Skulz Competitive Hero Tier List October 2017

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Forum » News » Skulz Competitive Hero Tier List October 2017
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep by Skulz » October 30, 2017 7:40am | Report

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Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4 Tier 5

FEATURED HEROES
Nightstalker Ancient Apparition Weaver


The Competitive Hero Tier List for October is a special one as it marks the end of v7.06. The Dueling Fates updates will be released on November 1st.


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 neither by the win rate of a hero, or by their performance in pub matches.

For the sake of comparison, the September Tier List is available here.


Changes and games considered



Starting from this month, I will introduce a small adjustment on how the tier 1 and 2 heroes are determined - thanks to Reddit user goatlicue for the suggestion.

We will consider the top two tiers as clusters of data that are closer to each other than they are to the next cluster of data. This system will prevent weird situations such as the Bloodseeker’s placement in September. The boundaries of the remaining three tiers won’t change, and those will continue having a smooth distribution.

I also want to point out that you should always look at the top and bottom heroes of each tier as a grey area.

The following tiers contain the data of all pro games played in October up to the 28th. We couldn’t include the final two days of the month, and thus also the remaining playoff matches of ESL One Hamburg 2017, due to the time required for the formatting. Missing some matches doesn’t influence such a huge amount of data.


Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Venomancer 320 92.5% 95 27.5% 225 65.0% 57.9% guides ↗
Night Stalker 318 91.9% 79 22.8% 239 69.1% 62.0% guides ↗
Lich 305 88.2% 68 19.7% 237 68.5% 60.3% guides ↗
Nyx Assassin 261 75.4% 72 20.8% 189 54.6% 45.8% guides ↗

UP:
DOWN:
Compared to September Tier list



Nightstalker - Map vision matters



Nightstalker maintained a solid tier 1 placement also in the past months. One of the reasoning behind his popularity is the ability to severely influence the map vision of both teams. He has two tools at his disposal to achieve it:

Limiting the enemy vision through Darkness. Nightstalker’s ultimate, Darkness, limits the enemy maximum vision range to 675. It affects any enemy unit, including buildings and wards. Note that this effect takes place only when Darkness is activated - regular nights aren’t affected.

Providing unobstructed vision to the team with the Aghanim’s Scepter. The unobstructed vision requires the Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade, and works also during regular nights. It is extremely powerful if paired with a Gem of True Sight: for example, your team will be able to detect wards and sentries while executing a smoke gank in the enemy jungle.

Honestly, the Aghanim is an exceptional item on Nightstalker, but you won’t always get one. In the competitive games played during October, the average purchase time was 31:53, the quickest one was bought at 22:36.

Finally, you must recognize that if playing in a pub environment, a low ranked team could not have the required knowledge to take advantage of the extra intelligence provided by your vision.

Countering Darkness



The best way to counter the effect of Darkness is by being prepared to sudden ganks and teamfight. You must have a team that understands when it is better avoiding the jungle or a certain area of the map, and always have teleport scrolls in your backpacks. That said, these tips will give you a hand:

  • Lycan’s Howl is empowered at night, increasing the damage and health points of heroes and friendly units. It isn’t a direct vision counter, but your opponents will have to face a stronger team.

  • Heroes with scouting capabilities will help preventing sudden ganks. Lycan is yet again another great example because his Wolves are fast and invisible.

  • Darkness doesn’t limit the night vision bonus provided by the Moon Shard.

  • Picking a team with optimal teamfight abilities will discourage 5-men ganks, or at least give you an edge even if you have the vision disadvantage.

  • Of course, proper warding helps, but at higher ranks the teams will often catch you off guard with a smoke. Also, remember that wards with only a 675 vision must be placed directly on the path you want to cover, such as the jungle’s entrances.
  • Treant Protector with an Aghanim’s Scepter will give all the vision required in the late game. Thanks to Eyes in the Forest you will plant all the wards needed to detect almost any incoming gank.

Do not pick Keeper of the Light! Many players believe that selecting KotL, farming an Aghanim’s Scepter, and engaging in a fight during the day is a smart option. Nightstalker will just use Darkness and cancel all your lead.

Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Batrider 222 64.2% 86 24.9% 136 39.3% 39.5% guides ↗
Necrophos 209 60.4% 73 21.1% 136 39.3% 48.0% guides ↗
Earthshaker 194 56.1% 139 40.2% 55 15.9% 46.0% guides ↗
Nature's Prophet 180 52.0% 67 19.4% 113 32.7% 44.8% guides ↗
Ancient Apparition 175 50.6% 95 27.5% 80 23.1% 48.4% guides ↗
Puck 174 50.3% 104 30.1% 70 20.2% 43.3% guides ↗
Clockwerk 167 48.3% 107 30.9% 60 17.3% 51.4% guides ↗
Monkey King 162 46.8% 91 26.3% 71 20.5% 47.3% guides ↗
Bloodseeker 161 46.5% 70 20.2% 91 26.3% 61.4% guides ↗
Viper 155 44.8% 42 12.1% 113 32.7% 54.8% guides ↗
Earth Spirit 153 44.2% 101 29.2% 52 15.0% 57.4% guides ↗
Mirana 138 39.9% 93 26.9% 45 13.0% 52.7% guides ↗
Pugna 127 36.7% 75 21.7% 52 15.0% 44.0% guides ↗

UP:
Compared to September Tier list

I resolved to include Mirana and Pugna in tier 2 as there is a noticeable 5.2% draft rate gap if compared to tier 3 heroes.

In the past month we discussed about a very interesting topic regarding Bloodseeker: how Bloodrage interacts with the Blade Mail, and pros/cons on using it over rushing a Radiance. If you missed it, I suggest you take a quick look.



Ancient Apparition boosts your teamfights



A common mistake that many pub players do is picking Ancient Apparition just for his ultimate. It is strong and lets you contribute to the teamfight even from a distance, but that shouldn’t be your main focus. All AA’s abilities can interact with your team and boost their strength.

Ice Vortex is one of AA’s most underrated skills

For 16 seconds Ice Vortex provides up to 38% (with talent) magic resistance reduction and movement speed slow to the enemies affected. With a cooldown of only 4 seconds, you should always use at least two instances of it in the teamfight area.

I will use as example some of the top picks of the month: Venomancer, Lich, Batrider, and Earthshaker. All these heroes have strong AoE magic damage via ultimate or other skills. Your 38% magic damage boost is literally a game-changer in this situation, and the slow will also limit the enemy’s chances to escape from Lich’s Chain Frost, or from a terrain engulfed in Batrider’s Firefly flames.

  • Cold Feet is basically a delayed stun, and if the opponent moves out of the area it won’t trigger. If possible, always use it in combination with a stuns or slow provided by your teammates.

  • Never forget to use Chilling Touch in lane, or prior a gank and teamfight. Up to 80 damage (180 with the talent) is a big increase during the early and mid game. I love to maximize it in lane when playing with a ranged hero, such as Drow Ranger: she can keep hitting the opponent while slowing them with Frost Arrows.

Ice Blast effects



Ice Blast has multiple effects, and we will review them soon. First, I want to talk about the importance of the damage over time.

Ice Blast has a 10 seconds duration, 17 with the Aghanim’s Scepter, and during all this time the DoT will block the use of Blink Daggers. Don’t underestimate this effect as often many casters and supports must rely on mobility to survive and properly play their hero. A well-timed Ice Blast could transform your gank attempts in a flawless massacre.

Ice blast is a solid nuke, but it also places a debuff with multiple effects:

  1. It prevents healing, regeneration, and lifesteal.

  2. Inflicts damage over time.

  3. Instantly kills the enemies that drop below a certain health percentage.

Note that the Armlet of Mordiggian will become useless and extremely harmful for the user, but the following skills will still affect your health points:


Don’t forget that Ice Blast will partly influence you even when magic immune:

  1. The debuff is applied.

  2. Magic immunity prevents the initial nuke and the DoT, but not the shatter effect.

  3. Healing, regeneration, and lifesteal are blocked.

Finally, the debuff isn’t applied on hidden units and illusions.

Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Sven 109 31.5% 50 14.5% 59 17.1% 50.0% guides ↗
Faceless Void 109 31.5% 52 15.0% 57 16.5% 40.4% guides ↗
Anti-Mage 105 30.4% 49 14.2% 56 16.2% 53.1% guides ↗
Weaver 101 29.2% 40 11.6% 61 17.6% 57.5% guides ↗
Ember Spirit 101 29.2% 52 15.0% 49 14.2% 42.3% guides ↗
Death Prophet 100 28.9% 44 12.7% 56 16.2% 50.0% guides ↗
Queen of Pain 99 28.6% 48 13.9% 51 14.7% 54.2% guides ↗
Jakiro 94 27.2% 72 20.8% 22 6.4% 44.4% guides ↗
Spirit Breaker 88 25.4% 64 18.5% 24 6.9% 51.6% guides ↗
Broodmother 78 22.5% 21 6.1% 57 16.5% 52.4% guides ↗
Chaos Knight 77 22.3% 37 10.7% 40 11.6% 54.1% guides ↗
Outworld Devourer 76 22.0% 31 9.0% 45 13.0% 38.7% guides ↗
Silencer 75 21.7% 41 11.9% 34 9.8% 43.9% guides ↗
Disruptor 75 21.7% 52 15.0% 23 6.7% 48.1% guides ↗
Legion Commander 71 20.5% 39 11.3% 32 9.3% 53.9% guides ↗
Enchantress 70 20.2% 20 5.8% 50 14.5% 50.0% guides ↗
Doom 70 20.2% 51 14.7% 19 5.5% 54.9% guides ↗
Rubick 70 20.2% 59 17.1% 11 3.2% 44.1% guides ↗



Weaver isn’t only an offlaner



A while ago, I read a discussion among some players about Weaver’s placement: some of them didn’t dare to play him in any place but the off lane because often the pub teams would just complain.

This month, Weaver boasted a 57.5% win rate in pro games, the highest in tier 3. I manually checked the stats provided by OpenDota, and found out that during October he was played in the following lanes:

  • Safe lane: 52 games

  • Off lane: 18 games

  • Mid lane: 2 game

Note: OpenDota doesn’t include data from amateur leagues, but there is still a discrepancy if compared to DatDota, which leads to a higher number of games.

Certainly, Weaver has a great survivability thanks to the invisibility and speed burst dispensed by Shukuchi, and in the past he was largely used as an offlaner, but he shouldn’t be relegated only to that role. He is a versatile hero that can adapt to almost any placement, and pro players are already preferring him as a safe lane core.

In my opinion, Weaver’s off lane potential is also partially hindered by the current meta: he really has a hard time when facing heroes such as Necrophos, Bloodseeker, or poison users like Viper or Venomancer. The Linken’s Sphere will help against some of their skills, but he will still need a support to win the lane phase.

Hero P+B P+B% Picks Picks % Bans Bans % Win % Guides
Io 69 19.9% 17 4.9% 52 15.0% 41.2% guides ↗
Lifestealer 69 19.9% 41 11.9% 28 8.1% 58.5% guides ↗
Kunkka 66 19.1% 48 13.9% 18 5.2% 41.7% guides ↗
Sand King 63 18.2% 42 12.1% 21 6.1% 52.4% guides ↗
Dragon Knight 59 17.1% 37 10.7% 22 6.4% 67.6% guides ↗
Phantom Lancer 58 16.8% 30 8.7% 28 8.1% 43.3% guides ↗
Bane 56 16.2% 39 11.3% 17 4.9% 48.7% guides ↗
Chen 54 15.6% 18 5.2% 36 10.4% 72.2% guides ↗
Dark Seer 54 15.6% 31 9.0% 23 6.7% 32.3% guides ↗
Shadow Shaman 54 15.6% 36 10.4% 18 5.2% 44.4% guides ↗
Visage 52 15.0% 34 9.8% 18 5.2% 73.5% guides ↗
Winter Wyvern 52 15.0% 42 12.1% 10 2.9% 64.3% guides ↗
Omniknight 50 14.5% 21 6.1% 29 8.4% 42.9% guides ↗
Juggernaut 46 13.3% 21 6.1% 25 7.2% 52.4% guides ↗
Razor 46 13.3% 25 7.2% 21 6.1% 28.0% guides ↗
Ursa 46 13.3% 28 8.1% 18 5.2% 42.9% guides ↗
Witch Doctor 44 12.7% 35 10.1% 9 2.6% 45.7% guides ↗
Terrorblade 42 12.1% 20 5.8% 22 6.4% 45.0% guides ↗
Storm Spirit 41 11.9% 26 7.5% 15 4.3% 50.0% guides ↗
Magnus 40 11.6% 25 7.2% 15 4.3% 56.0% guides ↗
Oracle 39 11.3% 20 5.8% 19 5.5% 40.0% guides ↗
Drow Ranger 32 9.3% 12 3.5% 20 5.8% 50.0% guides ↗
Invoker 32 9.3% 21 6.1% 11 3.2% 52.4% guides ↗
Tidehunter 32 9.3% 24 6.9% 8 2.3% 66.7% guides ↗
Tusk 32 9.3% 26 7.5% 6 1.7% 34.6% guides ↗
Lone Druid 31 9.0% 17 4.9% 14 4.1% 64.7% guides ↗
Lycan 30 8.7% 16 4.6% 14 4.1% 56.3% guides ↗
Bounty Hunter 30 8.7% 23 6.7% 7 2.0% 60.9% guides ↗
Beastmaster 26 7.5% 13 3.8% 13 3.8% 46.2% guides ↗
Lina 26 7.5% 17 4.9% 9 2.6% 70.6% guides ↗
Underlord 26 7.5% 24 6.9% 2 0.6% 62.5% guides ↗
Arc Warden 25 7.2% 11 3.2% 14 4.1% 45.5% guides ↗
Templar Assassin 25 7.2% 16 4.6% 9 2.6% 50.0% guides ↗
Tinker 24 6.9% 11 3.2% 13 3.8% 45.5% guides ↗
Brewmaster 24 6.9% 16 4.6% 8 2.3% 50.0% guides ↗
Keeper of the Light 23 6.7% 15 4.3% 8 2.3% 60.0% guides ↗
Shadow Fiend 22 6.4% 13 3.8% 9 2.6% 46.2% guides ↗
Timbersaw 22 6.4% 15 4.3% 7 2.0% 46.7% guides ↗
Enigma 22 6.4% 16 4.6% 6 1.7% 62.5% guides ↗
Skywrath Mage 21 6.1% 17 4.9% 4 1.2% 41.2% guides ↗
Troll Warlord 20 5.8% 13 3.8% 7 2.0% 38.5% guides ↗
Sniper 18 5.2% 9 2.6% 9 2.6% 44111 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
Alchemist 17 4.9% 9 2.6% 8 2.3% 22.2% guides ↗
Phantom Assassin 16 4.6% 10 2.9% 6 1.7% 70.0% guides ↗
Slardar 16 4.6% 13 3.8% 3 0.9% 53.9% guides ↗
Abaddon 15 4.3% 4 1.2% 11 3.2% 75.0% guides ↗
Medusa 15 4.3% 7 2.0% 8 2.3% 28.6% guides ↗
Riki 14 4.1% 11 3.2% 3 0.9% 36.4% guides ↗
Zeus 13 3.8% 6 1.7% 7 2.0% 66.7% guides ↗
Clinkz 13 3.8% 8 2.3% 5 1.5% 37.5% guides ↗
Dazzle 12 3.5% 10 2.9% 2 0.6% 20.0% guides ↗
Huskar 11 3.2% 4 1.2% 7 2.0% 25.0% guides ↗
Vengeful Spirit 11 3.2% 7 2.0% 4 1.2% 85.7% guides ↗
Slark 11 3.2% 9 2.6% 2 0.6% 44.4% guides ↗
Warlock 11 3.2% 10 2.9% 1 0.3% 30.0% guides ↗
Luna 10 2.9% 8 2.3% 2 0.6% 37.5% guides ↗
Phoenix 10 2.9% 8 2.3% 2 0.6% 50.0% guides ↗
Naga Siren 8 2.3% 5 1.5% 3 0.9% 60.0% guides ↗
Ogre Magi 8 2.3% 6 1.7% 2 0.6% 66.7% guides ↗
Bristleback 8 2.3% 7 2.0% 1 0.3% 42.9% guides ↗
Axe 7 2.0% 5 1.5% 2 0.6% 40.0% guides ↗
Crystal Maiden 6 1.7% 6 1.7% 0 0.0% 33.3% guides ↗
Lion 6 1.7% 6 1.7% 0 0.0% 50.0% guides ↗
Gyrocopter 6 1.7% 6 1.7% 0 0.0% 33.3% guides ↗
Meepo 5 1.5% 2 0.6% 3 0.9% 100.0% guides ↗
Tiny 5 1.5% 4 1.2% 1 0.3% 25.0% guides ↗
Undying 5 1.5% 5 1.5% 0 0.0% 80.0% guides ↗
Elder Titan 4 1.2% 2 0.6% 2 0.6% 50.0% guides ↗
Centaur Warrunner 4 1.2% 3 0.9% 1 0.3% 33.3% guides ↗
Morphling 4 1.2% 4 1.2% 0 0.0% 25.0% guides ↗
Shadow Demon 4 1.2% 4 1.2% 0 0.0% 25.0% guides ↗
Wraith King 3 0.9% 2 0.6% 1 0.3% 0.0% guides ↗
Pudge 3 0.9% 3 0.9% 0 0.0% 66.7% guides ↗
Windranger 2 0.6% 2 0.6% 0 0.0% 50.0% guides ↗
Treant Protector 2 0.6% 2 0.6% 0 0.0% 0.0% guides ↗
Leshrac 1 0.3% 1 0.3% 0 0.0% 100.0% guides ↗
Spectre 1 0.3% 1 0.3% 0 0.0% 100.0% guides ↗


All heroes were picked!

In a few days Valve will drop a bomb, the Dueling Fates update, which could drastically change the Dota 2 world. I am sure that the “green heroes” will receive some nerfs, but honestly I love the actual meta! Some fixes could make the game enjoyable for many months more

What do you expect from the 7.07 update? Broken new heroes? Only balances, or even hero reworks and new mechanics?

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

. . . . .

If you like and want to support my work, check out and follow my esports website - Esports Tales - containing news and articles on Dota 2 and CS:GO.

Skulz
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