Pangolier, The Time Traveller in Dota. Meta overview over the last year. Patch 7.21d
Throughout his short lifespan, Pangolier has already managed to see a multitude of various ups and downs. No, really, the way he entered the professional scene carved a path for an entirely unique fate for him. He’s had an anniversary of joining the competitive Dota just recently, and that is a good reason to remember the start of his path, discuss the past, and talk about the future.
Rolling Thunder at the end of March, 2018
That is the literal translation of Pangolier’s ultimate. Coincidentally, that is the exact way he entered the team fight between the top-tier professional teams at the end of the March last year.
The day one of Dota Asia Championship 2018 brought in a new patch, which shook everyone who was involved in the event.
For more than a month, Virtus Pro remained unbeatable and was winning one Major after another by using the same heroes over and over again. Team Secret and PSG.LGD were also at the top. Just before the Major started, a huge balance patch was rolled out, which was aimed at shifting the balance of powers on the professional scene. This was a decision made by Valve, and they will be harshly criticized for it by many players later on.
It wasn’t about all of the changes made to the heroes. It was actually the last point in the patch notes, which we decided to overlook, that hit us the most.
No one was prepared for one of the most “broken” heroes of the high-tier public matches to be added to the competitive game. No one, but Iceiceice and Mineski, who went against the odds and claimed the victory in the tournament, by outperforming LGD during the finals, right in front of their home audience.
Iceiceice’s Pangolier in a teamfight against the Team Secret: https://clips.twitch.tv/MagnificentWiseSandwichRuleFive?tt_medium=clips_api&tt_content=url
Shield Crash. The Era of Stagnation
There was no way for Pangolier to keep up with his initial pro-scene jump-start. He wasn’t going to avoid getting changed in the following patches, and, well, the element of surprise was no longer on his side. And without it, the things are suddenly not all that easy for him.
Pangolier was still being picked by the professional players and was still crushing the high-tier ranked matches, but he wasn’t doing it as often and as effectively. He just had to wait for the next patch to roll out.
Lucky Shot in patch 7.20
A truly massive patch 7.20, which reworked and changed the highest amount of heroes in the history of patches, has not left Pangolier without his own bit of attention. A heart-piercing hooligan was requalified into an actual swashbuckler with a moonshot of his own.
It might not have happened instantly, but Pangolier’s new passive had been received well enough. This time, Pangolier wasn’t cheating and was slowly finding his way back into the professional team rosters, and to the top of the high-tier ranked matches.
His new ability turned him into an even stronger disabler than before and made him a lot more difficult to handle during a teamfight.
History repeats itself.
And now, a year after his once-triumphant entrance into the professional scene, Pangolier repeated his long gone success. His appearances during the Dreamleague Season 11 weren’t as unexpected and controversial as before, but they weren’t any less effective. He was in the top three, both in the pick/ban category and in the pick rate alone.
And he didn’t seem to limit himself in terms of roles either. He wasn’t just an offlaner anymore. He was often used as a midlaner. And he could actually come to the offlane as a mere support.
Shield Crash, vol.2. Final One?
This kind of performance during a Major was just asking for a nerf from Valve. Another nerf, which sent him all the way back to the bottom of competitive Dota without a due date.
And the ranked matches weren’t any different for him. He is still somewhere at the top of the popularity table among the high-tier players, but is it going to last? We’ll don’t know.
We know one thing for sure. Pangolier will come back to the professional scene, and he will make another show out of it. But when and how is it going to happen? That remains a mystery.
For now, it’s just about time to start learning how to play him, so you can use the chance when it comes. You don’t want to go “gg” after a team fight, do you?
The final fight between Virtus Pro and Fnatic: https://www.twitch.tv/dreamleague/clip/SavageTardyBarracudaCharlieBitMe
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Are there many Pangolier players in this sub? What do you think of his place in the current meta? Still playing Pango after the nerfs?