What we can learn from EG vs PSG.LGD:
Support Magnus

MATCH ID 4362833663, Chongqing Major Lower Bracket

We haven’t had a chance to talk about support Magnus in this meta in-depth and he definitely deserves some love. Dendi told us he’s the hero that needs changes the most in our recent interview with him. Mag has been a T1 pick/ban and a menace in pubs together with heroes like PA and Jugg (even though he lost a bit of popularity by the end of the major) and understanding him is important especially bearing in mind he didn’t change in 7.21.

Game one of EG vs PSG.LGD gave us the perfect opportunity to do this analysis:

eg vs lgd draft


The game highlights the strengths of the hero perfectly. Needless to say, the biggest and most important of these strengths is Empower, and EG has the perfect draft to abuse the spell.

Phantom Assassin

PA and Mag have been a classic 7.20 combo and needs little explanation. It’s enough to say that the bonus damage and Cleave help her farm faster and increase her kill potential. Moreover, the Empower Cleave, her Blink Strike, and Crits help her follow-up on Mag’s initiation/counter-initiation and deal enough AoE damage to secure kills during the RP stun.

Monkey king

MK and Mag also have great synergy together. Like PA, MK is a slow farmer without Battle Fury – Mag solves this problem with Empower. Moreover, if he manages to keep a few enemy heroes inside Wukong’s Command with the help of RP and Skewer, this could also secure a team-fight.

eg vs lgd graphs

The player net-worth graph above illustrates the effect of Empower very well. Arteezy doesn’t have a great laning stage. He dies twice and has 37 last hits on the 10th minute. Because of this, he is more than 1k gold behind the enemy pos. 1 Slark.

After the laning stage, however, Empower starts kicking in. On the 20th minute, Arteezy is already ahead of the Slark by a small margin despite the fact that Slark has a Midas and that Arteezy doesn’t go for Battle Fury.

On the 30th minute, he leads the Slark with 5k Gold.       

By the end of the game, PA and MK have 300 and 230 last hits without going for Battle Furies, while Slark and DK have 230 and 200 – one hundred creeps less.

eg vs lgd lineup

Moreover, the fact that Mag provides them with Empower gives PA and MK the option to go for defensive item builds. RTZ went for Vlads into BKB, and Sumail – Echo Sabre into BKB. This allows them to survive the burst damage and control coming out of LGD in mid-game fights while also dealing sufficient damage thanks to Empower.

Core vs Support Mag:

Magnus, obviously, has other useful tools besides Empower. Reverse Polarity is one of the best team-fight disables in the game. Having a fast Blink certainly helps him use RP more efficiently, but it might not be a good enough reason to give Mag a core role.

Mag is a Passive Hero:

A core Mag is by design a reactive rather than a proactive hero:

  • He likes using Empower and Shockwave to farm his items after the lanes – he doesn’t create a lot of space.
  • He can use Blink into RP to gank, but the spell has a big CD, which means he cannot do that very often. Moreover, he relies on the damage of his teammates for these ganks to be successful.

This is a disadvantage in the current meta, where strong lanes and a lot of 5-man pressure after the lanes is key. 

Cent is a more useful pos. 3 hero in that sense. He is a stronger laner and has more kill potential especially in a 2v2 or 3v3 situation. Moreover, he has better stats than Mag (he is tankier), which means he can play more aggressively and proactively, especially in the early-mid game. His initiation is on much lower CD, which makes it better for ganks with Blink.

Position 3 Mag:

Another very important point is that in team fights, getting a multi-hero RP is almost impossible if Mag is the one initiating the fight. This means that Mag is often the counter-initiator, patiently waiting for the enemy team to clump-up while trying to take down an important ally.

If Mag was the pos. 3 in this draft and Cent wasn’t in the game, there wouldn’t be another initiator and frontline tank in the lineup. This would make getting a good RP much more difficult because in many occasions Mag would be forced to be the one initiating. In this case, however, he can leave this job to Cent and wait patiently on the backlines for the right moment to counter-initiate.

Another important point is that in this draft EG has two very important Empower targets – PA and MK. If Mag was a core, he wouldn’t be able to shadow them and constantly give them Empower if he wants to have enough farm himself.

Position 2 Mag:

The other option is a pos. 2 Mag. In this case, he would have Cent to do the frontline/initiator job for him, but he wouldn’t have MK. This means PA would be the only true carry and damage dealer in the draft, which is extremely risky versus a team with great control through BKB (Roar) and late-game counters to PA (MKB on Slark, etc.).

Position 4 Mag:

That being said, position 4 Mag isn’t without its flaws. First of all, he is a weak support in action-packed lanes – this was one of the reasons EG had a hard time top 3v3. Empower helps the carry last hit and harass, but Mag lacks strong disables and nukes to fight early on. Skewer is his strongest spell in engagements, but it’s situational and hard to use.

The low levels of farm (slow Blink) also mean he needs time before he is able to use RP to its full potential. 

All in all, however, in 7.20 the benefits usually outweigh the drawbacks.

In your Pubs:

Pos. 4 Mag is definitely viable in pubs, but of course, you need cores that benefit from having Empower. Moreover, a pos. 4 Mag is usually easier to play, because there should be less pressure to land the perfect RP in fights. If you play him well enough, however, you could have an amazing impact in team fights for a support. 

Moreover, there were no changes to Mag in 7.21, which means not a lot is different since the Chongqing Major.


In every meta, there are some hero combos which are very dominant. In 7.20 Mag + PA is probably the first one that comes to mind, with other ones being e.g. Grimstroke + Lich, Gyro + Io, etc. Betting against a good team that gets their hands on a combo like that is risky. Theoretically, LGD were the slight favorites in this match (especially bearing in mind this was the Chinese major – people had expectations). Yet, seeing EG get their hands on this combo right away in the draft could be a great betting opportunity if you believe in their ability to execute it.