The Dota 2 hero tier list (December 2017)
Dota 2’s metagame is notorious for shifting and changing courses on a dime, given the flexible nature of hero roles and the huge impact items have on the game. These days especially, diverse tournament metas are to be expected, with only a handful of heroes going unpicked.
At the highest levels of play, games can be won or lost even before the creeps spawn. Having a good hero composition can spell the difference between a struggle to breach high ground and a team with heroes that complement each other and form a well-oiled machine.
This tier list—based on the current competitive metagame—outlines which heroes are currently picked most often by professional teams, and those that stand out in terms of win percentages. Note that this list will not include every single hero, mainly because there are simply too many in Dota to count. Instead, we will break the list down to roughly 40 of the most popular and most effective heroes.
- Night Stalker
- Winter Wyvern
- Vengeful Spirit
- Earth Spirit
- Death Prophet
- Sand King
- Ogre Magi
- Queen of Pain
Even after receiving a huge nerf to his daytime vision (1200 to 800), Night Stalker is still a top tier pick in the utility support position. What little vision he now has during the day is completely offset at night, thanks to how effective the rest of his kit is anyway. And with the metagame still focused on the laning phase, his ability to terrorize enemy cores often is valuable.
Winter Wyvern is currently a popular pick for hard supports, thanks mostly to some stellar talents at her disposal. Her gold per minute talent at level 10 helps alleviate early game gold problems, and her right branch level 15 talent allows her to scout ahead with Arctic Burn and the bonus night vision. Most recently, she was the most picked hero at DreamLeague Season 8, appearing 33 times throughout the tournament and winning 19 of those games.
Puck stands out not only as a very effective mid hero, but also one that can be placed in the offlane. Teams like Evil Geniuses, who have Puck players in both positions, can take advantage of her versatility and flexibility.
Tiny's appearance in this tier is explained by the series of buffs the hero received after getting reworked in 7.07—the most important of which was the massive cooldown reduction on Tree Grab in 7.07b, coupled with the level 20 right branch talent which further reduces its cooldown by three seconds. This gives Tiny less downtime in between each use of Tree Grab, allowing him to fight and push more often.
And finally, perennial pub stomper Omniknight is now viable in pro games. Several factors, including his level 10 mana regeneration talent and the removal of Purge from Diffusal Blade, have contributed to his effectiveness in the current meta. He is commonly placed in aggressive dual offlanes, in order to leverage the healing and damage from Purification.
- Witch Doctor
- Ancient Apparition
- Nyx Assassin
- Nature's Prophet
- Shadow Demon
Tier two represents stable picks in the meta that don’t really merit instant bans or anything so extreme. Some of the heroes in this tier are ones you can safely pick without giving away too much of your gameplan.
When 7.07 was released last month, we talked about Medusa and how the rework to Split Shot helped her tremendously. Pros seem to have picked up on her overall strength, and so she lands a spot in this tier. Combining Split Shot with its corresponding level 25 talent, plus her inherent tankiness makes for a frightening deep late game carry. At DreamLeague, she showed up 20 times had an even split in terms of win rate.
Undying deserves mention as a good choice for utility supports. The hero got nearly nothing but amazing buffs in 7.07, vastly increasing his power across the board. His signature teamfight skill Tombstone is now much more annoying thanks to a fixed 30 second duration, and a fixed radius of 1200 units.
Ancient Apparition is also in this tier, presumably due to the popularity of tanky offlaners and carries such as Tidehunter and Tiny. Kaldr has always been great at punishing heroes that rely on their large HP pools, or those dependent on healing and/or lifesteal.
- Storm Spirit
- Lone Druid
The heroes in tier three have proven to be effective over a limited number of games. They serve as good options for teams looking to diversify their drafts in an effort to become less predictable, or as niche picks to counter certain popular heroes.
Tidehunter has risen from his slumber under the sea in order to get right back in the metagame. The new status resistance mechanic (which reduces the duration of effects such as stuns and silences) combined with Kraken Shell make him extremely difficult to contain in teamfights.
The disappearance of Iron Talon in 7.07 also brought tanky, self-sufficient offlaners back to the limelight—making this metagame one that Tidehunter thrives in.
Storm Spirit's recent resurgence was brought about by Kaya, an item that was practically made for him. A net 20 percent reduction in his mana costs helps him immensely at all stages of the game, both in farming stacks early on to jumping long distances with Ball Lightning in endgame situations.
Gyrocopter has also been enjoying a slight return to form, thanks to some buffs which increased his survivability in the lane. More passive health and mana regeneration is always welcome, especially for such a farm and spell-dependent carry. He posted a 60 percent win rate over 15 games at DreamLeague, making him stand out in this tier.
This is not an end-all list of heroes to pick. As mentioned, the flexibility of roles and laning in Dota 2 means that even the most unorthodox picks and strategies can work at times. And with the huge variety of heroes available to play, there’s almost always a way to fit that one hero into your composition.
Hero usage statistics courtesy of Dotabuff.