Vengeful Spirit dominates TI12 picks


Vengeful Spirit Is the Most Picked Hero at TI12 So Far

Dorjee Palzang
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Vengeful Spirit finds herself on the top of hero picks for TI12
Despite her recent nerfs, pro teams are opting for Vengeful Spirit at The International 2023.

The International 2023 (TI12), the most prestigious event in the Dota 2 competitive calendar, is currently in full swing. With the group stage now a memory and the playoffs set to take center stage in just a few days, one hero has emerged as the unifying thread across the tournament's diverse landscape. It is none other than Vengeful Spirit. She became the most-picked hero at TI12 at the end of group stage phase 2 on Day 4. 

If you are an ardent Dota 2 player and someone who keeps tabs on the balance changes, you will know that Vengeful Spirit was nerfed a few times ahead of The International 2023. Naturally, Dota 2 esports enthusiasts are fascinated by Vengeful Spirit’s domination in the pick phase, with many wondering why teams have seemingly chosen her as the go-to support pick for TI12.

The Versatile Arsenal of Vengeful Spirit

Renowned as a versatile support hero, Vengeful Spirit's toolkit boasts crowd control prowess and the uncanny ability to shift the balance in team fights. Her prowess in initiation and counter-initiation has made her a cornerstone of strategic depth in the current Dota 2 meta.

Within the cauldron of competition at TI12, Vengeful Spirit has taken the spotlight. According to Dota Buff, at the time of writing this article, she has been summoned in an impressive 33 out of the 100 games played thus far, underscoring her popularity and indispensable value in the arena. However, she currently sits at a modest 39.39% win rate.

Vengeful has a plethora of versatile skills in her arsenal, her Magic Missile serves as a powerful single target stun that can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Shard to bounce off to a nearby enemy unity.

Her Wave of Terror is a boon for her heroes like Templar Assassin and Phantom Assassin as it reduces the armor of enemies hit by the wave.

Vengeance Aura grants additional physical damage buff, this can be a very useful aura to have in team, effectively increasing the team’s physical damage by 25% at level of this skill.

Vengeful Spirit's ultimate ability, Nether Swap, serves as an influential instrument in dictating the course of battle. This ability enables her to dynamically alter her position with that of an ally or enemy hero. The tactical implications of this capability are profound, ranging from rescues to strategic disruptions, making Vengeful Spirit a perennial choice for team captains and drafters.

Vengeful Spirit's Impressive TI12 Performance

At TI12, Vengeful Spirit has proven herself to be a go-to choice for several teams. Her TI12 statistics speak volumes about her value in the competitive landscape. Here's a breakdown of her performance with some notable teams at the tournament:

  • Betboom Team: Vengeful Spirit has been picked by Betboom Team a total of six times, resulting in an impressive four wins. 

  • Evil Geniuses: Considered one of the top-tier teams in the Dota 2 scene, Evil Geniuses has picked Vengeful Spirit five times at TI12, securing three wins with her on its side.

  • Entity: Entity, another participant in the tournament, has opted for Vengeful Spirit in five games, sharing a similar win record with three games.

  • While has chosen Vengeful Spirit on four occasions, the team only managed to win one game with Vengeful Spirit on its side. 

Vengeful Spirit's Resilience Despite Recent Nerfs

In a testament to her enduring relevance, Vengeful Spirit continues to grace the competitive arena despite enduring a series of nerfs in recent patches. The enduring appeal of this hero can be traced back to the succinct observations made by prominent Dota 2 commentator and streamer Brian "BSJ" Canavan.

BSJ astutely recognized the role of Vengeful Spirit as an optimal choice due to the limited preparation time leading up to TI12. With only a meager two-week window between patch release and the commencement of the tournament, teams have clung to familiar heroes, meticulously honed through countless hours of practice. 

He said, “It’s [Vengeful Spirit] has been nerfed a lot and so I think any hero that’s been nerfed a lot in 7.34d but was also very popular prior will still be picked a lot because the teams only had one week prior to the tournament starting in order to adjust their draft.”

He added that these comfort-pick heroes will get picked less and less as the tournament progresses. 

Vengeful Spirit’s Map Presence Augmented by Aghanim's Scepter

A defining feature of Vengeful Spirit's appeal lies in her Aghanim's Scepter upgrade. This scepter empowers her with the ability to uphold a formidable map presence, creating a potent illusion upon her death, equipped with her entire skillset. The additional dimension this grants her in team fights, skirmishes, and high-stakes engagements marks her as a relentless force to be reckoned with

As TI12 evolves and approaches its climax, Vengeful Spirit remains steadfast as the most frequently chosen hero despite recent nerfs. However, the latter stages of the tournament typically usher in a flurry of surprises and strategic innovations, as teams reach into their playbook for unconventional, pocket picks.

As the tournament unfolds, we anticipate a fascinating shift in hero choices, as teams diverge from the comfort of Vengeful Spirit to explore uncharted territories, all the while, preserving the thrilling unpredictability that characterizes Dota 2's premier competitive event.

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Dorjee is an avid Dota enthusiast, he has been playing the game since it was just a map in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne back in 2009, he transitioned to Dota 2 in 2014 and can't stop playing ever since!

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