Being a literal god in Dota 2 does not mean a thing as they too fall in battle. Likewise, Mars is no different as he too has his own set of strengths and weaknesses that adversaries can use to their advantage.
This hero works best with teammates and supports to fill up rest of the damage after expending all of his skills. So if you can dodge his skills or survive his combos, you can definitely counter him using your own hero’s skill sets.
A high starting melee damage allows Mars to comfortably last hit better than most enemy safe lane heroes. However, a hard hitting hero like him also means slower attack speed.
Mars relies on his skills during mid to late game for damage. This can be countered by proper use of Magic Immunity spells and Black King Bar.
Mars also struggles against heroes who have complimentary skills which allows them to change position at will.
Heroes like Vengeful Spirit, Pudge, Faceless Void and Mirana to name a few can be picked to disrupt Mars’ combos and setups.
Here is a list of heroes that you can choose to counter Mars either in lane or your matches against him.
A strength carry like Lifestealer is a really good counter to Mars.
Starting from early game he hits super hard against heroes who have more HP pool. Mars being a strength offlaner suffers the most when put against Lifestealer.
Since every match has a dedicated hero who builds tank items(in this case Offlane Mars), Lifestealer with his core item such as a Desolator can melt them down rapidly.
Skills such as Rage, which gives total magic immunity, allows Lifestealer to ignore Spear of Mars and fight back. The skill also allows Lifestealer to walk out from Arena of Blood casually.
Infest counters all the initiator work done by Mars. It can be used to provide HP boost to his ally and turn the fight around.
The skill also makes it impossible to attack Lifestealer so it is considered a great escape mechanism as well.
An Agility carry like Faceless Void can utilize Time Walk to revert damage taken within 2 seconds. This makes it harder to kill him in early game and can be advantageous in winning a lane against Mars.
On the other hand, Void has Chronosphere that completely renders everyone caught inside making them unable to perform any action for a duration.
You can use this duration to focus on other heroes caught inside the Chrono and shut them down before they can pull off any shenanigans.
So you can rely on picking Faceless Void to lane against melee offlane heroes like Mars who have skills that counter ability based heroes.
Spinning out of control, Juggernaut is the most picked hero on every patch release until the meta shifts.
Everyone loves picking this hero for he is reliable and always performs well against all heroes.
Blade Fury does heavy damage against any hero he can stay on top of. The best way to use this skill against Mars would be to anticipate his movement and position. Doing this, we can clearly see use of Mars’ incoming skills.
When Mars is not in melee range of Juggernaut, then he cannot guarantee stun effect from Spear of Mars.
However, when he is close to Juggernaut, he won’t be able to use Spear of Mars as Juggernaut might turn with Blade Fury causing heavy damage.
Juggernaut has an exceptional healing skill for himself and his allies that can be hard to focus on if placed correctly. This also provides excellent sustain in lane with percent HP regeneration.
Finally, Omnislash makes Juggernaut do huge damage while being invulnerable himself for a duration. This skill can destroy any hero trying to withstand the full hits.
At level 6, if Omnislash’s full duration hits a Mars, you can follow up with Blade Fury to confirm an easy kill every time.
Lets start with Astral Imprisonment which instantly steals percentile based mana from enemies while the damage occurs after the duration.
Allies can also be targeted with Astral Imprisonment to save them from dangerous situations. This ability removes anyone affected by it from the map which can be disruptive for most fights.
This hero has a huge burst potential with Sanity’s Eclipse. The skill deals damage which depends on the difference in total MP(mana point) between Outworld Destroyer and all enemies in an AoE(Area Of Effect).
This ultimate skill also hits inside Astral Imprisonment so make sure to use this ability to nuke down a Mars who already has lower maximum mana than OD.
The meta now prefers rushing Meteor Hammer on this hero, which works really well with Astral Imprisonment.
The item helps with early tower pushes to increase the pressure in any match, meaning less opportunities for his enemies to farm gold and exp in the map.
The hero has Death Pulse, an ability which sends out a wave of skulls per unit within a radius which chases everyone. Determined by if the units are friendly or foe, it either damages or heals the unit.
Because of the skill’s low cooldown, we can keep using this in team fights whenever off cooldown and make it harder for Mars and his team.
Other than this, Ghost Shroud can be used to turn yourself immune to God’s Rebuke damage, which is physical.
This skill applies nearby enemies with a debuff that makes them take additional magic damage while applying a slowing effect.
Ghost Shroud works in a radius around Necrophos for a duration making it harder to kill him.
Having a passive skill that damages enemies which is based on their HP; Necrophos can be a threat to tank heroes such as Mars who have naturally high max health.
This hero is ranged agility type who can apply poison effects in his attacks that is very strong against Mars.
Poison Attack can be used to zone Mars out of a lane when Viper is played as a carry.
There is also Viper’s Ultimate skill that goes through Spell immunity and deals massive damage over time.
Viper is one of a few hero who is able to man-fight any opponents because of Nethertoxin and Corrosive Skin.
Nethertoxin releases a puddle of poison in the ground where enemy passive abilities are disabled. Anyone inside it also takes huge damage.
Corrosive Skin gives magic resistance to Viper passively. It applies an attack speed slow effect and damage return to anyone who attacks this hero.
As such Viper can be used to counter Mars as well as a few other enemy heroes in any given match.
As the name of this hero sounds, Undying relies on his skills and high strength gain per level to survive in fights longer. And the longer this hero lives, the weaker his enemies grow.
His go-to spell, Decay removes strength from enemies within its radius and passes it onto himself. Having a low cooldown, this skill can quickly make enemy heroes lose confidence in their health pool.
Going against Mars in early game with Decay is very helpful to contest him.
Having another short cooldown healing ability, Soul Rip can also be used to deal damage based on the number of units present in the vicinity. A little bit of HP is pulled from each unit within the radius and heals allies or damages enemies.
Mars de-buffed two-three times with Decay might not anticipate the maximum damage Soul Rip can do at early levels.
Tombstone and Flesh Golem are important skills too which can turn the battlefield to our favor when the fight lasts longer.
As a strength hero Undying cannot be burst down by Mars’ combo alone so the hero can be picked to counter Mars in high Elo(hidden individual skill rating) games.
This Walrus can counter Mars with proper use of his skills and timing.
Snowball can pull in allies and make them invulnerable. So we can use this ability to save our allies caught inside Arena and get them out safely to counter initiate enemies.
His Tag Team applies a buff around him that provides allies with bonus attack damage and slow on each hit.
Upon Tusk’s Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade, we get a new ability called Walrus Kick. We can use this to kick any enemy, however heavy they may be, to faraway lands.
So utilizing this skill to push Mars out of his own Arena ensures we gain the upper hand in any fight taking place.
This hero is a pain to go against for Mars. Silencer has an easy time against a melee hero being ranged himself and having high damage skills which scales with Intelligence.
Along with having slow and silencing effects, you will feel the word “Cancer” if played this hero correctly.
Silencer is hard to lane against as he has the ability to permanently steal intelligence from enemy heroes. This means lower mana pool for them and less total spells cast for the rest of the match.
An easy combo of using Arcane Curse and Last Word applies a debuff on Mars during early game which cuts down his HP rapidly.
Arcane Curse applies a slowing DoT effect that almost deals double damage if the targets within the AoE are silenced.
Last Word afflicts enemies with a debuff which causes damage and silences its target. This works really well with Arcane Curse as it activates the extra effects for huge damage potential.
Global Silence is another skill that truly disrupts enemies looking to join in any teamfight by silencing them for a long duration. You can make them unable to fight properly with the use of its global effect.
A hero made of water and other wet stuff, Morphling can adapt to his enemies by being able to Attribute Shift from strength to agility and reverse.
This skill rapidly fills or removes the HP bar of this hero depending on his requirement. This makes it really difficult to kill or remove a safe lane Morphling as a Mars.
With Morph, this hero can replicate enemy heroes along with their skills. Being able to cast Spear of Mars as Morphling helps set up for a much needed stun effect for ourselves.
Although high skill is required to play Morphling perfectly, I have on many occasions dominated while playing against Mars. So with a little practice of using Attribute Shift, you can counter Mars too.
This hero also has Waveform which transforms Morphling into water and moves through terrain at high speed.
Although the range of this skill is very low in early game, we can use this skill to get out of Arena of Blood in late game.
Having huge magic damage, Leshrac can burst enemies starting from the early game. Even if caught inside Arena of Blood, being able to do AoE damage once his skill is activated can be a very good counter to Mars.
As Mars has weak resistance against magic without proper items, we can capitalize on this to pressure his lane.
Leshrac uses Diabolic Edict to deal damage to structures which can be very helpful to push towers. Taking towers early is another way to counter Mars.
This intelligence hero has Decrepify to turn any unit Ethereal. This means being unable to deal physical damage and taking extra magic damage. This skill can be used to save allies caught inside Arena by making them safe from physical damage.
Another skill of Pugna is Life Drain, which like the name says, drains enemy health into yourself for rapid healing. While the skill is mostly used for damage purposes, we also have to use this ability on our allies to heal them. Our own HP is given to allies so we need to be careful of our position and health bar.
Pugna also has Nether Blast, which is a short cooldown skill, that does very high magic burst. This damage also increases on enemies affected by Decrepify.
So Mars can be countered in early game with this skill while making it harder to stay in lane. The skill also damages structures which can be a great tool for pushing towers early.
The grandest magus of all, or so he claims, Rubick is a pain to play against for Mars if you are skilled enough. His plays revolve around being able to steal enemy spells and use it against themselves. So a Rubick who has stolen the Spear of Mars can be very deadly to go against.
Talking about his other skills, Telekinesis lifts the target up in the air and slams them down in the ground. The radius around the enemy landing makes other enemies briefly stunned.
Since this ability has an instant activation, a fast enough Rubick can counter a Mars blinking in by raising him up in the air like a test subject.
Fade Bolt on the other hand is very detrimental to Mars, reducing his attack damage for a long duration, which in turn reduces his God’s Rebuke damage.
Fade Bolt has a high ranged damage which jumps to other nearby enemies.
Rubick can makes those enemies really weak by carefully using spells to our advantage.
A positional hero, Puck can jaunt from place to place making it really difficult to catch it.
This Faerie Dragon’s playstyle is to move around the map disrupting enemies while having high damaging spells.
Illusory Orb can be used to reposition or escape Arena of Blood making it difficult for Mars to lockdown this hero.
Phase Shift, a short cooldown skill, allows Puck to be untraceable or damaged. You can comfortably initiate a fight playing this hero against Mars and use Phase Shift to let our allies catch up to us.
Along with having a silencing skill, Puck also has Dream Coil which binds enemy heroes in place which when broken deals damage and stuns the enemies.
So we can make life difficult for Mars to shine by picking Puck as a counter.
Timbersaw has a very strong mechanic against strength heroes. This tree cutting machine can cut down enemy stats with his skills.
Whirling Death deals pure damage and reduces enemy attributes. With relatively low cooldown and a high burst damage, Timbersaw can use this skill to remove any advantage Mars has against your safe lane.
Just ask your safe lane to switch with you if they are in trouble and show Mars who the real boss is.
Chakram can also be called upon in the battlefield or inside Arena of Blood to continuously damage enemies and slow them down when hit. It is a channeling spell which can be called back and recast in a better position.
All in all, Timbersaw is considered a counter to all strength heroes, so Mars too is no competition. You can pick Timbersaw against enemy Mars as your own offlane and win against him late game easily.
Good Game, Well Played!!