Whenever a new patch comes out, the vast majority of Dota players want to know the same thing: which heroes do I need to learn now and who should I be banning? Even small tweaks to the meta can banish certain strategies from favour and resurrect long lost heroes. Patch 7.02 brought many of the nerfs we were expecting, but there were few significant hero buffs. In other words, the strongest heroes will likely be those who were already relatively strong. Let’s take a look.
Enigma has been buffed consistently for the past few patches. Thanks to the introduction of Talent Trees, and his +120 Gold/Min option at Level 15, his late game impact if even more terrifying–he’s nearly always going to have that Black King Bar/Refresher Orb combo online. Enigma is strong at all stages of the game, scales unbelievably well for a position 3/4 hero, and we’re even seeing some players test him out in the offlane. He’s a hero that wants to be picked up later on in the draft to avoid Black Hole counters or roaming supports, but if you can avoid these, Enigma is going to win plenty of games for you.
Centaur’s win rate is intimidatingly high in almost every skill bracket. With a game-winning Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade and Level 25 Talent in Return Aura to swing matches in your favour, he stays relevant well past the 40-50 minute mark, as well as being an early game monster. He’s tankier than ever, and many items he likes to buy, such as Heaven’s Halberd and Blade Mail, have seen buffs over the past few patches. If you’re going to take him into the offlane alone then he can sometimes struggle against well set defensive trilanes. This is his only weakness, but thanks to Shrines and Iron Talons, there’s usually ways to survive a difficult laning stage.
Another hero who has been buffed consistently for quite a while now, in Patch 7.02 Crystal Maiden is finally starting to show up in competitive games. She’s an incredibly flexible early game support, able to zone offlaners with a bit of help, farm up some items in the jungle with Frostbite (whilst pulling and stacking), gank effectively once she Tranquil Boots, and supply her team with extra mana. A well time Freezing Field can also be crippling against certain line-ups if timed correctly, and she often does crazy amounts of damage for a support. Crystal Maiden isn’t generally the best solo support though, so if you’ve got a greedy jungler in your pub then maybe look for a stronger babysitter.
Sniper is another hero who has slowly been creeping up the win rate tables in every skill bracket. Whilst other carries like Luna have been seeing nerfs, Sniper has remained unchanged and he’s another hero we’re starting to see favoured by the pros. He’s still vulnerable to gap closers, and gankers like Pudge, but his laning is pretty flexible. If you’ve got plenty of control in your team, Sniper is more than capable of dishing out the damage.
Which heroes do you think are going to dominate in Patch 7.02? Did we miss something? Hit us up on Twitter.