Dota 2 pros are turning back to a classic mid hero just in time for TI12

No stone unturned.

An assortment of Dota 2 heroes collide as the full moon rises, with abilities thrown in every direction.
Image via Valve

We might have been reading a little too much into BetBoom Dacha last week, but one Dota 2 hero who has struggled recently is rolling back into the meta with force—and he just so happens to hold one of the worst win rates in ranked Dota.

Tiny is back to his best in the mid lane, or at least the pros are leaning in that direction. The Stone Giant was picked seven times across BetBoom Dacha, taking home six wins according to pro Dota stats site Spectral. He was also banned seven times, with the bulk of the bans coming after he had nabbed his wins.

This pales in comparison to his pick and win rates during The International regional qualifiers; the hero recorded a dismal 39 percent win rate from 23 picks, which is partially in line with his win rate trend in regular ranked Dota, according to Dotabuff. Tiny boasts a dismal 44 percent win rate in pubs—the seventh-lowest of all heroes this month.

A giant rock monster with a green beard and yellow eyes glares forward in a forest in Dota 2.
Are you ready to rubble? Image via Valve

Patch 7.33 hit our little rocky friend hard in April. Losing 40 percent of his base health and seeing nerfs to Toss, Tree Grab, and Grow, it’s no wonder Tiny fell out of the minds of Dota’s player base.

He has seen a couple of buffs after the New Frontier nerfs, with an improvement to the cooldown of Avalanche and a little extra slow resistance as he levels his ultimate.

The bulk of ranked players picking Tiny are taking him to the offlane and opting for a greedier burst damage build, picking up the Blink Dagger and Echo Sabre but then going for Crystalys. The downside to this is Tiny’s XP gain is far lower in the side lane, whereas a fast six for Grow gets him the damage output he needs to make Echo Sabre work.

The pros are going back for Crystalys and Daedalus for crit damage, but not before picking up a Black King Bar, just to ensure no interruptions from stuns during a team fight or a gank. It’s his classic combo of Blink into Avalanche stun, Tossing the enemy into the air or back to a teammate, and landing that crucial double-hit with Echo Sabre that makes him potent—especially against the carries at the top of the meta.

Terrorblade, Faceless Void, Slark—without building for health, these carries can quite easily be burst down by a successful Tiny combo plus a support follow-up. Tiny does struggle to scale into the hyper-late game, but with most matches falling at 30 to 40 minutes, he can easily snowball and peak into a burst damage machine before then if he isn’t kept in check.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on Tiny this week at DreamLeague, and we’ll see just what Valve has in store for him ahead of a much-anticipated final patch before TI12 in October.

About the author
Nicholas Taifalos

Aussie Editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career as a commentator, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly CS:GO and Dota. Email: [email protected]