Most big tournaments were already over before the patch hit, but there are still some ongoing competitions we would like to quickly analyze. After all, professional players are almost always a step or two ahead of everyone.
Two most popular heroes in the professional scene right now. The sample size is certainly too small to draw any conclusions, but these heroes are quite successful as well, winning slightly over 55% of their professional games.
Mirana was discussed in our previous post, and Mars deserves his own spotlight as well. His Shard and Scepter upgrades are among the most versatile in the game right now and can fit any draft and almost any situation.
The Shard upgrade is a very low commitment outpush that works wonders when the team with Mars is behind. It is already quite risky to siege against Mars, because Arena of Blood in chokepoints can be devastating. Now the enemy team will also have to deal with a very small window of opportunity when they can actually hit towers as well.
The new Scepter is also a major improvement over the old one. It incentivizes the usage of Bulwark’s active, which was underused in pubs, but it also allows Mars to become a pretty scary DPS machine that is hard to kill and impossible to ignore. It is at its best when your team is ahead, since it allows Mars to quite easily kill enemy supports, without using his Spear, saving cooldown for a priority target.
Viper is a bit of an overvalued hero in the professional scene right now, at least it feels like it. A 20% win rate with a pretty substantial popularity is not where the hero wants to be.
There are several reasons for his sudden fall and the overall changes to the meta are one of them. There are less Spectres around to counter and less Svens to slow down. On top of it, the hero straight up got worse at level 25: no longer having access to Silence is a big deal. While three second cooldown Nethertoxin is pretty good, it isn’t as qualitative of a change as the Silence was.
In a rather strange turn of events, a hero who got theoretically nerfed now wins more games. This applies to both pub and professional games and if we had to guess, it has a lot to do with three things.
Flaming Lasso cast range might look inconsequential, but 175 is much easier to play around with when you don’t have Blink Dagger. And since most Batriders in the recent past actually delayed Blink, connecting Lasso on a priority target in the early game is theoretically easier now.
Secondly, Batrider should farm faster now. Napalm stacks now fully work against non-hero units, which means less time spent stacking Napalm up and better chances of getting several neutral camps simultaneously. This can drastically speed up heroes midgame, especially if he gets his hands on some juicy stacks. Stealing enemy stacks can be a priority on this hero.
Third change is the new Shard and we somehow feel its impact is quite substantial, despite being hidden behind a 1400 gold consumable. Having an ability to save teammates opens up a ton of new possibilities and makes support Batrider more viable than ever before. Couple it with the aforementioned ability to steal enemy stacks, while still being a bit of a nuisance in lane, and it is easy to see how well position four Batrider might work.
It’s not like Tidehunter was weak in the previous patch, but right now he is among the best offlane heroes in the game. The two big problems with the hero were always his inability to push and cooldown reliance. The latter problem is still unsolved. When it comes to the former, however, there is no denying that Tidehunter’s Shard is worth it.
A 270 + Attack Damage physical nuke that can reduce the enemy base damage by 80% and has a cooldown of three seconds can be unfair. The fact that it also affects buildings makes it such. It means that you can’t simply ignore Tidehunter when his ultimate is on cooldown, which in a rather indirect fashion kind of solves the first problem we mentioned with the hero.
The hero won 80% of his professional games since the beginning of the patch. The sample size is certainly small, but given how the hero is also trending up in pubs, there is no reason not to play him.
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