The newest patch in Dota 2 brought some notable changes to the current meta. Even though we expected patch 7.31d to include a couple of minor changes, the patch had a massive impact on the current meta and some heroes.
Interestingly, we often see heroes like Zeus in the mid-lane and even Pudge in the safe lane. Most pro teams are slowly adapting to the changes, so we expect to see even more interesting things in the future.
Besides the new heroes and combos, the latest Dota 2 patch affected some previous go-to options. For better or worse, some of the heroes we were used to are not as strong as before. Some of them are not a part of the meta at all, whereas others only get to shine in specific scenarios.
We know that many people who play ranked Dota 2 games always check the heroes picked by the best players and try to use them in their own games. That’s why this article will share more information about some heroes you should probably avoid in the current patch.
Unsurprisingly, the first name on the list is Storm Spirit. Everyone who watched Tour 2 of the DPC and the ESL One Stockholm 2022 knows that Storm Spirit was the mid-lane hero every team wanted. Instead of getting expensive items, the top-tier players like Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov stacked Null Talismans. It seems like this was enough for Storm Spirit to have enough mana and mana regen to deal tons of damage.
Aside from the fact that the hero did not need that much farm to be effective, it is also one of the best snowballers in the game. Once the hero gains some momentum, he can easily rip through his enemies.
Even though patch 7.31d did not introduce any significant changes to Storm Spirit, it nerfed his core items. Null Talisman does not provide a 4% mana reduction anymore. Instead, the item gives +3% Max Mana and mana regen of 0.75 per second. Even though this doesn’t seem that bad on paper, it had a negative effect on SS because the hero has the worst win rate, according to DotaBuff.
The second place on the list is for another mid-laner that professional teams and casual players have used for many years. Ember Spirit has always been one of the dominant cores in Dota 2. His insane damage and high mobility make him a fantastic option for every stage of the game.
Sadly, his current win rate is among the lowest in Dota 2 because Ember only wins in 44% of the games. Some of you may be surprised by the stats because the hero did not receive that many nerf. In fact, the newest patch only reduced his Sleight of Fist cast range to 650 from 700. Moreover, the hero now has one extra-base strength, making him even tankier.
Ember Spirit is one of the heroes that always find a way into a given meta, even if he is not that strong. Therefore, we expect many of the pro teams to continue to use him in the future.
While we are on the topic of meta heroes, we have to include none other than Mars. Since his hero became available in Captains Mode, he became the most popular off-laner in Dota 2. Pretty much every big name in the world uses him, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he became one of the most picked heroes in the game.
Aside from being one of the tankiers heroes in the game, Mars is a fantastic off-laner because of his damage output. He can easily do more damage than most carries and mid-laners, especially in the hands of players like Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf. On top of that. Mars has a stun and an ultimate that almost always guarantees at least one kill.
It seems like Valve decided that Mars is too strong because the latest patch added 2 nerfs. The first one is to his base damage, which is now reduced by 3. Furthermore, Spear of Mars now stuns for 2.6 seconds on level 4, instead of 2.8.
Although these changes don’t seem that drastic, they impacted the hero’s win rating. Having said that, we think Mars will continue to play an irreplaceable role for many teams because he is just too good.
Once one of the go-to off-laners, Pangolier became among the best mid-laners in Dota 2. Although he was not as popular as Storm Spirit, some of the best teams in Europe, such as OG, used him regularly.
Pango provides a solid damage output, insane mobility, and the ability to disrupt the enemy’s lineup. He is solid in a 1v1 scenario and can easily do more damage than most heroes with just a few items. Those things made him a popular pick for those who knew how to utilize his potential.
Even though he will probably continue to be an important option for many pro players, his win rate in the last couple of weeks is not as impressive as you might think. One of the reasons is patch 7.31d because it nerfed his Shield Crash. This ability’s cooldown has been increased from 10 to 12 seconds on level 4. On top of that, Pango’s Roll Up now lasts for 2.75s instead of 4s, which is a substantial nerf.
Even though AM did not receive any buffs or nerfs in the last patch, the hero is not as good as he once was. There are cases where pro teams and casual players pick him because he is a late-game monster. However, the hero is not that strong in the early and mid-game, which is where most of the action takes place.
Instead of getting AM, most people prefer to pick some other pos1 cores. For example, some of the best teams often get heroes like Terroblade or Juggernaut. Both of them also require a lot of farm, but they are much stronger early on and can help their team push towers.