Last time we talked about supports who were for one reason or another completely absent from the meta. Today we are going to concentrate on position one heroes who, in our opinion, desperately need an upgrade to become viable.
It is really hard to be a Battlefury-reliant carry with no lane presence in the current meta. The only Battlefury hero that sort of works is Troll Warlord and even then, he’s not exactly the most successful carry in the game.
Getting Anti-Mage to work would involve a complete meta shift and a few direct buffs to the hero. He can’t keep up pace with tempo carries who want and can fight early. He doesn’t scale nearly as well as late-game oriented carries who at one point can take over the game. This leaves him in this weird lull, where he is rarely the strongest hero on the map.
There were attempts to make Anti-Mage a tempo core by going Vanguard into Diffusal, but it wasn’t a particularly successful trend and died out quite quickly. Perhaps there will be some merit to it in the next patch, but we don’t believe Anti-Mage can be viable without some buffs and we are especially concerned about his 1.6 Strength growth per level: the hero has a lot of damage mitigation and would have decene EHP, if he had any HP to begin with.
Another Battlefury hero who doesn’t fit into the meta. Unlike Anti-Mage, PA can be the strongest carry on the map in the late game, but getting there is even more problematic for her. Whilst Anti-Mage can play the split-push game to essentially create space for himself, Phantom Assassin’s toolkit is not particularly macro-oriented.
She can use Blur to be “off-map”, but any good lobby will check out their waves, if they see them being pushed in. She can’t usually join engagements before getting BKB, but with a BKB and Battlefury she usually doesn’t have enough damage to actually kill her targets quickly enough. That leaves her in an extremely weak spot at a timing when most carries thrive in the current meta.
We believe that unlike Anti-Mage, Phantom Assassin weaknesses are mostly meta-reliant. The pace of the game is too fast and if it ever slows down just a little bit, she might make a comeback. The hero still scales really hard and can be an asset to her team. Moreover, there might be some hero pairing that can make up for her early game weaknesses or accelerate her farm.
If Ogre Magi or Magnus ever get back into the meta, so will Phantom Assassin. Could the hero use some direct love in the form of buffs? Probably, but we feel like it is not strictly necessary.
It says a lot about the state of the hero when Chen is one of the most popular characters in the meta and one of his most uncomfortable matchups is completely ignored. Clinkz is a hero long forgotten, but one that is not necessarily weak, though.
He has a rather weird relationship with the current meta. He is high enough tempo to not crumble against most heroes and with farm he can be a late-game carry as well. Some of the more popular late-game carries are also a little less of a problem for Clinkz who has decent, if a bit unreliable, mobility.
However, he quite heavily relies on his team setting up fights for him in the later portions of the game and here lies the main problem with the hero: he is ok to good against most heroes in the meta. He just doesn’t really complement meta heroes in his team and neither do they complement him.
If there is a bit of a meta shift that brings back teamfight position three heroes back into the meta, we feel like Clinkz might make a comeback even without any sort of direct buffs.