Image by DotaFX and Wei-Zi
With 7.20 already confirmed for right after the Kuala Lumpur Major and given how the priority picks and bans were very stable for the last several tournaments, we decided not to do a full meta recap, instead focusing on the biggest meta surprises during this tournament.
These surprises were a great farewell to the 7.19 patch—it might have overstayed its welcome, but it still provided us with a great deal of excellent games, entertaining TI and, for the most part, decently diverse meta.
PSG.LGD really spiced up the regular Terrorblade pick, not only picking core Shadow Demon for Chalice, but also rushing Aghanim’s Scepter on Fy’s Support Chaos Knight. What ensued was a terrifying sight of Terrorblade’s illusions pretty much filling the whole screen and shredding everything in sight into shreds.
The idea of a support CK was floating around for a while now, but it was f-god himself who blessed this concept and probably ruined some pubs in the process. With a stun, armor reduction and a decent repositioning tool, Chaos Knight is more than capable of being a strong lane support. He also roams relatively well, while providing a good amount of damage later on.
Urn of Shadows as the first item solves some of the mana issues the hero has, while also allowing CK to pretty much remain on the map, pressuring the opponents while he still can. For LGD.fy it was also the only item he got before rushing straight into Aghanim’s.
The end of the game versus [A]lliance pretty much tells the whole story. Terrorblade is a scary pick on his own, but with so much support and extra illusion creation, there isn’t really much for the enemy to do.
Virtus.Pro are known for going for unconventional drafts, but for the most part their gameplan remains the same. They have VP.9Pasha creating space and making plays, while No[o]ne and/or Ramzes carry the game. But against Fnatic they decided to go for their secret weapon—VP.Solo Drow Ranger.
During 7.19 VP played Drow a total of five times, including this game. Once it was played by Ramzes, once by 9Pasha and twice by fn, who was standing in for them during the qualifiers. They won all five games.
The most logical explanation for this Solo Drow ranger is the Brewmaster pick for 9Pasha. He was and still is one of the better players on the hero and managed to accomplish a lot throughout the game, even from a support position. So don’t make a mistake of thinking it was a support Drow Ranger—the idea might be worth theorycrafting, but it still far from being viable.
One more idea of questionable viability—core Dazzle looked excellent for the first 20 minutes of the game, handily winning mid matchup against Templar Assassin, but proceeding to lose the game. Poison Touch is an incredibly potent spell and it can be devastating in 1v1 or 2v1, but as the game progresses and teamfights start happening, it becomes less of a factor.
For that reason we often see Dazzle players taking a single point in Poison Touch and fully focusing on the other two abilities for the rest of the game. Core Dazzle, however, can’t afford it and needs the extra damage and slow to stay relevant DPS-wise and even that isn’t enough.
Once again, we don’t suggest trying it in your pubs and definitely not when playing with other tempo heroes on your team, such as Troll Warlord.