Dota 2 patch 7.34d is coming to an end. Patch 7.34e has already been announced and will be released on November 20. But before we discover the changes and the new meta, it is interesting to take a look at the heroes that were almost eradicated by the current meta.
Many of these heroes used to be highly popular or highly successful in previous patches. But IceFrog simply destroyed them either by nerfing them, their item builds, or their timings. At the same time, other heroes got buffed and became widely played in the community.
At The International 12, we had the opportunity to take a close look at the most famous and successful heroes of Dota 2 patch 7.34d. All of them are interesting to watch and play, but sometimes a change is needed to refresh your interest for the game.
Here are the five of the least picked heroes in Dota 2 patch 7.34d:
1. Lycan: 0.67% PR / 46.8% WR
Lycan excels at farming a few core items and then split-pushing until the mid game. Another option for this hero is to ask for support from his team and push relentlessly, pausing only between ultimates to farm a bit more.
The objective when playing Lycan is to create space for your other cores and to disrupt the farming patterns of the enemy team. A team can only be strong if its cores are strong enough to fight the other team, both offensively and defensively. If a Phantom Assassin is forced to fight before she has her core items, fights will go poorly for her team.
When a fight is lost, some objectives are also lost, as well as a lot of neutral camps. This is why teams try to avoid all-in fights in the early game. They tend to lead to ruin if they go poorly.
The goal of any good team is to fight when the odds of succeeding are high. Based on the draft, that may mean forcing fights early or delaying them as much as possible and only fighting when it’s advantageous or the situation is desperate.
Lycan’s skills are not bad at all. Every single one of them gives him some valuable offensive or defensive capabilities. However, if teams are not inclined to play the game in a way that favors him, he will not get picked.
Right now, Lycan’s pick rate is below 1%. So Dota 2 patch 7.34e is expected to substantially boost his capabilities, so that he can reach at least a 3% pick rate and at least a 48% win rate.
2. Batrider: 0.79% PR / 39.9% WR
Batrider is generally regarded as one of the best initiators in Dota 2. His ability to Lasso a target and drag it out of position is extremely valuable in the mid and late stages of the game, when one enemy death can lead to a Roshan kill or even a victory.
The problem with Batrider is that some of his early game skills have been nerfed so many times that his early game is no longer viable. That’s why this hero doesn’t get picked very often. His win rate is abysmal, below 40%.
At the professional level, Batrider is still regarded as a valuable pick. But you can’t do anything with this hero in pubs. To thrive in that chaotic environment, you need heroes that can play to some extent on their own. If everything you do requires near-perfect synchronization with two other members of your team, forget about it. It will never happen below 5000 MMR.
Bat’s low pick rate is also caused by the difficulty of playing the hero. He is not exactly easy to use because his power spikes are brief and nonlinear, while his limits are hard to figure out. In each individual game, you need to calculate everything many moves in advance if you want to succeed. Most Dota 2 players aren’t willing to do that.
3. Visage: 0.82% PR / 51% WR
Visage is one of those heroes that look completely broken in the right hands, but will lose you many games if you don’t know how to make use of their abilities.
Visage strategies are always high-tempo ones and revolve around pushing a lot of pressure on the opponent’s lanes, forcing rotations, disrupting farming patterns, and creating space for your other cores.
Good Visage players use utility builds that give their entire squad the ability to fight and outlast the opponent. A Pipe of Insight, a Crimson Guard, or other similar items work very well on this hero.
Visage’s power comes from the combination of slows, stuns, movement speed, and damage output. The great part is that you can weaken your opponents and strengthen yourself at the same time. Against melee heroes with poor mobility, Visage is an absolute beast.
Visage works well in combination with other heroes that deal a lot of physical damage or decrease the enemy’s armor. Slardar is the perfect example here. Once the armor is removed, Visage can easily bring down a target.
Another option is to build yourself a Medallion and an Assault Cuirass, and then destroy everyone on the enemy team with basic attacks. If you have heavy physical damage dealers on your team, they will greatly benefit from the decreased armor that your enemies will experience around you.
4. Broodmother: 0.84% PR / 44% WR
Broodmother is really hard to play and will not do well in most games because teams don’t know how to play in combination with the spider. They don’t understand her timings and basic tactics, so they make a lot of inefficient moves.
Sometimes they try to help when you don’t need any help. Other times they wonder why you don’t help, not realizing that your goal is to put a massive amount of pressure on a single lane and force the enemy team to defend it.
Later, Broodmother can stay with her team more easily because of her toolkit. Webs are no longer an issue and you can use as many as you need, as often as you need them. But for the first 10-15 levels, you’re essentially a split-pusher whose goal is to create space and divert attention.
Having two or three heroes chasing you all the time and trying to control you leaves your mid and carry a lot of space to work with. Even if you get killed, the enemy team probably had to spend a lot of time and resources to accomplish this. So it’s totally fine, unless you get killed too easily and too often.
5. Beastmaster: 0.90% PR / 44.1% WR
Beastmaster’s toolkit makes him a great single-target hero that can deal with powerful enemies such as a Terrorblade, a Phantom Lancer, or any other hero that needs to be killed using a combination of stuns. Otherwise he’s too slippery.
Beastmaster used to be phenomenally useful. But now he’s suffering from all kinds of nerfs that simply ruin him. His strength against illusion-based heroes is not the same as before. He’s still very good at initiating fights, but he’s not good at surviving them.