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TI heroes that have a chance to define the meta

KarY 2019-08-13 07:16:35
  5 heroes that have a chance to define the TI meta
The group stage is almost upon us and it pays to be prepared! The TI meta is always very hard to predict, but we decided it’s a great idea to give you a quick list of some heroes who have a chance to play a central role in the latest installment of the biggest tournament in the history of Dota. We chose our list based on the trends in the pub meta (thinking it would be useful for the people who are watching Dota but aren’t playing as much) as well as the from the picks and bans in some of the last few small tournaments before TI. A mandatory disclaimer: of course, the people on the highest level of Dota wouldn’t imitate what’s played in pubs 1 for 1, but at the same time it would be foolish to deny that the pub meta and the pro meta exist in symbiosis.  

Pos. 3 Ogre

Ogre Magi is seeing a huge rise in popularity on the pub scene (an 11% increase in pick rate in the last month). This is mainly thanks to a new way to play him in the offlane that is 1 – more fun, and 2 – quite efficient. His role is a utility offlaner, but rather than serving as a walking Bloodlust, he has some huge nuke potential. The last patch changes buffed his Multicast chance to 75%, which means that even on lvl6 he starts dealing significant nuke damage. If you play him on the offlane, you have the needed experience to invest a lot of points in both Fireblast and Ignite. This, combined with Ogre’s in-built tankiness, makes it almost impossible to lane against Ogre. This isn’t a big difference from the way he was played in the lanes in the past. As an offlaner, however, Ogre also has a chance to reach his game-breaking talents faster.
  • 90 GPM helps compensate for his lower farming speed.
  • 100 Damage is very significant on a tanky hero that can afford to stay on the frontline
  • 40 Strength is outright IMBA: it makes Ogre extremely hard to kill and allows him to play extremely aggressively (something a support Ogre cannot)
  • And last but not least, 300 Fireblast damage combined with Multicast allows Ogre to nuke down even farmed cores.

Core Visage

Visage is the hero with the highest win rate in the Divine and Immortal brackets – almost 60% (?!). These are not numbers you can ignore lightly. He’s always been an unpopular hero in pubs, but in the right hands, he has extreme snowball potential. If he gets levels fast, he can start applying pressure on the enemy side of the map extremely quickly and efficiently. He doesn’t need expensive items to start fighting, and combined with other active heroes Visage can easily contribute to 20-30 minute victories.  

Pos. 1 Alchemist

Alchemist is coming into TI with a newfound build. In the pub scene, this leads to an increase of 3.12% in his win rate and 4.13% in his popularity! Despite being a hard-farming carry, Alch isn’t a slow hero. He hits very strong mid-game timings simply because he is able to buy expensive items before everyone else. If he succeeds to do so, he is almost impossible to stop. Phase + two Bracers into Radiance & Assault Cuirass: he plays passively as always in the laning stage, but once he gets his Radiance + Assault he is ready to start contributing to fights. With Chemical Rage up he is almost unkillable and deals extremely high damage. Once the spell is off CD, he goes back to farming. Blink + Solar: with these items, it becomes easier for him to focus down heroes and maybe more importantly – to take down Rosh. With the Aegis, it’s not uncommon to finish the game at this stage. Skadi + Abyssal: if the game goes late, these two items help him stick to more elusive targets and make him even tankier. If even this timing doesn’t allow him to finish the game (which is rare), he can start giving away Moonshards and Aghanim’s to his teammates, which increases a lot his usefulness in the super late game.  

Centaur Warrunner

Centaur saw quite a lot of play in this DPC season, and despite some minor nerfs, it seems he isn’t out of the top tier yet. In the Dota Season 1, which is a CIS tournament that includes most CIS teams that didn’t qualify for TI, Centaur is by far the most contested hero. In the last week, he was picked or banned 39 times (mainly banned) and has an 85% win rate from the times he was picked. Even though the T2 & 3 scene follows the T1 meta (rather than the other way around), we’d be very surprised in Centaur doesn’t see a lot of attention at least in the TI group stage. The meta seems to be going towards a faster pace, and a solid tanky initiator that is strong early game but scales decently well (especially in terms of utility) just seems too good to pass.  

Crystal Maiden

Last but not least, Crystal Maiden is slowly but steadily becoming one of the most contested supports in the T2 & 3 scene (as well as being one of the most popular supports in pubs, but to be fair she always saw play in pubs). She had a solid win rate in The Summit 10 (57%) and in the tournament she boasts 64% win rate in the last month with 50 games played. Being a versatile support that scales well but can also contribute with no farm, it shouldn’t surprise us if she is one of the most picked heroes in TI. She isn’t “broken” and people are unlikely to ban her too much, but at the same time, she is solid enough to include in various strategies. Personally, this makes me happy – I’m definitely looking forward to a core-level-farm CM played by Yapzor jumping into the enemy team with Blink + BKB and Freezing Field! I hope you liked the article and are as hyped about TI as we are! Cheers!
If you would like to know more about my work, you can follow me at KarY. You can head over to our Dota 2 hub for more content. Headline image courtesy: Markus Heinig

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