Most Drafted Heroes of 6.86
Almost a month into the new patch as well as in the middle of the Shanghai Major Open Qualifiers, it is time to dig into the numbers and see what has changed since 6.86 was introduced.
First off, take a look at the most drafted heroes of 6.85. The high numbers below the hero icons suggest that the patch was indeed becoming pale and repetitive. The meta-game was well established and the best heroes were played game-in game-out.
Everyone welcomed the changes that were brought in with 6.86, with the competitive scene getting three new heroes as well as a five new reworked characters ( Riki is not yet in Captains Mode). It was to be expected that some popular picks would still remain in contention no matter how badly they got nerfed with 6.86. Examples as such include the likes of Tusk and Dazzle who still remain important parts of the current meta, although they got nerfed multiple times in the last month. Invoker is the hero that skyrocketed into the number one position in the past weeks. Arguably the best hero of the current meta, he still requires tremendous skill to play.
Nonetheless, when we are talking about meta-game in 6.86, we are not thinking about something specific. Fortunately the game is in a position where everything is possible and players are trying to make everything viable. Dota 2 is still in a state of transition, perfectly summarized by the two images above. The pick/ban numbers are not as high in the case of 6.86 as it was at 6.85, signaling that the professionals are still trying to figure out how the game should be played. This is another point in favor of Invoker being so popular. The hero offers solutions in multiple line-ups, as it can be played as a carry, a mid-laner or even a support. It also offers different kinds of builds from hard pusher Exort Invoker to teamfighting Quas-Wex Invoker. It again became common to see heavy pushing line-ups with Chen, Terrorblade or or carry Vengeful Spirit. These types of games further underline the fact that Dota is a game of endless possibilities.
Gyrocopter again proves how useful he can be. As the hero offers a wide range of AoE spells that can be deployed in many situations, he perfectly fits the current meta of uncertainty and constant improvisation.
Earth Spirit and Oracle can also be considered high achievers so far. The former was seen as the most broken hero of Dota for a long time and thus it required many months to be enabled in CM. Even then people thought that he would be an instant pick or ban in every game. However, Valve managed to change the hero in a way that it still remains viable, but not overpowered. Oracle was not part of the classic DotA repertoire when the game was moved to Dota 2, meaning that nobody knew how the hero worked. He himself is a versatile hero, which is in need in the current state of the game.
Talking about the ups and downs of the current patch, Winter Wyvern has to be mentioned along with Doom. The latter was heavily altered with the update, so it is natural to see him lose popularity. Winter Wyvern was not part of CM for a week or so after it got rebalanced. However, it still isn’t as common as it was in 6.85.
High win-rate does not necessarily mean insta-pick. Only one hero is among the top picks out of the ten with the highest win rates. This is due to the fact that the majority of the most successful heroes are situational and are picked as an element of surprise. Both Chen and Terrorblade are pushing heroes, a classic meta that is seeing more and more popularity. Nature's Prophet can be added to the previous list, having the best split-pushing abilities of the game. Chen was greatly buffed both directly and indirectly by the Neutral Creep changes. This change also benefitted Enchantress. Faceless Void is the hero everyone wants to see in competitive after the changes to its spells. His win rate is talking for itself, and it’s a matter of time until Void becomes more popular. Kunkka also got buffs with the latest patch, while Bounty Hunter remains the Hand of Midas of every teamfighting line-up.
All in all, it can be said that Dota 2 is flourishing at the moment. It might not be the most pleasant time for professionals and tacticians, but it is certainly the most entertaining for the crowds. The current meta can be described as varied and thrilling and it might just be like this until the Shanghai Major.
Statistics from: datdota.com