In the Blink of an Eye

The meta takes quite a bit of time to adjust to the changes introduced in the latest patch. Even more so in the public matchmaking. However, after almost a month since the introduction of the 6.80 we can definitely say that the heroes with limited mana pools that rely on using Blink Dagger Blink Dagger to initiate and fight are among the biggest winners of this patch.

We have selected several heroes with the same properties: they have very limited mana pools and they all benefit from having a Blink Dagger Blink Dagger in their inventory.

For some of the heroes in the list: Vengeful Spirit Vengeful Spirit, Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin and Slardar Slardar, Blink Dagger is a situational item. The first is usually better off using Force Staff Force Staff, and having Blink is a luxury, since she will also usually need to build a Mekansm Mekansm for the team. Nyx can be played as a mid hero with high gank potential in the lower skill brackets. And Slardar can be built as a decent, albeit sub-optimal, late-game carry.

Shall we go through the changes to the Win Rates in more detail?

Axe Axe

This hero has been receiving occasional minor buffs here and there, as discussed in our blog post on the 6.80 changelog.

The buffs to the hero alone could not contribute enough to the current power of the hero - the only change that can be considered significant was the increase of the Berserker's Call Berserker's Call level 1 duration by 0.5 seconds.

The increase to HP regeneration is certainly nice, but in a typical 10-15 seconds fight it would correspond to 10-15 extra HP, which is lower than HP gain from an extra Strength attribute. At the same time it allows Axe to lane better, since he can withstand more harass from the enemy. And that can be utilised by some lineups.

The indirect buff from the Blink Dagger Blink Dagger had such a great impact, because Axe had the most restrictive mana pool with only 234 starting mana and 1.6 Intelligence gain per level. Previously, using Blink Dagger Blink Dagger at level 6 would burn around 20% of his mana pool. Since it is no longer an issue, Axe can use his spells more frequently.

Additionally, some meta changes discussed in our Tier List certainly had their effect on the Win Rate of the manliest hero.

Earthshaker Earthshaker

Similar to Axe, Earthshaker has also been receiving a decent amount of buffs.

Even though we consider them to be a little bit more significant than in the Axe's case, the 0 mana cost on the Blink Dagger cannot be underestimated on this hero.

With 208 starting mana and 1.8 Intelligence gain, Earthshaker had 338 disposable mana at level 7. Going through the Blink Dagger Blink Dagger+Echo Slam Echo Slam+Fissure Fissure+Enchant Totem Enchant Totem combo would cost 440 mana! Hence having Blink Dagger Blink Dagger without Arcane Boots Arcane Boots was very unwise.

Now the whole combo costs 365 mana and requires Earthshaker to have 2xIron Branch Iron Branch to perform it (he will have a 364 mana pool, but there is a mana regeneration factor).

That means that instead of a 1000 gold investment into the Arcane Boots Arcane Boots, similar combo-possibilities can now be achieved with a 100 gold investment, making Earthshaker 900 gold closer to an early blink.

We are not suggesting you ignore your team to farm, or disregard Arcane Boots Arcane Boots completely - there will be cases where rushing Blink Dagger Blink Dagger would be unnecessary. We are just pointing out the new possibilities of the hero and his increased early-game presence that ultimately lead to an increase in his Win Rate.

Brewmaster Brewmaster

Once again - minor overall buffs, coupled with the Blink Dagger Blink Dagger buff lead to an increase in Win Rate for the hero.

New possibilities include: half of a level 4 Thunder Clap Thunder Clap, half of a level 2 Primal Split Primal Split or an extra one-and-a-half [missing skill: brewmaster-drunken-haze-5401]

It doesn't look that good on paper, but in a lot of cases it means being able to use that extra ability - be it saving yourself, decimating everything in the process, with your ultimate. Or just slowing a bunch of enemies, while dealing a considerable amount of damage.

And be honest with yourself - if you have played Brewmaster several times, at least once you have failed miserably to use that ulti, forgetting about the now-gone Blink Dagger Blink Dagger's manacost.

Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin

There is a very good guide on this hero on our forums and if you are interested in playing one of the most versatile supports and a decent mid hero in the lower skill brackets, I suggest you read it.

All in all - there is not a lot to say. Nyx has some mana problems. He is also a great initiator - with Impale Impale and Spiked Carapace Spiked Carapace he can both disable a couple of enemies AND stay alive. Something Lion Lion, with a similar stun cannot boast. Combining one and two we get a 1.05% increase in Win Rate.

An additional contributing factor could be that people have learned to use Impale Impale with the new targeting system better. It is not an explicit skill-shot like Mirana Mirana's Sacred Arrow Sacred Arrow or Pudge Pudge's Meat Hook Meat Hook, but it still requires proper aiming and timing.

Centaur Warrunner Centaur Warrunner

One of the heroes that went under radar for pro-players for quite a while is now starting to get some love. With some excellent buffs to his ultimate - Stampede Stampede his already high Win Rate has risen by an extra 1%.

Can it be credited to the Blink Dagger Blink Dagger? We really can't tell, but we certainly think so. The Win Rate for Centaurs with Blink Daggers has risen by ~1.5% with the new patch, to an all time high of 63.59% at the moment of writing.

There is not much else to say - Centaur Warrunner Centaur Warrunner is a rather strong hero that is a direct counter to most heroes that rely on slow effects and relocation of enemies or allies, since Stampede Stampede gives that advantage when it comes to proper macro and micro positioning.

Magnus Magnus

Again - skipping Arcane Boots Arcane Boots on Magnus Magnus in favor of an early Blink Dagger Blink Dagger is now a legitimate macro strategy. Literally every single Magnus should get a Blink Dagger at some point, and if you have an early-mid-game lineup having it a couple of minutes earlier can allow for a very strong snowball effect, that is needed in the current meta.

Vengeful Spirit Vengeful Spirit

Getting a Blink Dagger Blink Dagger on Vengeful Spirit was (and probably is) a bit gimmicky. However, now that it comes with zero manacost, it is a bit less so.

Just like with the case of Nyx Assassin, you get a way to initiate which will not deplete your mana pool and will let you stay safe.

One thing to note, though, that if you are facing something with an AoE DoT (e.g. Radiance Radiance), in certain cases you will not have enough time to turn around and blink to the target you have just Nether Swap Nether Swapped with, since the Blink Dagger will be disabled.

However, you can always blink forward in the same direction you are facing after the swap, since it is instantaneous, possibly saving your life and distracting the enemy team. Or feeding horribly. It is one or the other, really.

Slardar Slardar

I have to admit - I have an agenda. I want people to understand that Slardar Slardar is an amazing initiator and mid-game carry and that Blink Dagger Blink Dagger on him is core in almost every situation.

I will keep on stating that despite his lower universal Win Rate. And despite the fact that his Blink Dagger Blink Dagger Win Rate has actually decreased in the 6.79-6.80 transition.

I will further try to substantiate my dodgy claim by stating that the probable reason for his lower Win Rate is an increase in his popularity. And an increase in popularity led to a whole lot of games where Slardar Slardar was piloted by a new and inexperienced player.

And to completely discredit my analytic skills, I will finish off this section stating that Slardar Slardar will be borderline Tier 1 in the competitive scene very soon.

Ursa Ursa

The global Win Rate for this hero has decreased, however, Ursa's with Blink Dagger Blink Daggers are actually better of by ~0.5%, compared to the 6.79 Era.

What it tells us is that while the general population is gradually learning how to play against this otherwise very situational carry, the Blink Dagger Blink Dagger Ursa is now better than Shadow Blade Shadow Blade Ursa. Interestingly, it was not the case in 6.79 and 6.79c.

Going through my earlier Blog Posts you will probably find a couple of unkind remarks regarding the inability of your typical pub support to get Sentry Ward Sentry Wards and Dust of Appearance Dust of Appearance. And I am extremely happy to see you starting to prove me wrong.

Then again, it could be nerfs to Shadow Blade kicking in and it is too early to praise the general public of Dota 2.

Closing Comments.

There is a multitude of other heroes that could benefit from the zero mana cost for Blink Dagger Blink Dagger to a large extent. However, not all of them had a significant change to their Win Rate with the introduction of the 6.80 patch (e.g. Sand King Sand King - the difference between 6.79 and 6.80 Win Rate is less than 0.05%).

I really hope that you have found this article interesting and useful and will incorporate some of the tips into your gameplay. We are here to help you improve - be it through providing valuable statistics, that will allow you to asses the mistakes you may have made, or analysis.

We also hope you will read our excellent guides, written by some of the best players on their respective heroes. There is a lot to learn from them and they are glad to share their advanced knowledge.

Thank you for reading!

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18 comentários

    Mnogo bukov. Ne chital.

    Jʌy Δshʙoʁnɘ

      Love stats like these.


        Love your blog post as usual!


          I still think ursa and wraith king are better with forcestaff, to furher improve their tiny manapool.

          Heather Ma$on

            Nothing about Sand King?


              sand king

              and less commonly seen
              wraith king


                It mentions sand king at the end - 0.05% increase in winrate = meaningless


                  What about templar assassin?




                      Enjoyed reading this very much, thank you! One question why is Ursa a "situational carry"?


                        suka english neznayu, nu nahuy eto perevodit


                          I think you missed one important point: Pugna ward no longer counters blinkers. I wonder how Valve manages to detect these pub abuses. There was a super-effective pocket strat when someone picks invoker, tinker, sand king, tide, etc.... a single pugna can make their lives horrible.


                            ^ what an insight

                            i just realized something missing from pugna ward, nice.


                              Ну короче типа тут рассказывается о том, что у блинка убрали манакост и это положительно сложилось на винрейте героев, у которых блинк - главный айтем


                                Ну, короче, типа, вот.


                                  One hero that can use it well that tends to be forgotten about is Huskar.


                                    "And Slardar can be built as a decent, albeit sub-optimal, late-game carry" lol sub-optimal? how do you come up with this bullshit?


                                      re: pugna ward, it still counters sand king blink. the ward triggers when he starts channeling epicenter --> this damage is what disables blink, not the blink itself. All the other heroes can still blink, they just won't take the 75*ward damage anymore