If we were living in normal times, we’d be celebrating the new The International 10 champions and mourning the end of the Battle Pass at this time of year. However, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, TI10 didn’t happen and much of our beloved Battle Pass content was delayed. While we finally have Immortal Treasure III
, the one special announcement from TI we’ve really been missing is the potential reveal of a new hero or two.
Previously, Valve has used the TI main stage to either release a new hero on the spot like Grimstroke or to tease upcoming heroes like Void Spirit and Snapfire. New heroes really spice up Dota 2; they bring a special brand of chaos to our pubs as people figure out how to play them. We usually only begin to see how a new hero should really be played when it reaches the pro scene; but this is usually after a few rounds of balances and tweaks, not until Icefrog decides we’ve suffered enough. With no new heroes announced (yet!), let’s take a look at some of the heroes we’ve had in recent years and the impact they had on the pro scene.
Arc Warden’s claim to fame is his ultimate, Tempest Double, which allows him to create a clone of himself that can make use of all of his spells and items. It didn’t take long for people to realize that if Arc Warden’s clone has a Divine Rapier, it won’t be dropped if the clone dies. This means the real Arc Warden can hide safely in his fountain while the clone runs wild all over the map with no risk of losing the rapier.
While this was patched before Arc Warden made it to Captain’s Mode, Rapier-Warden got to see some pro-play during Moonduck’s Captains Draft 3 tournament. You can check out this game
where Clinton “Fear” Loomis built multiple rapiers on Arc Warden against Team Team Liquid
before throwing his clone against their barracks until they eventually crumbled. Do you miss the days of Arc Warden stacking Divine Rapiers? Personally, we think we can live without it.
Today, we only see Monkey King as a core, in the safe lane or mid lane. But once he entered Captain’s Mode, Monkey King was a popular soft support hero. His incredible mobility and potential to give vision anywhere on the map while hiding on top of trees made him an excellent scouting hero, similar to how Nyx Assassin is played. As well as his vision potential, Monkey King’s ultimate used to apply on-hit effects such as Skull Basher, allowing MK to turn a cheap item into a huge AOE disable. Support Monkey King became a popular pick at TI7, mostly played by Ye “Boboka” Zhibiao who would roam across the map with Tree Dance, setting up dozens of kills. After that, Monkey King was so versatile he could be built into a core with items like Desolator and Assault Cuirass or stick to support items like Solar Crest and Vladimir’s Offering.
Grimstroke made quite a splash on his arrival to Dota 2. Boasting 4 different types of disable his spells dealt heaps of damage as well. While many saw him as a support on release, some high skilled players took him to the mid lane to make use of his insane damage output. It didn’t take long for Icefrog to reign him in; Grimstroke’s core days were well and truly over by the time he saw pro play. He still became a top tier support pick due to the endless utility offered by all four of his spells. Grimstroke’s ult also offers us some super hype moments by doubling up a lot of other huge ultimates like Doom, Chain Frost and Reaper’s Scythe.
using Grimstroke to double up a Warlock Fatal Bonds into Omnislash – blink and you’ll miss it!
Dark Willow was released alongside Pangolier in the Dueling Fates update. Both heroes brought fresh and interesting skills including Willow’s unique two-part ultimate, Bedlam and Terrorize. As is often the case with new heroes, Willow was exceptionally strong on release, offering a lot of utility and damage without needing many items. Despite that, Willow can also scale very impressively into the late game thanks to her attack speed and attack damage talents combined with her AGHS upgrade, which allows her to throw out heaps of damage through Shadow Realm. Dark Willow has offered us some of the most hype Pro Dota moments thanks to her combination of big teamfight abilities and damage output.
Check out this clutch base defense from Team Liquid
’s Tommy "Taiga" Le:
The boss of the spirit brothers, Void Spirit was quietly teased in the lore of Dota 2 for some time, hiding in the shadows of comics and alluded to in the voice-lines of other heroes. When he finally arrived to the War of the Ancients, he brought an exciting skill set where players stacked huge physical damage and armour reduction items. This build was mostly popularised by (OG's Topson, who had great success with it.). Other players decided to make use of the hero’s great mobility and spell damage, playing him as a support. Team Secret
’s Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat is the king of this build. He boasts an impressive 11-1 record with the hero since it came out. Yapzor makes use of the hero’s AGHS upgrade to keep enemies silenced and Eul’s Scepter to guarantee a setup for his Aether Remnant. Combined with the huge mobility offered by Dissimilate and Astral Step, Void Spirit bring a lot of play-making potential to pro games whether he’s a support or a core hero.
Here’s Rafli Fathur “Mikoto” Rahman from BOOM Esports
tearing through Reality Rift as Void Spirit:
Valve’s new heroes have consistently had some very cool and refreshing concepts, we seriously hope that more are coming soon! Do you think we’ll be getting new heroes anytime soon? How many do you think are in the works? Let us know on Twitter.