Analyzing 7.00-7.02 Top Tier Offlaners

In 6.88, we analyzed top tier heroes for each position. It was the very end of the patch however and a lot of the showcased heroes were so established that it was hardly anything new for many readers.

It’s been 2 months since 7.00 was released and already have we seen two balance patches, 2 premier LAN events and several online qualifiers; enough to determine who the pros and pubs currently pick in certain positions. Today we cover the top offlaners of the current meta.

Offlane in early 7.xx

For over a year now, the offlane has gone through a transition in which it has become more and more important, with more potential to farm and dictate the pace of the game. This trend, this way of approaching the offlane has stayed true in 7.00.

Offlaners often need to dictate tempo in the midgame, both with their supports and sometimes even just by themselves. More importantly, they also need to be able to apply pressure on the enemy safelaner, or have the potential to.

Slardar Slardar

The most impressive hero in the past year has probably been Slardar. He’s been a top pick in both pubs and pros and his versatility allows him to be both offlaner and position 4. The trend the offlane has gone through in the past year is heavily tied to Slardar. He is flexible, can dictate the pace of the game, is tanky, can setup and follow-up for kills and he can be left alone in 1v1 scenarios but also excels in dual lanes.

Slardar has been a top pick at virtually every event for almost a year and he was the most contested hero at the most recent DAC qualifiers--across all regions. He’s the third most picked hero in the 5k+ MMR bracket with a steady winrate above 50%. A slight nerf in 7.02 may have decreased his winrate a bit, but if his popularity and success in both pubs and pro games continue, he might need another small nerf.

Underlord Underlord

Underlord has made a splash ever since he was introduced in mid-August. A week into his introduction, the hero has maintained a steady winrate above 50% and has quickly risen to the top of the winrate charts, both across all brackets (54%) as well as in the 5k+ MMR bracket (56%). He's been among the top contested heroes in every tournament in the pro scene, both online and offline.

He checks all boxes for the current idea of the offlane. He can pressure the lane and safelaner well, is a strong teamfighter with damage and control and he builds into utility items that benefit the team, ranging from a Mekansm Mekansm to Crimson Guard Crimson Guard. The hero can transition into the jungle if necessary, but is best used to be an early game aggressor with supports. His Pit of Malice is a strong teamfight ability that allows your team to control a large area of a fight and makes it difficult for opponents to maneuver properly.

Centaur Warrunner Centaur Warrunner

“Before the nerf to Return no longer working on illusions in 6.88f, Centaur received a series of consecutive buffs across 7 patches” - this alone was reason enough to bring Centaur into the spotlight, but the similarities to Slardar and Underlord may be just as key here. He’s an initiator that can apply pressure on the lane, can dictate the pace of the game and provides a lot of utility to his team--both with his ultimate, as well as items he may build, such as Pipe of Insight Pipe of Insight or Shiva's Guard Shiva's Guard.

Centaur may not be as popular in pubs as other heroes on this list (7% pickrate across all brackets), but his winrate is definitely among the highest out of all heroes (57% winrate). A more detailed breakdown of Centaur’s viability can be found here.

Sand King Sand King

Image by Nikey and KA'aS

Sand King fazed out of the meta in 6.86, when several neutral creeps gained quite a bit of magic resistance. The change made it increasingly difficult to farm on Sand King, both as a support and as an offlaner.

Slowly, but steadily, Sand King returned to the meta, as pro players started to focus on a different ability. Rather than emphasizing his farming capabilities with Sandstorm, pros recognized the strength of Caustic Finale, a skill that had been majorly buffed in three successive patches.

Currently, Sand King is one of the most contested offlaners in the meta, with a consistent top 20 placing regarding contestion. His pub performance isn’t nearly as impressive, with a just below 50% winrate across all brackets, but he’s often still picked as a non-offlaner.

Sand King offers a lot of the top offlane characteristics and has the highest 1v1 potential out of any offlaner currently, with Caustic Finale being a huge factor. It also is a great ability to farm with and often even wins SK 1v2 or 1v3 scenarios.

A new wind is blowing

In comparison to the 6.88 offlaners, 7.00 already offers a new variety of top tier offlaners. While both Slardar and Sand King may have been top tier previously already, Centaur and Underlord are new impressions in a new patch that are very welcome. There are even more trends towards more potential newcomers/returnees. Clockwerk Clockwerk has become a top pick for a variety of teams and players and Timbersaw Timbersaw remains a solid pick as well.

As the meta changes, so will hero picks, and in just a few months, the heroes mentioned in this blog may be old news again.

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43 comments
EnOc}{...Fog

    denied

    kill me

      >7% winrate
      Centaur confirmed auto-loss

      EnOc}{...Fog

        7% pick rate- typo in cent.
        gud read though

        »Øff-Limits« [(Chou Tzu-yu)]

          Offlane Ember!

          SlntBullet

            offlane puck

            Foss

              i got 4100 on slardar
              love fish.

              Mad Moehre

                no necro? wtf?!

                ★ EngieBengie

                  Offlane CM

                  ~Hyatt

                    Tidehunter? His talent tree is so good.

                    meG_

                      boosted 500 pts on slardar in 7.00-01, after his nerf in 02 his wr has decrease by 1,5% and i've got 4-5 lost games in the row, sad :C

                      This comment was edited
                      meG_

                        Unfortunately this nerf is just a beginning of terrible time for slardar

                        This comment was edited
                        PLS GOD KILL ALL WEEBS

                          That Slardar nerf is not that hard, though what I hate is pros play Slardar as position 4, so these nerfs make core Slardar even more bad....

                          Smallboobslover

                            offline io!

                            👌Snu👌

                              I'd appreciate a shout-out to Offlane Puck which is become a thing

                              Fight Machine

                                Axe?
                                Pudge?
                                Spirit Breaker?

                                Brock Hall

                                  I find it interesting that the top offlaners mentioned here are all melee heroes. It shouldn't come as a huge surprise as tanky items are in meta (hotd, blademail) though. With the exception of SK, the rest of the heroes are also fantastic augment heroes, having abilities that provide something other than damage or cc and can build utility items.

                                  This says a lot about where the meta is, and though I know there are a lot of other things going on in the meta, I see a lot of 5 man pickoffs into objectives being the basis of team comps.

                                  Flominaire

                                    Is this focused on str heroes? Void and necro make a good deal too there.

                                    Magnathustra

                                      NEW WINDS

                                      NIXON LIKES IT

                                      This comment was edited
                                      MCT

                                        THIRST!

                                        INTERISTIL

                                          nyx?
                                          hoping the return of tidehunter and enigma as an offlaner

                                          Ray

                                            yep waiting for tide+CM combo or 5 MAN BLACK HOLE in pro scene

                                            DoraBuff

                                              @flo
                                              Void isn't even a meta pick right now, and this article is pretty much dedicated to meta offlaners

                                              2 Phones

                                                Enigma is actually good as an offlaner right now

                                                Sarllo

                                                  this is not focused on str heroes, is focused in pro (or high mmr games) where pros dont pick necro or FV anymore...

                                                  typical me in the palm trees

                                                    Enigma should be there, has become very popular with the pros too. Void has disappeared from the meta entirely and Necro is usually mid or safelane.

                                                    Anung un Rama

                                                      nice post! thanks for sharing.

                                                      Niyoko4

                                                        Сосиска

                                                        Kill my lord

                                                          That my fav hero

                                                          girl gamer only sup

                                                            all of you noobs

                                                            Mary jane -

                                                              tide ~~ and axe

                                                              Nagmahal, nasaktan, nagmeepo

                                                                Offlane timber easily kills meepo safelane. Meepo really needs a buff hes sitting at 40% winrate right now

                                                                Brock Hall

                                                                  @Nagmahal, nasaktan, nagmeepo

                                                                  That's par for the course though. Heroes like Meepo, which include Io, Arc Warden, Chen, Ench, typically are considered powerful regardless of their pub winrate. Currently Meepo has a higher winrate than 21 heroes, firmly in the bottom bucket league for sure, but still has a better winrate than all four heroes I mentioned. Other heroes under him are lina, bat, bane, natures, puck, and huskar.

                                                                  I understand the frustration, but that's the nature of the hero. He takes too much learning for people to get the hang of him before getting frustrated and moving on.

                                                                  Fight Machine

                                                                    You need to consider hero power spikes beside hero win rates. Heroes like Meepo and Chen although complex for average player, are bullies of early game and part of fast push strats. Their win rate for early game is something like 60%. If a team picks meepo or Chen or other fast push heroes and do not manage to close the match by 20 minutes, they have failed to execute their strat properly.

                                                                    This comment was edited
                                                                    RememberMe

                                                                      its suprises me that void didnt make it to this thread.i know that hard farmer like void need to be atleast safelane.but his skills to survive the lane and take a lot of damage and just time lapse is pretty good for offlane.and with almost no lifesteal game for void unless he buy vladmir is making him weaker.i really think that he need to be buffed.maybe 50% winrate is still a dream for several hero lol

                                                                      Vladimir Putin

                                                                        i prefer Storm Spirit Offlane

                                                                        bibotot1995

                                                                          I suppose this is a list of best SOLO offlaners. Because no one is better in the offlane than Spirit Breaker.

                                                                          Cody

                                                                            Enchantress is the best offlaner! Only few enemy can bully her in offlane like lifestealer. Best offlaner ever, max untouchable and laugh at enemy trilane...

                                                                            This comment was edited
                                                                            MCT

                                                                              Enchantress dies to zues+jugg in dual lane zzzzz

                                                                              Cody

                                                                                @MCT if you are stupid player you die, they dont even have stun how can they catch you with 335 base movespeed. and zeus got low mana pool at start and will not be effective much due to lvl gap on 2v1 scene duh. Plus you got heal for low mana which allows you to tank more combined with your untouchable makes her hard to kill in lane.

                                                                                This comment was edited
                                                                                feelsblackman

                                                                                  Its not uncommon to see weaver and enigma offlane in 7.xx especially the latter who deserves a mention here

                                                                                  Core

                                                                                    Maybe weaver?

                                                                                    4//

                                                                                      maybe not

                                                                                      FreeWIn>TrashMid

                                                                                        why not enigma

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