Tundra Esport’s mid Winter Wyvern almost landed the team a spot in the $40,000,000 The International 2021. Though Tundra came a game shy of making it to the event, the character can still get you some MMR.
Leon “Nine” Kirilin’s mid lane duels against Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen were the literal centerpiece of Europe’s TI10 qualifier grand finals. Tied at 1-1, Tundra drafted a very mysterious eighth-pick Winter Wyvern for game three. Nine would take the hero to the mid lane and end the game 14-2 with an absurd 21,600 net worth.
Nine’s mid Winter Wyvern relies on several keys buffs from 7.29. More armor and turn speed are always nice, and Arctic Burn got eight seconds chopped off its level one cooldown. Level four Burn deals 38% of an enemy’s current health with just one hit, and Aghanim’s Scepter completely removes any downtime from the ability. Commentator and TI5 champion Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling ranks it as one of the best abilities in the game.
It’s important to note that Winter Wyvern mid is definitely a “win more” hero. Tundra drafted it again in game five but Nine wasn’t able to replicate the feat after falling behind in the laning phase.
The starting item kit for mid Wyvern is the standard for any ranged hero. Null Talisman pieces and a pack of tangos can be supplemented with Healing Salves and Clarity potions later in the lane. Arctic Burn is strong, but max Splinter Blast for the lane. Blast is great for harassing your lane opponent and securing ranged creeps.
At level six, you should have three points in Splinter Blast and two points in Arctic Burn. Try to keep mid pushed and farm the jungle between creep waves. Winter Wyvern doesn’t excel at ganking, but taking Winter’s Curse at six will let you defend your side lanes if needed. After a Null Talisman or two and brown boots, start saving up for Witch Blade.
Witch Blade gives attack speed, armor, and intelligence, everything a core Wyvern needs. The slow stacks with Arctic Burn and Splinter Blast to bring enemies’ movement speed to a crawl. Aghanim’s Scepter comes next, as it allows Wyvern to constantly have Arctic Burn active. Boots of Travel will help you keep up the tempo as you soar across the map melting foes with percentage-based damage.
This combination makes Winter Wyvern a deadly threat against tanky core heroes like Axe, which is currently dominating the Dota 2 meta. Not only that, but the hero is intensely difficult to kill after getting Aghanim’s Scepter as the hero can simply toggle on Arctic Burn and escape into the treeline. The build isn’t going to be ideal in every game, as agility and intelligence cores like Ursa, Phantom Assassin, and Lina would rather be facing Winter Wyvern’s percentage-based damage than a more conventional carry. But regardless, solo queue players will be delighted to know that mid Winter Wyvern is now legitimate.