Hear me out. First let’s make the wild assumption that opponents are good; are we really getting more than two heroes in a Chronosphere consistently? Maybe three from time to time. I’d argue that with the buff to roots, Searing Chains provides nearly the same benefit. It may not last as long (until level 25), but it deals damage, has a short cooldown, and Ember has two skills to help him land it. So my point is, captains, if you loved the old Void meta with wombos and firing squads, you can draft almost all the same dirt with Xin.

Anyway let’s recap these picks:

  • First we ban LD, Underlord to remove a couple tier one Io counters.
  • Io, Clinkz first phase are signature heroes. We’ve discussed comfort heroes and power heroes a lot – signature hero is the term we’ll use when a player’s mastery turns their hero into a pseudo-power hero.
  • This duo isn’t seen too often, but Clinkz is definitely a worthy tether target, and additionally he serves as a Relocate scout. Good assassin against the Disruptor, probably neutral against Venge.
  • Phase two we ban PA, BH to further protect the Clinkz.
  • Lich is another strong defensive support for Bone Fletcher and Wisp with his frost armor and counter-initiation. All our heroes spread out, Disruptor will have trouble getting value ults and fields; on the flip side VS, Luna have pretty short range and need to play carefully into Chain Frost.
  • We finish off the draft with our safelaner and our mid. Terrorblade punishes the enemy’s lack of AOE magic damage (Venge Luna hard counter), and is pretty good with Io even though it gives away the real Illidan.
  • Ember Spirit’s a tough hero to play into Disruptor but we hope Thrall’s hands are too full to deal with me. Generally strong against Luna, quite safe from Eclipse and has high magic burst. For the most part though it is a big time synergy pick; Bolas prevent disengage so TB & BF can wreak havoc, they set up Metamorphosis, Strafe, even Chain Frost (also stops Time Walk). Heavy tower push at positions one and three make up for Ember’s weakness to buildings.

I’m not writing Void off entirely; he’s still quite good against compositions that clump up. For the most part though, Ember’s control will be sufficient, and he’ll add a ton of damage and flash farming to boot. But I guess that’s what makes him Tier 1. Just don’t expect Searing Chains to suffice for the really long lava spells like Macropyre, Acid Spray, Shrapnel, or Supernova.

And don’t, as always, next level yourself with a double-down, drafting Void with Ember. Or who knows, maybe it’s good? We can add Magnus and Tidehunter.

-gg worst captain ever

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