Team OG has brought the entirely new strategy to The International 2019: carry Io (or carry Wisp). They didn’t lose a single map using it. Let’s see why it is so powerful.

Why carry Io is strong

The idea behind it is straightforward. Because Io‘s primary attribute is a strength, he benefits a lot from his item build getting attack damage and HP regeneration at the same time. That can be used to buff an HP regeneration of the other carry hero which makes them both almost unkillable in the late game. He also gets a lot of attack speed both from his abilities and his item build.

Just watch this to see how incredibly strong it is.

What items does carry Io buy

His final item build is Ring of Basilius, Magic Wand, Helm of the Dominator, Aghanim’s Scepter, Heart of Tarrasque, and Maelstrom. Starting item is Sage’s Mask along with Tangoes and Faerie Fire.

 

Note that Io doesn’t need any Boots because he is getting increased speed using Teather and he should always use it.

Team composition for carry Io

First, he needs another auto-attack carry which can benefit a lot from additional attack speed. Usually, that hero would go solo-mid. OG used Windranger, Bristleback, Tiny, and Troll Warlord.

The third position is something tanky: Axe, Omniknight, Earthshaker, etc.

You would also want to get even more options to save the heroes on the forth and fifth positions, such as Shadow Demon or Treant Protector.

Carry Io in the early to mid-game

His early-game is not easy because he doesn’t have many options to either deal damage or escape, at least until level 6. That’s the main reason why carry Io will hardly become too popular on the lower skill level.

Later to the game, Io can create more options for his supports to gain gold and experience when he starts to farm jungle with Spirits. He can also Relocate to the other lane to join a team fight while his support stays on the easy lane to get more farm.

Carry Io in the late-game

Io starts shining when he gets his Aghanim Scepter because the hero he is casting a Teather on, also receives an Aghanim buff. And more strength and HP regeneration he gets, more invincible his team becomes.

They will kill you on your fountain eventually if you have not stopped them earlier.

Conclusion

Carry Io is an extremely powerful strategy which however has its weaknesses. First of all, it’s weak in the early game, which can put the team too much behind in the lower skill level. Second, most of the carry players are not familiar with the Io gameplay, and he is not Wraith King if you know what I mean.

But the counter-play to this is yet to be found on the professional scene. So far the only one found is just banning Io, but it lets the other heroes into play, such as Magnus, Enchantress, and Chen.

References

    1. OG vs. NiP Game 1 — The International 2019 Group Stage
    2. OG vs. NiP Game 2 — The International 2019 Group Stage
    3. OG vs. VP — The International 2019 Group Stage
    4. OG vs. Newbee — The International 2019 Main Event
    5. Team Secret vs. Vici Gaming — The International 2019 Main Event
    6. Team Secret vs. Team Liquid — The International 2019 Main Event
    7. OG vs Team Liquid — The International 2019 Grand Final