Identifying top tier mids in the current professional meta is no easy task. Looking at stats from professional games in the current patch, it is clear that many popular picks are heavily underperforming, while more niche ones reign supreme. Today, we are going to concentrate on the latter category: heroes who might not be picked in the first phase in every game, but who have a decidedly above average win rate and popularity.
89 games with a 56% win rate is surprising for a hero who felt slightly out of meta lately, but it looks like Invoker is making a full comeback. Unparalleled in his versatility, he fits many different lineups with ease. The hero can be played as a utility core, concentrating on fight resets and control, while also buffing one of his teammates or he can be played as AoE DPS mage, dealing heavy damage. Most importantly, come late game, he can do both of those things at the same time.
Another big reason for his recent success and popularity is that many of the meta’s top tier cores serve as an excellent setup for Suntrike or even Cataclysm. We’ve touched on how Void is the meta-defining carry in the current patch and the late-game potential of Chronosphere into Cataclysm is close to unparalleled. Very few heroes can live through this kind of burst damage.
Going forward, we fully expect the hero to get a small nerf. The hero simply does too much and lanes a little bit too well, courtesy of very high Intelligence gain and free regeneration from Quas.
Another mid hero who has 55%+ win rate in the professional scene. While Invoker is the epitome of versatility, Kunkka embodies stability and reliability. He has very few bad lane matchups, will always find his farm, and will almost always be useful in terms of control and damage. His damage reduction is also quite underrated in a meta where burst heroes are pretty common.
While his skill build might be pretty rigid, his item build is anything but. Kunkka is a hero who can build a timely Spirit Vessel, if your team needs one, or go for an all-in DPS build. He is also one of the very few heroes who can actually utilize Radiance, though this is a pretty rare occurrence nowadays.
That said, we don’t believe the hero is in need of a nerf, despite his above-average prowess. Part of the reason the hero is successful is the popularity of many other heroes in the current meta. Glass cannons have a pretty rough time when they can’t burst down an immediate threat, so once Kunkka starts getting respect during the draft stage as a counter to many such heroes, he will probably go down in terms of success.
Almost 55% win rate across 64 picks make Death Prophet the third most successful mid hero in the current meta. The reasons behind her absence in the previous patch are still unclear — the hero was not nerfed too hard in 7.26, but after a couple of smaller buffs to her talents and cast points, she is finally back.
Death Prophet is a very straightforward character with a pretty clear game plan: she wants to utilize her Exorcism as much as possible, constantly applying pressure and choking the enemy in their base. While hero primarily physical damage does not necessarily work against heavily armored targets, with a good start it is really hard to stop her from snowballing. She is deceptively survivable, deals a lot of damage, farms fast and pushes even faster.
Given how Spirit Siphon also scales into the later stages of the game and how there are many interesting late-game options for the hero, she doesn’t even fall off that hard. She isn’t going to threaten a hero like Terrorblade past the 30-minute mark, but she can create conditions under which the enemy carry will remain underfarmed and underleveled until the end of the game.
Finally, we would like to talk about the heroes who might look like they should be considered top mid heroes in the meta. Heroes like Void, Storm and Ember Spirit, Magnus, Queen of Pain, and many more are certainly a lot more popular than the heroes we discussed today. They also all win less than 50% of their professional games.
These heroes might not be overrated, but they are certainly figured out. Better players with tons of competitive experience will have a better understanding of what these heroes want to do at every stage of the game and will develop a feeling about their item and level timings. This makes executing such heroes much harder.
Should it dissuade pub players from playing them? Definitely not. Would we advise giving the three heroes above an honest try and then sharing your experience in the comment section below? Absolutely.