Skulz’s Dota Competitive Hero Tier List May 2018

The Dota 2 Competitive Hero Tier List for May 2018 includes data from 7.14 and 7.15, for a total of 253 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 May 1st to 27th. I waited the end of ESL One Birmingham 2018 to collect all competitive data prior 7.16.

Every month, I strive to offer new info on the top heroes. Sometimes, it isn’t an easy task because the heroes leading the meta are often the same.

If you are looking for a particular hero, use the search function on the website as I featured several ones in previous articles, guides, and tier lists.

Past Tier List: April 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.

Tier 1

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Night Stalker 220 87.0% 51 20.2% 169 66.8% 49.0%
Io 215 85.0% 30 11.9% 185 73.1% 66.7%
Leshrac 194 76.7% 86 34.0% 108 42.7% 46.5%
Death Prophet 194 76.7% 87 34.4% 107 42.3% 52.9%
Doom 169 66.8% 75 29.6% 94 37.2% 60.0%
Gyrocopter 166 65.6% 86 34.0% 80 31.6% 59.3%
Phantom Lancer 158 62.5% 43 17.0% 115 45.5% 55.8%
Sand King 156 61.7% 80 31.6% 76 30.0% 48.8%
Naga Siren 145 57.3% 47 18.6% 98 38.7% 42.6%
 

Leshrac - Slowly buffed to the top

We have a new face among the best performers of the month: Leshrac!

The success of the hero is not a surprise as IceFrog steadily buffed him during the past years. Leshrac received almost only positive changes since 7.00, when the talent system was introduced.

Movement Speed

Base

  • 6.84: from 315 to 320.

  • 6.88c: from 320 to 235.

  • 7.12: from 325 to 330.

Talent

  • 7.00: +15 at level 10.

  • 7.06d: from +15 to +25.

  • 7.07: level 10 talent replaced with +40 at level 15.

  • 7.16: from +40 to +30

Movement speed is a crucial statistic for a hero like Leshrac. He is able to inflict a huge amount of magic damage, but practically all his spells have a low range, and the AoE ones only affect targets in a small radius around him (450 for Pulse Nova and 500 for Diabolic Edict).

He needs to reach the opponents quickly, keep them in his range, and of course stay alive.

Survivability is another big flaw of the hero that made him a not viable choice in a competitive environment. Fortunately, Valve improved it with another series of adjustments.

Strength

Base

  • 7.06: increased strength gain from 1.5 to 1.8.

  • 7.13b: increased base strength and gain from 16 + 1.8 to 18 + 2.1.

Talent

  • 7.00: +12 at level 20.

  • 7.02: from +12 to +15.

  • 7.07: level 20 talent replaced with +15 strength at level 15.

With 524 health points and 3.68 armor at level 1, we can’t define Leshrac a very tanky hero, but he is in a better condition than in the past.

The only issue with the new talent distribution is that now you can’t take strength and movement speed as they are both available at level 15.

 Oath of the Afflicted Soul loading screen for Leshrac - Valve

Oath of the Afflicted Soul loading screen for Leshrac - Valve

Leshrac is a core that requires farm

In pubs, Leshrac’s win rate is negative at most ranks. In my opinion, this is caused by the attitude of the players that often relegate him to a support role: even if you know how to play him, the team won’t give you the space and opportunities necessary to farm gold and build items.

If we take a look at the matches during ESL One Birmingham 2018, Leshrac is played mainly as a core, and sometimes as a roamer. The hero requires multiple items to do his job and use his spells: a huge amount of mana regeneration, extra mobility and movement speed, and ways to increase his toughness and survivability.

Below, the most bought items on Leshrac in pro Dota during May:

  • Arcane Boots: 75
  • Magic Wand: 72
  • Infused Raindrops: 62
  • Eul’s Scepter of Divinity: 50
  • Bloodstone: 27
  • Black King Bar: 27
  • Urn of Shadows: 22
  • Boots of Travel: 20
     
  • Arcane Boots and Magic Wand are both helpful for extra mana during the early and mid game.
     
  • The Eul’s Scepter of Divinity is the most used core item because it helps the hero with enhanced mobility and mana regeneration. The active ability “Cyclone” is awesome in ganks and teamfights: Diabolic Edict and Pulse Nova keep damaging all enemies in range while you are immune to any attack for 2.5 seconds.
     
  • The Bloodstone is a great choice for mana regeneration and survivability, particularly if you are snowballing and can gain multiple charges.
     
  • Your spells have a low casting range, and you need to stay next to the enemies to exploit the AoE ones, so any stun or slow will interfere and reduce your effectiveness in teamfight. Magic immunity is mandatory, and you should buy the Black King Bar as 3rd or 4th item.
     
  • The Urn of Shadows is an optimal choice for a roamer, and will boost even more the total magic damage you can inflict on a target. Overall, I suggest to always have one in the team, but avoid it if you are playing as one of the main cores.
     
  • Leshrac is a great pusher who can annihilate entire creep waves and destroy towers quickly. The Boots of Travel give you extra movement speed, and the Teleport ability is fundamental when split-pushing.

Do not underestimate the Infused Raindrops

I want to point out the amazing utility provided by the Infused Raindrops. For 225 gold they give +0.5 mana regeneration and 5 charges that can block up to 120 magic damage each.

We have already discussed about Leshrac’s survivability issues and how the problem persists even after the recent buffs. The Raindrops will save your life countless times from ganks during the early game - when facing magic nukers. Do not neglect them just to save some gold!

I believe they have an even greater value in pub games where you can’t count on proper wards and communication from the team.

How to counter Leshrac

Leshrac is one of the heroes I recently covered in my “How to counter” series, where I explain items, heroes, and tips to deal against a determinate opponent.

Night Stalker - Roaming and map control

Efficient roamers and gankers are of great help in the current meta, and Night Stalker is a boss among them, especially if you can exploit his first night. I featured him in the best strength heroes of 7.07.

IceFrog nerfed him several times, reducing his daytime vision, the attack speed bonus of Hunter in the Night in the early levels, the duration of Darkness, and more. Recently, he was also affected by more direct nerfs as 7.13b weakened his base armor from 3 to 2 and the movement speed from 295 to 290.

Despite everything, he still remains a top pick in the meta thanks to his mobility, gank prowess, and vision advantages he gives to his team.

7.16 changes

  • Void no longer applies a ministun during the day. A notable nerf to ganks because now you can't block channeled abilities, so your preys may teleport away during the day.
     
  • Darkness no longer sets enemy vision to a fixed amount - now reduces unit and ward vision by 25%. The mighty Frog decided to hurt Night Stalker crudely. This is a massive nerf that will certainly lower the pick rate of the hero in pub and pro games.

    All nights will be less dangerous because the ability doesn't affect buildings anymore (such as towers). Observer wards provide a 1600 ground vision radius, and Darkness used to diminish it to 800, instead now the 25% reduction brings it to 1200, which is plenty to maintain the control of the map.
 Onyx Fume loading screen for Doom - Valve

Onyx Fume loading screen for Doom - Valve

Doom can adapt to any lane

I included Doom among the best offlaners in 7.11 because he is a solid offlaner who can counter several heroes.

During the lane phase, your role as Doom is to cause problems to the enemy core. The adversaries must be forced to waste multiple resources to keep you at bay, and that’s easily achievable thanks to the regeneration and AoE damage of Scorched Earth.

In pubs, especially low ranked ones, players tend to max Devour. With this ability you can earn gold in any situation - even when facing a strong offensive trilane - but it is mostly a wrong choice: you aren’t the main carry!

In the early game, the supports can just ignore you and harass the mid and safe laners. After the lane phase ends, you won’t have any offensive spell at your disposal, and you can’t just rely on the ultimate to make the difference in a battle.

Death Prophet’s pushing power

In the March Tier List, I explained how Death Prophet contributes to the victory with her shocking pushing power. Thanks to Exorcism, winning a single teamfight in the mid game may give you enough time to destroy two towers or even a barrack.

I warmly suggest DP also in your pub games, specially because 7.13b increased her base strength and gain from 17 + 2.6 to 19 + 2.9, which helps her survivability.

Valve also decreased the base health regeneration from 2 to 1.5, but that’s not a big deal, and honestly the extra strength is way more convenient.

Gyrocopter is always dangerous

Gyrocopter was the most drafted hero in March. Things are slightly different now, but he still maintains a high position in the ranks with an astonishing 59% win rate.

He is a hard carry able to defeat most opponents in the late game thanks to the AoE physical dps of Flak Cannon. Simultaneously, you can’t underestimate him in the early and mid game because the burst magic damage of Rocket Barrage can easily give him kills, especially in combo with a slow or stun.

The AoE damage and slow of Call Down are also useful in any gank and teamfight, so he brings damage and utility to the team even while still farming his core items. 7.16 slightly nerfed the ultimate reducing the damage of the first missile.

There is only one more nerf worth to mention that affected Gyrocopter in the past patches: 7.12 increased Flak Cannon cooldown from 30 to 40, which slightly reduces his chances to score early kills and snowball.

I think the hero is blatantly too powerful because he has tools to farm, dominate the lane, and win teamfights.

Sand King - Roaming nerfed

Sand King is a top meta hero by a long time, and Valve decided to balance him by nerfing his movement speed and Burrowstrike.

  • 7.12 reduced the movement speed from 295 to 290, and 7.13b from 290 to 285.

A decisive change because the hero is played mostly as a roamer, so it hinders his presence on the map, and what he can do between ganks (for example, stack camps in the jungle or steal the enemy ones).

  • 7.07d diminished the damage of Burrowstrike, and 7.12 its duration.

Burrowstrike is an ability with a high skill cap. Everyone can just hit an opponent, but few are capable of stunning and damaging multiple heroes at a time. Affecting two or more opponents can be game-changing, and that makes it also one of the best abilities to contest the runes as all heroes are assembled in a limited area.

Note that Sand King, when played against the right heroes, can be also a successful laner.

Tier 2

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Lycan 128 50.6% 42 16.6% 86 34.0% 59.5%
Clockwerk 126 49.8% 66 26.1% 60 23.7% 54.6%
Kunkka 124 49.0% 52 20.6% 72 28.5% 53.9%
Bane 118 46.6% 62 24.5% 56 22.1% 64.5%
Slark 117 46.3% 47 18.6% 70 27.7% 57.5%
Dragon Knight 116 45.9% 62 24.5% 54 21.3% 58.1%
Nature's Prophet 113 44.7% 26 10.3% 87 34.4% 53.9%
Nyx Assassin 111 43.9% 29 11.5% 82 32.4% 65.5%
Lifestealer 111 43.9% 30 11.9% 81 32.0% 36.7%
Beastmaster 105 41.5% 52 20.6% 53 21.0% 40.4%
Morphling 103 40.7% 33 13.0% 70 27.7% 45.5%
Luna 102 40.3% 47 18.6% 55 21.7% 57.5%
Bounty Hunter 101 39.9% 21 8.3% 80 31.6% 38.1%
 

Tier 3

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Axe 91 36.0% 44 17.4% 47 18.6% 50.0%
Omniknight 89 35.2% 28 11.1% 61 24.1% 50.0%
Tusk 88 34.8% 53 21.0% 35 13.8% 45.3%
Jakiro 86 34.0% 69 27.3% 17 6.7% 46.4%
Razor 83 32.8% 36 14.2% 47 18.6% 36.1%
Ember Spirit 81 32.0% 41 16.2% 40 15.8% 61.0%
Disruptor 77 30.4% 58 22.9% 19 7.5% 58.6%
Lone Druid 73 28.9% 17 6.7% 56 22.1% 64.7%
Lina 73 28.9% 36 14.2% 37 14.6% 30.6%
Warlock 68 26.9% 38 15.0% 30 11.9% 60.5%
Faceless Void 66 26.1% 23 9.1% 43 17.0% 43.5%
Viper 65 25.7% 24 9.5% 41 16.2% 45.8%
Witch Doctor 59 23.3% 52 20.6% 7 2.8% 38.5%
Skywrath Mage 58 22.9% 43 17.0% 15 5.9% 46.5%
Outworld Devourer 57 22.5% 20 7.9% 37 14.6% 55.0%
 

Tier 4

 
Hero Name P+B P+B% Picks Picks% Bans Bans% Win%
Rubick 50 19.8% 38 15.0% 12 4.7% 44.7%
Chen 50 19.8% 14 5.5% 36 14.2% 57.1%
Brewmaster 48 19.0% 35 13.8% 13 5.1% 57.1%
Storm Spirit 46 18.2% 25 9.9% 21 8.3% 48.0%
Underlord 44 17.4% 24 9.5% 20 7.9% 45.8%
Visage 43 17.0% 12 4.7% 31 12.3% 66.7%
Pangolier 41 16.2% 14 5.5% 27 10.7% 64.3%
Tidehunter 40 15.8% 21 8.3% 19 7.5% 42.9%
Windranger 39 15.4% 27 10.7% 12 4.7% 44.4%
Troll Warlord 37 14.6% 22 8.7% 15 5.9% 36.4%
Ancient Apparition 37 14.6% 26 10.3% 11 4.4% 23.1%
Lion 37 14.6% 33 13.0% 4 1.6% 51.5%
Elder Titan 36 14.2% 29 11.5% 7 2.8% 58.6%
Templar Assassin 36 14.2% 18 7.1% 18 7.1% 72.2%
Abaddon 35 13.8% 15 5.9% 20 7.9% 46.7%
Medusa 35 13.8% 20 7.9% 15 5.9% 50.0%
Dark Seer 35 13.8% 21 8.3% 14 5.5% 61.9%
Puck 34 13.4% 17 6.7% 17 6.7% 41.2%
Batrider 30 11.9% 12 4.7% 18 7.1% 25.0%
Broodmother 29 11.5% 4 1.6% 25 9.9% 50.0%
Queen of Pain 28 11.1% 21 8.3% 7 2.8% 52.4%
Tinker 28 11.1% 11 4.4% 17 6.7% 36.4%
Venomancer 27 10.7% 16 6.3% 11 4.4% 56.3%
Shadow Demon 25 9.9% 18 7.1% 7 2.8% 33.3%
Vengeful Spirit 23 9.1% 11 4.4% 12 4.7% 63.6%
Legion Commander 21 8.3% 15 5.9% 6 2.4% 66.7%
Keeper of the Light 21 8.3% 10 4.0% 11 4.4% 70.0%
Slardar 21 8.3% 15 5.9% 6 2.4% 33.3%
Oracle 20 7.9% 11 4.4% 9 3.6% 45.5%
Spectre 20 7.9% 14 5.5% 6 2.4% 42.9%
Shadow Fiend 20 7.9% 9 3.6% 11 4.4% 11.1%
Spirit Breaker 19 7.5% 14 5.5% 5 2.0% 35.7%
Juggernaut 19 7.5% 13 5.1% 6 2.4% 15.4%
Shadow Shaman 18 7.1% 16 6.3% 2 0.8% 62.5%
Timbersaw 17 6.7% 9 3.6% 8 3.2% 44.4%
Monkey King 15 5.9% 8 3.2% 7 2.8% 37.5%
Undying 15 5.9% 8 3.2% 7 2.8% 75.0%
Pugna 15 5.9% 8 3.2% 7 2.8% 62.5%
Terrorblade 14 5.5% 7 2.8% 7 2.8% 71.4%
 

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%
Enigma 13 5.1% 8 3.2% 5 2.0% 37.5%
Winter Wyvern 12 4.7% 7 2.8% 5 2.0% 42.9%
Chaos Knight 12 4.7% 6 2.4% 6 2.4% 33.3%
Techies 11 4.4% 2 0.8% 9 3.6% 0.0%
Earth Spirit 10 4.0% 8 3.2% 2 0.8% 0.0%
Magnus 10 4.0% 9 3.6% 1 0.4% 44.4%
Anti-Mage 10 4.0% 6 2.4% 4 1.6% 33.3%
Centaur Warrunner 9 3.6% 8 3.2% 1 0.4% 25.0%
Earthshaker 9 3.6% 8 3.2% 1 0.4% 25.0%
Invoker 7 2.8% 6 2.4% 1 0.4% 83.3%
Dazzle 7 2.8% 4 1.6% 3 1.2% 25.0%
Sven 7 2.8% 6 2.4% 1 0.4% 50.0%
Bloodseeker 7 2.8% 4 1.6% 3 1.2% 50.0%
Meepo 6 2.4% 3 1.2% 3 1.2% 33.3%
Weaver 5 2.0% 5 2.0% 0 0.0% 60.0%
Sniper 5 2.0% 3 1.2% 2 0.8% 33.3%
Ogre Magi 4 1.6% 4 1.6% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Treant Protector 4 1.6% 4 1.6% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Alchemist 4 1.6% 3 1.2% 1 0.4% 33.3%
Phantom Assassin 4 1.6% 1 0.4% 3 1.2% 0.0%
Wraith King 4 1.6% 3 1.2% 1 0.4% 0.0%
Drow Ranger 4 1.6% 2 0.8% 2 0.8% 50.0%
Dark Willow 3 1.2% 3 1.2% 0 0.0% 33.3%
Bristleback 3 1.2% 3 1.2% 0 0.0% 33.3%
Huskar 3 1.2% 1 0.4% 2 0.8% 0.0%
Zeus 3 1.2% 3 1.2% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Crystal Maiden 3 1.2% 3 1.2% 0 0.0% 66.7%
Ursa 2 0.8% 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0.0%
Lich 2 0.8% 2 0.8% 0 0.0% 50.0%
Tiny 2 0.8% 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0.0%
Pudge 2 0.8% 2 0.8% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Phoenix 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0 0.0% 100.0%
Silencer 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0 0.0% 100.0%
Enchantress 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0 0.0% 0.0%
Riki 1 0.4% 1 0.4% 0 0.0% 0.0%
 

Heroes not picked

 
 

 

Header image (Unfettered Malevolence loading screen for Night Stalker) 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 @SkulzDota.