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The new King of Wraiths

Discussion in 'Meta-Game Discussion' started by SaitoAOG, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    so... wraith king was functioning quite well prior to the latest patch, with a multitude of build options and positions he was allowed to play in. he in my experience could actively find success in ranked at the high end of the spectrum (divine 5 and up) in both a position 4 roaming role, and a position 5 support role. however, beyond just being a safelane carry, wraith king was capable of a fourth role, and that was jungle through the use of his insta kill crit and that was cool.

    (at the time of posting, looking at wraith king over the last few patches his competitive winrate is garbage 22% over 9 matches since 7.13, and lifestealer has 42% winrate with over 100 matches played in the same time span)

    however with the last patch that has been removed, and alot of the incentive to play support wraith king (roaming or ward-slave) have kinda been removed. safelane wraith king also seems to be noticeably weaker due to slower farm speeds brought on by the lack of insta-kill mechanic.

    i dont personally like the new mechanic, but it has allowed for wraith king to exist in some form in the mid lane, but i dont think wraith king is currently strong.

    the character boasts an abundance of weaknesses that he tries to fix throughout the game and ultimately ends up a mediocre late game option even after filling them, those are:

    Vulnerability to cc (bkb purchased)
    Vulnerability to mana drain (bkb purchased, or other mana item)
    low base damage and growth (radiance, armlet, etc)
    terrible attack speed (armlet, treads, AC)
    lack of mobility (blink dagger, shadow blade, maybe SnY)
    horrid farming capabilities (radiance)
    low armor score (armlet, ac)

    Edit: i forgot to bring this up, but the reason these issues are problematic is because wraith king does not farm fast, he farms no faster than any other character would with a radiance, however most characters that occupy the carry role generally farm really fast to cover their weaknesses (AM) or have less weaknesses (slark) to justify their farming speeds. expecting WK to be able to fill out his kit with effective counters to said weaknesses is hard, but even once filled hes not exactly that scary


    and even after fixing every single one of these, or specializing you are left with a character that has some decent damage potential, and solid survivability, who still has trouble stacking up to carries that were put in worse situations. the major issue in my eyes for wraith king currently is that in high tiers there isn't a whole lot of reason to ever pick him over characters like lifestealer, who has less weaknesses (built in magic immunity, solid attack speed boost, feast gives solid damage, and infest can cover the mobility issue, and not being truly reliant on mana) currently the most popular item builds for the two characters are nearly the exact same.

    the one claim to fame of the new king is that he has skeletons that are pretty solid pushers... for the first 10 minutes of the game and then they fall off dramatically to the point where they are only truly useful as a win more option after a success teamfight.

    now granted this change hasn't been around long enough to really cite winrate changes and it will probably be a while before competitive figures him out (if they ever use him)

    Edit: Theres a whole host of reasons i think wraith king isn't strong atm that i didn't go into because this past was already pretty long, but some of the highlights are - a pretty bad skilltree with level 20 and 25 talents being pretty... useless in alot of situations (i.e. if they dont have mana burn, manaless reincarnate is worthless, and double the skeletons isn't that good even if you took the 15 talent to buff their damage) alongside a mostly weak pushing game that ends the moment 1 nuke can effectively kill all of your skeletons.

    am i the only one finding the new king horribly weak? and what areas of his kit can be improved to actually make him into a potential option in real matches
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
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  2. hwchu

    hwchu New Member

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    the skeletons were garbage before and they actually nerf it lol. At least the old mortal strike active was interesting, They really need to remove those skele that also suck up one of his talent slot.

    I love this hero since the Warcraft 3 days, would be cool to see him more in comp
     
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  3. HHHNNNGGG

    HHHNNNGGG Member

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    They help him jungle fast and they push hard.

    OP: I actually think that the change is good at late game as it is hard to rack up skeletons when you kill creep is 2 or 3 attacks without creeps.

    Maybe it is time to reintroduce double crit damage on creeps? Or double chance versus creeps? Either way is fine.
     
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  4. Leadblast

    Leadblast Member

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    I don't understand why they removed the creep instakill mechanic for Mortal Strike. He's even worse than before, and before, when he still had this mechanic, he wasn't super good to begin with. If only he could at least have full control over his skeletons... but that's deemed too strong it seems.
     
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  5. kamukag3e

    kamukag3e Member

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    @SaitoAOG:
    The reason for his changes (basically nerfs) is because of how strong he was. Yes, he has plenty of way to be countered - if he is core.

    Being played as support renders any counters useless. Then as a support he is quite versatile and strong with his Mortal Strike making him able to flash farm and basically transition into a semi-carry from the middle of the game onward.

    The ability to take 1,000 health in (on average) 3 hits as a support is as strong as Crystal Maiden's Frostbite (at least versus neutral creeps). Giving that ability to Wraith King is completely different then giving it to CM.


    Now I know that plenty of players are going for him as a core and he can work quite well in the right circumstances, but the changes does not harm him that much, the change (removal of instant kill) is not as important when he have damage items and is clearing the wave or camp in few swings. Landed critical hit backed with some damage item is nearly the same.
    If you need 3-4 hits to land a critical on a neutrals - you should be killing them with the same speed regardless of the changes, unless we're talking about the first few minutes of the game.

    So it's a change and nerf to his support route and not that big of a deal to core WK.

    P.S.:
    By the way outside of vulnerable to kiting I won't agree to any of the other points.
    He is low on armor - as most strength based carries, but he has plenty of health to compensate and Armlet is hands down the best DPS item cost-wise and it's available only for him and few other heroes. Which gives him armor as well.
    Blade Mail is one of the best items for him, which is also giving additional armor.

    Any agility hero is susceptible to spell damage (a.k.a. nukes) and need to build a lot of health or BKB to avoid dying from them - and they are much more scary then physical damage. WK is the opposite, so he is in a much better spot.

    Also I think that you are building Radiance for all the wrong reasons for him. The item is good when facing multiple physical damage oriented heroes (to benefit from AoE burning aura miss chance) and heroes which are in dire need of Dagger usage (which the aura is disabling).
    The item is poor as DPS investment and for farm boost.
    Midas, Battlefury and Maelstrom are much better in that regard, Moon Shard, Assault Cuirass and Mjollnir better for DPS increase. And S&Y is indeed great item for him, boosting his DPS quite significantly (not comparable to the best DPS items there are, but a lot above the average) while fixing his kiting problem to some extend.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
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  6. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    i think you are massively overstating how good support wk was. i played it relentlessly and your major claim, that it renders counters useless is not true in the slightest. in a support role hes less likely to make it to level 20, or actually be able to build up the mana reserves(or bkb) needed to deal with a diffusal blade. characters buy blink daggers and other such items to get into the back lines to pickoff core supports with far more useful CC kits. a wraith king being able to be dealt with with a slightly more expensive, though strong item isn't a point for him really. in a support role he offers 1 CC nuke, that lasts a solid 2 seconds, however unlike his partners in support dabbing (sven, vengeful (though vengeful generally leans more towards support than core) is that those characters offer more then just that one thing going into a fight. venge offers a solid armor reduction, damage increase, and swap. Sven offers an aoe stun, and one of the most broken armor buffs in the game (the entire reason support sven saw any play ever) but comparatively what does a wk give you? he has a slightly stronger nuke, however, no matter how much i grind out wraith king games, vamp aura is never that strong to give to someone else, lifesteal outside of the satanic tends not to be good enough to really sustain yourself in fights. the last thing wraith king offers in that role is what... reincarnate slow and an extra life? abbadon offers a similar extra life mechanic but is chalk full of options to save people while dealing a decent sum of aoe damage.

    in summary of that paragraph, his counters still function, arguably better at stopping his ult from proccing, yet doesn't offer that much in the support role anyway.

    mortal strike doesn't really let you "flash" farm in a support role, your job is to be roaming around and doing shit, farming jungle isn't even somewhat viable without a stout shield, and vamp aura leveled, which takes quite some time, and given the scale up on his Q and the nuking potential offered from that, you want it maxed. but there in lies the issue, to maximize farm speed you need to max crit, but in order to be a good support you need to max Q, the base level was not strong enough to keep farm going, it was at times not even capable of keeping jungle wraith king farming when his roles weren't lucky.

    beyond that this is sorta a blank slate character, he doesn't have that much in the way of methods to use items in a broken manner (it stops and ends at blinking onto someone) as everything else functions pretty bog standard on him. buy a radiance? okay you have a big hp bar, but no unique way to use it (a la brewmaster lifestealer), its similar in function to how bounty hunter uses items, what allows wraith king to do anything in a carry position is strictly a large amount of life, linked with a decent crit. this means that an underfarmed wraith king isn't actually that big of a threat, and "transitioning into a semi-carry" is dishonest. windrunner, vengeful, silencer etc all have an easier time going from full support mode to semi-carry mode because the items that enable those strats are relatively cheap and easy to acquire.

    wraith king? ya no, if you rush a blink dagger you have like 90 damage a hit at that point in the game, not exactly scary, rush an armlet, you can't initiate, and are likely to not be able to effectively auto attack.

    semi-carries are, by definition, characters that can quickly transition into the carry position if they stumble across enough farm. wraith king needs to stumble across ALOT OF FARM in order for that to happen, over 4k gold worth of items, good luck doing that in the other patch with level 1 mortal strike, and no vamp aura until level 3-4.

    support king saw play in 1 game of competitive, and its arguable it did nothing to benefit the team that used it (even though they won) and is the reason it wasn't seen since, and why i cited his competitive winrates heavily. wraith king is and has been a pub star, but support/jungle wraith king weren't really changing that beyond giving him new ways to play beyond be a strictly trash safelane carry (lifestealer is a strict upgrade unless very fringe situations are met) so having more options was actually breathing life into this character in high tiers.

    but mortal strike change not affecting safe lane? thats the least true thing in this post man.

    Mortal strike let a safelane walk into the jungle for 3 seconds, and walk out with an extra 200 hp and 60 something gold for his trouble. this was possible through the ever popular, yet under utilized PRD-manipulation. its a massive blow to every version of wraith king you want to play no matter how you look at it. a wraith king getting trashed in lane can no longer jungle, a wraith king can no longer wonder into the jungle and flash farm when they have a bad crit streak, and notably, none of these things broke wraith king. it made him usable.

    i wont debate you on counters though as thats a matter of personal opinion regarding whether or not he needs to fix core issues in his kit and how effectively he can

    new wraith king is lacking in every area and position you pick him in.
     
  7. kamukag3e

    kamukag3e Member

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    @SaitoAOG:
    Well I told you my opinion about 'why' WK's Mortal Strike was unfavorably changed.

    Not going to get into a WK support and his counters as a core, because he - as any hero have some. I like the topic, but it's away from this thread, we can exchange tips on the hero as both core and support if you would like in private message or in additional thread, I really enjoy playing with that hero.

    You won't see him in competitive not because he is weak, but because there are heroes much better and more suitable to any position then him, his strength is in his simplicity, which can be used and abused mainly in public games.

    Let me explain that a bit - a simple hero is not weak per se, but even a newbie can get a high efficiency from the hero, thanks to that - getting a lot of his potential, while complex heroes require good understanding of the hero and mechanical prowess on top of game understanding - which most low rated players lack.

    As an example - let's just arbitrary put number of how strong two heroes are, one would be a simple one, the other a more complex.

    Wraith King power rating of 10, so if you play him to his maximum potential you can get a performance of 10 points which can be done easily by a professional player or very high ranked public player. Then everyone else because of worse performance start losing points in efficiency.
    Some 4,000 rated player could get as much as 8 points with him, while 1,000 MMR will still be able to get a lot of the hero and get at least 4-5 points just because the hero is so straight forward.

    Then you have a complex carry, such as Leshrak, he can do a better job as a core or get as much as 12 points (once again when played by pro and highly skilled players). But because he is both item and position reliant, as well as tempo based, the lower you go on the skill-scale (player wise), the lower his performance will drop.
    4,000 MMR will get 7 points out of him and 1,000 no more than 2.

    So you see, there is a reason he doesn't see competitive spot-light, but he is plenty of strong in high rated games.
    We watched Hailrake performing well in the past in very high MMR. Then you have Erik Wright's support WK played in Divine 5 bracket.
     
  8. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    that build is no longer usable after the changes... that kinda ruined wraith king and is my entire point. that build was centered around providing minor support to the safelane with a stun and farming for the off periods, which is remarkably similar to KOTL... who is you know... a better support.

    there were a few other changes made in the patch that make skeletons alot worse (their AI got way less aggressive for one)

    but that build wasn't exactly thought highly of, and wasn't a game breaking version of wraith king. its competitive existence (of 1 game) is a testament to how ehh it was, it was possible, but just not good.


    the last thing i will say about wraith king is actually something i haven't gone over, wraith king is absurdly easy to counter, we all know that hes vunerable to kiting, mana burn, and requires mobility options just to start a fight. what was not gone over is how unneeded his counters are, he doesn't outcarry characters who dont directly counter him, and has a pretty bad time against the likes of jug, terror, viper, etc, anyone who can build carry can give him a run for his money without countering him though mana burn, yet the counter exists to make the matchups against antimage, pl, and diffusal carriers even worse.

    why does a character with bad farming speed, and optional counters, have such hard counters, and then have a dead end level 20 talent if they aren't building to counter him (for reference, terrorblade, a monster pusher, and a far more solid carry in high tiers, has a scaling mana cost that goes down to 0 on its own)
     
  9. kamukag3e

    kamukag3e Member

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    @SaitoAOG:
    The build become less valuable yes, but not completely irrelevant.

    I myself have 280 games on WK and I play him exclusively as support bar 20-30 games.
    Don't think his kit is less valuable then some of the other semi-supports like Venge or Ogre, it's just slightly weaker but with the ability to farm fast after some time when your levels cover the lower item count and he is still able to bounce off and become on par without problems with hard lane cores unless they manage to snowball from great early game.

    His stun is actually superior to any other disable on level 1, with 2 seconds stun followed by 2 seconds slow for 95 mana I would call it quite strong.

    He can farm in his spare time neutral camps* with level 1 aura and stout shield and QB only without losing a lot of health.
    *all small camps and not-Centaur medium camp.

    At higher levels and with upgraded boots he has no problem with tougher camps as well.

    As a support he is not supposed to deal with anyone, just help his team win his lane and he can do that easily with a stun and some wacks in the early game.
    My usual route is to get 2 smokes and rotate to middle with them for the first 4 minutes and get 1-2 times to the safe-lane if the enemy is aggressive and away from his tower, farm small/medium camp in-between and once 4th minute comes to use the fog for another middle rotation.

    Aiming to get upgraded boots, stick into fast Blade Mail. That's all what support WK is supposed to get. Then follow up with glimmer which is IMO super useful item for him, the AS is making his DPS somewhat threatening for supports and non-fed carries (to be ignored, not that it's that high). Then usually proceed with S&Y, to get cheap bulk and additional mobility, just to be a headache for the enemy supports.


    The few games I have as WK core I know how hard it is to play against most heroes, never had problem with AM by the way or Invoker. My real problem was Clockwerk, Venomancer, Kunkka and similar heroes which have plenty of crowd control and slow spells. Also fighting a TB as WK is a joke, he just melts you down making you unable to hit him thanks to Q - and that's if he is under farmed, if he is ahead there is nothing you can do. Other heroes are the same - Chaos Knight included. IMO WK unless backed by another reliable core is weak carry in comparison to most others, but as I already stated - his execution is straight forward and easy to do in low level public games.
     
  10. Leadblast

    Leadblast Member

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    Last time I saw a WK in my games I build a Diffusal with WR. Shackleshot, Focus Fire, dead. When he tried to run away I just used the Diffusal slow on him. He was basically a giant creep for me to feed on.

    I bet the guy was crying in the inside, because he never ever saw it coming, and once I unleashed it on him and hunted him down he was effectively reduced to nothing, he could do nothing at all for the entirety of the game (and he couldn't farm a BKB, or even a Shadowblade, either).

    Seriously there is no point in having a level 20 talent choice with WK if he's always needing no manacost on his ult.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  11. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    i mean... ya...

    one of the worst parts about wraith king is his level 20 talent is trash no matter how you look at it, either A, you are getting mana countered, and as a result need your level 20 talent to not explode and actually have an ult, in this case you are majorly hampered throughout the mid game and are generally on the backfoot the entire time or B, you have to take the other talent which amounts to little more than a bit of extra (though easy to deal with) push strength. both of these talents are in practice really bad, as even in situations where you are countered, there is no garentee they will burn your mana away before you die. i feel i must bring up terrorblade, who has a broken farming option built in, and insane teamfight damage spell in reflection, yet still has a mana cost scaling on his ult to bring it down to 0 on its own at level 18.

    i think wraith king could benefit majorly in one of his biggest issues (mid game to end game transitioning) by just adding his level 20 talent to his level 18 reincarnate (giving it something like 200/100/0, or 240/120/0, that way his winrate in pubs is hampered while still being a net buff to high tiered wraith king) and then actually giving him some sort of scaling on his level 20 so he can actually try to keep up with carries who outfarmed him for the last 20 minutes.


    thats why i view him as so bad atm, without a farming steroid this character has nothing going for him, beyond being a poor version of a decent bunch of other characters (dragon knight comes to mind, has better pushing, and is more durable, also tends to have better dps into the mid game, and better spells)

    wraith king has a busted winrate in pubs because well... kids in pubs are kinda braindead and dont understand the inherrent issues with the characters kit, and generally when a pro plays wraith king, hes being played as a sub-optimal lifestealer, as their item builds are the same (generally going some form of radiance rush) but the difference is one will eat your support alive in 2 seconds, the other will get CCed into oblivion and be turned into glass within a matter of moments with his abysmal everything score.

    what wraith king excels at, is how strong his stun is in the opening levels of the game, however, this strength is constantly diminishing throughout the game, and in my experience i can win even middle lane with wraith king's skeleton and stun combo (or wraith fire spam if mana item purchased) but turning that lane win into a won game is... insanely difficult due to his overwhelming list of weaknesses.
     
  12. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    Well um... this is awkward...

    the patch that rolled out moments after my post kinda... fixed all of my issues with wraith king and made him actually viable, not sure whether hes actually good now or functional but lets go down the list of what was fixed and how it kinda addresses every single one of my point.

    So the two changes were:
    Skeleton level 15 talent from +25 to +35 - this is a 40% increase in effectiveness and over a 16% increase in overall dps from skeletons.

    and

    Skeletons now have a 30% magic resistance applied to them - this is the game changer, giving them 500 ehp when facing magic damage, drastically boosting how obnoxious they are to deal with in laning stage and making them a sizable threat late game since a support can't solo them generally.

    now how do these affect wraith kings balance, firstly, by correcting two other components of his skeletons, wraith king's level 20 talent to double the amount of skeletons was massively buffed, making it superior in tons of situations to his other ultimate. this is due to the fact skeletons will not only last longer, but hit harder, 10 damage doesn't seem like alot, but old skeletons did about 62 damage on average, the new ones will hit for around 72.

    however a more notable and most likely unknown variable to this equation is Roshan. wraith king has been... lets say ineffective against rosh in recent times, this was majorly due to the fact skeletons weren't good against rosh since they kinda... got nuked very easily by the big dude. effectively killing every single skeleton in 1 slam at 28 minutes (350 damage) now they can survive up to 43 minutes (500 damage) thats pretty huge, because not only are they more resilent to the earilier level, they have the potential to survive two strikes in the early game when combined with life steal.

    this patch has effectively boosted the potential of skeletons in every area, without really making him stronger for beginners and low tiers.






    but...



    the Skeleton AI is still dirt stupid and breaks every 5 seconds...


    like...


    they stand around randomly after killing people, sometimes pretend towers don't exist, randomly break agro when wraith fire blast is cast on an enemy resulting in them hitting nearby creeps.

    did i mention they stand around often after kills for no real reason?

    why.PNG plz.PNG
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  13. Blarrg

    Blarrg Member

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    I believe the more impactful change was the consistency of gaining skeleton charges. Two creeps for a skeleton instead of praying for a crit to kill something is way more consistent and allows you to spam the spell for farming/pushing more often. Magic resistance was pretty nice but it doesn't really change the heroes that can deal with them.

    Still a garbage hero though because he is so easily kited.
     
  14. MortalKombat3

    MortalKombat3 Member

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    It's also better later, when you have high enough damage to kill creeps with just 2 hits, use Mjolner or Radiance... It's far better than "crit kill" later.
     
  15. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    i think the issue is wraith king isn't good late game, and lacking insta-kill crit handicaps his ability to farm up, and thus be able to be more relevant late game. i'd put his late game strength after the change to be overall lower, but having a decent amount more push potential through the buffs to skeletons themselves

    i logged about 30 something more games of wraith king since this change was made and my thoughts are... mostly mixed.

    hes easy to kite, easy to shut down in every lane, has no ability to contest normal hard carries in the late game without being already in a better spot than the enemy carry due to his slow farm speed and general relevance during a teamfight.

    he excels at pushing right now...

    but Lycan is kinda broken as hell right now and does offer better pushing potential now and generally speaking a higher threat in teamfights due to the fact you can't slow him or really kite him.

    other than that, from what i have seen the best lane for wraith king now may be middle lane, but he still has a list of issues that stop him from truly being able to run with the big dogs, which is kinda just the fact that after level 7 wraith king kinda stops getting stronger per say, and sort of just slowly falls off into oblivion as all his core components are there, and the only thing he can really do is increase mobility, damage, and methods to deal with CC. no matter what lane you put wraith king in, i think a competent group of players will out do him, even with the new complexity of skeletons making him quite a bit harder to nail down than a host of other hard carries at this point.
     
  16. MortalKombat3

    MortalKombat3 Member

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    Wraith King is vulnerable to kiting, but if not kited, he's just a beast. He's also quite tanky to let another 1-2 rightlickers in your team to actually deal damage. Also, dont forget about vampiric aura (especially with talent), it's 2x passive satanics for other right-clickers nearby. Overall, if you use him as tanky carry, rather than main DPS hero, he'll have a success (if enemy doesnt have too much CCs).
     
  17. Abdulink

    Abdulink Member

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    His level 20 Talents are retarded. You *have* to take the mana talent;there's no choice. Cos if you don't the enemy will abuse it with Diffusals and fuck you up.
     
  18. SaitoAOG

    SaitoAOG Member

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    i mean... him being a "beast" if not kited applies to literally all melee carries right? his dps isn't than insane and his lack of armor coupled with a not great strength growth and no real innate tankage from spells (things like dragon's blood) makes him relatively squishy among strength carries, the only reason he ends up tankier is his second life which can be a nonfactor at times due to his major issues being pretty crippling. my point really is hes not that scary compared to most carries, his crit is something like a +30% increase to his damage, but its the only thing thats scary, compare that to sven, ursa, lifestealer, Chaos knight, etc hes not a "beast"

    however onto the real issue, his vamp aura is pretty trash tbh. most of the reason comes from the lane he has to run in, since support king was just beaten with a bat to the point of being nigh useless, wraith king tends to have to run in a carry role. issue with this is well... tons of characters can make use of lifesteal, just most of them run safelane as a carry, wraith king as such is hard to pair in those teams since he can't function in 2-1-2 situations due to his weak lane presence when dealing with multiple opponents. the other issue is... wraith kings lifesteal has a direct comparsion, vladimirs offering, which offers half the lifesteal (when looking at melees) and a host of other goodies and is a completely trash item, that could probably be 500 cheaper and no one would still buy it (except lycan because you know... hes broken in every tier of play atm)

    i dont really know how you can be a tanky carry, and still have a another core carry, because even in my experience of playing wraith middle, the only thing that keeps you relevant is your push potential coupled with helm of the dominator.

    i dont think this is true, however in the matchups where its being abused it feels absolutely stupid that im chugging mangos left and right trying to keep my mana pool alive, despite the fact that wraith king isn't some old-huskar level BS when uncountered, rather still being... a pretty trash carry when uncountered. and then you sink a skill point into a pretty nearly useless talent just so you can actually fill your inventory and not have to keep emergency mangos on you 24/7
     
  19. MortalKombat3

    MortalKombat3 Member

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    There are other heroes with retarded talents. For example, Gyro - among his talents, only lvl10 provides a reacl choice (HP or takiness). All other talents are complete "no-brainers", because one of the talents is completely useless bullshit. Or, look and Underlord lvl15. You have to choose between useless +15 damage/hero kill, and almost just as useless +100 cast range (when other heroes get +125 cast range at level 10 while having more targeted skills). Why he cant get a simple +13 strength or +2 MP/sec talent?