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It’s that time of year again. The December holiday season, but also that period after a patch where no one knows what’s going on in the meta. Some phrases like Lone Druid is overpowered or Void Spirit is broken get tossed around but no one knows what they mean.
Everyone is still experimenting and there haven’t been many large tournaments since the Outlanders update so we don’t have professional drafts and game play to look at. Some meta trends are slowly rising to the top like the Outposts being important but hero-wise, there still isn’t a clear hierarchy of who’s the strongest at each position.
That being said, we can still look at the numbers to see who’s on top so far. In this list, the top four offlane heroes based on win rate percentage in the Divine/Immortal tier are:
Doom is the most winningest offlane hero in the past month with a 53.58% win rate. Before this patch he had a terrible win rate, hovering around 45%. As soon as the patch dropped though, he shot up to above 50%.
You wouldn’t guess this rise in win rate if you looked at Doom’s changes in the patch notes though, not much has changed for him. Devourer, Scorched Earth, and Infernal Blade were all buffed a little bit. His Aghanim’s Scepter was changed to buff Infernal Blade to stun for 1.75s, +2 DPS duration, and apply break.
Despite these minor changes, Doom is winning at a high rate in high-level games. This is likely due to other changes in the game that effected Doom’s play style. The jungle is arguably more important and Doom is one of the best junglers. The buff to damage block for melee heroes also helps him out in the laneing stage.
Second up is Underlord, a hero that didn’t see many changes to his abilities or gameplay. Underlord has a 53.24% win rate in Divine/Immortal games in the past month.
His agility gain was buffed slightly, base armor increased by 1, Atrophy Aura was nerfed by a few percents, and his level 15 talent was buffed.
Unlike Doom though, Underlord’s win rate was high before the patch and only increased by a few percents after the patch. It looks like Underlord is just continuing his winning ways and the minor buffs to his armor just helped his early game more.
Underlord is good at farming the jungle and naturally builds helpful team fight items like Crimson Guard, Guardian Greaves, and Pipe of Insight. This makes him a hero you want to have on your team since you want to benefit from those buffs. With the addition of Outposts, map control is more important than ever and Underlord excels in this area because he can clear waves with his nuke spell and walk away without committing. Team fights happen more often because there are more objectives in the map and Underlord is great at that as well. Underlord was a strong hero before this patch and remains strong in this patch.
Literally nothing changed for Slardar. Except one change, “Slithereen Crush Scepter AoE increased from 550 to 600.”
That 50 AoE increase resulted in a win rate jump from 50% pre-patch to 54% after the patch dropped. At least, that’s one way of looking at it. It’s hard to say what happened to make this hero increase his win rate by 4% with such a minor change. It’s likely that it was all the changes surrounding Slardar and he’s just in a good spot right now. Passive XP and gold increased for all heroes which allow Slardar to keep up with other offlaners when his weakness historically has been in keeping his farm and levels high.
He’s also strong against in meta heroes like Lone Druid and Lifestealer so he may be used as a counter pick to those popular picks. Slardar is sitting at 53.20% win rate in Divine/Immortal games.
Abaddon has been a popular hero for a while now as either a 3 or 5. Professionals love picking this hero because his abilities are so great for laneing and team fighting. Abaddon has a 53.07% win rate in Divine/Immortal games.
This is another hero where very little changes happened. In the Outlander’s patch, his Mist Coil was changed so he can’t deny himself with it, and Curse of Avernus slow was reduced in the early levels.
Team fights are where Abaddon shines. If you try and do a smoke gank and you run into Abaddon, that’s a win for Abaddon because he’s one of the worst heroes you could initiate on. As the team fight progresses, Abaddon’s teammates get debuffed, shielded, and healed and that’s with just his abilities. If you don’t have high levels of burst damage, it’ll be hard to win a fight against Abaddon.
One of his weaknesses is his lack of damage output. If he can get controlled or separated from his team, he can be useless. His laneing was nerfed hard as well thanks to the nerf to Curse of Avernus. He can't harass as well as he used to before the nerf.
It looks like Doom saw the most changes in this list but his changes were minor compared to other heroes. So what can be concluded from this? In the first month of this patch, the most winningest offlane heroes are heroes that didn’t get changed too much.
This means that players aren’t experimenting with these heroes because their play style didn’t change. This means compared to heroes that are being experimented with, players already know how to play these heroes so the win rate is higher than trying out different things with heroes who had many changes.
It’s likely that this list will change in the future as the patch stops being so new and players learn how all the heroes work.