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ruzai

By ruzai

Johnny Nguyen

Dota 2 Competitive Hero Tier List

Tue 18th Sep 2012 - 4:31pm Category: DotA

We're just a few weeks past the end of this year's The International championship, and what a tournament it was! Nearly six full days of Dota 2 goodness and I'm still trying to recuperate. Valve's dedication to the tournament was unparalleled. The production value and the quality of the content of the event was absolutely terrific, and if there's one thing that went wrong it's that we have to wait a full year until TI3! 

Fortunately for us, things don't just simply end with such a massive tournament. The event is sure to spawn a rippling effect in both the competitive and public metagame. The easiest way to observe any differences in the meta is simply by looking at the drafting process. I actually compiled this data from a handful of tournaments way before TI2 even happened, however I was unable to publish due to university constraints. This gives us a good opportunity to see how I weighed heroes free from any TI2 bias.

The information I used to construct the lists below is taken from recent championships that have occured in the two months that precede The International (The Defense 2012, Beyond the Summit World Tour 2012, It's Gosu Monthly Madness Asia #1, and the GosuLeague Div. 1 Season III). Games played, amount of wins, number of bans, and prevalence to be picked has been recorded below over the course of 266 total games courtesy of  dota-academy.com.

The tier lists below has been constructed based mostly on statistics, however, I have made some subjective adjustments. For instance, I believe a first ban hero is much more valuable than someone like a forth pick support that is grabbed more often. So I feel that it should be noted that this is in no way a definite weighing of heroes but rather a guide to the trending of picks. It's likely that you will disagree with my tiering, in fact it's nearly guaranteed. Feel free to comment and discuss why you feel a hero is out of place - I'd be happy to reconsider!

 

Previous S-Tier

Heroes that comprise the first picks and bans - the rockstars that take a huge effort to counter.

dogguychendseernp

spiders!singleshnigmavok

There should be no surprise that each hero here is capable of both considerable pushing power and team presence in addition to being incredibly hard to shut down. I think it's interesting to note that of the 266 games recorded, Lycanthrope was banned a staggering 222 times! That's nearly ten times more than he is even picked! Dark Seer and Nature's Prophet are the only other heroes that come close to the ban-worthiness that Lycan has earned, netting themselves a huge 190 and 159 bans respectively. Now, Naga Siren is the only hero to not meet the contention rate of her other s-tier colleagues (sitting at a measly .49 frequency, nearly half of the other heroes!), however, the conglomeration of her abilities and ridiculously powerful ultimate earned her the spot.

 

Previous A-Tier

These are the heroes that are likely to make it past the banning phase and will be choice pick-ups for the team.

sd

brewckenchantmomoqopld

KUNKKAAAtinkerwrwrrubisk

Most interesting here is the rise in value that has been seen for both Tinker and Morphling. March of Machines plus Heat-Seeking Missle spam is such an incredible deterrent for early game pushes and team fights, especially in the current push metagame. Rearm Boots of Travel also transforms Tinker into a versatile pusher/ganker and is why we see him here.

Similarly we see Morphling back on his throne as preferred carry now that Anti-Mage is no longer picked as often. It should also be noted that heavier support heroes (those with hard stuns and nukes) have been abandoned in favor for more push oriented supports like Venomancer and Enchantress. With both of those heroes seeing more than three times as much use as a more token support like Crystal Maiden.

 

Previous B-Tier

Staple heroes that have a pronounced effect on the game but have slightly more particular roles.

aaambmbhcmes

lichlinansssstormta

vstinywispdpdisruptordk

It is my great pleasure to place Anti-Mage in this bracket, with him seeing little more than 20% of play in total matches. One year ago in the first International, Anti-Mage saw a massive 87% use in games! Anti-Mage has seen zero nerfs to his abilities, so it's clear that his demotion from the S-Tier is purely a metagame change.  His inability to cope with early game pushes has landed him here, so it's a wonder that both Death Prophet and Shadow Shaman dwell here as well - two heroes with arguably the best pushing ultimates in the game.

 

Previous C-Tier

Situational heroes and team specific picks-ups.

okkunkk

BANNNNNEclinkzpuckjuggmiranakotl

pugnaslardarrikiundyingbraxe

pudgesfjakOBJECTION!magicwg

 Here we have the majority of our counterpick heroes. I was reserved about placing Mirana, Juggernaut, and Keeper of the Light in this bracket as they fall moderately well into the current meta. However, due to their lacking performance in recent championships, I ultimately agreed to place them here. 

 

Previous D-Tier

Heroes that do not see the light of day due to their weakness in the current meta.

7sklsdbweaverwd

rzrfvpahuskarsnipdazz

lunaspectregyrolionursavis

If you thought the C-Tier heroes were niche, well, we're on a whole 'nother level! While I feel like some of these heroes are obviously stronger than the rest of the pool - namely Dazzle, Lion, and Sven - practically all of these heroes share the same shortcomings. They are mostly late-game heroes, suffice to say they struggle to gain momentum in the face of a early pressure. 

 

Previous F-Tier

Heroes completely abandoned by the competitive scene.

alchbssbtpdrowpl

nyxzeusodnecrowarvip

 This list is probably the least shocking, but to think that four of these heroes were top tier at one point in time! In my opinion, Alchemist and Spirit Breaker are the most unreliable of the bunch and are similarly most deserving of a rework to their abilities.

 

 266 Matches

Picks

Wins

Bans

Freq

Alchemist

0

0

0

.000

Ancient Apparition

24

7

14

.143

Anti-Mage

21

11

39

.226

Axe

4

2

1

.019

Bane

5

2

7

.045

Batrider

2

2

2

.015

Beastmaster

53

27

48

.380

Bloodseeker

0

0

1

.003

Bounty Hunter

23

11

8

.117

Brewmaster

59

26

88

.553

Broodmother

57

29

142

.748

Chaos Knight

69

30

106

.658

Chen

95

48

149

.917

Clinkz

11

3

6

.064

Clockwerk

3

3

0

.011

Crystal Maiden

49

20

19

.256

Dark Seer

61

39

190

.944

Dazzle

1

1

1

.008

Death Prophet

14

7

7

.079

Disruptor

15

7

5

.075

Doom Bringer

1

1

0

.004

Dragon Knight

1

7

95

.083

Drow Ranger

0

0

0

.000

Earthshaker

51

23

18

.259

Enchantress

70

32

104

.654

Enigma

118

58

93

.793

Faceless Void 

6

3

0

.026

Gyrocopter

3

2

 4

.026

Huskar

0

0

 1

.004

Invoker

130

69

110

.902

Jakiro

4

0

1

.019

Juggernaut

8

4

5

.049

Keeper of the Light

8

3

3

.041

Kunkka

13

7

4

.064

Leshrac

153

81 

105 

.970 

Lich

24 

9

10

.128 

Lion

 0

.004 

Lone Druid 

87 

41 

95 

.684 

Luna 

.000 

Lycanthrope 

28 

15 

222 

.940 

Mirana 

10 

.041 

Morphling 

92 

47 

61 

.575 

Naga Siren 

27 

14 

103 

.489 

Nature's Prophet 

96 

53 

159 

.959 

Necrolyte 

.000 

Night Stalker

36

19 

26 

.233 

Nyx Assassin

.000 

Ogre Magi 

.000 

Omniknight 

.010 

Outworld Destroyer

0

.000 

Phantom Assassin

.015 

Phantom Lancer

.000 

Puck

15 

.068 

Pudge

.023 

Pugna

12 

.056 

Queen of Pain

74 

32 

50 

.466 

Razor

.004 

Riki

.015 

Rubick

101 

63 

34 

.508 

Sand King

107 

53 

51 

.594 

Shadow Demon

117 

61 

92 

.786 

Shadow Fiend

.019 

Shadow Shaman

43 

20 

21 

.241 

Silencer

.008 

Skeleton King

.011 

Slardar

.052 

Sniper

.019 

Spectre

.008 

Spirit Breaker

.000 

Storm Spirit

24 

15 

15 

.147 

Sven

.019 

Templar Assassin

32 

20 

29 

.229 

Tidehunter

93 

45 

51 

.541 

Tinker

61 

33 

61 

.459 

Tiny

18 

.086 

Treant Protector

.004 

Undying

10 

.060 

Ursa

.015 

Vengeful Spirit

33 

16 

.147 

Venomancer

144 

 68

49 

.726 

Viper

 1

.004 

Visage

.019 

Warlock

.008 

Weaver

.019 

Windrunner

123

61 

48 

.647 

Wisp

11 

.075 

Witch Doctor

.015 

Zeus

 0

.000 

 

Apologies for the makeshift table of data as it was gathered by my own means. Thankfully, dota-academy does have their own display for TI2 picks so you won't have to suffer through mine for this next list! This information has been gathered over the course of 154 matches.

Tier Legend:
- Yellow border: hero was promoted compared to previous list.
- Red border: hero was demoted.

 

Current S-Tier

Heroes that comprise the first picks and bans - the rockstars that take a huge effort to counter.

rubickmorph

lycchendsnp

bmnsleshinvok

I think at some point we all got tired of seeing Morphling during The International, he definitely solidified his place as the go-to carry; with (3!) escapes, early game strength, and farming ability he almost seemed like an unstoppable force.

But more importantly, we saw Rubick get even more play time than either Lycan or Chen! It's easy to see why he made the jump to this tier. While mostly known for his ability to steal other enemy skills, I think his true value lies in his versatility. It's difficult to guess right off the bat where Rubick is going to be laned, as he is both a strong solo and support. His stun functions three dimentionally, instantly lifting a target in addition to displacing them and stunning whatever nearby enemies. His aggressive nature really helped set the pace of many games in the tournament, and I expect him to continue being a top pick in the future.

 

Current A-Tier

These are the heroes that are likely to make it past the banning phase and will be choice pick-ups for the team.

ambhhbmbmss

brewckenchldth

tinkerwrvensand sd

qopnigma

With Morphling on the rise, Anti-Mage follows shortly after. Interestingly enough, the average gold per minute for AM is 574, nearly a full hundred higher than other hero averages. A massive indication of just how quickly he farms. Perhaps we'll see him rise back into the top tier in future tournaments. Bounty Hunter, Beastmaster, and Shadow Shaman also saw promotions; likely due to their strong affinity to be impactful without items. Also we saw Enigma drop down a tier, what could likely be attributed to Rubick hard countering Black Hole. 

 

Current B-Tier

Staple heroes that have a pronounced effect on the game but have slightly more particular roles.

AAcmearflinans

ssssssstasmall sonwispdisruptordkdk

 Nothing new to add here, although I think we can expect to see much more of Tiny and Disruptor in the future thanks to how well they performed during the event.

 

Current C-Tier

Situational heroes and team specific picks-ups.

dazzlenyxlunavis

clinkzjuggmirxxxkotl

puppypppsilence!batclockkuku

dpvslich

Unfortunate to see Death Prophet take the jump down. I would love to see her as a counterpick to Naga/Anti-Mage/Morphling more often, Mouz does this moderately often and hopefully other teams may follow. Luna also saw a raise due to her natural carrying ability.

 

Current D-Tier

Heroes that do not see the light of day due to their weakness in the current meta.

7weawdfvokdoom

pahuskliourudsf

banpugnaslarriki

 

Current F-Tier

Heroes completely abandoned by the competitive scene.

albssbtpdr

plzzzodnekwar

jakogrespecgyrovp

naixskskrazsnip

 

The turn away from the jungle pushing towards lane aggression is the change we can pull away from the championship matches. We saw Chinese teams outright ban jungle pushers, rarely taking them for themselves in support of a more farm dedicated 1 carry 4 aggression team composition and completely dominate more favored teams.

Perhaps it's simply a matter of training and the Chinese dedicated more time. Whether it's better play or superior strategies, it's clear that it's working for the Asian Dota 2 teams and I could not be more excited for what's to come for e-sports!

Your Comments

  • Bergie

    Fredrik Bergmann
    Tue 18th Sep 2012 - 6:25pm

    Interesting facts you have shared with us here. In my opinion I dont really see why a hero like Void is not used more, when he is easily one of the best carries and can be useful in both teamfights and killing off people solo. Same goes for Slardar who's ulti is excellent for taking down carries/supports fast and his sprint is useful for ganking. I have to say it is a bit boring to see the same bans and picks in nearly every match, however hopefully this will change together with the metagame in the future (maybe when they add more heroes?). Nice blog!:)

  • ruzai

    Johnny Nguyen
    Tue 18th Sep 2012 - 7:05pm

    Thanks Bergie! We actually saw Void get picked up by Na'vi vs. LGD with great success. The hero has many strengths, FV armed with a Battlefury is one of the quickest farmers in the game - second only to Anti-Mage. In addition to this he has what is arguably the most high risk/reward ultimate in the entire game. However, he possesses very significant weaknesses as well. Until level six, he is a glorified melee creep with virtually no lane control. No organized team is not going to take advantage that. Faceless Void is picked for his strong late game and ironically, I believe that is his largest weakness. Unlike more favored carries like Morphling/Anti-Mage/DragonKnight, Void is useless outside his ultimate for those first twenty-five minutes (usually the point at which a game is considered over!). His innate attack speed is atrocious and is the reason why Mask of Madness is so popular on him. He needs a Battlefury, he needs a BKB, and he needs a Butterfly. When it comes down to it, he simply needs too much. In HoN he was given an AoE nuke to his leap, something I think should be revised in Dota 2 as well. And I'll agree with you on Slardar, I think he's a veritable reserve of untapped potential. He was originally used as a counter-pick to Bristleback but it really just depends on our favorite professional teams!

  • BurritoEclair

    Jon Drain
    Tue 18th Sep 2012 - 7:46pm

    Instead of mask of madness I've grabbed a Hand of Midas once or twice. I think I saw Complexity try it with less success. It's cheaper than Mjollnir and isn't as risky as Mask of Madness. Slardar really only sees play against invis heroes. I think he is a solid semi-carry but has trouble fitting into as many team comps as other heroes.

  • Gaara

    Ricardo Martins
    Wed 19th Sep 2012 - 6:22pm

    What do you guys thing about the Witch Doctor ? For me he is a pretty decent support hero, but is not been used in competitive games at all...

  • Nkhara

    Nika Kharadze
    Thu 27th Sep 2012 - 10:34pm

    Um well Witch Doctor actually isn't a very good support. I mean he can dish out good damage if maledict hits, and his ulti is uninterrupted but I mean his heal is not that great and his stun is not that great so there are much better picks out there .

  • Thanoxyn

    Thanoxyn
    Thu 13th Jun 2013 - 11:21am

    To be fair, I probably don't belong here, I'm not quite the veteran of the game, but I can say that in my opinion Witch Doctor shouldn't be so low on the list. The problem people see with him is that they're using him as a support. Stop that. As a full AP mid laner he does quite well at level 6, and once he gets an agahnims scepter and possibly a black king bar, depending on the enemy team, you can hit r and sing a little song while you watch the entire enemy team get shredded hard. The reason he's picked so little it seems is that he's so dependent on his scepter though. If he doesn't get it he drops off in teamfights, as his ult will only focus one enemy without it. Again, I'm fairly new to the game, so I may not know entirely what I'm talking about, but I tend to get really good scores on him as a mid lane.

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