As the Dota 2 updater, IceFrog has always adopted a common strategy to balance the game. Heroes that are picked a lot, especially with a high win rate, will be nerfed to reduce their popularity. Meanwhile, low-pick heroes with low win rates get buffs to bring them back into the game. Because the Dota meta takes a long time to shape, the game still leaves the door open for many heroes that are considered weak but are actually very strong waiting to be discovered. In recent patches, IceFrog has continuously buffed many heroes, especially if they have been out of the meta for quite some time.
If we find a really strong hero that hasn’t been picked yet, there’s a good chance that hero can still be buffed in the next patch. There is currently one hero that has received significant changes, as well as buffs in the past several patches, and probably only needs one more patch to make it into the meta. That name is Chaos Knight.
Chaos Knight is a hero that has struggled a lot to find a place in the meta over the years. This hero is considered a strong laning carry, possibly early game snowball. Unfortunately for CK, the hero needs a lot of stats and relies too much on his ultimate to deal damage. Because of the limited farming potential, players are forced to build “hard” items to overcome many of CK’s weaknesses.
Currently, Chaos Knight has a 52%+ win rate at all ranks while the pick rate hasn’t reached 10%. The pro arena has tested Chaos Knight in both carry and offlane, but the hero hasn’t really been used. That caused IceFrog to start buffing heroes continuously since patch 7.23b (nearly 20 months ago).
— Reddit Dota 2 (@redditdota2) July 6, 2021
Since late 2019, Chaos Knight has received a buff to increase base armor and agility. Nearly every skill set has a reduced cooldown or increased damage. These small changes are good, but not enough to solve the outstanding problems of CK. However, patch 7.27b is probably the big turning point for the hero. Phantasm creates few shadows early game but in return, they deal 100% damage. This means Chaos Knight deals double damage at level 1 of the skill, triple at level 2 and quadruple at level 3. That patch also reduces mana cost by 100 at max level and brings cooldown down to 75 seconds.
7.28 solves another CK problem with damage in teamfights. New Aghanim’s Shard adds 100% CK ball damage for each Chaos Bolt. It increases the support kill potential very high without the need for Chaos Knight to invest a lot of effort. Patch 7.29 adds the 35% cleave talent at level 15, a time when other carry heroes usually farm faster than CK. Remember, Battlefury only deals 40% cleave to creeps, so this is a big change for a hero who doesn’t want to farm at all, except perhaps Hand of Midas.
Despite so much tweaking, Chaos Knight was still largely ignored. This will likely prompt another round of buffs in the next patch. One thing to note is that many stat-boosting items like Echo Saber, Sange and Yasha, Eye of Skadi and Satanic are very strong and very suitable for Chaos Knight. Looks like Chaos Knight was strong in 7.29 but we’ll see what IceFrog brings in the next patch.
ANOTHER STRONG BUT UNKNOWN HERO?
Before heading over to the Dotabuff meta page and looking for potential strong heroes, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Clinkz has just been buffed recently, has a high win rate but a low pick rate. However, this hero was also nerfed a bit in the updates. Sniper is another great hero that’s been out of the meta for quite some time but still gets buffs. Unfortunately for Sniper, a lot of hero changes have not overcome the ADC’s weakness. Stats remain normal and damage play from afar remains unchanged.
IceFrog tried increasing Sniper’s mobility with Aghanim’s Shard (Concussive Grenade) but it wasn’t enough to keep him alive against mobile mid meta heroes. Most of Sniper’s major weaknesses remain unresolved. Until Sniper has a reliable way to participate in teamfights and farm more confidently and safely on the map, this hero will still be very squad dependent.
Whether or not Chaos Knigh is hot, the meta is always evolving. Is there any hero you think is really strong and just waiting for the right time to stir up the meta? Please share your comments in the comment section at the end of the post.
According to dotabuff
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