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Tier Induced Scrappy / Dota 2

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With a long history and extensive, constantly-evolving Metagame, it's not surprising that Dota 2 has a number of heroes that draw cries of dismay when picked.

  • Generally speaking, every patch brings with it a small handful of heroes that end up completely dominating the metagame and are either picked or banned almost without fail, causing the community to become sick and tired of seeing them all the time until the next patch comes along and nerfs those heroes. As a result, which hero qualifies for Tier-Induced Scrappy status largely depends on the current version.
  • Io was detested amongst Western pro players for essentially being a necessary ban in most professional games. 6.79 took the hero out of favor temporarily when its Tether ability no longer stunned enemy units that crossed it. Instead it is a 100% movement and attack speed slow, which means heroes can still retaliate with spells and item abilities.
  • Spirit Breaker during the 6.78 patch was broken in pubs because if his Charge connected, it was a guaranteed 500~ magical damage as well as many infuriating seconds of being stunned. However, after his 6.79 nerf (no longer being magic-immune while casting ''Nether Strike'', along with a reduced base attack speed), his win rate plummeted to manageable levels.
  • Split pushing heroes in general get a lot of hate. Their presence on the enemy team makes difficult to pick fights, as doing so leaves a lane open to being pressured by these heroes, while not picking fights allows the enemy to farm items unimpeded, which these heroes tend to do very well.
    • Tinker is a shining example. His high skill cap yet low skill floor and powerful scaling through items results from his deceptively simple reset button ultimate, granting him map-wide presence, continuous repositioning (even into the treelines) and strong creep clearing. Allowed one or two items, a greedy Tinker can proceed to starve the entire map and both teams of farm, amassing items until he can do such feats as continuously Hex an enemy, two-shot enemies with Ethereal Blade and Dagon, suicide to deny himself at a lighter penalty than normal death or defend nigh-indefinitely against base sieges, agonizingly stalling out games, as he is not as good as breaking enemy high ground himself. Finally, his March of the Machines, already powerful area denial, damaged through even Magic Immunity, allowing him to recover easily from bad starts by clearing Ancient creep camps. 6.82 introduced a slew of brutal nerfs: March no longer work on Spell Immune units (including Ancients), his kill combo was crippled with a higher mana cost on Dagon and Ethereal Blade changed to an evadable projectile. The result: his win rate dropped tremendously and he falls from one of the most contested heroes competitively to mostly ignored.
    • Nature's Prophet: if you ever turn your back on a tower for a minute, you can be sure that he will teleport in and start applying pressure with a metric ton of treants. Not helped by AdmiralBulldog of Alliance making the hero not simply popular, but near ubiquitous in pub games. If you see a Prophet in a pub, he will go to the jungle, rush Hand of Midas, and then split push. He might go Orchid, Shadow Blade, Dagon or Necronomicon afterwards or use his ult well or poorly, but he will almost always jungle for his Midas regardless of how weak it makes his team's lanes.
    • Lycan has two abilities to empower the damage output of units under his control, and can put them to very good use. Not only can he summon a pair of heavily-damaging if squishy wolves, but he'll almost certainly go on to grab a Necronomicon, adding more minions to his arsenal. The result is a hero that can demolish towers very quickly and put up a good fight against any hero that tries to stop him. After his heyday in 2013 (where he become the most banned hero on TI), his wolf HP was nerfed so he isn't ubiquitous anymore.
    • There is perhaps no other hero more hated than Naga Siren. Her illusion from Mirror Image gives her massive split push potential, and allows her to farm at a ridiculous speed once she get her hands on a Radiance. Riptide gives her a solid farming and teamfight skill and enhances her split push even more. Ensnare is a disable that goes through BKB. And then you have her ridiculous ultimate, Song of the Siren which puts enemies to sleep for 7 seconds, effectively making her almost impossible to gank, able to set up teamfight combos, stop opponent from defending her push, AND isolate a BKB user. It can even be used to reliably steal Roshan because it doesn't affect him, forcing the enemy to watch helplessly as she waltzes in, takes off the last sliver of Roshan's health, and then teleports away with the Aegis in tow. With the introduction of Octarine Core, Naga is even more annoying now. Thanks to Radiance, her illusions can also benefit the spell lifesteal, making them deceptively tanky. They also can push and farm super quickly with Radiance burn and Rip Tide. Expect to see 50+ minutes game everytime Naga is picked.
      • Naga also achieved infamy in tournament play for having a degenerate combo with Dark Seer. Back in the day, Vacuum could pull invulnerable units, meaning that Naga could use Song of the Siren to sleep the enemy team while Dark Seer pulls them all together, making them easy targets for any sort of AOE followup. The combo was infamous for being incredibly powerful and nigh-impossible to counter, to the point where most teams preferred to simply ban Naga altogether. Unsurprisingly, patch 6.75 made Vacuum unable to affect invulnerable units.
    • Phantom Lancer is a hero that can quickly create an army of illusions to push lanes. Keeper of the Light can teleport any of his allies to his current location. Now put two and two together and realize what this means for your unattended towers. PL's underrated Aghanim's upgrade make his Spirit Lance bounce to nearby enemies, which in turn creates even more illusions, making this item a must pick.
    • Lone Druid joined the ranks of despised split-pushers in 7.00. Said patch introduced the talent system, and Lone Druid happened to hit the jackpot: his talents include large bonuses to his damage and range, a huge cooldown reduction on his main disable, and most damningly, a 50-second reduction on his respawn timer. Most split-pushers at least stay dead for a while if caught and killed, giving their opponents some breathing room; Lone Druid, on the other hand, will be back to pushing unattended lanes in as little as half a minute at a point in the game where other heroes' respawn timers are three times as long. IceFrog listened to the community and nerfed almost all of Lone Druid's pertinent talents in 7.02. With 7.06 he also removes all respawn talents.
  • When 6.76 was released into the public, two heroes are quickly declared overpowered in pubs: Drow Ranger and Centaur Warrunner, the latter being ported in the same patch that is released in. Drow Ranger is hated because her precision aura can toggle every other ranged units into inheriting her attack bonus from the skill at a global range, resulting in an incredibly easy push into the enemy base just by existing no thanks to her immense Agility as a result of her ultimate passive. Centaur on the other hand, has his Ultimate Stampede giving every single one of his allies global maximum attack speed that ministuns the enemy upon stampeding into them with an incredibly low cooldown for Ultimate standards, resulting in one of the highest winrate that has ever been recorded on a hero (67%). No surprise that Icefrog quickly nerfs them, the former by making Precision Aura a toggled based ability on a limited radius with cooldown and the latter nerfs his ultimate by turning it into a slow with limited damage and a reasonable cooldown.
  • During the 6.81 era, "meta" heroes such as Death Prophet, Shadow Shaman, and Razor got a lot of hate thanks to their ability to push really fast especially when backed up by a fast Mekansm. However, the most hated of them all is by far Faceless Void. Commonly played as an initiator, Faceless Void's ultimate Chronosphere creates an area that stuns everyone touching it (allies included) except himself for several seconds while increasing his damage against enemies disabled by it and granting free movement inside it. Its low cooldown compared to other high-impact AoE initiation ultimates coupled with the rest of his Magic Immunity-piercing, damage-ignoring, mobility-granting kit makes Faceless Void a terror to oppose all throughout the game while scaling extremely well into the lategame with hard disables from Chronosphere and his passive chance to stun on attack. Void could thrive even in the offlane because of his high survivability yet low demand for items before becoming effective, only needing Power Treads, Mask of Madness and enough of his skills leveled to place proper Chronospheres and dominate fights.
  • During the 6.83 era, two heroes were widely hated by the players after receiving substantial buffs: Sniper and Troll Warlord. The former received a significant buff to Shrapnel, becoming the most played hero in the game to the point of exceeding even Pudge (who had previously monopolized the slot) due to now possessing a spammable, long-range slow and damage over time, making him a good high ground defender and attacker (which means a lot due to the significant Comeback Mechanic then-present in the meta), and an obnoxious laugh that frustrates even the most hardcore players. The latter, after a bug fix to his fervor (Fervor now starts stacking immediately, whereas it previously only started stacking after 1 attack) along with an increased attack speed cap, suddenly became a highly contested hero in both pub and competitive games, due to having an ultimate that buffs every hero, a reliable slow, an area blind, making him a Master of All that can demolish towers like nobody's business and manfight the likes of Huskar and Ursa. All in all, players rejoiced when both heroes got nerfed (The former has his Shrapnel skillset nerfed while the latter has his ultimate's duration reduced and his Melee form no longer gives extra damage) in 6.84 making them much more manageable in pubs as well as reducing presence in the competitive scene.
    • Juggernaut become the go-to carry in the 7.00 era with his super strong talent tree: attack speed, move speed, also increasing his damage potential overall. With the support of Ogre Magi that boost his attack and move speed even more, also Magnus with his RP and Empower, expect to see a Total Party Kill with just a click of Omnislash. The 7.07 talent reworks made Juggernaut much less obscene by removing a lot of his staple DPS talents.
    • Monkey King. He introduces a new gameplay aspect with the Tree Dance, making him a super effective scout that is very hard to catch. It doesn't help that there are only a select few tree-destroying abilities and items in the game, leading to a lot of Character Select Forcing if you want to counter him effectively. His kit also makes him a ridiculously good pubstomper, as pubs generally underestimate Jingu Mastery until he gets four hits off, gains a huge amount of bonus damage, and bashes their heads in. Combined with Tree Dance giving him a powerful escape and initiation mechanism, and a Monkey King in a disorganized pub can snowball until he simply wipes entire teams with Boundless Strike and Wukong's Command.
  • Drow Ranger became an absolute terror in the 7.21 era with her reworked Marksmanship, which gives her attacks a substantial chance to instantly kill creeps and pierce through heroes' armor, with a side of bonus damage. She subsequently went to being picked as a semi-carry whose primary contribution is Precision Aura synergy to a solo carry that can slaughter nearly any other Agility carry in the game, who tend to have the durability of a napkin without their armor. Furthermore, the ability to flash-farm Ancients made it incredibly easy for Drow to begin snowballing. Patch 7.22 brought Drow back into line by making Marksmanship only pierce base armor and no longer instantly kill Ancients.

  • Vanguard as an item is generally viewed as inferior to a Mekansm. Vanguard is more effective for damage reduction, but quickly falls off in effectiveness, is half as effective in reducing damage on ranged heroes, doesn't offer anything to teammates, and generally isn't worth the investment. These days, it's seen as a situational item at best for heroes with damage return passives, like Axe and Spectre, squishy agility carries in need of some quick health, such as Phantom Lancer and Riki, as a component of the much better Crimson Guard or Abyssal Blade, or for heroes that cannot afford the steep mana cost of a Mek.
  • Techies is infamous for this. While a skilled Techies player can be a greatly useful asset to a team (such as stopping enemy pushes in their tracks and having bar none the highest burst damage capability in the game), a majority of the time they can end up becoming The Load, forcing their team to fight 4 versus 5 while they're busy laying traps that may not even end up doing anything in the long run. It's gotten to the point where even picking Techies is bound to catch you some flak. Upon his introduction into the pro scene in 6.84, most of the vitriol they get has been completely flipped on its head with the complaints that he is not just overpowered but also very difficult to counter even by the pro players. Even a mediocre Techies player can cause trouble, as they're amazing pushers, a massive drain on the resources of opposing supports, and they can deny a large area of the map just through the paranoia that there might be mines there, as well as being able to drag games on for long enough that their team's carry(s) can farm up enough to be able to mount a comeback. But then 6.85, he permanently resides in the low tiers after Techies' mines were nerfed, both in damage, area and by making them no longer explode when destroyed.
  • Ever since his illusions were brutally nerfed in health and damage, along with a few other nerfs, Terrorblade has been mocked by the fans as likely the worst character of 6.84, where he was completely ignored in both competitive and casual play alike. Ironically, the 7.00 era saw Terrorblade making a comeback and appearing in the lineups of professional teams.
  • 7.07 Morphling is a perfect example of a reworked hero that does not be reworked and actually made the hero worse. Prior to the patch, Morphling is known to be a slippery hero thanks to his two skill Waveform and Replicate, the former allows him to dash at a targeted location and teleport out during the skill while the latter allows him to create an illusion of a hero that allows Morphling to switch places with the illusion and immediately escape from a gank which allows him to be an effective split pusher. 7.07 however, removes Replicate in favor of Morph which allows the hero to copy an enemy hero and gain their skills. Aside from the fact that you could no longer split push, the ultimate has a very poor synergy with the hero given the fact that it also copies their stats but not their ultimate and items which you wouldn't want given that Morphling is supposed to be a carry and wouldn't want to copy other heroes. This result in Morphling suffering form the biggest drop in win rate to the point of being the worst of 7.07. It took several buffs (most notably giving Morphling the ability to switch forms at will while Morph is active and causing Morph to also copy the target's primary attribute) before he was finally fished out of the Scrappy heap.
  • Jakiro was considered a trash-tier hero for the longest time. This was largely due to his Ice Path being a non-targeted stun with a long delay; combined with his god-awful cast time, Ice Path was nearly impossible to land, and Jakiro needs to land it in order to do anything significant. While he could be played as a pusher, a lot of other heroes could do that better. Ice Path was eventually buffed to linger for its duration, stunning any enemy that comes into contact, instead of only applying the stun once; this bumped him up from "garbage" to "playable", but he's yet to make any significant waves in the meta, and has the dubious honor of holding the lowest win rate of all heroes at The International.
  • On paper, Octarine Core is a perfectly acceptable item; giving your spells lifesteal along with a 25% cooldown reduction should be a nuker's dream come true. In practice, you'll rarely ever see the item being prioritized by most heroes not named Death Prophet, simply because of its prohibitively high cost which consigns it to the late game, at a point where most spellcasters' nuke damage has fallen off already. The few casters that benefit from the spell lifesteal tend to be too squishy to really get much mileage out of it, the cooldown reduction is generally less impactful in teamfights than the full refresh given by Refresher Orb, and the item's stats are overshadowed by Scythe of Vyse, which has the added utility of serving as a "screw this enemy in particular" button.
  • In 7.20, Clinkz joined Morphling in the "unnecessary reworks" pile. While his new ultimate Burning Army is pretty impressive-looking and scary on paper, the problem is that it replaced Death Pact, taking away his primary source of survivability and a good chunk of damage in favor of an unreliable AOE effect. As such, Clinkz quickly fell by the wayside and rarely saw play. Valve eventually decided to let Clinkz have his cake and eat it too in 7.23 by giving him back a modified Death Pact as a basic ability replacing Strafe, whose attack speed buff was instead given to Skeleton Walk.
  • Riki is already a situational hero only effective in pubs and marginally effective in pro gameplay but it is universally agreed that his 7.23 rework made the hero worse. To put it simply, 7.23 has his Cloak and Dagger and Tricks of the Trade skillset switched so the former becomes an ultimate skill while the latter becomes a regular ability. True it does work what Riki originally was when Permanent Invisibility used to be his ultimate skill but since Backstab has been merged with Cloak and Dagger, this means that last hitting will become much more difficult during the laning stages now that his backstab bonus damage is locked behind an ultimate. Not that it really mattered because his starting Agility and growth has been nerfed to non existence, from a respectable 30 + 2.5 to meagre 18 + 1.4 (for reference, Crystal Maiden now has better Agility growth than Riki and almost as much base Agility) making the backstab damage hit like a wet feather. And then coupled with the nerfs to his other skills, Riki's win rate plummets down the dump and is now considered to be the worst hero in the game.
  • Given the huge Random Number God aspect of Neutral items, it's inevitable that some of the drops will end up being the equivalent of a "Fool's Gold" to the point of being declared an utter waste of the items that can be dropped per game since you could only own 1 of such items in your inventory.
    • Repair Kit allows the player to both heal and buff their own towers to great amounts potentially enough to repel a big push from the enemies. However the problem is, if at any point you're using this ability, then the enemies would have already became strong enough to easily destroy your towers regardless of how much the towers are buffed. Not to mention that being a Tier 3 neutral item means that it's probably way too late to benefit from it and the item itself only provides marginal boost (nothing but health regeneration) to yourself meaning that it's not even worthy keeping it in your inventory.
    • Iron Talon and Poor Man's Shield were two overpowered items back when they could be bought, due to the major bonuses they granted to junglers and in the initial laning phase respectively right from the get-go. However, upon being reworked into neutral items, they quickly fell out of favor because 7 minutes into the game is way too late for them to really be useful in their respective niches before being replaced by something better.

  • Quite a few heroes are innately unbalanced in pub games, while others require massive amounts of skill to use effectively, rarely making their appearance in pub games simply because they're very difficult to use:
    • Meepo is a classic case of Difficult, but Awesome; skilled Meepo players can reach the level cap and amass items long before any enemy carries are able to deal with them. The problem is that if only a single Meepo dies, all of them die, and illusion-based heroes like Chaos Knight and Phantom Lancer can fill a similar role of swarming the enemy without being as vulnerable or siphoning as many resources from the rest of the team. Regardless, he is an utter terror when played properly and contested improperly.
    • Broodmother consistently had the lowest winrate in pubs and is almost completely ignored by the pros simply because her spiderlings are free gold for anyone with AoE nukes. Unlike other heroes with summons, who usually have one or two big strong summoned units, Broodmother relies on summoning a lot of very weak units and swarming heroes and structures with them. Rescued in 6.79 and patches thereafter, with her webs granting free movement as long as she doesn't take hero damage, and now she's got a much higher win rate than before.
    • Ursa is something of a one-trick pony; he can apply massive physical burst but can be kited around easily. But if he has a Blink Dagger and is against particularly dim-witted players, he's a Lightning Bruiser with no equal.
  • Huskar was detested in 6.78 after his Berserker's Blood was changed to give him more Magic Resistance as his HP decreases from giving more damage. However, when combined with Ghost Scepter, which has an active that makes you immune to physical damage, he literally could not die unless you had Pure Damage, especially if he picks his hero after your team picked theirs. 6.79 made him almost instantly forgotten when he could no longer attack with his ''Burning Spears'' while Ethereal, and is now a Scrappy in the lower tiers and a pocket pick against magic-heavy lineups everywhere else.

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