Call of DOTA: Patch 6.85 revisited

(This is brought to us by all-round awesome gamer Jonathan Lam)

So, the 6.85 patch has been out for a while now, at least long enough for us to analyse a few of the trends.   Basically, this means that we can see who to ban and how to counter-pick “imba” heroes, right guys?


Spectre got buffed by a high amount in the patch and is a likely component of many teams. Most of the time, you'll want to build Spectre as a full-on tank via the means of heart, skadi etc.  Desolate now works on non-hero units if they are alone, and dispersion now reflects damage before reductions and returns it as the same damage type, which is pretty useful. The change in the way desolate works improves farming rates and Spectre needs a lot of farm.

With an almost 60% win rate, it might be tempting for new players to use Spectre, but this isn't an ideal option. They are a carry, so the team has to rely on Spectre in late game.  Dispersion means that low armor units are countered heavily.



Ursa was a beast in 6.84, and still has a near 60% win rate.  This is probably due to the enrage cooldown reduction. Ursa's the best at taking Roshan earlier, via fury swipes and enrage. At level 6, he can take Roshan damn-near instantly (if you build Vladimir's offering at that point). He is a very easy hero for pubs due to fact that he can tear people apart without the best amount of last hits.
Crystal Maiden and Lich

Lich and Crystal Maiden both have incredible support potential, but it depends what you are up against. If you are against someone like Meepo or have someone on your team that can guarantee bounces with your ult, you'll be in a good place. CM's ult has been buffed by a huge amount. They are both decently ranged with reliable offensive skills. When playing support, you should always try and harass the enemy carry out of lane, so they don't get space to farm. Using CM, it's almost always a good idea to get frostbite to be able to jungle. Then you can get a fast level, from which you can then take arcane aura. To counter CM, you need an AOE stun (just in case she goes glimmer cape).

Riki and Bounty Hunter

Riki isn't particularly overpowered if you counter him to a high degree.  This means that in higher skill it isn't worth it, which is why we don't really see him in professional games. However, his invis has been buffed in the patch, causing him to be able to take some harass in lane. With this buff, he can now roam without needing health which makes him a pretty awesome roaming offlaner. Bounty Hunter is similar, but his ult give people vision of the target and extra gold to help accelerate his farm or that of his team. Bounty Hunter, however, doesn't scale as well into late game because his stat gains aren't that great, and you'll generally find yourself building for the early game.


Lina was pretty hot shit in 6.84 when the octarine core was introduced. However, now her WR is pretty bad, due to the nerfs in damage. However, Lina was built as a quick burster and scales well because of her passive. If you were thinking of using Euls, don't bother.  It also got nerfed, making it less amazing and more  just really good.  While not much of a change, this means that she can't burst people from as far away, making her a lot less strong than she used to be.  She's still a very good hero, but she doesn't counter pick anything now, with the possible exception of SF (who builds skadi and satanic, so she won't last long).

Lina can, however, be very versatile.  Her nerfs make her a far less viable hero, but she's still a pretty good choice.

The team to watch?

Definitely Alliance. I'll admit that for a while, I was losing faith in them, but they managed to pull it back. 
Of course I'm talking about Admiral Bulldogs plays.  Alliance didn't make TI5, but don't be fooled. I still think they might be one of the best teams in the history of DOTA (see what I did there?).

Questions?  Comments?  Feel free to pop something in the comment section below or contact Jonathan directly at:

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