Winners and Losers of Patch 7.05
Does it matter how many times Monkey King gets nerfed before the Kiev Major? Patch 7.05 doles out another series of tweaks across the board to popular and unpopular heroes alike. Heroes who went untouched during DAC got some much needed buffs, while emerging heroes like Alchemist got their fair share of nerfs. Patch 7.05 aims to be the final iteration before pros head off to the first Major of 2017 coming up in Kiev.
It’s no surprise that Alchemist has the largest decrease in win rate at -3.94%, more than triple of the 2nd and 3rd place loss leaders. He had been simmering under the meta and was completely untouched in Valve’s shotgun patches 7.03 and 7.04. It was during the LAN finals at the DAC where he shined, especially in an IG vs. Newbee match where iG.Op racked 726 last hits and 1.2k GPM in 54 minutes. Patch 7.05 hamstrung both his early game and late game potential with dual nerfs to his Acid Spray and Chemical Rage, then compounded it with changing Quelling Blade so that it no longer stacks with Iron Talon.
Centaur Warrunner and Axe round out the top 3 with hits in win rates of -1.34% and -1.24%. They’re grouped together here because they’re also two heroes who didn’t receive a direct change in this patch. Both seem to be victims of the change to Tranquil Boots, which now uses a Wind Lance instead of a Ring of Protection. It’s a change that benefits support heroes, but in turn it’s an indirect nerf for offlaners, especially Strength heroes where some early armor can go a long way to survivability.
One group of heroes who dominate pubs are ones that can capitalize on opponents who have no idea what they’re doing. Abaddon, Axe, Spectre, Omniknight, and Bristleback. You can kill them, but be sure not to attack them at certain, conditional moments. Bristleback received across the board buffs to his talents, but more importantly to the AoE in his Quill Spray, from 650 to 700. Now more players will suffer the consequences of unwitting teammates.
Two of the top three heroes in the trends chart also happen to have gone unpicked through the DAC finals. It was enough for Valve to give Death Prophet a few deserved buffs. Her Strength gain was buffed by 21% (from 1.9 to 2.3), benefitting how Exorcism and Spirit Siphon synergies with greater toughness. With both her level 15 talents buffed in 7.05, her +150 increase to cast range is currently edging out -1.5s Crypt Swarm Cooldown reduction, with a +1.1% win rate advantage. Though she’s already a hero that likes to be in the thick of things, the cast range can still be clutch in getting off an early silence in a team fight.
Queen of Pain has needed some love for a very, very long time. Her stake in the midlane is as old as Invoker’s, yet despite receiving buffs nearly every patch since 7.00, she hasn’t been part of the meta in quite some time. There was a brief opening for a blademail, spell-steal build, but it was quickly nixed in 7.02.
Queen of Pain traditionally had late game issues that outweighed any advantage she was able to snowball with through the early and mid-game. The changes to her toughness and Shadow Strike seem to be aimed at her natural transition to a utility, right clicking hero. Even though QoP does round out the top 3 win rate trends at +1.57%, she still has the 12th lowest win rate overall. There’s nowhere to go but up from here.
He’s dealing 80 damage with a Null Talisman at level one. It makes him a potent laner, but if pubs are concerned, where players play Nature’s Prophet nearly 70% of the time in the jungle, he’ll be killing jungle creeps that much faster. The change to tower armor also benefits the split push, which is quite strong in pubs due to the general lack of coordination to multitask and respond.
Zeus had the 6th greatest win rate trend at +1.24%, but he was already sitting at the top of the charts. The change was enough to jump him to 2nd place (from 4) for the highest win rate in pubs. Yet he’s still unplayable in pro meta (also unpicked at DAC). The buffs to his survivability—in magic resistance, armor, and movement speed—are a step in the right direction.
There are Dota games with Broodmother and there are ones without. The threat of the pick alone is enough for captains to always prepare an answer in the draft. She’s been out of the meta recently, but the minor buffs across her talents has moved the needle a little in pubs (+0.94% win rate). She was already picked once recently in the finals of the Manila Masters, securing the win for Faceless. Broodmother may just be one meta nudge away from becoming a fierce competitor again.