We are just short of a week into Valve’s 7.21 patch but already a bunch of qualifiers means that the meta has begun to take shape. Not just pro games, but the recalibration season, brought forth a host of players, both new and old, all trying to calibrate as high as they can. So much was the hype, that Dota 2 was leading the charts as the most played game on Steam, with the active player base jumping above 1 million players. Let’s take a look at which heroes have been positively affected by the new patch and will likely be called OP in the coming weeks.
Changes in gold, stat mechanics and XP, along with changes to how MS works, was sure to have consequences, while the removal of an entire Ancient camp from both jungles was seen as a detrimental change to most carries.
A surprise on the list and occupying the number 1 position is Visage, a hero that has a decently high skill cap, requires good micro skills and is extremely item and timing dependent. However, his power spike in the mid game is unmatched and if played with a team, he can provide a variety of offensive tactics which can be utilized to snowball.
The hero sits at a near 60% win-rate and compared to its all-time win rate of 46%, it definitely is a big change. Furthermore, the hero didn’t receive any major buffs either in 7.21 which adds to the surprise value. But what isn’t surprising, is the fact that the hero has an extremely low pick-rate at 1.8% which of course does mean that it is being spammed by a select few players. HotD, Medallion and Vlads are all extremely popular items on the hero, augmenting its natural pushing power.
Despite this, the hero hasn’t seen the most success in competitive play, sitting just above the 40% mark at the recently concluded Dreamleague Major qualifiers.
A hero that is both popular and enjoying a high win rate is Ursa Warrior. His win rate shot up to 58% over the last week or so and the hero and even in competitive play, he went 7-5. While the hero was quite popular as an offlaner in the patches before TI9, he fell off quite strongly soon after. The increase to base movement speed makes him a super deadly laner and more often than not, he can be left after the first few levels as the supports create space elsewhere. Early Roshan, strong laning, and the ability to move around and snowball makes Ursa a truly deadly foe.
Making a strong comeback into the meta in another 1 position hero, Lifestealer. The latest entrant into the meta with a whopping 11.5% pick rate in pubs makes an easy case for himself with his win rate soaring to a massive 58% over the last few days. An increase to base movement speed and base armour makes his laning phase much stronger and the rising popularity of Midas only helps the hero with the scaling issues that he tends to face. Radiance continues to be a popular item choice along with the old favourite, Armlet+Deso.
A hero who is quietly getting his job done from the offlane seems to be Nightstalker, who sits with a 55% win rate in 7.21. His popularity though is much lower with a pick rate of only about 3.35% largely because he isn’t a carry or a mid and does require his cores to help close out the game. The changes to Dark Ascension means that he now gets his Sceptre upgrade for free and with the damage component being added to Phase Boots, he can definitely come online and take over the game. An AOE Silence Aura makes him a nightmare to deal with at night time and with a Phase and early Drums, there are few heroes who can escape him.
The 5th and most surprising name on the list is that of Necrophos, a hero which dominated the patch for ages, only to be patched out before TI9. He seems to be picked in the competitive scene sparingly but showed potential with a 5-2 record in the Dreamleague qualifiers. In pubs, however, the hero enjoys a near 10% pick rate and a 55.6% win rate over 7.21. Perhaps it's the heroes solid laning which makes him so loved but whatever it is, the hero seems to always have been successful, showing an all-time win-rate of over 55% since being introduced in the game. The hero received small buffs in the latest patch there aren’t many changes to his natural build order.
So which hero are you planning on spamming this week?
Stats via @Dotabuff