The group stage for the Bali Major is over and it’s time to take a quick look at what works and what doesn’t at the highest level of competitive play. If you thought the meta was set in stone, think again, because it looks like a lot is changing.
Pugna and Undying is consistently doing well this tournament, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Strong lane dominators with massive saves and healing potential are what most teams are looking for in support in this teamfight oriented meta.
Pugna is particularly impressive, with his 56% win, but remember that this hero needs a good pairing to realize his full potential. He can be picked randomly in daily locales, but the hero is at his best when played alongside heroes like Spirit of the storm.
Medusa also belongs to this category of high popularity and high success heroes of the current meta, but this is very old news. The hero requires a counterpick during the draft phase and is problematic even with guaranteed bans in Captains mode. In All Pick, this hero should still be a priority.
Some heroes seem to be doing a little too well. Most importantly, it is Broodmother, which is sitting comfortably at ~70% win through 36 games. The hero is destroyed, but I already talked about it in one of the most recent posts.
Joining the Broodmother, there are a few less OPs, but still very strong heroes like Clock and Windranger. The latter was nerfed recently, but still remains a threat. Between the built-in survivability and the Universal Attribute, the hero just takes a bit too much damage while staying alive.
Clockwerk is a slightly less expected hero on the list. He was making progress since the beginning of the patch, but only with the revival of variable cores did he start to be mainstream. The hero pairs very nicely with many heroes, but mostly it works wonders on a team where the offlane hero either lacks initiation ability, or has very long cooldowns. This makes it invaluable in the pub, although it is preferable to wear it with a varied core.
Some heroes are performing a little worse than expected. The teams have trained them, they want to play them, but they don’t walk constantly. Maybe these heroes have been nerfed recently, or they were just discovered, but it seems to me that soon this trend will also follow the drinks.
Mostly, Master of animals and Terrorblades are very weak. I feel the former is being played too greedily and can’t be a reliable mid early game player with Aghanim’s build when the team needs him the most. If the opponent successfully invades your stacks at least once before the tenth minute, Beastmaster’s pace is simply dead.
Terrorblade is a bit surprising, but as a strongman who relies on his team to put up a fight for him, he is strictly inferior to Medusa. It’s easier to blow up, it does less in a teamfight, and it doesn’t necessarily farm the fastest. However, I feel like the hero is worth playing, it’s just that this tournament is a little bit too Focused on morphling, making Terrorblade’s life miserable.
There is also Disruptor, who has an incredible ~26% through 19 games. Hero is much weaker than it used to be: Tier 1 Thunder Strike went from the best damage per mana ability in the game to one of the worst. Upgrading it isn’t an option either, resulting in a hero that looks amazing when you’re up front but doesn’t really do anything from behind.
There are many other heroes worth discussing. For example, Techies are definitely starting to feel a bit smart, while heroes like Enigma is now dominating from the support position as well. Overall, the meta is far from set in stone, with some interesting caveats that we’ll discuss later this week.