Slardar and more.
The top heroes of Tug of War: Mad Moon
WePlay!’s Dota 2 event lasted for 5 days and we saw various hero combinations. Some, though, were favored over the rest and today we will take a look at them.
The most picked heroes of Tug of War: Mad Moon were pretty much the ones we expected, with one major exception.
Timbersaw (31% pick/68% win)
Timber was perhaps the biggest surprise of the event as his 31% pick rate was coupled with a staggering 68% win rate. Most of the teams have managed to make good use of him during the playoffs. In the current meta, which has a heavy emphasis on physical damage and auto attacks, Timber is a perfect pick. Add to that the popularity of Slardar and there’s even more reason to choose Rizzrack.
This hero is a good combination of mobility, burst damage and health sustain with the only missing piece being crowd control. As we saw in Mad Moon, most of the time teams would pair the hero with someone who has built-in lockdown.
Earthshaker (31% pick/60% win)
The popularity of Earthshaker is always high in pro matches as he always has the chance to turn a game around with a well-placed Echo Slam. This is not all the hero is capable of, though, as his early-game presence can be quite impactful. With an already high base movement speed of 310, he’s an excellent choice for roaming.
Fissure usually helps him set up some easy kills on the mid lane as most heroes there become easy prey when out of position. Shaker is also a solid counter to Phantom Lancer who was one of the go-to carries along with Faceless Void during the recent event. Blink Dagger is the typical choice for a support Earthshaker as it’s cheaper and more reliable than Aghanim’s Scepter for initiation.
Snapfire (31% pick/ 47% win)
Ever since her release with the Outlanders update at the end of November, Snapfire has been a solid choice in almost any game. Unlike other freshly-released heroes, namely Mars, her pick rate in pub matches has also remained high. While many used to max out her Lil’Shredder, in the last few months, players realized she could be a lot more useful. With Scatterblast and Firesnap Cookie, she can easily push out waves in seconds and the cooldown on both spells is rather low.
Additionally, Firesnap Cookie is a built-in Force Staff and can be used to get allies out of danger. Her ultimate is still the most impactful spell in her repertoire and despite several nerfs, it has no equal in area-of-effect damage. The combination with Faceless Void and Chronosphere, though, wasn’t common in Mad Moon as pros knew how to draft properly and avoid it.
Slardar’s popularity managed to outgrow the pub matches and transfer to the pro scene. The first item we say pro players rush was Blink Dagger, usually followed by aura effects and Aghanim’s Scepter.
Essentially, why fix what’s not broken? With a 72% win rate and a slightly lower pick rate than the three we mentioned above, Slardar is a top contender to get some sort of nerf in the next major patch which is expected at the end of March.
Lifestealer and Faceless Void were the most popular picks for the carry position, followed by Troll Warlord. Phantom Lancer didn’t see much play in the conclusion of Tug of War and his win rate remained below 50%.
It’s one of the rare cases where pub games won’t be changed as a result of a recent pro tournament since the meta we saw in Mad Moon resembled the one we already knew. But hey, now you just need to get as good as the pros at Mad Moon.