Dota is incredibly varied, with many unique hero designs and almost infinite possible matchups. The new Dota hero should be coming soon, and we would like to take this time to discuss and speculate: how the new hero could fit into the current or the future meta, what their role in the game could be, and why they should be a ranged carry.
The last six heroes introduced to Dota were Snapfire, Void Spirit, Grimstroke, Mars, Pangolier, and Dark Willow. It means that for the last three years, it has always been a support and a mostly utility hero. Naturally, there are ways to play all three core heroes of the latest patches in the mid lane, but for the most part, they reside in the offlane as either a three or a four.
Void Spirit is a bit of an exception since he is almost evenly split between being played in the mid lane and the offlane, but he is certainly not a carry hero. He just doesn’t get the necessary scaling from his abilities to justify getting absolute farm priority.
In fact, the last time a carry hero was introduced to the game was when Monkey King was released. That was at the end of 2016. Before that, we got a very niche Arc Warden at the end of 2015 and Terrorblade at the beginning of 2014. It has been a long while since a new carry was added to the game.
A very good question, indeed. There are good reasons, however, to advocate towards a ranged carry hero, since it is the most limited pool, at least in the current patch. We have somewhat viable usual suspects in Luna, Gyrocopter, Medusa, and Drow Ranger and that’s about it. Terrorblade and Troll Warlord, and to a certain extent Dragon Knight could also be added to this list, but when one lists DK as a “somewhat viable” ranged carry, one knows they are grasping for straws.
The common theme among all viable ranged carries, or all carries in general, is that they can farm efficiently. Gyro with his Flak, Luna with Glaives, etc. Heroes with no innate farming capabilities are left by the wayside: when was the last time you’ve seen a Clinkz or Sniper in the first position? Razor is mostly picked as a counter to some specific heroes as well, while Morphling and Arc Warden, though they are ranged carries, do not play like one.
To be clear: this isn’t a complaint about the current designs of the aforementioned heroes. Each of them has a game, however niche it might be. It is a small complaint about the lack of options in a meta dominated by flash-farming melee cores, who can now build a battle-efficient gap closer in Abyssal Blade, have innate damage block to force parity in lane, even against ranged enemies, who usually benefit from higher stat growth, and are generally more consistent.
We made a very small wishlist in the beginning of the month, highlighting some of the problems in the game that we would like to see fixed. One of the points we stressed was how the changes to the deny XP led to Valve implementing a series of bandaid solutions to boost the laning stage for certain heroes. That is where free damage block and overtuned stats on most melee carries come from.
Perhaps reverting some of these changes could theoretically lead to increasing the viability of ranged carries and the current problem wouldn’t be as pronounced. Otherwise, if everything else stays the same in the general economy department, it will absolutely have to be a carry hero with flash-farming ability. That means a solution that doesn’t encroach on existing designs has to be found.
We already have somewhat similar Luna and Dusa, with their passive multi-shots, we have Drow Ranger and her actual Multishot and Gyrocopter with Flak. Anything similar to those abilities will go against what Dota is: a game where every single hero has unique strengths and weaknesses.
Some form of mobility or range extension would also be nice to have. There are simply too many gap-closers in the game. Every melee carry now can and typically wants to get an Abyssal Blade, while other heroes like Sven now have extra options through Aghanim’s. Getting to your target as a melee carry is a lot easier. There should be extra options to increase the distance between a ranged carry and their opponent apart from Hurricane Pike.
Hero diversity and uniqueness is one of the main themes in Dota. There are games, where every hero can shine bright, but it is getting increasingly harder to fit a ranged carry into a professional draft, Drow Ranger aside. There are many solutions to this problem, but simply increasing the pool of viable ranged carries is the most straightforward one.
We truly hope that the new hero, when released, will be able to shake up the meta, either on their own or with the help of an extensive patch. Perhaps new items could also help alleviate some of the problems.
What are your thoughts on what the new hero should and will be? Do you agree that the pool of ranged carries is currently limited? Leave your thought in the comment section below.