7.00 has been released almost a week ago, yet many players still struggle with the new mechanics, UI and the general chaos that always signifies the beginning of a patch. To help catch people up to speed, we decided to have a quick overview of the most impactful changes of the patch: the discussion will be both on the new mechanics as well as ways of dealing with certain new aspects of the game.
Dealing with Monkey King
Monkey King is by no means overpowered. He is a very snowballing hero, who excels during the laning stage, but otherwise he is not broken.
One of the most important things players need to realise, is that you do not manfight MK in the lane. He will quickly stack his passive to four hits and will brush off all the harassment, while dealing a lot of damage. During the laning stage you should treat the hero in more or less the same manner you would treat an Ursa or Batrider—do not let the ability stack, or you are in for a world of pain.
Come early mid-game, the hero transforms into a very powerful scout and ganker. You should generally play against him in more or less the same manner you would play against Bloodseeker or Night Stalker—more often than not MK will have a vision advantage on you with the flying vision on the treetops and will try to initiate on a lonely target. With one core item he can also burst down most supports incredibly fast. Grouped up or at least in pairs of two will ensure your survival or at least will net a return kill.
In the late game, Wukong, even if he managed to successfully snowball, is no bigger threat than most other carries. While a lot of his damage is physical and there are a lot of scaling abilities in his kit, the same can be said about the majority of hard carries. The most important part is knowing not to fight in his ultimate or having enough burst to deal with it quickly. The statutes do not only deal massive damage, but they also proc effects, including bash, which makes fighting in the arena a very dangerous endeavour. Having vision in the area and, if necessary, invisibility detection is a must. Also, take into account that no conventional forms of disable work on the statues and they are not affected even by Chronosphere or Song of the Siren.
The hero is rather annoying to play against, but he is reasonably balanced, with a lot of frustration mainly coming from misunderstanding of his abilities and the general lack of knowledge. His introduction into the game has been among the most successful ones, but his win rate is still well within the “balanced” hero margins.
Backpack can be confusing. It can be especially confusing given the constant UI changes that occurred since its introduction.
In reality, there is absolutely nothing complex about this mechanic. If anything, it makes the life of players a lot easier, since completing recipes requires less tedious courier management.
It also opens up several interesting possibilities, such as on-demand item hot-swapping. We’ve touched on the subject back in our initial impressions post, but now we have more information to work with, now that the patch is actually released.
Items in the backpack do not gain charges. Magic Stick/Wand and Urn of Shadows are completely unusable, unless they are in the main inventory. And you cannot place Bloodstone in the backpack.
Blink Dagger, on the other hand, does get the three second penalty on hit even in the backpack. Moreover, because backpack items cooldown twice as slow, trying to hot-swap Blink Dagger is ill advised.
When it comes to potential tricks, there are the usual Refreshers Orb and Black King Bar ones—they work exceptionally well and are generally easy to handle. The courier hot swap is probably a lot faster than 6 seconds, especially when done by a good player, but it is still riskier and can get messy in a teamfight.
In the ultra-late games, when you are already 6-slotted and have a moon shard, it is generally a good idea to have money for buyback and buy all the wards/gems/tomes of knowledge for the team. If after all of this you still have money to spare, consider getting Necronomicon and at least one Desolator for the team.
These items are not extremely efficient in the late-game, hence they should remain in the backpack, but after a successful fight you can greatly increase your pushing potential with a single attack with a Desolator and a simple Necronomicon summon. In Throne Rushing scenarios or when trying to get megacreeps it can shave off the precious several seconds, which can be the difference between a win and a loss. Do not forget to immediately put them back into the backpack, though.
And finally, now there is absolutely no reason for a player to not have a Teleport scroll on them at all times.
Shrines are a great addition to the Dota world. Their usefulness is not limited to a once-in-5-minutes heal, however, since they double up as a teleport location and allow the team to have at least some control over the map when the T1’s are gone.
Using them is associated with a high opportunity cost. As a heal for a single person, it is highly questionable, but sometimes necessary. For 2+ players it can be rather momentum changing, since a shrine usage can allow you to engage, when the enemy is not expecting it, or heal up after a fight and continue pushing refreshed.
The Shrines’ map placement has also raised an interesting discussion—did the safelane and offlane get swapped in the patch? Former offlane now has a much easier access to the Shrine and having multiple people benefit from an occasional burst heal can allow the team to gain a small tempo advantage.
Not everyone is still used to the new talents mechanic—players regularly miss their level 10 talents and this can put them at a potential disadvantage, especially with the ones that provide static GPM increase or extra XP gain.
And a lot of people are still being caught off-guard with some of the talents, overestimating their nuke combo or taking unfavorable fights. In this section we will take a look at some of the noteworthy talents which can mess up your power level calculations.
Early 6 extra armor on an already durable hero can be surprising in a very painful way. Couple it with a strong self-healing spell and Bane becomes one of the most tanky supports in the game. Trying to burst him down can become problematic once he gets level 10 and wasting several abilities on a support is generally ill advised, especially if the support can survive the initiation.
Similarly, but to a lesser extent, heroes like Batrider, Clockwerk and Bloodseeker can suddenly become less susceptive to physical damage.
Some of the talents now include Evasion. It can be a rather annoying mechanic, since it will almost certainly lead to damage miscalculations, unlikely escapes and a certain degree of frustration.
Heroes who currently have Evasion as one of the talent choices include: Anti-Mage (15% | lvl20), Bounty Hunter (20% | lvl25), Centaur Warrunner (10% | lvl15), Clinkz (20% | lvl20), Dark Seer (12% | lvl10), Faceless Void (20% | lvl25), Lifestealer (15% | lvl20), Lycan (15% | lvl20), Medusa (10% | lvl15), Meepo (10% | lvl20), Naga Siren (15% | lvl15), Phantom Lancer (15% | lvl20), Shadow Fiend (15% | lvl20), Sven (15% | lvl20) and Templar Assassin (12% | lvl15).
It can be difficult to learn these heroes by heart, but knowing when what heroes can suddenly become a lot harder to deal with is almost a must—you will have to make correct item choices when the enemy is about to hit their talent levels.
Lifesteal as a survivability mechanic does not shine bright until very late into the game, at least on the majority of heroes, and this is where the most lifesteal talents come into play.
There are three (30% lifesteal | lvl25) talents: Alchemist, Arc Warden and Bloodseeker. In general, it will mean at least 45 HP per hit (taking into account Armor) and, given the high attack speeds at this point in the game, it can stack up to a massive boost to survivability.
Huskar and Phantom Assassin also have lifesteal talents, albeit on a smaller scale. But both of these heroes have a lot of DPS early in the game, either through a massive increase in AS or very powerful crits, so stay vigilant.
A great deal of heroes have added bonus damage as one of their talents. Similarly, many talents offer massive boosts to Attack Speed and sometimes it can lead to a huge power level spike for a hero.
Of the pure damage increases, the most noteworthy one is probably Axe’s, which comes early in the game and can synergize exceptionally well with the added Attack Speed after the successful Culling Blade. +75 damage at level 15 is a noticeable improvement and while in most games this talent will lose to its +250 health counterpart, it is still worth being prepared for.
Beastmaster also gets a massive damage increase talent. It adds +120 damage, but comes very late into the game—lvl 25. At this point it is unlikely a regular Beastmaster will be able to manfight very well, however it can boost his split-pushing capabilities by a huge margin.
Bounty Hunter gets +100 at lvl20. Given the hero’s guaranteed critical strike, it can turn him into a very deadly assassin. Trying to play him as a right-clicking core is probably still ill advised, since his abilities and stats do not support this playstyle. One-shotting the enemy supports, however, can become a nice perk for the hero.
Several support heroes, such as Lion, Rubick and Crystal Maiden get an early talent for +50 damage. At level 10 it can be a noteworthy boost to their right-click DPS, but not only do they typically reach higher levels slower, they also lack Attack Speed to fully utilize the added damage.
The new patch has definitely shaken up the game. With the amount of new options, keeping track of all that’s happening and staying up-to-date is problematic.
The transition to a “new” game with a new UI, new mechanics and a lot of other new things seems painful, at least for pub players. A week in, a lot of people are still misunderstanding and overvaluing Monkey King, both as an ally and as an opponent. Many players still miss their first talent and many do not take into account enemy’s talents.
Being prepared is key in a game of Dota and maybe it’s worth queuing a bit of´unranked first, before diving into the harsh competition that is ranked.