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Mars attacks: Dota 2's new hero is the god of war

Smashing

Mars! What is he good for? Absolutely loads of wars.

Another hero has joined the ranks of Dota 2. He's a spear-chucking, shield-wielding melee carry who is big into war, because he is literally the god of it. I bet you Legion Commander fancies him.

That's partly because of the whole war thing, and partly because his ultimate is a bit like a large scale version of Legion's duel ability. He summons a big circular ring, lined with soldiers who poke at any enemy who comes close. It's a nice compliment to his first ability, where Mars chucks out a spear that knocks people backwards and stuns them if they hit a tree, a building or a cliff. I'm always happy to see the pool of 'weapons that pin enemies to walls' deepen.

He's also got a shield slam that does a critical hit based on his attack damage, and a passive that reduces damage from his front and sides. It all looks pleasingly dramatic.

More info and GIFs can be found on his intro page.

I've left Dota alone for too long to jump into speculation about Mars's place in the meta, so let's talk about what a dick he is instead. Mars used to spend his time indulging "his basest impulses — inclinations much more monstrous" than those of his daddy Zeus. I don't know if Dota lore ever touches on all the murder, torture and worse that Zeus is supposed to have gotten up to, but it's still not a good look.

Apparently one day Mars decided that war for the sake of war wasn't worthwhile, and instead committed himself to war for the sake of burning down "the pantheon of the old age" and building "a new empire atop the ashes of his kin". What a charming fellow.

He's playable in Dota 2 right now, a free videogame on Steam that's consumed more hours of my life than I care to tell you. I rather think Mars might consume a few more more.

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Matt Cox

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