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    Dota 2 – Winners and Losers of 7.31d

    The new patch didn’t change a whole lot about the game, but there are still several noteworthy trends to discuss. Part of it is direct buff and nerfs some heroes received, and part of it is players still finding new ways to play the game. The changes are relatively small, but they did make sure several unexpected heroes are now significantly more viable.

    Biggest winners

    Sven

    Sven received a noticeable 2.5% bump in his win rate in the new patch. He is still below 50% in all brackets and if you want to play a melee, flash-farming position one strength hero you are better off playing Tiny, but there are some reasons to experiment with the hero.

    One of them being his Shard: it provides a ridiculous amount of passive Armor in an AoE and coupled with Warcry active and Warcry talents, it can give ~30 Undispellable Armor to your teammates. Between potential high burst damage and a ridiculous amount of utility against physical cores, perhaps a position three Sven will should get a second look.

    Luna

    A ~2% win rate bump resulted in hero getting over the important 50% mark. Twenty extra damage on Lucent Beam doesn’t do a lot on its own, but when considering Eclipse, especially the one upgraded by Aghanim’s Scepter, it results in a very sizable damage increase.

    Being a flash-farming hero who is somewhat ok contributing to early game teamfight with BKB, Luna was already borderline viable and we feel like in the new patch she will be explored more. Especially now that Mars is a little bit worse.

    Pudge

    Pudge might actually be a viable hero right now. In a surprising turn of events, this former pub-ruining hero is actually professional scene-viable. We don’t think the hero does a whole lot as a position one, though there were some attempts to play him as a carry by the pros. But as a high risk-high reward the hero might have his merits.

    The hero can be downright oppressive during the laning stage, with incredibly high damage output and a lot of starting HP. He also scales relatively well in terms of utility. Meat Hook is a very unreliable form of initiation that probably works much better with a set up, but it is probably Pudge’s Shard that takes the cake: a very strong save on a frontline hero can not be overestimated.

    Biggest losers

    Chaos Knight

    Chaos Knight received some very well deserved nerfs, dropping 2% win rate and getting to almost exactly 50%. The nerfs mostly addressed his laning stage, where the hero now feels a lot more fair. No longer does the hero have some crazy, obnoxious sustain that allows him to trade against every single carry in the game.

    The early levels of Chaos Bolt also received a heavy damage nerf, but it genuinely didn’t make sense that a level one stun would have an average of 135 damage at level one. Chaos Bolt is now in line with other level one stuns in the game with an average of ninety.

    Dragon Knight

    Second knight to be nerfed, DK lost around 2% win rate, with nerfs mainly touching upon his Shard. It is still a mandatory purchase, it is still incredibly effective and for the most part it still does its job well. Dragon Knight can Blink in, stun a target, use Fireball and be as effective as he used to.

    The difference is now he can’t farm as fast and that means his item progression is noticeably slower. He can not outpush lanes for free, can’t zone enemies as well as he used to and will have slightly harder time transitioning into late game. That said, the hero is still very much viable: there are simply more alternatives.

    Mars

    Third offlaner to be nerfed in the new patch, one that’s already been quite weak statistically. Realistically, Mars nerfs only made sense from the perspective of the professional scene, where the hero remains first pick material even after losing a lot of power.

    We still have no idea why the hero is rated so highly, despite being sub 45% win rate in most DPC games and international tournaments this year, but perhaps a lot of players simply feel comfortable playing him.

    After the nerfs he is now a 45.5% win rate hero in Divine+ pubs and we strongly advise against picking him in your games: the hero is a very strong block-pick against most ranged carries, but his average performance is far below other offlaners.

    Closing thoughts

    The last patch wasn’t groundbreaking in any way, but looking at week one stats, we feel like the Offlaner meta is now wide-open. With several staple heroes getting nerfs and with several defensive, rather than offensive supports entering the meta, perhaps greedier and more niche offlaners will get a chance to shine.

    This, in turn, can snowball into a whole new extra evolution circle for the meta, so perhaps there are still things to be discovered in 7.31. What are you thoughts on the new patch and what would you like to see in the next one? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

    As seen on Dotabuff

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