Meta predictions for the WePlay Dota 2 Animajor. Here’s how the tournament might play out after 7.29d

The WePlay Animajor is the second Dota 2 Major of the 2021 DPC season. It is also the last opportunity for Dota 2 teams to earn DPC points that help qualify for The International. As we head into the final major of the season, here's a quick rundown on how the current meta will affect games at Kyiv.

We have a small new patch in the wake of what will determine the TI placing of many of the top teams from all around the world. Any new patch brings significant changes to heroes, abilities and the meta. . We’re going to be looking at some of the nerfs and some of the heroes that I think will feature prominently at the upcoming major.

The Fallen Gods

It’s doubtful that we’ll see our friend Axe again. He received a cooldown increase on his Berserker’s Call, going from 16/14/12/10 to 17/15/13/11. He also received a percentage chance reduction of his shard proc, going from 10% to 5%, essentially devaluing the popular manta style build that many offlaners like Ludwig “zai” Walhberg were going for. Despite the nerfs, Axe is still seeing some gameplay, although Dota 2 fans can expect significant changes in the Animajor meta.

Broodmother is another popular offlaner that will see a big hit to its popularity. The hero received a complete rework last patch, where her Spiderlings were switched around with Insatiable Hunger as her Q ability. With the nerfs however, the lifesteal gained from Insatiable Hunger has been severely reduced. She is now more vulnerable and has a diminished impact in the laning stage. Broodmother was always a specialized pick and with these nerfs, Dota 2 fans can expect the hero to be virtually absent from the Animajor meta.

Carrying From Mid: Changes to expect in the Animajor meta

I think there will be a resurgence of the “carry” midlaner role and we are already seeing some indicators of the same in the Dota Pro Circuit. Templar Assassin, Morphling, and to a degree, Bristleback could see a resurgence in the upcoming Dota 2 Major. Morphling has had a few changes to his Attribute shift but he also received multiple buffs to other abilities. The hero could make a decent comeback into Animajor meta as a mid-laner or even in the carry role. Bristleback is still strong despite the recent nerf to his Nasal Goo. As one of the few heroes that can truly snowball in the mid-game, Bristleback will see increased presence during the drafting phase.

Templar Assassin hasn’t received any particular nerfs or debuffs but rather the dynamic of midlane with the map changes have made playing the hero much easier. In fact, the latest patch makes playing the mid-lane much easier compared to earlier. The meta at WePlay Animajor might see some new heroes in the mid-role. The water runes ensure that TA can sustain through laning phase so much better and scale into the late game. Templar Assasin has seen a decent pick-rate through the DPC Season 1 with multiple players prioritizing the hero in specific situations.

Tiny, both in the mid and as a 4 will also likely gain some traction. Despite the slight nerfs to his movement speed, and the fixing of his toss buyback bug (EG malding!), the hero is still somewhat popular amongst pro teams. The burst potential of Tiny along with his late game scaling (due to the new Shard), has made him a frequent pickup. In EU, Topias Miikka "Topson" Taavitsainen, Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan have all used the rock man in the midlane, with Nico "Gunnar" Lopez and Abed Azel L. Yusop also representing the Tiny mid. In South America, Tiny is more often picked up as a position 4, but Team NoPing's Gonzalo "Darkmago" Herrera will pick up the mid Tiny as one of his signatures.

Grandmas, Robots and Wyverns, Oh My!

On the support side, there a couple of notable standouts. Snapfire got a couple of nerfs with the last patch but I think she will make waves as a support. I think Lil’ Shredder's armor reduction is still incredibly strong in lane, especially after the nerfs to the Vanguard. Team Liquid's Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi and Adrian "Fata" Trinks have been spamming the position 5 Snapfire. Enchantress, mostly as a position 4 will be strong as well, the lane dominance she brings plus the massive heal that comes with Nature’s Attendants will help herself and her team tank up. Again, a Liquid favorite for Taiga, and MSS on Quincy Crew has been playing throughout the DPC.

Enchantress is yet another position 5 hero that is very strong in the laning phase. Her Nature's Attendants healing allows her to provide the sustainability and survivability in the laning phase. Tommy "Taiga" Le and Arif "MSS" Anwar have been using the Enchantress to style on their opponents.

Winter Wyvern, and Treant Protector have not received any major changes. I would expect them to make some appearances at the Major, especially with the NA teams who love these heroes. Semion "CemaTheSlayer" Krivulya from Team Unique and Fata have been playing the hero a lot in their matches. I also think Clockwerk will be around because he’s been getting a lot of attention across the regions.

We’ve seen Maroun "GH" Merhej, Martin "Saksa" Sazdov and MSS use the hero recently in pro games. He is especially good in combination with Dark Seer. I

Core Animajor meta: The Offlane and the Carries

I expect Chinese teams to continue to pick up Legion Commander, it’s a regional-favorite. Centaur can also make a strong showing because his nerfs were not too significant. During the DPC he was a consistent feature in the first phase pick or ban. He hasn't made the ban list as of late in the Loot.Bet BTS tournament or in the ESL qualifiers. I think Magnus, who has proven to be strong in teamfight lineups will also make a comeback. Team Liquid has been running this hero along with a 4 position Lina. The hero has found some value in the post DPC world, with both Tundra and using the her for his Empower ability.

I think Luna, Medusa, and Faceless Void will be our big three carries of the WePlay Animajor. Medusa and Faceless Void have been heavily favored in more recent tournaments such as the ESL One Summer qualifiers. Medusa has been extremely popular since the past couple of updates. Tundra Esports hav epicked the hero for their carry player Oliver "skiter" Lepko on multiple occasions. The Luna prediction may raise some eyebrows, but it’s been a staple for SA and NA teams. So far, the Luna pick has served them well. Artour "Arteezy" Babaev played the hero in EG's crazy match against Quincy Crew while Team Unding's Enzo "Timado" Gianoli O'Connor played the hero in several DPC matches.

Dota 2 Majors bring forth new metas and playstyles as teams whip out their secret strategies. The Animajor meta will highlight the best teams and their innovative playstyles. Time will tell who has the best strategies and hero combinations at the Ani-Major next week!

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