Let’s take a close up look at Slardar — one bad-ass offlaner.
Each Dota 2 meta has its own set of popular heroes. In most cases, heroes get popular only for a certain period of time. After which they are just forgotten (think Leshrac after TI 5).
However, there are also heroes that remain popular, regardless of the meta.
Having said that, today, we will take a look at a hero that’s currently very hot. Despite not being a carry or a midlaner, Slardar has been picked a total of 84 times so far in the qualifiers. What’s more, his win rating is also very impressive - 58%.
So, let’s take a brief look at this hero and see what makes him so popular.
Changes in the new patch
If we take a look at the patch notes for 7.24, we’ll see that Slardar is just slightly buffed. He now has 10 extra base movement speed, which makes him very good to chase or just run from his enemies. Even though this might not seem like much, these small changes make a lot of difference. Especially in pro games.
However, unlike the movement speed bonus, his passive skill’s damage on the first three levels is slightly reduced. As a result, the hero does a little bit less damage early on in comparison to before. Nevertheless, this is still one of the strongest passive skills during the laning stage and it can completely shut down some carries.
How does Slardar work?
Even though there are some people who like to farm with this hero, he is mostly going to be played as an offlaner or as support, depending on the game. When he is paired with another strong laner, Slardar is capable of disrupting the enemy lane. Thanks to his passive and active stun, this hero is amazing for securing kills during the laning phase.
In addition to being a good laner, Slardar is also a very good counter pick. For example, he is often picked against Invisible heroes because of his ultimate which providers True Sight. What’s more, this hero can also work wonders against single-core lineups again thanks to his ult. After all, it’s much easier to bring someone down if he has -20 armor, especially if that hero doesn’t have any defensive items.
What are the best items to get?
As we’ve mentioned above, getting the right items for this hero depends heavily on his position in the game. However, there are a couple of items that everyone gets, such as Blink Dagger. Despite not providing any stats, this item completely changes the way Slardar plays. It sort of “enables” him to become that initiation, which is extremely important.
Pretty much any utility item can be useful for Slardar if he is a support. However, if he is an offlaner, things are a little bit different.
Depending on the lineup you have, you can often buy some DPS items on this hero, like Desolator, Armlet, etc. They can work very well in conjunction with some carries such as Juggernaut for example.
That said, sometimes, Slardar can even buy team-based items. In rare cases, you might see players going for a Pipe of Insight or a Crimson’s Guard.
Which heroes are really hard to play against?
Despite being an incredible hero right now, Slardar has his flaws. Every single spell that slows or does AoE damage can disrupt his gameplay because he won’t be able to initiate properly.
In other words, heroes such as Beastmaster, Zeus, and Tinker, can be very hard to deal with. That said, you can rarely see people picking a hero just to counter Slardar. After all, it’s just not worth it.