Runes are magic items that can be collected by any hero, and when used give that hero a temporary power. On the Dota 2 map, two runes will spawn every even minute (0:00, 2:00, 4:00...) unless no one picks it up, in that case a new rune will not spawn unless the one that is there is collected. The two spawn locations are located in the river about half way between the middle and top/ bottom lanes (pictured on map).
There are two ways to use runes. They can be picked up immediately, or placed in a bottle for future use. Once a hero has captured a rune, they have up to two minutes to use that rune before it automatically activates. A bottled rune cannot be transferred to another character. Once that rune has been used, the bottle will be fully charged to 3/3.
There are five different types of runes that can spawn, each of which offers a different advantage to the hero that uses it. The same type of rune will not spawn two times in a row.
Types of Runes
Haste - The haste rune gives your hero a movements speed buff of 100% for 30 seconds. This is a great rune to have for ganking, or possibly if you need to escape in a hurry.
Uses: Good for escaping certain death, or quickly moving to another lane to gank.
Illusion - Using the illusion rune will create two "copies" of your hero on either side of you for 75 seconds. These copies can attack, but only do 35% of your damage. They also take more damage than you as well, melee copies taking 200% more, and ranged 300%.
Uses: You can use the illusions to scout for you, increase your damage output, and as a defense by confusing the enemy team.
Invisibility - Probably the best rune for ganking an enemy player, the invisibility rune renders the hero invisible for 45 seconds.There are some exceptions however as any building/ unit with trues sight can spot the invisible player. These include things like towers and sentry wards. Also, any action like attacking or using abilities and items will break the invisibility spell permanently.
Uses: A gankers best friend, use it to sneak up on unsuspecting enemy heroes. Other uses could be as a surefire escape, or to scout the map more safely.
Regeneration - This buff gives heroes greatly increase health and mana regeneration for 30 seconds. The increase is 100 health/second and 67 mana/second. Once the hero has reached full health, the spell fades. Being attacked will also cancel the regenerative effect, so best save it for when you're in the clear.
Uses: Try saving it for use during/ after a team fight. Once you get low, disengage from the fight, fill your health/ mana back up and dive right in again.
Double Damage - This rune will increase the base damage of your hero and any illusions you control by 100% for 45 seconds. One thing to note is that only attack damage is affected by the double damage rune, not spell damage. As well, any items that cause raw damage, like the divine rapier, are not affected by the buff.
Uses: Great rune for your teams damage dealers. By popping the double damage rune in a team fight, you can give your side a pretty powerful leg up in the damage output department.
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