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We’ll likely get a balance fix soon, but we expect it to have a small impact on the support meta, focusing on nerfing problematic heroes like Medusa, Underlord, and Alchemist. With that in mind, we think it’s time to look at the backers who came out victorious in the new patch and discuss the reasons behind it.
It’s worth noting that the distinction between position four and five supports in the current patch is a little problematic, so instead we’re going to split them into two vague groups: useful and sustaining supports and teamfight damage supports. Today we are focusing on the first.
Oracle fits the current meta very well. A surprisingly nuke-heavy support with the strongest save in the game and good late-game scaling made it much easier to play as well. Fate’s Edict is probably one of the most versatile and powerful support spells in the game right now.
Giving 100% magic resistance to an ally in a game where even BKB only gives 50% would be a big deal even in the previous patch when the ability disarmed friendly targets as well. Now, considering how it’s a complete magical damage immunity with no downsides, it’s ruined.
The hero also got a little anger for him Rain of Fate ability. It used to be an upgrade to Aghanim’s Scepter and for 4200 gold it wasn’t particularly viable. The ability was great, with good AoE Damage and Healing, but it just wasn’t something Oracle could handle.
Getting 66% of the effect for 33% of the price definitely changed the math behind it a bit, especially now that you can get it for free.
Undying’s strength lies in its ability to hold tanks from position five, at least until the mid-game. Along with his ability to lane, he creates a fairly large snow support that takes over the earlier stages of the game, resulting in a very high amount of gold that can be spent on the necessary auras.
In the pub often allows Undying to compensate for the position of the three most popular and greedy heroes in his team. You can’t really wait Legion Commander to build Pipe of Insight as the first item, but someone has to and Undying is a perfect candidate for that.
On top of that, the hero also received a powerful sum Aghanim’s shard with even more expectations for his team. Extensive Tombstone it seems a bit odd, but it can save teammates from very bad positions, allowing them to wait out strong enemy attacks. You can even force your teammates in if they’re stunned and can’t make that decision on their own.
Overall, it’s once again a case of a relatively strong lane support that goes very well in the late game and can build the most powerful items of the patch.
It’s a little weird to put Lich in the Utility category, but we feel like it is Frost shield that makes the hero so successful, not his other abilities. Frost Blast it is a very powerful passing tool and is good for early fights when maxed out. Bad eyesight it’s an ok crowd control, with 0.0 second cast point, making it theoretically good against elusive targets. Frost chain it can do a lot, even against BKB, but it’s also not a game changer.
Frost shield it’s still amazing, though. It reduces a significant portion of incoming damage, often forcing the enemy to build Cancellation. It should be understood that it doesn’t block physical damage, it blocks attack damage and means that, for example, it works very well against She also died during her ultimatum.
At the same time it doesn’t help against attack modifiers like Glaives of Wisdom OR impetus, as they create a special case of damage. Similarly, it will not help against Bloodseeker deals pure damage, but helps against Ursa’s stack Slide Fury damage and counter Clinkz Tar bombwhich was not the case with Flashing arrows.
between Frost shield and very annoying Ice Spire The Lich can stay relevant until the later mid-game and possibly beyond, once he unlocks the ability to heal buildings.
The split between utility and damage supports, as compared to position four and position five, is largely the result of an unstable support meta. There are good support heroes that can work regardless of their position and can be rotated through the Twin Gates for easy early game kills. And there are bad support heroes that don’t particularly fit the current realities of the game, lacking group potential, lane presence, or late-game scaling.
Next time we’ll talk about even more greedy and in our opinion, more fun to play support in the current patch, so stay tuned.