With Dota 7.07 improved talents, Sniper win rate in pubs increased to 52.80%. For weeks it remained in the 51-52% range, but 7.07c nerfed it.
After the release of the Dueling Fates update, Sniper win rate in pub games jumped from 50.49% to 52.80%. It stabilized in the 51% to 52% range in the following weeks, but fell below 50% after the 7.07c patch.
Let’s have a look at the talent changes brought in by version 7.07.
Level 10 talents
7.06: +15 Attack Speed or +5 Mana Regen
7.07: +12% Cooldown Reduction or +20 Damage
All the level 10 perks are better than the previous ones. The +5 mana regeneration provided in 7.06 was an interesting option as you could use Shrapnel more in the early game, but in the end it didn’t work as well as expected.
Overall, I suggest to take the +20 damage as it will give you a considerable help for early harass and farm speed. To better understand the level 10 and 15 talent choices, I will offer you a proper explanation on Shrapnel use.
Shrapnel makes Sniper a great early ganker
Shrapnel is Sniper best early game ability - you should always max it as soon as possible. Whatever the lane played, the AoE damage and slow will improve your control over the opponents. It is also very valuable to counter gankers as you will slow them for up to 10 seconds in a moderate radius.
Please, stop afk-farming in the mid lane and join your team when necessary.
I think that many pub players commit a huge mistake when playing this hero: they just stand in the mid lane and keep farming. Thanks to Shrapnel, Sniper is an awesome early game killer.
You should always have a teleport scroll with you because even one of two levels of this skill can make a big difference during an early fight. You have 3 charges that can cover a 450 radius each while also inflicting a solid damage to all the enemies affected.
IceFrog is giving more options to players
You must have noticed that many talents of the new patch boosted the magic skills of numerous physical carries. Valve is trying to tell us that you aren’t forced to play a hero just in a certain role.
For example, the level 10 and 15 talents on Sniper boost his best early game skill, Shrapnel.
I explained the strength of this spell, but I also think that you shouldn’t waste talents on it as it becomes less and less useful as the game progresses. Later on, your auto attack will out dps it, and you will end up using Shrapnel only for the AoE Slow.
Potentially, Sniper could be played mainly as a ganker or even a support, but those remain niche option - in most of the games you will have a carry build.
Level 15 talents
7.06: +200 Health or +20 Shrapnel DPS
7.07: +40 Attack Speed or +20 Shrapnel DPS
Considering all the explanation above, you should get the extra attack speed in most matches - +40 can make a big difference in the mid game.
Level 20 talents
7.06: 25% Cooldown reduction or 8 Armor
7.07: +35 Knockback Distance Headshot or -1.5s Assassinate
My opinion on this talent isn't popular, but I prefer the -1.5s Assassinate cooldown in most situations.
The majority of the playerbase prefers the knockback distance, but after testing it I must say that it doesn’t make a big difference even if you have a high attack speed.
If the talent granted also a ministun, then it would be a must pick as you would be able to block channeling skills and teleports, but 35 knockback alone isn’t a big deal.
Assassinate is a skill with a 10 seconds cooldown that inflicts 650 damage from a distance of 3k units. Of course, starting from the mid game your dps will be stronger than this ability, and you should never use it during a teamfight if you are in auto attack range.
When to use Assassinate
Before a teamfight to weaken the squishier heroes.
During a fight if a low hp hero tries to escape and is too far away from your attack range. The ability also grants shared vision to your team and True Sight over the target for about 4 seconds.
In any moment during the match to help your teammates in ganks and fights from a distance.
To block a channeled spell as Assassinate mini-stuns the target.
The talent gives Sniper something extra from the usual auto attack, and it becomes mandatory if you choose to get an Aghanim as 5-6th item. An AoE 650 damage every 8 seconds should not be underestimated and opens to more late game options.
Level 25 talents
7.06: +4 Shrapnel Charges or +100 Attack Range
7.07: +6 Shrapnel Charges or +125 Attack Range
The mandatory choice here is +125 attack range. You could possibly get the Shrapnel charges if you are a support that took the +20 Shrapnel dps talent at level 15 - otherwise, I don’t see why you would prefer it.
Strength gain reduced from 2 to 1.7
Level 10 Talent increased from +12% Cooldown Reduction to +15%
Level 15 Talent increased from +20 Shrapnel DPS to +25
As most of the players continued opting for the dps talents, IceFrog decided to boost a bit the Shrapnel ones. It doesn’t make them more attractive as all the reasoning above is still valid if you are going to play as a carry.
Imho, you should take the +25 Shrapnel dps only if it was a level 10 talent, but then it would be overpowered.
The strength gain reduction made Sniper a bit squishier, which is a problem for a hero that doesn’t start with many health points.
His win rate dropped to 49.38%, but at the same time also the pick rate increased from 31.29% to 37.19%, thus we still can’t tell how much the strength nerf influenced him.