With both Ember and Earth Spirit being completely new to many Dota 2 players, I thought they’d be worth looking at how players have been using them. If you’ve been watching Dotabuff, you saw both heroes starting at extremely low first day win rates (~38% for Ember, 32% for Earth), but both win rates improved significantly over the first week of their release. Frankly, even though his win rate has been lower, I think Earth Spirit is the much more viable hero of the pair, but Ember’s hero ID comes first so Earth will have to come later in the week. As usual, here’s a brief rundown of the skills:
For a more detailed description, here’s the Dota2 page.
Now for the skill builds, I’m going to try something different this week. First, here are how the primary builds break down.
In Normal the playerbase is pretty evenly divided between maxing Sleight of Fist and Flame Guard by 8. As you move up, Flame Guard clearly becomes the dominant build. To get a better look into how things are developing, let’s include the Secondaries (basically, the second skill maxed in the build)
What we find is that skill priorities are fairly mixed in Normal, but as you move to Very High they make a pretty distinct transition to Flame Guard -> Searing Chains -> Sleight of Fist. Do win rates support VH players in this decision?
It appears so. Discounting the result for Q->Split (a build only featured in 93 games), the Flame Guard -> Searing Chains -> Sleight of Fist hierarchy held up pretty well.
My suspicion is that Sleight of Hand doing so poorly suggests that Ember Spirit works much better as a ganker than a carry. A complete 6.79 Farm Dependency test will be coming a bit later, but I don’t expect that Ember Spirit’s score will be very high. At best his carry potential revolves around Sleight, which is comparable to Kunkka’s Tidebringer in that it provides burst potential but no sustained damage. Shortly after Ember came out, I watched a pro player play him, dominate the game with the highest CS and 6 slot item build including a rapier, a teamwide 2:1 kill advantage, and still lose the game. What you want from a carry is a hero that can turn that kind of an item advantage into a guaranteed win, and Ember Spirit just isn’t capable at that.
Given that, maybe Flame Guard -> Searing Chains are better because they’re better at being the mid game ganking complement to an actual carry, or maybe they’re just performing better simply because the players going that build aren’t even trying to fulfill the farming carry role. Honestly it’s probably a bit of both. Ultimately, I don’t think Ember Spirit’s in a great place right now. He’s not an amazing solo laner, but he also doesn’t really warrant a protected lane. Early findings suggest that his overall performance is up in VH, but it’s likely mostly driven by VH players emphasizing ganking over farming.
I looked into his items but didn’t make any graphics because they were really boring. Basically look at the Dotabuff item page and assume that VH players build the typical VH items (Wand, Drum, BKB, Bottle, etc.) more frequently.
In any case, that does Ember Spirit for now. Earth Spirit will be coming later in the week.