Habits are Hard to Break: Heroes to Avoid in Dota 2 Pubs
Adapting to new patches and balance changes is essential in Dota 2. However, some heroes remain popular picks in pubs despite being situational or weak in the current meta. Today, we’ll discuss a few of these heroes and explain why they might not be the best choices for above-average level pubs.
Ember Spirit: A Hero Out of Place
It’s unclear why Ember Spirit received nerfs in this patch. He isn’t particularly dominant in the professional scene, and his pub win rate sits below 45% this week. With tankier supports in the meta and direct nerfs, Ember Spirit struggles to find his place.
While Ember Spirit can still be powerful against illusion-based carries, relying on this advantage is risky. Pubs don’t always have illusion heroes, and you can’t always depend on your teammates to react quickly. Overall, picking Ember Spirit in the current patch doesn’t offer significant benefits.
Rubick: Challenging Yet Underwhelming
Rubick is an interesting hero with high support potential. However, current patch dynamics and his weak laning stage make it challenging to maximize his impact. Specifically, his level one abilities, especially against popular heroes like Treant Protector, put him at a disadvantage.
At the highest level of play, the early stages of the laning phase are crucial. Better players excel at converting small advantages into larger ones, leading to snowballing success. Similarly, in lower skill brackets, cores can easily be tilted early on. Rubick’s weak laning abilities, inability to trade effectively, and failure to secure the lane or force a draw can be frustrating and negatively impact the team’s morale. It’s best to avoid picking Rubick, especially when playing solo.
Drow Ranger and Juggernaut: Below Par Carries
Two iconic Dota 2 carries, Drow Ranger and Juggernaut, currently have win rates below 47%. Their performance doesn’t show signs of improvement in the near future.
Drow Ranger struggles in the early teamfight-oriented meta. She rarely faces her preferred late-game agility carries and is susceptible to early aggression.
Juggernaut, on the other hand, lacks speed. Without a built-in farming tool, he falls behind tempo cores and flash-farming cores. While he previously compensated for this weakness with a broken armor-ignoring lifesteal talent, the recent fix has made him much less viable.
If you prefer a late-game melee carry, it’s better to choose heroes like Phantom Assassin, Sven, Faceless Void, or Wraith King. Except for PA, all of them outperform Juggernaut at every stage of the game. PA’s exceptional burst potential compensates for any shortcomings during the laning stage.
Snapfire: Support, Yes; Core, No
Snapfire’s viability as a core has significantly diminished. However, she can still be effective as a support, especially in the offlane when paired with an aggressive position three hero. Unfortunately, she takes too long to become relevant as a core and the changes to Rod of Atos and her talent distribution have weakened her tempo capabilities.
Although some universal heroes have become weaker in patch 7.34, it may still be possible to find success with them by prioritizing different items and playstyles. Snapfire could potentially find a role in the offlane, focusing on right-click DPS and farming as a secondary strategy while applying pressure with her strong magic damage abilities.
While Snapfire remains playable, there are often better options available. She doesn’t have hard counters and lacks the versatility needed for an optimal opening pick during the drafting stage.
What are your thoughts on our selection of heroes to avoid? Are there any other heroes you believe should be on this list? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. Alternatively, you can vent about your teammates’ stubbornness in picking weak and underpowered heroes.