The top 10 most popular Dota 2 heroes in the mid lane during 7.18. We will have a look at some of the best picks in the meta, and learn how to play or counter them.
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The heroes are arranged by pick rate, and the data considers all games played in any region in the 5k+ (Divine) bracket. Note that we can’t filter data for 7.18 only, so the past 30 days are examined. Statistics from Dotabuff.
|Hero||Name||Pick %||Win %|
Clinkz: extraordinary win rate in pubs, but neglected by pros
Clinkz possesses a lot of damage to burst down squishy targets, can snowball easily, and is great at destroying towers.
The hero might become overpowered soon, if he isn’t already. The only reason IceFrog keeps buffing Clinkz is that pro players ignore him - he was a tier 5 hero in June.
Clinkz doesn’t work in the pro scene because of his horrible stats. He has a decent armor, but no mana and HP. He badly needs a bigger health pool and more regeneration to win the laning stage. Right now, he has big issues in the early game unless he is able to out-harass the opponent.
Only 37-47 damage at level 1, but his low base damage is compensated by Searing Arrows, which adds 30/40/50/60 extra physical damage to every attack. Unfortunately, your tiny mana pool is a problem, and forces you to buy items to sustain it.
The Ring of Aquila is one of the most popular items on Clinkz (0.5 mana regeneration bonus via the Aquila Aura), but alone it isn’t enough, and is usually accompanied by the Soul Ring.
Death Pact is an exasperating mechanic because it forces you to go into the jungle every 85 seconds to increase your health and damage. They should change it at least to improve Clinkz’s quality of life.
Only single-target damage. He possesses 0 abilities to clear creep waves, which is an issue in the early and mid game, and is improved only afterwards once he has enough farm and can spam Strafe at will (15 seconds cooldown).
Finally, I want to point out that his attack animation is abominable - new players need a lot of practice to grasp it. Still, he can orb-walk and have the upper hand against most matchups mid when facing a melee hero.
Clinkz received buffs for over a year
Let’s have a look at all the changes in the past few patches.
Increased base intelligence and gain from 16 + 1.55 to 18 + 1.7.
Increased base health regeneration from 1.5 to 1.75.
A few mana more which is enough for a couple of spells. Maybe you won’t forcefully need the Soul Ring in all games.
With the Ring of Aquila, Infused Raindrops (+0.5 mana regeneration), and Power Thread switching every time you use Death Pact, you might be able to sustain yourself even without the Soul Ring. Honestly, it depends on the amount of fights that take place on the map before you can build the Orchid Malevolence.
Strafe's disjoint no longer has a limit of 4.
Strafe is wonderful against projectile-based heroes, maybe even better than Windranger’s Windrun against this niche of opponents.
The ability doesn’t grant him evasion, but disjoints all projectiles on impact, so items such as the Monkey King Bar or the Bloodthorn won’t counter it because they only affect the accuracy of the projectiles.
It is necessary to dispel Strafe, but projectile-based dispels such as the Nullifier will be disjointed as well. Only AoE dispels and single target ones such as the Necronomicon’s Purge work against it.
The defensive portion of the skill doesn’t help much during the early game as it lasts just for 3.5 seconds, but it can be a huge deal in teamfight, especially if empowered by the level 25 talent +4s Strafe Duration.
- Increased base armor from -1 to 0.
- The disjoint now also works against non-player units.
- Increased attack speed bonus from 80/140/200/260 to 110/160/210/260.
Overall, a moderate buff. 1 armor combined with the extra health regeneration from the past patch helps his early game. Thanks to the improved attack speed bonus, players are now encouraged to level up Strafe earlier.
- Reduced mana cost from 90 on each level to 75/80/85/90.
- Reduced cooldown from 45/35/25/15 to 30/25/20/15.
Considering all the buffs that affected Strafe recently, it is mandatory to give it more importance. It is still indispensable to prioritize Searing Arrows because we need the extra damage, but Skeleton Walk isn’t anymore the second best spell.
The extra movement speed bonus (15%/25%/35%/45%) is really useful as it turns Clinkz in a better scout, but now I would take at least two levels into Strafe early on.
|Hero||Name||Pick %||Win %|
The remaining heroes in the top 10 are the same featured in the past article, only Kunkka lost his spot due to the newcomer Clinkz. Let’s have a look at the changes that affected all of them in 7.18.
- Fire Remnant charge restore time increased from 35 to 38.
Only three seconds more is not a big deal, especially considering the level 25 talent -25s Remnant charge restore time.
- Level 10 Talent increased from +0.5s Tornado Lift Time to +1.25s.
- Level 15 Talent changed from +2.5s Cold Snap Duration to -12s Cold Snap Cooldown.
The changes are useful for Quas-Wex builds.
+1.25s Tornado lift time is a strong buff, but be aware that it already lasts for 2.6 seconds once Quas is maxed out. Generally, the other level 10 talent +30 Chaos Meteor Contact Damage is the preferred choice, and I continue suggesting it.
According to Dotabuff, the Meteor talent is selected by 89% of the players with a 52% win rate, while the 10% preferring the Tornado one have a negative 46% win rate (all MMR brackets considered).
About Cold Snap, I am not sure if we can consider it a buff or a nerf - it mostly depends on the situation. Generally, I preferred the longer duration.
- Psionic Traps bounty increased from 1 to 25.
You can finally farm TA’s traps with the Gem of True Sight! Beside the jokes, Psionic Traps have been buffed over time, and now each one deals up to 450 damage (650 with the level 15 talent). Only 1 gold bounty was not enough as TA can literally farm creep waves with them.
- Intelligence reduced by 2.
- Powershot reduced from 180/270/360/450 to 150/250/350/450.
-2 INT means less mana and -2 damage per attack, while Powershot has been nerfed only at early levels. During the past months, Windranger became a very popular and successful pick, and these changes will impact her laning stage making her slightly less dangerous.
Header image: Cloak of the Fallen loading screen for Clinkz - Valve
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.