Last time we discussed stronger utility support in the current meta, and today we’ll focus on the more late-game, DPS-oriented ones. They’re a lot of fun to play as a semi-core in a lower level pub environment where games tend to drag unnecessarily. In higher level games they usually take a back seat, naturally gravitating towards saving and utility items. We’ll discuss today’s trio from both perspectives, explaining our reasoning where necessary.
Easily the prime candidate for nerves. Losing 0.3 intelligence per level in 7.33c is pretty much negligible and the hero is just as strong as it was at the beginning of the patch when they made it old. Aghanim’s Shard part of his free kit.
Having a powerful slow and area knockback is great both during the landing phase and early fights. Ice vortex it’s a detection tool, a blink breaker, a respectable source of damage, a lane removal tool, a damage boost tool, and so much more. There is absolutely no reason not to max it out as soon as possible.
In fact, in many line sets it is perfectly acceptable and even preferable to go 0-2-1-0 on the third level. Cold feet level one costs a lot of mana and does very little even if it connects. You want to max it out at second for increased throw range, but the first drop on it can easily be pushed to level four. The obvious exception is having good, reliable stun in your lane: think Wraith King, Alchemist or maybe even Sven.
Another big mistake for lower level potions is the Cold Feet talent at level ten. It’s worth two levels of damage in Cold Feet, sure, but having the extra cast range and stun duration invested in the ability itself is much stronger. Also, by the time you get to level ten as an AA, Cold Feet is mostly a zoning tool or spread bait.
+300 Cooling touch Attack range can give you some interesting options down the line. Our advice: skip the level ten talent entirely and focus on your other skills. At lower tier brews, consider switching to an extra core for your team with the help of Cooling touch talent.
For levels fifteen and twenty going Ice vortex talents should be self-explanatory. We feel like going Cooling touch Talent at level twenty is acceptable, but in a default game, the right one will be stronger. Finally, at level 25 Ice blast talent is almost always better. Cold feet it’s pretty unreliable as a disable, and in the later parts of the game it’s more likely to be distributed regardless.
Finally, always get Shard of Aghanim. It’s a ~1.7 second stun in a potentially massive AoE for 1400 gold. Have your team kill the Tormentor as quickly as possible, and if the Shard doesn’t drop, just buy it yourself.
Another “Free MMR” support hero of the current patch. Venomancer is a suppressor lane with strong zoning, blink breaking ability and detection through low cooldown Wards of Plague. He also has a Health Regen reduction talent at level ten, so we’re basically talking about Ancient Apparition, but green. More or less.
The general idea is still the same: you want to be very annoying in lane, trading your HP for debuff application. Get a value level of Poison galemaximum outside Poison Sting first and Plague Ward second and try to switch to whatever saving items your team needs. Pavise is still extremely good, but there are interesting alternatives Spiritual vessel and Solar ridge too.
Focus in terms of talents on getting the most benefit, meaning talent left at level ten. Maybe even the left talent at level fifteen: having even more constant slowness is very annoying to your enemy. At level twenty you want more %damage against very strong folk heroes and at level 25 it’s very situational, but we lean towards the right talent, as -200 AS can be devastating when BKBs start getting short.
Unlike AA, Venomancer cannot be turned into a right-click machine, but he can scale very well through his Aghanim. Getting it too early isn’t particularly good, and in many cases you’ll be better off with a more appropriate specific item, but it can be powerful under the right circumstances.
It is also worth noting that Latent toxicity is one of the more creative disabilities in the game that punishes enemies who want to use BKB, Manta, or any other dispel. Get it on the most problematic target early in the battle and you’ll have a much easier time dealing with their Debuff immunity.
Finally, the most annoying support of the current patch. We’re not sure if we’re putting him in the DPS support category correctly, as it seems like the hero just has to choose what kind of value he’ll bring to his team: he can go the DPS and Utility route. The latter is definitely better in higher tier games, but going for Damage can be very snowy in lower tier bars.
First things first: The phylactery is very controversial for the hero. Having a way to deal 150 magic damage from invisibility from a long range is kind of funny, but for the most part it’s just going to be a bit of a nuisance to the enemy and a waste of gold for your team. Get tankers with items like Durability Drum in Bearing boots, or get the necessary auras that your outside buff doesn’t want to get, and your team will be much better off.
Going for articles like Solar Crest is generally a good game as well. Other alternatives of the situation are Heaven’s Halberd against strong ranged DPS, Lotus Orb vs silences or even a straight Vyse’s Scythe against elusive targets.
If you’re going the memey DPS route, just take it Scepter of Aghanim. It’s highly unlikely that Phylactery will pay off quickly enough to be a net tempo gain, while Aghanim’s will give your Bounty Hunter a much-needed teamfight. It’s a lot worse than it used to be, but still very good against enemy supports, and if anything, getting Phylactery with Agh’s is much faster than the other way around.
In terms of talent, there is a general consensus that BH should maximize gold and utility earnings for his team. Extra speed for your teammates, shared vision from the enemy, and extra gold is what BH should usually aim for even in DPS oriented games. It synergizes really well with how Bounty Hunter and his team like to approach combat.
There are definitely a lot more stable support heroes in the current patch and after the 7.33c changes, playing support is a lot of fun. You usually get enough XP and gold to stay relevant throughout the game, and you can sometimes get out of control with some good, early picks.
We’re not sure if the support meta will change drastically anytime soon: the more greedy, late-game-oriented supports seem to be doing very well in the pub, regardless of whether they’re utility or damage-oriented.
Compete for Wisdom runes, join all battles, build for survival and you will be rewarded.