Position four support role is one of the most fun roles to play in the current patch. There is a wide variety of heroes that are viable in this position and given the current state of the economy, it is slightly easier to earn money as a support. Recently added and changed Shards are also allowing many heroes to be experimented with as the offlane support. That said, there are still heroes who clearly stand out and are statistically the most reliable soft support heroes.
Winter Wyvern is primarily played as a five and that is exactly why we want to highlight her in this post. Oftentimes, especially in lower level pubs, the distinction between soft and hard support is close to non-existent.
Teams are often lucky to even have a support hero in the first place. So most of the time, instead of complaining about your team going for a position five Rubick, consider picking Winter Wyvern four to mitigate the negative effects of having too much greed, while also having an option of effectively playing greedy yourself if the situation requires.
Winter Wyvern scales really well with both items and levels, but is still a high-impact hero without. She currently wins close to 55% of her Divine+ games while doing even better in lower-level pubs. There is absolutely no reason not to learn to play the hero, especially if you are looking for an extra-versatile hero to train in your pubs: the hero can even be played as a three.
The laning stage was de-emphasized in 7.29 and this allowed Nyx to crawl back into the meta. The hero is not the worst laner in the game, but the combination of low damage output and average tankiness generally means you pick the hero for his midgame crowd control capabilities, not to dominate the lane.
Right now it pays off big time: Nyx wins 53%+ of his game in Archon and above. As long as you can land at least 75%+ of your stuns, there is no reason not to play Nyx and given how many AoE heroes are popular in the meta right now, Spiked Carapace can be a very reliable self-set-up for an Impale into Meteor Hammer combo.
Nyx is also one of the best scouts in the game. Compared to other invisibility heroes, he has a better chance of surviving an encounter around an enemy sentry. Moreover, unlike other invisibility heroes, Nyx has a built-in stun, which makes all the difference when it comes to initiation.
Bounty Hunter is doing pretty well in this patch: 52%+ win rate with high popularity means the hero is very reliable and definitely viable as a position four support. While we do believe he is outclassed by Nyx and statistics agree with us, there are several key selling points in favor of Gondar.
The most important one, though not terribly so in the current patch, is that Bounty Hunter is really annoying in lane. 320 starting movement speed, decent HP pool, good starting damage, and almost 8 starting armor can be even considered slightly unfair. Add to it the unique ability to actively reduce the enemy Net Worth that also gives whooping +70 extra damage at level one and it is clear to see why some players might prefer playing Bounty Hunter over Nyx Assassin.
That said, come midgame, the hero might start struggling to have an impact on the game as a support. Track is a brilliant ability: the extra vision and the extra gold should not be underrated under any circumstances. But apart from it, Bounty Hunter has close to no teamfight potential: Shuriken Toss is a decent nuke that can hit multiple targets, but it is not exceptional, while the rest of BH’s kit revolves around auto-attacking a target, which can be somewhat effective, but usually isn’t, especially if BH didn’t have a great start.
Overall, we get a hero that is definitely worth exploring and experimenting with, and who is undeniably above average in the current patch, but who also has similar competition in the same role that seemingly does most important things better. Perhaps core Bounty Hunter is a better idea than Bounty Hunter as a four.
Mireska has a bit of a history: she used to be that position four hero who could solo kill enemy cores in the late game. This perception kept persisting despite tons of balance changes and nerfs to the described playstyle and is probably the biggest reason Dark Willow has been underperforming. Things are finally changing and after several key buffs and altered mindset to how one should approach the hero, Mireska is finally trending upwards.
Her Shard is probably the biggest reason she’s been doing so well. Cursed Crown is often considered the weakest part of Dark Willow’s kit and while we agree with the sentiment, it does get much better with Shard. Having the whole battlefield covered in Brambles makes life a living hell for the enemy team, especially the enemy supports. It also becomes a considerably more reliable follow-up control.
When played as a far backline support that jinxes and curses the enemy team, instead of trying to pump maximum damage, Mireska is at her best. Leave Shadow Realm for sniping fleeing kills or better yet, for when you need to save yourself. Don’t get too close to Bedlam the enemy unless you are absolutely sure you will survive the encounter and will have an impact. Stay safe, stay far and leave the glory to core players, while you do the actual heavy lifting.