The Dota 2 Competitive Hero Tier List for June 2018 includes data from 7.16 and 7.17, for a total of 350 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.
The tier list includes all matches from June 1st to 26th. I waited the end of The International 8 regional qualifiers to collect all competitive data prior 7.18.
Past Tier List: May 2018
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.
Lycan excels against supports with single target abilities
The JUNGLE BOSS is back!!!...Just joking guys, stop drooling :).
During The International 8 qualifiers, Lycan has been played mostly as a safe laner, but we saw him several times also in the mid and the off lane. Due to the trend in the current competitive meta, the off lane is generally a dual lane, so he could still count on the help of a support.
Lycan is a solid pick when the enemy supports have no AoE damage abilities to kill your wolves. You can use them to pull creeps, explore the jungle preventing ganks, and to harass the opponents. Thanks to them, Lycan is able to farm and fight back even when the main hero is disabled or under constant threat.
The wolves are also great to deny the first enemy rune, and you can even contest it with some help. IceFrog slightly buffed them in 7.14, increasing their health in the early game and raising the overall damage.
Lycan enjoys three early power spikes
There are three moments that greatly improve Lycan’s strength, and if achieved early can turn him into a real nuisance for the enemy team.
- Level 6. Shapeshift is a game-changing ability because it literally transforms the hero in a new one. Faster and stronger, Lycan gains an amazing mobility and a huge ganking potential.
- Minute 8. After the lane phase ends, you must have the Helm of the Dominator. Depending on the neutral selected, you can enhance your ganking or pushing power. Almost no one can survive a smoke gank from a Shapeshifted Lycan.
The only issue that hinders his chances as a ganker is the complete lack of disables, but that’s fixed easily with the right neutral creep. For example, the Centaur Conqueror’s War Stomp has a two-second duration, which is plenty for a kill in the early-mid game.
- Minute 16-20. The Necronomicon has always been a mandatory item on Lycan because his abilities work on all units under his control, which includes wolves, dominated creeps, and Necronomicon units.
Every time a Lycan player reaches one of these steps, he should exploit the new tools at his disposal to bring havoc in the enemy lines, and acquire objectives with his team.
Small nerfs in the past patches
Reduced intelligence gain from 1.55 to 1.4.
It means less total mana at your disposal during the game because Lycan doesn’t have INT items in his core build.
The recipe of the Necronomicon changed in 7.07, and now it no longer provides intelligence, but only mana regeneration. The Helm of the Dominator and the Vladmir's Offering only give 2 INT each.
Reduced Shapeshift critical strike damage from 160%/180%/200% to 150%/175%/200%.
Shapeshift has a 40% critical chance, so it still adds a lot of damage. The change has a moderate impact because it affects also the damage of your wolves and any other unit under your command.
Reduced Feral Impulse attack damage bonus from 15%/26%/37%/48% to 12%/24%/36%/48%.
Even considering your units, the nerf is really negligible. It is mostly aimed to balance your ability to trade hits during the lane stage.
Reduced base attack damage from 33-38 to 30-35.
Reduced base armor from 0 to -2.
A big nerf to his lane phase. With only 0.5 armor at level 1, and as a melee hero, Lycan is now extremely susceptible to physical harassment. You may consider an early Ring of Basilius to compensate the 2 armor lost, but that will delay a bit the Helm of the Dominator.
Night Stalker is one of the heroes with the best stats in the entire game
At level 1, he has 717 HP, 4.8 armor, and a 3.25 base health regeneration. With this much armor he can handle physical harassers, while the large health pool is helpful versus casters, and he can restore it quickly. There are only three heroes with a bigger health regeneration: Axe, Nyx Assassin, and Ogre Magi.
Some players thought that the Darkness nerf in 7.16 would have killed the hero, and indeed it had a huge impact.
Before, the ability set the enemy vision to a fixed amount (675 range) while now reduces it by 25%, and doesn’t affect buildings. Towers are absolutely safe at night, heroes' vision is less obstructed, and the Observer Wards give a 1200 vision range (1600 default, 800 prior the nerf).
The same patch also impeded his ganking abilities because Void no longer applies a mini-stun during the day, so any hero can escape using Teleport Scrolls - if you are hunting alone.
The patch increased the cooldown of Void and Crippling Fear. The latter is an impactful change as the cooldown went from 12 to 24/20/16/12, so now you can use it just once during the early ganks. At night, Crippling Fear is one of the best non-ultimate disables in the game: it silences and applies a 50% miss chance to the target for up to 8 seconds.
The hero continues being picked because the adversaries need to spend several resources to force him out of the lane, and to prevent his ganks.
Void now deals half damage during day.
Base movement speed reduced from 290 to 285.
The movement speed loss hurts his roaming power, and Void now deals 45/80/127.5/167.5 damage during the day, which is certainly not enough.
From sources, I heard that NS might become a Gargoyle in a few patches, turning to stone during the day. Maybe then the hero will be finally balanced for pro games.
Io is a perfect companion in the dual lane meta
I featured Io recently among the top offlaners of 7.17, explaining in detail the changes of the past few patches. Below, a quick summary.
7.16 mostly blocked an over-abused strat by moving the level 20 talent attack Tethered ally's target to level 25. You can still use it, but Io’s chances to reach level 25 during a game are very poor. The talent was replaced by +20 health regeneration, which wasn’t a bad option either, and in fact IceFrog diminished it to +15 in 7.17
Among the nerfs brought in by 7.17, reducing the Spirits explosion damage from 25/50/75/100 to 20/40/60/80 affected him the most.
In the hands of a capable player, this ability can win the lane phase. The five spirits explode upon impact, damaging and slowing the opponent for 0.3 seconds. With a 80% movement slow that lasts up to 1.5 seconds (5x0.3), you can save the life of your core during a gank, or help to score a kill if used offensively.
Before the nerfs, the spirits inflicted a total of 500 magic damage, which is an excessive nuke if you consider also the disable portion of the spell. Even if reduced, 400 now is still high.
At low levels, Io can inflict 200-300 damage every 18-16 seconds (with the mana provided by Soul Ring or Clarity potions), and force the enemies outside the range of the spirits, preventing experience and farm.
- Relocate now has a channel time instead of a cast delay.
I expected more nerfs because the hero is literally picked or banned in every game, but this is a colossal one! Now you can’t move while using the ultimate, and silences will interrupt the ability, while before a stun was necessary.
Defensive Relocates (used to save a core from nasty situations) are a lot harder to pull out, and Io requires extra items for survivability. The Glimmer Cape might become a core item to prevent being spotted and disabled.
In pubs, offensive Relocates require more coordination with the team. Your ally might break the tether as you can’t follow him while channeling.
Naga Siren’s competitive skillset
Naga Siren’s pick rate often surges when we approach The International. The hero possesses a skillset that suits a competitive environment.
Versatile illusions. Mirror Image creates three illusions that last for 30 seconds, with a 40 seconds cooldown - they are almost permanent.
She can use the illusions to scout the enemy jungle and the Roshan Pit, stack camps, and find out the position of the opponents for defensive and offensive purposes. They are very efficient thanks to Naga’s high movement speed of 315.
BKB-piercing disable. Ensnare is a 5-second long disable that works on magic immune units.
Good stats. 596 HP and 7.2 armor at level 1 make her a suitable opponent versus physical DPS heroes in the lane phase.
Great versus melee opponents. Rip Tide damages the enemies affected and reduces their armor, making them more vulnerable to physical harassment. A precious skill during the lane stage.
Teamfight-changing ultimate. Song of the Siren can be used both to initiate a battle or to disengage from it. The Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade is also impressive because it can almost fully heal your teammates during a fight (it regenerates 10% of their health per second, and the Song has a 7-second duration).
Can potentially turn into a core. It doesn’t happen often in pro games, but in a very long match you might gain enough gold to achieve the status of 4th core in the team.
- Rip Tide damage reduced from 120/160/200/240 to 80/130/180/230.
- Ensnare cooldown increased from 12 to 14.
The nerf to Rip Tide at level 1 and 2 is significant, and will certainly hinder her harassing capabilities in the early game.
Beastmaster can win even a solo hard-lane
With a big 717 health pool, 64-68 damage at level 1, and 305 movement speed, he can trade hits with almost any hero.
Wild Axes makes a huge difference in the lane phase: not for the damage of the spell which is only 30/60/90/120 per axe, but because it amplifies your own damage by 6%/8%/10%/12% per stack. You can punish any melee hero in your attack range.
He has been hit by some nerfs already, such as the 2 base armor reduction in 7.17, which makes him more sensitive to physical attacks in the lane phase.
Pub vs. Pro games
I believe the biggest difference between a skilled and an average pub Beastmaster is the correct use of his beasts: Boar and Hawk.
They can be used both offensively and defensively to scout the map, especially the latter. The Boar is helpful in ganks as it applies a poison that reduces the target’s movement speed for 10%/20%/30%/40% with each attack (the debuff doesn’t stack, but successive attacks refresh the 3-second duration).
About the items, the Necronomicon is largely the most popular one in pubs as players want to exploit Inner Beast’s attack speed aura as soon as possible.
During the TI8 qualifiers, the Necronomicon was indeed a prominent item, but the real winner was the Medallion of Courage, often upgraded into the Solar Crest. I think several pub players avoid this item because they just forget to use it.
Increased Wild Axes mana cost from 80 on each level to 80/85/90/95.
Increased Primal Roar cooldown from 80/75/70 to 90/80/70.
Level 10 left talent: Reduced movement speed bonus from 25 to 20.
Level 15 right talent: Reduced armor bonus from 7 to 6.
Level 20 right talent: Reduced Wild Axes damage bonus from 100 to 80.
The list is long, but honestly IceFrog didn’t make huge changes in 7.18. He applied many minor adjustments to reduce the overall power of the hero.
In my article on the best 7.16 safe laners, I have analyzed the reasons behind Warlock’s success, the changes in the past few patches, his efficiency against dual hard lanes, and how his spells blend well in the current meta. Check out the article for all info, and then have a look at the last patch:
Shadow Word manacost increased from 90/110/130/150 to 120/130/140/150.
Shadow Word cast range reduced from 525/600/675/750 to 450/550/650/750 .
Both changes affect only his early game. The mana cost increase isn’t a big deal because you can compensate it with some extra Clarity potions. The cast range reduction exposes the hero to more dangers if used offensively versus an aggressive dual lane.
|Queen of Pain||35||10.0%||22||6.3%||13||3.7%||27.3%|
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.
|Keeper of the Light||4||1.1%||4||1.1%||0||0.0%||50.0%|
Heroes not picked
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 @SkulzDota.