There are several heroes who are only starting to gain popularity and are still underutilized by the playerbase. Today we want to talk about such heroes and discuss why exactly they fit so well into the current meta and why many professional teams are experimenting with them.
Bane is a victim of player habits first and foremost. His role as the lane dominating support with high kill potential didn’t change, but the most effective approach is very different. Maxing or even leveling up Brain Sap is no longer optimal. Instead, better players win lanes by simply out-right clicking their opponents.
There are two reasons it works. One of them is simple: Bane is a Universal hero, so his attack damage is very, very high. He also gains +5 damage per level so he will hit for 65+ damage at level three without any items.
Second reason is that by going for an Enfeeble and Nightmare only build, he gets a lot of free hits, decent extra attack speed and a very strong damage mitigation tool for his lane. There is no out trading Bane in lane, with the main limiting factor being Bane’s mana pool.
On top of being a lane dominator, Bane is also a midgame nuisance that will frequently force the enemy to use dispels early in the fight. Casters can’t really use their spells, carries can’t really right click as long as they don’t get rid of the Enfeeble. Given the massive cast range on the ability and its 100%+ uptime, sticking it to a priority target is possible.
Between Enfeeble, Nightmare and a BKB-piercing Fiend’s Grip, Bane can make 60% of the enemy team irrelevant in a teamfight, if played perfectly. It is very hard to pull off, but the hero is absolutely worth exploring and learning in the current patch.
Muerta is a very underrated flex pick. There were semi-successful attempts to play the hero as a carry, but right now a greedy position four Muerta is what feels like an upcoming meta.
It mostly comes down to The Calling — a massive and extremely long zone denying tool, that heavily dissuades enemy supports from getting too close, while also forcing the enemy cores to get an early BKB. Previously, the easy solution to it was just using mobility abilities and Force Staffs to disengage, but the newly buffed Aghanim's Scepter on Muerta makes this play considerably less effective.
Parting Shot is, technically, a stun that doesn’t silence your enemy. That is more or less all it is, despite the fancy description and visual effects. But it is a 4-second stun on a 45 second cooldown with 750 cast range. That makes it ridiculously efficient.
Moreover, despite not being silenced for the duration of the stun, the affected heroes still can’t use their mobility options, as they will return to their body once the effect wears off. Most likely into Silence from the Calling, or straight into a Fear effect from Dead Shot.
The end result is a hero that is exceptional in the professional scene, as it can be flexed well while also forcing the enemy to draft around herself. She is also pretty good in pubs: greedier supports with good scaling potential tend to do well, while as a carry she has more than enough damage to compete with the best.
The “Waterpark” Kunkka is about to make a comeback, primarily due to the fact that his Torrent Storm Aghanim’s upgrade is, for all intents and purposes, a screen-wide 40% slow with decent damage. Five seconds of absolute mayhem on a hero that has multiple ways to get the enemy out of position feels a bit too much.
The Blade Mail into Aghanim's Scepter is reliable and very effective. It also doesn’t really require a lot of skill to pull off — as long as you can land X Mark into any disable combination, you can initiate fights, frontline for your team and deal a massive amount of damage in the process.
This is what the ideal midlaner looks like in the current patch, in our opinion. He isn’t too greedy, but can scale decently well. Has a good mix of aggressive and defensive capabilities and doesn’t mind creating space early. Kunkka is also flexible enough to adapt to different situations: it is a hero that doesn’t mind building Spirit Vessel if needed, or going for Heaven's Halberd against some of the meta carries.
He is already making waves in higher level pubs and the professional scene and we feel like his popularity is only going to grow.
Here are our three picks for the most underrated heroes of the current patch. Some of them are already starting to gain momentum and the trend is most likely going to continue.
That said, there are probably other heroes who deserve your and our attention, so do no hesitate to share your thoughts on the most underrated heroes of the patch in the comment section below.