By quincy0191

Two cycles of HoN Tour Season 3 have already passed us by, and with a quarter of the season already over, it’s a great time to take a look back and see how the game has changed since the summer, namely the Carnage in Caldavar event. With 61 games in the books so far this season, we’re not particularly close to the 150 games played in CiC, but there’s enough of a trend established so far to check out some early risers and fallers in both win rate and usage.

In order to qualify, a hero must have at least 10 games played in Carnage and at least 5 games played in HoN Tour. The difference in qualification requirement is to balance the difference in the maximum potential games played. We’ll start out with the biggest win% gains we’ve seen so far:

Biggest Win% Gains

Gauntlet’s the big one. Every time that hero gets picked up and his overall stats go on the screen, it’s a point of conversation. Gauntlet was awful in CiC, the worst hero with at least ten games played, and only six games and a 1-5 record from Valkyrie prevent him from taking the five-game title as well. But in CiC he’s been entirely competent, going 4-3 for the biggest win jump of any hero through two cycles of both events.

Puppet Master and Chipper both deserve a mention, the former because he was surprisingly ineffective in Carnage. The hero was banned out nearly every game due to its perceived power, but when it got into games it actually fell a bit flat. That trend hasn’t carried over to HoN Tour, as PM is generally considered a lot weaker than previously thought and therefore is more easily available, but in an ironic twist is actually having more success than previously. Chipper, meanwhile, has gone from a rarely used but effective hero to an oft-picked game-changer. Past Magebane’s 5-0 record, Chipper owns the highest win% and sneaks inside the top 15 most picked heroes (a six-way tie, but it counts!).

Biggest Win% Losses

The first thing to notice is the games played column. Each of these heroes has struggled so far this season, but they all at least tie Chipper for a top 15 spot out of the 78 heroes we’ve seen played so far. Their success in CiC (mostly) has led teams to go after them, but it looks like whatever made them good has changed quite a lot.

There are some very surprising names on this list. Right at the top is one of the biggest, as Doctor Repulsor was one of the best heroes in Carnage and is now one of the worst in HoN Tour. The hero has been played extensively by the top teams as well, and WOP DASH is the only squad that’s positive at 1-0. Both SynC and tree are 2-2, and KNX, BMG, and Dawn are a collective 0-4. DR is getting picked up by plenty of teams, but isn’t finding wins.

Drunken Master is the other notable name here, mostly because he was already at a below-.500 record in Carnage. But in HoN Tour he’s down to a miserable 23.1% win rate in 13 games, meaning the hero is picked regularly but just can’t win. In fact, he has the second-lowest win rate of all heroes with at least five games, with Blood Hunter at 0-5 and taking the crown. DM’s been passed around quite a lot, with Null leading the way in pick rate but sporting a 1-3 record, followed by Reason’s 1-2. BMG has one win in one game, while tUS, tree, KNX, W0P, and Dawn all lost the one time they tried him. This is a case of an already questionable hero getting even worse.

Biggest Use% Gains

The names on this list should not be surprising, as we’ve seen a lot of them and they are no doubt powerful. It is a little interesting that Tempest is leading the charts, and I did not expect to see him used in nearly half of the games played so far. He did have a 55% win rate in CiC, but he’s down to 44% in HTS3, so maybe he doesn’t really deserve the increased pickups.

Glacius and Parasite both received significant buffs, especially Parasite, so their jump in use is likely explained there. Rhapsody is just a ridiculously powerful hero that more and more teams are realizing is amazing among a pool of limited support options. Skillblade is Skillblade, the hero that can do anything and is rapidly becoming a huge problem for opposing teams.

Biggest Use% Losses

Oh, good. Drunken Master didn’t have a great time of things in Carnage, finishing with a 42.9% win rate despite being tied for the fifth-most picked hero. It seems like teams are recognizing his problems and drastically decreasing their use of the versatile alcoholic, as he’s down to under a quarter of games. Something similar can be said about Torturer, who was the most picked hero in CiC and won just 44.7% of the time – a mark that’s fallen to 37.5% so far in HoN Tour. And Puppet Master, as just mentioned, fits a similar description.

Bubbles, on the other hand, doesn’t really deserve the hit. He won just over half his matches in the last event (50.7%), and his ability to play in any of the three lanes and complement most lineups suggests that he’s a hero worth picking. Engineer, too, won 58.3% of the time and should be at an advantage in a metagame where the list of viable supports is very short – Rhapsody is currently the only consistent support that has played at least five games and won more than half the time.

Generally, though, the changes in use rates are pretty sensible. Heroes that did not do well in CiC are dropping, and heroes that consistently showed power are rising. That’s not exactly surprising, as captains probably eschew the little die in the middle of the board, otherwise we would see a lot more dying (PUNS!). But as the game changes and teams’ strategies and picks have to adapt, it’s always nice to verify that these players are moving with the flow instead of stubbornly resisting it.