Skulz’s Dota Competitive Hero Tier List August 2019 - The International 9

Skulz’s Dota Competitive Hero Tier List August 2019 - The International 9

The Dota 2 Competitive Hero Tier List for August 2019 is based on data from The International 9, for a total of 265 games. Patch 7.22f.

  • All heroes are arranged in five tiers based on their draft rate. The tiers are viewed as clusters of data, and each hero is placed in the one they are closer the most.

  • The requisites for each tier never change. The goal is offering a neutral comparison that shows how the meta evolves over time.

  • The win rate has no effect on the tiers, but is included for further info. The tiers depend only on drafts (picks + bans), and aren't affected either by the win rate of a hero, or by their performance in pub matches.

This tier list contains all pro matches played from August 1st to 25th during patch 7.22f, including The International 9.

Past Tier List: July 2019

More: All the Dota 2 Tier Lists

Quick links

Tier 1 - Tier 2 - Tier 3 - Tier 4 - Tier 5

All tables are responsive and sortable. If you are using a phone, turn it sideways for a full view. Otherwise, zoom in or click the grey area of each table to swipe and sort them.

Tier 1

Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Shadow Demon 217 81.9% 83 31.3% 134 50.6% 57.8%
Alchemist 201 75.9% 44 16.6% 157 59.3% 61.4%
Enchantress 182 68.7% 47 17.7% 135 50.9% 55.3%
Leshrac 163 61.5% 63 23.8% 100 37.7% 47.6%
Ogre Magi 151 57.0% 83 31.3% 68 25.7% 41.0%
Kunkka 149 56.2% 52 19.6% 97 36.6% 50.0%
Mirana 143 54.0% 48 18.1% 95 35.9% 54.2%
Elder Titan 138 52.1% 76 28.7% 62 23.4% 56.6%

The division in tiers is never perfect, and sometimes the heroes at the limit between the highest tiers have similar draft rates.

Tier 2

Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Outworld Devourer 127 47.9% 29 10.9% 98 37.0% 44.8%
Chen 127 47.9% 30 11.3% 97 36.6% 66.7%
Ember Spirit 123 46.4% 54 20.4% 69 26.0% 42.6%
Slark 123 46.4% 45 17.0% 78 29.4% 51.1%
Ancient Apparition 122 46.0% 54 20.4% 68 25.7% 51.9%
Lifestealer 122 46.0% 45 17.0% 77 29.1% 40.0%
Rubick 121 45.7% 69 26.0% 52 19.6% 55.1%
Centaur Warrunner 120 45.3% 44 16.6% 76 28.7% 59.1%
Omniknight 119 44.9% 32 12.1% 87 32.8% 43.8%
Gyrocopter 115 43.4% 61 23.0% 54 20.4% 59.0%

Alchemist is the most banned hero in Dota 2

Alchemist is one of the heroes who defined the meta at TI9.

His pick rate isn’t very high because he is so fearsome that the majority of the teams decided to avoid him, so he became the most banned hero of the month.

Alchemist literally changes the equilibrium of the game because he is able to create resources that are not naturally available on the map. While Hand of Midas has a similar purpose, it can’t be compared with the amount of gold provided by Greevil’s Greed.

On average, Alchemist comes out of the lane/jungle at 22 minutes with both Radiance and Black King Bar: it isn’t easy dealing with him while your cores are still building their first items.

Of course, there are several ways to counter him, but those methods work the best in pubs and in a less competitive environment. At TI, the teams picking Alchemist know how to secure his farm, so he achieved a win rate above 61% in the most skilled tournament of the year!

After a few failed attempts, it is clear that there is not a consistent strategy to deal with him at the moment, so the teams started instant-banning Alchemist in every game. Almost all the bans took place during the first phase.

Most bought items by pros

These are the most bought items on Alchemist by pro players during August:

  • Bracer: 65

  • Stout Shield: 62

  • Radiance: 44

  • Phase Boots: 42

  • Black King Bar: 41

  • Aghanim’s Scepter: 40

  • Assault Cuirass: 37

  • Blink Dagger: 34

  • Skull Basher: 21

  • Abyssal Blade: 19

  • Vanguard: 19

  • Boots of Travel: 11

The list doesn’t include consumables and basic items.

Armlet of Mordiggian isn’t used anymore

In the past, Armlet of Mordiggian was a core item on Alchemist as it grants stats that are indispensable for his early and mid game; but in August no pro player bought it. There are two main reasons behind this trend:

It delays your new core item. Radiance became a must-have item, and its impact on the game is greater the earlier you complete it. Alchemist is also one the fastest farming heroes in the game, so he can acquire the Radiance at record speed.

According to the data, the fastest Radiance on Alchemist this month was purchased after 10 minutes, while the average time is 13.5 minutes.

Armlet of Mordiggian helps your survivability, but now there are other viable options. 

  • Patch 7.20 reworked Phase Boots adding a 5 armor bonus, and 7.21 further buffed this amount to 6, which is a valuable defensive stats in the first 6-10 levels.

  • Bracer also went through several changes (+6% magic resistance in particular), so two of them greatly increase the survivability of a strength hero such as Alchemist against casters.

Loading Screen of the Boilerplate Bruiser for Alchemist - Valve

Loading Screen of the Boilerplate Bruiser for Alchemist - Valve

Gold and item optimization

Alchemist is one of the few heroes in Dota 2 that really doesn’t have problems accumulating money. His kit makes him one of the quickest farmers in the game, and the item build with Radiance grants an even faster gold generation.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy more item slots, so Alchemist must build expensive and efficient items to maximize his potential power. It is hard to justify a cheap 2,200-2,500 gold item on him.

  • Alchemist lacks armor, so Assault Cuirass helps against this vulnerability. Moreover, it doesn’t contribute only to his survivability, but also to the damage of the whole team thanks to Assault Aura.

  • Aghanim’s Scepter is a great deal for this hero because even if your strength reaches a cap relatively early, you can still boost your teammates by upgrading their skills. 

    • 7.22 also added Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade for Alchemist: for every Aghanim’s Scepter infused into an ally or himself, Alchemist permanently gains 30 attack damage and 6% spell damage amplification. The bonuses require Alchemist to have Aghanim’s Scepter equipped or infused.

Alchemist’s skill build

The image below shows the four most popular skill builds used in competitive games during August. 

  • Unstable Concoction is completely neglected because your focus isn’t ganking, but farming, so Greevil’s Greed has the priority.

  • Acid Spray increases the farm speed (particularly in the jungle and when split-pushing), and it is also a solid tool in the lane to prevent fights or to contribute to them as it inflicts physical damage AoE.

  • Chemical Rage must be acquired as soon as possible to boost Alchemist’s survivability as his life is constantly at risk in the early game because the opponents won’t let him farm freely.

Most popular Alchemist’s skill builds in August - DatDota

Most popular Alchemist’s skill builds in August - DatDota

How to counter Alchemist

In pubs, you still have hopes to counter Alchemist if his team is not well-coordinated.

Defeating him in the laning phase with an excellent solo or duo offlane isn’t sufficient because he will just move to the jungle, and his gold generation will grow quickly, especially if the supports also stacked camps for him.

In order to shut down Alchemist, you must overwhelm him in the laning phase, take control of the enemy jungle with wards, and continually gank or drive him away so he won’t be able to farm at all.

You want a team able to push, bring down towers, ward the map, and limit his movements by eliminating safe farming spots.

The experience in pubs

I have played several games where our supports or offlaners destroyed Alchemist in the early game, but after pushing down the safe lane tower they focused on other tasks or started farming for their own sake. If you leave Alchemist alone for even 5 minutes in an undisputed lane or jungle, you might lose the match!

Honestly, dealing with Alchemist is not fun. Beside the cores, everyone in the team must dedicate most of their early and mid game to counter him.

I believe that the hero is in a very strong position in the current patch because it is unbelievable that he can just get back into the game even after several deaths in the first 8-10 minutes. He just needs to AFK-farm in the jungle.

Suggested hero picks

Overall, what counters Alchemist isn’t an individual hero pick, but the intent of the whole team: you need the participation of several heroes in this “hunt” against the moneymaker boss.

  • Generally, I like picking Lifestealer because Alchemist is a strength hero with lots of HP but low armor, so you can easily exploit this weakness before he is able to farm appropriate items such as Assault Cuirass.

  • Timbersaw is also a great choice as he counters Alchemist at any stage of the game. He can win the lane and then punish him in his own element (the jungle). Note that you still need the help of a support for wards and disables to execute a solid offensive in the area controlled by the enemy team.

Tier 3

Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Magnus 103 38.9% 23 8.7% 80 30.2% 43.5%
Tiny 103 38.9% 70 26.4% 33 12.5% 50.0%
Crystal Maiden 97 36.6% 74 27.9% 23 8.7% 58.1%
Broodmother 96 36.2% 20 7.6% 76 28.7% 30.0%
Naga Siren 95 35.9% 20 7.6% 75 28.3% 55.0%
Sand King 91 34.3% 52 19.6% 39 14.7% 51.9%
Io 90 34.0% 23 8.7% 67 25.3% 60.9%
Faceless Void 89 33.6% 42 15.9% 47 17.7% 61.9%
Tidehunter 89 33.6% 53 20.0% 36 13.6% 64.2%
Lina 85 32.1% 39 14.7% 46 17.4% 46.2%
Dark Willow 74 27.9% 36 13.6% 38 14.3% 47.2%
Sven 74 27.9% 43 16.2% 31 11.7% 48.8%
Treant Protector 66 24.9% 13 4.9% 53 20.0% 69.2%
Grimstroke 65 24.5% 49 18.5% 16 6.0% 38.8%
Earthshaker 63 23.8% 48 18.1% 15 5.7% 52.1%
Batrider 62 23.4% 15 5.7% 47 17.7% 46.7%
Juggernaut 62 23.4% 29 10.9% 33 12.5% 37.9%
Wraith King 61 23.0% 43 16.2% 18 6.8% 53.5%
Silencer 60 22.6% 31 11.7% 29 10.9% 48.4%
Invoker 59 22.3% 37 14.0% 22 8.3% 56.8%
Beastmaster 58 21.9% 24 9.1% 34 12.8% 41.7%

Tier 4

Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Axe 55 20.8% 32 12.1% 23 8.7% 46.9%
Storm Spirit 54 20.4% 28 10.6% 26 9.8% 53.6%
Oracle 53 20.0% 27 10.2% 26 9.8% 63.0%
Mars 52 19.6% 23 8.7% 29 10.9% 43.5%
Enigma 51 19.3% 19 7.2% 32 12.1% 52.6%
Shadow Shaman 48 18.1% 35 13.2% 13 4.9% 48.6%
Timbersaw 47 17.7% 19 7.2% 28 10.6% 42.1%
Warlock 45 17.0% 31 11.7% 14 5.3% 48.4%
Morphling 45 17.0% 15 5.7% 30 11.3% 40.0%
Meepo 41 15.5% 12 4.5% 29 10.9% 66.7%
Razor 38 14.3% 16 6.0% 22 8.3% 43.8%
Anti-Mage 37 14.0% 12 4.5% 25 9.4% 58.3%
Legion Commander 35 13.2% 19 7.2% 16 6.0% 42.1%
Lone Druid 35 13.2% 13 4.9% 22 8.3% 23.1%
Templar Assassin 34 12.8% 21 7.9% 13 4.9% 66.7%
Death Prophet 34 12.8% 17 6.4% 17 6.4% 35.3%
Queen of Pain 34 12.8% 16 6.0% 18 6.8% 50.0%
Nyx Assassin 30 11.3% 13 4.9% 17 6.4% 38.5%
Pugna 30 11.3% 12 4.5% 18 6.8% 33.3%
Troll Warlord 28 10.6% 19 7.2% 9 3.4% 42.1%
Spectre 28 10.6% 11 4.2% 17 6.4% 45.5%
Abaddon 27 10.2% 22 8.3% 5 1.9% 63.6%
Bristleback 27 10.2% 15 5.7% 12 4.5% 46.7%
Lich 27 10.2% 18 6.8% 9 3.4% 44.4%
Bane 27 10.2% 15 5.7% 12 4.5% 40.0%
Earth Spirit 26 9.8% 21 7.9% 5 1.9% 57.1%
Tinker 25 9.4% 9 3.4% 16 6.0% 66.7%
Medusa 24 9.1% 13 4.9% 11 4.2% 46.2%
Pangolier 23 8.7% 16 6.0% 7 2.6% 37.5%
Arc Warden 23 8.7% 10 3.8% 13 4.9% 40.0%
Jakiro 22 8.3% 21 7.9% 1 0.4% 33.3%
Shadow Fiend 22 8.3% 15 5.7% 7 2.6% 46.7%
Windranger 21 7.9% 18 6.8% 3 1.1% 66.7%
Lion 20 7.6% 17 6.4% 3 1.1% 52.9%
Monkey King 19 7.2% 11 4.2% 8 3.0% 45.5%
Phoenix 19 7.2% 10 3.8% 9 3.4% 50.0%
Dazzle 19 7.2% 8 3.0% 11 4.2% 50.0%
Phantom Assassin 19 7.2% 14 5.3% 5 1.9% 42.9%
Venomancer 18 6.8% 6 2.3% 12 4.5% 50.0%
Witch Doctor 17 6.4% 17 6.4% 0 0.0% 47.1%
Bloodseeker 17 6.4% 6 2.3% 11 4.2% 50.0%
Brewmaster 16 6.0% 9 3.4% 7 2.6% 22.2%
Dragon Knight 16 6.0% 12 4.5% 4 1.5% 58.3%
Sniper 16 6.0% 7 2.6% 9 3.4% 42.9%
Spirit Breaker 15 5.7% 10 3.8% 5 1.9% 40.0%
Necrophos 15 5.7% 10 3.8% 5 1.9% 60.0%
Zeus 15 5.7% 13 4.9% 2 0.8% 38.5%
Puck 15 5.7% 5 1.9% 10 3.8% 20.0%

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 outstanding.

Tier 5

Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Winter Wyvern 14 5.3% 9 3.4% 5 1.9% 66.7%
Weaver 13 4.9% 8 3.0% 5 1.9% 37.5%
Dark Seer 13 4.9% 5 1.9% 8 3.0% 80.0%
Terrorblade 12 4.5% 9 3.4% 3 1.1% 33.3%
Tusk 12 4.5% 10 3.8% 2 0.8% 60.0%
Pudge 12 4.5% 9 3.4% 3 1.1% 22.2%
Nature's Prophet 11 4.2% 6 2.3% 5 1.9% 50.0%
Underlord 10 3.8% 10 3.8% 0 0.0% 60.0%
Viper 10 3.8% 5 1.9% 5 1.9% 40.0%
Visage 9 3.4% 5 1.9% 4 1.5% 60.0%
Techies 8 3.0% 2 0.8% 6 2.3% 0.0%
Disruptor 8 3.0% 8 3.0% 0 0.0% 12.5%
Ursa 8 3.0% 4 1.5% 4 1.5% 25.0%
Slardar 8 3.0% 7 2.6% 1 0.4% 57.1%
Vengeful Spirit 8 3.0% 8 3.0% 0 0.0% 12.5%
Doom 7 2.6% 5 1.9% 2 0.8% 60.0%
Huskar 7 2.6% 3 1.1% 4 1.5% 33.3%
Phantom Lancer 7 2.6% 6 2.3% 1 0.4% 33.3%
Night Stalker 6 2.3% 3 1.1% 3 1.1% 33.3%
Riki 6 2.3% 4 1.5% 2 0.8% 50.0%
Skywrath Mage 5 1.9% 5 1.9% 0 0.0% 40.0%
Lycan 5 1.9% 1 0.4% 4 1.5% 0.0%
Bounty Hunter 4 1.5% 3 1.1% 1 0.4% 33.3%
Drow Ranger 4 1.5% 4 1.5% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Chaos Knight 3 1.1% 2 0.8% 1 0.4% 50.0%
Luna 3 1.1% 3 1.1% 0 0.0% 33.3%
Keeper of the Light 2 0.8% 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 100%
Undying 2 0.8% 2 0.8% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Clockwerk 2 0.8% 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 100%
Clinkz 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0 0.0% 0.0%

Heroes not drafted

All the heroes were picked or banned!


Header image (Convicts' Trophies Loading Screen for Alchemist) and hero icons: Valve - Statistics: DatDota

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.