Image by HyrX
One of the biggest tournaments of the year finally kicks off tomorrow, and it’s coming on the heels of a minor balance tweak that supposedly dealt with a lot of problematic hero metas. This will have an impact on the overall professional meta, and today we’d like to speculate on which heroes we feel will grow in popularity and success.
The hero was somewhat popular during the Major, but he got overshadowed a lot Nursing mother and The master of animals. The first one took some major nerves, while the second one was not so successful, so we think that Lycan could be the next big thing of the patch.
The hero scales extremely well, has good damage progression, and is very survivable, courtesy of both high MS and high strength gain. While he lacks the Agility gain, he can go for Harpoon to get some powerful DPS spikes in teamfights, or he can build classic offlaner items such as Helm of the Overlord to apply pressure across the map.
Lycan is a very flexible and powerful hero who has some unique late game options. His Upgrading the Scepter of Aghanim, The bite of the Wolfit’s not as popular as it used to be, but it can still solve some late game problems for many heroes in the melee position.
The end result is a hero who should be popular and successful in the upcoming tournament, mainly because he currently outperforms most other offlane DPS characters.
Drow’s popularity isn’t necessarily based on her power in the current patch. There’s a reason why the hero is struggling even in higher level pubs, with a sub 50% win rate in most skill sets. However, the professional scene is a different animal.
There are currently too many melee support heroes that could be considered “broken”. clock, Spirit Breaker and even post-nerf Immortals are all good or great heroes in the current patch who can initiate and survive fights, have a lot of disruptive abilities that force the enemy to react, and are even able to damage dealers until the later stages mid game.
Their main weakness is that they often force the team playing these supports into a difficult double melee lane that can sometimes be punishing. Drow Ranger is a solution to this problem: she’s absolutely fine entering the lane without regen, since she doesn’t really trade fair. It has high damage output and a powerful slow. With a few tweaks, she’s great at killing enemy heroes and also progresses extremely well.
Her farming speed is much slower nowadays since she no longer has access Hypothermia early with Shard and needs a full sceptre. However, this is a problem that is often solved at an early stage Midas pickup truck hand. It might sound a bit too greedy, but it allows Drow to keep up in terms of Net Worth, while also providing some early game attack speed that can be useful.
Many players gave up on the hero at the start of 7.33. Invoker lost a very powerful level 20 talent that increased Meteor damage by 80% and got one EMP Improvement of services in the country. The hero was very weak, but we think that 7.33ce made the hero even stronger than that.
One thing to note is that magic damage now pierces Black King Bar. It will be greatly toned down, but is still a significant source of damage. So the old one +80% Meteor Damage the talent would really break at this point. Instead, at 7.33c Chaos Meteor took roughly 20% of her damage free. It means that the level 20 Invoker has higher DPS than in the old patch, while also having the ability to damage debuff immunity.
Additionally, he now has a way to group enemy heroes with EMP. Pull force reduced to 175 units per second, so against a hero with ~400 speed it’s basically a ~40% slow if they try to break away from Chaos Meteor going down This is only with one value point in Wex.
Add to that an absolutely ridiculous pick at level ten where Invoker with classic 4 What Levels can triple the damage of The ice wall or get now buffed Tornado up to a 24 second cooldown and you get a hero that is flexible, has counter options Medusa if needed has multiple ways to engage and disengage and is ~20% stronger than before from level 13 to level 20 when it comes to Chaos Meteor damage.
He has even the best Juggernaut delights in the game by a large margin, which isn’t necessarily its biggest selling point, but it’s useful when you need a reliable position.
It’s common for Valve to bring iconic Dota heroes into shape before the International, and we think the Riyadh Masters will be a test for many new heroes. There is still the “universal hero” issue, where they get a little too powerful for how tough they are in the late game, but overall hero variety should be going in the right direction.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming tour? Do you think there are other undiscovered gems that will shine in the upcoming tournament or maybe you disagree with our selection? Share your thoughts in the comments below.