Best Heroes to Pick in Heroes of Newerth (HoN) (for the beginner/noob player)

Heroes of Newerth Tips & Strategy

UPDATED! For Retail HoN Mid-Late 2010 and beyond!

This is a quick list of heroes to choose when starting play in Heroes of Newerth. With the many options and little help, it is hard to figure out which hero to choose in order to have a good chance of an enjoyable game (and lets not forget the added bonus of teammates not screaming at you!)

For your own good, if you ever become semi-serious at playing HoN, of course you should try every hero in order to learn how they play. You could even try a practice mode game just to test them out quickly and without pissing off your team.

Once you’ve decided on your hero, be sure to see our complete, extensive hero item build / quick-reference strategy guide article also on this site (just search for “Heroes of Newerth Guide). I guarantee the guide will help you to have more fun and become a better player than you would otherwise.

Ideal Hero Choices For the Beginner Player:

These heroes will be easy to play in that you will be able to help your team easily and generally wont be susceptible to being killed a lot.

  • Witch Slayer – #1 easy to play and powerful / helpful hero
  • Andomeda
  • Slither
  • Blood Hunter
  • Blacksmith
  • Thunderbringer
  • Demented Shaman
  • Predator
  • Pyromancer
  • War Beast
  • Glacius
  • Electrician
  • Succubus
  • Hammerstorm

Ideal Hero Choices For the Intermediate Player:

Choose from any of the above or any of these. Keep in mind that many of these and the above heroes can be quite powerful and effective in high level play as well, once you are experienced with them. These intermediate choices require a little more experience and finesse than the “beginner” heroes to control properly.

  • Keeper of the Forest
  • Legionnaire
  • Pebbles
  • Moon Queen
  • Plague Rider
  • Nymphora
  • Deadwood
  • Voodoo Jester
  • Defiler
  • Hellbringer
  • Puppet Master
  • Swiftblade
  • Arachna

Avoid These Heroes – Experienced Players ONLY

These heroes require a very solid understanding and practice. This may be requiring a lot of experience and gold, a very delicate usage of skills, high expectations of your teammates, etc. Avoid these heroes until you are very experienced in the game. You can try custom or practice games to get some experience with them without pissing off teammates as much when you feel you are ready.

  • Chronos
  • Soulstealer
  • Chipper
  • Vindicator
  • Ophelia
  • Devourer
  • Pharoah
  • Valkyrie
  • Night Hound
  • Magebane
  • Scout
  • Sand Wraith
  • Wildsoul
  • Zephyr
  • Dark Lady

(Old Beta Choices for this Article)

Feel free to ignore the information below, it pertained to a beta period in 2009.

Bad Picks:
Dark Lady

Mediocre Picks:
Night Hound
Blood Hunter
Keeper of the Forest

Borderline Top Picks:
Wretched Hag
War Beast
Voodoo Jester

Top Picks:
Soul Stealer
Puppet Master
Demented Shaman
Moon Queen

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43 Responses

  1. Bartica says:

    A good list, but balances have changed, and this requires updating.

  2. leereezy_ says:

    thanks for your guides, but you should probably state why they’re bad picks and why they’re good picks :)

  3. Jimfro says:

    I agree with leereezy. You should state why these toons (heroes) are listed as such, that way the player can decide if they excel in that aspect of the game.

  4. HoHoHoN says:

    If this lists good/bad heroes to choose for new players, then I disagree with some of them, heroes like Scout are easy to play for noobs, even though they wont use the ward properly, them being invisible most of the time prevents them from feeding. It’s much better choice than heroes like Madman that requires more skill. Many of the heroes in top picks aren’t very easy to use either, Andromeda, for example from Mediocre picks is much easier to use than heroes like Tempest, Soul Stealer, or Kraken.

  5. koolyhon yokid says:

    kk first of all alot of you talkin sht
    tempest is actually one of the hardest heros to use because his build is dependant on getting people in his ult (thatsall he rly does)
    and soul stealer and his demon hands is not easy to use especiallyfor beginners, gl clicking the right one in chase and right direction new player
    kraken is an initiator but is one of the easier ones but probs the easiest heros would be
    legionaire – even though he will be sht at initiating atleast they will be able to get a few taunts off
    swiftblade – his ult is easy to use and the conditions of when to use it is an easy concept \
    thunderbringer – all his skills are target spells which makes him one of the most easiest heros and he isnt item dependant as alot of other characters plus his ulti is rly easy to use for beginners to get a few kills
    magmus – easy stun invis to evade damage, his ult is pretty easy although it will be harder to use in some cases then others for begginners
    witch slayer – one of the easiest heros to use, target stun, disable and target damage ult which gives them easy kills and easy escapes
    if your new stick to these heros at the beginning and you wont fail so much

  6. Leo says:

    Haha, looks like our writes is a noob, since when is scout a hard-hero-to play? ;)

  7. Albright says:

    Leo – Scout is hard to play well since he is less straightforward than many choices. As the article title says, this is not for advanced or league style competition play–it is for new players. Scout is often chosen by new players but very rarely is used to really help the team. Rather any kills new players get with Scout are usually from hanging back, staying invis, and sniping rather than really helping in team battles. A better pick (for new players) to help your team win is almost always an AoE stun or a less fragile hero. How often do you see new Scout players use wards or silence or deal any real damage in team fights (not counting after its already over)?

  8. ckcornflake says:

    I strongly disagree with Magmus being a top pick. Both his steam bath and his ult need to channel. As a newb I didn’t realize the skills weren’t working because I was breaking the channel by moving or attempting some other action. I pissed off many players by not playing Magmus correctly. Now that I understand how channeling works, I’m having much better results. However Magmus has very poor stats/DPS/HP throughout the game. He is a skill based hero, so I really don’t see how he would be easy for newbs.

    I rarely get above 1.0 kdr with Magmus even after learning how to play him better, but switching to Armadon, my KDR stays around 1.5-2.0.

  9. Bilal says:

    Pyro is the EASIEST beginner choice!

  10. phoenixsmash says:

    witch slayer will be best for newbies

  11. Sonny says:

    omg where is maliken?? hi’s not in the list… =|

  12. Demonhunter says:

    what about forsaken archer or behemoth?are they strong heroes?

  13. HoN Newbie says:

    For me, I prefer Soul Reaper (or is it some other hero? I forgot) because he has a passive damage-over-time attack. My KDR is realllllllllllllly bad as in 0.1 and I suck badly. I’m reading these guides so i can strenghten my skills and there’re helping quite a lot.

  14. FA user says:

    where is forsaken archer

  15. CLoCKs says:

    Since when is madman, tempest and valkyrie easy heroes? Sure they can be played…but you’ll probably feed if you’re new. Ophelia should be a hard to play character because you need to jungle with her and need to get creeps also. Maybe you should state WHY they are easy/mediocre/hard? Great guide though…

    I think Scout can be versatile. I’ve seen many good scouts as well as bad ones. It depends on play style I guess.

  16. Albright says:

    This article has been updated as of mid 2010 for the most recent version of RETAIL Heroes of Newerth. The information should be a lot clearer and I think all experienced players would agree on the choices given. Enjoy!

  17. flappie says:

    ach ppl hon isnt about good hero’s, but about skills and above all TEAMWORK. if you dont fit into the team, the whole team will get powned by the opposite. oh and scout isn’t that hard, but if you feed your dead lategame. BTW scout is a really good counter against pest when pest hasnt got his items.

  18. Albright says:

    Thanks for posting and teamwork being important is very very true. A team working together can easily win with “bad” heroes against a team with a perfect hero choices.

    I can’t really agree with scout countering pestilence however. Not only can pestilence just stun scout whenever he pops out of invis, but at just lvl 6 he can negate scouts invisibility for much of the game.

  19. _Mudkip says:

    their bad picks because their just useless D= early game and get ganked easily if the other team is good. Like usually in a 1700+ game u wont be 10-0 with chronos

  20. honbeast says:

    since when were scout, night hound, chronos, magebane, zephyr, and wildsoul hard to play.

  21. honbeast says:

    hon’s about AoE. ’nuff said

  22. Albright says:

    Well without going into too much detail, most of those you mentioned require lots of good farm for gold for items to do well (new players generally do not farm very well). Other reasons some of the heroes would be listed as harder would be squishyness, skill needed in using items or skills (aim/timing/etc), or lack of usefulness to a team if used incorrectly (coughscoutcough). Remember this list is not for advanced or very experienced players…

  23. idwmn says:

    carries are hard to play, nukers are easy to play.
    just cause of the team’s expectations and general “straightforwardness” as theyve mentioned.
    in my own development through hon, ive gone through
    nukers -> disablers -> tanks -> semi carries -> finess requiring heroes -> heavy carries.

    imo easiest heroes include the point and click heroes (slither, witchslayer, pyro, thunderbringer, succybus) or straightup tanks which incorporate heavy survivability in their builds (lego, behe, arma)

    the intermediate heroes require more finess (puppet master, valkyrie, voodoo, demsha) or are semi carries with respectable surivability (engi fayde bloodhunter). also some supports who need to seriously read situations and are in essence gamechanging ult heroes (keeper, hellbringer, tempest).

    the hardest though, are heroes where their skills require more than point and click (scout, ophelia, jere) cause ive seen ophelia use global heal when 3 of her teammates are already dead, and scout not even leveling up electric eye “because its a pain in the ass to ward all the time”. and finally, endgame carries which require autoing their shit to death (chronos, nighthound, predator, wildsoul). they also require shitloads of “boring” farming, which is actually more than standing in a lane just autoing and pushing the lane. games of hon are won and lost by the effetiveness of the end game carry farming, and i dont want to see predator just autoing his farming lane all the time. also, you’ll have more fun by not picking a heavy carry (you wont feed early, you will spend more time in team pushes, your skills are more fun and obvious to use, you dont have to carry the burden of the team and be scorned on when you fail).

    so next time, i dont want to see a 1200 psr player pick scout and try to convince me that he’s a “smart” scout by leveling up vanish at lvl one and saying “electric eyes are just free wards, they dont do much else”. or ophelia who refuses to jungle cause they “suck at microing”. or tempest ulting one hero and refusing to buy portal key because “having 2100 gold at once is difficult, and id rather buy enhanced marchers”

    i know the appeal in having a chronos getting a quad kill at late game and how it feels to be the top hero on the field. but stick with the rule of thumb:

    nukers -> disablers -> tanks -> semi carries -> finess requiring heroes -> heavy carries.
    (btw, scout is both finess requiring and a heavy carry. hmmm….)

    you’ll have more fun, become a better player faster, and you’ll be helping everybody else have a fun game.

  24. clayton says:

    teamwork begins in the picking phase.

  25. Super7412 says:

    scout them and route them

  26. calle says:

    ehm… scout is very easy too play dont think u need experiance for him

  27. angry_testie says:

    do you know i am the best player in the world and i say that witch slayer is the easy hero in hon

  28. S0me0ne says:

    Idk y i like plague rider. I suck at Hon (cause I didnt know wth to do and kept playing rated games when I started, and my psr dropped a lot). I just play for fun now. PR is a bit easy to use, and you dont have to be a genius to use its ulti either. Its contagion helps well too, in a lot of scenarios.

    About Scout…
    As a noob, the idea of invisibility appealed to me, and a noob always just hangs back, never uses his eye (cause some dont even know what silence is in the first place), and only flurries if his team manages to rout the rest or if he sees someone dying in a safe place (for him).
    When I used scout as a newb, my kdr was 0.06 and my k+a d was like 0.16. Thats how badly noobs can screw up your team if they dont know scout….

  29. lalal says:

    pharoah is def top tier

  30. lalal says:

    pharoah is probably the best hero n the game if played right….

  31. GoRM says:

    Doctor Repulsor is hard carry too (Experienced Players ONLY)…. and is my best hero C:

  32. WHERE IS PANDAMONIUM??? He’s awesome :D

  33. the best hero is THE CHIPPER!!.. carries are easy to use. mostly they tend to rely on teammates.. if their teammates suck early game.. never ward,never gank.. do you think carries will be effective late game? obviously not!

  34. Oj Guys says:

    I think Scout is easy to play and is the worst hero ever. In a clan war a guy in my team picked scout and we lost it.
    In Clan Wars people stay together all the time, the bloodlust was in mid: Devourer was in the last tower mid and the fight begun, behemoth used his stun, blood hunter used his DPS skill, andromeda used his stun, Devourer was dead in less than 1:00 of game.

    During the match, scout just did KS’s and when it was in late the enemy team was full of full supports and stronger agility heroes (such as andromeda, blood hunter and chronos), we had Scout, Devourer, Doctor Repulsor, Legionnaire and Emerald Warden. But we all lost because of chronos’ late against Scout”s late.

    Only in pub Scout is good because no one would put a revelation ward and Scout would kill easily because a stranger team have different opinions, and many people could stay alone for a long time feeding.

    In my opinion the hardest hero is between Pollywog Priest, Eletrician, Valkyrie and Torturer. Legionnaire is a little bit easy, in the beginning in a pub we can go lure enemy creeps and destroy tier 1 tower in less than 5 min of game. Besides he can kill anyone in late

  35. AMUN-RA says:


  36. 1HIT says:

    Once you feel you are experienced, i think the best choice for you would be a hard carry ,such as maliken, bh , nh , mb and many more ,or a semi carry ,like nomad , valkyrie or something

    BUT, if you are still a noob, plz try picking easy-to-play heroes such as blacksmith, plague rider, armadon or accursed.

  37. zwer123 says:

    nighthound is one of the easiest hero to play,because of his ulti,and he is a killstealer so dont chose him,your team will oftenly kick you,or call a noob or ks

  38. ilovehon says:

    All hero is the BEST

  39. M4DM4N says:

    I agree with most of the information above. Valkyrie can be hard to play when it comes to hitting her spear and when to use her leap. Chronos can be a very easy-to-play hero with his two passives that can stun lock and evade almost ever time. I don’t think he is too item dependent, he also has a leap which enables him to leap out of pretty much ever situation. Madman would be in the middle or so. He is target early game but can get away easily. Late game he owns pretty much everything.

  40. MasTerSuperPr0N00bWrecKer says:

    You’re all N00bs. Amun-ra is the superhardest hero in the game with no targeted spells but I still got a 3 kill streak.

  41. NightWolfGod says:

    I agree with MasTerSuperPr0N00bWrecKer. Amun-rape is almost al hard to play as Night Hound. I went a whole match without dying and I only left about half way!

  42. DanMac says:

    Erm… Monkey king?

  43. blundergod says:

    monkey king, he rapes in chases with his leaping, and can escape with mountains clouds. lord salforis because he can heal and can stun effectively, myrmadon has an awesome stun and hurt weed field and an ultimate form which helps huge in group raids and tower defense.

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