The top 10 most popular Dota 2 heroes in the safe lane during 7.19c. We will learn the best picks in the meta, how to play or counter them, and the patch changes.
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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 7.19c only, so the past 30 days are examined. Statistics from Dotabuff.
7.19c continues the work started with 7.19b, nerfing again the top heroes of the meta. Wraith King and Dark Willow dropped out of the top 10, and have been replaced by Grimstroke and Lion.
We will have a look at the changes that affected all the heroes in the current top 10.
Spectre has been nerfed heavily in the previous patch, and Valve decided to keep bashing her with the nerf hammer. Sadly, I must agree that she deserves it.
Desolate radius increased from 375 to 500.
A crazy nerf. Desolate adds up to 65 pure damage to your attacks, and works also with illusions, so with the Manta Style you could literally melt the target.
The search radius has been increased by 50 in 7.19b - which was a moderate change - but now with a 500 radius it will be a lot more difficult to exploit this passive ability in team fight.
Dispersion rescaled from 10/14/18/22% to 7/12/17/22%.
Level 25 Talent reduced from +8% Dispersion to +6%.
You definitely want two points into Dispersion once the team fights start. The late game is pretty much unchanged, and the Dispersion talent at level 25 is still mandatory.
The nerf isn’t a big deal if compared to the barbaric one that hit this skill in the former patch.
Haunt manacost increased from 150 to 150/200/250.
Spectre doesn’t have much base mana, so this nerf can potentially reduce her impact in the mid-game as she will be forced to regen in base more times during the match.
Remaining talent changes
Level 10 Talent changed from +15 Desolate Damage to +4 All Stats.
The other level 10 talent gives +5 Health Regen: it was and will remain the most popular option. +4 to all stats isn’t a lot, and I would rarely pick it over the regeneration. 4 STR is equal to only 72 health, so it isn’t very useful even in a game in which you need all the possible HP to survive.
Level 15 Talent changed from +8 All Stats to +15 Desolate Damage.
This is a nerf for two reasons: +15 Desolate Damage is the same bonus that before was provided at level 10, and the skill has been hugely nerfed so it isn’t a reliable source of damage anymore.
Last Word damage rescaled from 150/200/250/300 to 120/180/240/300.
The spell has a long 28-seconds cooldown, but 150 damage at level 1 was still too strong as Last Word has also a disabling effect. It is a fair change.
Arcane Curse manacost increased from 105/115/125/135 to 125/130/135/140.
This is a big nerf if you consider that the mana cost of Arcane Curse was 75/95/115/135 prior 7.19b. The spell does even more damage than Last Word if you can hit 2 heroes at a time, and this is achievable easily in the current dual lane meta.
Global Silence manacost increased from 250/375/500 to 300/450/600.
Now, he requires 855 mana to use all his spells in team fight.
The manacost increases influence Silencer’s gameplay
Silencer must be more conservative with Arcane Curse, which weakens his laning phase.
He is usually played as a position 5 support, so doesn’t have much gold available for items.
Until now, he has been able to do his job with the minimum amount of items thanks to the Clarity potions. They will continue being extremely useful, but he might start having issues in the mid game.
In a very poor match, you might even consider delaying the second point into Global Silence because it adds only 0.75s duration for 150 extra mana.
For richer Silencer players, the overall manacost increase also impedes the use of the Refresher Orb before buying items to expand the mana pool.
Even a full-support Silencer can boost his mana pool for free via the passive ability Intelligence Steal. 1 point of intelligence is equal to 15 mana and 2.25% mana regeneration amplification for an intelligence-based hero, so with only 10 assists Silencer can earn 300 permanent mana ( 2 INT per enemy hero).
Before, his passive ability granted him almost infinite mana, while now you require it to balance the nerfs and have enough mana to do your job.
Agility gain reduced from 2.8 to 2.6.
A tiny nerf. It is equal to just -4 agility at level 20.
Fury Swipes damage per attack reduced from 15/20/25/30 to 12/18/24/30.
Enrage damage multiplier rescaled from 1.5/1.75/2.0 to 1.4/1.7/2.0.
Ursa is amazing against melee cores, but now he will be a bit weaker in the laning stage and in the mid game. The late game is unchanged.
Earthshock damage reduced from 90/140/190/240 to 50/100/150/200.
The spell has only a 75 mana cost. In the right conditions (supports with clarity potions and Crystal Maiden’s aura granting extra regeneration) you could potentially spam it for extra damage. Now, it will be used mostly for the slow effect in combination with Overpower.
The nerf also reduces his farming speed because the AoE damage could be used to clean quickly the camps stacked in the jungle.
Base intelligence reduced by 2.
7.19b increased the mana cost of The Swarm as the ability was over-abused in the laning stage. It was an impractical nerf as the hero doesn’t have much mana at his disposal. Now, Valve reduced even more his mana pool with the intelligence nerf, so he will have to be even more conservative with both The Swarm and Shukuchi.
The Swarm cooldown increased from 35/30/25/20 to 44/36/28/20.
Time Lapse cooldown increased from 60/50/40 to 70/55/40.
Both skills received a noticeable cooldown increase at level 1. You can’t use The Swarm as much as before in the early game due to mana issues, so maybe this change doesn’t even matter in most matches.
Weaver’s talents have not been nerfed
Level 10 Talent changed from +20 Mana Break to +7 Strength.
Level 15 Talent changed from +12 Strength to +20 Mana Break.
I do not dislike the talent adjustments. This isn’t either a nerf or a buff: IceFrog weakened Weaver’s laning stage and moved his power spike later in the game. Also, we don’t have to choose anymore between XP Gain or Mana Break.
The great majority of players prefers the +35% XP Gain talent at level 10 (both now and before this patch). It is an invaluable talent as you can get to level 15 quickly just farming for 5 minutes. +7 Strength might be picked very situationally if you require those extra HP to survive against burst damage.
The old +12 Strength talent was often selected to make your hero tankier. The alternative - +75 Shukuchi Damage - is useful to farm and split-push faster. Now, I believe the Mana Break talent will become the most popular option in pubs.
Arcane Aura allied mana regen reduced from 0.8/1.0/1.2/1.4 to 0.7/0.9/1.1/1.3.
It won’t affect her lane at all, but will have an impact on lineups that partially relied on CM’s aura to spam more spells in the early game. In the end, it is just a small 0.1 nerf at all levels.
What makes Crystal Maiden so powerful is the 130 damage of Crystal Nova at level 1, but IceFrog rarely reverts changes (the damage was increased in 7.18) so he is working on other components to balance the hero.
Movement speed reduced by 5.
A small nerf that weakens her laning phase. Vengeful Spirit’s movement speed is below average, but as an agility-based hero she will still gain extra movement speed via her main stat as the game progresses.
Magic Missile projectile speed reduced from 1250 to 900.
This change has 0 impact at lower brackets as players don’t even try to dodge spells.
It hinders her capabilities as a solo ganker because high-ranked and pro players will have the time to dodge the projectile (and thus avoid damage and stun) using items such as the Blink Danger, Manta Style, Black King Bar, or skills like Doppelganger.
At short range there is almost no difference. Instead, from maximum distance the nerf is noticeable, particularly if Vengeful Spirit builds the Aether Lens: you can literally watch the projectile moving towards you. We can compare it to Mirana’s Sacred Arrow, which has a 857 projectile speed.
Magic Missile remains very hard to dodge if VS combines it with a surprise swap.
I won’t talk about Grimstroke as the hero keeps being re-balanced in every patch, so any analysis on him has only a short-term value.
Wraith King and Dark Willow will be featured in the article about the off lane as they are still top 5 heroes there.
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Header image: Whisper of the Tribunal loading screen for Silencer - Valve