Valve has just released a new update a few days ago that debuts the new hero Mars while also featuring some minor changes on some of the abilities of a handful of heroes. The community has been getting some mixed reactions when it comes to the new hero, with most saying that he seems to be too over-hyped and some saying that he’s pretty showy.
As compared to the other skills of the other heroes that were previously released, Mars has a very simple set of skills and has a very flexible role – people seem to play him as a hybrid mid-carry, a mid-game carry, a tank/initiator, an offlaner, or even as a burst support if you really know your mechanics!
So what are his skills and how do they work?
Spear of Mars – “Mars throws his legendary Spear with deadly precision, damaging each enemy unit it strikes. The first enemy hero it hits is skewered on the spear, pushing it back. If a skewered hero hits a tree, building, or cliff, they will be impaled to it and stunned.”
Spear of Mars is basically a combination of windranger’s shackleshot and mirana’s arrow – both are skillshots which make this ability a bit unwieldy to target, but if you do land the spear, it’s quite rewarding since the stun duration is quite long. Not to mention that the displacement range from the spear is really long. Usefulness – 4/5, Complexity – 4/5.
God’s Rebuke – “Mars smashes enemies in front of him with his shield, knocking them back and damaging them with a critical hit based on his attack. Bonus damage is added when hitting heroes. Has True Strike.”
God’s Rebuke has a 10-second cooldown which actually makes it quite spammable than the other spells that he has. The damage of the spell primarily depends on a good percentage of your attack right-click damage. Overall, it’s a really simple high-damage physical nuke that knocks the enemies back for a few seconds. Usefulness – 4/5, Complexity – 1/5.
Strength in Simplicity
Bulwark – “Mars wields his massive shield to block a portion of each physical attack when hit from the front or sides.”
Bulwark is a passive that’s basically the reverse of what Bristleback’s passive is (but without the whole quill-spraying thing). Anybody who attacks you in the front will have a huge chunk of their damage reduced by around 70% (25%/40%/55%/70%) and half the reduction if hit from the sides. I don’t think this is actually balanced, but it’s a self-explanatory skill. You can definitely use this passive to tank towers if you’re sieging towards higher ground. Usefulness – 5/5.
Arena of Blood – “After a short formation time, Mars summons an arena lined with the undead warriors of the Ash Legion, who block enemy attacks and movement. Enemy heroes near the inside edge of the arena will be attacked by spears, dealing damage and knocking them back.”
They don’t call Mars the god of war for no reason. This skill definitely takes the cake as one of the most ‘showy’ skills that any Dota 2 hero will have. It’s an area-of-effect spell that forces your enemies to fight in a giant arena in a cage fight. If they get too close to the edge of the arena, they get damaged by uncontrollable warriors that push the enemies back to the arena. It also blocks any projectiles from outside the arena which acts as a protective circle around you and any team members inside.
Overall, I think this is a good initiation spell. Usefulness – 5/5. Excitement – 5/5.
One thing that I’ve realized on the new heroes in Dota is that they’re actually versatile in almost any type of situation. Adaptability is one of the most important aspects in a team game like Dota and teams need to have a clear designated role for each respective player. In truth, you can play your hero however you want – but since this is a team game, you have to be aware that you need to do your part if you really want to win.
Hybrid Mid – Carry
A lot of professional players seem to love playing Mars as a mid hero with an emphasis on his burst damage. One of the reasons why professionals love using him in mid is that the cliffs act as a good barrier that players can incorporate when they’re using Mar’s 1st skill. His ultimate makes it almost impossible for the enemies to escape which also makes it easier to get solo kills at mid.
Usually, most of the heroes would either get mana boots (for early ganks and lane sustain) or phase boots (for a more aggressive approach).
This isn’t really the most popular or most exciting build out there, but since Mars has really good damage potential as a physical damage hero, most players would also play him as the carry since his abilities would synergize well with damage-increasing items.
Hybrid Offlane – Initiator
In more serious games, Mars is picked as a solo offlane or a utility tank/initiator since his ultimate can definitely win you team fights. Usually, people would buy blink and mana boots if they’re in this position so that they can quickly respond to any team fights while also maxing out the 1st skill and the passive for survivability.
Personal Thoughts and Insights
Overall, I think the hero is straight-forward with a few skill shots that you could make the crowd say ‘wow’, but there’s really nothing too fancy in terms of skill and complexity. I do like the animations and mechanics of the ultimate.
think that the passive (70% damage reduction) is a bit too unbalanced or even
overpowered. I mean, come on – Bristleback doesn’t have a 70% damage reduction
when you hit him in the back (I guess he does spray quills at you though). I guess in a few weeks or months from now, we’re
going to see a nerf when it comes to his passive.
Even though he might have some unbalanced mechanics, most of the heroes in Dota 2 also have mechanics that aren’t really balanced – which means that a good team will have to acknowledge the different flaws and advantages of each hero. That’s what Dota 2 is all about.
The rest of his abilities are pretty self-explanatory and it doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to know what his skills do. He’s kind of a hybrid between an initiator and a carry, but don’t let me tell you how he should be played – your world’s an oyster and experiment on the hero how you want!
Do you think Mars lives up to all the hype about him? Do you think he lives up to his name as the god of war? Let us know in the comment section!