The Ignored Heroes Of The Kiev Major

Techies is currently not enabled in Captain's Mode

Nine heroes went unpicked and unbanned at the Kiev Major, a low rate that’s continued the trend, since DAC 2017, of the wide breadth of strategies teams have employed. Some of the heroes of this ignored group were regular tenants, while the presence of other heroes signaled the downfall of their once popularity.

It’s usually the case that the meta established by premier tournaments sets the rationale for how Valve makes their patch decisions. For professionals, popular heroes are strong heroes, compared to pub games, where sometimes popular heroes can just be ones that are fun to play.

On the other end, heroes who are largely ignored or underpicked tend to be the focus of potential buffs. Lone Druid went from completely ignored at the Boston Major in patch 6.88f to a de facto first round pick with the buffs in 7.00+, before his inevitable nerf. As another patch version looms ahead before TI7, look to the ignored heroes of the Kiev Major as potential targets for buffs and reworks.

Mirana Mirana

Mirana never recovered from the nerf hammer to her Aghanim’s Scepter in 6.88, and then she continued to receive precipitous nerfs in 6.88e (passive Starstorm trigger interval from 8 to 9) and in 6.88f (interval from 9 to 10). Top that all off with nerfing Leap in 7.00 by no longer allowing it to disjoint projectiles. Amid the popularity of heroes like Legion Commander and Abaddon, who can simply dispel the stun from a long distance arrow, it seems like none of Mirana’s skills have any impact on a game.

Ancient Apparition Ancient Apparition

Ancient Apparition has been non existent for months, despite meager attempts to increase his relevancy with minor buffs to Cold Feet and Chiling Touch from 7.03 to 7.05. The aim was to increase his strength in the lane and as a roamer, but he’s still underpowered in this area, which relegates him to a one shot wonder with Ice Blast. What says a lot about his current place in the meta is that he still went unplayed at DAC 2017, which saw Alchemist as its 3rd most picked hero.

Shadow Demon Shadow Demon

Shadow Demon didn’t deserve this. He’s received nerfs almost every patch from 6.86 to 7.02. That’s 8 times his skills have been tweaked: an increase in cooldown duration here, an increase in mana cost there, and a total nerf to illusion damage. He’s historically underpicked in pubs, particularly because of the various interactions between his skills, and the very high probability that a poor Disruption can hurt his own team.

Illusions in general have been too strong for virtually no risk for the players using them. Shadow Demon has been a victim of the nerfs in that area, but there has to be another solution to the illusion problem for him to come back into the meta.

Lone Druid Lone Druid

Whereas Shadow Demon got nerfed over 8 versions, Lone Druid was nerfed only over 5 versions. He’s had the largest fall out of all the heroes in this group, from first pick to completely untouched. He was a thorny hero to deal with, and at times melted towers a little too easily. The Rabid cooldown may have been one nerf too far, since Lone Druid, whether the ranged or the bear build, depends on the hero to be effective at all.

Chen Chen

At this rate, Snith is going to be responsible for 84% of all Chen games played this year. Chen did receive a buff last patch, but he’s suffered from the changes to the jungle mechanics in 7.00 and the popularity of Hand of Midas in nearly every game. Patch 7.00 is a tough era for jungle heroes.

Necrophos Necrophos

Put Necrophos in the camp of heroes who are top tier in pubs but bottom of the barrel in professional games (Zeus, Spirit Breaker). Despite the reworks and buffs, he’s still highly vulnerable and counterable to the same tactics. He did have some niche comeback potential with his Aghanim’s upgrade disabling buyback, but that’s now gone. And the introduction of Glimmer Cape didn’t do him any favors either.

Underlord Underlord

Does Atrophy Aura even do anything at level 1? It went from 10% to 4% damage reduction at level 1, and so requiring offlaners to commit at least 2 skill points in it removes the possibility of an early value point in Firestorm or Pit of Malice. Like most of Valve’s new heroes, it seems like it’ll take some time to rejigger their place in the meta.

Gyrocopter Gyrocopter

Gyrocopter might be a hero that has a high chance of being passed on for getting a buff in the next patch, considering his popularity at past Valve events. After being a top tier pick in TI5, Gyrocopter has been receiving nerfs ever since. That’s two years of changes since 6.84. His changelog is a series of lines that all begin with the word “Reduced […]” and ends with a nerf to his intelligence gain, Call Down damage, base attack damage, or Rocket Barrage. A new Aghanim Scepter upgrade and the talent trees puts him once again in between two builds of either a spell casting support or a physical damage carry. Gyrocopter most likely needs a rework, rather than a tweak, for him to be part of the meta again.

Viper Viper

Viper is an interesting case because he’s still under-picked despite receiving significant buffs since patch 7.00. He’s a strong hero, but with some glaring weaknesses that don’t seem to fit the current meta. The potential is there, and so he seems to be one or two buffs away from leapfrogging into a top tier pick. In the past, heroes like Windranger and Juggernaut also underwent similar trends, from getting under-the-radar buff after buff, until one more just tipped them completely over the edge.

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47 comments
(TIBDP)Wu Tang Stan Of Hell

    Holy fuck im first !!!!!!1!1111

    print screen scroll lock ...

      2nd! wow.

      a e s t h e t i c

        seemsgood

        SS2.Sakata

          Where the hell is Arc Warden on this list?

          Are you going to ignore him?
          He needs a whole article about his weak stats and how flux and wraith don't do anything in teamfights.
          His stats are also terrible and he lost 66% of his 9 games at Kiev.

          Se vende items.Quinkerros

            https://www.dotabuff.com/esports/events/169/heroes 14 heroes were ignored not 9 :/ Can you edit it please?

            H[A]N

              5th!!! Feels good

              LOD.Rainbow_Of_The_Night

                Make it 8th.

                Edge

                  Chen :(

                  Boxes

                    @Se vende Drow, BS, Zues and Huskar were all banned even if they were never played in Kiev which means some teams thought they were at least situationally a big enough threat to ban them rather than a more meta pick.

                    Leeroy Jenkins

                      Necrophos :(

                      DC† | MartinDeth👌

                        Gyro was played as a support for a bit i think 1.5-2 years ago and instantly had nerfs to mana costs and int growth and that died. A few tweeks in that department and he could be a good support that's really fun to play.

                        Фалес из Милета

                          перевода не будет по дефу?

                          matrice

                            "Shadow Demon didn’t deserve this." lol?

                            The heroes who received nerf due to him didn't deserved this, shadow demon did diserve it

                            Buffett

                              arc warden needs some attention

                              Anomalina~

                                Sniffy sniff sniff

                                Gifted Midlaner

                                  Bring back mirana pls! My favorite hero since dota 1, now she is so shiet

                                  AGAN.Kenny Gsus

                                    I'm so glad that Arc Warden's performance at the Kiev Major was terrible, now he should receive the buffs he needs

                                    lucenzo

                                      underlord could even be played

                                      Error 404: Brain Not Found

                                        Wait when was Juggernaut ever an under-the-radar pick? What did I miss? Was that before 6.80/6.81? Cause that's around the time I started playing, and I don't remember him ever being considered a bad pick

                                        This comment was edited
                                        Imij

                                          I'd like to add Oracle was almost ignored. The -6 to his base damage and increase in mana cost to his E nearly nerfed him out of the game.

                                          ~ ◥◣ ◢◤ ~ Ninfernus

                                            @Sakata Gintoki you are right, arc needs some MASS REWORK and they seems to ignores him, another one is Leshrac, who from the intro of the octarine and the subsequent Nerf never ever shinned again. and thats like 2 or 3 years ago.

                                            Shegz #afktillsummer

                                              Is that Snith guy even human? Like who loves Chen "that" much?!

                                              thanks for you :D

                                                Guys please. Igonred means they all was not banned /picked on kiev major.

                                                This comment was edited
                                                Prince

                                                  Chen used to be played a lot in the pro scene. He was one of the top support picks for a while

                                                  This comment was edited
                                                  Just Get Out Of My Way

                                                    this entire cycle of buff the 'weak meta' heroes then nerf them when they get too big only to buff them again when they become unplayable is honestly getting pretty boring for me

                                                    it's either valve and icefrog dont really know when and where a hero is exactly balanced or they purposely do this so that the game remains 'interesting' according to some people...but is all this back and forth bull shit really interesting?

                                                    i think the game has become too big and has too many variables that quite frankly valve and icefrog are just not competent enough to devise a solution...patches and metas shouldn't have gaps of 1-2 months ffs

                                                    if this is what valve needs to do to keep the game 'fresh' then its pretty sad

                                                    -DI- Solar Wings

                                                      Someone said arc has weak stats and that his spells have no impact on team fight. If you ask me...his spells take ganking a single person to the next level and in teamfights he would be a right clicker with his double manta army

                                                      Brock Hall

                                                        I feel like many of the heroes on this list were recently given rather impressive aghs upgrades, only to have those upgrades nerfed to nothing. It sems like Valve got a great idea to improve heroes with aghs, then scrapped the idea in favor of talents. Problem is that the upgrades are still in the game, festering.

                                                        I think @Just Get Out Of My Way is completely wrong that the game is (or needs to be) concentrating on being 'fresh' but I DO think that something can be said to the fact that the game is in need of a little manicuring. Jungle, items, aghs upgrades, two or less button heroes, all need TLC or need to be pruned. It's not as dire as I make it sound as things do come in and out, but it does feel like some things that used to be answers to problems are just unnecessary anymore.

                                                        I HATE NICE PEOPLE!!!

                                                          Why did OP ignore Techies???

                                                          Snith.SteelSeries

                                                            Hahaha, well done!

                                                            Hello I'm Snith, playing my 202143th game on Chen. Even though it's the only hero I play I still suck at it. As a compensation for my lack of skill I am going to buy all support items and gank mid at lvl 2 and fail. Thanks for listening
                                                            Brought to you by SteelSeries™

                                                            Suitaloo

                                                              Techies in CM when OSfrog?

                                                              driNKwatER

                                                                Why Alfredo Ignored In Kiev :'(

                                                                feelsbadman

                                                                Garrus Vakarian

                                                                  hope all russians die as well.

                                                                  ETdAWESOME

                                                                    I just played a support gyro today, so never count him out of the meta

                                                                    eggs I think you should have also given mention to the heroes who were only banned, never picked, or heroes with only one pick to their name, etc. BS is on the same boat as necrophos, only difference being that he was "contested" in Kiev by being banned(which was purely a counter-pick ban agaisnt a Slark)

                                                                    FLÄSHYN

                                                                      No comment for techies? I'd say he's an interesting hero to discuss for high tier.

                                                                      [ε]DTA

                                                                        Didn't deserve it:
                                                                        Shadow Demon - the man is literally one of the least-played heroes in the game. By taking away his biggest strength, they made him even more unviable.
                                                                        AA - Seriously, what can AA do now, that's worth picking him for?
                                                                        Underlord - Was ex-MK. Looked like a promising core, got nerfed into the support position, got further nerfed into irrelevancy. MK is currently at the 2nd stage. Will he follow underlord soon?
                                                                        Totally deserved it:
                                                                        LD and Mirana - they were becoming true cancers at the height of their powers. Too easy to snowball, hard to stop once they get going. I'll concede LD may have had it worse since he was never near Mirana's level of popularity, but an extremely fast, hard-hitting Sniper clone with a built-in root, disjoint, and sieging ability really makes for an unbalanced hero.

                                                                        Brock Hall

                                                                          @[ε]DTA

                                                                          On SD and AA:

                                                                          All of this I agree with. Illusion game was strong during Kiev groupstage as Secret showed, but it was largely forgotten in the playoffs which likely means it's only strong when unexpected. SD was picked up for his strong illusion siege (which basically made anyone into a cancer lancer) but it seems like it's a skill that is hard to balance because of how fundamentally game changing it can be.

                                                                          It's always hard to balance a skill that is contingent on the power of another hero (see DS wall, fatal bonds, or OD ult) so if we see a resurgance on SD it will come in the form of buffs to the rest of his skillset resulting in a better rounded overall package. I would see that as a good thing though, because it's frustrating when a hero is only ever picked for a single skill it has rather than the overall utility of the hero (Tide and AA hold that spot right now, Doom and Treant have in the past).

                                                                          On Mirana:

                                                                          Mirana is such a flexible hero and you can pick her for so many different reasons, which is awesome, but it's overboard because she can be fantastic at multiple things at the same time rather than picking one area and doing well at it (like Nature's). The hero has the potential to have one of, if not the highest agilities in the game but she is played like a caster. If starstorm did physical damage you could bring back the original aghs numbers maybe? She'd feel more powerful and easier to counter.

                                                                          On LD:

                                                                          Totally agree. It was a case of a hero surprising us all with an unorthodox build that didn't match his skills. You could build him like you would Sniper because his skills didn't need any bolstering, making him feel more like two heroes in one (see Mirana, blademail qop, caster ember). He will be back when the map favors split pushers again (which will be when they finally acknowledge shrines are the new cancer).

                                                                          This comment was edited
                                                                          Dragunov

                                                                            how do you ignore techies if you could not pick him in the first place. dumb.

                                                                            Attano

                                                                              I play a lot of chen and I still suck ass too (look at my chen win rate lul). Maybe not enough chen

                                                                              Sherly

                                                                                Ужаснейший перевод!

                                                                                Tennessine(BMC)

                                                                                  Where the hell is Arc Warden on this list?
                                                                                  Are you going to ignore him?
                                                                                  He needs a whole article about his weak stats and how flux and wraith don't do anything in teamfights.
                                                                                  His stats are also terrible and he lost 66% of his 9 games at Kiev.
                                                                                  #RT

                                                                                  Elliticus

                                                                                    I mean if Gyros ult did more than like 10 damage...

                                                                                    Blurrybob

                                                                                      I never thought shadow demon would ever go ignored in pro scene. His saving + mkb piercing skills are game-changing factor but...

                                                                                      (|/) 0_o (|/)

                                                                                        I still do not understand how teams haven't worked out a tactic to incorporate Necro. The hero is beyond broken in any tier right now, with great laning, sustain and snowball potential. Essentially, with the team coordination of a pro team, they can shut down any enemy core early-mid game, as they only need to deal 50-60% damage for the kill and have your offlane necro snowballing into multiple utility items

                                                                                        This comment was edited
                                                                                        slegach

                                                                                          Why so many people cry about Arc Warden in any thread?
                                                                                          It's not a hero, he doesn't have any elegant idea or gameplay behind him, just jumping around midas "bug" usage.
                                                                                          Should be completely reworked not buffed.