Image by RocketAlex
Last time, we looked at the biggest winners of the 7.30, but today’s lot isn’t as lucky. Looking at the biggest losers of the patch and comparing their direct nerfs to the actual effects on the win rate often helps identify broad meta trends that can have a disproportionate impact on certain heroes. That is exactly what we are going to do today.
It is always scary talking about Broodmother — she is one of the most niche heroes in the game with very few players capable of tapping into the whole potential she has to offer. As such, we will be wary of calling her close to useless, even if stats strongly suggest it. The hero currently wins less than 40% of her games and we feel it is a combined effect of both direct nerfs and the changes to the pact of the game.
Broodmother, especially the new one, can’t handle high pressure from zoo heroes and doesn’t want teamfights to start early. She preys on weak, isolated targets and thrives in a split-pushing environment. The current meta doesn’t always support it, as deathball is a viable option. Moreover, currently popular isolated targets who farm far away from their team are not particularly vulnerable to Broodmother. For example, Sven has a good chance of surviving a spider onslaught and even turning around the engagement, while Slark should have little trouble escaping.
Sometimes half-a-second of stun can make all the difference. We do not suggest that it was the only deciding factor in Puck losing ~5.5% win rate, but it is a big one. While he can still cancel teleports and most mobility, he can no longer interrupt channeling spells. Moreover, it is now slightly easier for the enemy to react, which should not be underestimated for high-level pubs, where chain-stunning is a habit.
Direct nerfs aside, Puck also struggles with the current pool of heroes. Previously, he was the best setup for hyper-carries in the late game. The fixation he provided could be easily utilized by heroes like Terrorblade and Luna, but given how these heroes struggle as well, Puck can no longer shine as brightly as he used to. We don’t doubt the hero will be viable and popular among professional players, but his pub performance is not on par right now.
We recently talked about Chaos Knight being one or two buffs from being overpowered and it seems IceFrog heard us and decided to pre-emptively nerf the hero. By swapping around his talents and taking away the Cleave, the hero was made less capable of farming up and becoming a bigger threat come late game, where he already is at a disadvantage, compared to many other meta heroes.
Moreover, this Cleave talent could be really well-utilized in the current meta where Zoo is once again a viable strategy. Picking Chaos Knight is too risky and too unreliable right now, which kind of fits thematically, but doesn’t make the hero any more appealing.
Luna is among the biggest losers of 7.30 and she is still a decent hero, winning ~50% of her games across all brackets. Undeniably, the hero lost a lot of her late-game potential. Both 30% lifesteal and +8 All attributes were incredibly efficient in getting the hero over the edge of being broken in the later portions of the game, but free 35 extra damage globally should not be underestimated either: winning fights as Luna, especially with split-pushing heroes on your team, can result in an ungodly amount of objectives taken.
When it comes to Zoo matchup, Luna is slightly worse off in the earlier stages of the game, where her Eclipse is more or less ineffective. Come late game, however, when most of her damage output is auto-attacks, Zoo should not be a problem for the hero. The only problem is getting there in a timely manner.
Gyrocopter got to a point where we are not necessarily sure he is a 100% carry hero. His talents and Shard open up an interesting, magic damage-based playstyle and his talents fully support it. We won’t be surprised if there are already support or position three Gyrocopter experiments going on.
It is justifiable also because Gyrocopter in his current form can’t necessarily beat Zoo. Less early game damage and nerfed Flak Cannon restrict his farming potential to a point, where the hero no longer outpaces the competition and more importantly, he doesn’t outpace a timely Helm of the Overlord. He doesn’t have an answer to it at a time when Gyrocopter is supposed to have a small peak of his own, frequently making him a liability to his team, rather than an asset.
Almost two weeks later it is now safe to say that the meta has changed significantly and the seemingly tame patch managed to shake up the game quite a bit. There are still some questions remaining and we will definitely keep an eye out on Tinker and Clinkz, who keep on fluctuating in terms of win rate, but we finally have a general idea on the direction of the meta development.
What do you think of the patch? Did you expect it to have such an impact and did you expect the resurgence of the Zoo? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.