It might look weird to start a discussion on the underrated heroes of the current patch when the new patch is coming some time soon, however there is a reason for it. Quite frequently, when a hero gets some small buffs, it is not because of his actual power level, but rather because of his popularity. These small buffs are less of an attempt to make a weak hero more viable, but rather an additional reason for players to notice and play an already viable hero. Today we are going to discuss three such heroes, who are already quite good and who might get even better in the next patch.
Razor is a hero that constantly flies under the radar for most players. There are good reasons for it: after the latest changes to the hero, not only did he get weaker, but he also lost his ability to farm up fast, making him a very risky tempo pick.
That said, one should never underestimate two things about the hero. First of all, he severely punishes a lot of current meta characters. Static Link is among the best anti-carry and steroid tools in the game, but it works even better in a meta filled with heroes who are mostly AS-based. It might not work wonders against heroes like Sven, but it is still a strong damage mitigation and DPS tool that benefits your whole team.
Secondly, one shouldn’t also forget that it is one of the two abilities in the game that allows a ranged hero to keep attacking while on the move. Kiting, chasing, poking etc. is much easier for Razor and it can make up for an inevitable economic difference between you and your target.
There is a good chance the hero is going to get a buff in the next patch as well. He is not particularly popular, and depending on whether there are going to be global changes that benefit all ranged heroes, he might become stronger through indirect means. That means, there is a good reason to brush up on this 1% popularity, ~55% win rate hero in preparation for the next meta.
Dark Seer is one of those “conceptually strong” heroes. His Vacuum is an incredible repositioning tool that can change the course of a fight in an instant, while Wall of Replica in a meta filled with right-clicking Agility carries is simply amazing. It is surprising, therefore, that the hero is only picked in ~2.5% of the games.
He is not a good pub hero, naturally. Dark Seer requires good coordination to fully reap the benefits of what he can offer. He also requires some strategic thinking during the draft stage: you need heroes who can combo well with Dark Seer and you need your enemy to lack dispels in lane, otherwise Dark Seer’s game is going to be much harder. Given the popularity of Oracle, it isn’t an easy task to fit Dark Seer into a draft.
The latter, however, will probably get nerfed next patch. The hero is a bit too popular in both professional and pub scenes and with the general level of play constantly increasing, this hard-to-execute hero is a bit too much.
Dark Seer, will not necessarily get buffed directly, but if it turns out we are right in our assumption that ranged carries are going to get buffed in the next patch, there are going to be more reasons to pick the hero. Extra movement speed to allow teammates to escape or chase, coupled with the flat +350 extra HP from a talent solves a lot of problems for and against squishy, glass cannon-type characters.
This one is a bit of a stretch, surely. He is played in ~3.5% of Divine+ games and has an unassuming win rate of 51.5%, but we feel like the hero will get buffed and will be a lot more useful in the next patch. This feeling is not necessarily objective, but Bounty Hunter was outside of meta for a very long time and it is about time he received some buffs to make him more viable.
His position in the game is currently a mystery and it is one of the biggest reasons the hero isn’t as viable, as he could be. He is a rather tame position four, not offering the same amount of utility and damage as heroes like Earth Spirit do. He isn’t a particularly strong safelane carry either, though there were attempts to shoehorn him into that role. He doesn’t provide the necessary amount of utility from the offlane and can’t really go mid.
That means, if there is a buff to the hero, it will probably be very specific, making him much more easily identifiable. These types of buffs also tend to be stronger in general. Our bet would be on the offlane for either position three or four Bounty Hunter. The hero can generate a sizable gold advantage and that means he can afford getting team items faster than some other heroes in the same position, while also slightly crippling the starting economy for the enemy carry.
The anticipation of the next patch is both annoying and exciting. On one hand, new meta and new hero can’t come soon enough: the current patch is overstasying its welcome. On the other hand, trying to predict what heroes are going to be the winners and losers in the next meta is a great passtime on its own.
We truly hope that today’s discussion will allow you to get out of your comfort zone and perhaps try something different, but not necessarily weak. These heroes work right now, and they might start working even better in the next iteration of the game, so it is the best time to start training them.
Who do you think will be the biggest winner of the next patch and which heroes are you currently spamming in anticipation of potentially massive game changes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.