The Dota 2 patches have been coming in hard and fast as of late and it keeps changing the professional meta quite a bit. But the pub meta usually differs from the professional meta as there isn’t as much coordination (sometimes none at all!) and games are won more based on who has the superior heroes. Let’s take a look at the five most successful carries from the current meta from the Divine and Immortal brackets. This data is as per Dotabuff and has been analyzed for the past one month and as such, includes games from both, patch 7.25 and patch 7.26.
1) Lycan (Pick rate: 4.36%, Win rate: 60.61%)
Hands down, Lycan has been the best carry hero these past few weeks. Not just the safelane, he has been dominating the mid lane as well. The deathball meta that patch 7.25 presented was perfect for Lycan, where he gets Helm of the Dominator and Necronomicon and starts running at heroes and towers. Lycan did receive a few nerfs after his rampant destruction of opponents in pubs, but his popularity and win rate (over 60%, that’s insane!) haven’t taken the biggest of hits. Patch 7.26 as a whole is a bit of a nerf for Lycan, as it slows down the game speed and makes seizing high ground a lot more difficult. But even after the release of the patch, professional teams can be seen picking Lycan. Even though 7.26 was not the best for his playstyle, the hero himself did not get nerfed, which is kind of a good sign. The only downside is, with games potentially lasting longer, Lycan players need to ensure they get their game plan right. A crucial gank gone wrong could see the tides turning. Still though, a hero pretty much deserving of the top spot.
2) Lone Druid (Pick rate: 1.33%, Win rate: 55.87%)
The high win rate on Lone Druid is a bit hard to explain. The hero did get buffed a decent bit in patch 7.23, but was nerfed in the subsequent patches. It isn’t even the case that LD is a counter to other meta heroes. The only possible explanation is the rate at which he chunks down towers, which makes him an accessory in crime with the likes of Beastmaster and Lycan. With Beastmaster’s Inner Beast aura, the Spirit Bear can demolish towers in no time at all. This was all a lot easier before 7.26b, though. With the new reinforcements provided to towers, Lone Druid’s win rate may go down.
3) Chaos Knight (Pick rate: 1.11%, Win rate: 54.74%)
Chaos Knight is the benefactor of a series of buffs. No one was picking the hero and the buffs kept stacking up and suddenly, it turns out he’s not too bad a hero! Gunner, who is a top 10 player in North America, often plays the hero mid as well. Not a lot of teams in the professional scene have warmed up to Chaos Knight yet, but it’s only a matter of time…
4) Bloodseeker (Pick rate: 4.33%, Win rate: 53.27%)
Bloodseeker serves as a counter to multiple meta heroes – Lycan, Pangolier and Riki to be specific. Lycan and Pangolier have their ultimates nullified when Ruptured and Riki loses his invisibility thanks to Thirst when low on HP. Of the heroes Bloodseeker has an advantage against, Lycan, Pangolier and Riki are all in the top six. It’s pretty plain and simple here why Bloodseeker is successful pick this meta. However, he did get nerfed in patch 7.26 and all of his talents are quantitative talents, meaning all eight talents will be nerfed because of the ‘talents are 20% weaker’ nerf of patch 7.26b. It will be interesting to see if his win rate remains to be high in the games to come. Not a good first pick, but good as a last pick when the three or four enemy heroes are known.
5) Riki (Pick rate: 11.38%, Win rate: 53.20%)
It has finally happened. Riki is finally an integral part of the professional meta, something that was never the case before. Even if Riki was a hero that was picked in pro games, it was as a position 4 hero, never as a carry. But with the change in patch 7.23 that made Tricks of the Trade a regular skill and not his ultimate with a much lowered cooldown, the hero has risen to prominence and is regularly seen in high level pubs and professional games. With a pick rate of 11.38%, Riki is one of the most sought out carries in the game. It is a fighting meta and when it comes to fighting instead of farming, Riki is right up there with Lycan. Besides a slight nerf in patch 7.25, Riki has remained untouched in patches. If you want to gain some MMR and irritate your opponents in the process, this is the hero for you.
Of the five heroes with the highest win rates, two of them (Lone Druid and Chaos Knight) have a very small pick rate (less than 1.5%). Even though they may not be the most successful ones, which heroes do players prefer? Let’s take a look at the five carries with the highest pick rate in high level pubs.
- Slark (pick rate: 14.47%, win rate: 50.35%)
- Wraith King (pick rate: 14.28%, win rate: 53.03%)
- Juggernaut (pick rate: 14.08%, win rate: 48.30%)
- Phantom Lancer (pick rate: 13.92%, win rate: 49.77%)
- Riki (pick rate: 11.38%, win rate: 53.20%)
Riki is the only common name in both lists. Juggernaut and Phantom Lancer are clearly not having the best of times in pubs, but Wraith King is enjoying a decent win rate even after sizable nerfs in patch 7.25. That has made him a horrendous hero in professional games, but as PPD said on his stream, Wraith King is a pub hero. All in all these five (or these nine actually, as the other four have very high pick rates and not-so-bad win rates) are the top carries currently in high level pubs. Try using these to your best abilities and hopefully gain some MMR! And if you’re not a carry, we’ll be looking at the meta and coming up with similar lists for mid laners, offlaners and supports as well.