another of the items that Luna can use well. This is due to the additional Agility that it gives, which improves Luna’s stats and gives her armor and evasion. This is great since it allows her to be more active during late-game fights where she’s incredibly squishy due to her low-base HP. This, however, will be fixed by the next item on our list, Satanic.
Satanic is one of the items on this list that Luna will always gravitate towards due to how good it is. It gives her lifesteal, increased HP and health regen, and a bit more attack. In addition, it’s also the greatest way for her to heal herself by dealing as much damage as possible when its ability is on.
One drawback is how expensive it is. However, the fact that Mask of Madness can be disassembled to get both the quarterstaff and Morbid Mask back is what brings both Satanic and Butterfly on this list.
Black King Bar
The Black King Bar is pretty much a no-brainer of an item to get for Luna for one reason: Magic Immunity. With this item, Luna can no longer be targeted by enemy spells for a few seconds. This allows her to dish out her damage with impunity during that duration.
A Magic Damage build for Luna in Dota 2 is a bit on the weird side as it’s incredibly good, but not as viable as the Physical Damage build. However, it’s still pretty potent given the right circumstances.
Aghanim’s Scepter is one of the main lynchpins for Magic Luna as it unlocks the full potential of her Ultimate. It ensures that there’s no longer a cap on how many times Lucent Beams emitting from the Eclipse would hit enemies near her. In addition, she can now use her ultimate to immediately kill any stragglers walking around without any method of defending themselves.
This is pretty much a luxury item for Magic Luna. It allows her to immediately refresh the cooldown of her spells. This means she can use another Eclipse ultimate even when she’s already cast one seconds before. This effectively doubles the damage she can inflict on her enemies.
Yasha and Kaya
Yasha and Kaya is an item that would allow Luna to effectively be a magic vampire. Every time she casts Lucent Beams she gets regenerates health. In addition, the spells that she casts will be boosted due to the item’s ability to amplify spell damage. Combine that with the next item on this list and you can see kills left, right, and center.
Ethereal Blade is an item that enables Luna to burst down any enemy that flees from her. It’s also great due to its ability to lock a hero to an Ethereal Form for four seconds. When a Hero is Ethereal, they can’t attack, they move slower, and they’re more vulnerable to magic attacks. This, combined with Aghanim’s Scepter enhanced Eclipse, means death to a single hero on the enemy team.
Depending on the situation, you might want to get these items for Luna while playing as her in Dota 2:
Eye of Skadi
Eye of Skadi is an incredibly powerful item with great stat increases and a frost effect when attacking. Luna will greatly benefit from getting this item, but it’s also one of the more expensive ones to get.
Hurricane Pike is the evolution of the Dragon Lance that gives more stats and has an active ability. When used, both Luna and her target will be sent far away from each other, similar to Force Staff. However, Luna will be able to attack the target four times quickly. This is a great getaway item as well as a way to damage enemies a bit before retreating.
Suggested Items During the Game
These are the items that we suggest players get for Luna in the early to late game. Do note that these are general guidelines only, and players should assess the situation first before getting these items.
- Boots of Speed
- Healing Salve
- Magic Wand
- Town Portal Scrolls
The Healing Salve and Magic Wand are used to heal Luna, with the latter having the additional utility of regaining mana for Lucent Beams. Meanwhile, Boots of Speed are there for when players want to get Phase Boots or Power Treads, and TP Scrolls are for teleportation. After getting these items, players should focus on getting Power Treads or Phase Boots depending on their playstyle.
- Power Treads
- Dragon Lance
- Manta Style
- Yasha and Kaya
- Mask of Madness
- Aghanim’s Scepter
If you have a good game, you might have already finished Power Treads and made progress towards Dragon Lance. After that, the farming game begins. Immediately rush Mask of Madness to increase Luna’s attack speed, then get Manta Style as fast as possible.
Aghanim’s Scepter is also a good choice if the player’s going for a Magic Build. This is because it allows Lucent Beams to hit an enemy as many times as possible. Yasha and Kaya is also a good pick—it’s like Sange and Yasha but for Magic and Agility-oriented heroes. This means it’s great for a Magic Damage Luna build.
- Black King Bar
- Refresher Orb
- Ethereal Blade
- Aghanim’s Blessing
In the latter part of the game, immediately go for Black King Bar as it allows Luna to fight with impunity. However, depending on your build, you might want to disassemble Mask of Madness to get Butterfly and Satanic. If you’re going for a Magic Damage build, get Ethereal Blade as it’s a great way to chase enemies down and burst them with Eclipse.
Refresher Orb is a luxury item, but it allows Luna to cast Eclipse again immediately after casting it. Combine that with the guaranteed Refresher Shard drop when Roshan is killed three times, and Luna can have three Eclipse ultimates going at the same time. Lastly, Aghanim’s Blessing is yet another Luxury Item that turns the Aghanim’s Scepter into a buff, opening space in Luna’s inventory.
When Should You Pick Luna?
Luna is a great hero to push with as her skills help her immensely in this role. In addition, she’s also great for killing heroes when she has the required items and talents. Combine that with her incredible capacity for physical damage, and you have a good hero to destroy entire teams with the right support.
Always make sure that the team you’re playing with has heroes with great crowd control or stuns. Legion Commander, for example, is a great hero to have with Luna as her Duel locks enemies into attempting to kill her. With Luna’s support, Legion Commander can kill heroes easily, and get the Duel buff which increases damage.
Heroes Countered by Luna
- Arc Warden
- Bane Elemental
These heroes are easily countered by Luna due to several factors. Chen, Bane Elemental, and Pugna are incredibly squishy heroes that can be killed easily with a few attacks and Lucent Beams. Meanwhile, Magnus’ skills leave him extremely vulnerable, with Luna having ample opportunity to deliver Lucent Beam’s mini stun. Lastly, Arc Warden’s pretty much screwed if Luna goes near him. This is because his Magnetic Field only hinders enemies outside the field. Because Luna needs to go near him to attack, the skill doesn’t hinder her as much.
Do note that these are just a few of the heroes that Luna can counter.
Counters vs Luna
- Phantom Lancer
In terms of counters against Luna in Dota 2, Bristleback is a pretty good one due to his high HP, Armor, and damaging abilities. Broodmother is yet another pick, but it’s due to the sheer numbers of her spider swarm. This allows her to evade Luna’s Lucent Beams and Eclipse attacks. However, this still leaves Luna with ample fodder to regain HP with lifesteal, so it’s a mixed bag. She does, however, have great lane presence with her spider swarm, and can destroy towers pretty early if not defended against.
Phantom Lancer and Meepo each have the same advantage against Luna: their clones. Because of this, they can easily tank her abilities and their damage output is enough to kill Luna even with lifesteal. Lastly, both have ways to limit Luna’s mobility, allowing them to close in and kill her.
Sniper’s advantage against Luna comes from his range. The fact that he can outrange Luna so heavily means that he can deal more damage to her before she can even approach him. Meanwhile, Slark’s ultimate allows him to avoid all of Luna’s attacks while still striking her down.
And lastly, Tinker is one of the game’s most effective counters against Luna. This is because when Tinker’s built up correctly, he can be an absolute menace. His March of the Machines allows him to clear lanes quickly. And when combined with Boots of Travel and Rearm, expect to see Tinker appearing throughout the map, killing mobs and destroying any presence your team has in the field. He’s also one of the heroes that can kill Luna quickly with enough skill. And if he has Blink Dagger? Good luck trying to find him.