Last year, a lot of teams played the healer strategy as it’s the safest way to play, especially in a best of 1. And for the opening day of MWI, it appears that there are still some teams relying on the healer meta. I’m not saying the healer meta is bad, but it’s easy enough to counter.
Now let’s take a look a look at the top hero picks for each lane.
Matilda, Lolita, Jawhead, Chou, Rafaela, Estes, Kufra, Selena
Matilda is still the best performer because not only can she get her teammates a free flicker and aegis with Guidin’ Wind, providing a lot of protection, but also she can engage while bursting down one hero.
The other roamers we saw are counter picks towards other heroes such as Lolita. Marksmen now dominate the gold lane so Guardian’s Bulwark is there to cover your team, or Chou/Jawhead to pick off the opponent’s backline.
The healing team, Rafaela and Estes are still available, but seeing so many teams now prefer to choose Lylia as their midlaner means that whenever there is a crowded team fight, it’s not gonna be a 70-80% win rate for healers, but rather down to 50-50% based on how they split and when the team fight happened. Selena is a huge hit or miss, but in the right hands, this is a deadly hero, which is why she’s always banned.
Lylia, Cecilion, Kagura, Yve, Valentina
Lylia joins the midlane team replacing Chang’e/Pharsa/Yve. Yes, Yve is still viable even though her ultimate Real World Manipulation was nerfed with a cooldown reduction, but she’s still on the ban list in the draft phase. Lylia’s power shines at level 4 with the ultimate Black Shoes, not to mention her damage potential thanks to the Angry Gloom. Fast clear lane, huge damage thanks to the power of Angry Gloom combined with Shadow Energy, and life insurance with Black Shoes makes Lylia a must-pick in the midlane.
Next in the lineup is Cecilion and Kagura. However, Cecilion doesn’t have enough early damage meaning his teammates must always cover the midlane, and for Kagura, she needs at least 1-2 items before she can really make an impact in team fights.
Valentina is almost always banned because she provides a lot of damage and can provide an early lead in terms of the EXP.
Lancelot, Ling, Roger, Helcurt (and sometimes Barats/Aulus)
Lancelot with the puncture adjusts has made him one of the best assassins when hitting level 4. The same goes for Ling, but Ling still needs and depends on the purple buff.
Roger is also good if he can start snowballing. Most teams will rely on heavy fighters such as Barats or even Aulus (Hylos also can be a jungler), as long as they have a healer to back them up so they can withstand long term fights.
I’ll also mention Helcurt as he has a lot of potential, such as Shadow Transition now slowing the opponent by 90%, but we haven’t seen him yet.
Gloo, Esmeralda, Yu Zhong, Uranus, Phoveus
Gloo is now a first pick or ban. The new adjustment to Gloo on Slam, Slam, means Gloo can get a permanent stun on the lane. He can also just make use of Split, Split to hold EXP, and of course, targeting the Marksman/Jungler and riding it can be very fun too.
Esmeralda, Yuzhong, Uranus, join the list because they’re all very similar to Gloo, but not as OP.
What do all of these EXP Lane heroes have in common? All of them can deal damage late game while taking tons of damage. Hylos/Khaleed is also good but it’s up to each team’s preference.
Beatrix, Popol & Kupa, Clint, Brodi, Lylia
The Gold Lane is dominated by the four marksmen of the apocalypse.
Beatrix with the Nibiru makes basic attacks really painful, and Popol & Kupa’s recent buffs mean they can cover the lane by themselves. Clint with Quickdraw can get an instant kill with a true damage item in the mid-late game, while Brodi can decimate any tank if he can four stacks and release Torn Apart Memory. I included Lylia here as a Gold Laner because she can fight these four marksmen, but we’ve rarely seen her so far.
Overall meta analysis
Right now we seem to be in a transition period going from healers to instant damage heroes. A lot of heroes have the potential to rise up like Minotaur and Kadita as roamers, Helcurt as a jungler, Change as the midlaner.
At MWI, teams have been trying to play the game with more simple but effective heroes but we’ll see what happens over the next three days.
My prediction for the winning team? Of course it’s gonna be BTR Era or GPX Basreng.