Offlane keeps being the most experimental role in the game. It frequently flips on its head and it is exactly what happened with the release of the latest patch. If previously you could get away by being a tanky, static aura-carrier, currently you are much better off playing high-impact tempo cores. It is a lot more fun, but it does require some adjustment. We can’t really improve the mechanical skill of our readers or their playstyle, but we can certainly highlight heroes who overperform in the current patch and discuss the reasons why it happens.
A very small change to how the hero’s abilities work and suddenly LC got a lot easier to play. Not that the hero was too fiddly previously, but right now playing her feels buttery-smooth. It just makes sense.
Having an on-demand AS increase that you can use during the duel makes the hero objectively more powerful, outside of quality of life improvements. Previously, even if played perfectly, you would lose half-a-second of your crucial buffs. Right now you can even wait a little bit, for some extra targets to get in range.
A +140 AS buff, a pseudo-crit with lifesteal and a very powerful disable make LC the most consistent and tempo core in the offlane. She can scale very well, comes online very fast and usually gets to dominate her lane. If you are not sure what to pick, LC is almost always a good choice.
She also has the benefit of being a conventional offlaner, so most of your teammates will know what to do with her on your team.
Dark Seer is also very conventional, but not very popular. The hero doesn’t really have a straightforward disable, but he is possibly the only aura-carrier still overperforming in the current patch. He can get his team items early and reliably, and unlike other offlane aura heroes, he doesn’t need to buy extra mobility: Surge is usually good enough in the earlier stages of the game.
On top of it, the hero has one of the coolest features in the game: he turns the enemy Net Worth and Levels against them. This makes him a very strong comeback hero: with Dark Seer on your team there is always hope of a comeback.
In games you are winning, he is aggressive enough to punish farming enemy characters and can be very oppressive through his ability to constantly push in multiple lanes. All in all, a very well-rounded hero, who will rarely feel out of place, outside of some Oracle lane matchups.
We are getting further and further away from conventional position three heroes, but with her powerful teamfight ultimate, Winter Wyvern still makes a lot of sense as an offlane hero. She recently received a pretty sizable buff to her first level damage and coupled with her being a Universal hero, she is no longer lacking in right-click DPS department, and that is very important for creep contesting.
All-in-all, outside of being squishier and slower than most offlaners, we feel like Winter Wyvern still plays more or less the same. She wants to low-commit with regular hero abilities for support pick-offs and generally wants to get Blink Dagger later on to start fights with a strong setup.
Witch Blade is still exceptional on the hero, despite her now being Universal, but don’t sleep on Rod of Atos. It is extremely efficient on Universal heroes, simply because it gives good survivability stats, a very strong active and a lot of damage.
In fact, we feel like Rod of Atos is one of the main reasons Offlane Windranger is a thing. This item allows the hero to be more reliable with her hard disable in Shackleshot, while also staying a DPS threat. It also gives her enough tankiness to soak up a couple of nukes, if needed. Between the stats from Atos and Windrun, WR is a very hard target to deal with.
Later progression can involve items like Diffusal Blade for even more soft crowd control and a DPS bump. Don’t underestimate how quickly you can deplete the mana pools of some heroes in the early game. Many meta mids and offlanes are spellcasters first and foremost.
We will point out that Windranger in the Offlane is very far from being conventional, especially in sub-Immortal level. You will most likely get some questions from your teammates and might cause some unnecessary tension. The hero works wonders in this role, but we don’t feel like she is overpowered enough to make up for potential teammate tilt, so play her with caution. She is best left for games in a party.
Are you happy that we are seeing a return to aggressive, in your face initiators; or did you prefer the aura-carrier meta of the previous patch? Share your thoughts on the current offlane meta in the comment section below.