TI11: Shadow Fiend and Undying define LCQ Meta after 103 games
Over the course of the 103 games at the Last Chance Qualifier, a new LCQ meta has come up. Join us as we break down the new meta!
With the Last Chance Qualifiers now concluded and teams arriving in Singapore for The International 11, the stage is set for TI11. There were a total of 103 matches in the Last Chance qualifiers, and with any international event, a tournament meta develops, even an LCQ meta.
This LCQ meta centers around Shadow Fiend, Undying and Primal Beast as other popular meta heroes like Enigma and Marci are always banned. However, teams have found new and different ways to play around these heroes. So, let's break down the LCQ Meta and see how much of it bleeds through to the main event.
Marci and Enigma, Instant bans
The most contested and meta defining heroes of 7.32 have been Enigma and Marci. In almost every match of the LCQ, both heroes have been banned in the first phase.
Marci has a 100% contest rate while Enigma has a 97% contest rate. This will probably continue through the rest of The International, as the heroes are just too strong at the moment.
Mid Lane - Shadow Fiend and Pangolier dominate their lanes
Despite Shadow Fiend getting changes all the way back in base 7.32, pro players are just picking up on the hero now. With a total of 38 appearances in matches in the LCQ and a astonishing 60% win rate, its no surprise that Liquid, Secret and Virtus Pro all capitalized on Shadow Fiend. The hero has become a staple of the LCQ meta and for good reason.
In the patch, Shadow Fiend's Shadowraze, talent tree and Aghanim scepter got buffed alongside a base attack damage increase. The buffs to SF's base attack damage and Shadowraze helps out SF's biggest cripple, his early game. So with the buffs, he's gotten a lot more viable.
Couple that alongside the added damage of the shard and a Daedalus, SF deals some big damage. The item build exemplifies this as the build goes: Power Treads, Dragon Lance, BKB and then raw damage with a Daedalus and a Satanic for survivability.
Dante the Swashbuckler has made quite the transition from offlaner to midlaner. Although Pangolier has been played mid for quite some time now, and after a couple nerfs, he still has been a great pick. During the LCQ, he's had a total of 19 matches and sits at a 57% win rate.
The build for Pangolier hasn't changed much. The usual build is Arcane Boots into either Maelstrom for pushing lanes or Diffusal Blade for more fighting and then to top it off, a Blink Dagger. After Blink, the build becomes pretty diverse as Pango can go for damage or sustain depending on the game.
Safelaner that define the LCQ meta
The safelane pool has been pretty diverse, but at the top Morphling still remains a top LCQ meta pick. With 32 picks and a 59% win rate, Morph still is the go to carry for a while now. Despite nerfs and changes to level the puddle out with the rest of the safelane heroes.
Morphling's build, like Pango's hasn't really changed too much. The build goes Power Treads, Manta Style, BKB, and Skadi. However in some games, typically agaisnt enemy Earthshaker and Undying, Morphling buys a 2nd or 3rd item Aghanims' Scepter. Plus it allows for funny plays with the Trusty Shovel.
In a surprising turn, Sniper has made a return a meta pick. As long as Sniper doesn't get ran at by 5 heroes, he's a pretty solid and a great alternative to the LCQ meta carry: Morphling. In most drafts during the LCQ, a lot of the safelane pool was banned out.
Sniper sits at 12 matches with a surprisingly high 58% win rate. The build for sniper hasn't changed, with Power Treads into both Maelstrom for farming, Dragon Lance for fighting/stats depending and then into BKB. Players then, depending on the game, went for straight damage with Daedalus or to tank up with Skadi.
Primal Beast and Visage, the Offlaners
The newst addition to the Dota 2 roster made quite the impact and has become an integral part of the LCQ meta. Despite Primal Beast being in captains mode for a bit of time, no team has really capitalized on the beast.
However, this all changed in the LCQ. Primal Beast has been one of the most picked heroes at 30 matches. Although his win rate isn't as high as other heroes on this list at 53%, its amazing regardless for a new hero. Most of the time new heroes don't get touched a couple months after their introduction to captains mode. But maybe it's just the new bundle has some extra oomph to it.
Despite Primal Beast being an offlaner that runs into fights and locks the enemy hero down with his ultimate, Primal has seen play as a mid laner as well. Both positions that Primal Beast can be played in follow the same build. The build is simply just phase boots right into BKB and then Aghanim's Scepter if the game goes late enough. Most other offlaners need an initiation tool like Blink Dagger, but Primal's Onslaught ability is even better.
Surprisingly, the forgotten hero Visage has made an apperance and has become quite the offlane pick. However, the rise of Visage makes sense in the current meta. With the strength of Wraith Pact as well as Boots of Bearing, Visage is a great carrier for both.
However, Visage doesn't have the strongest win rate at a flat 50%, the gravekeeper still sits at 20 matches throughout the LCQ. The build for Visage is centered around getting a Wraith Pact as soon as possible. So, players rush tranquil boots, then right into Wraith Pact. Afterwards, they finish off Boots of Bearing or other aura items like Assault Cuirass or they can go for more control and build a Scythe of Vyse.
LCQ Meta defining Supports
Tusk has been a pretty popular position 4 and 5 since the rework of his Aghanim's Scepter. With his already tanky status and great abilities, its no wonder he's the third most picked hero at the LCQ. Tusk sits at a total of 34 games with a 58% win rate. Most games Tusk doesn't even get to finish his Aghanim's Scepter to truly show how strong his Walrus Kick is. He really just needs his Tranquil Boots and Blink Dagger to win games.
It seems like all the pros watched Jenkins' video on how strong Undying is before the LCQ because Undying was the most picked hero at the event. Undying defined the LCQ meta, with the hero being one of the most contested hero at the event.
The combination of changes to the damage type of Undying's Zombies as well as the Aghanim's Shard make the already strong Undying more of a menace. With undying being the most contested pick at the LCQ, he also was the most picked hero at 44 matches.
Last but certainly not least is Nyx Assasin. Popularized by a combination of Secret's Zayac and Xtreme's Pyw, Nyx has become a huge part of the LCQ meta. Nyx's combination of scouting and stuns have proved to be invaluable in starting team fights and catching out enemies. Nyx sits with 24 matches at a whopping 66% win rate, which is alarmingly high. Team Secret Zayac's Nyx should be especially feared, as Team Secret has won games off of his stuns.
Other Stats and Facts of the LCQ
There were a total of 103 matches in the Last Chance qualifiers. So without a doubt there's been some interesting statistics of the event. So here's a quick breakdown of some fun stats and facts from the Last Chance Qualifiers:
- There are 7 heroes that haven't been picked or banned (Arc Warden, Clinkz, KoTL, Meepo, Techies, Tinker, Warlock)
- Pudge has been picked 13 times and has a highest 76% win rate out of any other hero (that has been picked more than once)
- Outworld Devourer got banned in one game, giving it a contest rate of 0.97% which is the lowest it can be
- Bristleback, Phantom Assassin and Huskar are all tied for the lowest win rate at 0% out of their matches. (Bristleback had 3 matches, PA has 1 and Huskar had 2)
Although the Last Chance Qualifiers are over the LCQ meta is here to stay. Or at least until the main event comes up. With only 7 heroes that haven't been touched, we might see the remaining heroes get picked for a full hero roster at The International 11. But one can only hope. For more Dota 2 content and TI coverage, stick around on Esports.gg!