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Last time we discussed Juggernaut – one of the most popular heroes of this patch and one of the least successful. While we are in no way telling our readers which heroes to play, it is painfully obvious that some heroes work better than others in the current patch. Today we’re going to talk about working transport heroes who deserve more attention if you want to win.
This water duo has been brought together for a reason. Despite having very different fighting styles, their overall strategic approach is quite similar. Both Naga and Medusa, you want to stay in your lane as long as the enemy will let you and then start fast farming jungle. The item timing these heroes can achieve is absolutely unparalleled.
We also think that playing Medusa is much easier. Your job is to be big enough not to blow up at the start of the battle, which is irrelevant with the new Shield of Mana. You also want to be a big enough threat to actually be negligible, which, again, is trivial simply because Medusa farms so quickly. At an average level of play, you don’t even need to make the smartest item choices – you’ll most likely be an item or two ahead anyway and can afford a few mistakes.
Manta Style is often the only mandatory option seen after pickup Power levels. Then you can go for Eye of Scud in most games, or for Butterfly when playing against Anti-Wizard or buying heroes Diffuser blade. Further progress involves either taking more damage Daedalus, or even more utility and fear Vyse scythe.
Naga is significantly more difficult to play and will involve a micro level. Even getting the farm is a bit more difficult, as you will have to split your illusions and control their pairs individually. That said, we feel like Naga is a stronger hero after Medusa’s recent nerves.
It is much more mobile. In fact her movement launch speed is higher than what Medusa has Speed Boots. She potentially has a higher DPS score with a hero when she focuses her illusions on a priority target. She also has more options when it comes to the macro side of things, able to play split-push Dota and delay the game if needed.
There’s a reason Naga has a higher 25+ win rate than Medusa, but tapping into her full potential will definitely take some practice. And while defining it is relatively straightforward, there are some interesting nuances that you can check out via our guides page. For example, one early Brilliance in which you will later dismantle Butterfly and Canceller is worth considering in some games.
Continuing the aquatic theme: Slark is another lane dominant that is having a really good time in the current patch. It can be much stronger during the race phase, depending on the matchup, but it also requires a lot more player involvement to be effective. Without flash-farming ability, Slark has to play evenly against enemy heroes and his play style is very unique.
He is an in-and-out kind of hero who can’t commit too much to a fight, but also can’t wait for an opportune moment to jump in and make the biggest impact. He should jump in, take a few hits, draw the enemy’s attention, cast a few spells, and then come out to regenerate. Repeat this as long as necessary, making sure your team doesn’t suffer too much, and you’ll be successful as Slark.
Back to the previous paragraph – Sven is the definition of a hero who has to wait for an opportune moment to step in and make the biggest impact. Incidentally, story-wise, he’s also half-Meranth, so we’re still discussing aquatic heroes. Not necessarily the most important point, but The International 2017 was blue and aqua-themed, while TI 2016 was red, as was TI 2022. TI color schemes are on a five-year rotation, and TI 2023 is expected to be navy again, so maybe this meta model, who knows?
However, when it comes to Sven, there is not much to discuss. He is a very straightforward fast farming hero who rarely misses his lane and can easily create conditions where he is ahead of the enemy.
In the last big game he also got a massive buzz Harpoon, meaning he now has two ways to get to his target. Blink-in, get the double hit, kill a support, roll to the next target within the fight with the help of Draw it (Harpoon Active) and kill them too. The hero became much more difficult to kite and the kite was the biggest problem that the hero faced before.
This is a hero that is impossible to kite and a hero that, with the help of some Aghanim’s Scepter changes can now be ridiculous, dishing out impressive late game DPS. Everyone knows that Bloodseeker Aghanim’s shard makes it better Lifestealer in the late game, but the hero finally manages to bend it by other means early enough.
The default True for agriculture, in Black King Bar for fights is still here. However, after these two items, more and more players choose an Aghanim Scepter, which can quickly increase the hero’s potential power from ~2.2k to ~3.3k. Furthermore, the barrier that Bloodseeker takes does not provide the enemy with opportunities for lifesteal, while the Bloodseeker’s own pseudo-life from Shard not only deals pure damage, but also ignores enemy barriers, if they are present.
The end result is a hero that should no longer be classified as a “tempo carry”. The blood seeker can go late and he can even go toe to toe with very strong illusions such as terror, Phantom Lancer and The Naga Mermaid. His Blood mist potentially makes it better Leshrac or Pudge and that solves this illusion problem. While his single target damage output is high simply because it is pure and percentage based.
He is countered by BKB’s good times and the hero can feel very sharp early in the fight, but if he is allowed to take an easy target to kill and snowball from him, he is incredibly scary.
What are your thoughts on the current shipping meta? Do you agree with our picks for S-Tier shipping? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.