Divine Rapier: How one change has completely revolutionized the item
Since the advent of professional Dota 2, items have entered into metas and they have gone out based on buffs or nerfs. But Divine Rapier has been an item that has never really been a meta item, and rightly so. Having a 6200 gold item with +330 go to your enemy is not something you want. It’s a 12,400 net worth swing in the fraction of a second! Historically, the item has mostly been bought in scenarios where it was a last resort. Some of the bolder players like Eternal Envy and Miracle have, on occasion, bought it in times of stalemates to make or break the game, but those occasions have been rare. But Dota 2 patch 7.23 brought with it a change that has made Divine Rapier an item to be considered as an offensive item instead of a done used while on the back foot.
Why is this change important? Because True Strike was taken out of the game in patch 7.07! Before that, Monkey King Bar possessed it, but it was revoked and granted only to Ember Spirit for a while as a talent. Now, True Strike is back with one of the costliest and potentially biggest game changing items of Dota 2. The item could easily be countered by evasion in the previous patches and having an MKB was pretty much a necessity before buying a late game Rapier. But that isn’t the case any more. Professional players have taken it a step further, getting Rapiers quite early on in the game to grab an Aegis and finish the game. Fogged thinks the same about this change to Divine Rapier.
Adding true strike to rapier was such a godly change. Love how much were gonna see rapiers because of it compared to the rarity of the past.
The change was implemented in Dota 2 patch 7.23, but in the initial release of the change log, Valve forgot to add it. So when the community was going through the new changes for the first time, no one realized this change had been made. It was added into the change log a few days later and only then, people got wind of it. The graph below shows the pick rate for Divine Rapier based on patches. In patch 7.23, the pick rate actually went down but as everyone realized that this was a prominent change and saw the potential in it, the pick rate skyrocketed in patch 7.24 to more than 10%, a place where it has never been before (at least since the advent of Dota 2 7.00). The maximum before this was around 6%, which was for the two week patches from 7.08 to 7.19 (7.19 was a long one on which TI8 was played). Granted that patch 7.24 has seen only 440 competetive games, which is a lot less as compared to some of the others, but signs for the growing popularity of Divine Rapier are certainly showing.
So what exactly does the item provide early game? Like mentioned earlier, it gives the team that is ahead a great chance to get an Aegis and push for the win. Not too many teams are expecting to fight against a Rapier 25 or 30 minutes into the game. And it is also an excellent counter to Randiance, Halberd (which has become quite popular in the last couple of patches) as well as the early evasion talents. As for the late game, it offers the chance to forgo an MKB to ensure insane amounts of damage and True Strike. In the last two patches, the average purchase time for Divine Rapier has gone down while the win rate has gone up.
Average purchase time:
Patches 7.00 to 7.22 – 52:18
Patch 7.23 and 7.24 – 44:45
Patches 7.00 to 7.22 – 38.77%
Patch 7.23 and 7.24 – 46.38%
The Medusa factor
Majority of the early game purchases of Divine Rapier have been on Medusa. Miracle actually set a new record a few weeks ago for the earliest Rapier purchase ever in a professional game at 20 minutes and 28 seconds. Medusa is the perfect candidate for the early game Rapier – Aegis combo. A lot HP, insane amounts of damage to multiple targets and ability to turn rushing heroes into stone! The other candidates are Ember Spirit, who has multiple escape mechanisms and Wraith King, who naturally has two lives. A Troll Warlord backed by an Oracle could also be a good early Rapier carrier, if the game calls for it.
What a small change and yet, a huge impact. Such is the brilliant game of Dota 2 – you never know how things are going to turn out until it actually happens. Patch 7.24 will be around for the third and fourth sets of DPC Minor and Major (looking at last year’s pattern), so we will know more on how teams are including the Divine inventory in their plans as the more tournaments unfold on the patch.
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