Skulz's Dota Competitive Hero Tier List December 2018 - 7.20e patch

Skulz's Dota Competitive Hero Tier List December 2018 - 7.20e patch

The Dota 2 Competitive Hero Tier List for December 2018 includes data from 7.20d and 7.20e, for a total of 160 games. All heroes are split in five groups.

  • 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, and aren't affected either by the win rate of a hero, or by their performance in pub matches.

This tier list includes all matches played during version 7.20d and 7.20e, from December 1st to 31st.

More: All the Dota 2 Tier Lists

This month, I decided to talk about Rubick mainly because his popularity increased greatly also in pub games, so I plan to provide some gameplay info that will help you with and against him.

Rubick enjoys a 31% pick rate at the Divine rank (surpassing even Magnus) and lingers at around 25% at most ranks. I am aware that a certain number of picks have been caused by the new magnificent Arcana (an Archon friend bought it and is spamming him :P), but this isn’t the whole story behind the success of the hero.

Past Tier List: November 2018

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%
Magnus 149 93.1% 20 12.5% 129 80.6% 70.0%
Phantom Assassin 139 86.9% 52 32.5% 87 54.4% 42.3%
Io 131 81.9% 24 15.0% 107 66.9% 75.0%
Sand King 127 79.4% 56 35.0% 71 44.4% 55.4%
Rubick 120 75.0% 60 37.5% 60 37.5% 35.0%
Brewmaster 117 73.1% 49 30.6% 68 42.5% 57.1%
Terrorblade 113 70.6% 50 31.3% 63 39.4% 42.0%
Grimstroke 110 68.8% 45 28.1% 65 40.6% 44.4%
Dazzle 109 68.1% 48 30.0% 61 38.1% 43.8%
Beastmaster 109 68.1% 42 26.3% 67 41.9% 59.5%
 

Rubick’s new ability: Arcane Supremacy

Arcane Supremacy increases the damage and the duration of all the offensive spells and debuffs used by Rubick. It affects both his own spells and the ones stolen.

This skill massively improved his usefulness and strength because now he doesn’t need to steal only tier 1 spells: any ability stolen by Rubick is dramatically boosted if compared to the original one.

  • Stealing a good stun or a high-damage spell can assure you a kill from level 6 with a minimum help from the team.

  • If you are able to gain gold, Rubick can focus on mobility items and then even get a Kaya (the spell damage amplification stacks with your passive ability).

I believe most pub players are attracted by the 26% Spell Damage Amplification bonus provided by Arcane Supremacy. It is useful, but the 44% Debuff Duration Amplification is the real game-changer during ganks and teamfight.

Rubick as a mid laner

Rubick isn’t just a support anymore, but also a flexible mid hero. 7.20 increased Rubick’s base attack damage and all his stat gains, which improved his toughness, harassing, and last-hitting capabilities.

  • The combination of his new stats, the level 10 talent +60 Damage, the Power Treads (+26 damage), and a few Null Talismans, bring his total attack damage to the same amount of a classic auto-attacker in the mid game.

  • Later in the game, the Aghanim’s Scepter makes an enormous difference in team fight because you can literally spam spells without pause, becoming a sort of Invoker.

  • Do not underestimate Fade Bolt as with the level 15 talent -45 Fade Bolt Hero Attack you can reduce the attack damage of all enemy heroes by 80.

The level 20 talent -5s Fade Bolt Cooldown decreases the cooldown of the spell to only 5 seconds, but unfortunately the debuff doesn’t stack. Imagine how broken would be the hero with a constant 160 attack damage reduction affecting all the enemies.

All the perks explained so far, combined with Arcane Supremacy, determine the current success of Rubick.

Stargazer's Curiosity loading screen for Rubick - Valve

Stargazer's Curiosity loading screen for Rubick - Valve

Looking at the pro stats from December, Rubick has been played as a support in the majority of the matches, but in a limited number of games he has been picked also as a core. I believe that the “mid Rubick” trend is more widespread in pubs

Rubick’s biggest weakness as a core is the late game, in fact he becomes exponentially weaker past 40-45 minute. Luckily for him, in this patch the average match duration decreased both in pub and pro games, and overall the game is usually decided during the first 30-40 minutes.

At most ranks, players prefer farming over pushing, so the games still tend to last an hour. I would suggest playing Rubick as a mid hero only to experienced players in the higher areas of the matchmaking (from Ancient onwards).

Skill build explained - Pick Fade Bolt at level 1

The biggest mistake you can commit with Rubick in the early game is getting Telekinesis at level 1. Many players believe that disables are always the best choice, and indeed they do work well in most cases, but Telekinesis is a situational ability with no added damage.

In a few cases, it can be useful to contest the Bounty Rune (particularly if more teammates join the battle with the intent to score a kill) and to cliff the opponents.

Successfully cliffing a hero is quite rare nowadays due to the new map design, moreover, everyone starts with a Town Portal Scroll, so they can easily get out of danger without waiting for the courier to bring it.

This picture shows the top 3 most used skill builds by pro players in December. The skill without an icon is Arcane Supremacy. Data and image courtesy of datDota.

This picture shows the top 3 most used skill builds by pro players in December. The skill without an icon is Arcane Supremacy. Data and image courtesy of datDota.

According to the statistics, pro players never prioritized Telekinesis, and the skill has been selected at level 1 only occasionally.

I want to point out that sometimes Telekinesis can be a good option:

  • If you lane with a hero who has a high-damage skill that requires the enemy to stand in place, for example Juggernaut’s Blade Fury.

  • If the second support attempts a gank at level 1 before teleporting into their lane.

Both these cases are rare - particularly in pub games - and you must consider also the opponents you are facing as they might be too tanky or have escapes to survive your attack.

In most scenarios, picking Telekinesis at level 1 will ruin your lane. Fade Bolt is a necessary tool to trade hits in the early game because it both deals magic damage and reduces the attack damage of the heroes affected.

20/25/30/35 attack damage reduction with a 10 seconds duration is huge. If used at the right time, you will be able to harass the opponents while receiving less damage, and also reduce their last hitting capabilities.

Fade Bolt has one weakness: it pushes the lane

Even being very cautious, you can’t avoid this side effect because you need the benefits brought in by the skill: out-harass the opponents and potentially zone them out.

At the end of the day, creep equilibrium is a complex matter formed by several factors, and damaging the creeps via your spells is just one of them. There are several methods to bring the action back to a safe location, such as blocking the creep wave, denying the creeps, or pulling the neutrals.

More: 7.20 pull and stack timings

Gifted Jester loading screen for Rubick - Valve

Gifted Jester loading screen for Rubick - Valve

Countering Rubick

If you really want to counter Rubick, do not let him steal important spells.

Pudge is a typical example. When facing Rubick, he should immediately activate Rot after Meat Hook. If Rubick steals the hook, he has very high chances to land a successful one because in most cases the opponents won’t even know that he stole it! Considering the huge pick rate of both these heroes in pub games, I am sure you have already experienced the issue.

This lesson works with any hero, and particularly those with AoE disables or massive nukes.

Magnus and Lion are excellent examples as they are among the most popular heroes in the meta and their abilities can change the fate of a battle. As a Magnus, Empower a teammate after a successful Reverse Polarity; as a Lion, drain mana for half a second after using Finger of Death.

Pick heroes with no useful spells to steal. Slark has no spells that a Rubick might desire. Pounce could be used as an escape, but that’s a situational move.

Tanks do not fear his burst damage. High-HP heroes can’t be killed easily by Rubick even considering the damage amplification of Arcane Supremacy (unless he steals a big single-target nuke).

Silence him. Of course, this is the definitive counter against all casters because they won’t be able to use any spell. If you play Silencer, I hope you will use a spell after your ultimate otherwise Rubick could steal a 8.6s long Global Silence.

Tier 2

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Centaur Warrunner 98 61.3% 48 30.0% 50 31.3% 43.8%
Outworld Devourer 94 58.8% 40 25.0% 54 33.8% 47.5%
Lich 83 51.9% 57 35.6% 26 16.3% 45.6%
Lone Druid 80 50.0% 18 11.3% 62 38.8% 61.1%
Pugna 79 49.4% 30 18.8% 49 30.6% 46.7%
Kunkka 73 45.6% 29 18.1% 44 27.5% 44.8%
Elder Titan 68 42.5% 29 18.1% 39 24.4% 51.7%
Undying 68 42.5% 33 20.6% 35 21.9% 30.3%
Anti-Mage 68 42.5% 33 20.6% 35 21.9% 72.7%
Tusk 67 41.9% 37 23.1% 30 18.8% 64.9%
Faceless Void 64 40.0% 24 15.0% 40 25.0% 54.2%
 

I have analyzed more 7.20 meta heroes in previous articles during December, check them out:

Tier 3

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Medusa 60 37.5% 18 11.3% 42 26.3% 61.1%
Phoenix 56 35.0% 30 18.8% 26 16.3% 53.3%
Shadow Shaman 55 34.4% 34 21.3% 21 13.1% 44.1%
Morphling 53 33.1% 18 11.3% 35 21.9% 44.4%
Axe 52 32.5% 20 12.5% 32 20.0% 45.0%
Oracle 50 31.3% 24 15.0% 26 16.3% 50.0%
Monkey King 44 27.5% 22 13.8% 22 13.8% 45.5%
Dragon Knight 43 26.9% 18 11.3% 25 15.6% 55.6%
Dark Seer 39 24.4% 19 11.9% 20 12.5% 57.9%
Keeper of the Light 35 21.9% 18 11.3% 17 10.6% 44.4%
Slark 34 21.3% 17 10.6% 17 10.6% 29.4%
 

Tier 4

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Tiny 31 19.4% 21 13.1% 10 6.3% 61.9%
Razor 31 19.4% 13 8.1% 18 11.3% 53.9%
Ember Spirit 30 18.8% 14 8.8% 16 10.0% 35.7%
Puck 30 18.8% 17 10.6% 13 8.1% 23.5%
Phantom Lancer 30 18.8% 14 8.8% 16 10.0% 57.1%
Skywrath Mage 29 18.1% 17 10.6% 12 7.5% 58.8%
Juggernaut 29 18.1% 14 8.8% 15 9.4% 57.1%
Huskar 28 17.5% 9 5.6% 19 11.9% 55.6%
Lina 28 17.5% 15 9.4% 13 8.1% 33.3%
Enigma 27 16.9% 12 7.5% 15 9.4% 58.3%
Tidehunter 26 16.3% 19 11.9% 7 4.4% 52.6%
Lion 26 16.3% 24 15.0% 2 1.3% 62.5%
Bane 25 15.6% 21 13.1% 4 2.5% 76.2%
Gyrocopter 23 14.4% 20 12.5% 3 1.9% 65.0%
Templar Assassin 23 14.4% 11 6.9% 12 7.5% 54.6%
Meepo 22 13.8% 4 2.5% 18 11.3% 100%
Drow Ranger 22 13.8% 10 6.3% 12 7.5% 50.0%
Spirit Breaker 21 13.1% 10 6.3% 11 6.9% 30.0%
Winter Wyvern 20 12.5% 8 5.0% 12 7.5% 12.5%
Timbersaw 20 12.5% 12 7.5% 8 5.0% 41.7%
Batrider 20 12.5% 11 6.9% 9 5.6% 63.6%
Arc Warden 18 11.3% 13 8.1% 5 3.1% 46.2%
Chen 18 11.3% 8 5.0% 10 6.3% 37.5%
Shadow Demon 17 10.6% 12 7.5% 5 3.1% 50.0%
Broodmother 17 10.6% 1 0.6% 16 10.0% 100%
Tinker 17 10.6% 4 2.5% 13 8.1% 25.0%
Luna 16 10.0% 9 5.6% 7 4.4% 55.6%
Nature's Prophet 15 9.4% 10 6.3% 5 3.1% 60.0%
Naga Siren 14 8.8% 3 1.9% 11 6.9% 33.3%
Mirana 14 8.8% 11 6.9% 3 1.9% 72.7%
Lycan 13 8.1% 7 4.4% 6 3.8% 28.6%
Jakiro 13 8.1% 10 6.3% 3 1.9% 90.0%
Invoker 12 7.5% 5 3.1% 7 4.4% 20.0%
Witch Doctor 12 7.5% 10 6.3% 2 1.3% 70.0%
Earth Spirit 11 6.9% 10 6.3% 1 0.6% 20.0%
Leshrac 11 6.9% 9 5.6% 2 1.3% 55.6%
Disruptor 10 6.3% 10 6.3% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Slardar 10 6.3% 7 4.4% 3 1.9% 14.3%
Spectre 9 5.6% 8 5.0% 1 0.6% 25.0%
Death Prophet 9 5.6% 8 5.0% 1 0.6% 37.5%
 

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%
Silencer 8 5.0% 3 1.9% 5 3.1% 66.7%
Doom 8 5.0% 6 3.8% 2 1.3% 16.7%
Weaver 8 5.0% 3 1.9% 5 3.1% 66.7%
Venomancer 8 5.0% 4 2.5% 4 2.5% 100%
Sniper 7 4.4% 4 2.5% 3 1.9% 50.0%
Shadow Fiend 7 4.4% 4 2.5% 3 1.9% 25.0%
Earthshaker 7 4.4% 6 3.8% 1 0.6% 83.3%
Troll Warlord 6 3.8% 4 2.5% 2 1.3% 25.0%
Visage 6 3.8% 4 2.5% 2 1.3% 100%
Underlord 5 3.1% 4 2.5% 1 0.6% 25.0%
Queen of Pain 5 3.1% 4 2.5% 1 0.6% 25.0%
Zeus 5 3.1% 0 0.0% 5 3.1% -
Techies 4 2.5% 2 1.3% 2 1.3% 50.0%
Legion Commander 4 2.5% 2 1.3% 2 1.3% 0.0%
Nyx Assassin 4 2.5% 4 2.5% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Vengeful Spirit 4 2.5% 3 1.9% 1 0.6% 33.3%
Crystal Maiden 4 2.5% 4 2.5% 0 0.0% 75.0%
Pangolier 3 1.9% 2 1.3% 1 0.6% 0.0%
Ogre Magi 3 1.9% 3 1.9% 0 0.0% 33.3%
Omniknight 3 1.9% 1 0.6% 2 1.3% 100%
Dark Willow 2 1.3% 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 100%
Bristleback 2 1.3% 2 1.3% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Treant Protector 2 1.3% 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0.0%
Ancient Apparition 2 1.3% 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0.0%
Clockwerk 2 1.3% 2 1.3% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Wraith King 2 1.3% 2 1.3% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Necrophos 2 1.3% 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 100%
Sven 2 1.3% 2 1.3% 0 0.0% 100%
Storm Spirit 2 1.3% 0 0.0% 2 1.3% -
Chaos Knight 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 100%
Alchemist 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 1 0.6% -
Ursa 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Clinkz 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 100%
Lifestealer 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Viper 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 100%
Warlock 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Windranger 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Bloodseeker 1 0.6% 1 0.6% 0 0.0% 0.0%
 

Heroes not drafted

 
 

Next Tier List: January 2019

Header image (Rubick Arcana) 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.