Overstaying its welcome and being a bad patch are two completely different things and we feel like very few people would call 7.30 a bad patch. It had a fair share of interesting new strategies, memorable power spikes and created some of the coolest Dota moments in the professional scene. So today, a week before it retires, we would like to revisit old memories of 7.30 glory.
It’s a buff… it’s a nerf… it’s Tinker
Tinker changes were met with initial scepticism: after all, losing March of the Machines as a basic ability did hurt the hero’s farming speed. However, players quickly realised that with Boots of Travel built in and Blink being as affordable as it is, Tinker doesn’t really need to farm that much. He is fight ready as soon as he gets his hands on mobility and can be a global menace come level 12.
Tinker was supposed to be the hero of the International, but a couple of preemptive nerfs in the letter patches tamed the hero enough so that he wasn’t the most popular and most dominant hero of TI. He was only the most successful niche one, having the highest win rate for heroes with 10+ games.
Right now the hero still remains exceptionally scary in the right hands, however overall changes to the meta resulted in several Tinker counters being both popular and strong, making him a much riskier pick. Doesn’t prevent him from being the second most successful hero in Divine+ with a 13%+ pick rate, but we feel like the nerfs are coming. We hope so.
Wolves need no armor
Tiny and Lycan were the go-to combination for PSG.LGD and for good reason. With extra range from Tree Grab, some lifesteal, unlimited movement speed and very reliable crits on a hero with an already high attack damage, Tiny could run rampant across the map, deleting supports and carries alike.
There were other potential candidates to be bitten, such as Sven, for example, but unlike him, Tiny is not cooldown dependent and can come online much earlier, courtesy of his early game nuke combo.
The solution to this problem was two fold: Valve decided to nerf both Lycan and Tiny. Lycan had his Wolf Bite cooldown increased drastically, while also limiting the maximum attack range to 150 for shapeshifted targets, taking away one of the Tiny advantages. Tiny himself just got a little bit weaker, with smaller attack damage bonus on enemy targets and, if we recall correctly, a fixed talent that used to give more than stated in the tooltip.
Lycan remained the top dog of the Divine+ bracket, but with a <3% pick rate this isn’t particularly bad. The hero is niche and is an ultimate punishment for greed, but is otherwise in an ok place. Tiny could definitely use a bit of a buff though: he doesn’t look too good with his sub 50% win rate.
Your taxi is here
Magnus Horn Toss + Skewer combo is a stuff of nightmares for all TI participants and this combo was deservedly nerfed right after the tournament. Or was it deserved? There were several smaller tournaments following the International, with many notable players trying to replicate Magnus’ success and for the most part they failed.
Right now the hero doesn’t feel too good. He can’t be a reliable buff bot, but that option was taken away from him a while ago. He isn’t that good of an initiator anymore, since there is now counterplay to his Horn Toss combo. Reverse Polarity, while still being a potential game-changer, has a massive cooldown and it is rare for it to catch more than two targets in a professional match.
Finally, position one or two farming Magnus, his default role before TI, is simply too weak late game to be worth considering. Overall we feel like the hero desperately needs some buffs, or at least some QoL changes.
We are coming up on recent Dota history, but one that still feels fresh in the memory. OD with Meteor Hammer rush was and is easily one of the most frustrating things to play against. Having a solo kill condition on 90%+ of the hero pool at ~8 minute mark, while being a decent pusher and scaling incredibly well into the late game is not right.
The hero remains incredibly punishing in the lower brackets for that reason, while Divine+ players are forced to adjust to a hero with a positive winrate that appears in 16%+ of all games. Right now, when OD does come out as a pick, most players prefer to play the avoidance game and it is the correct approach.
It is also a one-trick pony, in a sense that while he can be devastating during the laning stage and ganks, he isn’t the strongest teamfight hero. Most of his abilities are well-telegraphed and have counterplay, as long as you have teammates close by. Extremely punishing in lower brackets, manageable in Divine+ games. Though we do believe the hero will get a couple of small nerfs or minor reworks, since he doesn’t feel particularly fun to play with or against.
The True Queen
All of the above lead up to what can be considered a testament to how well the current patch is balanced. Because right now, after all the meta shifts, the game converged on one of the most flexible heroes in the game. Queen of Pain is, without a doubt, a blank slate kind of mid, that can be built in a variety of ways and can fill several different roles, depending on what the team needs.
That means adaptability still reigns supreme and we genuinely hope that the next patch will be able to retain this important part of overall balance, while shaking things up drastically. What do you feel about the upcoming patch and what changes do you hope to see? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.