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    Dota 2 – Is Oracle the best support in the meta?

    We generally refrain from analysing the tournament meta until after the tournament is over, but there is a hero we feel should be covered immediately. Oracle is currently the most popular pick and one of the most successful heroes in DreamLeague Season 11 with a win rate close to 70%.

    History of Buffs

    Purely defensive supports aren’t particularly popular right now, but Oracle actually offers a lot of damage and aggression during the laning stage. Ever since the damage on Fortune’s End was increased in 7.20, it became one of the best laning nukes in lane—120 damage for 75 mana is a good deal.

    The hero also has decent starting HP and Armor, as well as one of the highest intelligence growth in the game, allowing him to continuously use his spells even without a heavy investment into mana items.

    While his starting attack damage is pretty low, he also has 1.4 BAT for some reason, making him great at attacking things like Phoenix Egg, Tombstone and Will-o-Wisp in the earlier stages of the game.

    Fitting the meta

    Oracle is good in vacuum. As a support, he offers decent damage and lane presence, while having one of the most powerful saving ultimates in the game. But a big part of the reason the hero is currently so popular, is how he fits against and with some of the most popular cores in the game.

    Heroes like Dark Seer, Ursa, Necrophos, Doom, Batrider and many more struggle immensely against purge effects, especially the ones on a decently low cooldown. Dark Seer is close to unplayable in lane against Oracle, since he won’t be able to utilize his Ion Shell to farm up, while Ursa doesn’t have his burst damage, courtesy of either Disarm from Fate’s Edict or Purge on Overpower.

    Against the vast majority of heroes popular in the meta, either Disarm or the Purge can make a lot of difference: heroes often rely on self-buffs or auto-attacks to deal damage. Moreover, Oracle can purge off most effects from his teammates as well, decreasing the value of silences and roots.

    Heroes with sustained damage are also pretty popular right now and that means False Promise becomes a lot more appealing. Heroes like Death Prophet, Razor, Leshrac and even Viper generally prefer longer engagements in which they can maximize their damage output. They don’t necessarily have burst, but they will out-DPS many cores if left unanswered and False Promise extends the duration of their life long enough, for them to potentially snowball the whole fight.

    Playing Oracle Well

    Oracle has four actives spells, three of which can be cast on both allies and the enemies, making him quite hard to play. All these spells also have relatively low cooldowns, so Oracle generally has to be very active in his spell usage to be effective.

    At the same time, his cast range is among the best on all heroes: with all his abilities maxed out, the lowest cast range ability is at massive 850 cast range, so there is very little reason for the hero to ever show in the enemy’s line of sight.

    His skill build, unlike his skill usage, is pretty straightforward: by level seven you want to have Purifying Flames maxed out and a point in each other ability. This maximizes the hero’s damage and healing potential, without sacrificing too much utility. Talent-wise, rushing for level 15 talent of +120 GPM is generally preferable and that means taking +25% XP gain at level 10.

    When it comes to actually playing the hero, it has to be well understood that Oracle can harm his team and you need to be both cautious and restrained in your spell usage. Yes, using Fate’s Edict on your teammate will allow you to heal them with Purifying Flames with no initial damage, but it also prevents them from attacking. Yes, Purifying Flames is a powerful nuke, but when not dispelled it can heal the target pretty fast and should be used cautiously on heroes with increased magic resistance or Holy Locket.

    There are numerous game states and conditions that should be constantly kept in mind of the Oracle, for him to truly shine.Luckily, however, his most powerful ability is actually pretty straightforward and we would estimate that hero is at least 50% effective if only his ultimate is used perfectly.

    Closing thoughts

    Times when heroes are slightly overpowered are the best times to learn the hero: you deny this overpowered hero to potentially experienced on the hero opponent and you can also practice on the hero, without being too much of a burden on your team. It is a potential win-win situation for you and we strongly recommend spamming Oracle right now, before he gets some well-deserved nerfs.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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