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We know that the DPC is technically not over, but with a potential patch coming some time soon we might not have time for a recap at a later date. This DPC season was full of surprising new developments and today we would like to highlight the most important of them. Friendly reminder: this is based on Division One professional games and your experience in pubs will definitely vary.
An almost 63% winrate across 50+ games make Riki the most successful mainstream support in the professional scene. The concept is simple: take an overpowered Shard for setups, make sure you have a massive uptime on a very annoying teamfight ability through talents and proceed to be a nuisance.
The hero’s Shard is definitely getting nerfed. The way it currently works just leaves very little room for counterplay. As long as the enemy has a good follow-up stun, every hero on the map is potentially threatened.
Lina is definitely worth mentioning in this category, but while in the latter half of the DPC the spotlight was on her, Naga and Terrorblade absolutely dominated the beginning of the tour and are a very good pick right now as well.
It clearly shows in their stats: ~60% winrate across ~40 games is borderline overpowered territory, though we are not entirely sure whether the heroes need some big nerfs. Perhaps they will naturally fall off if more illusion counters get some buffs or if jungle farming gets a slight nerf. Currently Naga and Terrorblade simply farm way too fast for anyone to catch up.
Their DPS is high, their progression is almost unlimited and they also provide their team with some teamfight utility, which is always a nice addition to a carry hero. On top of it, being illusion heroes allows them to play a very annoying brand of macro game that is simply too good in a well-coordinated pro match.
Omniknight is definitely underrated. In a game where most position one carries are either ranged or highly independent, Omniknight can definitely shine. He has multiple strong saves, decent lane pressure and can scale well into the late game.
If anything, the hero forces the enemy to go for Nullifier which isn’t necessarily the best purchase for a lot of heroes. Even then, his ability to burst heal teammates while providing strong dispel against potentially game-breaking combos like the popular Riki + Mirana should not go unnoticed.
The best part is the hero will most likely be left as is. His winrate is incredibly high, but he wasn’t particularly popular in the DPC and neither is he a top priority pick in pubs. With a small “notice me” buff the hero can become the next big thing.
67% winrate across 20 games is a pretty strong result, but we wouldn’t call the hero OP. He is just the product of the current meta: the hero does well against most melee supports and is absolutely fine laning against popular heroes like Lina or Nature’s Prophet.
The usual problem of long cooldowns was also solved by a pretty strong Shard. It is not necessarily the best initiation tool in the game. The cast point is long and the tendrils take a while to form, but it is still a way for Tidehunter to be very useful when Ravage is on cooldown.
Alternatively, Tidehunter can go for auras from Pipe of Insight and [item-guardian-greaves], making him a very tough to deal with frontliner that also makes his team significantly more survivable.
Sixty eight games with a sub-40% winrate is not a good statistics. We can’t really blame players for wanting to play Hoodwink or picking her that much: it is a hero with a good stun, good burst damage, potentially high survivability and even a break built-in.
The problem is, she leaves a lot of room for counterplay. Cutting down trees while Bushwack is midair might look like black magic for most players, but for Division One pros it is almost instinct. Even if it does connect, there is almost always someone nearby to cut the tree, and the stun duration short.
The end result is a very unreliable hero. She requires precision and good positioning to be effective, but even if played well, there are still ways for the enemy to respond.
Why are we not surprised? Almost 50 games and a sub-35% winrate on a hero we dubbed “the Pudge of the pro-scene”. Since then Pudge actually became a respectable hero for high level play, while Mars is still Mars. Can he technically do a lot? Sure. Does he ever live up to expectations? Not for the last couple of big patches.
The hero was nerfed a lot and there were good reasons for that. He used to be a good DPS Offlaner, had some fun gimmicks with the ability to lifesteal while hard disabled, was oppressive in lane and just generally nice to play.
The problem is, the hero is currently at the bottom of the bottom tier in terms of effectiveness: even in a patch where he is technically a good counter or a good protector for a lot of ranged glass cannon heroes like Lina, SF, Sniper and Drow Ranger, Mars still fails to deliver.
He even has good synergy with Riki: a good Sleeping Dart into a guaranteed Spearback can leave a target isolated and very much out of position. But even the best support in the pro-scene can’t make up for how unplayable Mars currently is. Hopefully the hero will get ignored for a while: he desperately needs buffs, but because of his constant high popularity they just never come.
What are your thoughts on the first Tour and its Meta? Do you agree with our hero assessment or would someone like to try and defend a sub-35% winrate hero in the comment section once again?