6.86 had been out for only 4 days and Valve already made some slight adjustments, introducing 6.86b. We’ll go through these patch nottes little by little.
Whenever a hero’s abilities are significantly changed, Icefrogtakes these heroes out of Captain’s Mode and re-introduces them after a bit of a revision. These heroes have been re-introduced without almost any changes to their new abilities and also with only a few days of playtesting.
Yes, if we look at their pub winrates so far, Doom fields the highest winrate of almost 46%. The rest are just below that. Except for Lone Druid, these winrates have dropped by roughly 5% per hero from the old patch. That may not sound like much, but, alongside Riki, they are at the bottom of this week’s Trends in winrates, even below Huskar, who was deemed nerfed to death. ooking at just these raw numbers, one might think they have been balanced out a bit, or that they are no threat to the competitive scene.
However, these drops in winrates are completely expected. New heroes, new abilities and new items will always have to be experimented with, resulting in bad performances. People will either try to apply the old playstyle to the hero, or tinker around with new item builds, possibly even ways to lane the hero. It’s usually when decorated (pro-)players have found the seemingly one and only solution to a hero, that others will start adapting that way to play him. Afterwards, that playstyle will usually be improved upon by others until it becomes the so called meta for the hero.
That said, having these heroes exposed to the pro scene will force players to come up with playstyles even quicker. Pro players now have to actively wrap their heads around how these heroes work in a short amount of time and try to make sense of them, which in return will change how the pub scene perceives these heroes. Whether this is a good decision for the competitive scene though is up for debate.
Arcane Rune was the Double Damage Rune of your average spell caster. One could argue that the Regeneration Rune provided similar advantages for heroes like Zeus or Lina, but the Arcane Rune seemed designed to be a more specific fit. Has it had a huge impact just yet? Not yet. It seemed stronger on paper, but the fact is that even if you do get that Rune, you’ll need a specific scenario to make full use of it. The Rune can be very valuable when attempting to take stacks, something that has become much more tedious now for nukers.
Regardless, dropping it down to 40% seems like a reasonable approach, considering how useful it can be during teamfights. It seems like less of a “I have this Rune, let’s kill their safelaner” Rune, at least compared to an Invisibility or Haste Rune.
It depends on whether the new Death Prophet will be played around this spell or not, meaning if item builds will be built to synergize with the spell. Otherwise it seems like a minor
change for now.
Arcane Orb Int steal increased from 0/1/2/3 to 1/2/3/4
Astral Imprisonment cooldown rescaled from 20/17/14/11 to 22/18/14/10
[missing hero: outworld-devourer] still has a 46% winrate, but is also only picked roughly 4% of the time right now. From playing around with the hero a bit, it seems like he’s still halfway stuck in his old build and playstyle, with a new ability/functionality added, which doesn’t seem to synergize too well with the rest of the hero’s design.
If you want to steal Intelligence, which used to make him so strong in his laning stage, you’ll need to skill [missing skill: outworld-devourer-arcane-orb-5391], a skill that was often ignored until level 9, maybe even 10. Improving Arcane Orb is okay, probably necessary, but it doesn’t change the fact that maxing [missing skill: outworld-devourer-astral-imprisonment-5392] early on is strictly better, despite being nerfed on early levels now. Thus, you would not steal any intelligence early on.
Usually you could say that a value point in Arcane Orb would be helpful, to steal intelligence and harass the opponent. But 100 Mana per hit seems quite excessive unless you max it.
Cloak and Dagger backstab damage multiplier increased from 0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0 to 0.5/0.75/1.0/1.25
Tricks of the Trade now only affects heroes
Tricks of the Trade AoE increased from 450 to 475
Tricks of the Trade cooldown rescaled from 90/80/70 to 70
Let’s focus on Tricks of the Trade for now. The spell was quite similar to Ember Spirit’s Sleight of Fist, thus quite scary.
In fact, it was even stronger as you would attack more than just once. Item builds started adjusting to that and you’d see Battle Fury picked up on him, building Riki quite similar to Ember Spirit.
Valve has now intervened and the ulti only works on heroes now. A huge nerf, but a logical one, especially considering the cooldown reduction to a steady 70 seconds.
The Cloak and Dagger backstab buff also makes sense, given his Agi growth nerf in 6.86. It also puts Riki’s backstab damage multiplier back to where it was before.
The AoE change is negligible, still a buff of course.
Time Dilation slow rescaled from 4/6/8/10 to 7/8/9/10%
Time Dilation duration rescaled from 6/7/8/9 to 5.5/7/8.5/10 seconds
Depending on the match-up, Time Dilation could be maxed first, despite Time Walk scaling really well. Generally, you’d want the cooldown of Time Dilation to be rather low, but now that the slow is stronger on early levels, it’s justifiable to max Time Walk first, as Time Dilation now scales worse.
Everybody’s darling. Pudge has become incredibly strong due to 6.86. Aether Lens is the go to item for Pudge these days – in fact he’s the uncontested number 1 hero to pick it up. It combines everything the hero would want, mana, health regen, magic resistance and the extension on pudge-meat-hook-5075] is just the cherry on top, with a little bit of whip cream.
His new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade reduces his Hook cooldown down to 4 seconds – which may have seemed clowny at first, but is incredibly strong. Farming up these items does not seem like big of an issue these days. So it was only logical to see Pudge increasing his 6.85 winrate from just above 50% to now 52% in 6.86 – and that with an 8% pickrate increase!
Is this nerf enough to make him less of a pain? Certainly not. 25 damage is rather negligible and hooking somebody out of position is a bigger deal than the damage Meat Hook provides.
6.86b came out sooner than expected for many. It may not be here to stay for long, as we could see 6.86c before New Year’s still, but it’s still surprising to see so many adjustments after a short time. The individual changes and nerfs seem to make sense for the most part (Pudge being the bigger exception here), but implementing these heroes into Captain’s Mode has caught many people off guard. It feels as if more testing needs to be done to make these hero work. As mentioned above though, pros will likely be forced to figure out these heroes much quicker and we’ll likely see some changes towards them soon – if they are warranted.
What are your thoughts on this little patch? Let us know in the comments below!