On several occasions in our previous blog posts we have highlighted that the support meta in the game is a little bit stale. Today, instead of adding to an already long and repetitive list of complaints about the absence of the new big patch, we will instead try to offer a solution to the problem—Elder Titan.
Elder Titan has been slowly getting momentum in the higher-skilled brackets, with an above 50% win rate in all brackets and, most notably, an almost 53% win rate in 5k+ games. His very low pick % means he is either a very situational hero, or does require a lot of skill to be played well and to a certain extent both of these thing are true. However it shouldn’t dissuade players from picking him in their games and he can be sometimes squeezed in if you have second pick during the drafting stage in All Pick.
Over the years, the general consensus on the hero was that he is only really good in games against high-agility cores. He was frequently used as a counter against heroes like Morphling and this aspect of the hero remains as relevant as ever: it is still absolutely possible to punish heroes with high base armor who don’t usually want to build defensive items with bonus armor.
That said, the way the hero is currently played doesn’t revolve around Natural Order, but rather around Astral Spirit and maxed out Echo Stomp. The latter is generally maxed out first to provide the maximum amount of damage and control.
This build isn’t exactly as punishment against high-agility heroes and neither is it as strong in lane as the max-Astral Spirit one popular roughly half-a-year ago, but it is absolutely godly in early teamfights and is also very relevant when it comes to early ganking and rotations.
Echo Stomp is an incredibly clunky spell—it has a long wind-up, heavily telegraphed animations and is generally quite easy to dodge with any mobility spell. At the same time, the effect of a landed Echo Stomp is very punishing.
The big game-changer came in patch 7.07 and was probably overlooked by the majority of the community. Elder Titan never was a popular hero and not even all professional teams and players caught on how powerful the ability has become.
7.07 added a Wake Up Damage Threshold of 50/100/150/200 depending on the level of the ability. So instead of waking up on first touch of any AoE or any auto-attack, it is actually much easier to use Echo Stomp as a setup now.
It does two thing: it ensures that even in chaotic teamfight in poorly coordinated pub games the players will generally have enough time to understand that the target is slept. It also makes Echo Stomp more or less a full-blown stun with impressive damage in the early game, since 100-200 damage is pretty massive and the ability counts damage after all reductions. It is still important to understand exactly how much damage you can deal to a target before it wakes up and when to start applying it, but the ease of execution and the potential effects from the ability have been drastically improved.
Elder Titan is firmly an offlane hero. While he can be played as a core in this lane, it is generally ill-advised since there are simply too many heroes in the pool who are a better fit for a core position. As a support, Elder Titan offers a very good body with 740 starting HP and 2 armor, as well as some very strong punches, courtesy of decent starting damage as well as Astra Spirit buffs.
This added damage allows the hero to do two very important things incredibly well—if he ever gets in range of the enemy his harassment can be devastating, while when facing ranged heroes who stay far back, he will have little trouble denying most of the creeps in lane, since he out-damages most carries in the early levels by a huge margin.
This alone makes for an already decent hero, but Elder Titan, despite all his clunkiness, also offers a lot of kill potential in lane. If there is a reliable stun or a decent slow, he can easily land his combo for either full damage, standing close to the target, or for magical damage only, with Astral Spirit. In either case, as long as he wasn’t too far away and as long as his teammate understands the game, he will have enough time to find a close position to the target and start laying in damage.
Do try to position yourself in such a way, that the escape path of the target goes through you, since it will often give you an opportunity for an extra punch and potentially a kill. Echo Stomp with Astral Spirit will already deal a considerable amount of damage, but the added benefit of getting “free” hits through sleep makes for some very unfavorable trading for the opponent.
The full combo of these two spells will generally cost 180-190 mana, meaning that a single mango is generally enough to have it available. Starting mana is enough to perform the combo twice, so it is a high-commitment spell usage, so be vary of that.
Elder Titan is also a very decent roamer in the early levels, as long as his cores can enable him. Slows and stuns in lane go a long way and Echo Stomp is a very powerful follow-up past level 2 of the ability.
Roaming in general isn’t in a good place right now, but you absolutely have to contest the bounty runes every five minutes. Not only is Elder Titan great at controlling his offlane runes, courtesy of highground the enemy has to climb, he can also use this time as an opportunity to make action happen in other lanes.
Moreover, unlike many supports, his range on Astra Spirit can allow him to stay completely out of sight for the follow-up, catching the enemy off-guard. Using Smoke of Deceit can also be worth it, as long as you are absolutely sure that your team will get the kill or you will force some heavy rotations. And while the combo is high-commitment in terms of mana cost, it isn’t in terms of positioning—you can always back out if you see the enemy rotating in or if the kill gets too risky.
Elder Titan isn’t a meta staple and we are not suggesting he is quite on the same level as heroes like Earthshaker or Silencer. But there is a place for the hero in the current meta and sometimes you don’t really need a meta reason to play a hero.
7.20 isn’t going to come out a couple of weeks before the first Major tournament starts, so it is still some ways off. As a support the game might have gotten stale for you and we hope Elder Titan might become a solution, at least for some time. He might look clunky from the outside, but he is both very satisfying in terms of gameplay and very effective at actually winning the games.