It seems like a long long time ago that Lycan and Beastmaster terrorized the game of Dota 2 with their death ball lineups, because it was in fact, quite a while ago. Dota 2 patch 7.27b, which brought in the changes to all the heroes, was released on the 15th of July, which is nearly three months ago. After the release, the meta has changesd, players have experimented with heroes quite a bit and we have reached a stready state of sorts. From the data for this settled meta, let’s take a look at the five most successful mid heroes from the Divine and Immortal brackets to get an idea of which heroes the highest ranked playes believe are the best for mid lane. This data is as per Dotabuff and has been analyzed for the past one month, so it well and truly reflects the games from patch 7.27 after players have had time to absorb the patch. The choice of heroes has been made from a combination of high pick rate and high win rate heroes.
1) Death Prophet (Pick rate: 4.29%, Win rate: 72.23%)
Death Prophet was a strong hero until she was shoved out of the mid lane due to the fast paced meta of patch 7.25 and 7.26. It wasn’t that she was bad, it was just that other heroes were a lot better in the mid lane. Patch 7.27b reverted the nerf she received in the patch where 20% of every talent was nerfed. Besides that, the cast time for Crypt Swarm was reduced from 0.4 seconds to 0.2 seconds, which makes a big difference at the high levels. Effectively, it’s a 50% reduction in cast time which makes it harder for the enemy to dodge Crypt Swarm and it can play a significant role in how the mid lane develops. That shows, as DP is currently sitting pretty with an insane win rate of 72.23%, which is miles away than the next highest of 55.97% (Broodmother). Besides being a strong laner, the other benefit of DP is that she can also be played in the offlane, so the pick is a versatile one. She doesn’t have the highest of pick rates, which shows that players prefer to pick Death Prophet only in specific situations, but she wins a high majority of the games in which she is picked.
2) Broodmother (Pick rate: 2.26%, Win rate: 55.97%)
Broodmother falls in this niche category of heroes which aren’t necessarily popular in professional games, but will always see game times in the highest of pubs. It is again, a situational pick as one good counter has the potential to tilt the scales against Brood by a significant amount. She has an even lesser pick rate than Death Prophet, but her win rate does stay above 55%. Brood was the benefactor of quite a few buffs in Dota 2 patch 7.27b. A few of those were balanced out with slight nerfs in patch 7.27c, but the overall effect was to have a better hero than she was before patch 7.27. The rescaling of Spin Web movement speed is a nerf at level 4 of the skill, but it is higher for the first point, which gives her the slight additional advantage till level 4 (typical skill build is one point in Spin Web at level 1 followed by two points in Spawn Spiderlings). That added 5% movement speed inside the web can be major factor in how the lane shapes up.
3) Clinkz (Pick rate: 3.47%, Win rate: 55.49%)
Dota 2 patch 7.27b was the rebirth of Clinkz in many ways. Although the Burning Army Clinkz was fun to play, the effectiveness of the skill in big team fights was always a question of debate. Even though Valve did bring back Death Pact, merging Strafe and Skeleton Walk together, it took away Clinkz’s ability to come undetected and leave the same way. The reverting back to his old set of skill has made him a popular hero again, and one with a respectable win rate. Clinkz is primarily played as a safelane carry, but is one of those heroes which can lane decently in the mid lane as well and has the potential to snowball and wreak havoc on low level supports. Also, his new level 10 talent summons a skeleton after coming out of Skeleton Walk, which is half of what the old Aghanim’s Upgrade did. That’s about a 2100 gold talent! Most of his talents were buffed in 7.27b and those which needed to be replaced were replaced with strong ones. And rightly so, as Clinkz has been down in the dumps for nearly two years. After TI8, when Burning Army was made his ultimate, the hero lost a lot of value in the professional scene. Now, he’s back and he is ready to set everyone on fire! This is one hero we will be seeing a good amount of in the days to come.
4) Invoker (Pick rate: 13.80%, Win rate: 51.72%)
Invoker is the hero with the highest pick rate (mid lane) for the Divine and Immortal brackets. There are a couple of possible reasons why Invoker might be more popular in this meta than he was before. One is the buffs that he received in patch 7.27b – Invoke got changed so that it no longer triggers on-cast effects. That means if Silencer casts Arcane Curse on Invoker, using Invoke will not refresh the duration of Arcane Curse. But more importantly, it does not add a charge to magic wand when it is used, which makes a big difference in lane. Invoker is constantly using Invoke, which earlier meant the opposition mid had a stacked up Magic Wand, which would make it difficult for Invoker to get those early kills. That isn’t the case anymore. The second change is the increase in game time, which allows Invoker players to go for either a Quas-Wex or an Exort Invoker. Exort Invokers need time to come online, which meant that that wasn’t really an option in the fast paced meta of 7.26. With the way the meta is right now, Voker can be played successfully in a number of different ways. Hand of Midas has also received a buff to the increased XP it gets from the active, which is an added advantage for Exort Invoker, who almost always builds a Hand of Midas.
5) Void Spirit (Pick rate: 12.57%, Win rate: 51.22%)
Void Spirit’s good performance, like the hero himself, is mysterious to say the least. Void Spirit had a win rate of 47.45% in professional games for Dota 2 patch 7.25, which dropped to 43.90% for patch 7.26. But a few nerfs later, Void Spirit is sitting pretty at a win rate of 51.93% in professional games and 51.22% in high ranked pubs. Again, the hero has mostly been subject to nerfs in the past few patches. The only reasonable explanation is, he was always a strong hero on the whole, but was being overshadowed by the likes of Lycan, Beastmaster, Pugna, Queen of Pain and all the crazy heroes that the previous meta had to offer. Once they started fading off the scene, Void Spirit’s win rate seems to have gone up. Players have also realized in the past few months that Void Spirit, even though his best position is in the mid lane, can also be played as a position 3 or position 4 hero, which gives him that added advantage of being a versatile pick. Looking at his pick rate and win rate here, there is a good chance a few more nerfs are on the way.
Honorable mentions go out to Storm Spirit and Zeus, who have also managed to maintain high pick rates as along with above average win rates.
Storm Spirit (Pick rate: 11.27%, Win rate: 51.02%)
Zeus (Pick rate: 9.96%, Win rate: 52.63%)
As it has been quite a while that this patch is being played, we could be due for a new patch in the near future. But till that happens, these heroes could be your ticket to some valuable MMR if you ply your trade in the mid lane.