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The latest iteration of the game solved some of the problems arising after the International 2019, but it didn’t introduce anything exciting to the game. It was less of a “breath of fresh air” and more of an emergency oxygen leak repair, but it did its job reasonably well and made the game a lot less frustrating.
Alchemist was seemingly nerfed into irrelevance, with multiple changes to his gold generation capabilities. Greevil’s Greed now needs more targets to start giving full bonuses, Chemical Rage no longer allows for indefinite sustain of Acid Spray usage, while the talent changes make Alchemist a slightly weaker opponent in the later stages of the game.
The end result is a hero who currently wins ~46% of his games, compared to almost 56% last week. His popularity also decreased drastically and he now appears in ~9% of all games, not in every fourth, as he did previously.
On one hand the Alchemist’s nerfs are great, since the hero was a little bit too dominant for a healthy game. On the other—it looks like he was overnerfed and is now questionably viable in a handful of matchups at best. Perhaps a new, less tempo-oriented build and play style could solve the problems the hero is facing?
Almost 5% win rate loss still keep Enchantress as a viable hero. She is a lot less of a nuisance in the early laning stage, but her overall game impact didn’t change much. Come mid game, she is still this incredibly annoying long-range DPS source, but now at least her lane opponents get to play the game from the start as well.
~48.5% win rate is nothing spectacular, but it means the hero remains viable, despite losing the ability to crush any lane. Viable and situational is more or less the ideal state heroes should be balanced towards and there are a lot of situations where Enchantress can still be amazingly powerful.
Her purge effect from Enchant, as well as access to a lot of pure damage make her great at dealing with Omniknight and any hero that relies on Armor or Magic Resistance for survivability.
0.2 Agility gain and an early level Chronosphere cooldown increases resulted in a 3% win rate loss for the hero, without much change to his popularity. Players still play Faceless Void in ~20% of the games and win roughly 50% of those.
For some reason, even at his peak, Void never felt as problematic or as annoying as Alchemists. Perhaps now, after Alchemist is no longer a first-pick material, Faceless Void will become the source of complaints, even after the nerfs?
The patch didn’t do much to introduce new powerful heroes to the meta, instead mainly focusing on nerfing the problematic ones, however there were a couple of notable changes.
Chaos Knight now wins almost 53% of his games and, perhaps more importantly, he finally crossed the 50% threshold in the immortal bracket. The interesting part is that the changes to the hero were pretty tame.
Maximum Chaos Strike multiplier went from 2.65 to 2.8 at level four of the ability and the extra 0.15 damage multiplier is deceptively strong. It shifts the expected multiplier, increases the potential lifesteal and since it is fully usable by the illusions, it significantly increases the chances of one-shot kill through Reality Rift usage.
The hero’s main problem of having some unwinnable matchups still persists, however, and it is hard to recommend picking him before you get a chance to see enemy supports, but as the last pick hero he can do wonders.
A surprising absentee from the International 2019, Drow Ranger received further buffs, making her one of the strongest cores in the immortal bracket with a 54.5% win rate.
Moreover, courtesy of the recently reworked level 15 talent. she is now good as both an independent position one core in matchups where the enemy lacks catch and as a support-type core that ensures maximum DPS from her ranged teammates.
The hero can give 100+ attack speed to all her teammates and, occasionally, to catapult creeps, making her incredibly at taking objectives, even when she is not actively hitting them. Top it with bolstering the laning stage across the map and the ability to deal incredible amounts of damage to Agility cores that refuse to buy bonus armor items and you get a carry that is effective in a lot of situations and is incredibly overpowered in some.