DL 11: Top 10 heroes with the highest pick & ban rate

Top 10 heroes with the highest pick & ban rate after four days of intense DL11 action

Groups matches, elimination matches and the matches of the first round of the upper bracket are over.  For all teams except for Vici Gaming (minor winner) this is the first official tournament played on the 7.21c patch. Let’s see which heroes are the most contested at the moment and why:

Courtesy of Dotabuff.com
  1. Chen

Chen got his Test of Faith replaced with a new skill Divine Favor a long time ago. After 7.20 patch, the skill got buffed in 7.21 and got re-balanced in 7.21c – Increasing its non-hero dmg buff and reducing raw attack dmg bonus. Divine Favor changed how the hero is played throughout the game, especially in the early game. Chen became early game lane enforcer, similar to Warlock but much better. Also, we don’t see jingling Chen anymore, his main targets for Holy Persuasion are now the siege creeps which he can buff with up to 96 bonus damage. I don’t see Chen falling off from this list, or even from it’s top 3 places, till the end of this major.

  1. Lifestealer

In the meta where early game denies give gold and heroes gain levels at a slightly slower rate than before, the heroes that are more impactful in the early game are trending.  So let me introduce to you the king of the early game – Lifestealer. The last few patches he was constantly tweaked, mostly he got buffed. In 7.21 he got significant buffs, increase in MS from 310 to 325, and in armor, from -2 to 0. After this, in 7.21b and 7.21c he got nerfed just a bit, but not enough to fall off. To secure Lifestealer’s late game, most of the players go for Radiance build. So this hero is a full package. In some cases he can even diverge from his usual carry position and be played in the offlane.

  1. Pangolier

After he was added to the CM, only few players were known for picking Pango. Now it seems he broke through into the mainstream. He is another example of a hero who mostly received a slight buffs after the initial balancing of the hero in the 7.14, and one patch after he was added to the CM. In 7.20 his Heartpiercer got replaced with Lucky Shot. So instead of having a chance to remove 100% of opponent’s armor and to slow him, he now has a chance to disarm or silence an enemy and to apply a slow on top of that. What’s “funny” is that with Swashbuckle you have a chance to proc both debuffs on the same target. Many players, and I think justifiably, don’t like the randomness of the skills like this existing and I couldn’t agree more. Until the end of the tournament we are bound to see more of Pango for sure.

  1. Leshrac

A hero that really came to prominence out of nowhere. He was famous for his middle lane dominance, but after a lot of swinging of a nerf hammer, he disappeared from the scene for a while. Nowadays he is played as a support or in some cases as an offlaner. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason why he is so valued at the moment other than Diabolic Edict buff. The damage of the spell was increased a bit and increased the hero’s siege capabilities.

  1. Troll Warlord

Troll is a similar lane dominator to Lifestealer, he has nice lane sustain and good harassing capabilities. As an agility hero he also scales  naturally for the late game. In the same pattern like the most heroes from this list, he got a lot of minor buffs and a spell rework in the last few patches. His ultimate was reworked, and instead of giving all of his teammates attack speed, it grants Troll a basic dispel (with a talent, a hard dispel)  and puts him in an uncontrollable and un-killable state. Kind of a berserker mode, in which he attacks the nearest enemy with an attack speed and a life-steal bonus, granted for Battle Trance.

  1. Nature’s Prophet

NP is the kind of hero that will always have a place in any meta. His global Teleportation gives him a unique dimension no other hero in the CM has atm. He received a small, funny buff in 7.21, “Tango now uses the ward duration when targeting Sprout, instead of the tree duration, similar to Iron Branch trees.” This actually helps the carry in the early game a lot. In the hands of a great player NP forces an enemy to change their complete style for the game at hand. Courier sniping behind the enemy lines, sudden global gank, or unnoticeable cliff warding are just a few things teams need to worry about when playing against this hero. All this being mentioned, my feeling is the heroes pick/ban rate will fall off, since there are fewer teams left in the tournament that like to pick him., but who knows…

  1. Viper

Oh what a breakthrough this hero got in the ESL One Katowice and than in MDL Macau. If you want to blame someone for Viper’s Rod of Atos build, you should be looking for MidOne. It all quietly started in Poland and then spread to China, in less than 24 hours. The result of this contagion is that Viper immediately got nerfed in 7.21c. Mainly, his Nethertoxin’s mana cost got increased and it’s damage couldn’t stack anymore from multiple instances. Somehow the nerfs completely ignored Rod of Atos and it’s huge 1150 cast range and cost-effective stats. I think Icefrog isn’t done with the nerfs here…

  1. Oracle

Again, same pattern, many cumulative small buffs result in a meta hero. Don’t get me wrong, Oracle was always good and was actually picked quite a few times (almost) every tournament, but he was never even close to being a meta hero. Like for Lesh, I can’t pinpoint the exact reasoning behind this hero’s popularity but I can understand the hero’s qualities. He is a strong laner and has one of the best toolkits for saving teammates, including a hard dispel. When picked, he has the second biggest win-rate out of all heroes on this list, at 69.57% (after 4th day of the tournament).

  1. Batrider

For one, a small change resulted in increase of interest into this hero. Fireflight’s cooldown was reduced for 3 seconds effectively and Bat got movement speed buff during it. Hero isn’t good enough to be a core so it’s mainly played as a position 4 support. In right situations he can be pretty annoying to deal with in the lane, and there are matchups he straight up ruins.

  1. Razor

Razors main problem was farming after the laning phase ends. After 7.20 change of Unstable Current, so it now ” Passively increases your movement speed and occasionally hits every unit in the area for some damage.”, so he got what he lacked. Most of the players max his passive ability and increase his farming speed by using his ultimate too, for the farming efficiency. He is also another Rod of Atos beneficiary next to Viper. It’s still not considered a mainstream build but I’m really a fan of W33’s take on the hero’s item build. I’m pretty sure that a big part of Razor’s popularity is that he is a good counter to the other meta melee picks.