Skulz Competitive Hero Tier List February 2018

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Skulz » February 27, 2018 1:10am | Report


The Competitive Hero Tier List for February 2018 includes data from both 7.08 and 7.09, for a total of 595 games analyzed.


QUICK LINKS
Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5
Every month, the tier list distributes the Dota 2 heroes in five different groups according to their total pick and ban rate. The requisites for each tier never change - the goal is offering a neutral comparison that shows how the meta evolves over time. The tiers depend only on drafts, and aren't influenced either by the win rate of a hero, or by their performance in pub matches.
FEATURED HEROES
Naga Siren Sand King


Valve will publish small biweekly patches during the next six months. The news excited the community as now we can enjoy adjustments, necessary nerfs/buffs, and fresh gameplay at a faster rate. But, pro players also need to adapt quickly to the changes, and I expect to see the rise of new heroes and strategies every month. Each tier list might feature a new set of heroes in the top 20!

The Spring Cleaning Update (v7.08) has been released on February 1st, and two weeks later IceFrog published v7.09 - the so-called Support Patch. This tier list includes all games played from February 1st to 25th, so also the ESL One Katowice 2018 Major.

Tiny, Omniknight, and Lycan are among the best heroes of the month. I have already talked about them in the previous articles, so check them out for more info on their strengths and weaknesses in the current meta. Have a look also at the January Tier List to compare all the differences with the previous tiers.

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Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Tiny 571 96.0% 142 23.9% 429 72.1% 51.4% guides ↗
Omniknight 506 85.0% 113 19.0% 393 66.1% 54.9% guides ↗
Naga Siren 487 81.9% 135 22.7% 352 59.2% 47.4% guides ↗
Razor 459 77.1% 171 28.7% 288 48.4% 52.6% guides ↗


UP:
DOWN:
Compared to January Tier list


Naga Siren ascended via indirect buffs



Naga Siren received no direct changes since 7.07c, and in January she was just a tier 4 hero with a 12% draft rate. Why is she so popular now?

Note: only the support Naga, not the greedy Radiance holder we find in pub games!
  • Versatility via illusions. Mirror Image creates 3 illusions lasting 30 seconds - the skill has only a 40 seconds cooldown. These can be used to check the jungle and Roshan Pit, prevent ganks, stack camps, bait enemy heroes, secure the area where the carry is farming by providing constant vision, and more. She has basically 3 moving wards at her disposal almost permanently.

7.09 - Killing a neutral camp stack now gives a bonus 15% gold bounty to the hero that stacked it.

Stacking camps is now extremely profitable as starting from 7.09 the support gets a 15% gold bounty. While the amount of gold isn’t massive, Naga Siren can actually earn up to three-four times the amount by stacking multiple camps simultaneously with hero plus illusions. It isn’t an easy task, but we are talking about pro players - even in pubs most people are able to stack at least two camps.

7.08 - Black King Bar cooldown rescaled from 80/75/70/65/60/55 to 70

The recent patch nerfed the BKB in the late game. With the introduction of the talent system, there are many heroes able to reduce the cooldown of spells and items, thus the BKB was just too powerful on them. For example, Shadow Fiend has a 40% cooldown reduction at level 25, so he could use the item in every teamfight with a 33 seconds cooldown. 7.08 balanced it.

This is an indirect buff to Naga because Ensnare works through magic immunity and has a long 5-seconds duration - as much as the duration of the BKB after the maximum number of uses!

Naga is a rather fast and tough support


  • 315 base movement speed is pretty good, and she can gain 25 more from the level 10 talent.

  • With 6.5 armor at level 1 she can withstand a lot of physical damage in the lane phase, and the armor will increase in the late game thanks to the 3.2 agility gain.

  • She has also a solid health pool: 620 health points at level 1, 2.8 strength gain, and +14 strength via the level 15 talent.

More qualities:
  • Good roamer.

  • Potentially, she can transform into a full-fledged core in the very late game.

  • Song of the Siren is a godlike ultimate that can be used for multiple purposes - the Aghanim’s upgrade is also very strong if you can afford it.

  • Rip Tide is a solid skill during the lane phase because it both damages and reduces the enemy armor, thus increasing the damage inflicted by her teammates.

  • A very open item build.

The Meteor Hammer has found its place




Observing the games played at ESL One Katowice 2018, we can notice two very popular items in her build: Urn of Shadows and Meteor Hammer.

The former is rather obvious because she often acts as the ganker of the team, thus can gain charges quickly. The Urn has been upgraded multiple times into the Spirit Vessel, a very helpful item in the late game as its active reduces and increases health based on a percentage of the target’s current health - it also interferes with HP regeneration and healing.

I want to focus your attention on the Meteor Hammer, an often underestimated item that became more popular after 7.08. A stun via item seems a great addition to any hero’s arsenal, but the Hammer has always been affected by two big cons: cooldown and channeling time.

Over time, IceFrog buffed it by increasing the stun duration and reducing the channeling time, but it wasn’t still enough to make it popular.

7.08 - Meteor Hammer cooldown reduced from 40 to 28

Finally, 7.08 brought a big buff by drastically diminishing the cooldown. Now, every hero can become a pusher: lane creeps have a 30-seconds respawn time, so you can effectively use it against every wave!

Naga Siren is a perfect hero for this item because she can combo it both with Ensnare and Song of the Siren. Imagine blocking the enemy initiation with your song and then hit 3+ heroes with the meteors. They cause a 2-seconds stun and inflict a total of 690 damage to units (before reductions) so you can compare the damage to an AoE level 3 Dagon.

As a side note, I am successfully using this item on Treant Protector in pub games. Currently, he is the one of the heroes with the highest win rate at 5k+ MMR (54.6%) even if still niche (about 4.5% of the games). If you have not tried the Meteor Hammer yet, you should! It is amazing with heroes such as Bane, Disruptor, Nyx Assassin, or Elder Titan.


Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Sand King 394 66.2% 247 41.5% 147 24.7% 46.6% guides ↗
Disruptor 381 64.0% 267 44.9% 114 19.2% 49.1% guides ↗
Gyrocopter 377 63.4% 212 35.6% 165 27.7% 53.8% guides ↗
Lycan 354 59.5% 104 17.5% 250 42.0% 49.0% guides ↗
Terrorblade 340 57.1% 117 19.7% 223 37.5% 60.7% guides ↗
Bounty Hunter 316 53.1% 84 14.1% 232 39.0% 52.4% guides ↗
Outworld Devourer 311 52.3% 123 20.7% 188 31.6% 48.8% guides ↗
Death Prophet 311 52.3% 128 21.5% 183 30.8% 55.5% guides ↗
Tinker 309 51.9% 87 14.6% 222 37.3% 46.0% guides ↗
Night Stalker 297 49.9% 84 14.1% 213 35.8% 46.4% guides ↗
Dragon Knight 281 47.2% 154 25.9% 127 21.3% 52.6% guides ↗


UP:
DOWN:
Compared to January Tier list





Sand King - A gem from 7.07



In this meta, Sand King is mostly played as an offlaner or a roamer. As Naga Siren, he also received no changes in 7.08 and 7.09, but he saw some buffs and a talent rework in 7.07. He was a tier 4 hero in October, jumped to tier 3 with the 7.07 patch, and in December advanced to tier 2. SK has not hit tier 1 yet, but we can find him at the very edge of it.
  • Prioritizing Burrowstrike is the best choice as a ganker. SK is very effective since the early game because his stun has a pseudo-blink to shorten the distance from the opponent. Burrowstrike is also a great skill to contest the level 1 rune as enemies tend to stick together in the limited space near the river, so you can hit multiple heroes and help to secure the Bounty.

  • Gain extra gold with Sand Storm. Putting points into Sand Storm helps if less action is taking place on the map and you have the time to stack and farm some neutral camps. You need to learn how to split your time among helping the lanes, pulling off successful ganks, and getting the farm you need for the Blink Dagger.

After 7.09, supports tend to stack more jungle camps than before - particularly in pubs - because they want the extra 15% gold. That means you can find camps stacked by your opponents in the enemy jungle. If that’s the case in your game, just head there and steal everything - teach them that they are just too greedy :P!

Beware: do not fall in the trap to afk-jungle for all the early game, this is not what your team needs!
  • Caustic Finale is amazing in the lane when facing melee heroes. All you have to do is hitting some creeps to apply the debuff, and if the opponent is nearby, just stun them with Burrowstrike when the timer is going to expire. The explosions will deal a massive amount of damage. Of course, it only works against the right heroes.

Initiator or Lane Dominator



There are two ways to build Sand King. In pro games, you find the first variant in almost all games and positions. Even when played in the offlane, he acts like a core that pressures the lane, secures farm, but builds the usual mobility items.
  • The Initiator is mostly a roamer. He gets Tranquil Boots, Magic Wand, and mobility items such as Blink Dagger, Force Staff, and Eul’s Scepter of Divinity. He will rarely have the gold for luxury items, but if that’s the case I suggest you get items like Shiva’s Guard or Lotus Orb depending on the enemy lineup.

  • The Lane Dominator is usually an offlaner. He tries to combine mobility and regeneration with items such as Tranquil Boots, Magic Wand, Drum of Endurance, Force Staff, and Hood of Defiance. He has a higher priority in farm so can afford some late game items, according to the needs of the team.

Also note that playing without a Blink Dagger makes it harder to land good Burrowstrikes because to hit multiple heroes in a line you really need to engage from the right angle. Overall, I suggest the second variant only to experienced players - even if it offers a very entertaining gameplay. The level 25 talent also has a +35 health regeneration option which stacks with all your regeneration via items.

The Aghanim’s Scepter is your last option for mobility



I checked all the Sand King games played at ESL One Katowice 2018, and the amount of Aghanim’s Scepters is very limited. Usually, pros opted for it only when they had already all the other mobility items.

The Aghanim’s upgrade on Sand King isn’t bad as it adds the Caustic Finale poison to all heroes hit by Burrowstrike, and also doubles its cast range. The poison is less effective in the late game, so technically you should buy the Aghanim’s Scepter as early as possible.

Blink Dagger and Force Staff offer a lot more value. Beside the upgrade, the Aghanim’s offers a decent amount of mana, health points, and stats if bought early, but no professional player prioritized it over the above-mentioned items. During the quarterfinals of the Major, Evil Geniuses’ Suma1L started building the Aghanim’s only after he secured those two items, and likewise Vici Gaming’s eLeVeN bought it only after getting those plus the Eul’s Scepter of Divinity.


Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Bane 271 45.6% 141 23.7% 130 21.9% 55.3% guides ↗
Tusk 270 45.4% 147 24.7% 123 20.7% 38.8% guides ↗
Phantom Lancer 270 45.4% 98 16.5% 172 28.9% 40.8% guides ↗
Shadow Fiend 270 45.4% 115 19.3% 155 26.1% 57.4% guides ↗
Rubick 268 45.0% 193 32.4% 75 12.6% 52.9% guides ↗
Chen 256 43.0% 57 9.6% 199 33.5% 47.4% guides ↗
Enchantress 255 42.9% 52 8.7% 203 34.1% 40.4% guides ↗
Clockwerk 251 42.2% 121 20.3% 130 21.9% 45.5% guides ↗
Witch Doctor 249 41.9% 194 32.6% 55 9.2% 47.4% guides ↗
Puck 246 41.3% 122 20.5% 124 20.8% 50.0% guides ↗
Brewmaster 244 41.0% 105 17.7% 139 23.4% 45.7% guides ↗
Batrider 239 40.2% 86 14.5% 153 25.7% 51.2% guides ↗
Elder Titan 232 39.0% 135 22.7% 97 16.3% 56.3% guides ↗
Queen of Pain 215 36.1% 118 19.8% 97 16.3% 46.6% guides ↗
Beastmaster 211 35.5% 96 16.1% 115 19.3% 61.5% guides ↗
Tidehunter 193 32.4% 83 14.0% 110 18.5% 56.6% guides ↗
Viper 162 27.2% 61 10.3% 101 17.0% 44.3% guides ↗
Earth Spirit 155 26.1% 87 14.6% 68 11.4% 50.6% guides ↗
Medusa 141 23.7% 49 8.2% 92 15.5% 46.9% guides ↗
Faceless Void 132 22.2% 62 10.4% 70 11.8% 53.2% guides ↗
Lifestealer 130 21.9% 67 11.3% 63 10.6% 40.3% guides ↗
Juggernaut 126 21.2% 59 9.9% 67 11.3% 49.2% guides ↗
Nyx Assassin 121 20.3% 49 8.2% 72 12.1% 59.2% guides ↗
Broodmother 121 20.3% 23 3.9% 98 16.5% 47.8% guides ↗

Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Keeper of the Light 114 19.2% 49 8.2% 65 10.9% 61.2% guides ↗
Ancient Apparition 113 19.0% 67 11.3% 46 7.7% 53.7% guides ↗
Underlord 108 18.2% 66 11.1% 42 7.1% 53.0% guides ↗
Io 99 16.6% 44 7.4% 55 9.2% 65.9% guides ↗
Shadow Shaman 96 16.1% 78 13.1% 18 3.0% 47.4% guides ↗
Chaos Knight 91 15.3% 35 5.9% 56 9.4% 54.3% guides ↗
Nature's Prophet 80 13.5% 42 7.1% 38 6.4% 47.6% guides ↗
Storm Spirit 79 13.3% 41 6.9% 38 6.4% 39.0% guides ↗
Jakiro 78 13.1% 69 11.6% 9 1.5% 39.1% guides ↗
Enigma 75 12.6% 30 5.0% 45 7.6% 43.3% guides ↗
Sven 74 12.4% 42 7.1% 32 5.4% 47.6% guides ↗
Pugna 73 12.3% 41 6.9% 32 5.4% 61.0% guides ↗
Timbersaw 69 11.6% 33 5.6% 36 6.1% 39.4% guides ↗
Weaver 66 11.1% 34 5.7% 32 5.4% 58.8% guides ↗
Lone Druid 65 10.9% 28 4.7% 37 6.2% 50.0% guides ↗
Luna 58 9.8% 37 6.2% 21 3.5% 48.7% guides ↗
Abaddon 56 9.4% 37 6.2% 19 3.2% 43.2% guides ↗
Vengeful Spirit 53 8.9% 42 7.1% 11 1.9% 61.9% guides ↗
Legion Commander 49 8.2% 30 5.0% 19 3.2% 33.3% guides ↗
Invoker 47 7.9% 31 5.2% 16 2.7% 38.7% guides ↗
Doom 47 7.9% 30 5.0% 17 2.9% 40.0% guides ↗
Kunkka 44 7.4% 31 5.2% 13 2.2% 51.6% guides ↗
Monkey King 43 7.2% 24 4.0% 19 3.2% 54.2% guides ↗
Dark Seer 42 7.1% 25 4.2% 17 2.9% 40.0% guides ↗
Sniper 42 7.1% 29 4.9% 13 2.2% 41.4% guides ↗
Warlock 40 6.7% 36 6.1% 4 0.7% 55.6% guides ↗
Templar Assassin 39 6.6% 24 4.0% 15 2.5% 50.0% guides ↗
Dazzle 36 6.1% 27 4.5% 9 1.5% 51.9% guides ↗
Leshrac 35 5.9% 25 4.2% 10 1.7% 64.0% guides ↗


In tier 4 and 5 we find all the situational heroes. They are strong when paired with others, or against specific lineups. These heroes aren't bad, they just don't work in every game, so the pick and ban rates aren't stellar.

Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Earthshaker 29 4.9% 26 4.4% 3 0.5% 38.5% guides ↗
Mirana 28 4.7% 17 2.9% 11 1.9% 47.1% guides ↗
Troll Warlord 27 4.5% 25 4.2% 2 0.3% 64.0% guides ↗
Visage 25 4.2% 15 2.5% 10 1.7% 73.3% guides ↗
Lion 22 3.7% 20 3.4% 2 0.3% 50.0% guides ↗
Anti-Mage 21 3.5% 10 1.7% 11 1.9% 40.0% guides ↗
Winter Wyvern 20 3.4% 16 2.7% 4 0.7% 62.5% guides ↗
Zeus 19 3.2% 10 1.7% 9 1.5% 40.0% guides ↗
Skywrath Mage 18 3.0% 12 2.0% 6 1.0% 66.7% guides ↗
Silencer 16 2.7% 13 2.2% 3 0.5% 46.2% guides ↗
Slark 15 2.5% 13 2.2% 2 0.3% 38.5% guides ↗
Undying 14 2.4% 13 2.2% 1 0.2% 15.4% guides ↗
Phantom Assassin 14 2.4% 11 1.9% 3 0.5% 54.6% guides ↗
Magnus 13 2.2% 10 1.7% 3 0.5% 40.0% guides ↗
Ursa 13 2.2% 10 1.7% 3 0.5% 30.0% guides ↗
Wraith King 13 2.2% 12 2.0% 1 0.2% 41.7% guides ↗
Ogre Magi 11 1.9% 8 1.3% 3 0.5% 25.0% guides ↗
Spectre 11 1.9% 4 0.7% 7 1.2% 25.0% guides ↗
Centaur Warrunner 10 1.7% 8 1.3% 2 0.3% 87.5% guides ↗
Drow Ranger 10 1.7% 4 0.7% 6 1.0% 25.0% guides ↗
Arc Warden 9 1.5% 6 1.0% 3 0.5% 33.3% guides ↗
Ember Spirit 9 1.5% 8 1.3% 1 0.2% 50.0% guides ↗
Venomancer 9 1.5% 6 1.0% 3 0.5% 33.3% guides ↗
Oracle 8 1.3% 8 1.3% 0 0.0% 50.0% guides ↗
Morphling 8 1.3% 4 0.7% 4 0.7% 100.0% guides ↗
Treant Protector 7 1.2% 7 1.2% 0 0.0% 42.9% guides ↗
Axe 7 1.2% 6 1.0% 1 0.2% 50.0% guides ↗
Shadow Demon 6 1.0% 5 0.8% 1 0.2% 40.0% guides ↗
Huskar 6 1.0% 3 0.5% 3 0.5% 33.3% guides ↗
Pudge 6 1.0% 1 0.2% 5 0.8% 0.0% guides ↗
Meepo 5 0.8% 3 0.5% 2 0.3% 0.0% guides ↗
Slardar 5 0.8% 5 0.8% 0 0.0% 60.0% guides ↗
Bristleback 4 0.7% 3 0.5% 1 0.2% 0.0% guides ↗
Lina 4 0.7% 3 0.5% 1 0.2% 33.3% guides ↗
Bloodseeker 3 0.5% 1 0.2% 2 0.3% 0.0% guides ↗
Spirit Breaker 2 0.3% 2 0.3% 0 0.0% 100.0% guides ↗
Clinkz 2 0.3% 2 0.3% 0 0.0% 50.0% guides ↗
Phoenix 1 0.2% 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0% guides ↗
Alchemist 1 0.2% 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 100.0% guides ↗
Necrophos 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 1 0.2% - guides ↗
Riki 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 1 0.2% - guides ↗
Lich 1 0.2% 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 100.0% guides ↗
Windranger 1 0.2% 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0% guides ↗
Crystal Maiden 1 0.2% 1 0.2% 0 0.0% 0.0% guides ↗


All heroes were picked, but Necrophos and Riki that were only banned.


In a few days, on March 1st, there will be a new patch. Is there any hero in particular you would like to see nerfed or buffed?

. . . . .

Credit: Statistics gathered from DatDota, thank you for your wonderful DotA 2 stats!

Skulz
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