Three of the top trending heroes of the current meta are Mirana, Nightstalker, and Lycan. In divine/immortal games Mirana is picked at 36.33% and wins at 53.74% in the past week. Nightstalker is picked in 30.43% of games and wins 53.55% of divine/immortal games. Lycan is picked in only 5.25% but wins 56.05%. All of these statistics are based on the past week as of 9/23/2019.
This makes these three heroes the hot picks of the current meta. Mirana has been on the rise for quite some time now but recently has become a very popular top pick that wins at a high rate. Nightstalker hasn’t been seen as a top hero in the past but now is one of the top picks. Lycan has always been more of a niche pick that players had to learn how to play and now wins at a very high rate.
Mirana is one of the most versatile and unique heroes in the game. She can be played in positions 1-5 and has no must build items. There is no wrong item choice for Mirana so depending on how your game is going you can build guardian greaves, or dagon, or force staff, or pipe of insight, and have it not be suspicious for your team.
This flexibility brings a large advantage over other heroes in the game that have strict item builds such as Clockwerk who almost always needs to build a force staff. If you can adjust your item build and position based on how your specific game is going and your enemy has to play in their expected way then that can lead to a slight advantage which contributes to Mirana’s high win rate.
Mirana also has great team fight abilities. Her ultimate allows her to turn her whole team invisible which is amazing for initiating or running from team fights. Also if you land an arrow in the early game, the stun lasts for so long and that can easily secure you a kill in the lane or do some serious damage so the enemy can’t stay.
Changes We Could See
Mirana was nerfed slightly in the latest patch. Her arrow is very strong so they reduced the base damage and increased the bonus damage which makes the damage come from landing long distance arrows. Her ultimate also got an increase in mana cost.
I don’t see Valve nerfing some core parts of Mirana such as her long attack range which allows her to harass enemies in lane from a safe distance or the stun duration of her arrow which is devastating at all stages of the game. Instead changes to her attributes such as agility or intelligence could be possible.
By reducing her agility or intelligence it can make her less versatile and force her play style into either a spell caster or right clicker. By making her less versatile her play style can’t be as flexible and that would eliminate one of her main strengths in the recent meta.
Nightstalker is another versatile hero who can now play multiple positions, usually position 3 or 1 but other positions aren’t unheard of. He has been getting small buffs pretty consistently for a while now and they’ve added up.
Other than his versatile position, Nightstalker is one of the fastest and tankiest heroes in the game. At level 7 and at night he can solo kill most heroes on the map and that makes the map smaller if you’re facing Nightstalker. You can’t farm in the safe lane if your support leaves in the early mid game or you risk getting ran at and killed by Nightstalker.
With the new Agahanim’s Scepter for Nightstalker, he becomes a hero that can flash farm and deal significant amounts of area of effect damage in team fights. The day was a serious weakness for him in the past but now with the new Agahanim’s Scepter, it becomes a strength by being able to flash farm.
With the small changes adding up and the new Agahanim’s Scepter, Nightstalker is finally in a position where he’s considered overpowered.
Changes We Could See
Nightstalker is hard to kill, can gank heroes, plays multiple positions, flash farmer, half of the game he’s very powerful, and has an area of effect silence that lasts for a long time. Perhaps Valve can take away a few of these parts from Nightstalker?
Reducing his armor by 1 or 2 can make the first 5 minutes of his game more difficult. After the first 5 minutes he comes online but if his laning phase is impacted in a negative way then he may not be able to solo kill other heroes at the first or second night time.
Also his Aghanim’s Scepter probably needs a nerf. Hitting all enemies in an area seems too powerful, maybe the closest four units can get hit by his spell, that would reduce his flash farming potential and team fighting ability.
Lycan has always been a niche pick. At a pick rate of 5.25% in divine/immortal games this continues to be true. Due to him being a niche pick, his win rate would be higher than other easy to play heroes who anyone can play like Viper because generally only players who know how to play Lycan would play him.
Lycan is a hero who excels at split pushing and joining team fights in timely manners. Recently his new Aghanim’s Scepter buff provides him with random wolves that spawn in a lane which helps with pushing even more.
The latest patch buffed his scepter bonus by adding 1 more wolf and reducing the gold bounty. The patch also reduced the cooldown of his ultimate ability.
The scepter bonus shifts the balance of the map in favor of Lycan and his team. As one lane pushes in, more space is provided to that team. The map becomes bigger for Lycan and his team which allows for more farming opportunities and vision of the enemy. This effect over time can provide a net worth difference in favor of Lycan and his team which improves the chances of his team winning the game by being able to buy more items.
Also with his ultimate cooldown being reduced he is able to join team fights more often. It’s always great when your carry joins team fights because you want to win as many of those as you can.
Changes We Could See
Since he is still a niche pick and wins at such a high rate, perhaps improving his Aghanim’s Scepter bonus was unnecessary. 56.05% win rate in the past week is absurdly high.
Valve recently buffed his ability to team fight by reducing his ultimate cooldown and his ability to farm by buffing his Aghanim’s Scepter.
Since he’s strong in farming the map as the game progresses and in joining team fights with a shorter ultimate, nerfing his early game seems to be an appropriate response. By taking longer to come online, he will need to farm for longer before he is comfortable joining team fights.
This puts pressure on his teammates to provide space and helps his enemies because he doesn’t want to join fights until he gets more items and levels.
So reducing his base attack damage or base strength attribute could work out in helping fix his absurd 56.05% win rate.