Early trends of v7.05

 
With the 7.05 patch being live for a couple of weeks now, it is time to look at the first wave of trends that result from the recent changes. Here is an overview of the early winners and losers from 7.05.
 

Losing ground

 
While it often takes quite a while for the winners of a patch to start showing, the losers can typically be spotted right away. This is also the case in the current patch. While Alchemist Alchemist has suffered the biggest loss in overall win rate with a loss of 3.76%, he still remains at a decent 48.69% win rate in the 5K+ bracket. Despite the nerfs to Acid Spray Acid Spray and especially Chemical Rage Chemical Rage, which now has a considerable downtime in the late game, the hero still remains viable in the right scenario. With that, he returns to the niche role he probably belongs in, rather than being a multi-tool capable of taking on pretty much every matchup in the mid lane. 
 
Alchemist's win rate over the last 30 days, image courtesy of Dotabuff
 
Meanwhile, Magnus Magnus and Juggernaut Juggernaut have taken a strong hit to their success across the board, especially Magnus, who was one of the most dominant heroes in 7.03 and 7.04 in high level pubs. However, the recent changes have brought his overall win rate down by 2.42%. Despite still being highly popular at 5K MMR and higher, he only manages to win 48.63% in that bracket.
 
Magnus has been the subject of quite significant nerfs for two patches in a row. While 7.04 increased his base attack time from 1.7 to 1.8 and pushed the cooldown of Reverse Polarity Reverse Polarity to 120 seconds at every level, 7.05 nerfed Empower Empower by increasing its mana cost and reducing the level 20 talent. All of these changes have targeted the popular right-click build revolving around  Echo Sabre. With these nerfs, the physical damage output that Magnus can provide after using Reverse Polarity is significantly lessened. While the Empower changes decrease the amount of cleave damage, the increased base attack time can mean one less hit into an RP, which becomes a huge factor late in the game. 
 
While the direct change log of Juggernaut does not look too bad at first glance, he has been experiencing a very significant downward trend in both win and pick rate. While his decline in popularity can be explained with the arcana hype dying down, his 1.33% drop in win rate is worthy of a closer look. After 7.03 increased the gold bounty on Healing Ward Healing Ward and introduced an experience bounty of 75, 7.05 nerfed Juggernaut’s movement speed from 305 to 300. 
 
Juggernaut's win rate trend over the last 30 days, Image courtesy of Dotabuff
 
Mobility has always been a critical issue for the hero. All of his ever changing builds have included movement speed items, ranging from  Mask of Madness to Sange and Yasha or  Manta Style. Being mobile enough to capitalize on his high damage output is one of the few concerns for this rather well-rounded hero, making a movement speed nerf a considerable loss. Besides that, Juggernaut also suffers from the nerfs to Empower, since he was one of the most common sidekicks to Magnus.
 

Tranquility fading

 
Amongst item changes in 7.05,  Tranquil Boots experienced some of the most severe changes. With the changed buildup came changed mechanics, which affected the way the item is utilized. While the extra movement speed at the cost of losing the armor bonus benefits slow supports such as Crystal Maiden Crystal Maiden and Shadow Shaman Shadow Shaman, it has been a nerf to low armor strength heroes. 
 
Therefore, heroes such as Axe Axe, Centaur Warrunner Centaur Warrunner and Slardar Slardar have all experienced a decline in win rate. It is likely that we will see changes in the way these heroes are itemized in the near future. Especially Axe could see a shift towards  Power Treads, considering he can opt for 75 extra damage with his level 15 talent. With that, the attack speed and stats of Treads can be intriguing enough to leave the now armor-less Tranquils aside.
 

Pushing their way into the meta?

 
As mentioned earlier, it is hard to make out clear winners this early into a patch. The heroes that define the meta tend to only emerge once the patch has settled a bit. The first professional tournaments played on the respective patch typically set the trends that pub players then adopt. Therefore, what we see so far is probably not what we will get in the long run. Still, a bunch of heroes have seen a significant upswing in their pub success since 7.05 went live. 
 
Win and pick rate trends over the last 30 days, Image courtesy of Dotabuff
 
Headlining these heroes are two characters who rely heavily on pushing. Both Death Prophet Death Prophet and Lycan Lycan haven’t really been part of the competitive scene for quite awhile, with the latter temporarily being out of captain’s mode due to his rework. While not making much of a splash in the competitive scene since his re-introduction into captain’s mode in 7.02, Lycan has slowly and quietly emerged as one of the most successful heroes in pubs. Over the last month, he has recorded a massive increase in overall win rate, while posting the third highest win rate in the 5K+ MMR bracket at 55.89%.
 
Besides receiving several buffs over the last couple of patches, Lycan is also heavily profiting from the changes to tower armor mechanics. With towers now gaining armor for every additional enemy hero in the area, split pushing heroes now have a much easier time bringing down buildings compared to five man brute force pushes. Adding to that are the several recent buffs to  Necronomicon, which enable Lycan to melt down towers even quicker.
 
The story of Death Prophet Death Prophet is a bit different. The hero has always been a big hit or miss, going back and forth between being the backbone of the meta and being hardly relevant. In recent patches, the latter has been the case. However, the fact that she has been so consequently ignored by pub and pro players alike might be the cornerstone for another Death Prophet meta to come upon us. She has received a number of buffs, most of which affect Exorcism Exorcism. Since the meta of 7.xx hasn’t really allowed the effective use of long cooldown ultimates, these buffs haven’t yet produced any results. 
 
7.05 could be the patch where this starts to change. The pub meta has already started to shift slightly away from the highly aggressive, early fighting style. With that, Death Prophet has experienced a 2.52% higher win rate over the last month. Even though she still only sits at 46.26% overall, that might just be the start. If pushing becomes the name of the game again, Death Prophet will surely become a staple once more. Considering that other pushing heroes such as Broodmother Broodmother and Natures Prophet Nature's Prophet have also received considerable buffs, this scenario is fairly likely.    
 

Different skill level, different heroes

 
When looking at overall trends in pub winrate, one has to keep in mind that some heroes that seem to be trending might never make it to the big stage. Success in pub games can simply be created by exploiting lack of organization or skill in lower skill brackets. While Bristleback Bristleback is one of the big winners of 7.05 in terms of pub win rate, it is not very likely that we will see him shining in the upcoming professional tournaments. 
 
Still, there is a beacon of hope for heroes like Bristleback and Zeus, who both have increased win rates but have yet to find their way into pro games. The competitive scene is very creative when it comes to creating niches for heroes that otherwise struggle to find success. After all, most Dota trends travel from the pro scene into pubs and not the other way round. Therefore, the upcoming events such as Starladder and the Kiev Major will make the true winners of 7.05 more clear.
AuthorKardinalR Date23 April 2017, 13:21 Views13168 Comments0
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