The TI 5 Meta Vol. 3 | Group Stage Day 2 & 3
The fight for upper bracket seeding continues and the meta starts to take shape. The bad part is that the most highly valued heroes appear in every game: all 10 most popular heroes have a pick & ban rate above 70%. The interesting part is that there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between the popularity of a pick and its win rate.
Statistically speaking SF isn’t a worthwhile pick or ban in this tournament. 36% win rate is quite bad, especially for the decently high number of games he has been played in. The reason for this bad performance in our opinion is that some heroes that are popular in this meta directly counter Shadow Fiend: Clockwerk, Tusk, Spirit Breaker, etc. Those tanky initiators make it very hard for SF to fight in the mid game. In team fights they use their mobility to get on top of him and their control to stop him from efficiently fighting. Tusk and Spirit Breaker are especially problematic because they have disables that pierce spell immunity. This makes it harder for SF to use his ultimate or to freely attack heroes and utilize his high DPS. If he decides to avoid fights and flash-farm, he is vulnerable to the ganks of the same mobile heroes.
In TI4 Razor was one of the lead characters in the 5-man push saga. Since this year aggressive 5-man lineups seem to be working well again, it is logical to assume that Razor will be a good hero (moreover, he is an independent laner and leaves the support free to pressure other lanes).
The stats say another story, however. Most likely there are two main reasons for the failure of Razor:
1. Nowadays very mobile cores (and even supports) are popular – QoP, Tusk, TA, BS, Storm, DS, Spirit Breaker. It is simply very hard to use Static Link for long enough on them because they can get out of the range using their mobility. This significantly reduces the impact of Razor in fights.
2. Razor is strong in the early game, slumps a bit in the mid game and peaks again in the late game when he has all the luxury items he needs to break high ground (Aghanim’s, BKB, Refresher). The problem with this is that lineups in the current meta often peak in the mid game, when Razor is still not strong enough. Even more importantly, during the mid game Razor wants to flash farm to get his luxury items. In this meta, however, this is much harder to do because the enemy lineup is very likely to have great gankers (Tusk, Spirit Breaker, Io, QoP, Storm). If he spends too much time away from his team, he will end up feeding – space to farm is harder to find.
Dragon Knight shares the same philosophy as Razor, but he has some strong sides allowing him to avoid the problems that Razor is facing.
DK is actually very strong against mobile heroes because he has an instant long duration stun. He can lock them down and allow his team to kill them.
DK is not a great laner like Razor, nonetheless more often than not manages to find his farm in the lane.
More importantly, however, DK is quite strong in the mid game and even more so in the late game. He is naturally tanky and his spells allow him to have a big impact in fights even without a lot of items. He is a very tough kill, especially for heroes that rely mainly on their attacks to deal damage, which makes him even stronger when combined with heroes like Undying or Dazzle that can keep him alive and are very popular and successful right now.
Naga Siren slowly but steadily climbed her way to Tier 1 and managed to preserve a positive win rate. There are two main reasons she fits the meta well:
1. As casters like to call it, her ultimate is a “get out of jail free” card. It is an incredibly valuable tool when teams are constantly searching for engagements. By casting Song of the Siren you can make sure your whole squad can disengage safely whenever you need to. No other hero has a similar ability, and preventing a team wipe is a huge deal.
2. Her versatility is very useful as it gives you flexibility during the draft. You can take her in the first picking phase without committing to a strategy because you can theoretically put her in every lane both as a support or a core. This allows you to choose your heroes in the second and third phases accordingly to the picks of your opponents, rather than your own first picks.