Is it just me or does Drow feel better than ever? She's got a fair amount of small buffs like the turn rate one in the last patch on top of some new tools like Hurricane Pike, Raindrops, Aghs splinter-shot, etc. Maybe it's in some small and hard-to-quantify part due to nuke-heavy line-ups seemingly falling a bit out of favor with more preference being shown to tanky heroes and items (like Raindrops and Vanguards and what have you)... but for whatever reason Drow seems much easier to pick with great results in my pubs. Previously I'd feel like a bit of a masochist running this hero even though I've always liked her because of her team-oriented nature, but I don't even feel like she's married to Drow strats anymore even though that's obviously where she shines the most. Now, I'm just a bad player and my opponents are bad so generally speaking if you can play your hero even a little bit above average you can rise above the counterpicks and lack of synergy with your teammates... but Drow seems to be picking up a little steam in the competitive scene too (obviously their Drow lineups are actually good though). Here's some random observations that hopefully good players can affirm or correct: * For me the new key item is Lance/Hurricane Pike. I can't imagine skipping an early Lance as Drow now. The stats are not only good but it gives her close to double the "effective range" (that is, range where her ult isn't being cancelled by someone standing too close). Pike might not be 100% needed in every game—although it's REALLY good in the games where it's good—but it's quickly becoming a comfort item for me. It feels like a very efficient way to re-position on a dime in fights and you can even sometimes use the active on opponents to turn the tables on them. Plus being able to hit towers while they can't hit you is great. * It's probably just because I'm a dummy among dummies but Drow's workable surface area feels so huge with Lance. With a Lance, lvl.6, point(s) in Frost Arrows and Gust, Drow actually feels pretty threatening. Your range is almost as long as Gust... it seems like a lot of 3ks don't realize they can be easily killed from a pretty huge range if silenced. * If I'm in a low pressure lane I max the aura to help the other lanes with one point in arrows and one point in silence. If it's a high-pressure lane I leave aura at one and put more points into whatever I think will help me fight better, arrows or the silence. Is this standard/recommended? Some games I feel like max Gust can be surprisingly good and most players don't seem to expect it at all. * I prefer to run Drow mid now even though she doesn't seem like a great mid hero. I take her mid in hopes of getting a more reliable late game carry in the safelane and plus at this level most of the time mid gets as much or more farm as the safelane, even if you have to buy your own wards and Sentries to stay safe for Riki and BH players. Is this a pub-only thing or does Drow mid have real merit? One nice thing is that you can sneak Rosh pretty early and not many people expect Drow to do an earlyish solo Rosh. I even tried it without lifesteal in one of my last matches without lifesteal and it worked, although it was pretty close and had some other items. * Aghs seems really good for pubstomping now with a Maelstrom. You farm and push insanely fast and if the enemy can't neutralize you ASAP in teamfights they get destroyed by lightning procs. In my games, if I get Maelstrom + Aghs between 20-25 minutes on top of Lance/Pike and some other small items like Treads + RoA or whatever I feel pretty unstoppable. Suddenly it's like the enemy is the one who has to watch their positioning in fights instead of me because if I find an opening for a multi-hero silence they're boned. It costs 7k gold for those items but I've found it to be super-worth the price if that's what you need—it's like having late game AoE damage in the mid game. The nice thing about Drow in low skill games is that you can almost always farm pretty fast with just lvl.6 even if you haven't had a good lane. Your high ground defense with Aghstrom is strong and it helps sieging since the splinter shot works on towers too. * Is lifesteal overrated on this hero? I see high-level Drows getting HotD religiously as their first items but it doesn't seem that great at all to me. Yeah you get the utility of dominated creeps and easy stacking but Drow can't manhandle a big stack of Ancients like Sven can, and in a late game you'd probably sell it before spending on that money on a Satanic since she's just not a manfighter. You can lifesteal off split shot arrows but if I'm trying to teamwipe the enemy I'd rather just have more damage than give them the chance to close the gap at all. Is MoM better? I might still get Vlad's sometimes under very narrow circumstances but typically I don't want it if I'm position 1 or 2. Lifesteal does make solo Rosh much easier/less risky though, but it's not strictly needed for jungling, even early.