Just over a week ago Valve released the newest patch in Dota 2. Despite the fact that it did not include any major changes, there were many buffs and nerfs. After the end of the Stockholm Major qualifiers, let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers of the new patch.
In order to determine a certain hero as a “winner”, he/she should have received a buff, as well as an increase to both the pick rate and win rate. For the purpose of this article, we will use DotaBuff’s and the DreamLeague Season 11 Qualifiers statistics.
Ursa Warrior, a.k.a Fuzzy Wuzzy got buffed and nerfed at the same time. Even though Fury Swipes damage has been reduced on level 1, 2 and 3, the hero got a huge +15 movement speed bonus. Ursa was a fast hero even before that but now he can easily run down the enemy in the earliest levels.
Roshan’s Nightmare also has one of the highest win ratings of any hero - nearly 59%. Despite that, the hero didn’t see the light of day that much and was only picked 12 times in the DreamLeague Season 11 Qualifiers.
Lifestealer has been a hero that was always kinda left behind in the meta. The slow farm is probably one of the main reasons why Naix hasn’t been the “go-to” carry in most games. However, he currently has one of the highest win ratings. Lifestealer was picked in over 50 games and has around 51% win rating, which makes him one of the most successful carries.
Besides getting an additional two armour, similar to Ursa, Naix got a +15 movement speed increase. The only real nerf is a -5 movement speed bonus reduction from his level 15 talent but considering all the other buffs, it’s negligible. No wonder his pick rating has skyrocketed in the last week by +5,50%
Arc Warden has been one of the strongest mid-laners, ever since he was introduced to the game. His spells allow him to completely dominate in most 1v1 match-ups, forcing the enemy supports to constantly help their mid laner.
In patch 7.21, Zet received three buffs, and no nerfs, making him one of the biggest winners. His Spark Wraith got a +30 damage increase, Tempest Double is now 20 seconds instead of 18 and his level 10 talents now provide 30 attack speed.
Despite the buffs, the hero was played only 9 times in the qualifiers and has a 67% win rating. Zet has never seen much love in pub-games, which is mainly due to his high skill cap.
Rubick has been one of the most popular heroes in Dota since his introduction. While he shines the most as support, he is often played mid too. Dendi was probably one of the pioneers of Rubick mid.
In the current patch, Rubick got a buff to his level 15 talent. His Fade Bolt now reduces 60 damage instead of 45. However, this comes at the cost of a nerf to his Telekinesis. The max duration has been lowered by 0.2 seconds and now is 2 seconds.
Rubick has just a slight increase in his pub win rating. However, in the qualifiers, it’s an entirely different story. He was picked 58 times and has a 59% win rating, which makes him one of the most successful heroes at the event.
A little disclaimer - Jugg is here ONLY because of his nerfs.
Juggernaut has always been one of the most loved heroes in Dota. That’s why despite getting 4 nerfs, he still remains one of the most picked carries. Yurnero appeared in 80 games in the qualifications and has a 53% win rating. The pub game statistic is a little bit different as he is currently around 1% down in terms of his pick rate.
I believe that Juggernaut will most likely become less popular in the near future, mainly due to the buffs that other heroes are receiving. As for now, he remains one of the top picks.
Storm Spirit has continuously been on the nerf radar. His peak power was during TI 5 when SumaiL was carrying EG to the trophy using Zip-zap’s power.
The current state of the hero is not good at all, despite the fact that he got slightly buffed. SS was not picked a single time during the qualifiers. The pub game pick rate is still as low as before but Storm’s win rating has seen a very slight increase of 0.10%. In my opinion, in order for Rajin to become a top pick again, the meta has to change.
The Disco Pony also had his peak during TI 5, where he was considered OP. After that, the nerf train began and Leshrac has slowly moved away from the meta ever since. In the last couple of patches, there was a slight increase in his popularity. However, even after the recent changes, the situation is not looking good. It seems like the Diabolic Edict buff is not enough.
Leshrac lost around 3% win rating in pubs and was only picked 8 times in the qualifiers.
One of the most popular heroes during the Chongqing Major has been brought to his knees. Tusk was picked in precisely 50 games during the qualifiers and his win rate is 36%. The pick and win rate decline also appears in pubs.
This effect was expected because his most broken spell got nerfed, big time. Tag Team had its slow duration reduced, as well as mana cost and cooldown increased, which all add up to the poor performance of the hero.
This is by no means a full “winner and loser” list because there are many more heroes which suffered from the impact of the patch. It will be very interesting to see how the pro meta develops once the big events start. One of the first events will be the MDL Macau, which starts just two weeks from now.
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