Every meta has its own set of powerful heroes. Some of them are absolutely broken, but as soon as the nerfs come, they become forgotten. However, there are also other heroes that have been around for many years now, despite the meta changes. One of those heroes is Ember Spirit. Once a late-game monster, Ember Spirit’s playstyle has drastically changed in the last couple of years.
What was Ember like a few years ago?
Those of you who’ve been following the Dota 2 scene for a while probably remember the good-old glass-cannon Ember Spirit days. The person who made this famous was Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao. He always went for this entirely damage-based build where Ember rushed BoT, followed by either one or two Battlefuries and Daedalus, and then a Rapier.
Even though this build was very successful, in most cases, it was incredibly risky. One wrong move and the entire game could turn around. Sure, Ember might not be the easiest hero to kill, but he is still very squishy, so this inevitably happened.
After the Rapier meta, Valve released a massive Dota 2 update that introduced the Talents for the first time. Needless to say, this changed the game entirely and we’ve started to see a lot of new and innovative item builds. One of those items builds was the magical damage ES.
To make a long story short, it was a huge success until it got nerfed to the ground.
Ember Spirit nowadays
In the last couple of months, Ember Spirit is played as a tempo controller. He used to be a definite mid laner (now, more teams started playing him as a carry) and his job was to get items that allow him to fight early on. As a result, he is one of the easiest heroes to snowball with, especially if you have a good laning stage.
Ember’s job is to try and do as much damage as possible early on. As a result, you can often see people buying a lot of cost-efficient items, such as a Maelstorm, Drums of Endurance, etc.
However, once the early-mid game is over, there is a very important dilemma that every Ember player has - does he go for magical or physical damage? This is a very important decision because it will determine what items and talents you get afterward.
In the vast majority of cases, more people prefer to play with the utility/magic damage build. This means that they will often buy items like an Octarine Core, Aghanim’s Scepter, Radiance, and so on.
Ember in professional games
Even though he is definitely not the most popular hero in the meta right now, there are many teams who still continue to pick him regularly. For example, the last big Dota 2 tournament that we got to see before the coronavirus situation went out of control was Dota Summit 12. There, Ember was picked a total of 14 times and had a 50% win rating, which is not that bad.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see this hero in the LA Major because the tournament was postponed. The entire situation with the coronavirus is not looking good now. What's more, it doesn’t seem it will get any better soon, which is even worse.
Until the situation gets better, we wish our readers to stay safe.