Hopefully the wait is almost over and soon we are once again going to be scrambling for more meta insights. New patch in Dota is always an exciting time, but it is also the best time to rank up and get ahead of the curve. Today we are going to talk about how to use tools provided by Dotabuff to your advantage.
It usually doesn’t take long for stats to update after a new patсh is released. Using the trends tab you can quickly check which heroes are on the rise, and which are worse off. Do pay attention to the “Current” column though. Sometimes heroes get substantial buffs, noticeable win rate bumps but still barely make it over the 50% line.
What does a hero having abnormally high or abnormally low win rate mean, though? There are several things you need to consider. Most important one, in our opinion, is “how complex is the hero to execute in a pub game?”
Take a look at Enchantress for example. One of the most important heroes at TI, but still a very low win rate pick even in Divine+ games according to the meta tab for this month. There are many reasons for it, but a big part of it is that Enchantress is a micro hero that is hard to execute well.
If you are a player who knows how to micro well, how to push the limits of the hero survivability-wise and know how to convert a guaranteed won lane into palpable advantage for your team, this 41% shouldn’t mean much to you: a lot of it is a reflection of the hero’s complexity of execution when played by inexperienced players.
At the same time, when you take a look at some of the most easy to use and straightforward popular heroes like, for example, Juggernaut, and see that they have a sub-44% win rate in Divine+ this week, the obvious and easy conclusion is that they are simply weak in the current patch.
Naturally, sample size should also play a big role in hero evaluation. For example, in the current patch Spectre is very popular (20%+ pick rate) and very successful (55%+ win rate), meaning that regardless of who picks the hero and regardless of their experience, they will have a good chance of winning the game.
Whereas a hero like Meepo, who has 55%+ Winrate in Divine+ games is only played in 1.9% of all Divine+ games. While the hero can be good if a player knows what to do with them, it is still not a hero one should prioritise off the stats alone.
The main idea is that simply following the stats without context is not necessarily the best approach. First trends are easy to notice, but do pay attention to the popularity of heroes and use your own experience with the hero as a starting point in understanding the hero’s level of complexity.
That said, an easy to play hero with high popularity and low winrate is something you should generally discard until the next patch. These are usually quite easy to filter out immediately, unless they get direct buffs in letter mini-patches.
Another very important tool is the Counters tab on the hero page. It provides an at-a-glance overview of potential hero weaknesses and is incredibly important when trying to figure out counters to the broken heroes who always emerge at the start of the patch. There are a couple of caveats, though.
For example, look at Chaos Knight’s Counters tab. It sorts the heroes by the Disadvantage stat, that represents relative matchup between heroes, without taking into account their general strength in the current patch. That means it will sometimes overvalue heroes who are good against CK, but are generally quite bad in the current patch. Like, for example, Timbersaw.
As you know, though, hero win rate isn’t a precise reflection of hero’s strength, so when sorting by disadvantage for some of the bigger meta threats, look for the heroes you are very comfortable with personally. Try to look at their personal win rate and popularity and decide, whether you think they could be an answer to the meta threat when played by you specifically.
Personally, I find sorting by Win Rate generally more useful. This provides an overview of heroes who Chaos Knight has low and high win rate against, so it already takes the general win rate of the hero into account. Since I’ve been playing Dota for 17+ years and am familiar with most heroes, this just gives me the information I am looking for slightly faster.
Another very underrated part of pub play is lane and game synergy. General rule of thumb in pubs is that at least one of the support players picks in the first phase. Picking one of the more meta heroes will make choosing a correct partner a bit easier for your cores down the line, since it is most likely they’ve laned with your hero previously.
Similarly, core players, who usually have more information, should be a bit more flexible. Taking into account the enemy heroes you see, what support you will be laning with and what is strong in the current patch should all be things to be mindful of.
Naturally, taking the strongest meta core in a good game is ideal, but if the enemy players are ready for it with their first phase picks, perhaps picking meta isn’t the best idea. Having a wider hero pool never hurts.
Are you one of the players who dreads the new patches, since it forces you out of your comfort zone? Or are you the one who gains MMR at the start of every patch, because you come prepared? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.
Hopefully the wait is going to be over soon.