Lina the Slayer proclaimed that her New Year’s resolution was to become even hotter and it didn’t take long for everybody to notice.

Fiery Lina is the hottest hero in Dota 2 right now.

Across all six regions in the Dota Pro Circuit, she’s the most contested (picked and banned) hero in five — Western Europe, China, Southeast Asia, North America, and South America — sporting an above 90 percent contest rate. In China, NA, and SA, she’s hitting a 100 percent. Only Eastern Europe has her outside the top spot, where she’s third behind Rubick and Broodmother at the time of writing.

While the hero bounced around being a mid or support over the past years, she’s taken on a new role — position one, and possibly the hardest carry in all of Dota 2 in this patch 7.32d.

Surprisingly, Lina’s latest patch note was a nerf.

In 7.32c, she received a reduction to her base armor, pushing her below zero, and her attack damage talent at level 10 was reduced. 7.32d didn’t even mention her, but it has done little to slow down her ascent to the top.

While Lina just might be 7.32d’s defining hero, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when and where was the case. Without receiving any massive buffs to herself or her core items, it seems to be a cascade of factors that led to the new meta.

As always, it took a while for people to realize just how good the hero is at carrying the game.

Photo MasterDota credits

Natus Vincere’s Alik “V-Tune” Vorobey was one of the first to pull out Lina in a then-unconventional safelane during The International 11 Last Chance Qualifiers. Though he eventually lost the game, it was a bright spot in an otherwise brutal game for NAVI.

Ranged carries were already in vogue through TI11. Shadow Fiend and Sniper were often played in the safe lane. Think of Lina as an extension of that idea — a capable kill threat in lane, needs only a few items to start a farming spree, and a late-game monster that can stand toe-to-toe against anybody. It’s helped by the immense stat-stick talents that give Lina 20 damage, 350 health, and even better scaling on Fiery Soul, letting her extend her carry advantage with both items and levels.

Fiery Soul’s stacks are much less mana-intensive to keep up now, compared to its previous iteration. Instead of having to cast a spell every seven seconds — even on the ground — now you need to hit targets with a generous timing window of 18 seconds.

Credits MasterDota

This allows Lina to be perfectly fine mana-wise with just a Falcon Blade, then building into a Maelstrom. These two items alone make her a farming beast. She’s able to consistently farm lane creeps and multiple neutrals every minute, all the while moving and attacking speedily because of Fiery Soul. If any poor offlaner dares to step into her territory, she still has enough burst to immediately punish her opponents because of Light Strike Array’s long stun and Laguna Blade’s high magic damage.