Dota 2 – Mars Guide: Rule the Offlane with Force

Mars Dota 2 Featured

We already have Zeus in Dota 2 right now, a Greek god to be exact. It was only a matter of time before another Greek god joined the fray, and lo and behold, Mars is here. Here’s everything you need to know about the Dota 2 hero, Mars.


Who Is Mars in Dota 2?


Mars, the god of war and the first son of the heavens. He spent an age in endless conflict, crusades, and wars under his old name. Wars of vengeance, conquest, and suffering. Mars was his father’s son back in those days, indulging in his baser impulses, and was more monstrous compared to his father, and that’s saying something.

Eventually, as all the praise for those that he once fought conquest for vanished, he wonders. Those like him judged him despicable even though he conquered for them. What’s the difference? What’s the point of war if it’s just for its own sake? For the first time in untold millennia, the god of war hesitates, wondering why he wielded his spear.

Unknown to him, fate already gave him the answer, and the solution was simple. He must war for a bigger purpose than himself, inspiring more than savagery, despair, and fear at the sight of him. At last, he must claim the right of leadership that he once spurned, for its time to cast down the old ways and build anew. Only then, only then, might he be satisfied, and show Mars’ glory to all.

Also Read: Dota 2 Guide for Beginners Who Want to Start Playing


What Type of Hero Is Mars?

Mars Dota 2 Hero
In-game screenshot by


Mars, the god of war and heaven’s first son, is a melee strength hero. He controls the battle with abilities that knock back enemies and change the battlefield.

With his shield, he can block attacks from his front and side, while also knocking them back. His spear is a way to isolate or stop enemies from moving, allowing for a quick kill. And lastly, he creates his arena, trapping an unlucky enemy, preventing his or her allies from helping. Good use of his ability to isolate and kill can turn entire fights around.

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Skills of Mars in Dota 2

So, after we’ve talked a bit about Mars himself, let’s talk about his skills. Mars has four skills in her repertoire. They are Spear of Mars, God’s Rebuke, Bulwark, and Arena of Blood.


Spear of Mars


Though it’s been millennia since its forging, the Spear of Mars still alights with heat from the forge god’s flames.

Mars throws his spear with expertise and precision, dealing damage to all enemy units that it strikes. The first enemy hero that it hits will be skewered onto the spear, pushing them back. If the hero is skewered into a building, cliff, or tree, they’ll be impaled and stunned upon it.


  • Costs 110/120/130/140 MP to cast and has a 14/13/12/11 second cooldown. The spear deals 100/175/250/325 damage without talent, and 200/275/350/425 damage with talent and can impale 1 enemy hero. With Aghanim’s Shard, this is increased to 2. The stun lasts for 1.6/2/2.4/2.8 seconds without talents, and 2.4/2.8/3.2/3.6 seconds with talents.
  • The spear has a maximum travel distance of 900/1000/1100/1200 units away from Mars. Enemy units that are not heroes are knocked back by 75 units.
  • All enemy heroes are stunned when skewered by the Spear. If the skewered hero dies or escapes the spear somehow, it cannot impale another unless Mars has Aghanim’s Shard.
  • The Spear skewers enemy heroes on all buildings, allied or otherwise, but not shops.
  • In terms of Cliffs, Mars’ spear can skewer heroes onto cliffs leading up to elevated areas.
  • The Spear cannot impale enemy heroes on terrain decorations like statues, stair arches, or the border walls.
  • The spear gives True Sight over the impaled enemy hero.
  • The spear won’t collide with heroes or units that are invulnerable or hidden. It’ll just fly over them.
  • With Aghanim’s Shard, the spear leaves a fire trail that lasts for 10 seconds and impales 2 enemy heroes instead of 1.


God’s Rebuke


No warrior, alive or dead, has ever stood unmoved by Mars’ rebuke.

Mars brandishes his shield and smashes all enemies in front of him. This knocks them back and damages them with a critical hit based on how much attack he has. The attack has True Strike and deals bonus damage on Heroes.


  • God’s Rebuke costs 90 MP to cast and has a 16/14/12/10 second cooldown without talents, and a 12/10/8/6 second cooldown with talents. Has a Critical Damage bonus of 150%/190%/230%/270% without talents and 215%/255%/295%/335% with Talents.
  • Has a hero attack damage bonus of 20/25/30/35 based on ability level.
  • Knocks back enemies 150 units away and slows them by 40% for 2 seconds. 3.5 seconds with Talent.
  • The attack pierces Spell Immunity, but the knockback doesn’t.



Only the brave and the very foolish would dare to attempt to fight the god of war upfront.

Mars brings forth his massive shield, passively blocking a portion of physical attack damage when he’s hit from the sides or front.

When toggled, Mars cannot attack, and will not be able to look away from the direction he’s facing, as well as reducing his movement speed. When this is toggled, Mars will redirect 70% of all attack projectiles aimed at Mars’ allies towards him instead.


  • Toggling Bulwark has a .2 second cooldown.
  • Bulwark reduces damage by 40%/50%/60%/70% without talents and 50%/60%/70%/80% with talents from the front. Meanwhile, the ability reduces damage from the sides to a lesser extent, clocking in at 20%/25%/30%/35% without talents and 25%/30%/35%/40% with talents.
  • Bulwark doesn’t interrupt Mars when he’s channeling, so he can teleport out of a sticky situation while using Bulwark.
  • Upgradable by Aghanim’s Scepter by creating invulnerable soldiers around Mars’ front when Bulwark is on. These soldiers move alongside him, and deal his full damage with an additional 75 and apply any procs that he has. All attacks by these soldiers slow enemies by 10% for 1 second. Lastly, an enemy can only be attacked by one of Mars’ soldiers at a time, with no multiple attacks from all soldiers.


Arena of Blood


Members of the Ash Legion, long dead, and those that were the finest and skilled warriors to have ever fought the god of war, still revel in battle. These warriors, no matter the affiliation in life, gladly fight for the god of war, though he was the one who fell them in battle.

Mars summons an arena after a short formation time. The arena is lined with the warriors of the Ash Legion that block enemy movement and attacks. Enemies outside the arena cannot go inside, while those inside the arena cannot escape, and will be stabbed by spears and knocked back if they try to do so.


  • Costs 150/175/200 MP to cast, has a 90-second cooldown, and lasts for 5/6/7 seconds. With Talents, the Arena also heals allied heroes by 180 HP per second.
  • Arena of Blood has a radius of 550 units.
  • Enemies with Flying Movement or Blink abilities/Blink Dagger can bypass the wall. If not, trying to escape will push back enemy heroes back towards the arena’s center, dealing 100/160/220 damage. If impaled by the Spear of Mars, they will not be knocked back until the stun duration is finished.
  • Enemies without flying movement are affected by a Slow aura emanating from the arena. This slow aura is stronger near the walls, which causes enemy heroes to halt themselves on the walls for the spears to attack them.

Also check out this Dota 2 Dragon Knight guide for offlane players


Talents of Mars in Dota 2

We’ve now talked about Mars’ various skills, so it’s time to talk about his talents. We’ll start with the Level 10 talents all the way to level 25.

God’s Rebuke slow +1.5 Seconds Level 10 Bulwark Movement Speed penalty -10%
God’s Rebuke cooldown -4 seconds Level 15 Spear of Mars damage +100
Bulwark front/side damage reduction +10%/+5% respectively Level 20 Spear of Mars stun +.8 seconds
God’s Rebuke crit +65% Level 25 Arena of Blood +180HP Regen when active


Item Suggestions for Mars in Dota 2

Now let’s talk about what items to get for Mars. We’ll start with what to get in the early game, all the way to the late game, and what items should you get in certain situations.


Starting Dota 2 Item Suggestion for Mars

In-game screenshot by


  • Tangos – Grants Mars HP regen in the early parts of the game when he eats a tree. Eating an ironwood branch tree can increase the HP regen.
  • Healing Salve – Provides Mars more HP regen compared to Tangos, but can be canceled by hero attacks/abilities. Make sure to use this when safe.
  • Enchanted Mango – Enchanted Mango gives Mars passive HP Regen when not used. When used, restores 100 MP to Mars, allowing him to use his abilities more.
  • Quelling Blade – Quelling Blade gives Mars additional damage against Creeps, allowing him to last hit them better and get gold and experience.
  • Faerie Fire – Faerie Fire passively gives Mars additional attack damage when it’s in his inventory. When used, restores 85 HP to Mars.
  • Ironwood Branch – Ironwood Branch gives Mars additional stats to make him better overall. It’s also great in that it allows Mars to regen more HP when eaten by a Tango. Lastly, it’s one of the items needed for Magic Wand, a good early game item.
  • Clarity – Clarity gives Mars MP regen, allowing him to spam his abilities more in the early to mid-game.


Early Game

Soul Ring
In-game screenshot by


  • Soul Ring – Gives Mars passive HP Regen, as well as the active ability to sacrifice some of his HP to temporarily restore MP. A good item to get in the early game so that Mars can spam his abilities. Do make sure to get HP regen though, because Mars can be punished hard when using Soul Ring.
  • Boots of Speed – Gives Mars additional movement speed, allowing him to get into battles faster, or escape from ganks against those without their Boots.
  • Magic Wand – An upgraded version of Magic Stick that gives more stat boosts and HP/MP restoration. Great for staying in the middle of a fight in the early game. Make sure to get enough charges though.
  • Bracer – An early game stat-boosting item that gives Mars extra HP and damage. It’s also pretty pricey, so sell this when it’s time to get more of the big-ticket items.



In-game screenshot by


  • Blink Dagger – Allows Mars to blink in the middle of the battle to cast his Arena of Blood or set up for the Spear of Mars. Also builds up to Overwhelming Blink, which is a great initiation tool in the late game.
  • Phase Boots – Gives Mars additional attack damage and armor, while also giving him movement speed. Also gives Mars the ability to phase through units when using its active ability.
  • Vladimir’s Offering – Gives additional armor, Lifesteal, damage, and MP regen to Mars and all allies near him. Can be upgraded to Helm of the Overlord if going for a more offlane/support build but it’s not necessary.
  • Desolator – Allows Mars’ attacks to reduce enemy armor, making them more vulnerable to damage. God’s Rebuke also applies armor reduction.
  • Vanguard – Gives Mars extra HP, HP Regen, and Damage block, reducing the damage that is inflicted on him. Also one of the items that lead to Crimson Guard, a good item to get for an offlane Mars.


Late Game

  • Heaven’s Halberd – Gives Mars additional strength, status resistance, evasion, Lifesteal, and HP Regen amplification, and the Disarm active ability. Disarm stops the target hero from attacking for 3 seconds on melee units and 5 seconds on ranged units.
  • Black King Bar – Gives Mars additional strength, damage, and decaying spell immunity. The spell immunity decays from 9 seconds on the first use, all the way to 6 seconds on the 4th use and beyond.
  • Overwhelming Blink – Gives Mars additional strength and improves the blink to damage enemies in a radius around Mars based on his current Strength attribute. It also reduces their attack and movement speed for 6 seconds.


Situational Dota 2 Items for Mars

  • Crimson Guard Gives the Damage Block passive like Vanguard, increases armor, HP, and HP Regen as well as the Guard Active ability. Guard gives allied units and buildings 100% chance to block 70 damage from all attacks for 12 seconds.
  • Heart of Tarrasque – Gives Mars additional strength, HP, and HP Regen.
  • Pipe of Insight – Additional HP Regen and Magic Resistance. In addition to this, provides Mars’ allies with Insight Aura passively, increasing their HP Regen and Magic Resistance. Pipe of Insight also has an active ability that gives Mars and his allies a shield that blocks 400 magic damage for 12 seconds.
  • Blade Mail – Additional damage, armor, and the ability to reflect some physical damage towards enemies. Great for early to mid-game aggression.


Suggested Neutral Items for Mars in Dota 2

Tier 1

  • Chipped Vest
  • Arcane Ring
  • Ocean Heart
  • Pig Pole
  • Tumbler’s Toy


Tier 2

  • Ring of Aquila
  • Dragon’s Scale
  • Vambrace
  • Bullwhip
  • Essence Ring


Tier 3

  • Ceremonial Robe
  • Psychic Headband
  • Blast Rig
  • Spider Legs
  • Cloak of Flames


Tier 4

  • Ascetic’s Cap
  • Witchbane
  • Trickster Cloak


Tier 5

  • Giant’s Ring
  • Arcanist’s Armor
  • Mirror Shield


Dota 2 Mars General Gameplay

Mars Dota 2 Spear
In-game screenshot by



Mars is usually played in the offlane role. But now, some pro players assign him as a midlaner. We’ll talk about both roles below.



As an offlaner, Mars’ first job is to initiate fights so his team can capitalize. Thus, maxing out Spear of Mars first is a good option, while also taking Arena of Blood as early as possible. Once this is achieved, and if Blink Dagger is purchased, Mars can immediately begin to roam around so that he and his team can gank and kill lone heroes.

After this, it’s usually a good idea to get items that make Mars tankier. This means getting Heaven’s Halberd, Vladimir’s Offering, Pipe of Insight, et cetera. This allows Mars to stay in the team fight longer and makes him more liable to kill enemy heroes alongside his team.



As a midlaner, Mars needs a few different things compared to his offlane counterpart. For one, it’s usually a good idea to get a Eul’s Scepter of Divinity so that you can set up your Spear of Mars easier.

Laning-wise, getting a Bulwark on level 2 is good for mitigating as much damage as possible, then rushing God’s Rebuke and Spear of Mars. After this is done, getting items like Desolator and Black King Bar is a priority, though getting Blink Dagger is also a good idea.


When Do You Pick Mars in Dota 2?

Mars is a good hero to pick if your allies have abilities that can take advantage of their own. Arena of Blood is a good example of this, as the sheer scale of the arena can be a good place for an Echo Slam, Ice Blast, or a Macropyre. His ability to separate enemy heroes and isolate them is also good for heroes like Drow Ranger, who can then pelt the trapped foes with arrows.

All in all, Mars is an incredibly strategic hero to get, good game sense is needed to make use of his abilities properly. Reading the flow of the game, the map, and overall the current team fight situation, is needed to excel in Mars.


Heroes Best Countered by Mars

For the most part, any physical damage hero will not have a good time against Mars. For one, he’s incredibly tanky, and his Bulwark skill mitigates a huge amount of damage coming against him. A few examples would be these heroes below:


Phantom Assassin


Bulwark reduces Phantom Assassin’s high physical damage, especially when PA reaches Level 6 with Coup de Grace. In addition, God’s Rebuke can easily bypass her Blur ability due to its ingrained True Strike.


Legion Commander

Mars is bad news for Legion Commander’s Duel ability because Bulwark easily reduces her attack damage.



A well-placed Arena of Blood can prevent Bloodseeker from attacking an ally that he cast Rupture to. In addition, Spear of Mars and God’s Rebuke help in stopping Bloodseeker from charging towards a Ruptured target, pushing him away and allowing them to escape.



Mars has good AoE with his God’s Rebuke and Arena of Blood, allowing him to kill Terrorblade’s illusions. In addition, Bulwark can easily negate Terrorblade’s physical damage.



Weaver is usually a pretty slippery hero. However, Mars’ Arena of Blood easily negates his escape potential. This is because Weaver cannot escape Arena of Blood with help from Shukuchi, and trying to use Time Lapse will just make him stay trapped inside the Arena. In addition, this is worsened if Weaver is stunned by Spear of Mars, as Time Lapse only warps Weaver back in time 5 seconds earlier.



Juggernaut’s attacks are easily mitigated with Bulwark, and his Omnislash only deals full damage from Mars’ back. Since Omnislash attacks in opposite directions with each slash, that means Mars only takes full damage in half of Omnislash’s duration.


Counters Against Mars in Dota 2

Mars is a tanky, anti-physical damage hero. However, heroes with Magical damage, damage over time effects can deal with him easily. These include:



Lifestealer’s abilities make him good against Mars in general. Rage allows him to dodge Spear of Mars and Arena of Blood. Meanwhile, Feast deals more damage the more HP Mars has.



Riki is a hero that usually attacks from behind, dealing bonus damage that bypasses Mars’ Bulwark ability. In addition, most of his abilities help him backstab his enemies like Blink Strike, Tricks of the Trade, and Cloak and Dagger.


Faceless Void

Faceless Void’s Time Walk allows him to easily escape Arena of Blood, and even enter it if he wants to deal damage to Mars. In addition, his Chronosphere easily allows him to go behind Mars to take advantage of his back while Mars is frozen.



Mars is vulnerable from Huskar’s Burning Spears as it can deal huge damage over time against him. In addition to this, Life Break can be used to decimate Mars’ HP as well as its magical damage ability.



Batrider’s Sticky Napalm slows Mars down, stopping him from repositioning and using Bulwark effectively. In addition, Flaming Lasso can disable Mars completely and take him off his Arena of Blood if combined with his Firefly ability.



In-game screenshot by


Necrophos’ abilities all deal magical damage, bypassing Mars’ Bulwark. In addition, Necrophos is a difficult target for Mars to hit because of Ghost Shroud.



Lina’s Eul’s Scepter to Light Strike Array combo can disrupt Mars hard and leave him vulnerable. Meanwhile, Dragon Slave and Laguna Blade can easily shred Mars’ HP.


Ogre Magi

Ogre Magi is a hard opponent for Mars to lane against due to his high HP and Ignite ability. In addition to this, the moment he hits Level 2 and 3, he can get either Bloodlust or Fireblast, making him even more difficult to deal with.



Pugna’s abilities all deal huge amounts of magical damage, bypassing Bulwark. In particular, Nether Ward is a dangerous ability that prevents Mars from using any of his high MP abilities like Arena of Blood.


Outworld Destroyer

All of Outworld Destroyer’s abilities deal magical damage, in particular, Arcane Orb and Sanity’s Eclipse. Both of these abilities destroy Mars’ MP and HP, preventing him from being a threat to Outworld Devourer’s allies.


Shadow Fiend

Shadow Fiend is a very flexible hero to play if one knows how to play him. His Shadow Raze can straight up screw Mars over if he’s laned against him. In addition, Shadow Fiend can play a magical damage build, which can destroy Mars.



Zeus is a purely magical damage hero, throwing copious amounts of lightning at his opponents. A Mars that lanes against him will have a hard time dealing with his abilities as they completely bypass Bulwark. On the flipside, Zeus also has low HP, making him vulnerable to Mars’ burst damage.



Viper’s abilities all have Damage over Time, bypassing Mars’ Bulwark. In addition, Nethertoxin can stop Bulwark from proccing, allowing other heroes to dish the damage.


Dota 2 Heroes That Have Good Synergy With Mars

Drow Ranger

Drow Ranger can attack enemies inside Arena of Blood with impunity with the full damage bonus from Marksmanship.



Echo Slam and Fissure are good tools for Earthshaker to use when Arena of Blood is active. The combo can easily burst down low HP units inside the arena.


Ancient Apparition

Like Earthshaker, Ancient Apparition can make use of Arena of Blood to hit his Ice Blast ability.



Jakiro’s various AoE abilities can make use of Arena of Blood, especially Macropyre.


Dark Seer

Dark Seer’s Vacuum ability can be a great setup for Arena of Blood, and the cramped space of the Arena is perfect for his ultimate.


Crystal Maiden

Crystal Maiden can easily make viable targets for Spear of Mars using her Frostbite. In addition, her Arcane Aura gives Mars extra MP Regen, while Freezing Field can hit enemies inside the Arena of Blood while keeping herself safe.



Disruptor’s Glimpse ability can prevent enemies that have escaped the Arena of Blood. In addition, the moment that Disruptor gains his Aghanim’s Scepter buff, the two of them can combo their ultimates, making it impossible to escape in any way, shape, or form.


Monkey King

Monkey King’s Wukong’s Command can be placed on Arena of Blood, making it a deadly combo when combined with other heroes on this list.



Kunkka’s ghostship and Torrent abilities benefit a lot from Arena of Blood as it keeps enemies in place for these abilities to hit their marks.


Dark Willow

Mars and Dark Willow have one of the best combinations among Ultimates in Dota 2. Mars’ Ultimate keeps enemies in one circle and deals damage when they’re on the edge. Well, Dark Willow’s ultimate gives a fear debuff making them run which done inside Arena can lead to massive damage.



In-game screenshot by


Phoenix’s Supernova and Mars’ Arena of Blood Ultimates work well together. Arena protects the egg and keeps enemies in one area. Then, with this added protection, the egg can explode and deal with an AoE stun as Arena ends.


Master the Offlane with Mars in Dota 2

All in all, Mars is a very potent hero when it comes to team-fighting due to the benefits of his skills. In the right hands, he can be a deadly ally, providing a lot of control on how fights in the game will go.

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