Mineski-Dota has been making the rounds lately with their dominance in multiple SEA qualifiers. They recently secured a trip to Romania after sweeping TI7 attendees Execration at the PGL Open Bucharest SEA Qualifiers and is now sporting a good run at the SL i-League Invitational #3 SEA Qualifiers.
But let's not jump into the Mineski-Dota bandwagon back too quickly. We know how this team operates and being excited too early about their success can only get our hearts broken.
Mineski-Dota's dynamic entry got the community shocked with an offlane Winter Wyvern by iceiceice, one of the world's greatest offlaner.
iceiceice has been practicing Winter Wyvern on his stream for quite some time now but everybody got their minds blown when Mineski-Dota ran the strategy down against Clutch Gamers at SL i-League Invitational #3 SEA Qualifiers.
There were a lot of factors to consider how Mineski-Dota managed to successfully pull off the Winter Wyvern offlane. It was a fresh approach but not that crazy.
The first, and the most important, factor was the draft. Clutch Gamers' picks were perfect for Mineski-Dota to run a strategy focused around a Winter Wyvern offlane.
The first phase Earthshaker pick was the first indication of a good Winter Wyvern game as its Arctic Burn flight can negate the path-blocking ability provided by its Fissure. But before doing so, Mineski-Dota made sure to secure their laning stage by limiting Clutch Gamers' carry choice.
Banning heroes with healing capabilities like Bloodseeker and Lifestealer not only forced CG to settle with a mediocre Juggernaut pick, but it also maximized Wyvern's laning aggression. While Winter's Curse and Cold Embrace were also good counter spells against Juggernaut's five-second spell immunity and CG's high-DPS output, they're just bonuses.
To put a cherry on top, Mineski-Dota picked Troll Warlord as their hard carry, a one-man army who can relatively take a whole team down come late game.
The Laning Phase
Mineski's main agenda behind the Wyvern pick was more of securing their lanes rather than winning fights. It goes back once more to the 7.06 factor where the game's traction can be dictated by its first 10-20 minutes.
Winter Wyvern's unique skill set allowed iceiceice to outdo Juggernaut on their lane match up. The lack of stun of Clutch Gamers' five-position support made it easier for iceiceice to harras Juggernaut by maximizing skill points on Arctic Burn and Splinter Blast.
iceiceice devoted his whole laning phase just to shut his lane counterpart down. The constant application of slows and damage forced Mac to get back and heal, losing an ample amount of farm and experience.
Before iceiceice finally left the top lane to respond to a team fight at 11:43-minute mark, he was leading Juggernaut in last hits by six. That wasn't much but it's a dual lane of Juggernaut and Visage versus a Winter Wyvern. Let that sink in.
The Easy Win
On his streams, iceiceice would sometimes complain about Winter Wyvern needing so many items to become useful. On their match against CG, iceiceice tried to address this issue by building Hands of Midas after Soul Ring and Phase Boots.
For his core item, iceiceice went for Maelstrom which he later turned into Mjollnir. The item goes well with Arctic Burn for dealing damage as well as his Splinter Blast for clearing creep waves. It also sped up his farm a little, allowing him to build Hurricane Pike and Aghanim's Scepter, which are also both good for Arctic Burn.
The rest of the game saw iceiceice exhibiting his veteran skills. During the 18:40-minute mark, iceiceice intentionally overstayed at the bottom lane to open a huge space for Mushi's Troll Warlord who was securing Roshan. Three of CG's heroes went give chase but all their efforts led to naught.
With a toggleable Arctic Burn and Hurricane Pike, iceiceice can burn their enemies' health down with 1140 attack range (if you're wondering how far that is, you can stand in the middle of the river and have Winter Wyvern to attack you from the middle T1 tower).
By the 40:00-minute mark of the game, Clutch Gamers were only hanging by a thread. They can only come close to Mineski's units by taking a huge amount of damage from iceiceice who, after the game, scored a game-high 33.2k damage.
Despite iceiceice's KDA fairly reflecting the damage he dealt, their run showed how Winter Wyvern offlane produced massive impact all throughout the game. From a heavy aggressor during the laning phase to a sniper with a machine gun-like fire rate in the late game, iceiceice's Winter Wyvern got the game in the bag.
While Mineski-Dota was able to translate a Winter Wyvern offlane into a good game, it's good to bear in mind that it doesn't always work.
There's no harm in exploring the meta, the game always encouraged that. However, remember the factors Mineski-Dota needed to consider before jumping into your pubs to insta-lock Winter Wyvern offlane.
You won't want your Winter Wyvern to suffer the same fate as Viserion did.