Since the release of Dota 2 patch 7.30, a familiar and dreaded meta has returned to the game. It has been a plague in pub games, and if the current tournaments are anything to go by, the pros seem to be having trouble dealing with it as well.

Beastmaster and the Zoo meta are back with a vengeance. The hero is currently the fourth most contested hero in ESL One Fall 2021. Out of the nine times picked, seven resulted in victory.

What makes Beastmaster and the Zoo meta so strong in Dota 2 patch 7.30?

The Zoo meta is defined by items

Dota 2, Current Beastmaster item build
Beastmaster has a very fixed item build this patch
Screenshot taken by Otomo Alazawi

The Zoo meta involves controlling strong creeps and using them to push lanes hard early in the game. As such, the Zoo meta is strong when there are multiple items with strong auras, or at least one particularly efficient item for buffing creeps.

Until patch 7.29, the Zoo meta involved using Necronomicon summons as its main power spike, buffing up nearby allies. It did good damage, was durable, and could take away enemy vision thanks to True Sight.

Then, Dota 2 patch 7.30 arrived, which removed Necronomicon entirely from the game.

What changed in patch Dota 2 patch 7.30?

Dota 2 patch 7.30 item reworks
Credit: ONE Esports

Dota 2 patch 7.30 buffed Helm of the Overlord, a previously ignored item, and now includes Vladimir’s offering as part of its components. This means the new Helm of the Overlord now provides four auras, which includes bonus armor, damage, and lifesteal.

These auras are perfect for any team that wants to stick together and push, it also amplifies the strength of allied creeps.

Helm of the Overlord also enables players to take control of any creep on the map, buffing it significantly. These buffs include but are not limited to the following:

  • Health set to 1800
  • 400 base movement speed
  • Bonus 80 damage
  • Bonus 12 health regen
  • Bonus 8 armor

With an average timing of 15 minutes, Helm of the Overlord doesn’t just give teams an extra creep, it gives them a sixth hero on their side.

Beastmaster’s early game has been significantly buffed

Dota 2, beastmaster loading screen
Credit: Valve

Beastmaster received a big buff to his laning stage. The summoned Boars’ damage went up from 16 to 20, while the Hawk now provides 750 vision at level one instead of 600.

The extra Hawk vision is decent, but it is really Boars’ damage that has made Beastmaster a laning juggernaut. He usually keeps two boars around him at all times, so his summon damage at level one has effectively gone up from 32 to 40.

The Boars also slow enemies, making it difficult to escape. At the same time, they’re also fairly tanky summons that are not easy to take down.

Beastmaster has always been a strong laning hero in Dota 2 and this buff pushes him straight into the overpowered territory.

Beastmaster has an absurd mid-game power spike

Competitive Dota 2 players are timing their pushes to coincide with two power spikes for Beastmaster. The first is Helm of the Overlord and the second is Beastmaster’s level 15 talent that provides summons with an additional 250 health.

In the match between Alliance and SG Esports, Gustav “s4” Magnusson even rushed the Helm of the Overlord without buying boots.

The level 15 talent originally provided bonus 350 health to controlled creeps, but was recently nerfed to 250 in patch 7.30b. Even after the nerf, it still makes creeps absurdly tanky, and can be used to siege high ground with.

Beastmaster is in an incredibly strong spot right now. While he was slightly nerfed in the recent letter patch, Dota 2 fans can expect the hero to continue making an impact.

READ MORE: Dota 2 patch 7.30b: Are these big nerfs enough to kill the zoo meta?