Dota 2 is going through one of its rarer metas right now. If you’re out of the loop, the Heal meta revolves around a handful of support heroes with strong healing spells that are almost always picked or banned in every professional game.
This trend was prevalent in the Animajor and has continued into the Regional Qualifiers.
This article will dive into the Heal meta and why all the pros are abusing it.
Why is the Heal meta popular?
Healing supports are great right now
The two heroes who are defining this heal meta are undoubtedly Phoenix and Wyvern. Both heroes are among the 10 most picked in the Animajor. Phoenix is even more popular in the Regional Qualifiers being the fourth most popular hero, while Winter Wyvern dips only slightly to 11th most picked hero. Still pretty good in a game with over 120 heroes to pick from.
Phoenix and Winter Wyvern both provide a very strong percentage-based heal for the team. Both of them have additional perks to their heals as well. For Phoenix, the hero can heal multiple allies while damaging any enemy caught in the Sun Ray. Winter Wyvern on the other hand provides complete physical immunity to whoever she heals.
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Aside from providing great healing, both heroes are very flexible in their laning. While both heroes are typically played as position 5 supports, they can switch easily to playing position 4 if it suits the draft more. This allows captains to first pick these heroes and slot them into whichever lane they prefer.
Lastly, Pheonix and Winter Wyvern have some of the strongest ultimates in the game. Phoenix ultimate Supernova, allows the hero to turn into an Egg that burns all nearby enemies for six seconds then stuns them when it hatches. This creates an enormous “no-go” zone for the enemy team. Enemies have a very short time deciding if they will abandon the team fight or try to break the egg and risk succumbing to Pheonix’s devastating ultimate.
Winter Wyvern provides an equally powerful ultimate for her team with her Winter’s Curse. This ultimate makes all nearby enemies focus their attacks on whoever Wyvern Curses. This allows Wyvern to single-handedly delete enemies while setting up Wyvern’s team to follow up.
Holy Locket and Aeon Disk are too good
The meta in Dota 2 isn’t based solely on how strong heroes are. Often when an item is overpowered, then heroes who always buy that item are equally buffed. A good example of this is how strong Orb of Corrosion was on release and how it brought melee lane-winning carries back into the fold, such as Monkey King and Slark.
Two items right now significantly buff the heal meta Dota 2 is in. And they are Holy Locket and Aeon Disk.
Holy Locket is a great support item that upgrades from Magic Wand. It provides a 35% buff to the owner’s healing abilities. This by itself is an incredible boost to heroes like Phoenix, Winter Wyvern and other healers.
Holy Locket is not limited to simply buffing heals though. Holy Locky passively regenerates Wand charges and allows those Charges to be used on allies, providing an emergency 405 heal to an ally. Locket also comes with fantastic stats and buildup.
The other item is Aeon Disk. Aeon Disk is more commonly bought on core heroes and what it does is prevent the Aeon Disk carrier from taking any damage for 2.5 seconds, when their HP drops below 70%. This means it is impossible to burst down anyone carrying Aeon Disk in most circumstances.
Aeon Disk allows teams to set up while it is active. A common strategy in Dota 2 is to simply burst down an enemy at the start of the fight and then proceed to win the engagement thanks to the numerical advantage. Because Aeon Disk prevents that from happening, it allows Phoenix and Winter Wyvern to actually get their heals off and prevent the core from dying. You can’t heal what is dead and that’s Aeon Disk’s biggest advantage.
Tanks. Tanks everywhere.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Yeah, I don’t care either.
It’s hard to pinpoint whether it’s healers who are enabling tanks right now or if it’s tanks who make good use of healers. Either way, they have a symbiotic relationship and benefit greatly from each other.
A lot of very tanky heroes are being played right now. Heroes like Dragon Knight, Axe, Spectre, Timbersaw, and Medusa are being picked in almost every game. These heroes naturally come with a lot of damage mitigation, and healing them can be two or three times as impactful as healing squishier allies.
The next patch for Dota 2 will likely tweak a lot of these heroes and items. The heal meta will probably take quite a hit and won’t be as viable. Until then, expect to see these heroes continue to dominate the Pro scene.
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