New patch makes flop heroes a hit.
Valve recently launched the 7.29 patch, which was a major overhaul to the game. The update included changes to the map, items, general mechanics and balancing updates to heroes. Some changes have transformed heroes from being a poor pick to dominating in the current meta. We look at the most interesting examples in the mid lane.
Huskar had a very rough time before the 7.29 patch. The hero had a win rate of approximately 48%, but the new buffs to the hero saw positive growth of 6-7%. Huskar received a buff to his strength gain. They also changed Inner Fire with shard upgrade, now letting Huskar cast the ability while disabled. One of the hero’s main abilities, Burning Spear, also received a buff as it now costs less HP. These fresh changes along with a mini buff to the Armlet of Mordiggian catapulted Huskar’s win rate.
Common items for Huskar mid are Power Treads, Armlet, Sange and Yasha and Black King Bar. Late game extension items include Heaven’s Halberd, Satanic and other situational items.
Gameplay wise Huskar dominates the laning phase against most mid lane heroes. Players should look to farm a fast Armlet and continue snowballing into the mid-game. The aim is to end the game before the hero falls off or things get complicated in the late game. It is best to get an early Aegis with the help of the Armlet and force fights to take objectives.
Medusa had a 48.5% win rate before the 7.29 patch. However, buffs to the hero have resulted in around a 5% increase to her win rate. Her base HP regen was increased along with a change in Mana Shield ability, which now provides +100/150/200/250 mana on respective levels. They also rescaled mystic Snake Scepter bounce, which turns the enemy into stone for a longer period.
Core items of Medusa include Power Treads, Manta Style, Eye of Skadi, Butterfly and other situational items. An Aghanim’s Scepter pick-up in mid-game is also quite strong on the hero.
Gameplay style of Medusa rotates around farming in the early phases. As a mid laner, Medusa lacks mobility and is very susceptible to ganks. It is wise to farm the mid-wave fast with help of Mystic Snake and Split Shot and then move over to side camps. It is noteworthy that Medusa is quite ineffective as a mid laner at higher MMRs. Starting mostly at Divine and Immortal brackets, it is best to play her in the safe lane.
Valve generously buffed Meepo in the 7.29 patch, prior to which the hero had a poor 48% win rate. His win rate has now climbed to a healthy 53%. With the many changes to Meepo, the hero seems great in the right hands. General items on Meepo include Power Treads, Dragon Lance, Ethereal Blade, Eye of Skadi and Scythe of Vyse.
Similar to Huskar, Meepo needs to end games before the 35-minute-mark. The hero just doesn’t feel strong in the late game. Players need to farm and clear neutral camps fast in the early game. An early Aegis enables Meepo to force bad fights for the enemy team and take objectives fast.