New patch - new trends. After a small adjustment to the game, new heroes emerged, while the obviously overpowered characters received some well deserved nerfs. Today we are going to go through some heroes who went overlooked in the previous post, but absolutely demand your attention right now.
The hero was further improved in 7.34b and her very easy to use stun is now considerably longer. 0.3 extra seconds of disable might not sound like much, but in late-game scenarios it can easily mean a couple of extra right-clicks.
It is also worth noting that with the shard it is a stun on two targets. It has very low cooldown come level fifteen as well. So the end result is a very powerful support with a good save, strong damage mitigating abilities for teamfights, and some respectable crowd control as well.
Warlock was initially overshadowed by Witch Doctor as the best support in the patch, but after the 7.34b nerfs they are very much on par. Despite some minor negative touch-ups, Warlock remains one of the best sustain fives in the game.
He is a lot more than that, though. Previously, most competent players would leave Shadow Word at two points past the laning stage, getting maximum value out of Warlock’s teamfight potential through Fatal Bonds. Currently, just leave it at one: unless your lane desperately needs healing and intends on playing passively, you are better off with a 4-1-1-1 build by level seven.
Purchasing your own Aghanim’s Shard is also usually worth it, as it allows Warlock to really contribute to teamfights, even without his ultimate. Otherwise, just play a regular position five babysitting support, who suddenly got a massive boost to his teamfight presence.
Yet another high-value support, that received a pretty strong buff to his laning stage. Guaranteed, on-demand extra movement speed from Nature’s Guise through Nature’s Grasp is a huge difference maker. Especially on a hero who struggled with getting to his enemies in lane, after the changes to tree placements.
This buff opened up some new ways to build the hero, with maxed out Living Armor making a comeback. Previously, you almost had to get an extra point in both Leech Seed and Nature’s Grasp to be effective in lane. Currently, a 1-2-0-0 by level three and 1-2-4-1 by level eight is the default high-level pub progression.
For pubs, we would still recommend maxing out Leech Seed. It is unlikely your team will be able to get the full benefits of global Armor, while Leech Seed is an amazing teamfight and skirmish ability that is very easy to use effectively.
We’ve talked about the hero in our First Impressions post and it seems we were right. After a period of adaptation, Spectre is now in the top10 of most successful heroes of the patch. Her powerful late game is still there, she just got a massive boost to her tempo and can start playing the game a lot earlier.
We won’t say the hero is overpowered, though. Despite high averages, she tends to taper out in high level pubs, simply because she is still a “slow” hero, even after the buffs. Moreover, high level pubs really like their Phantom Assassin right now and she directly counters Spectre with her Shard.
Outside of specific matchups, the hero is a lot of fun to play with on a team and very frustrating to play against as a support. Abuse the fact that you can globally kill a solo target with specific items and you should be in a good spot.
It looks like 7.34 is going to be the patch The International is going to be played on, and we feel like it is worthy. After some smaller adjustments, there are no heroes with win rates over 55% and while there are some underpowered heroes, we feel like it is the lesser of two evils.
We will keep a close eye on the ongoing qualifiers to see whether there are new trends emerging, so stay tuned and do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comment section below.