Last patch I had a go at predicting the top 6 Pub Heroes for 6.80, and I was very close to what actually happened.
I believe that they are going to be Abaddon, Centaur Warrunner, Slardar, Omniknight, Lycan and Wraith King.
I wrote that in no particular order, just simply the top 6. I ended up getting 4/6 correct, with Omni being 11 and Slardar didn’t even move (oddly enough) at 20ish. I am going to again have a go at predicting the Pub Winrates for the upcoming patch.
Ursa is insane right now, and should sky-rocket from 52.9% winrate to top 6 material and hopefully start rivaling Wraith King. Roshing in pubs is really easy when people aren’t clued on, or are unwilling to scout it out as they should. With Ursa being able to Rosh earlier, it should give him a massive boost in early XP, and his team a massive boost in gold. My only concern with Ursa is that people may lose games due to bad item builds. I think blink is very core on Ursa, and people might start to pick it up less in favour of more experimental builds, such as Desolator. Which amps his damage, but doesn’t do much else (such as initiating, anti-kite, etc). Ursa should also win his lane a lot more with a devstating Orb of Venom pickup, adding to his strong early game presence, and improving his winrate. Personally I like to run Ursa mid, especially when you can exploit that ever so popular solo-mid pub Pudge.
Ursa exerts so much early game pressure, that pub players often have trouble dealing with or adapting to, which should open opportunities for Ursa to excel like never before.
Provided that people don’t continually miss the new Lightning Bolt, his winrate should also get a might boost akin to Ursa. I expect him to overtake Wraith King as well, going to about 57%+ winrate. The reason is that you can now very easily deward with the hero. I personally think that if there is no hero in the aoe, then lightning bolt shouldn’t hit, and thus you should be unable to deward. But for whatever reason this isn’t how it’s currently working, and you can just go on a deward frenzy whenever you want. Gosh, you could even run some odd new-meta support Zeus if you’re really keen. He gives you odd utility, but it can work. Keep in mind that by adding a 250 aoe, this effectively also increases how far away you can hit someone with it since cast range is always the center of the circle.
Zeus has a damage output like no other hero in the game, and now with vastly improved true sight, he will be able to crush you in more ways than before. You can’t run from heaven, especially when you have no wards to see him approaching.
With +1 second across the board for his ult, and then an additional +2 seconds for his global upgrade among other buffs, he will rise even more. Scepter is a very popular item already on Pub Omni’s, and I expect that he will get punched up a notch as he enters the top 10, which he only just missed out on last version.
You know that old saying “Who cares about Scepter, they will never have farm for it anyway” that people like to spurt. Well this isn’t even close for Lina. Ignoring boots, Scepter is the most commonly built item on Pub Lina. They will be everywhere in Pubs, and her winrate is surely expected to rise. A Gyro or Luna will have a hard time dealing with the sheer amount of BKB peircing damage her ultimate does. She has a poor 46% winrate at the moment, but with such a major buff to the most popular Lina item, she should rise as well, just not to Ursa tier.
Sometimes pubs are hard to predict. Riki’s backstab now works on denies, but it will require people to actually be able to take advantage of this for it to be majorly effective. Same goes for Necrolyte and the increased spawn timer. You need to ult the right hero for this to be the most effective, stopping an enemy core farming for longer is more effective than getting dead weight off the map for a bit longer. Zeus is also a bit like this, with the new dewarding technique.
The top heroes for 6.81 are most likely Abaddon, Ursa, Omniknight, Zeus and Necrolyte for sure. And most likely also Centaur, Vengeful Spirit, Lich, Warlock and Death Prophet.
Terrorblade is bound to plummet to the depths, and Lycan should drop too. The HP loss should give Lycans less wiggle room when they get caught out splitpushing and even though I think he’s a strong hero, I think he might just get overtaken by some others. Notable High Tier mentions must also go to Kotl, Ogre Magi, Sven, Riki and Bloodseeker, Witch Doctor. Perhaps I’m misplaced in my faith in Witch Doctor, but as strong advocate of the “max maledict first” movement, I eagerly await playing him. Perhaps even into top 10, one can dream…
Kunkka will most likely also rise, but not to top pub tier. Double duration Xs are really good when you have good communication with your team. I know I will be asking them to X me so I can TP to fountain and freshen up, just to come right back. I might even start to dabble in some Support Kunkka. But he is unlikely to become top tier.
Legion Commander also got some disgusting buffs to Overwhelming Odds, now doing +45 extra damage per heroes than before, for only -20 base damage. Cast that correctly and it will easily do 400+ damage.
As always, I have not covered every single hero, but have highlighted a bunch of very important buffs in order to make predictions. Overall I believe the patch winners for 6.81 are Ursa and Zeus though, who should gather awfully high winrates.