Dark Seer is fast becoming one of the most picked and most successful offlane heroes in this Dota 2 patch. His ability to shove lanes to pressure enemy carries and secure towers with Ion Shell, combined with his team fight-turning Vacuum and Wall combination is proving lethal right now.
The beefy melee core fared well at the Bali Major with a 57 percent win rate in 26 picks according to Liquipedia. He’s also been used to the same effect in high-level ranked matches above 7,000 MMR based on numbers from Dota 2 Pro Tracker. As a result, his overall win rate has passed 54 percent—the sixth-highest of any hero this week, according to Dotabuff.
It’s much higher than his lukewarm 50.6 percent win rate in the previous patch, and while his kit can pack quite a punch, he’s still a relatively unpopular hero seeing action in just over four percent of matches this week. So, what’s changed?
The obvious answer is he’s become a Universal hero, meaning he no longer has a primary attribute and instead gains 0.7 attack damage for every point of agility, intelligence, and strength he earns. Surge’s cooldown was slightly increased in April’s 7.33b update and his base attack damage was reduced a month later, but it’s done little to stop him from becoming a powerhouse.
A Magic Wand into Arcane Boots is his standard start, with some players opting into a Blink Dagger. However, thanks to the strength of Vanguard and buffs to aura items like Guardian Graves, Pipe of Insight, and Crimson Guard, most are leaving the Blink for later and returning to it after building up some armor and health. An Aghanim’s Scepter is normally saved for the late game, but Octarine Core, Lotus Orb, and Scythe of Vyse aren’t beyond question depending on the enemy team’s draft.
Dark Seer’s playstyle in the laning phase remains the same as always—being a nuisance by shoving one wave after another and making life miserable for the enemy core and hard support. Once things progress into the mid and late game, he becomes a jack of all trades who can initiate, tank, chase down enemies, cancel teleports, and even save allies when needed.
If you’re someone who used to play him a lot in the past, or a new player looking for a simple, strong, and highly-effective hero to try, Dark Seer is your huckleberry right now. He’s even a soft counter to Medusa, who reigns supreme even after numerous nerfs to her kit.