By quincy0191

Previously we examined the best hero combinations, and if you have any deductive reasoning skills at all, you’ll be able to figure out that this article is going to be about the worst hero combinations. If you didn’t realize that, I suggest you start either reading article titles or apply for a helmet. Actually, you should probably put one on anyway, because your brain won’t be able to handle the speed at which I’m about to fire stats at your head.

Worst Win% When on the Same Team

Huh. Well…hmmm. That looks like a list of very popular and generally very strong heroes. In fact, the lowest number of games played for any of those heroes is 50 by Puppet Master. Magmus (135 games), Torturer (131), and Bubbles (100) are three of the most popular heroes right now. Now, both Torturer and Drunken Master have win rates hovering around 40%, so it’s not like they’ve actually had all that much success, but teams certainly seem to like them. I’ll be honest, I was expecting a lot more Rally, Gauntlet, and Aluna.

Either way, these guys are tripping all over themselves when they get on a team together. But we do have filter out the negative influence of heroes like Tort and DM, so we’ll just proceed to the next table on the list as we did last time, and take a look at the difference in win rate when these heroes are together and when they’re apart:

Greatest Win% Loss by Difference

Like last time, it’s a pretty similar list. Pebbles and Torturer have been knocked off in favor of Puppet Master and Rhapsody, but only to 6th place. Bubbles and PM are now in the top spot instead of second place, switching with Glacius and Bubbles. Most importantly, the win% for these combos when played separately is over 50% for every combination except Pebbles and Drunken Master, so it’s not like we’re just getting generally weak heroes anymore.

Once again I went to people who know more than me. Fusen of team willowkeeper suggested that Magmus/Pebbles and Drunken tend to play the same role, and Bubbles and Glacius make for weak lanes in the current 2 2 1/1 2 1 metagame. Shrek is Love’s Kluckmuck echoed the former sentiment, saying that two melee cores are rather weak and the heroes in general don’t combo particularly well.

Flensmeister came through big, though, with thoughts on all five combos. I’ll paraphrase the summaries he gave, because they were pretty in-depth. Bubbles/Puppet has damage issues unless Puppet gets freefarm for too long, but the combo falls to aggression and push. iNsania added that both heroes do very poorly when the other team starts to pick up magic immunity. Glacius/Bubbles and Puppet/Rhapsody are probably just sample size flukes, as they should be a strong hero combination. Magmus/Drunken might be a coincidence too, though they don’t really provide an in-your-face tank hero. Finally, Pebbles/Drunken have problems as there is a window between 20 and 30 minutes where players can survive the Pebbles combo but DM isn’t strong yet.

So clearly there are some valid reasons why these particular heroes might not have the most success when played together. As we did last time, let’s finish off by looking at the ratio of teammate win% compared with separate win%.

Greatest Win% Loss by Ratio

And we’re back to the first list of names again, just with the top two entrants switched. By all three methods, Bubbles appears in the top two slots, and with a 49% overall win rate the hero is just slightly below-average. Drunken’s much worse, with a 39.5% win, but we’ve corrected for that in two different ways and he still seems to drag Magmus and Pebbles down with him. Perhaps it’s the same factor that leads to a low overall winning percentage: Drunken Master just isn’t a very good hero.

Pebbles now appears twice on the list, and Flensmeister had thoughts on the Pebbles/Torturer combination as well, suggesting that a weak dual lane for these heroes likely means a double support strategy, which doesn’t tend to do well. But effective roaming from the Torturer could help Pebbles win his lane.

As the first part of a conclusion, I have to point out that there is a ten game minimum requirement to appear on this list. That means there are a lot of heroes who make for terrible combinations, so they haven’t been played a ton, especially not with each other. So it’s not particularly surprising that we see the “worst” hero combos consist of names that are generally considered to be strong, otherwise they wouldn’t be played enough to qualify. Additionally, 12-20 games isn’t enough of a sample size to draw any hard conclusions, and Flensmeister hit it right on the head when he suggested that a few of the combos are likely a fluke.

That said, let’s try to draw some soft conclusions, the first of which is that Bubbles is perhaps not quite as strong as one would initially think. His versatility, high early game damage output, survivability, and lockdown make him popular. But he’s 49-51 overall since the start of Carnage in Caldavar, right around the average mark. Pebbles isn’t quite as popular, with only 58 games played out of the 230 in the sample, and he too is just around average, at 30-28. Finally, Glacius sports a 33-34 record, another thoroughly mediocre performance, and Torturer might be the most overrated hero in the game at 55-76. Removing these combined games actually boosts these heroes to decent win% marks.

These lists are really more of a “huh” then a “wow”, as they should not be used as a basis to significantly alter the current metagame or drafts. Flensmeister made another good point when he said that 60% of the lineup here is obscured, and that has a pretty big impact. Perhaps a few minor changes are in order, but even with this information, it’s not entirely clear what they might be. That’s probably not the shocking revelation you’re here for, but sometimes the truth is kind of mundane.