Okay, let’s just get this out of the way immediately. Marci is overpowered, like, old Earth Spirit or release-day-Monkey King overpowered. Because of this we will try to talk about what she does in a broader sense that should still be relevant after her numbers are nerfed to more acceptable levels.
With that in mind, let’s quickly go over what Marci brings to the table as a hero. She is a Strength hero with above average stat gain and a whole host of area of effect slows, stuns and repositioning abilities. My first impression was that she seemed to be some combination of Tusk, Monkey King and Earth Spirit. After playing a couple of games with Marci, this initial impression actually proved relatively close to the truth.
Marci’s kit of abilities centers around chasing and catching heroes before laying a real beatdown on them, either solo or with her team. Her Q-ability, Dispose functions almost exactly like Horn Toss, a skill that Team Spirit’s Collapse showed the power of at The International 10. It is a strong repositioning tool that can catch and toss an enemy back to slower allies to follow up on or create stunning chaos in a tightly packed fight. The unique part about Dispose is that it can also target allied units. This means that Marci can pull allies out of harm’s way or even toss them up cliffs or highgrounds as a short range saving mechanic. Because Dispose only moves units from directly in front of Marci to directly behind her it takes a bit of foresight and proper positioning to get value from. I was able to toss heroes out of an allied Puck’s Dream Coil to snap it which felt great. I also threw them out of my teammate’s attack range or follow up several times as well. Whoops.
Rebound is Marci’s W-ability and it is definitely going to take some time to get used to. The ability is two-phased and requires both regular mouse targeting and vector targeting to use. This ability is what will eventually separate a skilled Marci player from a casual one. The potential for zipping around fights, chasing down fleeing supports or simply initiating by diving the back lines is immense. The initial cast range of Rebound is a little bit shorter than a Blink Dagger but when combined with the vector targeted leap can surpass 1200 units. This obviously pairs extremely well with Dispose for initiating on a target. The mechanic is a bit more difficult to use due to needing another unit to target to make the jump. However, this can lead to some incredible and hilarious chasing scenarios where another mobile Hero like Puck or Earth Spirit jumps first and Marci uses them to leap even further. It’s also worth noting that Rebound’s movement cannot currently be interrupted by stuns.
Marci’s E-ability Sidekick is very similar to Tusk’s Tag Team. After jumping on a target Marci can buff her and one ally’s damage to finish off a kill quickly. Sidekick also gives Marci some interesting potential as a more defensive support hero by giving lifesteal to the paired unit. Sidekick is amazing for trading in lane and could also potentially be used to buff a carry as they jump into the fight. The 12 second cooldown and six second duration even makes me think there could be some potential to have Marci follow around a carry to help them farm stacks safely. At level 20 Sidekick becomes one of the best abilities in the game as it grants spell immunity for 1.75 seconds. Level 20 may be a bit difficult for a support to reach so we may also see Marci play a very similar role to the Press The Attack offlane Legion Commander build.
Marci’s ultimate, Unleash, is one of the first abilities likely to get nerfed. With an 18 second duration, Marci can get off up to 10 barrages of five attacks. Just that alone is like using a point blank Swashbuckle every 1.5 seconds for single target damage. On top of that Marci ends each flurry with what is essentially an Epicenter pulse that slows enemy movement and attack speed. Finally, upon activation Marci gets 15% bonus move speed and receives a basic dispel which removes things like roots and damage over time spells. When paired with the lifesteal from Sidekick, Unleash becomes possibly the best one-on-one spell in the game that also massively affects the area around her. With just a single damage item, Marci can melt enemy heroes with Unleash and get almost Satanic levels of healing when paired with Sidekick. This ability will no doubt have carry and mid players trying out Marci as well.
It’s always a bit tough to figure out what role a hero belongs in when their abilities are over tuned to this degree. Realistically, Marci can probably be played in every role at the moment but after some nerfs may settle into some sort of playmaking position 4, offlane or mid hero. The vast majority of her impact seems to fall in line with the likes of Tusk, Monkey King, Earth Spirit or Sand King. She is an incredibly well designed hero that has a huge amount of casual and competitive potential to speculate on and will be a great addition to Dota even after she gets nerfed into the ground.
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