The last mini-patch shook things up enough to significantly broaden the pool of viable carries. In the absence of Lina and with a significant Shadow Fiend popularity decrease, many new carry heroes now get a chance to be in the spotlight. Today we want to talk about new heroes who should definitely be on your radar.
Perhaps the most surprising addition in this list, but one can’t simply ignore one of the biggest DPS buffs in 7.32e. Abaddon now has a 1.5 Base Attack Time and if you’ve forgotten what it means, we’ve made a whole blog post dedicated to explaining the relationship between Attack Speed, BAT and DPS.
Quick explanation: Abaddon is low-key broken. Between having +20 AS as a base stat and a potential AS passive, his right-click damage in the earlier stages of the game is close to unparalleled. It is impossible to trade right-clicks with this hero in lane and that means he usually gets to have a good time for the first several minutes of the game. With an aggressive support companion, it is almost trivial for them to shut down the enemy offlane completely.
This allows Abaddon to get a very early Radiance — one of the most meta-defining items of the patch. This solves his farming speed issues, while also providing some extra survivability: Abaddon has a decent AS steroid, but his Agility growth is miniscule, making for a very low-armor target.
Manta Style is another mandatory purchase, as it allows Abaddon to stack Curse of Avernus very quickly. It also solves some of the Armor issues the hero has, while also providing extra DPS through Movement and Attack Speed. Later progression involves getting items like Black King Bar, Blink Dagger, Abyssal Blade and sometimes Assault Cuirass.
Abaddon as a carry is probably at his best when played with a fairly greedy position two or three. He is self-sufficient and survivable, but doesn’t necessarily scale into the very late stages of the game. With BKB and Manta on cooldown, a Bloodthorn + Silver Edge combo from any Agility carry will probably kill him pretty quickly. As such, we recommend playing him when your mid is occupied by a very greedy, space-taking, late-game character.
This new trend is quite surprising — Anti-Mage didn’t really get a lot of strong buffs and neither did his items get that much better. Some of the winrate increase can be explained by Muerta being in every single game, but for the most part we feel like the hero is actually in a pretty decent spot.
The Attack Backswing time reduction might seem like a non-factor, but it is pretty important for multiple reasons. In lower level games animation-canceling is a rare beast, hence it is a straight-up buff for a very large portion of the playerbase. But even high level players rarely have the APM to control all illusions individually and that meant DPS loss. More importantly, it meant that some of the speedier targets sometimes got to disengage after a 0.75 second slow from Mana Break.
It is no longer the case: as long as the enemy has no Mana, illusions will stay on top of them even if uncontrolled. Is it technically a quality of life change, since players could theoretically cancel Attack Backswing anyways? Absolutely. But most players either didn’t know about the mechanic or didn’t bother with it. It probably won’t affect the top 0.01% of players, but for everyone else it is a massive buff that should not be underestimated.
We’ve talked about both heroes earlier this week and it doesn’t look like they are getting figured out in the slightest. Both of them are still incredibly obnoxious to play against and very much worth the pick. In fact, Clinkz winrate seems to be rising.
Ironically, Clinkz is heavily countered by Spectre, so when dealing with the hero “fight fire with fire” is probably your best approach. Other natural Blade Mail carriers such as Axe and Legion Commander are worth mentioning. Clinkz has a lot of damage and quite a bit of uncontrollable AoE damage, so try to abuse this fact. He is also somewhat squishy until he gets to the later portions of the game, where Death Pact becomes a bit too good.
Viper is really good against Spectre, but he is a bit of a weak hero in general, hence we can’t really advise picking him. Instead, heroes that get to ignore Spectre and concentrate on other targets, such as Lifestealer, could fit the bill. Lifestealer doesn’t care about Radiance or Blade Mail and with the help of Rage he gets to prioritize the backlines, while also helping his team survive through Open Wounds, his Aghanim’s Shard.
We feel like we might have underestimated the effects this patch had on the meta: the pool of viable carries has widened significantly, making for a relatively fresh meta. It is still not the big patch we were hoping for, but it will definitely make do until the end of April.
Next week we will have a look at other roles and how the patch might have affected them, but for now — share your thoughts and success stories in the comment section below.