Michael "Torte de Lini" Cohen is known for his popular Dota 2 guides: Standard Hero Builds. His guides are trusted both by the community, pro players, and Valve. Each week leading up to The International 10, Michael will be providing game tips, player updates, and tournament analysis. Stay tuned, only with SteelSeries.
The International 10 is less than one month away and we’re already starting to see trends in certain heroes being popularly played and picked both in lower division competitive matches but also across pub. matches in any region. I took the time this week to comb through these matches, trends and popularities to outline five heroes that will stand out from the rest. Assuming there won’t be another patch...
Yes, Monkey King has returned as he is more flexible than ever. This king would fit into any leadership role as a core or even now as a roaming support due to recent changes to his talents and stronger items now being within reach for him due to dropped costs across 7.30 patches. What this means is that picking Monkey at any point in the draft for a pro-team wouldn’t display the goal or strategy of their overall line-up since the hero can be picked first or last and still be undetermined of his role until the very last pick for a team, making drafts all the more obfuscated. As a roaming position 4, you may see Monkey King pick up likes like Mage Slayer which can heavily negate early ganks or damage from enemy spell-casting heroes.
When Monkey King was first released, he was able to freely roam or play as a core. It took him several years to come back around but now he finally can be the king of all Dota games!
Night Stalker has been on an upward trend of popularity over these past few months and he’s finally peaked as a dominating initiator. His level 10 talent giving him a longer duration on his ultimate (of which gives him more damage) means that his output from the very early beginnings is immense and difficult to stop for most line-ups. This strong early-game momentum sets the game on a very aggressive start and pace, hindering a lot of popular carries that want to farm undisturbed on their stacked jungle camps. Having such a reliable offlaner that can hit hard both with spells and auto-attack makes him a staple pick for most line-ups.
Why is Bane so good? Well, it’s really because his early-game became much, much better. He has some health regeneration innate to the hero, better stats for his spells like Brain Sap’s range/mana cost as well as Nightmare dealing some pure damage throughout its duration. This gives Bane a lot more control during his laning stage where he can harass foes, break off any pulls from the offlaner by casting Nightmare and still has his strong bullying tactics. This gives considerably more value for Bane and makes the lift-off of his Position 1 carry much more security to allow them to start farming earlier on, thus coming online. His team-fighting capabilities have always been strong, allowing you to crowd-control two enemies simultaneously so he’s an all-around reliable support pick.
With the nerfs to Luna and Terrorblade in 7.30, Gyrocopter has emerged as a strong carry again. The hero is so simplistic that it’s very hard not to farm up with this hero as his build really relies on maxing your stats and getting points in Flak Cannon. With a reliable long-range physical attack and strong stats heading into the mid-game, the hero can safely reach strong late-game items in 30 minutes, faster than any other hero and with no real need for build-up items except for Aghanim’s Scepter. This means he comes online faster, still hits hard and safely and snags the large items he needs earlier than most other carries.
Gyrocopter was a strong staple across most TIs because of his ability to deal massive damage to multiple units. Great against illusion-based heroes but also line-ups that have strong initiators. This TI is likely to expect him to make an appearance.
Batrider is often overlooked outside pro and higher-level pub matches but the hero is a nice summation of the current meta: he can stack and farm camps very easily for those early-game items; needs very few items to start ganking; has a strong initiation that pierces BKB and wins the mid-lane all on his own. By 20 minutes, you have your key items needed to force and win fights. Overall, the hero has always been a strong component to any line-up and pace of strategy.
Leading up to TI10, there is a lot to expect and hope for in terms of drafts but one thing is for sure, these heroes will be making routine appearances in the game and should be expected as strong influencers for each map.