The Hand of Midas received a significant nerf in the latest Dota 2 patch update. This was the second consecutive nerf for the item which definitely lowers its usefulness in professional matches as well as Pubs. The item allows a user to get more experience and farm over a period of time. However, there is a downside as the cost of the item could be used to gain more sustainability and versatility in the early game.
The Hand of Midas
- Gold bonus reduced from 180 to 160
The Hand of Midas costs 2150 Gold and includes the Gloves of Haste ( 500 Gold). It grants 40 attack speed to the buyer. However, the main reason for buying the Hand of Midas is to ensure faster farm and experience over a period of time. The item in its current state has an active ability which provides 160 Gold and 1.85X experience on usage.
The 160 bonus gold had significant nerfs over the last few patches. In fact, 7.21 update saw the Hand of Midas usage rise due to the nerfs in gold acquired from other sources. The 200 Gold Bounty from the Hand of Midas was a great way to ensure faster net-worth and faster item progression. The lower income from other sources like farming increased the overall value for the Hand of Midas. In fact, even Position 4 and 5 support players were buying the item with alarming regularity. It almost always paid off by the end of the match and that is the reason for its increased usage in the 7.21 patch. There was a need for nerfs to the item in order to maintain balance in the game. Valve initially reduced the gold bounty to 180 in 7.21b and further down to 160 in 7.21c. This reduction in the gold bounty made the item less appealing, especially to the players playing core roles.
As we move past the Starladder IMBATV Minor and into the upcoming Dreamleague Stockholm Major, one does wonder the place for the Hand of Midas. Is it still a viable item in the game? Who should buy it and what timings are good for the item?
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The Hand of Midas is not a casual item for a core player
The reduction in the Gold Bounty makes the Hand of Midas one of the worst items for a core hero. The benefits of making and using the item are simply too less compared to the cost of the item. The item pays itself back in around 20 minutes, assuming no downtime on the usage of the item. From a core hero’s perspective, this timing is too high for the 40 attack speed that the item provides. They could use the 2150 gold into building other items which can help them in the mid-game.
A core can usually farm faster around the map with more versatile items. The cost of the Midas can be used to get a Blink Dagger or a Force staff. These items provide excellent positioning advantages to the player often allowing them to be aggressive in the game. It becomes all the more important especially when the opposite team has such items. Playing into the opponent’s pace of the game rarely works out well for any team. The need to dictate the pace of the game is something that should be shared by all members on the team. We cannot have one player playing aggressively while the rest of the team is busy building Midases and playing passively.
What about Supports? Should they be building the Hand of Midas?
The 160 Bonus gold might have seen a significant reduction from previous patches, but is a decent amount of gold for a support player. However, unlike in the previous patches, where every hero would build a Hand of Midas, it is not sustainable with the current rewards. A position 4 hero would be better off building the Hand of Midas. Since he has to worry less about spending gold on consumables and warding, he can possibly farm enough to get the Hand of Midas in a decent time-frame.
However, from a Position 5 player’s perspective, the Hand of Midas is just too costly for the rewards it provides right now. There is no realistic chance for the position 5 players to complete it in a given time frame. More likely than not, he will not recover the cost of the item before the game ends. A position 5 support hero lacks the Gold buildup to possibly farm up a Hand of Midas in a decent time. There are special occasions when even a position 5 can go for a Hand of Midas. His team could be dominating the early laning phase or he could have the first Blood bounty on his hands. However, apart from such special circumstances, it makes little to no sense for building the Hand of Midas on a Position 5 support hero.
Mid Heroes – A situational item
Speaking of cores, mid heroes making the Hand of Midas was a very common feature in the past. In fact, it was not uncommon to see almost every Mid hero build into a Hand of Midas and subsequently into more items. However, in the current patch, unless your team has specifically made a decision to go into the late game and farm in the early game, the Hand of Midas can severely backfire on a mid-hero. The item is in a unique situation right now. The Hand of Midas does have its high benefits a,nd in fact provides very little for the cost in the early game. However, it is necessary to make your teammates understand the need for a different playstyle.
Reaching item timings is important in Dota 2 and it makes little sense to fight without some crucial items. Building into a Guardian Greaves can prove to be much more significant and a survival necessity for heroes such as Necrophos in the mid-lane.
However, building a Hand of Midas on a Medusa, a hero who prefers to go late game might make sense. Medusa is not a hero that likes to fight very early in the game and the Hand of Midas might be the perfect item to transition into the late game. Ofcourse it makes the hero extremely vulnerable to ganks and he has a high probability of losing the mid lane. This is a risk and a downside that the player has to knowingly accept when he makes the decision to build the Hand of Midas.
The Midas is a past trend and will not see much usage at the Stockholm Major
With the nerfs to the Midas, we expect even lower usage at the Dreamleague Major. The item did have its fair share of representation at the Starladder IMBATV Minor. However, since this minor was the first event post the patch update, some residue was expected. With the item definitely not paying off on the cores and most mid heroes, it becomes a very situational item. It is most useful on heroes who want to go late or farm into the late game. We will see it on heroes such as the Medusa, The Syllabears and Maybe the Doombringers. They don’t necessarily need the item to farm fast, however, it is just preference at this point.
The Dreamleague Major starts on the 14th of March and will continue till the 24th of March 2019. You can catch all the action and their Midas usage statistics live on Twitch here.