Analyzing Treant Protector's role in 7.03

For quite a while, Treant Protector Treant Protector was picked as a support, as he was matched only by few when it came to zoning the opponent - natural tankiness and high base damage allowed him to have favorable trades with the opponent, as well as deny the creeps effortlessly before the enemy could even think about last-hitting them. However, with this new meta, we see some interesting changes that brought forth a more aggressive side of Treant Protector- making him a formidable presence in the game.


The Trees are Alive

Aside from the addition of the Talent Tree, the biggest change to Treant Protector was changing his first skill,  Nature’s Guise, into a passive one. Previously taking up to 60-90 mana in older versions, this ability’s change to passive grants Treant Protector invisibility and movement speed bonus among trees early game. This change is a huge boost to Treant Protector’s small mana pool, which he can now use to spam global heal with  Living Armor and pressure enemies with  Leech Seed early game.
Treant Protector’s playstyle has also evolved into a more aggressive one with the ability to Stun on the first attack when breaking invisibility. The attack has True Strike and a 100% chance to bash, which makes it impossible to miss. When positioned strategically with his passive invisibility, Treant Protector can be a formidable ganker with this free bash, which refreshes every 6 seconds (or less). This has resulted in Nature’s Guise being picked as the first skill 73% of the time
Image courtesy of DotaBuff
Aside from adjustments to Nature’s Guise, his other skills were left untouched in the latest meta, with the exception of a small modification to Leech Seed’s slow. Previously, the slow was set at a fixed 28%, but it is now changed to start at 22%, increasing gradually to 28% at level 4. As with the latest 7.03 patch, we see Nature's Guise fade delay rescaled from 6/5/4/3 to 7/6/5/3, and also an increase in the cooldown duration of  Eyes in the Forest to 35 seconds (previously 25 secs).

 Pick Rate vs Win Rate

Image courtesy of DotaBuff
Treant Protector Treant Protector’s talent choices are geared for either a skill-based or an attack-based playstyle. The +30 attack speed and +90 damage at Levels 10 and 20 are great advantages for farming and also for dishing out damage. With Treant Protector’s naturally slow attack speed, +30 attack speed can help him earn gold faster and deal more damage (and stun) to enemies. The +2 mana regen option and the +30 attack speed are almost neck-to-neck when it comes to being picked. Interestingly, while +30 attack speed has a slight advantage with 54.1% pick rate, it has a -3.0% win rate in overall matches. Perhaps mana regen is a more relevant choice for the overall build of this meta’s skill-based Treant Protector?
For the other talents, there are obvious preferences over the other options, though majority preferences in pick rate do not necessarily correlate to the win rate. At Level 20, the 15% Cooldown Reduction (which further emphasizes the skills and mana-dependency of Treant Protector in this new meta) is like a mini  Octarine Core, minus the lifesteal. This pick means that  Leech Seed can be cast every 5.95 seconds and  Overgrowth can be cast every 59.5 seconds. This pick is the only option that actually correlates to the higher win rate in games including Treant Protector.
The opposite is true for the rest of the talent options. At Level 15, though 78.1% of players pick the passive +90 Gold per minute option, thereby giving Treant Protector the ability to buy necessary items for mid-late game, the +25 movement speed on the big tree seems to benefit the whole game better with a +2.1% win rate. The same goes for the final talent option at Level 25.
While -50 seconds respawn time might be the slightly popular choice, buffing Treant Protector’s signature  Living Armor results gives a +5.3% win rate. Perhaps faster movement speed and greater protection for allies and towers is a better option for the team collectively. But depending on your playstyle, you might choose differently. Let us know which talent options you go for when you play this hero, and why. We’d love to hear your strategy.
Picture courtesy of Valve

The Roots and Tendrils of Nature

With the adjustments to rooting mechanism in the new meta, Treant Protector’s ultimate,  Overgrowth, is undoubtedly affected as well. Overgrowth can be cast every 59.5 seconds (with -15% cooldown reduction). This powerful initiation and disarming ability can be enhanced with  Aghanim's Scepter, which unlocks the Eyes In The Forest ability. With a free built-in Observer Ward every 35 seconds, Treant Protector can light the entire map with vision and damage.
However, the adjustment of Eyes In The Forest cooldown from the previous 25 seconds to 35 in v7.03 means an increase in the time required to achieve it.  A Treant Protector with a  Blink Dagger can be a nasty surprise for enemy heroes who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. When timed correctly, Overgrowth can eliminate enemy escape options, thus helping your team secure the kill. For more information on the root mechanics in the new meta, check out our article here.
The bulk of Treant Protector’s advantages in this meta stem from the key change of the passive invisibility cloak and stun ability. Unfortunately, that means that he can also be easily countered with items that expose invisibility. Since the 7.02 update, the shopkeepers now sell  Sentry Wards individually, which is bad news for heroes that rely on invisibility. The dependence on trees for Treant Protector’s skills can also be countered by picking heroes with tree-cutting abilities (such as Timbersaw Timbersaw, Batrider Batrider, Beastmaster Beastmaster etc.) or by purchasing tree-cutting items (such as  Quelling Blade Iron Talon, and  Battle Fury).

Tweaks and Twigs

Image courtesy of DotaBuff
Nevertheless, we are seeing more of Treant Protector Treant Protector in this new meta as his playstyle has become more aggressive. Although he has been removed from Captain’s Mode, we still see his presence in pub matches, more so in higher ranked games than lower ones. It would seem as if Valve would like to tweak and monitor Treant Protector’s performance more before re-introducing him into Captain’s Mode after giving him the passive invisibility with stun. With the minor adjustments made to his skills with the recent patches, we anticipate more to come until the Protector is deemed ready for the big games. 
As a hero with stun, slow, invisibility, global heal, root, armor and vision, let us know what your thoughts are on this hero, and whether the analysis of the Talent Tree statistics changed the way you would build your Treant. Drop us a comment below!
AuthorResvya Date13 March 2017, 15:13 Views24061 Comments0
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