RD2L W3: 7.05 and the Nature of Guys

Last week saw the DAG# trying to find its way after a difficult and convincing series, now here in week three I think we’ve sorted out the direction for the team, including a position swap. From here out we’ll do a lot of playtesting and smaller improvements, but the biggest changes should be in effect for week four.

This week’s match Duck and Goose 1 2 3 went up against Can He Even Carry and split the series evenly 1-1. Let’s do some draft rundowns and then talk about the path forward.



  • First pick Abaddon is still fine, although not as scary as it was a couple patches ago. Small balance changes in Dota can have large effects.
  • They grabbed Slardar-Juggernaut in the first phase so we basically went for an armor strategy and looked to mitigate Omnislash. Lich was our first response. His debuffs and high magic damage severely gimp physical damage teams. The Chain Frost buff is significant, and we should consider Lich a tier 1 support right now.
  • Lina took a hit in 7.05, but has role flexibility, helps us delete Warlock and his golem, very good target for defensive spells, natural Euls carrier for Omnislash, high damage, helps us hit towers.
  • I think the Terrorblade pick into minus-armor strat lacking reliable AoE is rather game-winning, especially with all the defensive skills on our lineup. We just farmed up some items and deathballed behind the TB for the win.
  • The brand new Treant Protector is rather a monster hero, and while I don’t love it into Slardar, it works really well with Lina and Terrorblade. Should probably be played pretty aggressively in this version with max Leech Seed. After week two, we looked to forego greed on supports, but went overboard this series and ended up with a level disadvantage.
  • The draft went really well for us, so there wasn’t a big take-away heading into game two, however after the second match we noticed an experience issue, so maybe junglers is the answer for us after all.



  • We go for a first pick Rooftrellen in game 2; the hero is worthy of the first phase generally. I think we overestimated its impact in game 1, however, and the bans don’t really support the pick. If I had this one back I’d have opened with Pudge or Axe.
  • The Zeus support that I’ve been digging lately makes its first appearance for the DAG#, and it did a ton of work even though we lost, and despite a lack of recent experience with the hero. Bypassing Ice Armor, interrupting Axe dagger, winning the vision game, providing mega damage to make up for Tree’s lack thereof.
  • Also thought we got a lot out of the Venomancer offlane, however if I expected to go that route I should have banned Anti Mage and let Shadow Fiend through in the pool.
  • OD is really strong in this situation and is a great AM counter, but I was outplayed by Axe too much and didn’t have the impact I needed to have.
  • If I had the Alchemist pick back I’d have grabbed a Drow Ranger and just mowed down towers, using Veno wards for cover from Axe. Alch felt like a tough kill for them, but I think it is probably too farm-oriented for a lineup like ours that hits hard early with really big level 6 skills.


The primary change for us going forward is moving me to support, okay to core. We anticipate it will improve our play-making potential to have more net worth dedicated to okay, and our early rotations will be tighter with me in a support role. In season 10 we had a similar role swap after week three, perhaps that’s just how long it takes to realize the best role setup.

I’m going to tweak the draft approach as well – we’ll evaluate how forceful players are about their hero selection. In the past most of my guys either wanted a lot of say on their hero or didn’t care much at all; there wasn’t really an in-between, and it was rarely dynamic. For Duck and Goose 1 2 3, we’ll take into account how insistent we are on a hero individually, so I can gauge better whether to make the call or defer.

Most of this blog is advice oriented, directed towards newer captains. For RD2L however I’m pretty green myself – it’s only my second season on the wheel – so I’m rather interested how more experienced captains adjust to their new teams, that may have different strengths and personalities from their squads from previous seasons. So if you’re reading, please chime in.

-gg worst captain ever


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