posted by Abelle,
At the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 LAN event, Fly was the only person to play Visage. The hero played a big role in OG’s dominant path to the Grand Final, so it’s time to take a deeper look at the hero's role in those wins and how it was played.

il Tal 'Fly' Aizik played the forgotten hero 10 times and held an 80% winrate. Teams started to ban Visage against eu OG on the second day of the group stage, but it didn’t help much since OG could just fall back on other, more “meta” picks.

Here are the basic stats for Fly’s Visage at DAC:
  • 80% winrate (8 wins, 2 losses - both losses to iG)
  • 5 bans
  • 4.17 KDA
  • Core item build: Tranquil Boots, Solar Crest, Force Staff

When looking at Fly's Visage games at Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017, he played with two basic styles during the event, which I will call “Fighting” and “Buff Machine”. In Fighting style, he built to kill and took racked up of kills for himself. When he was the Buff Machine, he didn’t have so many kills, but instead buffed up his team to help them get all the glory.

Fighting Style

Fighting style was favored more early on in the tournament, and a couple times was paired with a physical damage buffing hero. Once with Vengeful Spirit and once with Drow Ranger. This way, both Visage and Visage’s Familiars could have their damage buffed. This was one of the more common ways to play with Visage before he fell out of the meta.

In these games, Fly often built Arcane Boots instead of Tranquils. Since there were far fewer of these games over the buff style, he only completed Guardian Greaves and Mekansm once each. In the Drow game, which was one of his best games in terms of physical damage output, he still built a Pipe and Solar Crest along with his Greaves.

Yes, the fighting style got more kills, but Fly was still building items that would help out his team rather than increase the power of his own hero.

Buff Machine Style

Fly’s kills dwindled and his assists increased as the tournament progressed and he moved towards a more selfless style of play. Tranquil Boots were the footwear of choice after one experiment with Power Treads, while Solar Crest, Force Staff and often Lotus Orb or Pipe of Insight were picked up in the late game.

You might be wondering where the Aghanim’s Scepter comes into the equation but Fly only built the item once, in a big comeback game against Team Faceless. His build varied from the norm quite a bit in that game as he built Aghanim’s then found himself with a ton of money in the late game and opted for a Scythe of Vyse.

When playing this style, Fly also tended to buy the majority of the Observer and Sentry wards for his team, leaving fi Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka free to build more items.

Is Visage Back?

Before DAC, Visage wasn’t being picked. In all of The Kiev Major regional qualifiers, the hero showed up twice. Once, it was picked by ru for ua Ilya 'Lil' Ilyuk. Visage is his signature hero, but this was his first official Visage game in six months. The second was dk Danish Bears*, in a game stomped by eu Team Secret.

There hasn’t been much western Dota action since the conclusion of DAC, but over in The Dota 2 Professional League, Visage has been picking up steam. The hero’s been picked six times in the last three days, but it has only won twice. Now that Fly has shown off what this hero can do, it’s likely that teams around the world will be trying to add it to the mix in their pre-Kiev Major bootcamps. In just a few weeks it will be easy to see if any teams feel like Visage is here to stay.

  • Abelle


    Annabelle Fischer
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