The time for a new patch is fast arriving, and it is only a matter of few weeks (or days) before IceFrog reinjects interest into the game by releasing a huge patch in the form of 7.28. But till then, there’s still time to rack up wins on the 7.27 patch and if you haven’t calibrated yet, all the more reason to know the most viable heroes of the meta before it signs off. We already took a look at the best carry and mid lane heroes; now let’s see the best offlane heroes of the current Dota 2 meta. The heroes have been picked as the best performing ones from the Divine and Immortal brackets. 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: 1.23%, Win rate: 56.72%)
The number of mid lane heroes that tend to find a home in the offlane is uncanny, and Death Prophet is one of them. Just a couple of patches ago, DP was a really popular mid hero, because she could dominate the mid lane, get ahead and be a part of the death ball that the meta was suited for. She had a win rate of 56.49% in patch 7.25, which warranted a nerf. A decrease in her base damage and increase in Spirit Siphon mana cost hampered her mid lane potential, and she went down the pecking order. However, her Exorcism damage and tower taking potential still remains strong and that has made a her a situational pick in the offlane. DP’s pick rate in high level pubs isn’t the highest in the offlane, but when ever picked as per the situation, she has the highest win rate of the lot. Besides the tower taking, she can be a rather irritating hero to deal with for the enemy safe lane heroes. Tanky carries like Sven and Spectre are seen quite often in this meta and DP’s Spirit Siphon is a good skill to harass tanky heroes as it deals percentage based damage on top of the base health drain of 14 HP per second. The issue with an offlane DP is there is no initiation potential or disables which a lot of standard offlaners such as Mars, Tidehunter or Centaur have, so the team needs to ensure other positions cover that.
2) Bloodseeker (Pick rate: 7.20%, Win rate: 55.89%)
Bloodseeker is another old mid lane hero (and sometimes safe lane as well) like Death Prophet who is now mostly seen in the offlane. Bloodseeker got a rework in Dota 2 patch 7.27b which has made him a completely different hero (guess that’s what a rework is, duh). The old Bloodseeker who could dominate the mid lane, even against ranged heroes, thanks to the old Bloodrage. The revamped one finds it a bit difficult to do so. Earlier, Bloodrage provided a combination of attack and lifesteal, so any HP lost in procuring dicey last hits could be justified by the HP regained. Granted that the new Thirst does provide lifesteal, but with no additional damage, last hitting and taking early neutral camps isn’t as easy as it used to be. The current way to play Bloodseeker is as a caster, thanks to the 30% spell damage amplification Bloodrage provides, which applies to Bloodrite as well as Rupture, and this version of BS finds a home in the offlane. He is still a good farmer, thanks to the attack speed from Bloodrage and the AoE damage from Bloodrite, so the task of building team fight items like Guardian Greaves and Pipe falls to Bloodseeker. Although the blood hound doesn’t have any stuns, the versatility he brings makes him a more common pick than DP. Veil of Discord, an item most would have thought preposterous on BS before the rework, is also a common choice to further amplify the amplification, if you will. The cherry on top of the casting cake is an Aghanim’s Scepter, which reduces the cooldown for Rupture and provides two charges. While it is slightly sad to see the old Bloodseeker fade away, there is something exciting in seeing a hero adapt to a new role. In 2527 professional games on the 7.27 patch, Bloodseeker has been picked 261 times and banned 371 times, being contested in 25.01% of the games. He serves as an excellent counter to meta heroes like Anti-Mage and Timbersaw, and has good synergy with others like Faceless Void.
3) Leshrac (Pick rate: 2.67%, Win rate: 54.02%)
Leshrac is a slightly different case as compared to Death Prophet and Bloodseeker. He does have a good win rate in the offlane, but actually has a higher pick rate (6.85%) and win rate (54.92%) in the mid lane in the past month for high level pubs. Clearly, Leshrac is strong position 2 hero who occasionally can be played in the position 3 role based on the matchup. Leshrac did have his tower taking abilities nerfed in the past few patches, as Diabolic Edict was quite broken. But besides that, he has been buffed in nearly all other areas from base damage, agility and strength gain to the radius and damage of Pulse Nova. So as far as this hero goes, nothing jumps out that makes him a particularly bad mid laner or good offlaner. The hero is just strong at the moment!
4) Timbersaw (Pick rate: 7.26%, Win rate: 52.81%)
Timbersaw as a hero hasn’t really received any significant buffs in the last few patches, but the pub meta right now makes him a good offlane hero with a more than average pick rate and win rate. Terrorblade and Phantom Lancer aren’t heroes that are seen too often in professional games these days, but they are seen in top tier pubs. Chaos Knight is picked as either a safe lane carry or offlaner. Timbersaw is a natural counter to all these heroes. But more than that, he is one the best Blademail carriers in the game and that is a strong item in the current meta. Timbersaw can tank ample physical damage while returning it to the carry (both, passively and actively) which makes him not a very fun hero to play against for glass canon carries like Phantom Assassin.
5) Slardar (Pick rate: 16.02%, Win rate: 52.43%)
Slardar was out of favor in patches 7.25 and 7.26 because of the fast playstyle and he just didn’t fit into that. The offlane was mostly populated by Beastmaster, Pugna, Lycan or the types who were good at pushing lanes and taking down towers. But with the death of the death ball meta, those were shoved out and other offlaners took their place with Slardar taking a prominent position. Corrosive Haze did get a buff in 7.27 (both, skill and talent), but the major reason Slardar is the second most picked offlaner in the game right now is that he counters EVERY popular carry in the meta. Slardar is a hero who excels at taking down heroes far ahead in net worth, thanks to the insane armor reduction and lockdown. And according to Dotabuff, he has an advantage over Anti-Mage, Spectre, Lifestealer, Faceless Void and Sven – pretty much all the strong carries of the meta. Naturally, he is a strong pick at the moment. Corrosive Haze is a unique skill that can turn the tides when fighting from behind and especially fighting against enemy heroes with significantly higher net worths. Anti-Mage and Sven are carries that tend to farm at alarmingly fast rates leaving the others behind, and the armor reduction makes it a lot easier to deal with them. Each point of armor increases effective HP (EHP) by 5.66%. A reduction in armor by 20 (level 3 of Corrosive Haze) is a physical damage amplification of more than 50%! It has a cooldown of 5 seconds and goes through magic reduction – just that one skill and it’s effect against the meta carries is more than enough to make him a popular hero in the 7.27 patch.
Honrable mentions go out to Mars, who is the highest picked hero in the offlane but has a below average win rate and Viper, who is picked in the offlane now and then to kite and break heroes like Sven and Spectre.
Mars (Pick rate: 24.99%, Win rate: 48.12%)
Viper (Pick rate: 3.14%, Win rate: 55.08%)
A lot of the heroes mentioned above will possibly see a nerf when Dota 2 patch 7.28 rolls in. If you’re an offlaner and are looking at the final few days of gaining MMR before pubs are filled with chaos, these are probably the heroes that will take you the furthest.