Sven temporarily dethroned Spectre as the win rate king of pubs, right until the inevitable 7.06b patch that nudged him back down. Io’s pick rate doubled for a moment, in the aftermath of the news of an exclusive Arcana, until pub players realized they don’t really know how to play Io in the first place. And it wouldn’t be a Dota patch without a minor tweak to Dark Seer’s skills that doesn’t threaten his viability.
Over the course of patch 7.06, Sven had a win rate increase of 6.97%, until patch 7.06b, where it’s now a 4.90%, still nearly 1.5 points greater than the 2nd trending hero. He benefitted from both the global and individual changes. Sven got his jungle back, a small increase in Strength gain, a welcome increase of any amount of mana, a better Mask of Madness, and a reworked ultimate that at level 3 gave him 1000 HP every minute. Plus 160% damage.
Sometimes Valve nudges a hero with small buffs until that hero leaps into overpowered territory, and sometimes they just overbuff a hero from the outset and follow it with a remedial nerf. This time Valve scaled back the God’s Strength rework, then topped it off with a BAT nerf, in case that wasn’t enough.
It may be some time before we praise the return of illusion heroes. Even with Phantom Lancer’s buffs across the board to his illusion based skills, increasing his win rate by 2.94%, he’s still losing most of his games at a 49% win rate. Doppleganger illusions received a bug fix, Phantom Rush now deals its bonus damage on the first hit, and Juxtapose got one more illusion across all levels. And since the global strength growth of 0.3 is constant across all heroes, it results in a greater buff for Phantom Lancer, who has one of the lowest Str gains out of all Agility heroes. The increase from 1.7 to 2.0 amounts to 17.6% buff.
For only 200 gold more, Mask of Madness now gives +20 damage and +10 attack speed (offset by -10 Berserk attack speed). While Mask of Madness does silence his Burning Spear, Huskar can disassemble it and use its components to build into other items. Another item that was buffed is Heaven’s Halberd, an item that perfectly suits Huskar’s gameplay as it provides him with more survivability and increases his killing potential, while also allowing him to disarm an opponent. There are a multitude of item buffs that positively help Huskar: Hurricane Pike’s HP regen increase, Desolator not being a UAM anymore, Heart of Tarrassque’s changed recipe and even the new Urn, which now provides armor.
More than 2/3rds of Nature’s Prophet players are opting for a 0cd Teleport
Nature’s Prophet has the 7th worst win rate, at 41.84% in one week of patch 7.06. That’s a -2.49% change, when he was in a category of heroes that had nowhere to go but up. Notwithstanding that patch 7.06 nerfed Hand of Midas, the reversion to a 1 minute neutral spawn should benefit the passive leaning pub crowd, where our lane statistics show that Nature’s Prophet is in the jungle in 68% of games.
What’s changed is that a new level 25 Talent that removes Teleportation’s cooldown temporarily boosted his pick rate from 7% to a peak of 8.5% in the days following 7.06’s release. Returning Nature’s Prophet players may be slow to realize that even though the jungle is back, neutrals now give 20% less XP and gold. It’s a significant hit to a level 1 jungle, and pub players are more likely to push through that handicap instead of being active on the map, which the previous 2-minute spawn intervals may have encouraged.
Medusa is a surprising entry here (-3.18%), considering she received only buffs, in the form of an Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade as well as the reversion back to the old jungle spawn times, which benefits her farming, even if it is a lower rate than before. What she’s been victim to is increased pressure on towers and a quicker pace to the game, when she’s one of the slowest carries to get online.
From Techies’ Most Used Items page, here are the items that are now built more often than Boots of Travel in patch 7.06: Desolator, Mjolnir, Maelstrom, Shadow Blade, and Dragon Lance. The new +250 damage level 25 Talent has zero synergy with Techies’ itemization, skills, and every other talent he has available to him. Yet pub players are currently picking it at a 46.4% pick rate (-0.2% win rate).
Respawn Time Talents were relatively useless on most heroes, but Techies was one of the few exceptions. He benefits the team by sacrificing himself, and respawning faster lets him do that more. Despite being a boring talent, it was one that had synergy with his skillset.
Windranger continues to be one of the worst, most picked heroes in pubs. After nearly a week of 7.06, her win rate changed by trivial +0.05%, despite two talent changes—one turning her into Weaver—that riled up pub players to pick her nearly 40% more in the days after the patch release. She’s still burdened by the previous nerf that benched her from the meta—a weakened Shackleshot that latches less reliably and can be disjointed. She’s still a solid laner who should ideally benefit from the raised stakes in the mid-lane, but the pace it takes for her to transition out of the early game doesn’t match up with the increased tempo of the current meta.
Whereas Windranger got a slew of changes with no signifcant changes in her win rate, Slardar received no direct buffs and had the 4th greatest increase in win rate, at 2.83%. The change is a good meter for how changes have indirectly affected heroes in the meta. Yes, he also benefits from the Strength gain and the increase in base mana pool, but the changes to creeps and the mid lane have shifted the meta to one that favors roaming heroes.
With Siege creeps now dealing 250% (from 150%) damage, the game has shifted towards establishing momentum when they pop up every 10th wave. Early to mid game roaming heroes help teams secure their lanes, runes, and any advantage they can find to pressure towers. Bounty Hunter is +1.58% and Ogre Magi is +1.17% in win rate, both without significant changes in 7.06.
The meta is shifting to heroes that can fight and pressure towers. Nyx and Magnus are first round bans in the ongoing WCA Tournament Classic. Clockwerk has rocketed to top tier material in Dreamleague season 7. And Queen of Pain is actually being picked now, in SL i-league.