Mid Beastmaster: The new terror from Dota 2 patch 7.29
Patch 7.29 has brought to the front a new concept that is terrorizing Dota 2 pubs and professional games alike – the mid Beastmaster.
With every new Dota 2 patch comes a list of heroes who are good in the new meta along with another list of heroes who shouldn’t be picked at all. It’s a spectrum, and a majority of the heroes lie somewhere in between these two ends. But then there is that small set of heroes – who can literally be counted on the fingers of one hand – which are absolutely broken and probably get banned in the majority of the professional games. The first name to make the premium list in the meta evolving from Dota 2 patch 7.29 is a surprising one – Beastmaster!
Patch 7.29 was a patch many rejoiced for one prominent change – Necronomicon being removed from the game.
The item has always had a history of either being so bad that hardly anyone made it or so good that it literally made certain heroes relevant in the meta.
For the last few patches, it was the latter. During patch 7.28, it was a common sight to see Necro book on not just Beastmaster and Lycan, the typical heroes that made it, but also heroes like Enigma and Tusk. Items like Poor Man’s Shield and Ring of Aquila got removed from the game when they got too good to forgo foremost heroes, and Necronomicon met the same fate with the advent of patch 7.29.
It led to the demise of Enigma and especially Lycan in the new meta, but surprisingly, Beastmaster was not one of them. Not only did Rexxar get over his loss, but he also fashioned a new role for himself in the mid lane, where he has been dominating. What has made the new Beastmaster so good in patch 7.29? Two words – Wild Axes.
Let’s take a look at Beastmaster’s changes from patch 7.29 which have made him a strong hero and a candidate for the mid lane. While his Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade removed the cooldown of the skill ever since patch 7.22, it didn’t gain popularity due to the high mana cost. Patch 7.29 reduced the mana cost by 18.75% and increased the damage, which made it a lot more lucrative to get it. The hero can farm a lot faster playing from the mid lane and can have a Scepter around the 14th minute, after which, there is just one answer to pretty much every question!
Want to push out lanes?
Want to clear stacks?
Want to take Roshan?
Want to kill enemy heroes?
Want to disable a single target even if the target is magic immune?
Well, not everything can be accomplished by Wild Axes, but you get the idea!
The Rosh taking ability is possibly the best new weapon in Beastmaster’s arsenal. Right after he gets his Aghs around the 14th to 17th minute, when he is level 10-12 (playing from the mid lane) and has level 4 of Wild Axes, Beastmaster can take down Roshan in 17 throws of the Wild Axes, with damage getting amplified by 12% with each stack. A total of 17 throws is 1105 mana, so he does need Clarity Potions, a Bottle or Soul Ring, but in 40 seconds or so, Beastmaster can take down Roshan at 15 minutes on the game timer. It gives the hero a second power spike a minute after the first one (which is getting the Aghanim’s Scepter) and he can just roam around the map wreaking havoc on the enemy team. The ability to take Roshan down easily has more value in this meta, as it means there will be a Roshan with an Aghanim’s Shard spawning 23 to 26 minutes into the game.
The skill build is pretty straight forward, maximizing Wild Axes first, followed by Call of the Wild, followed by Inner Beast. Because there is not much right clicking except when taking down buildings, his passive isn’t the most prioritized skill.
Most Beastmaster’s tend to go for either a Bottle or Soul Ring, followed by Boots of Speed into the Aghanim’s Scepter. In Evil Geniuses’ recent DPC League game against The Cut, Abed “Abed” Yusop went for both a Bottle and Soul Ring and sold off the Bottle before getting the Scepter. With runes spawning at minutes two (Water Rune), three (Bounty Rune) and four (Water Rune), Bottle isn’t an item too many players want to forgo. Aghanim’s Scepter is typically followed by Boots of Travel, after which most players tend to get a Sange and Kaya. It gives the hero HP, HP regeneration status resistance and additional damage for his Wild Axes. And that is what the hero wants, because it isn’t a hyperbole to say nearly all his damage comes from Wild Axes. In Abed’s game, he ended up doing 71.34% of his damage from Wild Axes.
The effect of these changes is showing in Season 2 of the DPC Leagues as Beastmaster is the third most banned hero in the first eight days after Puck and Timbersaw. He has been banned in 95 out of 119 games and has a win rate of 71.88% in the games he has been picked (32 games picked, 23 wins). The hero did receive a slight nerf in patch 7.29b with the additional Wild Axes damage from Scepter being reduced to 30 from 40, but it hasn’t really put a dent in his capabilities. Until there is another balance patch or someone figures out a way to counter him in the mid lane, Beastmaster will continue to be a beast in the game with his new Aghanim’s Scepter build.