posted by Malystryx.GDS,
Although Sniper Lone Druid, as he as been coined, only featured in 5 games at DotaPit Season 5, it was in all five of the Grand Final games between OG and Evil Geniuses. The two players to play the Sniper Lone Druid were Johan 'BigDaddyN0tail' Sundstein and Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev, and both used the same build which has come into being courtesy of the introduction of the talent system.
In the past when Lone Druid was popular as a jungler players would invest into items for the hero's Spirit Bear, but the new talent system allows Lone Druid himself to become a menace. How? Well while some heroes have rather mundane level 10 talents Lone Druid has an option to pick +200 attack range.
Lone Druid's base attack range is 550 and with a +200 attack range buff it means he surpasses even Lina (670) and Techies (700), who have the highest base attack range in the game. This range can be increased further by Dragon Lance (+140) to give Lone Druid an attack range of 890. To give you an idea of just how ridiculous the range boost is have a look at the video above of Arteezy's Lone Druid in game 2 of the DotaPit Grand Finals.
dat range lone druid build tho PogChamp looks like noone respects alfredo anymore— Henrik Ahnberg (@AdmiralBulldog) 23 January 2017
The additional range gives room for Lone Druid to become almost as frustrating as a Sniper, and the Maelstrom and Hurricane Pike build means Lone Druid can now farm like a madman. Be mindful of this the next time you see a Lone Druid drafted in your pub games.
Weaver made a comeback at DotaPit in a big way and was actually picked up at least once by 7 of the 8 teams present at the DotaPit Season 5 LAN Finals, with Virtus.pro the only team to not embrace the trend. The hero was run as both a support by the likes of Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov and Ye 'BoBoKa' Zhibiao and as a carry by veterans Xu 'BurNIng' Zhilei and Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev.
Invictus Gaming used the flexibility of the Weaver's position to give them an edge in the draft and the sneaky switch to support Weaver for Boboko worked out nicely for IG against both Secret and OG. Puppey's support Weaver mid to help Yeik Nai 'MidOne' Zheng's Storm Spirit in their first game against Evil Geniuses was also noteworthy even though they ended up losing the game. Jerax, Boboko and Puppey all went Aghanim's as support Weaver as it not only reduces cooldown of Time Lapse but also allows it to be cast on allies.
Next time you see a Weaver drafted do not automatically assume it is the enemy's carry. Also be mindful that a support Weaver can transition into a 4th core as the game progresses.
Much like Lone Druid, Ember Spirit is enjoying a new lease of life after the introduction of the talent tree has allowed for a new build on the hero, one which Anathan 'ana' Pham made good use of at DotaPit. In the past players focused on a physical damage build on Ember Spirit, with BattleFury and Daedelus amongst the most popular choices. However, that has now changed.
Ember Spirit's talent tree at lvl 10 gives a player the option of picking +15% Spell Amplication, which increases the magic damage of his Flame Guard and Searing Chains. What is more at level 20 a 15% cooldown reduction on all abilities is possible, which means not only can he deal more magic damage he can also do it more often.
Ana played Ember Spirit the most out of any player at DotaPit and won 5 of his 6 games on the hero, and Ember Spirit was the most played hero at the event featuring in 15 of the 29 games.
In all but one of the Ana's Ember Spirit games he invested into Maelstrom to increase his farm and Blink Dagger for added mobility, and this was a trend across the mid playerbase with Secret's Yeik Nai 'MidOne' Zheng, iG's Ou 'Op' Peng and Evil Geniuses Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan all putting the new magic focused Ember Spirit build through its paces. If you're a fan of Ember Spirit you might want to try this out.