And the Most Successful Pub Hero is…

(funnyjunk.com)

According to dotabuff.com, at least, Omniknight holds the highest win rate of all time, currently at 57.79%. He’s actually held this place for quite some time too, and don’t think this applies only to lower level games, as his win rate is equally good even at the 5k+ brackets.

His concept is rather simple (and endlessly frustrating), being the guy that has one spell for magic immunity, and another spell for physical immunity.

For professional teams however, he’s not considered such a powerhouse. This is mainly because:

  • Good players can kite him around, and I don’t just mean in terms of a single fight. Omniknight is the type of Hero that requires you to bang your head against the wall that’s him. He can’t force the issue, at least not by himself, so a team that will evade early game fights and get proper items can deal with him easily.
  • As he’s usually played as a support, with a certain amount of coordination he can be brought down. On pubs, where human communication can be a luxury, it’s not always easy to persuade someone not to focus the freaking Bristleback simply because he’s standing in the front.
  • He’s a bit level dependant, and people are afraid to use a core position on him, or perhaps don’t know how to lane him.

He’s usually paired with another annoying carryish Hero, to make a happy, annoying couple. We’ve had our shares of Omniknights+Outworld Devourers this patch, we’ve also seen him with Ursas and Huskars and the such. If his team can create fights and push in while the enemy still isn’t ready to face him, the game is mostly over.

However, I do believe he also possesses some unused potential, even for pro matches. The key word in the above is “push”. People believe Omni always has to go with carries like that, but since early game is his strongest, he can work really well with some tower eaters.

An early game Leshrac or Death Prophet with Repel on top of them can be pretty unstoppable. Sure, Heroes can kite them, but towers can’t. So, while it’s true that Omniknight can be countered with a few items, it’s also true his team can end the game before the enemy gets any items. A 12 second spell immunity means you can save a core’s worth of time and gold from getting a BKB.

As far as laning goes, I’d honestly prefer him as a dual lane offlaner that gets the farm, instead of a support. Or even a solo offlaner if the lane is easy. Getting early Arcane Boots and maybe a Mekansm into Guardian Greaves never hurt anybody.

Obviously, making this work isn’t as easy as it sounds. Push strategies are quite risky, as if they fail, they leave the whole team that stayed as 5 most of the time underleveled and underfarmed. It requires a lineup that has both great lane control and push potential, and even more coordination than usual. Good teams could pull it off, but I think people are afraid to experiment like this.

As for some counters, besides the obvious Diffusal Blade, be careful of long silences. Skywrath Mage, Night Stalker and Silencer are good examples. Riki possesses both. Naga Siren is also really tricky to play against. Song of the Siren+Ensnare combo isolates the Repeled Hero for an easy kill.

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