The Dota 2 pro scene is being dominated by a healing meta right now, with heroes like Phoenix, Winter Wyvern, and Enchantress being very popular in the Regional Qualifiers.
Whenever a particular strategy becomes popular, its counters also rise in popularity. If one side picks a heavy team-fight-based lineup, it can be countered with a strong split pushing lineup to separate the players. The current meta is no exception and there are multiple ways to counter it.
Pros use these two strategies to counter the Dota 2 Heal meta
Heavy burst damage
The first way to counter the Dota 2 heal meta is by blowing someone up at the start of the fight, either the healer themself or whoever they want to heal. This is why heroes like Lion and Hoodwink are the two most picked heroes right now in Dota 2. Both come with a huge amount of burst damage to start fights.
It’s not just supports who can bring a lot of burst damage, Cores like Luna, Lina, and Zeus are able to output tremendous damage in two seconds too. This burst approach was used in the Europe Regional Qualifier by SPIDER PIGZS to great success.
However, this all-or-nothing approach comes with a fair bit of risk. Either the team is able to burst someone down at the start of the fight or the fight is lost. Not only that but it is also susceptible to buybacks. If the initial burst kills a player, that player can buy back and rejoin his team while all the enemy spells are on a long cooldown.
In some situations, it’s simply not feasible to pick a heavy burst team. Particularly if the enemy has multiple tanks or a fast lineup that scales very well into the mid-game. To counter this, teams can try to negate as much of the enemy’s healing as possible. Enter Ancient Apparation.
Ancient Apparation has the best anti-heal ability in the game by far. His ultimate, Ice Blast deals AOE magic damage that also completely prevents enemies from regenerating and healing any HP for up to 12 seconds. Ice Blast also has a very short cooldown and can hit anywhere on the map, giving Ancient Apparation a lot of consistency in countering all forms of healing.
While Ancient Apparation is the best counter as a hero, there are also items players can buy to greatly reduce health restoration. Spirit Vessel reduces health restoration by 45% and can be purchased by support or core heroes. Another option is Eye of Skadi, which reduces health restoration by 40%. Heroes like Spectre, Medusa, and Terrorblade are in the meta and always aim to buy Skadi if they can. This allows these heroes to counter heavy heal drafts without having to do anything differently. Both of these items are fairly expensive though so they take time to come online.
Time will tell how the next patch will change the overall meta. For now, it’s good to learn a few ways to counter these heroes to make the pub grind a bit smoother.