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    Dota 2 – The Meta’s Top Tier Mid Laners – 7.21d

    Morphling

    Like Drow Ranger, Morphling is an Agility hero who is highly dependent on items, and was also consequently hamstrung by the removal of bonus attributes on items. Patch 7.21 and 7.21c doled out correctives to the hero, reviving his place in the meta. Overall, his Agility gain increased by 16% (3.7 to 4.3), and Strength gain by 30% (2.3 to 3), and thanks to Morph he’s able to capitalize on both buffs.

    As a tanky mid, Morphling is a favorite of pubstompers, who can reliably cs and deny everything, while thwarting and turning around ganks. Morphling requires a coordinated counter in nearly all stages of the game. And if he’s slowed down in the early game, he always has access to the jungle with just a Morbid Mask. For a primer on how to play Morphling, just watch any game from one of the best at it, Secret.Nisha.

    Necrophos

    Necrophos gets a spot, even if he’s underused in competitive play. He has dethroned Viper as the hero with the highest win rate in pubs, thanks to a 7.21 buff to his Intelligence gain and Death Pulse damage. Even the rarely used level 15 Talent, +30% Ghost Shroud slow, was buffed to a point where it has a minor win rate advantage in our ability builds stats.

    Necrophos has a handful of effective counters, one being the most popular support heroes of this patch, Oracle. The hero hasn’t been the same lane dominator ever since his Death Pulse’s passive regeneration was moved to Heartstopper. Nevertheless, it’s a testament to the hero’s strength if he’s still able to post a 55% win rate in the Divine/Immortal bracket.

    Razor

    With Viper nerfed, Razor naturally came in to fill the role as the stable midlaner. He didn’t receive any significant nerfs in the previous mini patches, aside from a small buff to his Agility gain and a reduction in his backswing time. But it seems only recently that players have capitalized on his reworked passive from patch 7.20, which acts like a mini-Radiance, dealing periodic damage to units in the area.

    The passive has opened up his flash farming capabilities, allowing him to outpace other his usual mid-matchups in the late game. Razor’s efficacy used to hinge on his lane dominance, and he was vulnerable as his power waned in the late game. Now, he’s able to fall back on farm and accelerate towards his core items that much quicker.

    [missing hero: outworld-devourer]

    The hero with the lowest win rate in pubs is still one of the top mid picks of the meta. However, from our meta stats, Outworld Devourer performs outstandingly better at higher brackets (47% win rate in Divine+) than lower ones (36-39% win rate in Legend and lower), which suggests that the majority of pub players are doing it wrong.

    He’s still a solid counter to some of the meta popular cores of the patch, such as Troll Warlord, Razor and Morphling. Even if that earns his place among upper brackets and pros, as the meta shifts he may need a few buffs, for the rest of us.

    Honorable Mentions: Dragon Knight, Kunkka, Viper

    What these heroes have in common is that they tend to have stable lanes, with few unfavorable matchups. While they may not be as popular as previous patches, Viper still continues to be a nuisance in pubs, with the 2nd highest win rate overall. His win rate tapers off as you move up skill brackets, but he’s nonetheless a stable pick in the chaos of All Pick matches. The same goes for Dragon Knight, who has proven his resiliency, patch after patch.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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