It seems it might take a while for Valve to release the new patch, so far a little bit longer we are stuck with the current hero and item meta. Today we would like to highlight the most important items in the current patch and discuss why exactly they are considered stronger than average.
Possibly the most important item of the patch. Guardian Greaves have been overshadowed by Wraith Pact, but after receiving a series of direct buffs they feel amazing. Wraith Pact being nerfed also helped quite a bit.
There are multiple reasons for the item’s dominance and all of them are equally important. There is a dispel factor, which works wonders against slows and silences, but, most notably, provides some defense against Spirit Vessel. Many offlane heroes can’t really go for Manta Style or Satanic. Previously, Lotus Orb was their dispel of choice but while it is still very good, Greaves just do more in a teamfight.
The burst heal is very strong. Once again, we would like to remind everyone that heal effects do scale: having more Armor or Magic Resistance means each point of HP is more effective so 350 is a big deal at every point in the game: early on it is almost a third of a hero’s HP bar, late game it can be 350 HP on a 30+ Armor target who is Spell Immune and has Lifesteal.
There is also a very powerful aura on top of it all. Giving ten Armor to targets below 25% HP is a game-changer at the later portions of the match. Typical core hero reaches upwards of 3k HP by the late game, so the aura kicks in while they have at least 750 HP or less — more than enough for a potential turn-around play if the enemy miscalculates their damage.
All in all, it makes for a very powerful teamfight item that doesn’t necessarily even need to be used efficiently to be valuable. Heals on a solo target are more than acceptable, if it allows your teammate to survive and turn the fight around. With generally easy buildup, good starting components and high impact at all stages of the game, Guardian Greaves is definitely the most important item of the current patch.
The initial reason Gleipnir became a big thing in the current patch is probably Lina. She doesn’t need any Attack Speed items since she already gets insane AS from Fiery Soul, but she does need a farming tool, so Gleipnir made a lot of sense on her. Once players started consistently getting this item on her, they also realized it can be used on a variety of other heroes as well.
People run away from your Burning Barrage from Clinkz? Get Gleipnir. They are trying to TP away under Rapture from Bloodseeker? Once again, Gleipnir. This item solves many problems for many different heroes, as it can act as a setup, as a TP interrupt and as a way to keep enemies inside some harmful effect. The list of heroes who should at least consider it include Monkey King, Juggernaut, Weaver, Viper and many, many more.
It can also be used as a scouting tool, though it might be ill-advised unless you know what you are doing. Many professional players casually throw the Gleipnir active up the highground where they expect the enemy to be set up, giving themselves vision on the potential threats. It is a decently long cooldown to use in this manner, but it can be a huge difference maker if paired with Scan or good game sense.
Compared to Mjollnir it definitely loses out in terms of pure DPS. The Chain Lightning proc itself is slightly weaker and has a significantly reduced amount of targets; you also don’t get the massive Attack Speed bonus or the powerful Static Charge active. Gleipnir does provide some survivability stats though: 280 extra health and 2.5 Armor can be pretty impactful, especially in the earlier stages of the game. The extra Mana Pool can also come in handy on some Agility cores.
All in all we feel like Gleipnir is a more reliable and more flexible Mjollnir. You naturally get the latter against some Illusion heroes, since the extra bounces and the Static Charge active can be game-changing against a hero like PL. However, in the vast majority of games, having an extra way to control the battlefield is going to be a better option.
We are as disappointed as you are that the patch didn’t come in-between the Division One and Division Two DPC and that probably means we won’t get a patch until after the Major. What are your thoughts on the current item meta and do you agree with our highlights? Perhaps you have thoughts you would like to share on the matter, so do not hesitate to leave a comment.