Dota 2 hero Necrophos

Top 5 offlaners in pubs from the first month of Dota 2 patch 7.29

Dota 2 Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar

In the first of this five-part series, we take a look at the five best offlane heroes in pubs from the first month of Dota 2 patch 7.29.


Dota 2 patch 7.29 was dropped slightly more than a month ago. With a plethora of changes to heroes, items, the map as well as general changes, the meta was bound to shift to something completely new. Here, we take a look at the five best offlaners of Dota 2 patch 7.29 from high level pubs.

The heroes have been picked as the best performing ones from the Divine and Immortal brackets. This data is as per Dotabuff and has been analyzed for the past one month, so it well and truly reflects the games from patch 7.29 only. The choice of heroes has been made from a combination of high pick rate and high win rate heroes.


1) Necrophos (Pick rate: 5.03% , Win rate: 55.44%)

Necrophos was literally the only hero that went completely unpicked in Season 1 of the DPC Leagues, and needed a huge chunk of buffs to make him a strong and viable hero again. He did get that in various forms, but the biggest buffs were in the laning stage. Necrophos got a reduced attack point as well as an increased projectile speed with patch 7.29. For those who don’t know, attack point is the action the hero performs before releasing the projectile (in case of a ranged hero). So with a smaller attack point and higher projectile speed, the time from clicking on a creep to the attack hitting the creep has gone down significantly, giving Necro a higher chance to come out as the winner in the 50-50 last hit/deny situations. That by itself is good enough for tilting lane matchups, but in case of Necrophos, it also adds to his health and mana regeneration thanks to Heartstopper Aura, which also got buffed at the early levels! The buffs have made Necrophos a terror to deal with in lane, and in the position 3 role, he does an effective job of disrupting the enemy carry’s game. Some Necros opt to go for the Guardian Greaves build, which synergizes well with Holy Locket, an item that has received regular buffs for the last few patches and works well for the necromancer, because of the self HP restoration amplification of Ghost Shroud. In the 7.29 meta, Necrophos has the highest win rate of any offlaner in high level pubs with 55.44%.

Necrophos changelog from patch 7.29 (taken from Dota 2 Gamepedia)


2) Dark Seer (Pick rate: 6.87%, Win rate: 53.87%)

Dark Seer was a pretty strong hero from Dota 2 patch 7.28, where his Aghanim’s Scepter got changed to have two charges for Ion Shell. All he needed was a few tweaks to push him over the line to make him a top tier hero, which he got with patch 7.29. A prominent tweak was the +60 Vacuum AoE talent at level 10 pushed to level 15 and made +100 AoE. That way, DS can take the added Ion Shell AoE at level 10 and the Vacuum AoE at level 15 instead of having to choose between the two. The Ion Shell AoE is extremely valuable, especially with the new Agh’s Scepter upgrade and the increased Ion Shell damage talent at level 20. In OG’s recent game against Team Secret, Sebastian “Ceb” Debs did the highest damage on his team on Dark Seer and about 72% of that damage was from Ion Shell! With the right heroes, the skill can go unnoticed in team fights and deal a lot of passive damage (in Ceb’s case for that game, Juggernaut, Clockwerk and Brewmaster with his brewlings). To get a comparative idea, Radiance is 60 DPS, Ion Shell is 90 DPS and with the talent at level 20, it becomes 150 DPS. Considering two different Ion Shells deal damage separately, the two charges can be used to deal 300 DPS to a hero, which is insane.

Hero damage for all of OG's heroes in game 1 of their Western EU DPC League match up against Team Secret

Dark Seer is also one of the faster farming offlaners, and can get team items like Solar Crest and Guardian Greaves a lot quicker than other offlaners. North American caster Gabriel “Lyrical” Cruz, who loves playing Dark Seer, also happens to think his Aghanim’s Shard, Normal Punch, is a strong ability worth getting.



3) Broodmother (Pick rate: 3.94%, 53.89%)

Broodmother is a completely changed hero since her revamp in Dota 2 patch 7.29. Since Spawn Spiderlings has been changed to be the ultimate, the hero is no longer played as the ‘win the lane, snowball, or lose’ kind of hero, which used to be in the mid lane.

For the new Broodmother, Spiders are out of the equation in the laning stage, but she does have a lot of sustain in lane because of Spin Web and Insatiable Hunger. The hero can trade very well against carries, which has brought her back to the offlane after quite a few years. On hitting level 6, Brood gets a major power spike because of the sudden involvement of spiders. In Evil Geniuses’ game against Undying, Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang went for a 2-2-1-1 build, and followed up Soul Ring and Power Treads with Solar Crest and Pipe of Insight. With Insatiable Hunger, he was actually able to go toe to toe against Enzo “Timado” Gianoli’s Terrorblade and kill him! Even through iceiceice went with Power Treads in that game, Brood players also go with Guardian Greaves this patch along with the Pipe. As Andrew “Jenkins” Jenkins described it best on the panel, the hero itself has become an aura carrier, like most offlaners, and the Spiderlings are the carry. Brood can build items like Greaves and Pipe to keep them alive and healthy, and with the additional damage from Silken Bola, the Spiderlings end up doing crazy amounts of damage to heroes. Even a Solar Crest targeted on an enemy will be taken advantage of by each Spiderling. This hero, even though it has a sub 50% win rate in professional games, is looking good this patch. Eventually, once teams get used to her new playstyle, the Black Arachnia is bound to be a lot more effective.



4) Dawnbreaker (Pick rate: 18.25%, Win rate: 52.10%)

Dawnbreaker has the highest pick rate amongst offlaners in high level pubs, and that is probably with the hero getting banned in every other game. When the hero was released, she seemed like the most underwhelming hero in a long time. But with a stealth buff patch making her stronger, Dawnbreaker’s effectiveness and popularity shot up.

In the early game, Starbreaker and Celestial Hammer are strong lane abilities, which can make life miserable for the opposition heroes. A value point can also be gotten in Luminosity for some additional right click damage and sustenance through the heal. In the time between the stealth patch and patch 7.29c, Dawnbreaker was absolutely annihilating lanes. But with the nerfs in patch 7.29c, her win rate and pick rate have both dropped. She is still a strong hero, but the full effects of the nerfs will only be evident after a few more days. In case her win rate and pick rate drop too low, the hero will receive a few buffs before her introduction to Captain’s Mode in Dota 2 patch 7.30.

Change in Dawnbreaker's win rate and pick rate in pubs over the last 30 days (taken from Dotabuff)


5) Centaur Warrunner (Pick rate: 18.09%, 52.27%)

A patch isn’t typically too friendly for strength cores when Timbersaw is first pick material, but along with Dawnbreaker, Centaur is one of the strength heroes that is currently looking strong, not only in top tier pubs, but in professional games as well.

Centaur is one of the best Van Guard builders in the game, which got a hefty buff in Dota 2 patch 7.29. He has the highest strength gain in the game (+4.6 per level) and the damage two skills depend on his strength – Retaliate and after getting the Aghanim’s Shard, Double Edge as well. This makes a case for building pure strength items on the hero and in one of Quincy Crew’s games against Black N Yellow, their offlaner Rodrigo “Leslao” Santos straight up bought Sange and Kaya and two Hearts on Centaur as he had the Aghanim’s Shard. The increased duration buff for Stampede duration with Aghanim’s Scepter is also a prominent one (increase from 4.5 seconds to 5.5 seconds, 22.22% increase), as Centaur tends to build an Aghanim’s Scepter in nearly every game, owing to the unobstructed movement and 40% damage reduction. All in all, Centaur Warruner high pick rate and more than average win rate are the result of multiple small buffs that have combined to make the hero a worthy contender for the offlane this meta.

Centaur Warrunner changelog from patch 7.29 (taken from Dota 2 Gamepedia)


Honorable Mentions

Razor (Pick rate: 2.79%, Win rate: 54.93%)
Legion Commander (Pick rate: 10.85%, Win rate: 50.86%)
Sand King (Pick rate: 10.49%, Win rate: 51.34%)



The pub meta and professional meta always have differences in them. But the heroes mentioned above sure seem to be doing well in pubs. If you’re an offlaner looking to gain some MMR, trying your luck with some of these heroes may not be a bad idea.


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Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar
A Mechanical Engineer who is as interested in the mechanics of DotA 2 as every machine he studies. Pursuing his Master's at the Michigan Technological University.


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