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Omniknight is the all-time pub king in win rate and the 4th highest for patch 7.07c. Yet historically he's been a situational and niche pick in professional meta. For the most part, heroes who are good in pubs tend to have a place in pro play. But if they aren’t played, it’s because the meta hasn't found a place for them.
Omniknight rested in this limbo of strong pub heroes who had few opportunities in competitive play. He’s great in pubs, highlighted by an early SirActionSlacks video on how to escape MMR hell, which also consequently launched Slack’s career as a Dota personality. Still, Omniknight was one of the least picked heroes at TI7 and floundered throughout patch 7.06. Sometimes strong heroes can be shoehorned into lineups--pocket strategies, uncommon drafts. It needed to be the right place and the right time. With the sweeping changes in 7.07, Omniknight has finally found a spot as a top pick in pro games.
Both the health and mana regeneration formulas were reworked in 7.07. The overall effect is 1) items that gave percentage bonuses now give raw bonuses and 2) each point of Intelligence amplifies both base and bonus mana regeneration by 2%. What this means for Omniknight that his +4 Mana Regen Talent (formerly +6 before nerfed in 7.07c) is not just +4. It’s amplified by Intelligence with the new mana regeneration formula.
Omniknight’s reworked mana regen talent has a 6.5% win rate advantage in pubs
One example is that a level 20 Omniknight with Force Staff and Drums has 65 Intellience, amplifying his +4 Mana Regen/s to +9.2 Mana Regen/s. With items now giving raw bonuses, Omniknight’s Mana Regen talent gives an equivalent bonus to Scythe of Vyse (2.25) and Lotus Orb (1.75) combined (excluding the added Intelligence). On its own, it grants a larger mana regen bonus than any other item in the game. \
The mana rework made both mana regen talents and items great across the board, and Omniknight was one of its most needed recipients. Soul Ring still can compensate for his early game mana woes, but now other core items like Eul’s, Drums, and Aether Lens are just that much better, but also not a necessity anymore.
During the Perfect World Minor, Newbee.kpii often went for the mid-game Midas, after picking up Soul Ring and Drums
With his Talent rework, Omniknight's level 10 GPM talent increased by 50%, from 60 gold/min to 90 gold/min. The rework also opened up Omniknight players to choose both an XP/min and Gold/min talent instead of one or the other at level 10. Both are valuable to an offlaner, who can be starved in both categories in a bad game. And it's especially important for Omniknight, who is just a poor farmer overall.
With 7.07, there is no more Poor Man’s Shield or Iron Talon—both crutches for an offlaner’s success. Solo offlane now seems like a suicide mission, with the creep equilibrium shifting to the safelane tower. The changes to the meta marks the return of more traditional offlaners—tanky and/or elusive—and strong dual offlanes. Tidehunter and Ogre-Magi are back.
The offlane is a battleground now. The loss of Iron Talon helped with that, since the item enabled a wide pool of heroes to retreat into the jungle. The XP changes—less XP received on enemy denied creeps and full XP on creeps denied by neutrals—incentives offlaners to be more aggressive and contest the lane. Omniknight fits in this new dynamic. On his own, Purification allows him to sustain in the lane while also grabbing last hits. 7.07 also gave him a boost in base regen, from 0 to 1.5. It’s not Ogre Magi levels of annoyance, but it’s enough to carve a spot for Omniknight as an offlaner.
In a dual lane, he’s a force. Kinguin paired Omniknight and Earth Spirit to great effect in the Perfect World Masters. Team Newbee, with a Sand King and Omniknight duo, nabbed an early kill on the safelane in their match against VG. Omniknight lanes can be played both safe and aggressive. He offers stability in an offlane that’s more volatile than before.
To cap it all off, Omniknight's final road block was nerfed: Diffusal Blade. It was the definitive hard counter to Omniknight, and the primary reason why Omniknight never saw the popularity in pro play as he had in pubs. In pro teams, even support players will pick up Diffusal to counter him. With its purge effect removed now in 7.07, the item is no longer the trump card against half of his abilities. There is still Nullifier and Eul's, but both items can not dispel Repel. With his item counter gone, the dynamic shift of the offlane, and his talent reworks, Omniknight, longtime pub-king, has finally found a home in the pro meta.