The last part of our meta overview will concentrate on top tier Mid heroes in the current meta. Economic and global changes to the game resulted in the return of many forgotten characters who felt out of place in the previous patch, but now sit at the top of popularity and win rate charts.
Puck is getting a lot of attention from high level players. Extra mobility from Waning Rift as well as some talent reworks made the hero a staple in the current meta. Moreover, the hero got even more flexible and now has two distinct playstyles as a mid hero.
There is the old way that concentrates on extra mobility, potential utility from Veil and extra elusiveness from Eul’s. It hardly needs an introduction or explanation: this is the way Puck’s been played from his inception, setting up good fights for his team and zoning out or even outright killing supports through the power of his nukes.
The new way involves getting the Phase Shift Attack talent at level 10, +90 Damage at level 15 and frequently building things like Desolator. This build typically has less of a safety net and doesn’t allow Puck to be as elusive, but the potential teamfight damage output can be insane and works wonders against low-armor targets.
General advice for Pucks of all sorts in the current meta is to stop overvaluing the GPM talent at level 25. It is still picked more often, despite having a considerably lower win rate across a large enough sample size. Games are two minutes shorter on average compared to the previous patch and it is not in every game that you get to fully reap the benefits of the extra passive gold gain.
7.22d saw a massive nerf to Templar Assassin’s laning stage and the hero immediately got less popular. Without the ability to effectively guarantee denies, her dominance in lane became less pronounced and that left the hero forgotten until 7.23, where the global changes to the meta as well as some small buffs to the hero made her the top tier mid once again.
Templar Assassin peaks at the ideal time in the current meta. With games generally ending around the 35 minute mark, a good Templar Assassin can keep her position as the strongest hero in the game for the duration of the whole match. She farms incredibly fast, deals a lot of damage, can push objectives and kill Roshan—that is essentially everything you want from your core.
What is also noteworthy is that the hero is only good in the higher level brackets: sooner or later the hero will get outscaled and lower level pubs are generally quite slow when it comes to closing out games. Play aggressively and fully realise your tempo potential to find success as one of the strongest mids in the current meta.
Razor is criminally undervalued, in our opinion. In a meta where right-clicking cores are trending Razor can be disgustingly effective at both mitigating and dealing damage. He has great matchups against most other popular mid heroes, comes online fast and can have a massive impact on the fight even if he opts for a straight BKB after a couple of stat items.
Razor is a tempo hero, but he is surprisingly more effective in the lower level brackets. By going for extra damage from talents and building survivability items he can eventually become a pretty powerful and very straightforward hero to use with a wide margin for error.
His pushing prowess doesn’t get pronounced until after he gets an Aghanim’s upgrade, but in at least half of games it is not the best item for the hero—it is generally better for Razor is his team is capable of covering this weakness until the later stages of the game. Instead, going for things like Sange and Yasha, Satanic, Shiva’s Guard and Assault Cuirass takes priority after the BKB purchase, so that Razor can be in the middle of any teamfight with impunity.
It might sound implausible, but Huskar is a legitimately top tier mid hero in the current patch. He is still best off being picked last, but almost 10% pick rate and almost 54% win rate in the highest level brackets should speak for themselves.
There is nothing particularly new about the hero either: most high level players go for a mix of Berserker’s Blood and Burning Spears with an occasional value point in Inner Fire. They still go for two-three Bracers and follow up with Armlet and Halberd. They still prioritize and are rewarded for going for DPS talents over survivability ones.
In the new meta all of that is simply more effective: Burning Spears now deal 4% of current health, allowing Huskar to get more Attack Speed faster and get punished less when at low health. The game closes out before Huskar loses his relevance and the Disarm effects are more powerful when the enemy heroes are 100% auto-attack based when it comes to their DPS.
Slowly, as is tradition, we are growing more accustomed to the current patch and find out more and more interesting things to discuss. While our Top Tier series is over for now, we will keep updating our community about the statistical outliers who deserve more attention and love from the player base.
With a Minor happening in two weeks, we feel like there won’t be any more small patches, but is certainly doesn’t mean professional players won’t be looking for a competitive edge and that often results in unconventional heroes getting the spotlight. Stay tuned for our future blog posts.