With the release of 7.01 balancing out the huge gameplay overhaul that 7.00 brought with some well placed tweaks, it’s time to take a look at the meta in some real depth. What better way to start than checking the customary mid lane shuffle that each patch brings? Whilst the last year of Dota was dominated by a few particular mid heroes, including Outworld Devourer, Mirana, and, of course Alchemist, we’re pleased to see plenty of the more fringe picks make a return to mid in both pubs and competitive play alike.
Sniper’s slow comeback to competitive play began towards the end of the last patch but he’s now a top tier mid laner. He’s been receiving buffs for the past few patches, and Hurricane Pike has given him a great tool that helps keep him alive whilst improving his impact early on. Shrapnel was already an infuriating skill to play against and, with the buffs to it that his talent tree provide, it’s only gotten even more annoying. He really does have the capacity to dominate in mid against many heroes, especially if unchecked. If you’re playing against a Sniper, make sure you gank him early on.
Queen of Pain
Queen of Pain is a hero that has been turning heads over the past month. Her win rate remains low in pub matches, but we’ve see some of the higher skilled players out there picking the hero frequently and achieving some good results. She only received a small buff to her Base Attack Time in 7.00, but QoP is a natural snowball hero so the introduction of Talent Trees benefits her massively. And she’s got some great talents, most noticeably the +12% Cooldown Reduction at level 15 and the +70% Spell Lifesteal (1/5 for non-heroes) at level 25. She definitely scales better into the late game as a result and we’re seeing some new items builds on her already, including Blade Mails and Octarine Core.
Much like QoP, Puck is another hero who benefits massively from the introduction of Talent Trees and scales better in the late game as a result – with +75% Illusory Orb Distance/Speed and +8% Spell Amplification available later on. 7.01 also brought a cool-down reduction to Dream Coil which should give it a boost. Puck is still a fragile hero though, and one that only shines in the hands of truly skillful players.
While Templar Assassin will never be first pick material, due to her bad match-ups, her win rate has seen a hefty increase over the past month. It helps that some of those heroes that she doesn’t want to play against (Sven and illusion heroes in general) have fallen from popularity. She’s going to be one of the late picks in drafts that teams will have to watch out for. She naturally leads the board for gold and experience given a good start, and with damage, attack speed, evasion, and plenty of other options on her Talent Tree (including +3 Refraction instances at 25), she’s going to hit that much harder.