The International 2023, held in Seattle, has witnessed many captivating moments, but one that stands out is the incredible prowess of Necrophos. This hero, though not often in the limelight, boasts an impressive 71% win rate. Let’s delve deep into the circumstances and strategies that have turned Necrophos into a formidable contender in this year’s tournament.
Necrophos’ Core Abilities
Understanding Necrophos’ strength begins with an overview of his unique skill set:
- Death Pulse: This ability damages enemies while simultaneously healing allies within its area of effect, and it refreshes every five seconds.
- Ghost Shroud: Activating this renders Necrophos ethereal, which not only slows down enemies in proximity but also amplifies the healing Necrophos imparts.
- Heartstopper Aura: This passive ability ensures enemies continuously lose a chunk of their maximum health when near Necrophos.
- Reaper’s Scythe: Serving as an execute move, this ultimate ability deals increased damage based on the target’s missing health. Securing a kill with this ability enhances Necrophos’ health and mana regeneration permanently.
The Tanky Hero Meta of TI 2023
This year, The International has observed a shift in hero preference, leaning heavily towards tanky heroes such as Earth Spirit, Primal Beast, Spectre, and Bristleback. These heroes, characterized by their robustness, deal damage progressively in extended battles.
Necrophos, in this context, is a perfect fit. He excels in enduring battles, chipping away at the health of these tanky foes, and then delivering the coup de grâce with his Reaper’s Scythe. The potency of this ability against high HP cores is especially notable.
Blademail and Heart: The Meta-defining Items
The International 2022 saw the rise of the Wraith Pact, but this year, Blademail and Heart take the spotlight. Aligned with the theme of TI 2023, these items prioritize tankiness over immediate damage output.
However, Necrophos emerges as a natural counter to this trend. His Heartstopper Aura and Reaper’s Scythe are particularly effective against heroes with vast HP pools. This synergy between his abilities and the prevalent tanky builds has further cemented his status as a top-tier hero this year.
Laning Dominance of Necrophos
A hero’s capability in the laning phase often dictates the flow of the game, and here, too, Necrophos shines brightly. His innate ability to gain both health and mana regeneration with each kill ensures he remains dominant, rendering bottles or extra regenerations redundant. His consistent performance across lanes gives his team an early edge.
While the Gaimin Gladiators appear to be the only team fully leveraging Necrophos, boasting a 100% win rate across their four picks, it remains to be seen how other teams respond to or adapt this strategy.
Necrophos’ surge in popularity and success at The International 2023 cannot be attributed to mere luck. A confluence of his intrinsic abilities, the current hero meta, and strategic item choices have propelled him to the forefront. As the tournament progresses, it’ll be intriguing to observe if more teams recognize and harness his potential or devise methods to counteract his influence.