5 Heroes Most Likely To Be Nerfed After The Shanghai Major
29th Feb 2016
Every patch has a meta (a series of soft rules that are followed by the DotA Community due to the strengths/ weaknesses of certain aspects of the game). This meta changes after every Major Tournament hosted by Valve. Icefrog, the God of the DotA World usually makes changes in the heroes so that the overpowered heroes are nerfed and the underpowered heroes are given buffs in order to get them back into competitive contention. Even though 6.86 was released as ‘The Balance Of Power’, it was anything but balanced..! We’re seeing certain heroes being picked a lot because well, they have been given a fair share of the power, and it’s highly likely that they’ll be nerfed in 6.87.
- Death Prophet
- Outworld Devourer
- Lone Druid
Invoker has been getting a steady stream of buffs since 6.84 where his int gain was increased from 2.5 to 3.2 and his invoke did not go on codlin on swapping ability slots. Also Deafening Blast becomes a circular wave in every direction when all Invoker catalysts (Quas, Wex and Exort) are maxed out. In the following patches his int gain further increased to 4 and his Aghanim’s Sceptre added one level to his catalysts and improved all of his spells. Invoker received his final buffs in 6.86 where he starts with lvl 1 Invoke at the beginning of the game and gained a +6 attribute bonus ability at level 25. These buffs lead to him becoming increasingly popular in the pub and the professional play where he became 1st pick/ban material with an extremely high win rate. Although he received nerfs to his base agility and spells (Defeaning Blast no longer disables opponents) in the following 6.86 balance patches, he stills remains a top tier pick and almost broken. It does not make sense to make a hero too overpowered just because he is hard to play and keeping this in mind, Invoker is sure to be pretty high on Icefrog’s nerf list.
Death Prophet was THE hero of TI4. With her exorcism and her deathball capacity, she was one of the lynchpins behind the successes of EG and Vici Gaming during their TI4 runs. However the Deathball meta was not appreciated by Players and fans alike and so, post TI4, Death Prophet was massively nerved. Come 6.86 and 5 heroes were reworked. Death Prophet lost her passive spell Witchcraft (whose benefits she still enjoys bar the movement speed), which was replaced by the spell Spirit Siphon. Players from DotA 1 days may remember the Soul Steal spell possessed by Terror Blade which allowed him to steal life from a single opponent while being able to cast spells and auto attack. However that spell was removed from him as it was deemed to be too strong for the hero. Spirit Siphon is an advanced version of Soul Steal where Death Prophet can steal health from multiple heroes at the same time. Also the amount of health stolen is in percentage of maximum health and the damage type is pure. The cherry on top of the cake is that it also slows down the opponent! The spell needs a nerf ASAP; maybe something on the lines of either making the damage magical or increasing mana cost (currently it’s 55). While Death Prophet does not have that high a win rate, in the hands of the right player, the hero can become an absolute beast, capable of winning games single handedly.
The initial reaction of maybe many on seeing Outworld Devourer’s change was that the hero was a lot weaker due to the change in Astral Imprisonment. However watching pro players like Arteezy and Maybe on the hero, the real strength of the hero was seen. It is not unusual to see the hero being played as a position 1 or 2 and the hero has some amazing snowball potential. After some 7-8 shots on heroes with Arcane Orb and stealing 40+ int, the Sanity’s Eclipse, manages to destroy team fights. Outworld Devourer does not need as severe a nerf as maybe Invoker or Death Prophet, but maybe reducing the amount of int stolen per hit from Arcane Orb will keep the hero strong without removing him out of the meta.
Spectre was always a strong hero in pubs boasting of one of the highest win rate averages in every bracket. However, it was quite rare to see her in professional matches. The fact that it is very necessary for her to have a good laning phase and it takes her too long for her to come online, makes her a very situational pick. If you see the changelog for Spectre, you will notice that the hero hasn’t really received any buffs apart from a slight change to how Dispersion works and that Desolate now works on creeps (which has made farming in the jungle a lot easier). But she has received many indirect buffs due to changes in many of her core items such as Radiance, Manta and Diffusal! These buffs let Spectre fight as soon as she has 1 or 2 items and with another global hero such as Zeus or Nature’s Prophet makes her a threat in all stages of the game. The hero is very viable in pubs and it is always a pleasure seeing skilled players such as Envy, Loda, Arteezy and Cty play the hero to its fullest potential. Definitely a candidate for to be nerfed post the Shanghai Major.
Lone Druid received a new skill called Savage Roar in 6.86. At first glance, the new skill, while strong doesn’t feel enough to make a hero who was completely out of the meta become a 1st pick/ban material. But when you consider the changes to the map, a new neutral camp for the hard lane and a meta which rewards pushing early towers, the pieces of the puzzle come together. Lone Druid is capable of winning most 1 v 1 match ups and occasionally a 1 v 2. In case of a tri-lane, the Lone Druid can easily take the neutral camp near offlane and get something out of the lane. Alliance has been one of the stronger teams of 6.86 and a good reason for it is AdmiralBulldog’s Lone Druid. The Savage Roar has a dual use as it prevents an enemy hero from teleporting out of the battle and also helps LD get out of trouble. The best thing about it is that it works on LD as well as the Spirit Bear! No wonder you see Lone Druid banned out in many professional games!
The reason why these heroes are likely to be nerfed is due to their strengths in the current patch. While they aren’t broken, nerf and buffs to heroes are always welcomed as it prevents the game from stagnating and becoming boring to watch.
Special mentions must be made to Earth Spirit and Batrider as Icefrog just loves nerfing these heroes. It’s a wonder why he would make such heroes and then nerf them into obscurity!
We’ll soon know what IceFrog has in his mind!
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