The TI 5 Meta Vol. 6 | Play-Offs, Tier 1 Hero Analysis
Three days into the main event we already have a large enough number of games to do some meaningful win rate analysis for the pro’s favorite heroes. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the number of games is still relatively low and the randomness is surely not totally eliminated from the picture.
Puppey ruined TI – he is known for having comfort heroes, Dazzle turned into one of them lately. All of a sudden people start first-picking Dazzle because of the respect they have for team Secret without giving it a good deep thought. The result is the statistic we see here in addition to Na’Vi dropping out with a Dazzle pick and Secret dropping to the lower Brackets with two Dazzle picks. Jokes aside, Dazzle certainly could have a significant impact in the game.
Shallow Grave is a game-breaking ability – if you manage to cast it in the right time you could turn a fight by allowing a farmed core to fight back instead of dying instantly when getting jumped. The problem of the hero is, however, that the impact of his other spells is lackluster.
Dazzle is a hero that likes 5-man Dota. If he moves with his whole team, his AoE heal and AoE bonus armor could be much more impactful. Dazzle’s ultimate could allow his team to claim an objective very easily because it makes it very hard for the enemies to take a fight while the ultimate is active.
Yet, very often in the main event he is being picked with more passive lineups and the whole job of the hero during the game is to cast Shallow Grave on a core when it is getting ganked and to die afterwards. This leads to our conclusion – if you want to pick Dazzle, you need to build a team that can make use of his whole arsenal, not only his Shallow Grave.
P.S. Commentators mentioned that Dazzle is performing poorly because teams are counter-picking him with heroes like Axe, yet none of the losses Dazzle has in Key Arena is against an Axe, so this clearly is not the main problem.
Probably the main reason for the weak performance of those two picks is that they were under the spot light for a long time. Like Dazzle, the heroes are two of Secret’s favorite picks and most likely every team in the event has spent many hours trying to figure out how to beat QoP and SF. The bad performance doesn’t necessarily mean that the heroes are weak – it simply means that it might be a good idea to pick them later in the draft. This will make it harder for your opponents to counter them.
BH is arguably the most valuable pick in this meta, and unarguably a Tier1 hero that deserves a first pick or a ban. Winning 12 out of 13 games is highly unlikely to be a total coincidence. The main reason is that the new way of playing Bounty Hunter (roaming support instead of an offlaner) gives him a lot more flexibility and makes him much harder to counter. Instead of putting Sentries in one lane you need to have vision all around the map, which is almost impossible, only in order to counter one support. Yet, the main strength of the hero (giving vision and gold, two of the most valuable resources in Dota) remains the same.
The now bouncing Shuriken Toss also deserves a mention – it allows you to deal significant AoE damage without items in prolonged fights and it helps in cancelling channeling spells from a very long range. This, combined with the mostly fighting meta we are witnessing, makes BH almost broken.
The fact that she is the most picked her in the main event and the positive WR is a good enough reason to talk about her. There probably isn’t a big mystery why Lina is doing good – with Aghanim’s her ultimate is extremely strong, allowing her to almost instantly kill one of the enemy heroes regardless of BKB, Glimmer, etc. Combine this with a very good lane presence and good flash farming potential and you have a powerful hero. Last but not least comes the fact that Lina is versatile – you can play her as a support if you chose to do so. Her impact could be similar especially now that supports tend to have a lot more gold thanks to the kill bounty rework.
Despite not having a lot of games we want to mention her simply because she is the substitute of Gyrocopter. We already talked about him in previous articles: he is very valuable in this meta because of his strength during all stages of the game and his dominance in team fights. Luna works pretty much the same way. This means that if you want to play Gyro and your opponents ban him, you can use Luna to fill his place in the same strategy. P.S. Gyro has an 73.33% WR record in 15 games in the main event.
DS is probably the biggest discovery of the main event. Even though he was out of the meta for a long while, he was never nerfed and retained his strengths – strong laner, fast farmer, survivable, devastating in team fights, hard to counter. Now, when games are very often decided in team fights, he is given a chance to shine once again. When combined with AoE disables (e.g. Winter Wyvern’s ultimate), Vacuum becomes a broken spell.
Even though ES was already a relatively popular pick before the main event, he has a significantly better win/loss record now. We attribute this to two main combos that gained some popularity.
Vacuum into Echo Slam is a devastating team fight combo and can easily win games even from a disadvantage. In that sense the rising popularity of DS is making Shaker an even more valuable pick.
If the enemy team has squishy cores Lina and ES become a very scary combo. ES can setup for the spells of Lina with a Fissure from fog, and Lina can secure the kill. This is far superior to Lina’s own Eul setup because after Cyclone carries can activate their BKB/defensive spells. During Fissure’s stun, however, they cannot. This means that Lina can opt to go directly for Aghanim’s and even more importantly increases the viability of a support Lina.