Every time there is a big update, Dota always has the presence of some powerful heroes. While there is a huge selection of heroes, the meta is often shaped by a handful of early successful heroes. Since then, people seem to stop exploring new options. At times, some ‘faulty’ heroes go undetected until months later. We saw this at TI9: when OG used the undefeated carry IO rush Agahnim’s Scepter. This hero only disappears after being nerfed continuously.
Warlock used to be the most picked hero and had the highest win rate in North America in the first half of the DPC season. While in most other regions, WL is outside the top 30 picked heroes. Currently, Warlock is still the most picked hero in North America with an impressive 69.57% win rate. The European pro teams are also slowly picking up the signal and making WL the 7th most picked hero, achieving a 68.75% win rate.
Warlock has long had simple gameplay and support. Hero gives his teammates great laning ability, while just waiting for a big teamfight to spam all the skills he has. WL helps push turrets thanks to the ability to heal allies. Overall, Warlock’s skill set is okay but doesn’t create much character. Most of a hero’s traditional strength depends on how Fatal Bonds are buffed and nerfed.
While Fatal Bonds still increases damage significantly in the current 7.29, the new Warlock is now more exploiting his healing ability. The hero’s new Aghanim’s Shard 7.29 turns Shadow Word into an AoE 450. The move has no limit on the number of troops that can be affected except for the 450 cast area. In theory, you can cast the spell on all 5 heroes on your team and on 5 heroes. opponent at the same time. At the same time, it also increases the movement speed of allies by 10% and reduces the movement speed of enemies by 10%.
The amount of damage the skill deals is not small, especially if all troops are attached to Fatal Bonds. At level 4 without Talent, Shadow Word damage totals over 12 seconds to each piece is 540 (excluding Fatal Bonds), not to mention your teammates also recover 540HP.
Still not convinced enough? There are many more factors to consider when choosing Warlock. Holy Locket, the once forgotten item has been buffed continuously in the past time. Even if you are poor, getting this item is not difficult at all. The strength of Holy Locket lies in its good stat bonus and helps Shadow Word heal up to 729. Finally, we should note that the meta is revolving around tank heroes. Usually the game will have at least two heroes with high health in the team. These are great targets for Fatal Bonds to continuously deal huge damage in teamfight.
The most popular builds in high MMR and pro games are as follows:
Item: Brown Bootss, Ring of Basilius, Magic Wand and Ward until 20 minutes. After that, Aghanim’s Shard, Holy Locket and any other support items the team needs. Mostly, Aghanim’s Shard is all you need to sweep the enemy map.
Level 10: Bonus skipping to raise skills. Both level 10 talents come in handy in different situations.
Level 15: -5 Second Shadow Word Cooldown
Level 20: Both are good depending on whether you need to heal or add one more Golem.
Level 25: In fact, not many Warlock games have reached this level because the hero’s push potential when having Aghanim’s Shard is too strong.
According to dotabuff
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