Night Stalker and Io, two of the scariest heroes in Dota 2 this season, are experiencing a drop in their win rates in public games. Both heroes have lost at least 4.3% of their wins and losses since the implementation of Patch 7.18. Night Stalker’s win rate has gone down from nearly 52% to as low as 47%, while Io’s win rate has dropped from 41.7% to 37.4%.
Night Stalker’s success in the Pro Circuit season was due to his early game ganking ability. With the day and night cycle changing every four minutes in Dota 2, Night Stalker would gain a huge advantage in movement speed and utility, allowing him to get kills without any items. However, Patch 7.18 nerfed Night Stalker’s Q ability Void, causing it to deal only half of its normal damage during the day. This significantly decreases Night Stalker’s efficiency during the day and has led to a decline in his success rate.
Patch 7.18 also had a negative impact on Io. Io’s ability to turn one of his teammates into a global threat has always been a highlight in professional Dota 2. However, Relocate, Io’s powerful spell, has been changed to a channeling spell, meaning it immediately consumes mana and goes on cooldown regardless of whether or not the spell finishes casting. This change requires players to carefully consider their Relocate targets and plan ahead when trying to save a teammate. Io already has a naturally low win rate in public games due to his difficulty and the coordination required with Relocate. Despite this, the nerfs have affected Io’s success even in lower tiers of play.
It remains to be seen whether these changes will affect the popularity of these heroes in the highest level of play, especially with such significant nerfs to their key abilities. The International 8 will reveal how these heroes fare in the professional scene, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them fall out of favor.
Keywords: Dota 2, Night Stalker, Io, win rate, Patch 7.18, Pro Circuit season, ganker, ability, Void, nerf, Relocate, mana, cooldown, coordination, popularity, professional scene, The International 8.