The long wait is finally over and we are presented with a changelog, which will probably hit the main client in a couple of days. The changes in this patch are definitely among the most extensive only (somewhat) rivalled by the 6.82 update, which came 7 months ago.
In fact, the changes are so numerous and hard to analyse, that we decided no tot colour code every single note, but rather only highlight things which, in our opinion are going to be the most game-changing. Without further ado – 6.84 analysis:
The changes to the “Rubber-band Mechanics” were something both casual and professional communities have been asking for a long time. In fact, general lack of new content as well as a somewhat discouraging gameplay, which made single mistakes after an almost perfect game painfully confusing, have resulted in a decent decrease of the playerbase and have tampered with the growth of the game.
In my opinion, while the “comeback” aspect was a little bit too strong, it was definitely overrated and the recent Starladder XII finals have proved that a lead, while not allowing for a crushing snowball of power, is still a lead. Early game still mattered, but maybe not as much. Even if you do disagree with the above statement, at the very least the previous patch has made players a lot more cautious and have taught even the trenchiest of pub players to collaborate and work as a team.
There are numerous things which address the problem in the new patch:
This alone would be a great change of pace for the game – there are no mechanics which counterweight the reduction in extra Gold/XP from the Net Worth difference, returning the game to a more early-game-friendly environment.
And then there is this:
Once again, slightly changing the focus towards ganking/killing from the farm-heavy meta. The last part, with the Gold Increase for hero kills is relatively well balanced by this:
It is now less possible for one hero to get incredibly strong from a single encounter and suddenly get 1.5k+ Gold. It also promotes a more equal distribution of gold between the Core/Support heroes on the team, potentially making supports more viable later in the game.
This is another great change to the game, which means that blindly throwing bodies at the enemy when they try to breach highground, while still being an option, will not result in a huge turnaround in a matter of minutes. I honestly think that it is one of the most important changes, since in many cases turning a fight into 10v5 at your base would result in a very undeserved Net Worth swing.
In addition to all the information presented above, there are also a variety of smaller changes, which generally go in line with most of what was stated. There is a small decrease in gold gained from jungle creeps, lower armour on Tier 2 and 3 towers and extra lane creeps coming a little bit earlier.
Not a huge change, but will make the game slightly more consistent, especially in interaction with spells of Dazzle and such.
Mud Golem Rework
Some interesting changes to the mud golems, making the camp easier to kill with Batrider and other magic damage heroes, as well as providing some interesting bonuses to Chen and Enchantress. 0.6 second stun might not seem impressive, but with great numbers it can actually deal an impressive amount of damage and interrupt a lot of annoying abilities, as well as movement. The cast range is also huge, potentially allowing for unexpected setups for Lina or Leshrac.
Reworked the Item Silencing and Passive Disabling behaviors.
Changes several interactions. Most important ones is that Hex effects no longer disable passives, such as of Bristleback, Phantom Assassin etc. Silence no longer disables invisibility – Riki definitely got a rather strong indirect buff (a lot of silences were AoE and are generally quite long). Same goes for Mirana.
This is going to be so confusing. Constant courier sniping could become a things, since Ultimate Orb is used in a lot of currently popular items. Perseverance can be built from the side shop or at base, which is a nice quality of life improvement, especially given the changes to the Refresher Orb
The way I see it, is that these heroes are no longer prevented from using the “Overwhelm” active on Abyssal Blade. Given a slight damage reduction, it might not be the most efficient DPS item though. At the same time, it can always be disassembled for a quick Divine Rapier component, if circumstances so dictate.
It is a strong dispel on activation. Saving your teammates just got a little easier.
Overall, it is unlikely that the hero will become more popular because of this change, however the variety of different disabling aspects added/changed on certain items/heroes can make him a very strong niche counterpick.
The possibilities might not be endless, but they are certainly extremely varied. Core Alchemist got a deserved buff, but the way I personally see it is Alchemist being played as a “farming support” conserving valuable item slots for heroes like Luna, Doom, Viper, Faceless Void, Tiny, Sven, Meepo etc. Alternatively, it can be used on other supports, which find it hard to farm an item this big, but get their ultimate disproportionally stronger – Ancient Apparition, Warlock etc. One thing is clear – you do not want to go late against Alchemist – facing a seven-slotted team (or even 12-slotted in the case of Lone Druid) can be extremely punishing.
It is quite easy to maintain a 600+ GPM on the hero, taking 7 or so minutes to build an Aghs. Furthermore, if the hero is played as a support, with lower average net worth, he will get extra gold from the death of enemies. It synergies well with the fact, that the Aghs is consumed in the process, not contributing to the net worth of the hero or the team, making slightly nerfed comeback mechanics kick in, even if they are not deserved by the actual state of the board.
Farm or support the lane, get your bounty runes ASAP and make your team disproportionally strong, while not stretching the rubberband. I predict Alchemist first pick/ban for at least some time. (He also suffer the least from decreased bounty on lane/jungle creeps, so can get ahead faster/stronger).
A small quality of life improvement when you are facing against an enemy with a spell immunity and/or while pushing.
A 0.1 point increase in the cast time of Berserker’s Call is a lot more punishing than it might seem. With an average cast time of 0.3 seconds on most heroes, it means there is a window to react to a blinked-in Axe. A nerf to the Culling Blade is also well-deserved and quite on-point. If previously teams would get Lina or Lion to quickly get the target in range for Axe ultimate and snowball the fight with a strong buff, now they will have to work a little bit harder, especially given the extra response time the enemy team has.
Some quality of life improvements for a very underused hero. It honestly does not seem like a lot and will probably go unnoticed.
A strong nerf to the Firefly means that the Sticky Napalm stacks are no longer optional, when farming jungle/trying to deal damage, otherwise the hero remains strong at what he does best – being a Pudge 2.0.
The nerf/buff to Flamebreak is actually quite strong, considering the DoT will proc Sticky Napalm. The potential damage is really high – 1000 magic damage with 10 stacks is nothing to scoff at.
A “notice me” buff for an already strong hero. Personally, I feel like the Boar buff is the strongest one, allowing for a more reliable farming in the offlane as well as easier micro. It does not increase the Attack Speed, but the Move-Attack-Move commands will be easier to execute.
If you think about it, the first buff does make a lot of sense. Overall, I don’t believe it will make the hero super viable, but can make him a very strong niche pick against invisibility heroes or Slark.
Given the burst damage of the Shuriken Toss I believe it now has to be prioritised. It is a nuke, which has potential to hit multiple targets and interrupt channellings. I honestly don’t see the hero being played in an offlane, with no good escape mechanisms, but he can be very good as a hero to mess up the enemy jungler or even as a support of a kind.
His ultimate also got a lot more relevant, both with the decrease in the “comeback” effect and the decrease in creep bounty. Who knows – we might actually see the hero in our professional and pub games a lot more.
The only meaningful interaction that comes to mind is the one with the Alchemist. Otherwise – a very strange “buff”.
With the armour becoming more clear with the decimals, I believe this to be a very interesting buff/fix.
Satanic + Eye of Skadi = broodmother with an almost “down-to-100-ms” slow and tons of lifesteal. I am not entirely sure why this hero needed a buff, but she certainly feels like one of the strongest core/anti-core heroes currently in the game. And now she also scales really well into the lategame.
The power of disengage is really strong with this one. am not sure whether Stampede also decreases damage on allies, or it is only for the Centaur himself, but it looks like an Aghs upgrade worth people’s attention.
Less chaos – more damage. A really strong buff, giving a lot more openings for potential kills than people might assume in the early game/laning stage.
The cooldown reduction is really nice, but it is the Death Pact what takes the cake. Given a 35 second duration, it is now possible to have the buff continuously come level 11, and, if my hopes are not misguided, it is now possible to have double buff for 10 seconds. Extremely good against Chen and other summoners. Or when playing from behind with a lost set of rax.
It is going to take some time adjusting to the new speed with the “Global” Rocket Flare, but otherwise it is a nice buff.
Some really strong all-around buffs to the hero which was literally nerfed to a point of almost non-existence. With 6 second cd on Frostbite one can now have a 50% uptime of the debuff on an enemy. Even more so with the Octarine Core in mind.
The first level of Wall of Replica is actually amazing now, allowing for an early successful teamfight leading to a very strong push. Otherwise – the buffs seem quite nice, but do not necessarily stand out. Triple Ion Shell can be a thing now.
I can’t think of any meaningful interaction, except for a small damage increase. I have stated on multiple occasions, that the spell is there only to disable blinks and compensate for an otherwise extremely strong skillset. This does not change it. Neither it should, in my opinion.
I really like this rather subtle, but a very strong buff. What it allows for, is momentum control and heavy push a lot earlier. It also means that leaving the midlane for an enemy hero is much less of an option, since extra 2 spirits is usually what was lacking to get the tower in a timely manner.
A nice buff. Doesn’t really change a lot, but can ensure the last (most damaging) tick of the Static Storm to actually land.
I like the buff to Breathe Fire. I think it is the most on-point buff in the whole changelog – it fits well with the hero’s gameplay and it makes Dragon Knight a lot more viable late game. The increase of the Splash radius is a cherry on top.
I like the change. I have seen very little of Earth Spirit in my games as of late (mainly because I usually play in “high skill” bracket with my gf, rather than “v.high” solo), but it seems it should make landing the full combo a lot more of a prerequisite to burst people down. It also makes hero weaker early in the game, so I feel like the the hero is slowly, but steadily approaching a balanced state.
I am not entirely sure why the hero left the meta as unexpectedly as he entered it. With Agility Carries being the focus of the patch, Elder Titan seemed like a really good pick in many cases, especially with a popularity spike on Axe, who can do a lot of damage to low-health high-armour targets, if the armour is a non-factor. Overall, the buff is pretty insignificant and look like another “notice me” kind of change more than anything else.
I honestly think that the hero was viable and did not necessarily need buffs. The spell immunity pierce will definitely put her on the radar for a lot of teams as well as pub players who are not frightened by micro-heavy heroes. At the same time, what I am really afraid of, is people trying to ignore her other abilities in favour of physical/pure dps, which will ultimately lead to people playing her wrong and not utilising her immense early game presence.
There is now a reason behind putting extra points into blackhole. Otherwise – a very small array of buffs.
I really don’t think it is enough to make the hero a strong core again. After all, AoE damage is not in trend currently and the hero still lacks the potential to focus a target. His early game and chasing abilities have definitely improved, though.
It is a nice buff to a very underused ability. In certain cases, it can save your allies or let you push without the fear of getting one-shot by a single enemy. The change is nice, but it does not focus and the original design of the hero, it feels. Who knows, we might see hybrid support/core Huskar.
I missed the hero in the professional scene. This buff might as well make him viable again. With an increased Intelligence growth, the mana issues should be less of a problem and QW Invoker can become relevant again. A small flat increase to the starting Intelligence could be welcome as well, since the hero still suffers greatly from inability to last hit in mid against pretty much every opponent.
A quality of life improvement for everyone who is not using Quickcast.
A good multitude of small buffs. His ultimate always felt rather underwhelming without a setup and can now actually deal slightly more damage on its own. Overall – we will probably see a bit more of a hero, especially given the changes to “comeback” Gold/Xp
One – the hero will still be skilled with a 1-1-1 build. It is still better than having a spell which is rather useless against heroes who can quickly right-click you to death.
Two – no ministun is actually a lot stronger of a nerf than it seems. It is now possible to TP-out from the hero and channel freely.
Three – yay, I guess. No significant harm done to the hero, but the nerfs are good enough to prevent him from being picked in every other game.
Keeper of the Light
I think Mana Leak has always been a very underrated spell. It is good in a lot of cases and while should not be a priority, should still be skilled at least once early on.
Aghs upgrade got a little stronger and I think in a game where one mistake can cost you a lot, information can not be underrated. Since he can now be buffed with the help of Alchemist, and can generally farm rather well himself, he can become a lot more viable.
Lastly, there is Chakra Magic cooldown reduction. I think it can be really good with “stacked” abilities, such as Quill Spray on Bristleback or Sticky Napalm on Batrider. It can also be really strong in conjunction with Zeus and his Lightning Bolt or Necrophos and Death Pulse. Overall – I think it is a very nice buff to an otherwise boring (strong but boring) spell.
The Torrent buff is definitely an interesting one – not knowing where the torrent is going to land can help a lot, before he starts skillng X Marks. The reduced cooldown is also incredibly nice, as well as reduced manacost. Personally, I think the hero can now be a great support, with a later transition into an initial burst damage dealer. He is a rather weak carry (with everyone opting for HP items nowadays), but can be a great tempo control/lategame-relevant support.
Jungling got a little bit harder (not that you should generally jungle her), but the later stages of the game definitely got a lot stronger. These small percentages can make a really huge difference.
With the Aghs upgrade, I think, the best thing to do is also pick Bane, duel the enemy core, cast Nightmare and watch you 10k Net Worth offlane ally permanently disable their 30k Net Worth carry, kappa.
These changes alone are not very impressive, but with the new items being added to the game, Leshrac has probably got the strongest indirect buff out of all the heroes in the patch. More on that later.
Nice additions. Will definitely make Chain Frost a lot more reliable and easier to avoid, even without setup.
Really strong buffs. Open wounds being usable by allies and magic damage can make the hero extrmely viable again, especially with Lina and Lion being extremely popular. And then, there is this:
Added Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade to Lifestealer: Grants a new skill, Assimilate. Assimilate allows Lifestealer to target an allied hero and swallow them, allowing them to hide inside of Lifestealer. Any healing Lifestealer receives is shared with the assimilated hero. The assimilated hero can release itself at any time by clicking on the buff icon to erupt outward and deal 300 damage to enemies in a 700 area of effect. If Lifestealer dies or assimilates another hero, the currently assimilated hero will automatically exit. Issuing any order with your hero, a few seconds after being assimilated, will take you out.
A triple Lifestealer bomb is as scary as it sounds. And, of course, there is a mandatory “ Alchemist can provide it without taking a slot” chant.
It was already strong. I think it is a nice nerf to Lina. Also – it is the first time words Lina and Nerf were in a single sentence in almost 2 years.
True Form buff is great, for when you hold Aegis of the Immortal, but it is the Aghanim’s Upgrade what makes me really interested. In fact, I believe it to be one of the most necessary items on the hero now (not a “rush” type of item though). The hero still suffers as a standalone, but 11 slots is 11 slots after all.
Is the upgade worth it? Probably not, after all the hero is a great Right-Clicker and should be built as such. Is it worth getting it “for free” from Alchemist? Definitely.
The added versatility and the ability to use it to breach highground (disable blinks/scare people away/deal damage) can be amazing though. In an early-game oriented lineup it can solve the problem of not being able to finish on time. With a refresher, can be really scary in practically any encounter. 2500 range is crazy.
I once died twice after the Aegis of the Immortal because I did not know I would respawn with these spells toggled off. I demand my 50 Imaginary points back!
Finally. A great reverse of a very undeserved buff. I think it was a social experiment – “will people start playing a really hard to master hero if I make him overpowered beyond reason?”
A small but a very nice buff. Nuking potential has definitely increased, as well as the consistency, with which it can be used.
Grants a new ability, Hybrid. Allows morphling to target an ally, turning himself into a hybrid illusion, removing the Morphling himself. This hybrid illusion can cast non-ultimate abilities and has your original attributes. Lasts 20 seconds. When the duration ends or the hybrid dies, your hero emerges (cannot end prematurely). Cooldown: 140, Manacost: 200, 600 cast range. Note: Ability is not available while you have a Replicate living.
That is actually amazing. With support Morphling potentially becoming a thing, one can only imagine what terror Terrorblade can bring to the table when there is twice as much of him. Other great targets include: Undying, Invoker (two meatballs ftw) and pretty much any other hero with strong regular abilities.
Support Naga Siren can make a comeback, it seems. She was always strong, both as a single target disabler (goes through magic immunity) and as a hero to Set Up for a combo. I think it can definitely work.
Global strat transitioning into a global push. Theoretically – extremely scary. In practice – probably not as much. It is interesting, but not by any means game-changing. Definitely has the potential to make a certain player very happy. We miss you.
Stronger man-fight in the early game. Counters a lot of heroes which would otherwise just stand and hit you back.
Adds a new ability, Burrow, with a one second cast time. While Burrowed, Nyx Assassin is invisible and unable to move/attack, but has 40% damage resistance, and regenerates 1.5% of his health and mana per second. Nyx Assassin’s abilities also have improved properties while burrowed: Mana Burn and Impale have 50% increased cast range, Impale Cooldown is reduced from 13 to 9, and Spiked Carapace instantly stuns any enemy units within a 300 area of effect without requiring them to hurt him first. Casting Vendetta causes Burrow to end
One of the most interesting Upgrades. I think this upgrade has a lot of potential not only as a set up for a gank, but also as a mid-teamfight escape/confuse. Can be used in-between ganks. Complements pretty much any playstyle of Nyx Assassin. I think of it as a core item, probably after Blink Dagger.
Carapace not breaking Vendetta is also very good. It allows you to escape better, as well as cause very unexpected stuns to the enemy AoE casters, without losing the potential for burst.
A simple, but potentially strong buff.
So much synergy with the Euls comes from a simple decrease in cooldown by 0.5s. A strong buff. Probably undeserved. Synergies better with False Promise as well, making the second cast worth it heal/damage-wise.
The decrease in duration, increase in cooldown and no invisibility on Flase Promise is situationaly outweighed by the continuous dispel. I am not sure whether it happens in intervals, or the target simply cannot be disabled even for a split-second, but it does sound scary. It is, however, now better suited not to complement “stand-and-fight” heroes like Medusa, but rather “I-will-kill-you-if-I-can-reach-you” kind of guys, like Sven. I will need to play a hero for a while to draw a conclusion.
[missing hero: outworld-devourer]
I am not sure how to feel about this. On one hand, it can ensure a steal of 65 intelligence in the best-case scenario. On the other hand, the intelligence will not contribute to the initial damage. With a Refresher it is definitely possible to deal tremendous amounts of damage on the second cast, with not time for the enemy to react, since they will be imprisoned, but the probability of catching all 5 heroes at the same time with none of them having a source of magic immunity is very low.
It will be interesting to see, but it feels a little bit gimmicky on paper. Than again, 65 Intelligence translates into roughly 75 extra pure damage from Arcane Orb, which cannot be underestimated. We shall see, but I remain rather sceptical.
It is a strong buff, especially given the 1400 cast range on the spell. Might not seem fitting to a hero, but interesting nonetheless.
A small, but noticeable buff to an ability, which for some unapparent reason gets maxed out after the illusionary orb. Granted, there is now more reason to do as the majority of players do, but personally, I prefer my nukes with meaningful post-effects. Even if it comes with a lower DPS from higher cooldowns.
A small, but otherwise interesting buff. The hero got a lot stronger with the previous patch and maybe it is time for a different ability build.
A multitude of minor balance changes. It is unclear what will come of it, but the hero definitely got slightly late-game potent, while suffering more in the beginning.
Leaving less options for the enemy core stuck in the Smokescreen is a definite buff. Actually greatly increase the skill cap for the hero as well, since it is now possible to kite an enemy within a single Smokescreen if he decides to fight. Some really amazing unnoticed plays can come out of this.
A nice buff, which can preserve your creepwave against many heroes when pushing. Can also confuse enemies and make them misplay, letting you deny them a lot of farm. Good for unlikely potential comeback of mid Rubick, especially in matchups against Lina or Death Prophet.
A 3-0-2 build for non-jungling aggressive Sand King can actually be viable. It will push the lane, but can deal a lot of surprise damage to the enemy and slow them enough for you to reach them with the early levels of Burrow Strike. Providing different, almost equally appealing options to a game is great. It is a strong buff overall.
The mana cost decrease is very welcome. It is not much in terms of raw values, but it is a 20% decrease. Over multiple uses it will add up quickly.
The upgrade was already amazing and now it is even better. There are a lot of passives, which require disabling, and in 99% of cases you will have a target to “break”. I can’t think of a reason not to get the Aghs after some mobility item. And the hero itself is situationaly strong, with a rather narrow focus, but a huge RoI.
Some love for one of my favourite supports. It might not seem a lot, but it will certainly make using Soul Ring less punishing, as well as providing at least some meat to the otherwise squishy hero with low armour and ms.
Good thing is, it now always trigger for full effect. It also allows Silencer to be a better support and help ganking, albeit poorly. At the same time, the mechanics of Disarm are amazingly strong later in the game, hence I would not consider it a buff. The chances of killing enemies early on have increased, potentially leading to more intelligence stolen, but I would still personally consider it an overall nerf. Or maybe it is just my playstyle and beliefs about the game kicking in.
I think he is an underrated hero. 25 damage, even under amplification does not change much, but can put the hero on the radar for some teams, potentially leading to a popularity spike in pubs.
We all knew it was coming. It might seem not enough, though, but there are several interaction between these smaller buffs, which have the potential to make the her balanced.
No instant vision means that you can no longer get these 1-2 extra hits on a target, which is about to go into the fog of war. This, in return, leads to you not being able to slow the target further, allowing for Shrapnel to land, resulting in a lot of damage lost. Top it with the fact, that Shrapnel, on a longer cooldown, is now a much more expensive spell.
Even if you have vision mid, in many cases, chasing after a target means you have to attack it from the river. If previously it was not an issue, since you could not miss your “meaningful” attacks, now it definitely is.
Later in the game, come level 16, you have lost roughly 6.5 agility from the nerf, which is really underwhelming. But it still makes some difference.
Finally, lower damage on Assasinate, coupled with everything above means you will actually have to do something to achieve results in the game.
I think the nerfs are pretty well-balanced. They do not ruin the hero completely. He will still be annoying mid, but the intervals between his “annoyingness” will be much longer. He will still be a great hardcarry, but will have to dedicate one slot to Monkey King Bar. If the game already dictated having an MKB, he will have to get it earlier, potentially skipping survivability items. Finally, the array of buffs on the other heroes means that he is relatively worse off.
The amount of potential confusion is immense. Having 5/6/7 seconds to constantly change places, avoid stuns and autoattacks and generally spread your dps as you wish is really strong. It also allows for some crazy plays, which will probably go unnoticed.
There is now a reason to never skip ultimate. And there is definitely a reason to play Spectre, especially with the buff to the Radiance.
It is a subtle change. It does not scream overpowered. But we have seen the performance of the hero in the recent StarLadder and know how scary he can be. Maybe there is a place for Space Cow in the professional meta after all.
The vision nerf is pretty strong. Imagine yourself getting into Fog of War with a very limited vision. Scary, isn’t it? You will have a lot less time to react to potential disablers hiding in the proximity and a lot more to worry about. A very Batrider-esque nerf.
It is not a strong buff, so, once again, I will place it into the “notice me” category.
Low activation delay means that it is now possible to be a lot more active as Techies early in the game. It does not decrease his ability to control map and choke points, while forcing the enemy to invest into truesight, but rather adds a different, equally strong nuking/disabling aspect to the hero.
The gimmicky Arcana promotion has, surprisingly, developed into a very strong ability of its own, albeit only with an upgrade. The way I see it – you either place it with no mines around, to prevent enemy from ever walking the path, or hide it in trees, to ensure that while your mines are in radius, the sign is not visible. In fact, you can place some mines on the edge of it, and some just beyond the range. In many cases, it can net you an easy kill.
I am not a fan of the hero, but his presence in the game cannot be unnoticed. The way he was buffed, he can actually become a very decent support or even mid for both turtling and pushing strats. The lower armour on towers only further encourages the latter playstyle.
Subtle, but effective. The hero is currently underrated, so some shake-up was required.
It is nice and all, but it is certainly not enough to return the hero to its former short-lived glory. I actually got extremely excited about the second part, when I thought it was about Mirror Image. The way it is – we need more to make the hero viable again.
A lot of offlaners have been struggling recently, but Tidehunter was not one of them. It is actually quite surprising to see him being buffed, but the buff itself is pretty strong. However, it also reduces incoming damage contributing to the dispel factor of the Kraken Shell, meaning that in a very small percentage of cases you would be better off without this buff. Personally, I find it amusing how many aspects of Dota work together the way they do.
A small buff. In most cases it will not matter. Can make offlaning easier, if you let the creeps hit you a little bit longer.
We prism tank now. With the miss duration increased, the upgrade can actually be really good, if got extremely early. Otherwise, I still think there are better options.
Nonetheless, the hero did get a lot stronger, both in terms of late-game potential and mid lane presence. Also – Alchemist…
A consistency improvement. A small buff. Overall – not very impressive. But then again, the hero was already quite strong.
The total surface lost is quite substantial, but it is not gamebreaking.
Losing 15 damage and 2 seconds on ultimate is a hard hit, no matter how you look at it. It does not go overboard, but it certainly makes the hero closer to being balanced. There is not a lot more to say – his manfighting was nerfed, his team pushing was nerfed, but he is still good. At least I think he is good enough to remain a competitive pick.
I will certainly miss the OP Meepo + Dazzle Loaded Snowball, but in most cases the spell will be more effective. Other buffs are quite good as well, especially the CD/Manacost decrease on the Poor Man’s Fissure.
The Aghs Upgrade is really good. We might see a resurgence of heroes like Sven and Lifestealer and having a way to deal with them will not be unwelcome.
Rather undeserved nerfs to the hero. Especially considering Soul Rip was rarely the go-to spell in most games. Seems like more of a Templar Assassin buff to me.
Ursa goes into a frenzy, causing him to take 80% less damage from any source and for his attacks to deal 2/2.5/3 times the Fury Swipes damage. Removes any existing debuffs upon cast.
Fury Swipes Multiplier: 2/2.5/3
I think it was high time for the hero to suffer from the case of mixed identity. What we have now is a hero with high survivability, incredibly high burst damage and Attack Speed, decent stats and Roshan Potential. I think the hero now will be extremely strong, since it is no longer the case, that you have to prioritise survivability to get your burst damage, making it possible to one kill even core heroes in a matter of seconds with proper agility/dps itemisation.
Level 1 Gale now disables blinks for its full duration. Also destroys Refraction layers.
A small buff. Don’t think it is going to change a lot about the hero.
With the Queen of Pain on the rise, it was really hard to find place for Visage. Finally, there might be a window for comeback for the hero both in the professional meta and in my pubs.
Several buffs to a very interesting (in my opinion) hero. The regeneration aspect is quite amazing, since it now allows the Golems to tank the towers with ease.
The first 5 points are not that interesting. The Swarm did get a lot stronger and can now chew through armour a lot faster, but it is not until later in the game when the effect will be noticeable. The Aghs upgrade, on the other hand, is peculiar. I do not think it is going to be used a lot, because of its rather gimmicky nature, but it can certainly find its place in drawn-out games. Or when you have Alchemist in your team… (I know, I know…)
Really strong buff. Less time for the enemy to reposition makes Blink dagger Windranger incredibly strong. Not really the flavour of the month, but extra options are always welcome.
Those cursed to attack their ally now take 70% less damage from all sources.
Area of effect increased from 350 to 400
Duration from 2.5/2.75/3 to 2.5/3/3.5
Cooldown from 90/80/70 to 110/100/90
I expected a nerfhammer and here it is. It is still possible to focus the main target, but focusing anyone else with anything but autoattacks can be considered a waste of resources. The cooldown is also increased and the increase in range certainly does not outweigh all the nerfs to the ultimate the hero is facing. I am both happy and unhappy about the changes – on one hand, the hero is now pretty well balanced, a little bit on the strong side, but otherwise ok. On the other hand – I no longer have an MMR boosting machine…
Also – Arctic Burn no longer slowing through spell immunity is a very big nerf as well.
Allies who are near Wraith King (within 1200 aoe) when slain become Wraiths for 5 seconds, delaying their death. They can continue attacking, casting, etc. When the duration ends, the hero dies, and credit for the kill goes to whowever landed the original killing blow.
Quite good for a core Wraith King. Amazing on a support one. There is nothing not like about this upgrade. It can allow you teammates being caught out of position to actually deal a lot of damage. It can turn the battle around easily, albeit with no pushing afterwards. It can make sure that if the Wraith King is ignored during a fight and kited, his teammates will still be able to do a lot. I think this item more than deserves a slot in the inventory.
Some small bug fixes and nerfs. Nothing to be afraid of, the hero is still really strong. I just wish they have fixed the same interaction with Puck, where his success can depend on the order of the players.
Here come the most interesting part – a lot of new items are being introduced in the patch and while some of them are quite controversial, we believe most of them will be a nice addition to the current set.
Cost: 150 gold
+ 1 HP regeneration
Use: Consume the mango to instantly restore 150 mana. Can be fed to an ally
Note: Multiple mangoes do not stack into one slot
A very interesting consumable with a static bonus attached to it. Can be really good on heroes, who generally lack mana to cast all of their spells in the early game. Additionally, it might be the case, that the Soul Ring will go out of fashion, with buffs to Arcane Boots and their upgrade. The item might temporarily fill this position, before you save enough extra gold to afford Arcane Boots.
+5 HP Regen
+125% Mana Regen
Can be disassembled
Active: Echo Shell – Targets an allied unit, dispelling negative buffs (normal dispel, not stuns) and applying an Echo Shell buff for 6 seconds. While the Echo Shell buff is active, it re-casts all targeted spells back at its caster. 17 Cooldown, 100 mana cost, 900 cast range
Note: This does not block the spell, it mirrors it back. Same targeting rules as Linken’s Sphere
Very situational in many cases, but can create a lot of flashy plays and/or prevented the enemy from using spells on the target hero. What is really good, though, is that the item can be disassembled for a total loss of 450 (not a lot for a transition into lategame), providing necessary parts for Refresher and Shiva. Without the disassembly part I would call this item straight up gimmicky. The way it is now – it can create much needed space/safety in certain situation at certain point in the game if you are facing some strong single target nukers/disablers.
Shadow Amulet (1400)
+30 Attack Speed
+20% Magic Resistance
Can be disassembled.
Active: Glimmer – Targets an allied unit and makes it turn invisible after a 0.4 second fade time. While invisible, it gains 66% magic resistance. Lasts 5 seconds. The invisible unit is allowed to move during the 5 seconds, but attacking or casting a spell will cause the 0.4 second fade time will trigger again. 16 cooldown. 900 Cast Range. Can be cast while channelling
Note: The bonus magic resistance on Glimmer Cape is only active while invisible
A great support item for when you are expecting huge magic bursts. Amazing against target disable heroes when channeling. Passively increases survivability. There are so many things which are great about this item, it might as well be the new Ghost Scepter. Makes Crystal Maiden happy.
Arcane Boots: 1350
+55 Movement Speed
+5 All Stats
Passive: Guardian Aura – Provides 2 armor and 4 health regeneration aura. When a target’s health is lower than 20% it instead provides 15 armor and 15 health regen
Active: Mend – Restores 250 health and 160 mana to nearby allies. Removes negative debuffs from the caster upon cast. 45 second cooldown
Note: The dispel only affects your hero
A way to prevent being permasilenced as a support? Check. A way to conserve item space and always have place for wards? Check. Makes Mekansm return to the support domain? Probably check.
I think it is one of the best item designs in this patch. It makes supports a lot more than a forgettable target for a silence later in the game. The Aura is incredible, tackling huge physical burst damage problems. The active effect is Mek+Arcanes+Silence Dispel without the need for a Black King Bar or Manta Style on a support. If you think Euls were overused, then get ready to face this. Probably the best position 5 item.
+120 Attack Speed
Passive: Shade Sight – Moon Shard grants 250 bonus night vision (when in inventory only. Works against Night Stalker’s Darkness)
Use: Can be consumed to gain a permanent 60 attack speed buff (does not stack). Requires a double click to consume
Notes: Attack Speed buff does not work on illusions
A very interesting item. Bonus night vision is great, but probably not on the heroes, which benefit from the increased attack speed, except for Night Stalker. The ability to consume can come in really handy later in the game, when you will need an extra item slot. Provides a lot of attack speed – slightly more than Mask of Madness. Can be great on core Alchemist, amazing on Sniper and is generally good on anything remotely late-game. Slot-free +60 AS for 4300 is not amazing, but can give an edge in the ultra-late game. Especially since the AS cap increase in the previous patch.
Shadow Blade (2800)
Recipe 350 Total: 5200
+30 Attack Speed
Shadow Walk: Invis attack now deals 225 damage also applies Break to disable passive abilities, and reduces the target’s damage output (all damage types) by 40% for 5 seconds. 24 second cooldown. Attacking to end invisibility cannot miss. Debuff does not pierce Spell Immunity
A good way to make Shadow Blade stay relevant. Can provide much needed health to Agility carries and can be amazing on Strength heroes like Slardar. A very good early-game counter to Evasion heroes, such as Phantom Assassin and Brewmaster. (Latter will probably Drunken Haze you though).
Medalion of Courage (1200)
Talisman of Evasion (1800)
75% mana regen
Active: Loses the Solar Crest Armor and Evasion. When targetting an ally, grants them 10 Armor and 30% Evasion. When targeting an enemy, removes 10 armor and applies a 30% miss for 7 seconds. Cooldown: 7 seconds
Can be disassembled. This debuff is dispellable
Another amazing support item for a relatively low cost. Saving up 1800 is quite hard, but with the changes to gold distribution it can be more than possible. The item itself is really good – it provides much needed survivability to the support himself and can be used to save allies/kill enemies when needed. High versatility, can be disassembled for Heaven’s Halberd later on, builds from one of the best support items. Position 4 will love it.
Mystic Staff (2700)
Soul Booster (3200)
+4 HP regeneration
+100% Mana regeneration
Passive: Cooldown Reduction – Reduces all cooldowns by 25%
Passive: Spell Lifesteal – Restores health for a percentage of any damage dealt from spells. 25% from heroes, 5% from creeps
One of the most exciting items in the changelog. Probably will be the least used, though.
This item makes core intelligence heroes a lot stronger, providing a massive cooldown decrease (probably irrelevant for anything with 40+ sec. cd) as well as Spell Lifesteal – mechanics I’ve never expected to see in this game.
It costs a lot, and for a reason. It can make a lot of really crazy things happen – an unkillable Leshrac or even Bristleback come to mind. 4.5 second cooldown Lightning Bolt from Zeus can also be painfully strong, as well as 3.75 cd Death Pulse on Necrophos. It will allow Queen of Pain to use her ultimate twice in a fight, probably fully healing her in the process.
But it all comes at a price – the only thing this item offers is greater survivability/manapool. It has potential of increasing damage, but it is still quite unreliable. Given how Scythe of Vyse provides a comparable health/manapool and arguably a much stronger effect, I do not expect to see this item on many heroes as the first “big item”. It is an item for ultra-late game (mobility/disables/potential magic immunity take precedence) after all.
Observer Ward & Sentry Ward
Inventory space conservation for the supports. A great addition to the gameplay. Coupled with the fact that you can now buy singles, makes a lot of sense.
Boots of Travel upgrade
A gimmicky, but situationally OP upgrade. Will be probably left out for ultra-late game, but can win games, which otherwise would be unwinnable. Can be interesting on Tinker + invisibility hero.
Most of the changes are quite uninteresting, hence I will only go over the most important ones.
Skull Basher and Abyssal Blade
Now provide 15 less raw damage, but add 60 damage on proc.
Expected damage for melee heroes is pretty much the same, except for when you can attack faster than ~2 times a second, since it can no longer proc until after 2.3s have passed since the previous proc (used to be 2 seconds).
Has no activation cost (+35 mana for the bearer on use). Radius increased. Costs less, since Energy Booster is 900 gold.
A strong overall buff and a decent quality of life improvement.
The question is, does the extra damage from Cleave get boosted on secondary targets because of Quell bonus? Otherwise – seems the same, while allowing to farm even faster. Has the potential to make Anti-Mage a lot more viable.
Boots of Travel
Compared to 70 seconds cooldown on the Teleport Scroll, this item is now a lot stronger.
A good situational survivability item.
This item is slowly growing on me. If got early on can make your team nearly unkillable.
A huge cost decrease. In its current form, it is actually a very decent tempo control/pushing item.
A situationaly excellent item got even more situationaly excellent. A great tempo control item, as well as a good counter to a multitude of heroes. Can make certain ranged cores more relevant.
A 10% increase is actually a lot. Especially with Critical Strike effects.
Eul’s Scepter of Divinity
This effect has finally been re-evaluated appropriately. The item is still pretty good, though.
Heart of Tarrasque
I still think that this item is outclassed by Eye of Skadi as a survivability item, but for heroes with high mobility/escapes it can provide the benefit of being able to continuously engage/disengage while remaining healthy, slowly but surely wearing the enemy down. A decent buff to Anti-Mage.
Mask of Madness
It is no longer an all-in-one escape/farm/DPS/sustain/mobility tool for 1800 gold. It is now a lot riskier to use it in fights when you are alone and it can no longer allow you to chase/kill ignoring most slow effects. Out of all the numbers it was possible to tweak, I think the most on-point one was changed.
Previously, using the first level of necrobook in a fight pretty much meant feeding extra gold to the enemy. Now, even at level 1 the Necro units are incredibly strong. We will probably see a lot more usage of the item, especially given the buffs heroes like Invoker and Nature’s Prophet have received.
Pipe of Insight
It seems like they are attempting to make a game a little bit slower in terms of the momentum in teamfights. A lot of damage reduction abilities have been introduced, while a lot of survivability items have been added/buffed/created. I am all in for this change and I think this buff to Pipe is both interesting, viable and not overpowered.
It is funny, how quite early in Dota 1 history this item already had a similar property – it granted the bearer a 17% evasion. I think this buff is incredibly strong and will make a lot of heroes really happy. And it is definitely worth the extra cost.
Another great addition to the roster of support items. I think the item will see a lot more play as both sustain and teamfight booster. And it is no longer as situational as it previously was.
As I have stated previously, I am extremely excited about the patch. The general trend here seems to focus on boosting support heroes with the addition of relatively cheap survivability items, while adding several ultra-late game ones.
Theoretically, what it should provide, is a lot of diversity in games and strategies, as well as in the item builds, making it possible to play several heroes very differently in the beginning.
All in all, the heroes, who deserved a nerf, have received one. The Mask of Madness is no longer the ultimate jack-of-all-trades and the meta will definitely shake up. If you have taken a break from Dota 2 as I did, being tired from very similar games, then it seems like an excellent time to come back.