Gyrocopter: meta pick since 6.84
Most people who have been following professional Dota for the last 3-4 patches might have noticed a trend going on in current games. We’re talking about Gyrocopter- the hero who has been making top pick rates in the last 3 patches. Other heroes came and went off- probably everyone remembers Leshrac being one of the top bans/picks of meta. However, Leshrac is rarely seen now - he’s been picked or banned 95 times in 6.85, compared to 1191 in 6.84. Gyrocopter, on the other hand, is a consistent favorite in pro games - he’s been either picked or banned in 1081 games in 6.85, and 1386 in 6.84 Let’s talk about the reasons of this popularity.
First - what makes Gyro a good carry? He has no escape mechanism (compared to Queen of Pain, for example); he is not very tanky early on (like most agility carries); his damage output is average and does not snowball early on (shoutout to Shadow Fiend’s Necromastery). It almost seems as if there are far better options for a carry than the Gyro. But what is there that he has to offer?
Picture from deviantart.com
First of all, let’s go through his abilities. His first one - Rocket Barrage, is an instantly casted nuke that affects everyone in 400 range. Essentially, he can fly to a pack of creeps and destroy half of their HP or drop that nuke straight to enemy’s face. 210 HP at level 1 would make most heroes at least retreat, unless they are beefy, or have a good heal/HP regen. Its relatively low mana cost and fast cooldown make it a great spammable nuke early on, as well as later in the game.
Second ability, Homing Missile, is a long-range stun that deals more damage as target runs further away, making it a good setup for the Rocket Barrage. Its damage is moderate, but the stun duration is a decent one (2.2/2.4/2.6/2.8 secs). Often it would make other heroes attack it as well, thus distracting them from something else - an upcoming gank, for example.
The third spell - Flak Cannon, is one of the main means of Gyro’s farm and damage in team fights. Flak Cannon allows him to attack everyone in 1000 range for 3/4/5/6 attacks. Early on, it is a good farming tool - despite having a sizeable cooldown of 30 seconds, its low mana cost and good damage allow for constant spam of it. It can help farming ancient creeps since Flak’s damage is physical. In a teamfight later in the game, when Gyrocopter’s damage increases, it can set the enemy team well below half HP; combine it with Gyro’s ultimate, Call Down, and there you get an opportunity for a teamfight swing.
The ultimate ability of Gyrocopter - Call Down, is a nice initiation tool. First, it damages enemies while slowing them down a bit; the second nuke applies a major slow. This sets up a great beginning of a teamfight - enemies are slowed down and damaged; if they want to avoid it, they’d need to use BKB, and a BKB used for 1 ultimate is a bit of a waste given many other abilities than can prove to be far more deadly. Aghanim’s allows Gyro to initiate from anywhere on the map - he can impact a teamfight without actually being there.
Gyro hurrying to a teamfight. Courtesy of ciscopete24 from deviantart.com
Why can he be a good pick despite changing patches? First, Gyrocopter has not been significantly touched for a while now - a slight nerf on Rocket Barrage and Call Down damage did not discourage players from picking him. He is still capable of inflicting heavy single-target damage at a rapid rate; he has a good lockdown ability, and AoE slow and damage. Most of his damage goes through BKB (due to its physical nature), and is not reduced by his abilities (unlike Drow Ranger’s Aghanim upgrade, or Medusa’s Split Shot). He can farm rapidly, and get his items in due time thanks to Flak Cannon. In addition, he moves faster than many heroes - an amazing 325 ms without any boots can be deadly for many heroes; few can boast movement speed close to that, giving Gyro a good advantage. He is mobile - a feature that current meta really demands of most heroes: if you slow down, you’re, most likely, dead. The cap for the hero is also high - some heroes really cannot go beyond a certain items and damage cap, and this ceiling is really high for Gyrocopter - most popular pro items for him include Eye of Skadi, Black King Bar, Manta Style, Monkey King Bar, Butterly, Satanic, Sange and Yasha, in other words, damage and survivability items (Rapier is a rare case, though).
Some heroes fall off in late game because their damage is mainly magical - aforementioned Leshrac is a good example; a late-game carry who is countered by BKB is not a good example of a reliable carry. Others do not scale into the late game as well - for example, Sniper has been rarely picked, and when he has been chosen, his damage capped at quite a medium range - Maelstrom, MKB, Sange and Yasha-type of items. Finally, some heroes are slow and fragile - “glass cannons”, such as Drow Ranger, do not fit well into the meta of mobile heroes. Gyrocopter, on the other hand, escapes those flaws, making him a viable pick. Even if he struggles in lane early game, he can re-gain his farm and experience later in the jungle, especially if team’s supports stack them. He is very mobile even without boots, and his damage cap is very high. As it was said before, his damage is both physical and magical, so he is not countered by a single item.
By and large, Gyrocopter has been relatively untouched for the last couple of patches; a few minor tweaks here and there were not enough to drive him out of meta. His skills are effective for both single-target nuke and lockdown and AoE damage and lockdown. Gyro is capable of flash-farming, and while he relies a lot on the early to mid game to amass damage and items, a hard time early on does not mean he will become irrelevant in late game. That’s why Gyrocopter has remained in top picks for 2-3 patches as of now. It is very probable that he will remain there now, as well as in the future, for he has a lot of what makes a good carry.
Let’s take a look at one of good Gyrocopter games performed by Dendi:
Pemberton 26 December 2015, 20:51 3949 0