DotA 2 Key Concepts: Runes and Bottle


In the middle of the river you may haveĀ found some objects that spawn from time to time. These items are called Runes. There are several different runes and each have a unique effect. You can either choose to consume it immediately for its effect, or collect it in a Bottle item for later.



Runes spawn at two fixed points in the river, designated by the yellow points on the map above. They spawn at the beginning of the game and every two minutes afterwards. At minute 0, the first two runes will always be bounty runes worth twice their normal value. This promotes early game skirmishes between the two teams.

Every two minutes after, one rune will be a bounty rune and the other will be one of a random 6. If a rune is not picked up, it is replaced by a new rune at the next spawn time. Runes of the same type cannot consecutively spawn. Let’s take a look at the possible runes.

Bounty Rune


Bounty Runes provide gold and experience when activated. The amount of gold and experience increases at the game time increases. There is an interesting interaction with Bottle and this rune because of that fact. You can delay the use of the Bounty Rune while in Bottle to gain a slight bit more gold and experience.

Arcane Rune


The newest rune on the block, the Arcane Rune reduces cooldowns by 30% and mana costs by 40%. This reduction applies to both spells and items. DotA 2 has come a long way to help casters scale better into the late game and this rune proves that point.

Double Damage Rune


The Double Damage Rune is self-explanatory. It doubles the base damage on a hero and scales as the hero receives other buffs. This rune is best used on your strongest auto-attack carry as the bonus does not apply to spells cast.

Haste Rune


The Haste Rune immediately sets a hero’s movement speed to the maximum available in-game and prevents them from being slowed. Haste Runes can set up very unexpected and powerful ganks from river. Your best bet for escaping an enemy with a Haste Rune is a Town Portal Scroll.

Illusion Rune


The Illusion rune summons 2 copies of your hero that can be manipulated and moved around the map. The illusions deal 35% of your hero’s normal damage and take a significant amount more damage. The Illusion rune is great for scouting out the enemy around the map and pushing down towers.

Invisibility Rune

Similar to other items that grant stealth, the Invisibility Rune cloaks your hero until they cast a spell or make an attack. There is a 2 second fade time before the rune goes into effect in which using items or abilities will not break the invisibility. This rune is great way to surprise the enemy team and score a quick kill.

Regeneration Rune


The Regeneration Rune provides a massive amount of health and mana regeneration. For all intensive purposes, you can assume it will heal you to full health and mana. While there is an upper limit to how much it can heal, there are only a few niche heroes and situations where this will happen. The regeneration buff will disappear once you are at full health and mana, so spam your abilities while it’s active!

Bottling it Up and Save it for a Rainy Day

I’ve mentioned the Bottle a few times but have not fully introduced it. The Bottle is a 660 Gold item on the bottom left of the main item shop. The bottle carries three charges, and as your drink it, your hero will regenerate both health and mana over time. Any damage will interrupt the Bottle’s heal.

The Bottle provides an incredible amount of sustain in lane. It is usually only picked up by the mid-laner due to the cost and limited charges. Bottle’s charges are refreshed whenever runes are bottled or it is returned to fountain. As you progess in DotA 2, control of runes will become more and more important. Keep the river warded so you can keep track of rune and catch enemy mid-laners as they try to collect new runes.

I hope this article helped you understand Bottle and Runes a bit better. If you have any questions, please leave them below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Good luck and have fun.

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