Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day Six, Part Two: Opponent Joins in - atypical drafts!

Okay, so I went a bit YOLO with some of these drafts (Spiritbreaker, anyone?), but I didn't think it was all that bad.  My opponent (same one) joined in with some more-atypical hero choices sometimes, but largely stuck to the "strong in the 6.81 meta" heroes.  I think I still got the better of him in some drafts, however.

Draft #1 :  Me as Radiant
If it's not obvious, I'm going for the armor-reduction strategy on this draft. While I didn't get hard-countered by any hero picks, my lanes are weak.   Shadowfiend can do okay versus Viper, but definitely doesn't have the advantage.  The only saving grace for Shadowfiend is that aside from Treant, Dire doesn't have any ganking supports, and Treant will need to stay near top lane to counter the Radiant aggro tri.  While Slardar might have been a decent suicide laner, he's not all that good against Brewmaster solo, and might even die when Brew hits L6.  My tri-lane picks are adequate, but aren't strong enough versus his very-defensive tri, and I don't have enough stuns to lock down and kill Weaver.  Worse, I've picked two very greedy supports (Dazzle and Alch both need levels and/or farm), and I don't have a jungle or pulls to get them that farm.

Conclusion:  Draft okay, lane choices poor.

Draft #2

I don't remember which side was mine, but given that I rarely draft Treant, I'm guessing I was Dire.

I find the tri-lane-versus-trilane situation to be extremely strange.  Disruptor and Treant are usually defensive supports, but are going to have a hard time against the burst lineup of Bane Nightmare or Ogre Fireblast into Arrow, followed up by Brain Sap / Starfall / Ignite.  The Radiant lineup doesn't have a primary stun to set up Leshrac's Split Earth, and both Disruptor and Leshrac are extremely squishy vs. burst.

Top lane, I think it's relatively even - Weaver can harass with ranged attacks and Sikuchi, but the Bear is so tough that he frankly won't care, and without lockdown, Lone Druid can just run back to his tower and heal up.  However, both heroes should get levels and farm.

Mid - I tend to favour Razor, but without ganks, Medusa is actually going to do decently well, especially by spamming Mystic Snake and sapping mana and hp from Razor.

Teamfights and lategame:  both sides are running tri-core lineups (Lesh = Mirana, Druid = Medusa, Razor = Weaver), but I favour Dire slightly because of their mobility.  Treant Overgrowth and Glimpse could help to limit that, but without burst or lockdown, Bear could get kited pretty hard, and if the defensive tri-lane fails, Leshrac is going to be a non-presence in teamfights, whereas Mirana at least has a long-distance arrow to initiate with.

I give a slight edge to Dire in this match, but they are taking the bigger risk with a greedy mid and an aggro-tri.

Draft #3
I'm the dire player in this draft.

This is a tricky draft to predict, because a lot of the success of the match will be determined by how well the Skywrath + Earthshaker duo can roam and gank from level 1.  Both mids are very vulnerable to ganks.  I give a slight edge to Shadowfiend in lane because of his ever-increasing right-click damage, and bottom lane, Sniper really isn't going to suffer from Dark Seer's continual Ion Shell spam (unless Dark Seer gets ballsy enough to dive the tower).  The defensive tri is likely to zone out Undying completely, given Telekinesis + Ice Path + Fade Bolt + Auto-attacks/slows and that hero will not be able to jungle to catch up on farm or levels.  Thus, once he's zoned out, the Jakiro + Rubick supports can also roam, and possibly roam for their team, to counter the roaming Radiant combo.

Teamfights will come down to positioning, as both sides have very big teamfight abilities.  However, given that zombies don't work in Chrono, every time Chrono is available, someone on Radiant is likely to be dead.  However, with proper positioning, well-placed Fissures or timely Arcane Seals could turn the tide of the fight, and there is a continual threat of Nether Ward and Tombstone.  However, Rubick is also going to have a great time stealing the many fantastic abilities (almost no ability is bad).  I suspect this game would start as advantage-Radiant, then switch to advantage-Dire later in the game, especially with their greater push and "bigger", BKB-piercing teamfight abilities.

I give a slight edge to Dire because of the BKB-piercing ultimates (Chrono, Wall, Spell Steal), and because they have slightly more pushing power.

Draft #4
 Me as Radiant.

I think Dire completely forgot about an aggro tri-lane in this draft.  Yes, Sand King and Warlock are both supports that need a lot of farm, but Sniper can't be left alone, and thus WD and Tree aren't going to be able to roam (not that they would be very good vs. QoP or DS anyway...).  QoP and Razor are well-matched in mid, and DS should win the lane against any melee hero, including Bristle.  However, with supports, the defensive tri-lane should stop the aggro-tri of Radiant pretty handily, and CK won't get the farm he needs unless he can somehow manage kills on Sniper or WD.

Midgame, assuming both teams stayed even, would see QoP start to prey on Sniper, and Razor being rather ineffective against CK's illusions and stun/rift.  Dire is lacking an initiator (aside from possibly Treant?), and Golems + Epi are going to wreck Radiant pretty hard post-level-6, and illusions + Golems will do well to soak up Death Ward from WD (if he manages to not get stunned out of it or focused first).

Lategame, Radiant has the advantage in carries.  Sniper, Razor, and Bristleback with farm will steamroll over QoP and CK, and while DS will remain effective with Wall, items like a Pipe on Bristle, and BKBs, will negate a lot of the rest of Radiant's teamfight damage, while Overgrowth and Death Ward will remain effective even into lategame.

I think Radiant could have gone with a defensive tri-lane, and then grouped for teamfights after their supports were level 6, and had a equally good or better game.  Aggro tri-lanes are risky, anyway...

Draft #5
I'm pretty sure I drafted Dire, and I'm also pretty sure that Radiant got their top and bottom lanes reversed (intended to be an aggro tri-lane, with Timber vs. Centaur).

I was trying for a Drow-buffs-other-ranged-heroes in this game, but I think with SK + ES and Timbersaw, all able to get in Drow's face with stuns and big damage, Drow is going to have a very bad day, as is Silencer.

However, if we assume the lanes occur as shown, Razor is likely to die if Venge ganks mid, and Centaur may die once or twice, but should still get levels given that SK and ES only have limited mana, and are both melee heroes.  WD isn't going to be able to harass Centaur without Return giving him back an equal amount of damage.  So... if Dire manages to snowball and delay Blink Daggers, they MIGHT be able to eke out a win.

Advantage Radiant.

Draft #6

Me as Dire.

This was my YOLO draft with SB support and Huskar mid.

I think I basically "win" all three lanes because Huskar will do well against Tinker with Burning Spear harass, Void will get zoned out top, and while NP will have to abandon bottom or feed, he can still jungle as needed for farm.  All three of the Radiant "supports" on bottom need their level 6, which they won't find in lane very quickly, and none of them jungle very well.  Yet, if one or two leave lane to roam or jungle, NP can return and push the tower.  Tinker is no longer an Ancient-farmer like he was pre-6.82, so he won't get a massive lead like he used to.

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