[Top 10] Dota 2 Arc Warden Counters (Best Heroes Against Arc Warden in Dota 2)

The aggressive Arc Warden has been away from the spotlight in the pro scene, but he is picked often in pubs due to the immense damage he dishes out. His early game potential is quite unmatched, as he is capable of dealing high magical damage which can’t be negated this early on in the game. Another reason why Arc Warden is picked so frequently is because of his flexibility, as he can be played both as the carry or the mid-laner. The late-game potential of this beast is quite unmatched, you stand no chance against a six-slotted Arc Warden if the clock ticks past 60 minutes!

Arc may be a powerful hero, but he is not entirely invincible. You see, there are heroes which can nip him in the bud, and decimate him right off the laning phase. We bring you the Best 10 Arc Warden Counters in the current meta. These relevant heroes make Arc Warden look like a ranged creep!

Best General Items Against Arc Warden

  • Glimmer Cape/Shadow Blade - Provides invisibility, and can also be used on allies to escape or to initiate Arc Warden. If Arc initiates you or your allies without any disabling items then you can quickly get away with using Glimmer or Shadow Blade, which is essential to kite Arc.
  • Scythe of Vyse - Upon usage it hexes the targetted unit, essentially making them unable to use spells or items, along with reducing their movement speed for 3.5 seconds. This item is highly useful against Arc Warden as he can’t deal much damage or use his abilities unless he has his Tempest Double.
  • Orchid of Malevolence - Silences Arc Warden for 5 seconds making him unable to use any items, also dealing him an extra 30% damage at the end of its duration. It can be useful to silence Arc and entirely shut him off from the team fight. It can further be upgraded into Bloodthorn which deals critical damage while he is silenced.
  • Nullifier - Upon cast, it can be used to dispel Arc Warden and apply a debuff for 5 seconds. It actively dispels any buffs, making Arc Warden useless in fights.
  • Black King Bar - On usage, it provides spell immunity. This entirely negates the damage from Arc Warden’s spells or items. 

10. Meepo

Arc Warden is countered heavily by Meepo as he generally is known to be a heavy counter to split-pushing heroes. In theory, Arc has an advantage against Meepo due to his high AoE damage and disabling toolkit but that does not happen until much later in the game, as he is either farming away or split-pushing while Meepo dominates the game. A smart Meepo player knows it's better to fight and focus on objectives as soon as he can instead of farming away against an Arc Warden.

Meepo can gank any lane he wants in the early game with the help of his sustaining lifesteal and damage-dealing Poof. While Arc on the other hand can not come online this early into the game without the help of a few items such as Orchid or even a Maelstorm, which provides much leverage to Meepo to gank lanes and secure objectives before Arc even has the chance to strike. A late game could go either way but as we all know, strength is in numbers, Meepo’s clones assist him in staying strong in teamfights.

Why is Meepo a great counter to Arc Warden?

  • Flux is severely impaired against Meepo because of Divided We Stand.
  • Meepo's farming speed and early power spikes allow him to pressure Arc Warden before he is capable of fighting effectively.
  • Without Black King Bar, Earthbind and Poof can finish Arc Warden quickly before he has time to do much.

Items to buy on Meepo

  • Blink Dagger - Great for gap closing or initiating against Arc Warden. This is a staple item on Meepo whenever he is facing menacing ranged heroes like Arc, allowing him to get close to them.    
  • Eye of Skadi - Reduces regen on physical attacks, and also slows the targetted enemy. It also provides decent stats which make him quite tanky against Arc. 
  • Scythe of Vyse - Hexes Arc and removes her from the fight. Scythe makes him unable to attack, or use spells or items along with slowing his movement speed for 3.5 seconds.
  • Dragon Lance - Provides immense stats and regen. Experienced Meepo players tend to build multiple Dragon Lances to get them through the rather hard early game.
  • Heart of Tarrasque - Provides increased HP and health regen which is useful to survive the massive physical damage from Arc.


9. Broodmother

The terrific Broodmother is known to be a dominant force from quite early on in the game. Just like Arc Warden, she is known to split-push quite effortlessly with her spiderlings. Broodmother is quite the terrific counterpick against Arc in the laning stage as he lacks the AoE damage early on to prevent her aggressive plays. Arc finds no better option than abandoning the lane and farming the jungle as laning would be nothing less than a death threat if Brood has her army of Spiderlings.

However, the late game can be more Arc-sided due to his high AoE damage with Mjolnir, combined with disabling items like Scythe or Orchid. Broodmother further can focus on right-click builds in such scenarios, using Spiderlings as a secondary source of damage or only while she is pushing the towers. But all this AoE damage and disable is only acquired in the middle or the late game, meaning Brood has free rein for the first 30 minutes of the game and maybe knock at Arc’s tier 3s before he knows it. 

Why is Broodmother a great counter to Arc Warden? 

  • None of Arc Warden's abilities are very effective against Broodmother and her spiderlings.
  • A good Broodmother looks to end the match early while Arc Warden, a very item-reliant hero, thrives in longer matches.
  • Arc Warden has no innate disables to stop Broodmother from life stealing with Insatiable Hunger and shredding through his relatively lower armor.

Items to Buy on Broodmother

  • Aghanim’s Scepter - Gives a ton of charges to Webs and makes them global
  • Black King Bar - Provides spell immunity, making you invulnerable in the fight
  • Monkey King Bar - Increased physical damage, also provides true strike 
  • Diffusal Blade - Slows down Tiny and burns his mana
  • Bloodthorn - Silences and deals immense damage at the end of the duration


8. Invoker

Invoker, the master of the arcane arts is a staple mid-hero, and also a staple mid-pick against the likes of Arc Warden. The latter is despised by magic damage and has utterly low magic resistance, a weakness that Invoker takes great advantage of. Invoker fares well in the laning phase, sometimes even breaking against Arc. An experience Invoker player will always try to harass Arc out of the lane and demote him to the jungle.

Invoker’s skill set allows him to act both offensive and defensive, depending upon the scenario. Unlike Arc, Voker can gank and push lanes fairly early on in the game. This gives him that edge in both XP and farm. Invoker is seen as a squishy mid-hero, but his abilities allow him to defend himself from the terrorizing Arc Warden. He provides immense control with his spell combos, which can help him turn the tides in teamfights while dealing ungodly amounts of damage which Arc finds hard to negate.

Why is Invoker a great counter against Arc Warden?

  • Forge Spirit can negate Flux.
  • Provided he does the right combo with Chaos Meteor, Invoker can easily burst down Arc Warden (plus his clone if he spawns it.)
  • An early Orchid Malevolence can shut down Arc Warden pretty hard, especially when Invoker has a good lane against him if he kills him early on.
  • Deafening Blast and Ice Wall limit Arc Warden's mobility and damage, crippling him greatly.

Items to buy on Invoker

  • Scythe of Vyse - Disables Arc Warden and removes him from the fight
  • Black King Bar - Provides spell immunity against Arc’s spells and items.
  • Aghanim’s Scepter - Reduces CD on spells
  • Blink Dagger - Great for gap-closing or initiating     
  • Refresher’s Orb - Can refresh spells and items and use them again in quick succession to delete Arc Warden from teamfights


7. Riki

Riki the silent assassin is rarely seen in pro games (no pun intended), but his presence is often seen in pub games as he still is a tough carry hero. In theory, Arc Warden performs extremely well against Riki due to the latter’s lack of AoE and farming capability and also due to the range factor. Rik is a slippery hero and Arc finds it hard to catch him unless he has Hex or Silence.

With the right amount of damage, mobility, and even a disable, Riki can stop Arc right in his tracks. He is a threat if paired with the right support in the lane against Arc, due to his rather shaky early game. But the late game is a smooth sail for the assassin goat if he manages to keep up the pace and acquire a few items. Riki is the ultimate snowball hero if he is fed off a few kills.

Why is Riki a great counter to Arc Warden? 

  • Smoke Screen combined with Diffusal Blade leaves Arc Warden effectively useless for a while as he struggles to escape the silence with low mobility.
  • With Arc Warden's low mobility, Tricks of the Trade often deal decent damage to him before he moves out of it.
  • Incredible fighting and escape potential, along with decent mobility.

Items to buy on Riki

  • Diffusal Blade - Slows down Arc Warden and burns his mana, powerful in tandem with Smoke Screen
  • Abyssal Blade - Upon cast, it stuns the targetted hero for 2 seconds. Can be used to quickly lock down Arc Warden after pouncing on top of him, allowing you to beat him down with the physical damage
  • Mana Style - Exceptional to push lanes and dispel spells or Silence from Arc Warden 
  • Black King Bar - Provides spell immunity from Arc’s spells and items.
  • Daedalus - Immense critical damage which is hard for Arc to negate


6. Phantom Lancer

Phantom Lancer and his countless army of fierce warriors are quite overwhelming for his foes. He is quite the suitable counter for Arc as the latter simply melts due to his high physical damage. He can also multiply and confuse Arc, kiting him and wasting his time. The laning phase may be mundane or even hard for the Phantom Lancer but if he manages to catch up, then there is no way you stop his damage, his ultimate Juxtapose is just too much for the Arc to handle. 

Phantom Lancer struggles in the early game due to the lack of items but he eventually catches up if he manages to contribute in teamfights. Arc can’t join teamfights so early on in the game, as he is parked away, simply farming till he can have some impact. Phantom Lancer also builds various items which help him deal more damage and effectively deal with the onslaught coming from Arc’s spells.

Why is Phantom Lancer a great counter to Arc Warden?

  • Doppelganger dispels Flux.
  • Phantom Rush closes the distance between Phantom Lancer and Arc Warden.
  • Juxtapose overwhelms Arc Warden and nullifies his kit which is only effective against isolated enemies.

Items to buy on Phantom Lancer

  • Diffusal Blade - Upon activation, it slows down Arc Warden and burns his mana
  • Mana Style - Exceptional to push lanes and dispel her silence
  • Butterfly - Provides increased evasion, agility, and movement speed
  • Eye of Skadi - Great for reducing Arc Warden’s regen while also providing stats. 
  • Abyssal Blade - Can be used to quickly lock down Arc Warden after getting on top of her, allowing you to beat him down with the physical damage
  • Heart of Tarrasque - Increased max HP and regen, useful to survive the massive physical damage from Arc Warden 


5. Chaos Knight

The mighty Chaos Knight is undoubtedly strong against most heroes due to their lack of AoE damage. Arc Warden, however, has decent damage to counter Chaos Knight, but all this AoE damage is seen only in the late game, where the CK himself is strong enough and has items to survive the onslaught. Chaos Knight outnumbers Arc, dealing high damage as soon as he gets his ultimate. He is a slow farmer, but his fighting potential is unmatched. This allows him to gank and fight early on to acquire both gold and levels. 

Arc can give CK a run for his money in the late game with his damage spam and items. Hence, we often see a tanky build coming out from Chaos Knight, opting to build items like Heart of Tarasque, Overwhelming Blink, Sange and Yasha, and Eye of Skadi. These items ensure he stays healthy throughout fights, granting him increased strength and resistance. All Chaos Knight needs is a good early game and free farm to counter Arc in the late game.

Why is Chaos Knight a great counter to Arc Warden? 

  • Chaos Knight can dispel Flux with Phantasm.
  • Chaos Knight can use Reality Rift to pull Arc Warden out of Magnetic Field.
  • Once Chaos Knight jumps on Arc Warden with Reality Rift, Arc Warden struggles to escape due to low mobility.

Items to Buy against Arc Warden

  • Armlet of Mordiggian - Provides increased HP and damage, and is toggleable. CK benefits highly from this toggleable HP mechanic against Arc due to the latter’s high magical burst damage.
  • Black King Bar - It provides CK with spell immunity from all of Arc’s magic damage spells, making him invulnerable in the fight. It is always a top priority item against Arc.
  • Manta Style - Can work in tandem with Reality Rift, exceptional to push lanes and dispel spells
  • Assault Cuirass - Increases armor and attack speed while reducing the same for enemies in an AoE.
  • Eye of Skadi - It reduces HP regen and healing upon physical attacks from CK. It helps reduce Arc’s regen if he opts for Bloodstone. Eye of Skadi also provides increased stats and HP to Juggernaut. 
  • Heart of Tarasque - Increases HP and regen. This is an exceptional item, making CK tanky against the heavy damage being dished out by Arc.


4. Bristleback

Bristleback is a thorn in the side of Arc Warden in the recent meta. Arc finds it difficult to deal damage to this pesky porcupine. He takes no physical damage but he deals a ton of it with his spells. His Nasal Goo spell is effective in reducing armor and mobility while Quill Spray stacks and deals immense damage right off the bat. Bristle is extremely flexible and can be played in all three core roles against Arc, making him a suitable pick in most circumstances.

Bristle is without doubt quite the fun hero to play since all he does is spam his two spells, which he can do effortlessly as his insanely high armor backs him up. The damage gain from Warpath is simply too hard to ignore. Even with a few items, Arc finds it hard to penetrate the armor of this vicious beast, eventually ignoring him in teamfights.

Why is Bristleback a great counter to Arc Warden?

  • Arc Warden has relatively lower armor and mobility, which makes him an easy target to apply Quill Spray and Viscous Nasal Goo stacks.
  • Arc Warden also does not like to build a Silver Edge as it takes a long time to build up and may slow down the timings for other important items needed in the game. 

Items to buy on Bristleback

  • Ethereal Shroud - Converts magical damage into mana upon usage and passively offers spell lifesteal
  • Aghanim’s Scepter - It makes Nasal Goo AoE, making it extremely useful against Clinkz, slowing him down, and reducing his armor while increasing Bristle’s damage.
  • Kaya and Sange - Increased mana regen and overall stat gain along with decreasing mana cost and increasing status resistance 
  • Octraine Core - Provides spell lifesteal and stats, along with reducing the cooldown on spells and items and decreasing mana cost
  • Blademail - Upon activation, it can reflect the damage Arc deals to him


3. Pugna

Pugna is highly regarded as an annoying spellcasting hero, dealing decent damage right from the laning stage. A pure lane matchup can favor Pugna against Arc as he has more INT and mana pool than the latter, along with that Arc faces constant harassment and gets shoved out of the lane due to the bonkers damage he deals. Pugna has higher magical damage when is hard to negate in the late game, unlike Arc who is rather easy to counter with Life Drain.

Pugna is known to farm effortlessly due to his AoE spell and hit his item timings relatively early. You can also save your low HP allies with Life Drain if they’re being targeted by Arc. The latter hates magic damage, and Pugna on the other hand loves magic damage, while not allowing others to do so with Nether Ward. Pugna is an extremely flexible pick and can be played in pretty much all five roles depending on the matchup. This allows him to be a staple pick against the mighty Arc Warden.

Why is Pugna great against Arc Warden? 

  • Arc can't use Magnetic Field to stall the damage of Nether Blast on towers, but he can buy Aghanim's Shard 20 minutes into the game to diminish its damage
  • Arc has no innate disables to stop Life Drain and Decrepify
  • The short cooldown of both Life Drain and Decrepify also means Pugna can deal with Arc Warden and his clone simultaneously most of the time
  • A good Pugna looks to end the match early while Arc, a very item-reliant hero, thrives in longer matches.

Items to Buy against Arc Warden

  • Aether Lens - Increased cast range along with providing decent stats and mana. It can further be upgraded into Octraine Core which reduces spell and item cooldowns by 25%.
  • Aeon Disk - Saves him from getting burst quickly from Arc’s spell combo and also applies a basic dispel, although it has an extremely high cooldown of 180 seconds.
  • Scythe of Vyse - Disables Arc and removes him from the fight, as he can’t use his spells or items. Scythe also slows his movement speed.
  • Dagon - Huge single targetted burst damage, Dagon can be upgraded, increasing the cast range and damage it deals on the highest level (level 5). This combined with Decrepify can quickly eliminate Arc from the team fight.
  • Blink Dagger - Great for gap closing or initiating, allows him to both escape or get on top of Arc     
  • Black King Bar - Provides spell immunity from all of Arc’s damage spells, making him invulnerable in the fight


2. Anti-Mage

Anti-Mage is an effective counter to Arc Warden as he can go head-to-head against him in the late game. Both heroes are extremely unpredictable when they’re both farmed, but in most scenarios, the Anti-Mage emerges on top due to his high physical damage output and magic resistance. He can dodge and even reflect Arc’s spells, giving him a taste of his own medicine. Both heroes are useful in pushing lanes, but AM is more active in team fights, allowing him to get ahead in the net worth charts.

The late-game potential of Anti-Mage is simply unmatched. Arc Warden’s damage is simply not enough to cause a dent in AM’s armor. Arc Warden has minimal chances of surviving teamfights or dealing high damage when AM acquires all of his essential items, piercing through all of his spells.

Why is Anti-Mage a great counter to Arc Warden? 

  • Arc Warden's high reliance on casting abilities leads him to be dependent on mana, which Anti-Mage can quickly burn with Mana Break.
  • Blink mitigates the threat of Flux slow and allows Anti-Mage to close the distance between himself and Arc Warden.
  • Anti-Mage's ability to farm quickly allows him to keep up with Arc Warden's farm while also de-pushing the lanes Arc Warden shoves in with his Tempest Double.
  • Anti-Mage also frequently buys Manta Style and can use it to dispel Arc Warden's items that can threaten an Anti-Mage like Bloodthorn.
  • Counterspell significantly reduces the effectiveness of Arc Warden's magical damage.

Items to Buy on AM

  • Black King Bar - Provides spell immunity from all of Arc Warden’s spells, making you invulnerable in the fight
  • Mana Style - Exceptional to push lanes and dispel spells and root
  • Abyssal Blade - Can be used to quickly lock down Arc Warden after blinking on top of him, allowing you to beat her down with the physical damage
  • Battlefury - Essential to split push and farm quickly
  • Eye of Skadi - Great for reducing Arc Warden’s regen while also providing stats. 
  • Butterfly - Increased evasion, agility, and movement speed


1. Axe

The aggressive Axe is known to deal a great deal of damage right from the early game. Arc Warden finds it hard to lane against Axe as he is constantly harassed and shoved off the lane. All it takes is a few Counter Helix spins and boom Arc Warden is dead! It gets messy to communicate with your team as you have more units around you, and the more damage the Axe Call does as Arc also has his tempest double. Just like Arc, Axe is also relevant through the late game, but the latter prevails as he has high armor and HP, and does not falter easily.

No matter how farmed you are as Arc Warden, all it takes is one Axe Blink Call to get you down to 0 HP in no time. Axe fares extremely well in the laning phase, he can farm fast due to his high armor and Counter Helix, both of which can prove critical to Arc in the late game. Arc simply can’t do much to Axe when he obtains items like Black King Bar and Blademail, rendering the former quite useless!

Why is Axe a great counter to Arc Warden? 

  • Magnetic Field doesn't provide protection against Berserker's Call and Counter Helix and his high attack speed together with Tempest Double will often trigger Counter Helix.
  • The threat of a blink and Berserker's Call may make the real Arc Warden stay further back, thus effectively halving the team's damage output for a while.
  • Axe also has the tools to even solo kill a Tempest Double, with his Manta Style and Aghanim's Shard build, and can also de-push the lanes Arc Warden shoves in.

Items to Buy on Axe

  • Blink Dagger - Great for gap closing or initiating on Arc Warden as he is a ranged hero. Excellent in the late game to catch Arc and solo kill him with all your items.    
  • Blademail - Upon activation, it reflects all the damage inflicted onto Axe. Arc Warden is extremely squishy and can’t deal with this return damage, making him ignore Axe in the teamfights.
  • Shadow Blade - It can be used to go invisible to escape from Arc’s onslaught or to initiate on him.
  • Force Staff - Allows you to force yourself or the targetted unit 600 units ahead in the direction they are facing, it can be useful to escape or initiate on the Arc.
  • Black King Bar - Provides spell immunity, making you invulnerable in the fight against all of Arc Warden’s spells and items. It is highly useful in the late game where Arc relies on his items and abilities to deal damage.


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After spending 11,352 hours, slaying Eldwurms and winning the mid lane, Sid is still awfully bad at Dota 2
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