How To Build And Play Mars In Dota 2

This complete guide covers the best way to build Mars, Dota 2's newest hero, offers tips and tricks on how to effectively use his abilities, and more.

Patch 7.21c was recently launched for Dota 2, and, to some players' dismay, it did not include Mars, a new hero that Valve has been promising would release in early March. However, on March 5, an unexpected update was released, which indeed added the new hero to the game.

Mars is a strength hero, and he originates from Roman mythology — the god of war who never leaves the battlefield. His three best roles are that of Tank, Carry, and Initiator, and players are already beginning to determine an optimal build for the new hero.

We will cover that build in this complete guide. Additionally, players will find all the tips and tricks they need to play Mars well in Dota 2.

How To Use Mars's Abilities

Spear of Mars

  • Damage: 100/175/250/325
  • Impale Stun Duration: 1.6/2/2.4/2.8
  • Mana Cost: 100
  • Cooldown: 14s

With the help of this magical ability, Mars can throw his spear, which hits and knocks back everyone in its path. The first enemies that are hit by the spear are even pushed back until they are impaled by a rock or a tree, which leaves them stunned.

Notably, Nature’s Prophet and Sprout work very well with this ability. Also, remember that the spear doesn't work on the Iron Branch tree. However, you can impale an enemy hero with the edge of the Arena of Blood for some non-stop beating.

God's Rebuke

  • Critical Damage: 160/200/240/280%
  • Mana Cost: 55/60/65/70
  • Cooldown: 16/14/12/10s

God's Rebuke allows Mars to use his shield to push back all of the units standing in front of him. This deals critical damage, and the physical damage increases depending on how much mana you spent on it.

This ability works really well with various attack modifiers, such as Desolator, Maelstorm, Satanic, and so on. It also has True Strike, which is one of the most valuable mechanics in the game right now.


  • Front Damage Reduction: 25/40/55/70%
  • Side Damage Reduction: 12/20/27/35%

With the help of Bulwark, all attacks from the front and side are blocked by Mars's shield, significantly reducing the damage the hero will take. However, this ability is mostly focused on frontal damage, so keep that in mind when using your shield.

It is important to note that this ability reduces damage only from auto attacks, and it is useless against spell damage. That said, a 25% to 70% damage reduction against physical attacks is still a very nice bonus to have.

Arena Of Blood

  • Spear Damage: 150/200/250
  • Mana Cost: 200
  • Cooldown: 90/75/60s

Mars can call upon his own Ash Legion, which creates an arena that can help prevent an opponent from fleeing from battle while simultaneously keeping others out of the fight. While it is not worth using for a Legion Commander duel, it will help you even the odds in other fights.

To note, enemies can get out of the arena by using blinks or other similar abilities, including Pounce, Shield Crash, and Swashbuckle. It is also important to remember that Force Staff won't work on an arena.

Recommended Items And Build For Mars

Mars has a very specific purpose in Dota 2, so we try to figure out the best main build for him by outlining his strengths and weaknesses. First of all, Mars can withstand a lot of physical damage while simultaneously dealing high burst damage himself.

However, he is weak to spell damage and has low mobility. This makes him somewhat vulnerable to magic. Additionally, his mana pool is not his strongest characteristic, and this is what you will want to target first when buying items for your Mars build.

Here are some specific recommendations on how to build Mars:

Essential Items

  • Soul Ring: You simply must buy this item as soon as you can in order to gain access to more mana.
  • Mjollnir: Synergizes with God's Rebuke by adding some powerfull spell damage to the shield.
  • Vladmir's Offering: A universally powerful tool that not only grants Mars more mana, but also heals his allies.
  • Armlet of Mordiggian: Greatly increases your strength, damage, and armor.
  • Shadow Blade: Blink effect that makes Mars invisible for 14 seconds.
  • Nullifier: Since Mars's spear can't damage ghosts, you need something that will reveal them and make them beatable.
  • Heaven's Halberd: Disarms enemies for a short period.
  • Lotus Orb: Item that dispels silence effects.
  • Pipe of Insight: Magic shield that protects Mars from spell damage.

Additional Items

  • Starting Game:
    • Stout Shield
    • Tango x2
    • Healing Salve
    • Enchanted Mango
  • Early-Game:
    • Quelling Blade
    • Magic Wand
    • Boots of Speed
  • Mid-Game:
    • Power Treads
    • Blink Dagger
    • BKB
  • Late-Game:
    • Phase Boots
    • Drum of Endurance
  • Situational:
    • Battle Fury
    • Diffusal Blade
    • Abyssal Blade
    • MKB

How To Level Mars

Here is a complete breakdown of the abilities that you should upgrade when leveling up as Mars:

  • Spear of Mars: Levels 1, 3, 5, 7
  • God's Rebuke: Levels 4, 8, 9, 11
  • Bulwark: Levels 2, 13, 14, 16
  • Arena of Blood: Levels 6, 12, 18

As for the Talent Tree, opt for the following choices:

  • Level 10: +20 Movement Speed
  • Level 15: +8 Armor
  • Level 20: Spear of Mars +200 Damage
  • Level 25: Arena Of Blood Grants Team +100 HP Regen


With the right build, Mars can be a powerful hero. We hope this guide will help as you learn to play him effectively.


Sergey has been a freelancer in the video games industry for more than five years, writing for various publications around the world. His favorite games are MtG, Dark Souls, Diablo, and Divinity: Original Sin.

Games Dota 2 Genres ActioneSportsMOBAStrategy Platforms PC
Published Mar. 9th 2019

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