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    It wouldn't be a KawaiiSocks article without a completely random, out of pocket neutral items complaint. Has any data at all actually shown their early supposedly game-ruining significance at all in any of the pro Dota we've had at this point?

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      There are stats on datdota that show win rate for when an items drops for a team in a professional match, rather than an end-game inventory.
      Possesed Mask is the "best" Tier 1 item, with a 51.5% win rate in premium level tournaments. Keen Optic is the worst at 49%. Personally, I don't find it acceptable.

      I also don't know what it does for the game. It is literally a system that:

      - is random
      - increases complexity of the game AND
      - does not provide any extra depth since it is random and it is trivial to understand how to allocate neutral items
      - has overpowered and useless hero+item combinations

      It is not a random, out of pocket complaint. It is a valid criticism of a terribly designed and awfully implemented, imbalanced, unnecessary game system. I've played Dota for ~16 years and had patches I liked and disliked. Neutral Items is literally the only "new" gameplay system that is making me enjoy Dota less: I love talents, love shards, love vector targeting and Aghanim's blessings, love most new heroes. I want more and new gameplay mechanics, but I will still be in favor of completely removing neutral items if there is a poll tomorrow.

      Speaking of stats and back to premium level tournaments:

      Tier 2 items: Brigand's Blade at 52.58% win rate while Fae Grenade at 48.09%
      Tier 3 items: Psychic at 54.97% while Spider Legs at 50.45% — really surprised about this one, ngl
      Tier 4 items: Leveller at 58.65% and Stormcrafter at 51.27%

      There are a lot of caveats, sure. We can't really talk about those percentages as "absolute power level" of items or anything, since they drop five per team, are not team-exclusive and a lot depends on the timing you get the item at. But this data is enough to conclusive say that the system is absolutely not balanced.

      Is it necessary or fun? Depends on the player, I guess. Personally I love when I go for a side pull as a support at minute seven and get Possesed/Chipped drop,because then I know my carry will be ~800 gold ahead at minute fifteen, compared to the enemy. And I will also have a level or two extra over the enemy hard support, since the lane will be mostly free to leech XP off. I hate myself for loving this feeling, though, since I objectively know that the system is not balanced)


        Despite my actual out-of-pocket snark, I do appreciate the response and genuinely wasn't aware that non end-of-game data was available. It's always easier to understand your perspective fully spelled out for the first time I've seen rather than as just the off-hand quips that have otherwise been all I've known. Unfortunately, I can't apologise for being the one ruining your games by still being a little partial to the system!

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          What are your thoughts on building Boots of Travel instead of Power Treads?


            Totally Unranked Herald opinion here but I think Viper’s impact is lessened on the side lanes. The pos 3 is also typically the initiator so the draft needs to compensate which is unheard of in unranked all pick.
            Much prefer Viper in the mid but lack of scale is an issue which is why I don’t think Viper should jungle.
            The time should be spent in the words of the author turning domination into objectives.



              I am not a fan of BoT. You lose out on AS/Stats and Viper needs every bit of HP he can get early on: the hero is quite squishy both HP and Armor-wise.

              That said, it compensates for your lack of mobility quite well. I think it can be good in games where you get away with it, but it is pushing it a little: getting BoTs is sacrificing completed Power Treads + Ogre Axe already

              Nemesis 041

                I always liked Viper a ton because of how much of a nuisance he can be to play against, but against the wrong team, he can be little more than just a minor inconvenience. You did well to point out his weaknesses such as his slow MS and horrid mana pool. Even after his intelligence was buffed recently, he still can burn through his mana almost instantly.

                Though one strength you didn't point out here that I feel needs mentioning is his ultimate. Viper Strike is a very useful spell that can be used to open or close out a fight and it completely bypasses those pesky BKBs everyone gets. With Scepter, you'd be able to do it twice or even thrice in a single teamfight.


                  Every neutral item has its use.. you may be a carry who doesnt need stormcrafter. but if u are a spell caster it can be good to dispel silences

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                      What's the 4 Viper build?

                      frances maya

                        I see a KawaiiSocks analysis, I completely skip reading :)

                        frances maya
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                          frances maya
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                              Seen a spike in viper pickers recently. Could be due to this article.

                              One of his core item was nerfed in 7.31d which was null talisman. Due to his mana issues 2 nulls was super strong both in the early game n at 25min mark.

                              Viper players often dont realize that his power spikes at lvl 3 n lvl 5. His first skill more than doubles in dmg at lvl 3, so he has to becareful not to get ganked before reaching his timings. In other words, common mistakes include trading life for a carry, regardless of whether viper is pos 3 or 4.

                              Other mistakes include letting a creep wave run off towards the enemy tower where he can safely take last hits, and not stacking side camps as a support.

                              These mistakes r not supposed to happen in 4k mmr, but it has been quite unfortunate.

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                                Inca Garcilazo de la Beba

                                  Trash post made by 3k MMR player.
                                  I have been playing viper heavily over the last few months, here is something I can share:
                                  1. Don't go treads, get phase.
                                  2. Dragon lance is a critical item for viper.
                                  3. Always start with at least 1 bracer.
                                  4. Never get bkb, what you want is to die in fights along the enemy cores, the moment you press bkb your pos 1 or 2 will die, u want also to make use of the resistance of your passive.
                                  5. Shard and hurricane are good, get hp and armor (tarrasque, skady, sny, cuiras) whatever happens don't get butterfly, u don't want the enemy HC to not jump against you.
                                  6. Against a viper in lane you need to be aggressive, viper is an extremely weak hero till lvl 5, and due to his movement speed if you jump on him he will die.

                                  Inca Garcilazo de la Beba
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                                    aikyu3 SuBi ♪

                                      ^ wow we have a badass barely Ancient player here with <50% win rate on their most played hero lecturing Divine players! <3