We feel like the pub meta has stabilized enough in the past couple of weeks to start discussing heroes that truly shine in the current iteration of the game. Pub meta might not be fundamentally different from the professional one, but the ease of execution and popularity of the hero are big contributing factors: after all your teammates need to understand your intentions, if your team wants to be a cohesive unit. As such, some of the professional staples are going to be missing from this list, while some unexpected heroes will be mentioned.
We are getting pretty tired discussing the hero, since she is extremely popular in both pubs and the professional scene, but Snapfire is definitely one of the top tier Supports right now.
While her success in tournaments has been on a steady decline, her pub prowess only grows: there was a dip in the hero’s winrate after 7.24b was released, one that almost got her to below 50%, but it was rising steadily ever since, reflecting how pub players are getting better and better at playing the hero.
There are some interesting stats regarding the hero: she is one of the few heroes, which get more popular in the higher brackets, but her winrate is stable throughout all skill levels. She was also the most popular hero in the Divine+ games in the last month, winning ~52% of her games, though we feel this number might start going down once the nerf effects fully kick in.
Is it time to start learning the hero? We believe it is: Dota is primarily balanced around the competitive scene and it doesn’t look like Snapfire will receive any further nerfs, so she is a safe hero to train and have in your pool for at least another couple of patches.
Possibly the most consistent pick in the current meta, at least when it comes to supports. Disruptor can’t boast incredibly high winrate, but he works in all skill brackets and can be a safe draft opener.
His stats are pretty interesting as well: his popularity and winrate remain almost constant throughout all levels of play and we feel that with the current level of experimentation with matchmaking, it is a pretty great quality for a hero: no matter whether you are playing a game at your skill level or get matched with players of significantly higher or lower MMR, they will know how to play with you on their team.
Disruptor is also one of the “strong by design” heroes, so it is never bad to have him in your arsenal: the ability to catch any enemy or at least effortlessly force a BKB usage should not be underestimated.
Lich’s popularity rises with the increase in the skill level of the game, but his winrate falls sharply in the Divine+ games. The hero has tons of counterplay, be it delta-splitting from Chain Frost or getting a source of Purge to deal with the Frost Shield, so it is only natural better prepared players don’t fear Lich as much. That said, for anyone in Ancient and below Lich is an excellent safe pick.
Current meta typically has at least one core that deals most of his damage through right-clicks and as such, Lich will always have a game. He is pretty great in an aggressive lane, can be good at supporting a passive one and can even be effective and holding objectives on his own: Frost Shield on towers is still pretty strong.
So if you are still climbing, Lich is definitely a very safe pick to practice. Don’t expect him to stay as relevant and impactful in higher level games, but definitely give him a go in your next pub game.
This is going to be quite controversial, but Nyx Assassin is an incredibly strong hero in the current meta. The way it unfolded, typically forcing players to pick midgame oriented heroes, allows Nyx to start shining: the hero doesn’t deal any damage, but the amount of utility he brings to his team is almost unparalleled.
He is a scout, he has access to Break, which comes in handy quite often, he has multiple disables and can ensure his own survival easier than most supports. The only real problem the hero typically encounters is the layer between the keyboard and the chair.
Landing his stuns is hard and the hero does require a great deal of built-up muscle memory and coordination to be effective, but it is definitely worth it. For any player in Archon and above, Nyx can become the go-to support that only gets better as MMR increases. The first several games are definitely going to be painful, but once you start understanding potential rotations and how to position yourself in teamfights, the payoff is massive.
That said, we are not entirely sure about the hero’s longevity. Nyx is very popular in the professional scene right now and it might lead to some nerfs in the future. On one hand, learning to play the hero is very rewarding in the current meta, on the other — this might not last for too long and then a lot of effort will get wasted.