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Each patch has its winners and losers and today we are concentrating on the latter. These are the heroes we recommend avoiding for now, as they suffered the most from the new patch. Don’t forget it is still Dota, though, and there is always a game where a particular hero can shine.
Huskar received a pretty huge, possibly unintended nerf. The hero’s Ultimate can now be interrupted mid-flight with items like Force Staff, Hurricane Pike or even Harpoon
On top of it, the debuff immunity the hero gets is relatively short, so a lot of support and utility heroes are free to throw their stuns on Huskar mid-flight. Once the Life Break jump is over, Huskar will get immediately stunned or otherwise disabled, resulting in him being out of position and unable to act.
Previously, good Huskar players actually used this ultimate to “absorb” projectile stuns, effectively outmaneuvering their opponent and getting an edge in a fight. It will take some time for Huskar players to get used to the idea of using BKB pre-Life Break, but even then, the hero is in an objectively worse state now and desperately needs a buff.
Dazzle is starting to approach Clinkz territory, with the amount of reworks the hero is getting. This time around his ultimate got changed and Dazzle can now convert his health into cooldown reduction, which seems like a neat ability on paper, but is quite hard to play around in reality.
The first big problem is that Dazzle already had cooldown reduction. It didn’t work on items, but his abilities were entirely spammable without the associated health cost. Not only did it make it generally easier to play the hero, but it also allowed him to stay in the fight for much longer. Currently, after three-four rounds of abilities, Dazzle just eats way too much in HP cost to keep on fighting.
On top of it, Aether Lens no longer being a part of Octarine Core made Dazzle significantly worse off in the later portions of the game. Naturally, you don’t typically get enough money to get those items on a support regardless, but it did help out in some extremely long games. Pavise is an excellent choice for support Dazzle, though, as the item is busted.
Perhaps support Dazzle shouldn’t be the default playstyle for the hero, though. Between becoming Universal hero and receiving a rather interesting Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade, we feel like core Dazzle can be a thing, though can’t really work out the details quite yet.
All-around nerfs to a tempo hero who typically wants to close the game or at least isolate the enemy in their base, once his Bear gets the first several items. The map is bigger, the games are slightly longer and no wonder Lone Druid is feeling worse off.
That shouldn’t necessarily be the case, though. The hero is now a Universal type hero and as such should theoretically scale better DPS-wise on the main hero. His Damage per Level increased from 2.5 to 3.6, though at the same time his Agility gain decreased from 2.8 to 2.0. The hero hits slightly harder, but not quite as fast.
It is still a net gain, so maybe there are some undiscovered builds where Lone Druid is the one dealing the damage, not the Spirit Bear. For now, though, it is better to avoid the hero.
Lycan becoming a Universal hero resulted in a rare Damage per level nerf. Not only did he lose stats across the board, he lost enough of them to become considerably less effective DPS-wise.
On top of it, the Zoo is slightly easier to deal with. There is more to farm across the map, the games are slightly longer and the end result is that Lycan just doesn’t have enough tempo to close the game early. He also doesn’t scale well enough to go late and once he runs out of steam, his teamfight and game contribution becomes limited.
Even in this nerfed state he is on par with most other offlane heroes, hovering around 50% winrate, so definitely no on the “avoid” list. He stopped being an auto-win in lower level games, but is still a hero to consider for Legend games and below. As long as you can micro just a little bit, you should have no problems with the hero.
It is still early days of the patch and we expected some drastic balance overhauls after the Berlin Major. Some heroes are definitely getting nerfed, while others, like the ones we discussed today, could use a buff.
For now, stay tuned for more patch coverage and our ESL One Berling Major Meta analysis next week.