It is unlikely we will see a balance patch before the qualifiers to the International begin, but one can hope and dream. Not necessarily because the meta as a whole is broken in any way, but rather because there are some heroes who are just too good and too popular. Today, we are having a look at heroes who fit these criteria and will discuss ways in which they could be brought back in line.
Terrorblade is among the most problematic heroes of the current patch. The established “heal meta” works wonders when the hero being healed is one of the most armored heroes in the game: every bit of HP gained translates into tons of survivability, given how late-game Terrorblade has roughly 75% physical damage resistance.
His damage output is equally impressive, as is his farming speed, but that was always the case. The biggest change the hero received wasn’t in the patch notes — it was in how the game is currently played and how carry players are currently expected to be slightly more self-sufficient.
Terrorblade’s Aghanim’s Scepter, which was only recently discovered to be worthy, is a massive game-changer for the hero, and while we fully welcome this teamfight-capable Terrorblade, we don’t think the hero should be this good at so many things.
As it stands, Terrorblade has the second-highest Agility growth in the game, if we take into account Morphling’s attribute shift. This means that as long as TB has levels, he will have respectable DPS. This, coupled with the ranged form, makes TB a very powerful carry, but now he also gets an extra ultimate on top. One that is almost comparable to Ravage in its teamfight potential.
Terrorblade doesn’t have to make a trade-off in the current patch: he can still keep up in terms of DPS even if he goes tanky, “utility” build with Aghanim’s Scepter and BKB as his second and third slot. Reducing his Agility growth, however boring, might be a good way to balance the hero. We like that the hero has options outside of using Meta and hitting people until they die — it enriches the hero’s playstyle. It is fine that Terrorblade gets to occasionally be a Tidehunter, but it is not fine that he gets to be both Tidehunter and Terrorblade simultaneously.
The hero keeps getting nerfed, but professional players keep on picking the hero and keep on being successful with it. The reality is simple: after receiving the spell-immunity piercing Dream Coil, Puck became low-key broken.
Dream Coil is the strongest “fixation” in the game. At its best, it is a skill that prevents the enemy from running away for 12-seconds. As long as you have damage to back it up, it will be useful, and in a meta where heroes like Terrorblade are running rampant, there is no damage shortage.
Puck is incredible when your team is ahead, but he is equally good when played from behind. Several mobility options on top of general elusiveness make him an ideal candidate for stalling the game and winning time for some greedy late-game core on his team.
Finally, the hero deals a very respectable amount of damage even in the later stages of the game. His talents allow him to be a threat to supports throughout the match, as Puck can end up being a mixed damage core, not just a magic damage nuker. We believe this is what makes the hero problematic right now: much like Terrorblade, he just does too much and we hope either the hero’s right-clicking capabilities or his magic burst get a slight nerf.
It might look like Timber is a niche hero who only got popular because there are many popular Strength heroes in the meta and this assessment is largely correct. The problem is, Timber is just too good in a vacuum as well.
The opinion that Timber is only good versus Strength cores is incorrect. Timber is good against physical damage dealers, regardless of whether they are Str or Agi. He can survive against them for a very long time, courtesy of very high Armor. And he can’t be ignored by them either, courtesy of very high periodic damage and Whirling Death.
The latter is devastating against Strength cores and is one of the most annoying things to lane against, sure, but the Agility loss shouldn’t be underestimated either. For example, a late-game Terrorblade would lose roughly ~30 Agility from a single stack of Whirling Death.
That is ~30 Attack Speed, ~30 Attack Damage, and approximately five armor. It is a lot and not only does it make Terrorblade less of a threat, it also makes him more susceptible to physical damage as well. The same logic, albeit to a lesser extent, can be applied to most other Agility cores.
Timbersaw might be a very strong anti-Strength hero, but he is just a good hero in general and that would be fine, if he wasn’t a bit too strong of a lane dominator as well. We believe that the hero’s laning stage could use a small nerf: right now the hero is too annoying to lane against and almost impossible to shut down. There is very little risk associated with picking this hero, when he counters half the hero pool, is adequate against the other half and isn’t particularly countered by anything himself.
These are the three heroes we believe are most worthy of receiving nerfs, excluding Broodmother, who is simply too broken to even discuss. Do you agree with our list or do you think some other heroes are considerably more problematic than the ones we discussed today? Leave your thoughts and share your frustrations in the comment section below.