A week has passed since the introduction of 7.14—probably the last balance patch of this magnitude before the International 2018. By reworking several items and fine-tuning the balance of the game, Valve balance team managed to significantly improve the state of both competitive and pub metas.
Looking at EPICENTER XL stats, there are only two heroes currently in the game that look “problematic” and even they don’t appear in every single game as was the case in the previous couple of patches with Tiny and Gyrocopter. Moreover, only 8 heroes remained ignored and the tournament’s playoffs haven’t even started.
These changes directly translate into pubs as well. With competitive meta opening up, so does the pub one and there is a higher diversity in high MMR games. There are also notable changes in the ways some heroes are played in 7.14.
One of the biggest changes of the patch were reworked Maelstrom and MKB, which both lost a decent amount of attack speed, but gained significantly in terms of damage output. This resulted in these items finding new niches in the game.
Maelstrom is currently seeing a lot more play on a wide variety of ranged cores, but most notably Gyrocopter and Windranger. There is a definite shift in the way the former is build in the current meta: instead of the typical Boots, Drums, Yasha, BKB, the new Gyrocopter prefers going for an early Aghanim’s Scepter into Maelstrom.
This new build works wonders for the hero that is often played not as a typical farming hard-carry, but a tempo core, who can pressure the enemy team either creating space for the second carry or gaining a massive map control advantage. The stats Aghanim’s provides are often considered poor for the asking price, but with the increases in price for both Yasha and Sange, coupled with a rather powerful and underrated side gunner it is beginning to become a staple item on Gyrocopter.
We’ve seen the beginning of this trend a couple of patches ago already, but the new Maelstrom sealed the deal: it gives a lot of raw damage for the hero and it works really well with fixed attack time of the side gunner and limited charges of Flak Cannon. It is also a decent farm acceleration tool, that doesn’t require Gyrocopter to use Flak on regular creeps, allowing him to save a long cooldown for actual teamfights.
Increased damage from lightning proc from Maelstrom is also worth mentioning: 170 magical damage is a big deal when dealing with enemy agility carries who have tons of armor, but generally lack the HP pool. Moreover, it is often a necessity against illusion heroes, who are quite popular in the meta.
This and the accuracy bonus that often comes into play against Radiance, Solar Crest and several heroes with built-in evasion or blind make Maelstrom a very good starting item that combines farming and teamfight in a very efficient package.
Windranger is one of the best heroes in the game to utilize effects with a chance to proc: with her massive attack speed from Focus Fire the multiple procs are almost guaranteed, significantly increasing the hero’s DPS or utility.
Maelstrom rework coupled with direct buffs for the hero made Windranger a viable hero once again, and it is clear from her presence in the competitive scene and her win rate in pub games:
Extra damage on an already powerful nuke as well as additional 50 attack speed on Focus Fire were a big deal and Windranger is currently quite successful in high level pubs and can boast a 75% win rate in EPICENTER XL, albeit across a very small sample size of 4 games.
The last hero who was highly impacted by the Maelstrom change was Pangolier. Pangolier works wonders with a simple Javelin and many professional players often get at least one of them early on to maximize the effectiveness of Swashbuckle and have a bigger teamfight presence.
Previously, the natural progression for this item was the Skull Basher. With Swashbuckle hitting a single target, a stun on it was almost guaranteed, giving the hero more utility and crowd control. Since Basher no longer requires a Javelin and Javelin is still one of the most cost efficient DPS items Pangolier, the new go to progression is Maelstrom.
Given enough targets, two procs of lightning from a single Swashbuckle are almost guaranteed: it hits four times with a 0.1 second interval, while Maelstrom cooldown is 0.2 seconds. That means that bursting into several enemies adds 340 magic damage on up to five targets from a single use of Swashbuckle: this kind of damage is really hard to ignore, especially when armor, rather than HP pool, is the main form of protection on the enemy.
Outworld Devourer and Terrorblade were the biggest pub losers of the patch, losing 7.11% and 5.97% win rate respectively. Both heroes received massive all around nerfs in 7.14, but the extent was not clear until after we had the data for the last week of pub matches.
The Arcane Orb now requiring more mana per hit means it deals less damage, since the damage is calculated on hitting the target. It also means the hero lost a decent amount of flexibility when it comes to his skill build: it is hard to afford continuous use of Arcane Orb without maxing out Essence Aura first and that makes the early game of the hero much weaker.
Terrorblade lost half of his starting regeneration, making him a much weaker laner and decreasing his sustain during periods of jungle farming. On top of it, reduced range and effectiveness of Sunder means he can no longer be as much of a threat in the early fights and since the hero was primarily played as a pushing and decently active core, it bit into his power level substantially.
There is a potential solution to it: concentrating on farming early will still allow Terrorblade to achieve his previous power levels later in the game, but in the current fast-paced meta it might be out of the question.
Windranger, Alchemist, Arc Warden and Broodmother all gained more than 3% win rate in the 7.13-7.14 transition. The first three heroes received substantial buffs making them stronger overall, but Broodmother is definitely a special case.
Mane assumed that the spireling and spiderite rework will result in the hero getting weaker, rather than stronger: they have 0 armor, making them a lot more susceptible to AoE physical nukes. They also deal less damage, potentially making them less of a threat.
At the same time the overall amount of spiders Broodmother can have increased: her spider-spawning nuke had its manacost and cooldown reduced, allowing for a bigger army that gains new followers faster. Overall it means that while reacting to Broodmother became easier, not reacting to her is a lot more punishing in terms of map control and Broodmother farm acceleration.
7.14 was a massive step in the right direction. Dota has always been and should be balanced around the highest levels of play and the progress in this regard is clear: EPICENTER XL is the most diverse tournament of the past several months, while win rate spread in high level pubs has tightened.
As passionate Dota players ourselves we are often concerned about the state of the meta, but this patch definitely instills confidence in a diverse and exciting future tournaments and the International 2018.
My second first
"Mane assumed that the spireling and spiderite rework"
Typo on spiderling :)
yeah patch really hit the right spot
we see alot of new heroes in EPICENTER which is really great.
but for the love of frog... please buff sven more
No mention of wisp change and the uproar it is causing among the teeny tiny group of players that play wisp. This topic could become a blogpost all on its own if you want to dive deeper into it. I hope you consider it. I know wisp isn't popular among players but a blogpost sure could help him come into the limelight. also now that he is a lot less complex (& weaker i would argue) learning him is a lot easier
the worst nerf on tb was reflection being dispellable.
can no longer counter am and pl.
nice buff on sven so big change helped hero so much.
only thing that can help is : warcry gives more movespeed or status resistance
Sven does not need a buff. He is already good. He almost has a 50% winrate. Any buff on Sven would probably make Sven overpowered.
why many people considered wisp nerfed this patch?
I find IO a lot easier to play in patch 7.14, unlimited tether, tether same movespeed (means IO can skip boots), spirit slows enemies, 25% exp talent at lvl 10, and str rework.
Before this patch I find IO very hard to play since u have to manage tether duration, and position yourself because your tethered target a lot faster than you, spirit has 2 more buttons, lvl 15 talent is hard to reach (agha talent is one of my reason trying IO back then),
Now, with just 3 base dmg reduction and slightly lower heal of lvl 1 tether, and lower speed boost, IO got so many buffs.
people complain about io being easier to play but having less potential on spirits, since now you cant controle them as freely as you could. personally i think io is about supporting the core and most of its insane plays all com from relocates and good survivability from io, not amazing balls controls
This redactor is worst db have,there is so much happening about wisp and not even mentioned,Kawaisucks as usual.
I don't think IO is nerfed it's buffed really spirits being able to slow is a huge buff vs it's control with only a few could use not to mention spirits was the most useless ability of the hero before being changed really
Worst patch ever.
Nothing about Tiny 37% win rate since 7.14?
Reivax, Lmao, now that u mention it, i checked and found out indeed tiny have 37% winrate.
He is nerfed to the point where 1 cleave hero a lot better than him.
I mean, changed splash from 100% to 30/40/50/60 %? early potential already annihilated, even more lategame.
if the nerf was 40/60/80/100, it is understandable since, it means tiny player need to max out tree grab first. Now, he is a lot worse than sven, who have a default 66% cleave permanently when maxed.
balanced clinkz and visage
Tiny is a very sensitive hero (much like pugna during the older days). Too much nerf and now he is ~37% winrate. Too much buff he is ~52% winrate. Tiny is one of my first hero during dota allstar where his 3rd ability still tree grab And then to craggy ext. And back again to tree grab in this patch but he seriously need some buff (or at least buff his core item)
Does anybody edit these? There are always errors, but this article was especially bad. "Mane assumed that the spireling and spiderite rework," ffs there are two in this one sentence fragment alone. There were others as well. I still love what this site offers as a whole, but the pretty egregious errors by the writers of the articles is kind of frustrating. Idk, maybe I'm just a grammar-nazi and it doesn't bother anybody else, but still...get your s*** together before you publish.
You should really mention the atrocity that is the Io rework. They should not be running heroes for the sake of making them accessible. There should be heroes like Io who are challenging and hard to master. Otherwise, what is there to play for?
i have no doubt writers of site hate spectre , they don't even mention she is 57.38% winrate in +5k bracket , she Rocks these days ..
Upvoting the last comment ^^ - Spectre is always teetering amongst the top winrate heroes of DotA, but especially as of late has she seemed to dominate pubs. One of the few carries I'm decent at, I'm glad to see her regain momentum. A more interesting winrate to observe is that of Vengeful Spirit's - in the lower mmr bracket she sits at the highest winrate while falling into 35th at higher mmrs. This always brings a smile to me to be reminded of what a unique game DotA is. There are no "good" heroes, no "bad" ones, only players who make up a community offering their own abilities. Icefrog doesn't make the meta. We do, and that's something I don't take for granted. If you take a look at LoL's champion winrates, you'll see little difference among mmrs.
Speaking of winrates,
Currently the Enchanted Mango has a 31.60% win rate. This is unacceptable. It is our duty as fellow gamers of the DotA 2 community to put this item in the position of power it deserves. It has been there for us when we needed mana for reincarnation, when we had that clutch nyx stun saving our teammate's life, and when we accidentally used it in fountain before the runes even spawned. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Spectre always rocks and sits over 55% wr as long as I remember playing Dota (more then 4 years), the hero design itself is strong in pubs and she has almost no weakness. I have 66% wr and 130 games with her. She is realiable and practically autowin hero if you manage to farm radiance and your team isn't losing too hard. She can get early kills, her build is versatile, she damages a lot in teamfight and she is almost impossible to kill in late game. After talent system she became even more stronger with these buffs.
@tfw no gallavich ❤ they mention spectre in the review of 7.14 now you dont really need the radiance and you can be more active with just stats and manta is cheaper now