Elder who? New hero? With 111 heroes to choose from, it’s hardly surprising that one or two of them tend to get a little bit overlooked in both public and competitive play. Maybe they don’t have the flashiest skills, or they aren’t popular with the top streamers, or perhaps they’re simply lacking in the cosmetics department – whatever the case, it’s a shame that some potentially powerful heroes are frequently disregarded without much thought. Let’s take a look at the most criminally underrated heroes in Dota 2 right now.
With a pick rate of less than 3% this month in public play, Elder Titan rarely sees much action despite featuring impressive win rates in every single skill bracket. He’s famous for being the most irrelevant hero in Dota but do not underestimate his team fight potential – as you can see from the clip above, his percentage-based damage can bring down the tankiest of heroes. Some teams have already been experimenting with him as an offlane support and he’s likely to feature at the Manila Major, but we expect that unless he delivers an epic, tournament winning Earth Splitter he’ll continue to be undervalued by pub players. What does he give you? Control, high ground defence, vision, huge team-fight potential, and possibly the best aura in the game with Natural Order. Sure he requires a bit of set-up to fully deliver but it’s worth it since he counters all those popular Armlet cores.
Another hero with strong win rates in public play, it’s surprising that no one has figured out how to bring Necro into the competitive meta. On paper the hero looks fantastic with strong potential to counter the opposition carry thanks to Reaper’s Scythe, no matter how tanky they are, and a powerful five-man ability in Death Pulse. He scales will with Aghs, Octarine Core, Refresher etc. but also packs a punch during the early game and can help his side quickly push down towers. Laning Nercrophos is the hard part, since pub players like to force him into the support role, despite the fact he brings little to the laning phase. He’s also vulnerable to being burst down before he’s got farm so he needs a bit of time to tank up. He might work as a situational mid hero or a safelane carry in a dual core line-up. Hopefully it won’t be too long before Team Liquid try him out again.
Kunkka has been receiving buff after buff every single patch and it’s been years since he’s felt so strong. He’s not getting picked very much and he’s a hero that requires practice, but players like Attacker have been showcasing the strength of Kunkka in this patch, as you can see from the clip above. There are plenty of ways to build him now, with Armlet, Shadow Blade, Blink Dagger, Battlefury, or Drums, all early possibilities, and for experienced players this versatility is a huge advantage. Now that Tidebringer can be toggled on and off he can be played in different lanes, and we’ve even seen some support Kunkka working out in partnership with Mirana Arrows in the past. It’s definitely about time the top players started testing him out.
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Keeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light is certainly not a one trick pony, and with significant buffs to his movement speed, Chakra Magic, and Mana Leak, Kotl is far more flexible than before. Sure the classic Illuminate build is great for defending towers or farming up jungle camps, but during the laning phase, when you want your carry to farm, these other two skills really shine. Mana Leak is unbelievably irritating to deal with at all stages of the game, whilst Chakra Magic works in great combination with carries who have powerful early nukes but lack mana – Bristleback, Phantom Lancer and Tiny all spring to mind. Even better, once you’ve got Aghs he turns into a monstrous pusher and provides so much to team fights. Keeper of the Light definitely deserves more attention than he gets.
We expect some teams will experiment with Centaur Warrunner at the Manila Major, since he offers so much to any side he’s on – with Aghs even giving his allies 60% damage reduction for four seconds. He’s one of those heroes people have been trying to bring back into the meta but he still hasn’t quite found his place yet. He’s pretty weak as an offlaner, since he’s got no escape and struggles for mana, whilst his farm speed is a bit slow to justify putting him in the safelane. Mid Centaur is definitely something we could see, since there are few matchups he straight loses and with fast levels and a fast Blink Dagger he’ll terrorize the enemy side.