Michael J Jackson’s Draft Priorities

Captains Mode drafts are nuanced. There are dozens of aspects to consider, hundreds of heroes, and nigh infinite variation. It’s impossible to think about everything, so here are the fundamentals that I prioritize.

  1. Player Confidence – The biggest thing is having good vibes going into a match, everyone feeling good about the hero they’re playing, high morale, ready to fuck some butts. I make sure we’re all happy by using a give and take method. When I want to pick a 3, I ask my offlaner what he wants to play and suggest a couple heroes that I like. If he chooses a hero that I think is incorrect, I explain my hesitation and see if he likes another hero – if he insists I pick it for him anyway. He has to play the hero, at least make sure he wants to. Continue reading “Michael J Jackson’s Draft Priorities”
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A Week in Pubs 7.06d

7.06d has been out for nine days now, so I thought it would be cool to do a draft dump, look at what we’ve been picking up in pubs and hopefully see if there are any patterns or trends forming.

Not going to analyze these matches very deeply, but happy to answer any questions. Here’s a link to all these matches on Dotabuff. There are two drafts on the list that I did not screen below, one of a 3-stack, the other just my buddy on the button. Is that why I skipped them? Or because we lost? Either way, let’s look at some drafts: Continue reading “A Week in Pubs 7.06d”

7.06d and Sunday Evening Amateur League

The release of 7.06d marked the start of Sunday Evening Amateur League or SEAL, a new US-West player-draft league that takes the RD2L formula and adds exclusivity and stability to what was the flaky PST-SUN division.

Week 1 is in the books for my new team, Batman Forever (soundtrack). Establishing contact with the new posse was difficult, but we were able to bring everyone together by the end of the night. So, not much in the way of preparation for our match against CRAP’s Mein Covfefe, but let’s take a quick look at these ad hoc drafts anyway, then brainstorm how we’ll prep for the rest of the season. Continue reading “7.06d and Sunday Evening Amateur League”

7.06c Tier 6 Battle Cup, Step by Step

It took us five attempts, but we finally notched our first Tier 6 Battle Cup victory of the TI7 battle pass, under the intimidating moniker How Many Yams in a Netherdrake? 

We employed a good mix of strategies, but in an effort to present our thought process in a way that helps fellow captains apply the same concepts, let’s try to homogenize the draft breakdowns in a sort of step-by-step format. Off we go: Continue reading “7.06c Tier 6 Battle Cup, Step by Step”

Scrim Time! Judging new picks

(pictured above: epic rampage-deny kill-steal with a single gyro auto by yours truly)

Last week we ran a couple super fun, high octane scrims against the up-and-coming Echo League NA-B team, Majestic Space Bees, and their star mid player, Dihy. Echo League’s group stage starts this week, and it turns out MSB was assigned to the same group as us, so the below drafts are potentially a preview to our contest in week 4.

We experimented with a number of new picks and set to work evaluating the heroes as potential candidates for future drafts. It’s easy to look at it as it’s-good-we-won or it’s-bad-we-lost, and sometimes that is all the assessment needed (eg. offlane Winter Wyvern), but here are a few considerations that often come up in the chats after our matches: Continue reading “Scrim Time! Judging new picks”

7.06c Answer Lancer

PL 706.JPG

We’ve been experimenting with Phantom Lancer lately.

Kimahri got some really substantial buffs in the big 7.06 release, which has seen his winrate rise almost three points to a now serviceable 45.7%.

Pinktops from my Echo League stack, Five Potatoes, inexplicably plays this hero very well, and holds it in high regard. So he may not be pleased that I’m disrobing the cat’s pajamas here, but I’ll throw him a bone and offer this caveat: PL is probably not worth drafting outside pretty favorable conditions.

I felt similarly about Viper in 7.05, and now the hero is top tier (somehow buffed again in 7.06c). Just happened to be a good meta for the drake. Maybe in a patch or two PL will shine, but for now I think we’re just seeing great PL games; teams just aren’t drafting much AOE and leave themselves vulnerable to getting marched over.

Let’s take a look at some drafts: Continue reading “7.06c Answer Lancer”

Disburg Disblog Disband

Found this awesome draft blog a few weeks back by one of our favorite RD2Lers from PST-SUN, Danny. It’s pretty fresh and cuts through a lot of the exposition you might find here, gets to the meat of each draft and definitive reasoning behind each pick, whether the selection was a eureka moment or more of a sure, why not.

Here’s the link: https://medium.com/@vieubabiurbehats/

7.06 and Preparing for Echo League S2

Gameplay Update 7.06 has been out for about a week now, so my new stack Five Potatoes (5pot) has been theory-crafting and brainstorming relentlessly for days. At time of writing 7.06b is already out, pulling Sven back to earth and throwing a bone to Broodmom and Wukong, who we’ll still likely avoid.

Preparations for the new season of Echo League have involved trying to leapfrog the 7.06 meta as well as connecting its winners to the hero pools of our new squad. There were a lot of big changes in both the patch and our roster, so I believe it warrants an equal change to how we approach the draft. Continue reading “7.06 and Preparing for Echo League S2”

Echo League Grand Finals: Tilt or Tilt Trying

Link to the vod: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/140906444

My posse Thanks for Breastsfast played against the juggernauts BRB Buying Abyssal in the Echo League Grand Finals. I won’t talk about the results until after the break; the series is a good watch (albeit long), and the production team does a terrific job. So please enjoy it if you’re interested.

BBA rolled through the group stage and playoffs, entering the grand finals with a convincing 15-2 record (to our 12-3). We seemed to be underdogs from discord chat during hype-week, however the generous pregame panel believed their advantage to be small. Twitch chat strawpoll actually had us as slight favorites.

Coming into the series we’d garnered some recognition for unpredictable drafting, and for the farm speed and play-making of our star offlaner, Verve. BBA had a star of its own, their pos-1 captain, Excasand, who they played around and gave space until the late game was his alone to dictate. Opponents could not navigate the clean execution of their high-tempo four-protect-one dota style. For me the task was clear: get these guys to make some goddam mistakes, get them playing Boobs dota. Continue reading “Echo League Grand Finals: Tilt or Tilt Trying”

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