Analyzing the Hand of Midas popularity post Dota 2 patch 7.21
Image from: GosuGamers
Every meta in Dota 2 can be associated with something particular; may it be the rubber band effect or the death ball lineups. If the new meta evolving with Dota 2 patch 7.21 is to be associated with anything, it is probably Hand of Midas. Hand of Midas has skyrocketed to popularity after the new patch was released and after a decline in its usage in the last few metas, it seems the golden hand is back in favor again. The graph below gives a good idea of how popular the invent has become in professional games less than a month into 7.21. Some of the patches have been clubbed together as they were short patches that weren’t there to stay.
Average Hand of Midas pickups every game in professional games based on the patch (data taken from datdota)
The table below gives an idea of how many games were played during every period.
Like Nahaz says, stats don’t lie. There is a crazy growth in the Hand of Midas pickups with just 407 games of 7.21 in the bag. Well, we don’t really need a graph to see that. It can be seen in every game, multiple heroes picking up a Midas, regardless of being a support or a core. The pickups-to-games ratio of 7.21 isn’t quite as high as that for patches 7.00 to 7.05, but as the number of games go up, there is bound to be an increase in the ratio. The initial few games where everyone is trying to figure out the meta were probably ones that didn’t see too many Midas pickups. To get a better idea, we can look at the stats from the start to end of the group stages of ESL One Katowice and MDL Macau. In those three days, the ratio of Midas pickups to number of games is 2.01. An average of two Hands of Midas every game have been picked up in the group stages of the two tournaments happening, and the number is probably only so low because of the games that ended early. Long duration games see more than four or five heroes picking up the item. But the big question is, why are the pros suddenly Midas hungry and why does the item make sense with patch 7.21? Let’s try to find some answers.
The reason Hand of Midas was so popular from 7.00 to 7.05 was that there was a dearth of farm on the map.
This was one of the big changes made when Dota 2 patch 7.00 was released. Neutral creeps spawned only at odd minutes and that made farm very hard to come by. Naturally, heroes turned to Hand of Midas to make up for the reduced farm on the map. The neutral creep spawn was restored to every minute from 7.06, so after that patch, the popularity started going down. Also, the game duration started getting shorter so Midas wasn’t really the way to go.
So what similarities does 7.21 have with the early patches after Dota 2 7.00 was released? Let’s take a look:
The melee creep bounty has been reduced, and even though that’s only by 3, considering the the fact that majority of every creep wave consists of melee creeps, it all adds up. The overall farm in lanes has gone down because of that. Now with the range creep bounty scaling better, maybe this effect isn’t felt late in the game. But early on, it definitely hampers the farm rate. What’s the best way to bolster the farm rate in that case? Hand of Midas!
Till 7.20, there used to be two sets of ancient creeps for both, the Radiant and Dire. With 7.21, that’s been reduced to one on each side and it adds to the lack of farm. So not only have lanes reduced in gold potential, so has the jungle!
-Average big camp gold is 101, average ancient camp gold is 173. There is a loss of 72 gold every minute from the jungle. Not considering the increasing neutral creeps bounties, for a 60 minutes game, that is a potential loss of 4320 gold.
–?Average big camp XP is 171.6, average ancient camp XP is 261.75. That’s 90.15 XP potentially lost out every minute.
Lesser gold as well as lesser XP now with the new jungle. What’s the item that can help you make up for lost gold and XP? Hand-of-Goddamn-Midas!
More XP is required to get from level 7 to level 12 than before. That means additional time to get to those levels and hitting the first talent and level 2 ultimate. Midas helps bridge that gap with the Transmute 1.85x experience. With cores, the Hand of Midas comes early on in the game, so it does help in climbing those levels.
The overall effect of 7.21 is that the meta has been slowed down. It isn’t like 7.20 where lineups snowball and end the game in 20-25 minutes. The games tend to go longer and Hand of Midas helps heroes scale well into the late game. Later on, the item can be sold off for a quick 1075 gold.
All the gameplay changes point towards Hand of Midas being a good item. Another point that Dota Alchemy made in a video is that the Hand of Midas attack speed was increased from 30 to 40. That’s a good chunk of attack speed, especially for a hero like Lifestealer who has extremely low attack speed early on in the game. Even when Transmute is on cooldown, Midas helps you farm faster passively. In case of Ursa, the hero is strong with the new changes, but doesn’t scale well into the late game because he doesn’t farm too well. Midas helps Fuzzy Wuzzy hit the 600-700 GPM mark which was a rarity before.
In conclusion, the changes made in Dota 2 patch 7.21 have made Hand of Midas a very conducive inventory. Even though the active bounty was reduced from 200 to 180 in 7.21b, the popularity of the item does not seem to have gone down. The Midas meta is back after early two years and even though it will probably ruin pubs all around, it will add a different element to pro games on the horizon!