More TI3 stuff is coming soon, but there will be a slight delay before we hit the actual new stuff. In the meanwhile, with TI3 done I’ve put together a sufficient 6.78 sample (~36k games from Very High), so let’s lead off with the farm dependency readings of the 4 new heroes that weren’t present in 6.77.
Back when I wrote Abaddon Is Not a Carry, I received a couple complaints. Some were reasonable, others less so. One of the more reasonable ones is that I didn’t have any data supporting my claim. Well now we do, and it turns out that carry Abaddon doesn’t seem to be working too well.
The scoring system I’m using doesn’t mean a lot, so let me break it down how it works with Abaddon. I have about 3200 Abaddon games, and I divide them by the ending CS/min of Abaddon. I divide them into 5 evenly sized groups with the best CS performances in the top group and the worst in the bottom. Carry heroes tend to score really high. Anti-Mage for instance has been top 5 in every iteration of the test and came in #1 in the current test. What determines this is that Anti-Mage’s top 20% CS performances had win rates of near 80%; his bottom 20% CS performances had win rates under 10%. This proves that in top end matchmaking the success of teams with Anti-Mage is highly correlated with how well that team manages to find Anti-Mage farm.
Abaddon’s results are almost the complete opposite, which is why he comes in at 92 out of 102. The average boost a hero receives from being in the top 20% is about +19% to overall win rate. Abaddon’s top 20% is only 14%. On the other end of the spectrum the picture is even more stark. On average, performances in the bottom 20% have a -22% win rate; Abbadon’s is a meager -10%, which is the 5th best performance in this category (or 5th worst if you’re hoping for proof that carry Abaddon is the one true path). What this tells us is that support Abbadon is extremely viable. Semi-carry Abbaddon also appears relatively viable, since his top 20% score is relatively high for someone with such a low score overall. That being said, there is absolutely no evidence that he’s working as a carry. And that’s fine. Puck and Zeus have really low farm dependency scores, and you don’t see people demanding that they only play support. What you should recognize though is that if you’re straight up trading passive farm on an Abaddon, Puck or Zeus for a Anti-Mage, Faceless Void, or Lone Druid, you’re losing that trade hard.
As for the other 3 new heroes, Skywrath Mage‘s profile actually looks pretty similar to Abaddon and Nyx Assassin. I see these as heroes that can either play a supporting role or a low-farm dependency semi-carry role, which leads to their bottom 20% score being relatively high, but their top 20% score also being high relative to the heroes that are near to them in overall score. Elder Titan has really low dependency scores overall, so I’d consider him a straight up farm independent presence regardless of where you run him. Bristleback is much closer to the middle of the pack than the other new heroes. I’d consider his profile similar to Centaur Warrunner in that he won’t win you any games through carry potential, but he makes a good platform for defensive utility items to both support his team while also giving him the survivability he needs to maximize his annoyance.
As for shifts among the rest of the cast between 6.77 and 6.78, it can be difficult to say what’s a genuine shift and what’s just sample noise. But there are 4 relatively big movers.
In confirming some of my previous findings, Huskar‘s farm dependency has gone down significantly with 6.78’s rework. You get a lot more out of him now by focusing on early domination with inexpensive items like Ghost Scepter.
Naga Siren‘s farm dependency also dropped significantly. This suggests to me that support Naga has definitely caught on in pubs and has likely been reasonably successful. It should be mentioned that most of these matches occurred before TI3, so it’s not merely a reflection of imitation. This also points out that these measurements are still a reflection of public trends and not entirely objective statements on something like support viability.
On the more dependent side of things, the biggest positive mover is Omniknight. In terms of ranking it’s only going from 96th to 77th, but I wonder if the new Aghanim’s upgrade has given him a better cash dump than what he previously had available.
The other relatively big mover was Templar Assassin, though it’s at least a percentage point smaller than the other three. I’m curious to see if this was driven by an itemization shift, say more people rushing Yasha instead of a Blink Dagger, and might look into it more later if I have the time.
Anyway, here is the total score list, but as always don’t get too wrapped up in the precise placement. As always it is an estimate, and some heroes just don’t get played all that often in Very High.