The top 10 most popular Dota 2 heroes in the mid lane during 7.19, the patch played at The International 8. 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 7.19 only, so the past 30 days are examined. Statistics from Dotabuff.
With 7.19, a multitude of new heroes climbed the ranks in the off lane, while things barely changed in the mid lane due to the low amount of heroes affected.
Compared to 7.18, only Windranger dropped from the top 10, and she has been replaced by Broodmother. We will have a look at the changes in 7.19 that influenced each hero in the top 10.
Nimbus radius reduced from 500 to 450.
Zeus is an overpowered hero in pubs since 7.08. IceFrog has not nerfed him heavily because of his weak performance in competitive gaming: he was a tier 3 hero in July with a 41% win rate.
Nimbus is one of the best Aghanim’s upgrades in the entire game, and this is the only change it received since 7.03. It greatly enhances your global map control damaging the opponents, providing True Sight, and even stopping their teleports because it applies a mini-stun every time Lightning Bolt procs (up to 16 times over its full duration).
Minus 50 radius is a laughable nerf that changes almost nothing. It is will be slightly easier to get out of it, and more ranged heroes will be able to destroy it while standing outside its area of effect, but overall this is an adjustment that will concern only a minuscule amount of heroes.
Psionic Trap damage reduced from 250/350/450 to 250/300/350.
Before, TA could one-shot a creep wave with a single trap once the ability was maxed, now she requires two. This a significant nerf as will reduce her farming capabilities - but the hero remains a strong pick.
TA has a good laning stage, can snowball easily and become a real nuisance for the enemy team, and her traps provide vision, damage, and slow. Even after the nerf, she will still be able to exploit them to split-push the lanes.
Windrun cooldown increased from 12 to 15/14/13/12.
I already talked about this change in the article on the most played off laners, where Windranger is the second most popular hero in the game. The explanation is the same.
This skill is incredible during all the game, and it became an even greater nuisance since the introduction of the level 20 talent Windrun grants invisibility. I believe a nerf is indispensable, and this one isn’t enough.
The change is negligible at most ranks and it affects only the support Windranger. Players at very high brackets will notice the difference as they exploit this ability to harass the adversaries in lane, while low ranked ones mostly use it only as an escape tool.
Spending more points into Windrun to decrease the cooldown isn’t worth it because all Winranger’s abilities are very valuable. The late game is unchanged.
Spin Web movement speed reduced from 40/50/60/70% to 25/40/55/70%.
Spin Web charge replenish rate increased from 40 to 45 seconds.
A significant nerf to Broodmother’s movement speed at level one. The change becomes negligible once she gets the second point into Spin Web, but meanwhile she will be marginally weaker in the laning phase.
Recently, Broodmother’s popularity increased, especially in the mid lane. I encountered her several times in my games, but I don’t really consider her a big threat as long as there is at least one hero in the team able to handle her in the early game.
Swap lanes depending on BM’s actions
In a few solo-queue games, I got some mid laners (single target dps heroes) who refused to swap lane because they “needed” experience and gold to play their role. We had a proper early game counter to BM, but we couldn’t deploy it against her, so she simply stomped the lane (there were no reliable supports to help our mid either).
Broodmother dominated the lane phase and led her team to a quick victory. In about 50% of these matches, the mid laner complained the team for the lack of help, and just gave up on the entire game.
I decided to share with you my “happy ranked adventures” to point out there are several amazing counters to Broodmother, and you should select them, or let those who picked them fight against her.
How to counter Broodmother
Killing the Spiderlings prevents her from snowballing. Picking heroes with AoE damage or spells is the most efficient way to deal with them, particularly if you can destroy them safely from a distance. For example, Legion Commander’s Overwhelming Odds is an amazing spell for this purpose: it has a huge range and a low 15-seconds cooldown.
Melee heroes are the best option because the Stout Shield denies the damage of the Spiderlings. They have a 14-16 attack damage, and the item grants a 50% chance to block 18 damage from incoming attacks. Likewise, heroes with innate passive abilities to dodge, reduce, or ignore their damage are also solid choices.
Some examples: Tidehunter’s Kraken Shell grants damage block, and two points into it are enough to ignore completely the Spiderlings. Timbersaw gains stacks of armor and health regeneration with every attack thanks to Reactive Armor.
Considering the requirements, there are so many heroes who can own her in the lane phase that you might even have one in your team randomly. Sven, Bristleback, Legion Commander, Axe, Timbersaw, Dark Seer, Tiny, Kunkka, Omniknight, and Tidehunter are just some examples, and each of them possesses his own skills to deal with her.
Dealing with counters
If you are playing Broodmother, and the opponent team picked proper counters, your game isn’t lost. These heroes will seriously reduce your chances to snowball, but you can still have a good game if you know how to react.
One of the easiest solutions is to swap lane to fight against a suitable opponent. If the members of the enemy team refuse to change positions, the problem is solved.
If they choose to swap, you can’t really continue moving from a lane to another too many times because every time you also need to relocate your webs, which have a charge replenish time of 45 seconds.
Change skill build
You can also try the skill build without Spiderlings. Maxing out Incapacitating Bite is a great idea against melee carries because the miss chance caused by your poison will reduce their last-hitting capabilities in the lane phase.
This option doesn’t work versus ranged heroes because they can just harass you from a distance before you can even touch them.
Cut the lane
Finally, an advanced solution for veteran players is to cut the lane with your Spiderlings. You can stop the enemy creep wave between the tier 1 and the tier 2 towers, farming the creeps, and pressuring the tower. Your opponent will live a real hell trying to kill your Spiderlings, protect the tower, last hitting, and deal with your potential harassment.
The only way to counter reliably this tactic (when well-executed) is with the help of the team. In solo-queue, they will often ignore the help request, and in that case you might win the lane even against your own counter.
In the video below, Resolut1on used this tactic as a Broodmother in the safe lane.