The Underplayed Heroes: Treant Protector.
Tue 5th Mar 2013 - 9:20pm
I have always found it interesting why some heroes don’t get played. Sometimes it’s because their numbers are low, sometimes it’s because they’re not the flavour of the month. Maybe, one day, Treant will be picked regularly. I like trees.
For one of the lesser played beings in Dota 2, Rooftrellen, the Treant Protector serves a very unique role, but why isn’t he picked? His attack damage is the highest in game, and his strength gain is the second highest in game. His niche is the ability to repair towers, at a global range, which no-one can do.
He can make teammates invisible, for a whole minute. The only other that can make teammates invisible is Mirana’s ultimate; and he can even cast spells from invisibility. The only other that can do this is Slark, but you can see where he is because of the cloud.
And his ultimate is a 4.5 second entangle, which stops everyone from moving, blinking, going invisible or attacking. It interrupts channelling, and it goes through Magic immunity, all on a pretty short 70 second cooldown and a low 150/175/200 manacost.
So why isn’t Rooftrellen picked? On paper he is a really solid support, who can punch you to death. But in practice, his performance is not always up to par…
While he has solid stats, he is slow. His movement and turning rates are average, sitting comfortably in the middle, but his attack speed is truly abysmal. His BAT, or Base Attack Time, is the highest at 1.9 (the second highest is 1.7, which is what most heroes have). Treant is also within the top 10 for the slowest attack animation at 0.6 seconds, with a 0.4 backswing.
What this all means, is at level 1, with no stats, he takes 0.6 seconds of attacking something before he hits it. He then does another 0.4 seconds of moving before doing something else (this can be interrupted with no loss). He will then not be able to attack for almost a full 2 seconds, because of his BAT. That’s 2.5 seconds per attack, if you’re auto attacking a hero.
Natures Guise is a tree-based stealth that can be cast on allies. It is a good ability on paper, and the only one that can make allies invisible for such a long duration. However, anyone who is affected by this are tethered to the nearest tree. They cannot move further than 375 units away from the nearest tree, otherwise they lose the whole effect. The other big downfall of this ability is the huge fade time. From casting it, it takes a full 2 seconds for the ally to turn invisible. Anyone who plays dota knows 2 seconds is huge.
Just to put the ranges in perspective for you, his leech seed has a range of 350, Huskar has an attack range of 400, and Drow Ranger has an attack range of 625. You can barely walk through a jungle while invisible, without being revealed.
His next big turn off, is the range of leechseed. It’s a pretty solid ability, with no issues except the range of 350. This is small. You can’t really be expected to close the gap from the trees to the hero, to leechseed them. But it is a 300 damage DoT, which heals everyone nearby 300 health over duration, on a 10 second cooldown.
Now we get to Living Armor. This is Rooftrellens’ defining ability. He can heal towers, or your ally for little to no mana cost, at global range, and reduces the damage taken by heroes on top of that. Again a really good ability but with a fatal flaw: if the target takes damage 7 times, they lose the buff. Similar to Templar Assassins’ Refraction in a way, right? Yes. Except that Refraction has a “Damage Threshold”. If she takes less than 5 damage, then the damage is prevented, but a charge is not lost. This is not a thing with Living Armor.
This may seem like a really small flaw, but this only reduces damage by heroes, but ANY source of damage will remove charges, no matter how small. You get hit by a creep ¼ of a second before the heroes projectile hits you? That’s an extra 80 damage you can now take. Or a hero has an Orb of Venom? Deals 4 instances of 3 damage. But of course this 275g item counters Living Armor in a sense.
And the final ability is Overgrowth, his ultimate. Having a 4.5 second ensnare that goes through magic immunity is nice. But then if you use an ability or item while affected, you can then move. It doesn’t affect magic immunity put on afterwards and magic immunity removes the ensnare making the whole ability pointless. Especially with the current popularity of Black King Bar. The ability is good, but just feels like a poor man's Ravage.
In conclusion, Rooftrellen is a solid character on paper, and in stats, but in every area he excels he also has a fatal flaw. That makes him feel just so lacklustre. I believe that someone can get very good with the Treant Protector, Rooftrellen, but it might be better to practice some more with warlock and his big scary golem.