Echo League Quarterfinals: We Need Pudge

Last weekend my team Thanks for Breastsfast faced off against the controversial Wards in Base in the Echo League Quarterfinals. A fun series with many different strategies – I think 28 total heroes played over three games. Our big takeaway from the series is that we should tailor our draft plans towards what the enemy team likes to do, rather than brainstorm primarily around what we think would be groovy to play.

Our plan against Wards in Base was essentially to ban split-push counters or preempt them (eg. Silencer to prevent Storm pick), then finish drafts off with some variation of building hitters like Anti Mage, Arc Warden or TA, Morphling. Not much of a theme for this post, but I think the individual drafts are pretty interesting, so let’s break them down: Continue reading “Echo League Quarterfinals: We Need Pudge”

Echo League Sweet 16: Scenario Scoping

My boys in Thanks for Breastsfast move on to the Echo League quarterfinals after a close 2-0 victory over Nicky Cage Fan Club.

We were MMR underdogs this series, so I wanted to put together a pretty comprehensive strategy. Our draft plan centaured¹ around setting up an offlane Chaos Knight to force grouping and boost the output of a carry Morphling or Anti Mage. We felt that this line transitioned well from our initial bans as well as from NCFC’s anticipated initial bans.

Before I break down the individual drafts I thought that it would be mighty swell to do a little show-and-tell, so here is a link to my draft plan for this match. I’m using a new style that we’re going to formally term as Scenario Scoping to sound cool; it’s really just a scratch pad. It utilizes a stream of consciousness that gets as much hero matchup information into text as possible so that we can look for “rug heroes” that tie a draft together. Then we build around those heroes for our Plan A.

On to the drafts: Continue reading “Echo League Sweet 16: Scenario Scoping”

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. Continue reading “RD2L W3: 7.05 and the Nature of Guys”

Bad Ogre Picks (Battle Cup)

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Finally claimed a second Battle Cup trophy on a stack we named sideboob. The team mostly consisted of regulars – our Visage, Tinker, and Earthshaker SMEs (rizod, dihy, and snow respectively) – plus okay from reddit league.

Our plan for this go-around was Aba-Shaker-Visage-Tinker if we start with first pick; for second pick we ban Abaddon and grab CM. This was the last night of patch 7.04. I think now with another small nerf to LoA’s strength gain in 7.05, I’m ready to say he’s no longer dota’s premier hero. Still great, but back down to earth, and first pick should open up a lot.

For some reason all three opponents picked Ogre Magi in this tournament. I’m not sure what the deal is here, because he’s been out of the meta for a while (apparently not; this cup is direct evidence to the contrary). My suspicion was that these teams have some lower-skilled players, and they thought a simple beater hero could still have impact. Checked dotabuff, and it does not support my theory. So why do they pick him? Not sure but let’s shit on this hero for three paragraphs:

Continue reading “Bad Ogre Picks (Battle Cup)”

RD2L W2: What are we good at?

Duck and Goose 1 2 3 suffered a tough series sweep last Sunday against the seemingly indomitable Surge Slark Slam, captained by the ever-growing Supra.

In season 10 it wasn’t until W4 that Les Champignons figured it all out, and while it is optimistic to shoot for another 19-1 post W3 record, I do think we can put a good season together – I believe failure would not be for lack of talent. The puzzle to solve with a new team is really this: what are we good at?

Mushroom-stack was all about map control, tower diving, forcing enemy rotations; creating a situation where the opponent just doesn’t have options and is punished from all angles. But that’s not a natural playstyle for the DAG#. So the task is to suss out what is. Let’s look at a couple drafts. Continue reading “RD2L W2: What are we good at?”

Echo League W4: Putting the Echo in it

The weekend marked our last group stage match of Echo League. My boys on Thanks for Breastsfast needed a clean 2-0 to ensure ourselves a playoff spot. We slammed the door shut. We are happy to hear that our opponents, Slick Daddy Club, ended up clinching the playoffs anyway through the wildcard tiebreakers system.

We threw a couple different looks at SDC, did a lot of lane-hiding, tried to exploit specific weaknesses, but mostly we put our guys on heroes they liked and relied on them to make plays. Now that we have a few weeks under our belts we have a better understanding of the style of dota that suits us best and really draft according to that style. Let’s do a draft rundown. Continue reading “Echo League W4: Putting the Echo in it”

Echo League W3: Dark New Offlaners

Thanks for Breastsfast returns after a 2 week hiatus of bye & scheduling problems. In an effort to avoid our week 2 mishap, I took time before this series to develop a scouting report and draft plan for our ambitious opponents, Neko Guntai, who played another two-game series right after the one with us.

We planned a couple openers that outlined the first two ban phases and first three hero picks, accounting for opponent hero pools and their own potential pick/bans. A lot of their selections seemed to be outside their historical zone of comfort, so we didn’t put much stock in their profiles, just banned heroes we didn’t want to see. I’ll talk about the drafts and a bit about offlane choice. Continue reading “Echo League W3: Dark New Offlaners”

RD2L W1: Forming the 7.04 Meta

My fresh team Duck and Goose 1 2 3 kicked off season 11 of Reddit Dota 2 League against the formidable Truman Did Nothing Wrong led by CRAP. We’re at the onset of the new 7.04 patch, the league meta still in its infancy. The top contested heroes of week one (below) will surely look weird to us in week eight. Personally I think people will care much less about Slardar, KotL and Lifestealer, and a few unpicked heroes like Witch Doctor, Lycan, Clockwerk, will see a lot of consideration. The DAC Lina flavor of the month has not caught on fully just yet, but I expect to see her spammed thoroughly in week two.  Continue reading “RD2L W1: Forming the 7.04 Meta”

Winter Minors W6: Higher MMR Opponents

My posse 37 Nyx was always going to be in for a rough season, sporting by far the lowest average MMR in our Winter Minors group. No surprise, we finish the group stage 2-8, but at least we exit the league on a high note, splitting a series against the first place team in our group, NASOLO2. Their average MMR beats ours by over a thousand (~3.0k vs ~4.2k).

So how did we steal a win off them? We certainly played lights out, and they definitely didn’t showcase their best dota that game. Really a lot of factors need to go right to overcome such a skill disparity, and the draft is part of it. Naturally here at Captains Mode we’ll focus on that draft factor. How do you draft against a stronger opponent? Continue reading “Winter Minors W6: Higher MMR Opponents”

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