This is why Ancient Apparition has the highest win rate in Dota 2

By Kenneth Williams


May 29, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

A metagame centered around tanky core heroes has pushed Ancient Apparition to the top of Dota 2’s pecking order.

The ice demon currently sports a 55.12% win rate, the highest in Dota 2, thanks to his unique ability to prevent healing. He’s the winningest hero in every bracket below Immortal, where Broodmother, Meepo, and Dark Seer take over.

His margin of victory is almost .5% above the next closest hero Abyssal Underlord. Aside from a couple of minor buffs to Ice Vortex, the hero is essentially the same as his 7.28 incarnation. So what’s pushed the anti-healing support into the top tier? The answer lies in 7.29’s metagame shift.

Ancient Apparition counters Dota 2 tank and heal meta

The power of Ancient Apparition has little to do with his base kit. Cold Feet does good damage, but the stun comes with a built-in solution for its target. Ice Vortex is cheaper than before, but the spell just doesn’t do much until level four. Chilling Touch is a band-aid for the hero’s mediocre lane presence.

Ancient Apparition’s ultimate ability Ice Blast is the real star of the show. The massive area-of-effect spell can be cast globally, instantly killing foes once they hit low health. Most importantly, it prevents any healing for the entirety of its 12-second duration.

Take a look at the highest win rate heroes in Dota 7.29 courtesy of Dotabuff. Notice any patterns? 

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Ice Blast counters almost every hero on the list in one way or another. Meepo’s Ransack no longer sustains him in fights. Spectre’s regeneration from Vanguard and Heart of Tarrasque get shut down. Dazzle, Necrophos, and Warlock all lose key parts of their kit. Even Dark Seer, Underlord, and Enigma get their precious Guardian Greaves negated by Ice Blast. Other metagame picks such as Huskar and Lifestealer have difficulty playing against an AA.

The few exceptions are heroes that counter Ancient Apparition, or can at least capably play into him. Wraith King tanks the Ice Blast during his first life before reincarnating safe and sound. Centaur Warrunner can get on top of Ancient Apparition to start the fight. 

Ancient Apparition defines the 7.29 metagame, though you wouldn’t guess it from his pick rate. Despite his incredible success in pub matches, Ancient Apparition is only the 25th most picked hero of 7.29. The only Dota Pro Circuit region to favor him has been Eastern Europe, where he’s achieved a 65% win rate across 20 matches played. 

While not as flashy as some of the other metagame terrors, Ancient Apparition is undeniably the best Dota hero to grind MMR right now.