The experimentation continues as our Battle Cup stack Viper Potatoes builds out a draft portfolio. In this unfortunate first round exit we playtested an opener that I’m pretty excited about: Silencer, Viper.
This Phase One combo espouses three ideas:
- The laning-centric meta. A newfound focus on strong lanes in 7.06x makes these two lane dominators very valuable, especially with their position and role flexibility. Viper feels like the strongest mid hands down in the patch, and if they counter with the classic Tinker mid we feel confident rocking the snake at other positions. Silencer is another lane menace and can fulfill any other position.
- Hero pool overlap. We have 4-5 players that are down to play either of these heroes. Analysts often use the clause “doesn’t give away anything about the draft” to describe picks that work in multiple strategies. Silencer and Viper do the same for us but add a layer to that advantage – opponents cannot possibly guess their farm priorities, since we haven’t determined them.
- Covering bases. Viper and Silencer make for excellent teammates, providing different utilities, positions, and damage types; slow + silence, frontline + backline, magic + physical + pure.
Our first go at this opener was unsuccessful, but consensus among the team was that the draft wasn’t really the problem for us; we took some bad fights and gave up too many unnecessary kills. A pretty close game even if the graph depicts otherwise – we had actually claimed the first set of barracks before taking a game-losing disastah.
Regardless, if I had this draft back I’d tweak a few areas:
- Anti Mage ban was not just unnecessary but detrimental; the hero could have been really good for us in the middle of the draft especially knowing we were going to take Nyx Assassin, and with KotL ending up as another attractive option.
- Nyx Assassin 3rd pick is fine in this context, even favorable in terms of giving map control to two heroes that really take advantage of it. Still, with a redo I’d leave position 3 for later, as again we think this is a lanes-first meta, and Radiant hasn’t revealed their safelane carry. They have, however, shown their offlaner, which means we could have picked up our own carry to counter it; AM, LS, TB, PL, Jugg, Huskar among other strong options. Or even the Morph but two picks early. Saving the offlaner for last pick lets us counter their safelaner with say, Necro, NP, Mirana, Enigma, etc.
- I rather like the KotL-Morphling picks given the context, but even with effective usage the heroes didn’t feel particularly strong. I don’t think they have much power in this patch, so maybe in the same situation we spring for a different look, like Omniknight-Ursa could give us more mustard in team fights and block a lot of residual damage.
- Overall, if there were no adjustments by Radiant, I think our lineup would look more like Silencer, Viper, AM, BH, Timbersaw.
One final note: I think Clockwerk is just bananas in this patch. First ban/pick worthy and seems to have high impact in almost every appearance. Keep an eye on this hero, captains; we’ll likely start playtesting him as well.
Echo League Season 2 starts next week, so I’m still looking for all that good next level shit. Shadow Shaman + Skywrath Mage Shackle Flare cheese?
-gg worst captain ever