Image Credits: Dota OMG
The calibration season is well and truly upon us alongside the introduction of 7.21, just before the Dreamleague: Season 9 Qualifiers kicked off. Every new patch brings something different to the table, offering new item builds and shifts to current heroes. Keeping on top of all of them will help you keep winning your Ranked matches and perhaps get yourselves a better medal.
Although patch 7.21 has only focused on minor tweaks to the game, it has brought certain heroes and has boosted their winrates by quite a bit. So who are the strongest heroes in 7.21, whom you can pick up to give yourself that edge in calibration games?
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The dreaded Gargoyle bird enjoyed a 55.44% winrate before the release of 7.21 and was already quite a strong hero situationally. But with the recent nerfs to almost of all of the heroes counters including Axe, Centaur Warrunner, etc have given the hero free reign and allows him to secure multiple objectives, to snowball off to a lead and eventually an early victory.
The hero currently has the highest winrate in Dota 2 with a phenomenal 59.97% making it a must-pick if you have the slightest micro skills.
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The raging bear is back to terrify lanes and chew through supports. Since Ursa had very minimal play in the Chongqing Major and the Bucharest Minor preceding the 7.21 patch, Icefrog decided to buff up the hero’s agility gain as well as give him a whopping 15 extra movement speed, buffing up the hero.
As a result, the hero has seen a massive 5.84% gain in winrate, since the patch hit, and is currently sitting at an absurd 57.87% winrate. Many believed that the nerf to Fury Swipes would lower Ursa’s dominance in lanes, but the movement speed gain is still super effective in keeping Ursa alive and kicking in the lane. Ursa is an absolute pain to counter and his ability to dominate his foes is unmatched.
After the hero was nerfed to the Ground with the changes of 7.19 and 7.20, and was basically dead in the Pro scene with an absurdly low 13 picks in both 7.19 and 7.20 combined as well as a horrendous 15.38% winrate; Icefrog has finally decided to show some mercy and buff up the hero back into the pro scene. The end result? The hero is absurdly strong in pubs now.
The hero is now being played as an offlaner, to great effect and has a winrate of 55.56% (a 4% increase from pre 7.21) and is a nightmare to play against when wielded in the right hands. He’s just beefy, offers a ton of control and dishes out a ridiculous amount of damage even with no damage amplifying items when his Ultimate is active.
The perfect concoction for a pub-stomper.
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The rogue knight was in quite a good state with multiple buffs to his toolkit making him one of the strongest support heroes in the meta at The Chongqing Major and The Bucharest Minor. Many expected the hero to be nerfed to the ground in the 7.21 patch.
However, Icefrog and Valve surprised us by merely rebalancing the hero by a Minor margin and giving him, even more, strength-gain, buffing up the hero’s late game while nerfing the hero’s early game power spike. The result? A 1.30% gain in winrate, boosting it up to a whopping 55.94% (the 3rd highest in this patch, so far).
Surely not what we expected. With the new buffs, catching an enemy support and unleashing your full combo can quickly melt them before they can even react. Sven may not be the best choice when it comes to actually supporting your carry in the laning phase, but his damage-output and his damage-block more than makes up for it in the mid-game phases.
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By far the biggest winner of this patch, with a winrate rise of 9.42% Lifestealer has enjoyed solid performances both in the Professional scene and in Pub games. He currently has a 55.22% winrate in Pub matches making him one of the best carries in the meta.
The hero has the perfect toolkit with the buffs of 7.20 and 7.21, with high stat growths, an inbuilt BKB which also gives you attack speed, as well as the ability to rip through high HP targets with ease. Considering the fact that matches are considerably shorter now, Lifestealer’s power spike in the mid-late game stages allows him to close out games quite easily.
He also doesn’t require too many mechanical skills, allowing the hero to be a force to deal with in the Lower medals.