Why is Anti-Mage so strong in 7.07?

Anti-Mage surpassed the 58% win rate and 28% pick rate in pub games. Let’s figure out why he is such a powerful hero in the Dueling Fates update.

According to Dotabuff, AM’s pick and win rate both increased by more than 8% in the past week. IceFrog hasn’t intentionally transformed Anti-Mage in one of the best heroes in the game, but his success is determined by multiple factors.

With the 7.07b update I think that AM will still be a strong pick, but his win rate in pubs could decrease by about 4-5%. 

Updated to 7.07b

On November 6th, Valve released the 7.07b update, that nerfed Anti-Mage talents, abilities, and more. The analysis has been updated with the new data.

Below, a list of the changes:


  • Backdoor Protection damage reduction increased from 25% to 40%

  • Battle Fury damage reduced from 50 to 45

The former is an indirect nerf to any hero attempting to Rat Dota, the latter isn’t a big issue because you want it mainly for the Cleave effect.


  • Strength gain reduced from 1.5 to 1.3

  • Base Intelligence reduced from 15 to 12

  • Spell Shield reduced from 26/34/42/50% to 20/30/40/50%

6%, 4%, and 2% less magic resistance at lower levels, no changes once the ability is maxed. At levels 2 and 3 the nerf is negligible.

  • Level 15 changed from Blink Uncontrollable Illusion to +15 Agility

  • Level 20 changed from +10 All Stats to Blink Uncontrollable Illusion

  • Illusion talent incoming damage increased from 250% to 300%

  • Fixed the illusion talent being able to be placed inside of your hero

At level 15 the best talent now is probably the -1s Blink cooldown.

You still have the extra illusion, but at level 20, so you must choose between it and the +300 Blink cast range. This is the change that will hurt the hero the most.

  • Level 25 reduced from +30% Spell Shield to +25%

-5% isn’t a big issue, you can still ignore magic damage.

Image: Valve

Image: Valve

Gold and experience in lane

The main trend of the new patch is giving powerful talents at levels 20-25, rewarding those that attain the maximum level during a match. The idea is reasonable, but some heroes, such as Anti-Mage, can level up at a quicker speed than others.

The situation is even more intricate due to the changes to gold and experience rewarded by lane creeps:

  1. Total wave experience increased from 210 to 240

  2. Total gold per wave increased by 24

With more gold available, all carries will buy their first core item sooner.

Once Anti-Mage gets a Battle Fury, he can start split-pushing, improving his farm, and earning experience at a faster rate than in the past patch. He will reach the maximum level earlier than those heroes without split-pushing capabilities.

Once obtained the level 25 talent, he will basically be able to ignore damage from magic users.

Battle Fury changes

The Battle Fury received some adjustments in 7.07:

  • It now requires a Demon Edge instead of Claymore and Broadsword, reducing the overall cost by 400 gold.

  • Attack damage is reduced from 55 to 50 - further reduced to 45 in 7.07b

  • Cleave distance increased from 570 to 625

  • Cleave end radius increased from 300 to 330

The cheaper Battle Fury is an indirect buff to Anti-Mage: combined with the increased amount of gold in lane, he will get it quicker than before on average.

The focus on the Cleave effect is welcomed as he will be more efficient when farming and fighting.

Now, ganking AM in the early game can be immensely beneficial because he will have to save 2,200 gold for a Demon Edge.

Image: Valve

Image: Valve



Patch 7.07b brought some changes:

  • Level 15 changed from Blink Uncontrollable Illusion to +15 Agility

  • Level 20 changed from +10 All Stats to Blink Uncontrollable Illusion

Now you can't have both the illusion and the +300 Blink range - honestly, I would pick the former most of the times. Instead, at level 15 you can opt for the -1s Blink cooldown, reducing it to only 4 seconds once maxed.

20 (Blink Uncontrollable Illusion)

This talent spawns an uncontrollable illusion when you blink. Of course, this illusion alone can’t replace the Manta Style, but is still very useful because it procs Mana Break.

  • Can’t be controlled

  • Target acquisition radius of 600

  • If no target is in the radius, the illusion will stand idle until an enemy enters in the radius

  • Attacks neutrals only when you are in their aggro range when blinking

  • Attacks the enemy unit closest to it

The illusion helps increasing your farming and pushing powers, and is annoying in ganks and teamfights.

20 (+300 Blink Cast Range)

With this talent you have a total of 1450 cast range once the ability is maxed. It empowers Anti-Mage’s survivability and fighting power.

  • Defensive. When split-pushing, it will be even harder to catch you as you can blink further away. Particularly strong near a jungle area.

  • Offensive. For casters and supports a correct positioning in teamfight is mandatory. With a 1450 Blink range AM can effectively jump over the front lines and reach any squishy mana user. At that point, their survival chances will be very poor if he has a Manta Style.

25 (+25% Spell Shield)

The talent stacks with Spell Shield, giving a total of 81% magic resistance! It won’t be fun for the enemy nukers.

Update: In 7.07b the talent gives +25% Spell Shield instead of 30%.

Top trending heroes

Looking at the top ten trending heroes of the week on Dotabuff - by increased win rate - we find the following ones: Beastmaster, Medusa, Anti-Mage, Meepo, Vengeful Spirit, Storm Spirit, Tinker, Bristleback, Outworld Devourer, Drow Ranger.

Anti-Mage is a perfect carry against most of them.

The new Medusa is indeed having a great success, but even the Gorgon can’t face AM, because her Mana Shield will be completely drained in no time.

Storm Spirit, Tinker, and Outworld Devourer are also heavily countered by his skills, and a well-landed Mana Void could destroy the entire enemy team. Also, the first two heroes essentially inflict magic damage, pointless against the boosted Spell Shield.

Drow Ranger and Vengeful Spirit must fight from a distance to not be overwhelmed, and now AM is better than ever at engaging, thanks to the improved Blink Range.

Note: the heroes listed above aren’t the most played ones, but those that increased their win rate the most with the new patch.

Acolyte of Vengeance - Image: Valve

Acolyte of Vengeance - Image: Valve


Unique Attack Modifiers removed

All the remaining Unique Attack Modifiers have been removed with the 7.07 update, so now Anti-Mage can use items such as the Desolator or the Satanic.

Honestly, I still think that these items are situational on him. Only the time will tell us if they are bought in a sufficient number of games and their actual impact.

The Desolator can drastically increase his damage, while the Satanic will grant extra survivability in the late game. The real issue is that isn’t easy finding a space for them in AM's standard item build.

Please, don’t scrap the Black King Bar only because now you have more magic resistance - disables can still crush you.

The easy lane is safer

The creeps now meet closer to each team's respective safe lanes, making them a better place for a carry.

Over time, the mid laner transitioned from a ganking to a carry role, but maybe now the easy lane will be again the undisputed best location to farm.

Anti-Mage is a solo hero

Anti-Mage is a hero capable of winning the game alone: after the lane phase he can act individually in almost all MMR brackets.

Many players are still testing the changes brought in by the new patch. Meanwhile, the try-hard Anti-Mage users keep farming, split-pushing, and winning the match - even alone via Rat Dota.

In 7.07b the backdoor protection damage reduction has been increased from 25% to 40%, which will negatively impact some split-pushing attempts.

Do you think there are more factors influencing Anti-Mage’s performance?


Header Image: 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 Twitter and Facebook.