In anticipation of 7.20 with Alliance.Qojqva

posted by joinDOTA Staff,
THIS ARTICLE IS A PAID PROMOTION. This two-part article was created in partnership with The analysis was done together with Max 'qojqva' Broecker, the mid player of Alliance, who has his own Dota guides on DotaHaven.
We’ve all been waiting in anticipation for 7.20 to come out and change the game, but we still have some time to wait. With ESL One Hamburg 2018, DreamLeague Season 10, and The Kuala Lumpur Major taking place back to back, it seems unlikely that Mr. Frog will drop the hammer on those events, which means that we'll have to wait at least a couple more weeks before a major patch.

While many people are disappointed by this fact, we’d argue that the current meta is still evolving and there are new interesting things to discover partly thanks to the minor balance patches.

We’ll try to find out what changes are taking place and how you can use this knowledge to give yourself an edge in pubs!

The current meta

First of all, let’s quickly define where we currently stand:
As many people have said before, the laning stage is what defines the current meta. This happened because of one key change – the amount of XP you lose to enemy denies is extremely punishing, which means that sacking a lane is no longer a good strategy. If a hero gets zoned out and cannot contest last hits, they will get severely under-leveled. This led to the death of the traditional 1v3 offlane and to the birth of the 2-1-2 meta:

  • The real battle in the lane is not about kills, but about control of the creep wave. Getting zoned out is often more fatal than dying. Being able to contest last hits and trade harass favorably is vital for doing well in the lane.

  • It’s harder to roam because the side lanes are more static. Enemies will notice when someone is missing. This has consequences not only for the pos. 4 roamers but for all three lanes. Out-pushing the wave instead of keeping the lane static is often a good idea. Staying out of position (close to the enemy tower) is very hard to punish because enemies are unlikely to gank you often enough. This has important implications for all three farming cores.

  • Because the side lanes are 2v2, the offlane core isn’t in a much different position than the safe lane core. This has made it possible to run heroes with carry potential in the offlane.

Of course, if you have multiple carries you cannot have all of them farm passively. That’s why active semi-carries (Weaver, Ursa, Tiny, Mirana, WK) have been the most popular and successful cores.

Pub advice

Out-push the waves from early on: If you are certain your opponents will not roam a lot in the laning stage (which is in most games), you will be free to constantly shove the wave without getting punished.

Take advantage of this and pressure the tower. Cores and supports with spammable wave-clear spells (Pugna, Lina, Necro, WW) and some pushing potential can win your team a big map-control advantage right from the laning stage.

Use push timings: Heroes like Lycan (58.2% win rate), Visage (55.4% win rate) & Enigma (54.5% win rate) with strong push timings are the heroes with the highest win rate in pubs in the Divine and Immortal rank. This is because they can use a good laning stage to get the core items they need, 5-man and break the enemy base in the mid game before the enemy team is ready to fight.

In order to use such push timings: win the dual lanes, then gather with your team and 5-man (usually in the enemy safe lane to take control of their jungle). After you claim most outer towers, take Rosh and break the base. This strategy is viable in lower MMR brackets as well, it just requires more communication with the team – 5-man Dota is the easiest playstyle to execute.

Roam out of the mid lane: this is a direct response to our first tip – if the enemy side lanes are constantly pushing, they will be out of position. Mid heroes who can gank are able to exploit this to get easy kills – Storm, Tiny and BS are the perfect examples in this meta.

Don’t do it blatantly – make sure your lane is pushed out before you rotate, otherwise the rotation will be obvious and your mid tower will take damage. Try to control runes from early on so that your enemies get used to the fact that you are missing from the lane every once in a while. This will make them less likely to react when you actually try to rotate. Use smoke if you suspect wards.

Use pos. 4 supports that scale: because these supports spend more time in the lane in this meta, they get plenty of XP and some farm. If you are not the main hero who buys wards, you will have enough resources to get your core items and have a big impact in the mid and late game. Greedy supports with carry potential like Windrunner, Riki, and Silencer are great heroes for this playstyle.

Even after the recent nerfs, Riki is one of the heroes with the highest win rates in lower MMR pubs (he has above 56% win rate below the Ancient rank). Even support Ursa is viable against melee lane opponents.

Most of the advice above revolves around making the most out of the 2-1-2 lanes. We strongly believe it will be good advice even after 7.20 because it seems IceFrog has been trying to make dual lanes a viable laning option for a while and it’s unlikely for him to go in the opposite direction all of a sudden.

The reason is simple – 2v2 and 3v3 lanes are more straightforward to understand, action-packed and fun for casual players compared to the old 3v1 laning situation which requires a lot of specific unintuitive knowledge.

Head out to DotaHaven to read part two of this article, where we discuss which unexpected heroes are finding success for specific roles. We will also talk about what changes we expect to come in 7.20.

Further content about this topic