A Closer Look At Hero Rankings

We’ve had our Hero Rankings feature out for some time, and though it’s still in beta, it’s interesting to take a look at some of our favorite heroes and players, and see what we can learn from them.

Ferrari is GOD

It's no surprise that Ferrari_430 is commonly regarded as one of our Dota gods. This screenshot was at a point where he held the top two spots for 10 different heroes, averaging a win rate of 65%+, especially on some of his signature heroes such as Invoker, Ember Spirit, and Templar Assassin. Though iG may not have had the best performances in recent memory, Ferrari still remains as one of their most impressive players.

Item Builds Among Top Players

We found that the item builds among top players were generally cookie cutter across the board. For example, Dragonfist, a 7.1k MMR player at the top of the American leaderboards, has one ubiquitous build for his signature Templar Assassin: Phase, Drums, Yasha, Daedalus.

Another example of item consistency is from w33's Meepo, which is currently 2nd on our hero rankings.

One reason for item consistency is because sometimes thats the only way you can build a hero, with little opportunity in other situational items. Meepo requires a base of Aghanims, Blink, and Hex, with luxury items such as Manta Style, Skadi, and Heart being the player's choice. I'll leave it to the comments to discuss which is better, but how can you argue with w33's success on going Skadi+Manta over Heart?

The second reason to follow a consistent item build is because of the randomness of pubs. Even if your lineup is better, you never know how your laning phase will go. You can have in mind that your defensive tri-lane with Anti-Mage, Skywrath Mage, and Ogre Magi iis fairly strong, until a few minutes later the offlane Dark Seer triple kills them. It's one of the main reasons why Dragonfist opts for a stronger early item build on TA with Drums and Yasha, instead of an early Blink Dagger. Pubs are generally more active in the laning phase, and a stronger early-mid game build can provide more consistent results to climb MMR.

This same pub approach can be seen in Slahser's video guides. He opts for early builds such as Urn of Shadows on Spectre, Desolator on Furion, and Euls on Gyro. However, his choice Sange Sange first on Shadow Fiend we'll leave to the comments.

Invoker Builds

Invoker, a pub favorite, is unique in that there are two distinct ways to build him (three for Wex-Exort wishful thinkers). VG.Black currently holds the #4 Invoker spot on the back of his Exort/Quas Invoker.

Invoker players will notice a few interesting choices here by Black. One is his choice in Blink Dagger over Force Staff. Force Staff by far is more popular among pub players, being built more than twice as often as Blink Dagger. Blink Dagger, however, is best for the way Black plays Invoker. While Force Staff may be better defensively for yourself and your team, Black is usually on his own, split pushing. He uses Blink like how a Furion would use it: to escape a lane when the enemy team reacts to your push. It also doubles as the better offensive item for your Meteor combo.

Black also opts for Boots of Travel. Whereas Phase Boots gives you the necessary speed for a Wexless invoker, Boots of Travel opens up your split pushing possibilities. This is fairly unique to Black, when you look at other top Invoker players such as Lv.Lin, LGD.Yao, and VPP.Scandal who opt for Phase or Treads.

For Quas/Wex Invokers players, there are few better examples than Ferrari_430. On Invictus Gaming, he is their exclusive Quas/Wex Invoker player (with Luo being their Quas/Exort player).

Whereas Exort/Quas Invokers like Black generally split-push and avoid fights, Quas/Wex Invokers are always looking for them. One trend from Ferrari's pubs is that he picks his Quas/Wex Invoker as a lane counter to Ember Spirit. Ghost Walk+Orchid counters Ember, but one lesser known interaction is that Tornado Tornado purges Flame Guard Flame Guard.

Learning From Top Players

These are some of the ways I've used Hero Rankings to guide my play on some of my favorite heroes. I've found myself stalking recent replays from pros, watching the itemization, and seeing when they choose to build situational items (Manta or BKB first on Ferrari's Ember, for example). If you've found any insight from Hero Rankings, feel free to share your comments below!

More from The Dotabuff Blog

    w33 is just a beast, so he can go away with going hex always. Sometimes it's better to skip hex entirely and go straight for skadi. There's a good meepo player (currently) named Orka Borka and he used to make phase boots (or travels) along with manta consistently. (known before as M-God or M-Goderino).

    I still wait for meepo to be rediscovered, right after Valve fixes him entirely... In 6.81 you could Eul any of your meepos, give tangos and wards during laning stage, but now passing consumables is gone for no reason. Eul could be a nice addition to builds, because better teams tend to go for aoe control and single target damage instead of aoe damage. Why? Because good meepo don't initiate into warlock, es, sven etc. even though he has 2 skadis already. Of course you can go for diffusal blade and etheral blade if you want to save meepo and purge nasty spells off him (dots), but you are a glass cannon. You simply hit for 1k constantly at very fast pace and you can safely fight with for example faceless void or lc with clones. Poof with main meepo, eblade and voila, enemy is useless!

    Needless to say, hex gives the most versatility out of every disable item in the game. It's just a 3 second doom + slow and what meepo excels at? At burst and surprise!

    Oh one more thing. I have eye cancer whenever I see heart of tarasque on meepos. This items give you 40str, zero health bonus and no regen so just after buying this item, you but 1/3 of his functionality! Not to mention lack of damage, armor, mana, slow, anything really. Skadi is always better than HoT on meepo. Just after buying it, you gain 125 damage(!) it's more than two relics combined in one slot and that's not even a half of what Skadi gives you!

    Ok no more talking, time to doto... gl hf bois

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      could we get the broad in the first picture as well?


        I was surprised to see VG.Black give Invoker a Hand of Midas every single game. I'm only level 4, but I was told that the item wasn't worth the investment if you aren't Alchemist or Nature's Prophet. Then again, I suppose you need a lot of reliable gold for those Daggers and Sheepsticks.


          Uh who told you that is just wrong. Midas Alch itself is so weird in the first place..

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            Midas is nearly mandatory on Q/E Invoker, who benefits so much from the levels. It's skipped on Q/W because an earlier orchid benefits the team more.


              Ubiquitous builds are ubiquitous for a reason. In most situation it is the best. I think studying pro's builds is a good way of improving but that is until one has fully understood every hero in the match and the mechanism of the game. Before that a newbie trying out "pro creative" builds would most likely end up in a disaster. We all know Dr.Lee's sniper armlet build and how awesome it is, but i doubt many would like to see someone else doing it in their game :)

              Terrible Murderer

                @rmm i guess they removed shareable tangos from meepo cuz of this http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=318025097 (probably they were too lazy to fix and just removed entirely). Before patch you were able to glitch enemy meepo by giving him tangos unnoticed and then if he bought shoe every meepo with tango in 1st slot did not recieve his boots. After patch you became able to stack shoes for free(only 1 shoe on main meepo, while others have multiple) like on this screenshot

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                  Is this the queue to join the cargo cult?

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                      @FastStone ^^ Your link is a trojan. If you actually wanted it to be seen, put it on a trusted website.

                      Luxalpa, Tail of Devastation

                        I tried using the hero rankings to learn some heroes and it failed me pretty hard. Biggest reason for it was that usually out of the top 10 of most heroes NOBODY played the hero during Replay Availability time, so it turned out to be rather useless.

                        *FarizTampan96 5th

                          thx whoever make this article
                          now i know w33 dotabuff n dragonfist
                          really thx

                          •҉   Pangwyn!

                            Question: How exactly is the ghostwalk and orchid a counter to ember spirit?


                              I guess because you can easily initiate out of ghost walk and silence the Ember. If Ember doesn't have BKB then he is pretty much screwed.


                                Questions : how to get 8k gold per min if your team never ever buy ward , and enemy active ganking. sorry bad english


                                  looking is one thing.

                                  replicating is another.

                                  good is good. but if you are able to build them, but not use the hero correctly, is still a fail


                                    @pangwyn! Ember is vulnerable to instant initiation, such as blink+hex/silence, where he's unable to spirit away or get flame guard up in time. Storm Spirit, for example, with an early Orchid can just lock down an Ember in the mid game before he gets some sort of counter such as Manta or Linkens.


                                      thanks ! very very thanks


                                        I'm just a student and i still want to rank myself as well :( too bad I can't afford it.

                                        >Easy Money.

                                          i'd argue that the only item truly core on meepo is aghs, + perhaps any items that give stats. But blink dagger, certainly as lizZard (7k+) meepo player has proven countless times, is not always necessary.

                                          skipping blink on meepo and opting for early stats means a seriously tanky meepo at around 16-18 mins. scary stuff