Late game carries dominate the early stages of Patch 7.07
Patch 7.07, included with the Dueling Fates update, has been out for just under a week. Although the patch is still new, the recent buffs to some heroes and their core items have already started to affect win rates across the board. The increased gold bounty of creeps in the lane have certainly helped as well.
Late game carries, in particular, have seen significant gains in what little time players have had to play around with the update. Even previously underpowered picks like Medusa have broken through the magical 50 percent mark, going way beyond what is normally considered balanced.
Could this be the return of the carry-focused metagame of 2012? Let's take a look at the damage so far.
Anti-Mage is a classic hard carry. As one of the most popular heroes since the DotA Allstars days, he can take over games entirely on his own with his ability to flash farm once equipped with a Battle Fury. Combined with his excellent base attack time and agility growth, he's among those meeting the gold standard for right click carries.
Patch 7.07 has given him the power of a god. Not only has Battle Fury become slightly cheaper in the update, Anti-Mage has also received some amazing new talents to boot. One of his level 15 talents adds a passive to Blink, which creates an uncontrollable illusion upon cast. Level 20 gives him access to 1450 units of cast range on Blink.
He also has a level 25 talent that adds 30 percent magic resistance to Spell Shield. This allows him to completely ignore late game nukes that don't apply pure damage, giving him more time to lay into the enemy team.
Essentially, the new talents help Anti-Mage become even more slippery than he was before. The added Blink range means that he can better evade fast moving heroes or ones with slow disables, and the additional illusion confuses his enemies further. The increased magic resistance talent forces spell-heavy teams to commit way more just to bring him down.
And there's also the fact that Unique Attack Modifiers (known to Allstars players as "Orb Effects") no longer exist. This gives Anti-Mage even more freedom in terms of item choices.
Put together, these changes have translated to a positive win rate delta of nearly eight percent, for a total of almost 57 percent compared to the previous patch. "Magic be dashed," indeed.
The queen of the gorgons has historically been the very definition of a deep late game carry. With built-in tankiness and a way to dish out damage to multiple targets at once, she's extremely strong in five-vs-five clashes past the 40-minute mark.
Before this patch, though, she suffered from a problematic power curve which forced her to simply try to survive the mid game. In addition, Split Shot's mechanics meant that she could never deal full physical damage to at least one target in a teamfight.
IceFrog has shored up her weaknesses accordingly, through some nice new talents and by removing the damage reduction on Split Shot's primary target. Her new right branch level 25 talent is basically a free Drow Ranger Aghanim's Scepter bonus, but without the item slot cost.
Right before the patch, Medusa was sitting at a win rate of 46.5 percent. Now, she's up to almost 55 percent, and she nearly broke 57 percent yesterday.
Meepo can be a real hit or miss hero, especially in the lower ranks of public matchmaking. The hero requires a lot of micromanagement in order to be effective, though his above average magic resistance and ability to gain experience through each Meepo clone means that he progresses through the game's phases really quickly.
Since the patch hit, Meepo has seen his success rate jump from 45.6 percent, to just a touch above 50 percent. The changes to his talents weren't crazy enough to grab our attention at first, but the small buffs make a tangible difference.
Having access to 10 percent lifesteal at level 10 means he can solo Roshan earlier. Poof's damage at level 15 was increased by 40, which seems insignificant at first glance, but it's important to note that it scales with every additional Meepo clone. Both of these talents also make Meepo more threatening and difficult to kill in teamfights.
Gyrocopter was once the "viable Medusa." Both he and Medusa share a somewhat similar design philosophy, thanks to the similarities between Split Shot and Flak Cannon. They differ in the sense that Medusa wants to stay at her maximum attack range, while Gyrocopter needs to be in the thick of things during teamfights in order to make the most out of Flak Cannon.
The hero saw a lot of action at The International 3, where he was the third most picked hero overall. His pick rate fell off at TI4, but came back to prominence at TI5 as the tournament's poster boy. Since then, however, he has fallen way off the grid—teams at the Boston and Kiev Majors last year ignored him entirely.
The many buffs to Homing Missile, particularly the removal of its cast point, seem to have helped him significantly this patch. This makes him a more dangerous early game laner, especially when combined with supports that have long root or stun abilities.
Moreover, his built-in flash farming capabilities (thanks to Flak Cannon and Rocket Barrage) have become even more effective due to the increased lane creep bounty.
These buffs have caused his win rate to go up from 46.6 percent, all the way to 50.7 percent. Perhaps the pros will give the old man his time in the spotlight once again.
Outworld Devourer is unique as far as right click carries go. Rather than relying on physical damage items, his DPS comes entirely from pure damage based on his mana pool.
This makes him great at shredding through tanky heroes that stack physical armor. Combined with items like Hurricane Pike and even the new item Kaya, OD can destroy an ill-prepared team with no answers to his Arcane Orb.
The change to Unique Attack Modifiers also gives him the same advantage that Anti-Mage now enjoys. This opens up several different item builds for OD, but it's currently unclear if such unorthodox paths will be viable.
Since the first day of the patch, the hero has seen an average win rate increase of around four to five percent, bringing him up to 52 percent at most.