Pudge’s versatility and his iconic mechanics make him appealing to a lot of players, regardless of the rank. Perhaps the fact that landing a hook gives an immediate feeling of satisfaction has also a lot to do with the fact that he is topping the pick charts, especially in the lower MMR brackets.
From mid to offlane and position 4 support, Pudge made it to more than 6,500,000 pubs in February alone and he boasts a 51.71 % win rate. Here are the public matchmaking top picks and the most successful heroes for the month of February for each MMR bracket.
Herald to Crusader (~0 to ~2150 MMR)
Top picks: Pudge, Lion, Phantom Assassin, Sniper, Ogre Magi
Most successful: Meepo, Underlord, Clockwerk, Bloodseeker, Ogre Magi
Archon (~2300 to ~2900 MMR)
Top picks: Pudge, Lion, Phantom Assassin, Sniper, Ogre Magi, Slark
Most successful: Meepo, Underlord, Slardar, Vengeful Spirit, Huskar
Legend (~3000 to ~3700 MMR)
Top picks: Pudge, Snapfire, Lion, Slardar, Slark
Most successful: Meepo, Huskar, Slardar, Vengeful Spirit, Underlord
Ancient (~3800 to ~4500 MMR)
Top picks: Snapfire, Slardar, Pudge, Lifestealer, Lich
Most successful: Lycan, Slardar, Huskar, Meepo, Vengeful Spirit
Divine (~4600 to ~5400 MMR)
Top picks: Snapfire, Slardar, Rubick, Lich, Slark
Most successful: Visage, Huskar, Slardar, Bane, Meepo
Immortal (~5500+ MMR)
Top picks: Snapfire, Slardar, Lich, Rubick, Void Spirit
Most successful: Meepo, Lycan, Bane, Huskar, Slardar
How to deal with Pudge
If you are not one of the Pudge players and aren’t planning to start spamming it either, keep in mind that there are a few extremely effective counters to Pudge. Support players can easily mess up his Hooks with Lion or Shadow Shaman who have a decent range for Hex. Oracle is another good counter and an overall good pick to keep your lane under control. Stealing the Hook with Rubick is always a good and fun way to put Pudge at disadvantage.
Core heroes that can deal extremely efficiently with Pudge are Abaddon (who can also be played in the support role) and Legion Commander. Borrowed Time from Abaddon and Legion’s Press the Attack are strong dispels that can be used on allies to cancel Pudge’s Dismember. Lifestealer is one of the best carry heroes to stand against Pudge. The Feast damage scales accordingly to Pudge’s health and that enables Lifestealer to cut through a Pudge with a lot of Flesh Heap stacks like a hot knife through butter.
Mid lane players can easily solve the Pudge problem with Outworld Devourer. The hero provides an immediate save with his Astral Imprisonment while also draining Pudge’s already low mana pool with the Arcane Orb and Sanity’s Eclipse. Monkey King is pretty effective at interrupting Pudge’s Dismember from a long distance with Boundless Strike.
There are also a few items that should be prioritized, especially by the supports when playing against pudge. Eul’s Scepter is the cheapest and the most effective interrupt. Glimmer Cape can help your allies or even yourself. Lotus Orb and Linken’s Sphere will prevent the Dismember. Ultimately, Black King Bar makes you immune to Pudge’s magical damage and although you will get disabled by Dismember, you will not receive the damage.