What Makes Drow so Strong?
Drow Ranger has been one of the most common heroes throughout Dota’s history. However, since the 7.20 patch she has gained lots of popularity in pubs and the professional scene alike.
In patch 7.20 Drow’s third ability, Precision Aura and ultimate, Marksmanship were reworked. These reworks have amplified the heroes strength exponentially.
The former mechanics of Drow’s Precision Aura gave allied ranged heroes bonus damage equaling up to 40% of her Agility. This led to the original “Drow Strat” that consisted of many ranged heroes abusing the bonus damage to take towers and end games quickly.
Marksmanship synergized with Precision Aura by giving 35/55/75 bonus agility to herself. Wreaking havoc, these levels in her ultimate created huge power spikes with her team’s damage output.
Gameplay Patch 7.20 reworked Precision Aura to give allied heroes attack speed. Despite the prior version being strong, the new version added an entire avenue of new strengths. Many heroes in Dota 2 already deal incredible damage. Therefore, they benefit much more from more attacks than a little more damage.
Currently, Precision Aura gives your ranged teammates attack speed equal to 80% of Drow’s agility.
Assuming Drow Ranger is level 10 and has the following items: Power Treads, Dragon Lance, Yasha, and two Wraith Bands. She would have 109 agility, sharing approximately 87 attack speed to her allies. To put this in perspective, one Hyperstone gives 55 attack speed and costs 2,000 gold.
If you only had two other ally ranged heroes, the passive buff applied to herself and allies would be more than 8,000 effective team net worth from a level 10 hero.
But Wait! There’s More!
Marksmanship has also gotten a major rework.
One level on Marksmanship gives Drow Ranger a 20% chance to proc a special attack. This special attack deal 120 bonus damage. The kicker is that this proc will instantly kill any creep, including Ancient Creeps. Typically heroes get far more gold and experience from farming a lane. However, Drow Ranger’s incredibly efficient farm speed allows her to skyrocket her net worth and levels.
The Drow Ranger Game Plan
Although she farms incredibly fast once she obtains her Ultimate at Level 6, she is weak in the laning stage and typically needs a helpful support to secure her lane farm and experience.
The problem with Drow is that once she is level six the game plan is simple. Teleport to your Jungle Triangle and proceed to stack and farm the three camps until you have received gold and experience to surpass everyone in the game. Even in miserable laning stages Drow can come back with ease.
Not only does Drow multiply her farm, she also creates a vacant Safelane where an allied support can get their own gold and experience. No matter where Drow goes on the map, her team reaps many benefits.
Who are the Best Heroes with Drow?
Odds are, if you have played much Dota over the past two weeks you have seen Drow Ranger and Medusa on the same team.
This mad Gorgon is one of those heroes you don’t want to be against in the late game.
Medusa is easily in the top 10 strongest carry heroes come late game. Her downside is weak damage output in the early game and a lack of mobility. Luckily for her, Drow Ranger can improve her farming speed and damage in team fights exponentially.
Getting an effective Hyperstone almost 20 minutes into the game catapults Medusa forward and allows her to take over games single-handedly.
Morphling should typically be taken with a grain of salt due to his immense skill cap. Similar to Medusa, Morphling needs time and money to come online. With an already high attack speed, Drow pushes Morphling to be over the top with damage output.
Secondly, Morphling has talents he can learn which allow him even greater teamfight utility. These options like “+20 Morph Duration” are good. However, they are typically pitted against a solid DPS ability. In this case, “+30 attack speed”. Thanks to Drow Ranger you can get the extra Morph Duration while still having improved attack speed.
Although Outworld Devourer is suffering from incredibly low total winrates with less than a 40% winrate in Legend and below games, in Divine ranked games he has ~48% winrate.
Despite an overall poor winrate, OD benefits immensely from mass attack speed since he has high AOE damage output from his Arcane Orb. In addition, each hit amplifies his damage by stealing intelligence.
Dragon Knight is a melee hero. With his ultimate, Elder Dragon Form he does turn into a ranged hero for one minute at a time. While DK’s Ultimate is active he gains all of the Drow Aura buffs.
When playing Dragon Knight the goal is to be a front-line initiator for the team. The hero has fair damage output and a good single target stun. On the downside, they do not have flash farming potential and many of the items needed to build do not improve DPS like Blink Dagger and Black King Bar.
The attack speed gained from Drow Ranger turns Dragon Knight into a super soldier, with not only immense survival capabilities, but absurd damage output as well.
How to Deal with Drow
Once Drow Ranger hits level six is it likely she will go to the Triangle. These Triangles are the tri-camp areas near each Offlane..
Your best game plan as a support is to place an Observer Ward in the center of these camps before Drow has rotated. With this, the team can work to contest the farming pattern of Drow Ranger and slow down her progression.
In-your-face bruiser heroes who are able to get on top of Drow are also effective since she has no innate escape capabilities.
For More Information
Follow Paul on Twitter @SilasDota
From Our Haus to Yours.