Hand of Midas in Dota 2 has changed a lot recently.
What Midas Does in 7.06
As you can see, the latest patched increased Midas’s Experience gain at the cost of gold gain. This is still quite different from what it was for almost four years between 6.79c and 7.05, where gold bonus was 190 and experience bonus was a whopping 250%.
This post will analyse if the usage of Midas has changed at all after 7.05, with the nuanced balance change in 7.06 taken into consideration.
The Neutral Change in 7.06
Neutrals now spawn once every minute. For us old school Dota players this is like moving back to the Holy Land. Problem is, neutrals are much weaker now, they give 20% less XP and Gold.
Neutral XP and Gold increases by 2% every 7.5 minutes, though. So after about 77.5 minutes into the game, the neutrals will be just as strong as pre-7.05 minute zero neutrals. Since that kind of timing is frankly, absurd, we can consider neutrals to be nerfed quite a bit. For jungle farmers that have abilities that help them clear many units, like Luna, Alchemist and Sven, this is a good change.
Therefore before we delve into the specifics of when to use a Midas, it’s important to take note that both neutrals and range creeps get marginally stronger as the game progresses. They’re also weaker than you’ll remember from previous patches. You’ll have to farm more to get the same amount of value from creeps now than you would, in say, 6.85.
The baseline Gold Per Minute from Hand of Midas is 120GPM, assuming you use it the instant it’s off cooldown. This means it takes roughly 18 minutes for a Hand of Midas purchase to pay for itself in gold (again, assuming it’s used instantly). It’s about 14 minutes to pay for just the recipe.
Methodology and Analysis (and a Free Spreadsheet)
For the purposes of this article I created a Midas Guide spreadsheet, which is freely available for you to use and download.
I split creeps into three groups, Neutral Creeps, Lane Creeps and Neutral Camps (which is a total of all the creeps to find out which camp is the most efficient). I’ve organised it by experience given before and after using Hand of Midas.
I also cheated my way out of doing actual maths and settled for a Gold to Experience ratio that creeps would give. It’s essentially the ratio of a creep’s gold bounty to its experience bounty.
The higher the Gold/XP ratio, the worse it is to use Hand of Midas on that creep.
The reason is that the amount of gold received by Midas is always a stable 200 reliable gold. When you use it on a creep with a high gold bounty, such as the Satyr Tormentor (67.5 Avg. Gold Bounty), you and your team are effectively missing out on that extra gold. This assumes, of course, that your teammates have the ability and map control to actually farm those creeps.
Which creeps should you use Hand of Midas on?
The absolute best creeps in the game to use Hand of Midas on are:
- Centaur Conqueror
- Satyr Tormenter
- Hellbear Smasher
- Wildwing Ripper
- Dark Troll Summoner
These are all the largest creeps in their respective camps, each with a 95 experience bounty. They give 175.75 experience after the 185% bonus from Hand of Midas.
The best creep out of this selection to use Midas on is the Dark Troll Summoner, because it has a gold to XP ratio of just 49%, compared to the others who average 66%. This means that you and your team are missing out on less gold (but receiving the same amount of XP) when you Midas a Dark Troll Summoner over any of the above 5.
A close second would be the regular Ranged Creep, which gives 90 experience and 166.5 experience after Hand of Midas.
Therefore the Dark Troll Summoner is arguably the statistical best creep to use Midas on.
Should you Midas the Ranged Creep or the Siege Creep?
The age old question that’s plagued many a mind since the dawn of time. The mathematical answer is to Midas the ranged creep, which will give 166.5 XP from Midas, compared to the siege creep which will give 162.8 XP.
However, you need to consider the circumstances of the game as well. With siege creeps becoming god-tier tower pushers in 7.06, using transmute to kill it instantly is probably worth the 4XP loss if the siege creep is hitting your tower.
If you’re an under-leveled support with no spells that can destroy siege creeps really fast (remember that they have 80% magic resistance), it’s better to use Midas on the siege creep to prevent any additional tower damage.
What to Midas When There’s Super Creeps or Mega Creeps?
This is quite simple. When there’s Super Creeps (the lane that’s had its barracks demolished) there’s no difference between ranged and melee, and both their XP bounties are really low. It’s still probably better to Midas the Super ranged creep since they do more damage than their melee counterparts. However, a Super Siege Creep should always be Midas’d first, since it gives almost the same amount of experience as a regular Siege Creep. Try to avoid using Midas on ranged and melee Super and Mega creeps. Focus on regular ranged creeps if you can, or siege creeps of any kind.
Save Your Midas for Big Creeps or Ranged Creeps
If you cannot get your hands on a ranged creep or a big creep within 10-15 seconds, only then is it time to consider using Midas on something like an Alpha Wolf. An Alpha Wolf gives 129.5 XP from Midas, which is about 30 less than a Centaur Conqueror or Ranged Creep.
It’s almost never worth it to Midas a lane melee creep or the smaller neutral creeps unless there’s nothing else around you to Midas.
Important: Hand of Midas Saves Time
An oft overlooked aspect of Hand of Midas is time. It might take a hero 5 seconds to kill a Satyr Tormentor for its 67.5 gold, but Hand of Midas converts that creep into 200 gold basically instantly. In certain scenarios, it’s actually beneficial to Midas the creep that gives more gold. Scenarios such as when:
- There is no one on your team capable of farming that creep in the next few minutes. There are enemies who can farm it, and leaving it around might give them extra gold.
- You’re in the enemy jungle where they have full map control. Take the creep with the higher gold bounty to deny it from them.
- You’re stuck in base with very little map control and the creep would surely be killed by the enemy if you don’t take it.
- You have no easy way to kill certain neutrals due to its abilities (magic damage vs mud golems).
The effect of these scenarios, realistically, is minuscule. It’s almost a non-factor to consider gold bounty when compared to experience bounty when it comes to using Midas on creeps. This is because the variance from XP bounty is much higher after the 185% boost, than the variance in potential gold bounty that you missed out on.
It’s Usually Best to Midas the Creep With Higher XP Bounty
For example, using Midas on an Ogre Bruiser gives 61.05 XP. Killing that Ogre Bruiser without Midas is a potential gold missed of 28 Gold. Using Midas on a Ghost, however, is 92.5 XP, while the potential gold missed is still 28 Gold.
Take a look at the spreadsheet or the charts and you’ll find out that there are “tiers” of neutrals in Dota 2 in terms of experience.
It’s pretty much always advisable to Midas the creep with the higher XP bounty than the one with the lower gold bounty. The reason is twofold:
- Experience is a rare commodity that few items in the game can provide directly (Tome of Knowledge and Hand of Midas). Gold, on the other hand, can be farmed by purchasing items that increase your farming speed (Radiance, Battlefury). If you buy Midas, it’s because you need the experience boost just as much as the gold boost, if not more.
- The definite bonus experience gained is more valuable than the potential gold lost. In other words, the bonus experience is certain, while the potential for losing that gold to enemies is just speculative.
Hand of Midas Slows Down Item Timings
Hand of Midas now gives a neat 120 GPM assuming you use it the moment it’s off cooldown. This figure used to be 114 gold per minute before 7.05. It’s not a significant buff though, since the XP bounty has been reduced from 250% to 185%.
Remember that the 7.00 patch changed it so that it the XP required to reach level 25 now is the same as it was previously for level 23. So the effect of the 185% bonus XP is also slightly more pronounced than it would have been before.
When you buy Hand of Midas, you essentially delay your first core item timing by a good 15-20 minutes depending on the game. In its stead, you get 30 attack speed, and increased item and level progression for the rest of the game. This makes Hand of Midas a really good choice when you’re certain the game is progressing towards late game.
When you buy Midas, think about what you’re buying it instead of. If you’re an Axe who needs Blink to initiate ganks and be useful around the map, Midas might be the wrong choice. If the game is going really well and you can get your Midas and your blink with not too much difficulty? It might secure your item progression.
You Should Buy Midas for the Experience Gain
There are three types of heroes that benefit the most from Hand of Midas:
- Junglers, who are underleveled because… well, they’re junglers
- Carries who need quick levels to use their spells sooner
- Supports who aren’t very item dependent
It’s also important to note that heroes like Anti Mage or Luna who fit the second criteria don’t buy Midas because they have inbuilt farming tools that negate the need for it. When you’re blinking around the map as AM, farming camps left and right, that extra 120GPM isn’t worth much if it delays your Battlefury to 25 minutes.
Has Hand of Midas Really Changed Much in 7.06?
At this point, the older players must be wondering whether Hand of Midas has really changed much, if at all? The points I’ve iterated so far are pretty much the same that Merlini taught in his Midas guide two years ago.
The short answer is no.
Hand of Midas had a remarkable spell of being untouched by the toad of balance. For almost four years there were no changes to this item at all, so the remnants of an old metagame when gold was tough to come by and experience was a lot more static, remained through Midas. Midas survived the rubberband mechanics of 6.82, the bloodstone int hero meta, the illusion meta and everything in between. In the last few patches, and especially since 7.00, the changes to the experience mechanic (heroes needing less XP than before) made Midas slightly overpowered. The values have changed to reflect the new state of the game.
Do leave a comment if you have something to add or something I may have missed out on.