Kiev Major Meta Recap

The Kiev Major has concluded and as the first tournament on the 7.05 patch, it saw a lot of changes and variations from DAC 2017. What are the key takeaways from this event and the patch so far?

From Roaming to Lane support

At DAC, roamers where the name of the game with Earth Spirit and Monkey King occupying the first two spots of the most picked list. Since then however, 7.05 has nerfed both heroes quite significantly, certainly enough to edge Earth Spirit out of the top 20 list of the most contested heroes and to decrease Monkey King’s win rate from 58% at DAC to now 40% in Kiev.

The focus of first phase picks has shifted towards heroes that provide guaranteed stability and support in the laning stage. Crystal Maiden Crystal Maiden was already on the rise during DAC, but now she’s climbed to the top of the charts, as the most picked and third most contested hero at the LAN event.

Crystal Maiden’s skillset is incredibly valuable in the meta. Frostbite has always allowed her to farm efficiently early on and to increase her levels quickly for more levels in her aura, and Crystal Nova is a spell that has effectively been buffed continuously ever since it replaced Frost Nova in 6.60. A lot of her weaknesses are overshadowed by the vast amount of strong support items that can make up for them, such as Glimmer Cape, Force Staff or even the cheap Infused Raindrops. Lastly, it is the buff to root mechanics, and subsequently her Frostbite, that makes Crystal Maiden a huge threat in the early and midgame. Heroes that rely on mobility get countered quite easily and with the recent MS buff to Tranquil Boots, Crystal Maiden doesn’t suffer too much from her low base MS anymore and can thus reach targets quicker. In a meta where Hand of Midas was purchased over 250 times, heroes that can sustain themselves while still supporting the other lanes is of huge value and Crystal Maiden is just that, a value pick up.

Rylai is not the only support worth looking at though. Warlock Warlock has once again emerged and proven to be a strong support pick and 7.05 also brought Treant Protector Treant Protector back into Captain’s Mode and he immediately took a seat at the top as the most contested hero alongside Monkey King. Both Treant and Warlock provide stability through their defensive skills and have strong AoE teamfight abilities that pose quite the threat in the midgame. Treant also has the added bonus of map control and vision through his invisibility and the ability to negate chip damage dealt to towers.

Legion’s Patch

In our group stage recap, we touched on the return of split push. While Nature’s Prophet or Anti-Mage dropped off in the playoffs, it was Spectre that prevailed and showed how valuable it is to have a hero that can both split push and take on teamfights. Split push has not been the prevalent strategy of the event, but there are reasons for that.

One of these reasons is Legion Commander Legion Commander. As the 5th most contested hero of the event, it is safe to say that Legion was one of the most important heroes in the meta. Her laning stage is very reliable, as she can always fall back into the jungle, but also because she can contest the lane’s farm with her durability and sustain. When paired with a lane support such as Warlock or Treant, Legion is a serious threat. In that sense, Legion replaced the out of favor Centaur Warrunner, who was hit hard by the change to Tranquil Boots, which no longer provide armor, and as a result was only picked 9 times in Kiev (previously 36x at DAC).

Legion has a strong, BKB piercing disable, a hard dispel and provides strong waveclear. In a meta with split push, illusion heroes or strong BKB carries, Legion has a skillset with answers to almost everything, or the very least can enable others to deal with those problems.

Minus Armor

Press the Attack is a strong dispel and provides additional HP regen and attack speed and as such is one of the strongest boosting abilities in the game. In a meta where taking highground is sufficiently difficult, it becomes important to have sustain and the ability to save the sieging carry from disables.

Other than such abilities though, there are items that serve the same purpose. That’s where items such as Lotus Orb Lotus Orb or Solar Crest Solar Crest come into play. They make it more difficult for the sieging carry to be disabled. Solar Crest especially has risen in popularity, due to its cheap components that are also effective by themselves. Medallion of Courage Medallion of Courage is a value pick-up for virtually any support, as it helps farming and taking objectives (especially Roshan). In fact, Solar Crest become so popular (over 140 purchases at the Kiev Major), that it is questionable whether Solar Crest could provide too much value for its low cost.

The current meta allows heroes to farm items quite reliably, so the increase in utility items for supports is only natural. But even core heroes have resorted to building these items, as they are cost efficient and allow for favorable early engagements.

Big AoE spells and highground siege

We’ve talked about the most picked heroes, but what heroes had the highest winrates? Among the heroes with at least 10 games played, Enigma Enigma takes the cake with an 80% win rate. It should be noted thought that only a total of 4 teams played the hero, one of which is OG.

Right behind Enigma, Terrorblade Terrorblade and Slark Slark share a second place with a 78% win rate each and then Templar Assassin Templar Assassin on fourth place with a 75% win rate. Terrorblade is a strong hero to siege highground with, as his illusions are difficult to take care of and he is a tanky, long-ranged carry, which makes it difficult to get to the main hero. Similarly, both Slark and TA provide some form of siege potential, as both have either a defensive ability or can burst down a hero by themselves, providing an opening for the team to go in. Templar Assassin is valuable when taking down objectives in general and almost always has a stable laning stage, since she can always fall back into the jungle and clear stacks.

Dark Seer Dark Seer barely made the list with 12 games played, but he too fields a 75% win rate. Similarly to Enigma, Dark Seer provides a lot of teamfight and stability through a solid laning stage. As a natural Mekansm carrier and initiator, he can take pressure off of other cores and apply that towards the enemy.

Quo vadis 7.05?

The Kiev Major has been the only tournament on 7.05, but could it also be the last? With the frequency of smaller balance patches since 7.00, it doesn't seem likely that 7.05 will live on for much longer. Small, incremental nerfs and buffs to certain aspects of the game feel necessary. Solar Crest might just be too valuable for its price at this point and Crystal Maiden's high pick rate indicates that she too will soon face the judgement of Icefrog again. Will split push be even more encouraged from here on out, or will it remain in its arguably very niche place? There are also very real questions about whether or not sieging highground should continue to be as difficult as it is right now.

It will be interesting to see whether the next balance patch will in fact be in line with the smaller patches leading up to DAC and Kiev, or if the conclusion of the Kiev Major will spark a new, bigger balance patch. Prior to 7.00, that would've been the likeliest case, but a new wind is blowing and we have yet to see where it's taking us.

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26 commentaires
i eat ass

    :v
    aesdvc

    Asaro

      Second :(

      Increasing frostbite cool down or lowering/removing its damage is enough imho

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      v  n  z

        BUFF TROLL EVEN MORE!!!

        C U L T U R E

          Elejiggle

          life is a boat

            probably nerfs to cm aura

            ( o Y o )

              sixth....one step upgraded

              1-IceTea 🌟

                :smile:

                Brock Hall

                  Even though the nerfs helped, I think MK was popular because he was new and his skillset was unique. Players took advantage of the fact that people weren't used to facing him yet and that made all the difference between DAC and the Major.

                  CM will likely get a hit to her aura in the next patch, and even though Treant, Warlock, Ember, and Legion were top picks, they had middling success at the tournament. They shouldn't see much changes. Honestly that's kind of the big story of the tournament to me: most of the contested heroes didn't live up to their value. Lina fared worse than MK, Ember was under 500, and Legion cracked 500 by a single game. Those are pretty crazy numbers really.

                  bws

                    Inb4 my spectre gets nerfed

                    WackyJustLucky

                      10th and surely LC was misused by VP

                      pro feeder

                        My girl CM most likely will be nerfed, sad 😔

                        Martial Law

                          EliGiggle

                          JustP1ay

                            Midas is really getting out of hand(pun intended). Both in pubs and pro scene.

                            GachiGasm

                              Dayum I'm so glad I was right thinking Lina and MK are so overrated

                              Wolfmother

                                Please god don't nerf CM or her aura. She just got good

                                Ωmni-wΛn

                                  They should not always nerf heroes into their graveyard.. But instead think about buffing other heroes aswell

                                  norules

                                    Nerf Terrorblade and TA BlessRNG I mean whenever team picked atleast one of them they have won. (around 90% wr)

                                    Coconut Cream

                                      Visage most picked when?

                                      Frency

                                        1)Monkey King and Tusk were both LITERALLY useless. The first one because nobody played him as carry (he is a carry) and his highest utility was the outstanding unobstructed tree vision and the amazing stun (wow). Tusk was ever more useless because it was played as a farmless utility hero (aka no damage, aka useless in everything but the snowball) and the only decent thing he could do (save people with snowball) resulted to be a complete failure.

                                        So: MK and Tusk: useless

                                        2)Omni and Venge carry. Omni. And Venge. Carry. enough said.

                                        3)Kunkka support. See point 2. (And you are gonna say "aaah, but you are wrong! Kunkka support is very very useful! In the laning phase you use X + torrent so you can stun and kill people, and then when you get your boat you can help your allies and if you land it, you can even stu nand damage the enemies!" And i am like yeah and... what about I don't know... his damage? His second spell is useless because he can't even clear waves since h'es not supposed to farm them because he is a support; he does not have any defensive / protective / stun whatever spell for his allies. The boat? even if you hit, 600 magical damage is nothing in the middle- late game + % chance of actually hitting enemies = big nope).

                                        So: Kunkka = useless overally

                                        4)Slardar utility: nobody almost picked him. maybe they realized that slardar is actually fucking trash at utility. Maybe. One day they might even realize he is a carry. Maybe.

                                        5)The rest: at least we had a bit higher hero variety, but at the end of the day every team picked almost always the same heroes. Very boring for me.

                                        P.S. This is my opinion.

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                                        PMA

                                          @Liu Kang, Removing Frost bite damage or reducing it significantly will kill the hero, removing the back up jungle option.

                                          www.menangqq.space
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                                            Brock Hall

                                              @Frency

                                              The concept of playing MK as a roaming support is sound though. He functions much like a Bounty or Riki, both of which have successfully made the transition from laners to roamers in the past couple years. MKs skillset may have an auto attack based skill, but it becomes more potent later on in the game when he gets his basher, which is his game changing item (much like blink is game changing for batrider). I agree that the hero on paper makes more sense as a carry, as does riki and possibly even bounty, but all three suffer from poor farming and don't have the stats or skills gain to make up for it enough to be given priority farm. Slardar made the same change too come to think of it, and with small tweaks any one of these heroes could switch back over to a core position. That's something Venge has been doing for a long time.

                                              Don't get me wrong: MK is trash right now for sure, but it's not because people are using him incorrectly. It's just because he's trash.

                                              INTERISTIL

                                                They should not always nerf heroes into their graveyard.. But instead think about buffing other heroes aswell (2)

                                                Frency

                                                  That's why I think mr IceFrog ahould do something about it, Brock. I am tired of seeing these things... they make my will of watching a tournament completely go away.

                                                  YoRHa No. 2 Type B

                                                    I'm actually more worried about Troll, lol. His one and only weak point gets nullified after BKB purchase.

                                                    chucky

                                                      They should not always nerf heroes into their graveyard.. But instead think about buffing other heroes aswell (3)