Week 3 of the ONE Esports Dota 2 SEA League Group Stage will be played with an all-new meta after the 7.27 patch was released on Monday.
Here are the five biggest changes in the meta that you can expect to see once the league resumes:
5. More diverse drafts
7.27 implemented sweeping changes to the draft phase for Captain’s Mode, but the biggest one was the ban count for the three ban phases being changed from 4/1/1 to 2/3/2. While there are now more total bans, the first ban phase having only two bans guarantees that at least one of the five or six strongest heroes in any given meta will get through.
That gives teams a lot of room to work with during drafts, as opposing teams can no longer just exhaust all their bans in removing strong meta picks or the entire hero pool of a particularly strong player. With strong heroes appearing more often, more heroes will in turn be picked as teams experiment with counters. There’s a lot more to be said about the new intricacies that the new Captain’s Mode draft has, but suffice to say we should see a lot more diverse lineups being played in 7.27.
4. Helm of the Dominator is the new Necronomicon
The ‘Zoo’ meta may be no more with the Necronomicon being nerfed, but Helm of the Dominator is here to stay for 7.27. The patch changed the dynamic of the item from being a strong aura item with a bonus ability to Dominate a creep, to being all about controlling a creep — a much stonger one this time — with some solid stats that are helpful in any situation.
With the new Helm of the Dominator, the dominated creep gets buffed with +40 Base Damage, +12 HP regen and +4 mana regen. Carries can dominate creeps like the Hellbear Smasher or Satyr Tormenter to help them farm and push lanes, much like how they used Necronomicon in the last patch.
Meanwhile, mids, offlaners, and position 4 supports can dominate creeps can use the item more aggressively. Creeps like the Centaur Conqueror, Dark Troll Summoner, Satyr Banisher, Alpha Wolf, and more can provide additional disables or buffs to help them in teamfights.
With a total gold cost of 2,100, Helm of the Dominator is a very strong and versatile item that can be picked up as a first core item that will be beneficial in any situation. Expect a lot of players to pick up this item and make the most out of it, no matter which position they played.
3. More fighting in the early game
A long-awaited change that came with 7.27 finally made going for kills worthwhile in the early game, as they now give significantly more base gold and experience compared to before.
In previous patches, midlaners who would rotate to the sidelanes to gank always lose out to their counterparts who stayed in lane to farm due to how little rewards early kills gave back then. But with 7.27, midlaners who can successfully pull off multiple ganks in the sidelanes should get worthwhile rewards. While this won’t phase farming mid heroes out of the meta, we should see less farmfests in the midlane from now on.
Kills being worth more should also make running tri-lanes easier, as they can use the experience they gain from kills to offset the fact that they have to divide the experience they get from creeps three-ways.
With how much Southeast Asian teams love to fight, expect to see a lot more bloodbaths at the SEA League.
2. Tier two towers are more important than ever
Another big change introduced by 7.27 was that either side’s Outposts cannot be captured until one of their tier two towers have been destroyed. This change makes losing your tier one tower early not sting as much, though it makes tier two towers a much more important objective.
With how strong tier two towers are, and not to mention how hard it is to besiege them, we should see teams ensure they stay up for as long as possible. That means more teamfights centered around them, which also means us spectators get to watch more cool clashes.
1. More supports will shine
7.27 made life easier for supports by making support items such as Sentry Wards, Smoke of Deceit, and Tome of Knowledge significantly cheaper while also buffing the likes of Bracer and Holy Locket.
Support items being cheaper gives supports more gold to spend on items to them shine. After all, no one really likes seeing supports cast just one spell and then die in a teamfight. Going for the timeless strategy of stacking three or four Bracers goes a long way towards that cause, though having Blink Dagger or Force Staff isn’t too bad either.
Holy Locket now being able to cast its active heal on allies should finally make it a good item, especially for heroes like Chen and Oracle. The item should especially be effective in four-protect-one lineups, where keeping their carry alive is the number one objective for supports. We expect teams like Fnatic and BOOM Esports especially love this change.