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A Pre-Post-Mortem Analysis of Patch 7.12

Who are the winners and losers of this patch’s pub matches?

Dota 2 | Valve

Another patch in Dota 2 is on the way this Thursday, with 7.12 soon to be out the window and 7.13 coming to replace it.

But with 7.12 being such a big patch for gameplay changes, it has to have shaken up the meta. We saw buffs and nerfs across the hero roster, plus some items, and they’ve certainly got to have some effect on how the Dota 2 world plays. In other words, this is a great opportunity to see how patches like these shift public gameplay matches, for better or worse.

So this week, before the new 7.13 patch arrives, we’re going to take a look at the biggest winners — and losers — of 7.12. Which heroes rose to glory after the gameplay changes, and who tumbled through losses?

We took some data from Dotabuff crunch out the numbers and see how players are doing in public matches.

Highest win rates

Just because it’s the easiest stat to look at on our first go with this type of analysis (and until this changes), it’s worth taking a look at which heroes are taking down the Aegis. Right now, it’s as follows:

  1. Spectre — 57.51%
  2. Riki — 57.40%
  3. Zeus — 57.28%
  4. Visage — 55.89%
  5. Underlord — 55.58%
  6. Wraith King — 55.53%
  7. Abaddon — 54.70%
  8. Vengeful Spirit — 54.62%
  9. Chaos Knight — 54.55%
  10. Elder Titan — 53.94%

But there’s a reason we won’t talk about the highest win rates alone: six of these top ten heroes have been in the top ten since 7.07d, or mid-December’s patch, and Zeus, Underlord and Spectre were top five then, too. Therefore, in measuring how heroes are impacted, it’s only partially useful.

It may be worth looking at for future patches just to keep track. For instance, how long will Zeus torture our pubs? (For too long, it seems.)

Win rate changes

What’s just as important here is whose winrates got dragged up the highest — and kicked down the lowest — between the end of last patch and this one. This more accurately reflects the ways that each patch affects the effectiveness of each hero.

Note on methodology: No Dota data websites had public data on winrate changes between patches. The top 30 and lowest 30 winrate changes were selected from the last month, and the winrate-between-patches numbers were calculated manually from there.

Format: Hero — Winrate Change (% increase between patches)

The Winners:

  1. Riki — +5.67 (10.96% increase)
  2. Visage — +2.46 (4.60% increase)
  3. Phoenix — +2.05 (4.17% increase)
  4. Slark — +1.79 (3.77% increase)
  5. Dark Seer — +1.69 (3.71% increase)
  6. Necrophos — +1.67 (3.39% increase)
  7. Undying — +1.49 (2.96% increase)
  8. Drow Ranger — +1.34 (2.66% increase)
  9. Magnus — +1.22 (2.74% increase)
  10. Leshrac — 1.21 (2.62% increase)

All except Visage had direct buffs given to them in the massive 7.12 patch.

By all means, Riki had a fantastic patch after his Tricks of the Trade rework (arguably a buff to make it more similar to Juggernaut’s Omnislash ult). He saw himself going from being the 29th best hero in pub matches to coming out on top, in a healthy second place.

Slark spammers also came out of the patch victorious, as at the time of writing, he sits at a healthy 49.33% winrate. It shows that the small things, in this case HP regen and turn rate, really do matter in making a hero viable.

As for Visage, he’s actually on the bottom of the popularity pit: 112th out of 115 with a 1.76% pickrate, compared to the standard 8.70 “average.” However, his pickrate’s increased steadily and slightly, up from 1.18% the day patch 7.11 came out on March 15. So it’s likely there are some niche Visage players finally finding their groove.

The Losers:

  1. Tiny — -1.76 (4.05% decrease)
  2. Gyrocopter — -1.58 (3.30% decrease)
  3. Meepo — -1.30 (2.28% decrease)
  4. Sand King — -0.99 (2.06% decrease)
  5. Razor — -0.96 (2.00% decrease)
  6. Elder Titan — -0.78 (1.43% decrease)
  7. Broodmother — -0.71 (1.60% decrease)
  8. Lycan — -0.67% (1.28% decrease)
  9. Huskar — -0.66% (1.33% decrease)
  10. Medusa/Faceless Void/Wraith King — -0.59 (respectively 1.21%, 1.16%, 1.05% decrease)

The heroes that saw nerfs this patch were Tiny, Gyrocopter, Sand King, Razor and Elder Titan.

Tiny definitely saw the biggest hits in the patch, and they’re reflected in his winrate drop. With a massive decrease in health regen and early-level Avalanche cooldown adjustments, he’s far more vulnerable in the early game.

Razor’s core capabilities were hit as well, with both Static Link and Unstable Current getting some notable buffs. Static Link’s cast range means he’s more hard-pressed to get in to steal damage, making him less viable in teamfights.

To speculate on the others, with early-game harass heroes like Phoenix, Dark Seer, Undying and Shadow Demon (who saw a .5 winrate increase) getting traction, it may be harder to find footing in the early game.

What other patch stats would you want to see in the future?