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Dota 2 6.79: Patch Analysis: Heroes - Destructoid




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Dota 2 6.79: Patch Analysis: Heroes


4:00 PM on 10.21.2013
Dota 6.78 Patch AnalysisDota 2 6.79: Patch Analysis: Heroes photo



Ok, so I tried to cram all of this information into a single post, but it hit the post character limit. So with the General and Item changes out of the way, here they are, the Hero balance changes from the recent Dota 2 6.79 patch.

Did you unlearn what you knew about gold, day/night, the jungle, and lane equilibrium? Good, now prepare to do the same for just about ALL THE HEROES.

Hero Balance

 Abaddon

  • Base armor reduced by 1
  • Myst Coil self damage increased from 50/75/100/125 to 75/100/125/150
  • Aphotic Shield is now dispellable
  • Borrowed Time no longer activates while Doomed

Hah! Doom just got a tiny bit better! An overall nerf to Abaddon, a hero I am still terrible at. I never thought he was too powerful before, but that's because most of my opponents try and fail to play him as a carry. Not saying it can't be done, but I like my Abaddon as a support!

 Alchemist

  • Chemical Rage no longer provides 250/500/750 bonus HP
  • Chemical Rage HP regen increased from 15/30/60 to 50/75/100

Bye, Alchemist. Getting rid of bonus HP for more regen? If you get bursted down, it doesn't matter what your regen is! Alchemist was a formidable opponent when his Chemical Rage was up, but now he's hardly threatening even with it up. Expect him to drop off significantly.

 Ancient Apparition

  • Ice Vortex cooldown reduced from 5 to 4
  • Ice Blast cooldown reduced from 45 to 40
  • The Chilling Touch buff is now always applied to Ancient Apparition even if he is not within the target area
  • Chilling Touch cooldown reduced from 50/46/42/38 to 50/42/34/26

What's that? You want to buff one of my favorite heroes in the game who is already a badass? OKIE DOKES! Ancient Apparition just keeps getting better and better.

 Axe

  • Berserker's Call AoE increased from 275 to 300
  • Battle Hunger duration reduced from 10/13/16/19 to 10/12/14/16
  • Battle Hunger damage reduced from 15/21/27/33 to 15/20/25/30
  • Battle Hunger movement speed slow/bonus increased from 8% to 10%
  • Battle Hunger is now dispellable
  • Counter Helix cooldown reduced from 0.55/0.5/0.45/0.4 to 0.45/0.4/0.35/0.3
  • Counter Helix now hits siege units
  • Culling Blade no longer goes on cooldown if it successfully kills a hero
  • Culling Blade threshold reduced from 300/450/625 to 250/350/450 (Aghanim upgraded version is still 300/450/625)
  • Culling Blade speed bonus increased from 25% to 40% and AoE from 600 to 900
  • Culling Blade 40% speed bonus now applies to attack speed as well
  • Culling Blade Aghanim allied buff duration increased from 6 to 10
  • Culling Blade manacost reduced from 150/200/250 to 60/120/180

See that underlined change? That means welcome to the SLAM. Well, maybe. It does some pretty crappy damage, even at level 3 so the chances of it killing someone in a team fight setting and then living to tell the tale seems pretty slim. Also, Battle Hunger got even less useful and Counter Helix will probably still never ever happen when you need it to. Ever.

 Batrider

  • Base damage reduced from 48-52 to 38-42
  • Vision reduced from 1400 to 1200
  • Flaming Lasso cast range reduced from 175 to 100

Wow, that's some poor base damage if I've ever seen some. Could we see Batrider go the way of Invoker and *poof* disappear from the meta? I'm not so sure, but it's certainly likely. Batrider is still one of the best Heroes in terms of being the master of positioning, though the Lasso cast range nerf could even put a halt to that. Bat Rider in the mid lane might disappear, but the fact is that he'll remain an amazing off-lane Hero.

 Beastmaster

  • Inner Beast AoE reduced from 1000 to 900 (standard aura AoE)
  • Inner Beast attack speed rescaled from 18/26/32/40 to 15/25/35/45
  • Call of the Wild now has two abilities for summoning each unit independently
  • Call of the Wild manacost reduced from 25 to 15 and cast point improved from 0.5 to 0.3

Oooh, that's a really awesome change to Call of the Wild. Too many times have I wanted to resummon the boar without killing the hawk, and now I can! 

 Bloodseeker

  • Base movement speed reduced from 305 to 300
  • Thirst is now global instead of 6000 range
  • Thirst bonus now stacks for each unit that is low HP
  • Thirst HP threshold increased from 20/30/40/50% to 50%
  • Thirst movement speed bonus reduced from 15/25/35/45% to 7/14/21/28%
  • When Thirst is active, movement speed cap is removed on your hero
  • Thirst no longer provides armor bonus
  • Thirst provides bonus 7/14/21/28 damage
  • Thirst no longer grants full hero vision around low HP targets, it only shows their model
  • Thirst no longer lasts for an extra 3 seconds when the target is dead

So, Bloodseeker. Widely considered one of the most useless heroes in today's meta. But what if he could get from one base to the other in less than 15 seconds?! Thirst obviously got a huge rework here, and it's pretty crazy. Removing the cap is one thing, but the fact that these buffs stack with a global range is seriously awesome. Try and kite Bloodseeker now, jerks! 

 Brewmaster

  • Base agility increased from 16 to 22
  • Drunken Haze affects a 200 AoE around the target
  • Thunder Clap is now dispellable
  • Primal Split selection order is now Earth/Storm/Fire
  • Reworked Primal Split Aghanim upgrade.
  1. No longer upgrades any stats, cd, duration, etc on Aghanim.
  2. Instead, it now grants Thunderclap to Earth, Drunken Haze to Storm, and Drunken Brawler to Fire.
  3. The skills granted are at the same level as Brewmaster's skills.
  4. Cooldowns are independent of the original Brewmaster.

Interesting Primal Split + Aghanim's rework here. Instead of buffing base stats, each Spirit is individually buffed by adding one of Brewmaster's skills to it. As if I wasn't already flustered by the micromanagement! Also, Drunken Haze AoE? Heck yes! I think Brewmaster will sit comfortably in the position he is in now, though I do wish he was utilized more often in the pro scene. 

 Bristleback

  • Attack point improved from 0.4 to 0.3
  • Viscous Nasal Goo is now dispellable
  • Viscous Nasal Goo cast point improved from 0.4 to 0.3
  • Warpath max stacks increased from 5 to 5/6/7
  • Warpath stack duration increased from 10 to 14

Man do I love Bristleback. Just when you think you've got the upper hand-BOOM, he turns around. Plus, the dude shoots snot at people. Buffs across the board here, leaving me and other Bristleback fans happy campers.

 Broodmother

  • Spin Web AoE increased from 650 to 900
  • Spin Web cast range increased from 600 to 1000
  • Spin Web cast point nerfed from 0.2 to 0.4
  • Spin Web no longer destroys trees
  • Broodmother now has completely unobstructed movement when under the web (can walk over cliffs, trees, etc)
  • Removed buffer time when leaving Spin Web (you now immediately lose your regen/movement/pathing/invis bonuses)

Broodmother, along with Bloodseeker, was considered one of the worst Heroes of the current meta. It just...doesn't favor pushing. However, with that underlined change up there, I can see teams disregarding the stupid meta and work on pushing with the new Broodmother. This change has the potential to elevate Broodmother to insane pushing levels. Good luck finding her in that web now!

 Centaur Warrunner

  • Stampede slow duration increased from 1.25 seconds to 1.5

I'm a big fan of Brad here, so this slight change is nice! Stay cool, Brad.

 Chaos Knight

  • Chaos Bolt damage and stun values are now inversely related

While it's hard to know without the hard numbers, this could help Chaos Knight's already pretty awesome early game. PS - Why aren't there hard numbers here?

 Chen

  • Test of Faith teleport is now dispellable
  • Hand of God cooldown increased from 140/130/120 to 160/140/120

Slight nerf to Chen's early game, but nothing major to see here.

 Clinkz

  • Searing Arrows damage increased from 20/30/40/50 to 30/40/50/60
  • Searing Arrows manacost increased from 8 to 10
  • Searing Arrows is no longer blocked by magic immunity

Pretty solid buff to Clinkz, though I can't see him penetrating any lineups any time soon. 

 Clockwerk

  • Units knocked back by Power Cogs destroy trees in 100 AoE around where they land

Neat! 

 Crystal Maiden

  • Freezing Field AS/MS AoE slow increased from -20/-30 to -30/-30
  • Freezing Field Scepter AS/MS AoE slow increased from -50/-30 to -50/-50

Ah, Chrystal Maiden, the first Hero that felt natural to me. The Hero that let me know "Patrick, you were born to be a support player." Slight buff here to Freezing Field, so that's nice.

 Dark Seer

  • Vacuum cooldown increased from 24 to 28

One day Dark Seer will have all 120 second cooldowns. He will still be used all the damn time.

 Dazzle!

  • Weave duration rescaled from 12/18/24 to 20
  • Weave armor per second rescaled from 1 to 0.75/1/1.25 (scepter is 1/1.25/1.5)
  • Poison Touch damage increased from 8/16/24/32 to 14/20/26/32 (7 seconds worth)
  • Poison Touch is now dodgeable
  • Poison Touch slow timings reworked

New Poison Touch:
==================
Lvl 1
Slow target by 33% for 3 seconds
Lvl 2
Slow target by 33% for 2 seconds, then slow target by 66% for 1 second
Lvl 3
Slow target by 33% for 1 second, then slow target by 66% for 1 second, then slow target by 100% for 1 second
Lvl 4
Slow target by 33% for 1 second, then slow target by 66% for 1 second, then stun target for 1 second

Ministuns for 0.01 seconds at the start.

Woah, Dazzle's early game just skyrocketed to Venomancer-type levels. Still no early stun, which tends to be crucial in most team lineups, but damn if this doesn't make one of the most endearing Heroes (DAZZLE!) that much more appealing, mechanically. 

 Death Prophet

  • Exorcism Spirit damage increased from 43-48 to 53-58

I think Icefrog is telling us to start pushing towers again. Expect to see Death Prophet more often.

 Disruptor

  • Kinetic Field AoE increased from 300 to 325
  • Glimpse cooldown reduced from 60/50/40/30 to 65/50/35/20
  • Static Storm AoE increased from 375 to 450
  • Static Storm max damage increased from 170/220/270 to 200/250/300
  • Added Aghanim's upgrade: Static Storm silences items, and lasts an extra 2 seconds

Woah, that Aghanim's upgrade sounds really amazing. Scepter isn't cheap, but disabling items ala Doom is so incredibly powerful in this game.  Also, a Glimpse cooldown! You don't wanna mess with dis raptor.

 DOOM

  • Doom cooldown reduced from 110 to 100
  • Doom now removes positive buffs on the target before applying the debuff
  • Doom Aghanim AoE requirement increased from 550 to 900

More Doom, better Doom.

 Drow Ranger

  • Precision Aura damage ratio increased from 16/20/24/28% to 18/24/30/36%
  • Precision Aura no longer affects creeps
  • Precision Aura can now be manually casted to affect creeps globally for 30 seconds (120 cd)
  • Marksmanship attribute negation AoE increased from 375 to 400

Interesting rework of Precision Aura. I think it makes a lot of sense and strips away the global pushing power of the skill that seemed a bit crazy. Good change, I say!

 Earthshaker

  • Enchant Totem damage increased from 75/150/225/300% to 100/200/300/400%
  • Fissure range increased by 100

Fissure range increase! A buff to Rubick! (zing)

 Elder Titan

  • Ancestral Spirit damage reduced from 120/160/200/240 to 80/120/160/200

If I were at all decent with Elder Titan, I might be upset with this. The early game is affected most here.

 Enigma

  • Midnight Pulse dps increased from 3/4/5/6% to 4/5/6/7%
  • Added Aghanim's upgrade: Adds Midnight Pulse damage to your Black Hole. This damage stacks with Midnight Pulse.

Midnight Pulse, aka the skill I always forget about when playing Enigma, gets not only a damage buff, but also directly buffs Black Hole with a Scepter! The fact that the added Black Hole stacks with Midnight Pulse is pretty damn tempting.

 Enchantress

  • Untouchable attack speed slow increased from 20/50/80/110 to 30/60/90/120

Enchantress just got that much better! Still a force to be reckoned with.

 Faceless Void

  • Timewalk slow rescaled from 25/30/35/40% to 20/30/40/50%
  • Chronosphere AoE increased from 400 to 450

Great! Now my teammates can catch me in Chronosphere MORE OFTEN.

 Huskar

  • Agility reduced from 20 + 2.4 to 15 + 1.4
  • Berserker's Blood is now disabled by Doom

Yet another Doom buff! Any nerfs to Huskar are okay with me!

 Invoker

  • EMP restores Invoker for 50% of the mana it drains from heroes (excluding illusions)
  • Invoke Max Spells rescaled from 1/2/2/2 to 2

Not the base damage buff that would bring Invoker back to his prime, but Invoking two spells earlier might just be enough to bring him back into the limelight. For those people who can Invoke like nobody's business, this is a major change.

 Io

  • Tether now does a -100% MS/AS slow instead of a stun

Woah. Such a small change that can have a dramatic impact on Wisp's game. That tiny Tether stun has caused so much frustration in players in the past, and it will be interesting to see how Wisp's game evolves with it gone. 

 Jakiro

  • Liquid Fire is now a castable Attack Orb (same cooldown, no mana cost)

This is a very welcome change to anyone who has played Jakiro before and not wanted to push a lane (i.e. - usually). Being able to toggle Liquid Fire on and off makes Jakiro even more desirable than he was before!

 Juggernaut

  • Healing Ward movement speed increased from 300 to 450
  • Omnislash Scepter cooldown reduced from 110/100/90 to 70
  • Omnislash no longer stops if the target is Ethereal (it still doesn't do damage)
  • Fixed not being able to use items during Omnislash

Lots of good buffs here. Healing Ward being able to catch up a bit more is great, and a quicker ultimate cooldown with Scepter (and already common item on Jugg) is huge. Using items during the ultimate it just icing on the cake. Expect Juggernaut to stick around for a while to come.

 Keeper of the Light

  • Blinding Light now destroys trees in a 150 AoE around where the target is pushed

Yeah man, fuck trees.

 Kunkka 

  • X Marks The Spot cooldown reduced from 16 to 13
  • Ghost Ship damage increased from 350/450/550 to 400/500/600

Kunkka buffs? Heck yes! Kunkka is probably my favorite Hero and seeing him be occasionally used professionally makes me a happy camper. A cooldown reduction and damage buff just make this already excellent Hero excel even more. He'll still be a situational pick, but with Broodmother likely to become more popular, Kunkka may see the same rise in popularity as a counter-pick. 

 Leshrac

  • Diabolic Edict cast point improved from 0.7 to 0.5
  • Pulse Nova scepter damage increased from 88/133/177 to 100/150/200

I'm not sure how common Scepter is on Leshrac, since that money could easily be better spent elsewhere. Therefore, I don't see this as a significant change.

 Lich

  • Frost Armor has half effect against ranged heroes
  • Frost Armor slow now stacks with the slow from Frost Nova
  • Sacrifice cooldown increased from 35/30/25/20 to 44/36/28/20
  • Sacrifice mana gain increased from 15/30/45/60% to 25/40/55/70%
  • Sacrifice no longer denies enemy XP
  • Sacrifice now converts your own creep for XP (shared in AoE as normal creep xp bounty)

A pretty significant change to Sacrifice here. Not denying enemies experience sucks, but gaining experience from friendly creeps is a decent trade off since it's already a good idea to Sacrifice your own creeps to help push the equilibrium in your favor. 

 Lifestealer

  • Rage cooldown increased from 17 to 19
  • Open Wounds and Infest cast points increased from 0.01 to 0.2

A slight Rage cooldown increase is a good change to bring Lifestealer down to Earth, but I don't think it'll impact his frequency of use very much. 

 Lina

  • Attack range increased from 635 to 650

Nice! Now if only I could get used to her attack animation...

 Lion

  • Mana Drain duration increased from 4 to 5
  • Hex cooldown increased from 15 to 30/25/20/15
  • Hex duration increased from 1.75/2.5/3.25/4 to 2.5/3/3.5/4

A decent hit to Lion's early/mid game here. Mana issues are still prevalent if you want to cast both Earth Spike and Hex, so expect Earth Spike to always take precedence now until later in the game. His game is fundamentally unchanged, but the nerf to Hex hurts nonetheless.

 Lone Druid

  • Base movement speed increased from 315 to 325 (still 280 in True Form)
  • Spirit Bear XP bounty increased from 196 to 300

As if the gold bounty change last patch wasn't enough, now Lone Druid better be double extra super careful with their bear! I'm always in favor of making LD a riskier pick.

 Luna

  • Moon Glaive can now bounce back on the same units if it already hit all other units nearby
  • Moon Glaive bounce damage reduced from -30% to -35%
  • Eclipse Scepter beam count limit per target removed

I didn't even know there was a per target beam limit before, but now that I know it's gone I am FRIGHTENED. Seeing Luna pop an Eclipse is a terrifying sight, and it just got scarier. Her Glaives hitting a target twice is also worth a mention here, since those things are wave killing machines already.

 Lycanthrope

  • Armor increased by 1 (Shapeshift total armor is still the same as before)
  • Base damage increased by 5
  • Howl bonus damage for non-hero units increased from 4/8/12/16 to 5/10/15/20
  • Wolves magic resistance increased from 50% to 80%

Will a base damage increase and overall buffs put Lycanthrope back into the public view? It's very possible, but it depends largely on where the meta evolves to next. His early game jungling capabilities aren't much changed, though his laning presence certainly is. I think if we want to bring Lycan back, we have to start changing the way he's played.

 Magnus

  • Turn rate improved from 0.5 to 0.8

And now Magnus is even better at dancing!

 Medusa

  • Mystic Snake now does Pure damage to units in Stone Form

Gotta love Pure damage! This sounds like a pretty good change to me; it just makes sense. 

 Meepo

  • Base armor reduced by 1
  • Turn rate improved from 0.5 to 0.65
  • Earthbind cast point improved from 0.5 to 0.3
  • Divided We Stand leveling rebalanced from 6/11/16 to 4/11/18
  • Removed 30% stat sharing on non-aghanim Divided We Stand

OH GREAT. More Meepoes earlier. 

AWESOME.

PERFECT.

A pretty huge change, all things considered. Meepo isn't Meepo unless there's Meepoes, and now that happens two levels earlier. N0tail is probably freaking out right now.

 Mirana

  • Leap AoE AS/MS speed bonus is granted at the cast location rather than the destination
  • Leap AoE AS bonus increased from 4/8/12/16 to 8/16/24/32

A nice little buff to Leap for Mirana, not much to say here.

 Morphling

  • Morph level 4 shift rate improved from 0.25 to 0.2

WHAT A BUFF.

 Naga Siren

  • Rip Tide AoE reduced from 450 to 350
  • Ensnare manacost increased from 75/85/95/105 to 90/100/110/120

I honestly didn't expect nerfs to come to Naga, but here they are. She's fallen out of favor since last year, and these changes certainly won't help her see more time in team's lineups.

 Nature's Prophet

  • Treants' XP Bounty increased from 20 to 30
  • Treants' Gold Bounty increased from 12-16 to 14-20

Just like Lone Druid, now Nature's Prophet has to be more careful with his Treants during matches. Throwing them away to the other team will start to add up over time, especially against a creep wave clearer like Luna.

Necrolyte

  • Base armor increased by 1

OP

Night Stalker

  • Darkness causes enemy vision to be reduced by 25% (affects heroes, creeps and wards)

This, combined with the day/night cycle change is HUGE. I'd expect Night Stalker to make a comeback in a big way sometime soon. No other Hero can do what Night Stalker does, and NS does it so damn well

Nyx Assassin

  • Spiked Carapace no longer stuns your hero when your summoned units proc it (the summoned units get stunned instead)
  • Impale no longer has unit targeting, it is now only a point targeted spell

Changing Impale's targeting mechanic is certainly a welcome change. I just prefer skillshots that need to travel to their target, both as a player and as a viewer since they make for some seriously badass moments.

 Ogre Magi

  • Ignite duration increased from 4/5/6/7 to 5/6/7/8
  • Ignite is now dodgeable
  • Ignite can now multicast to cast at a random enemy unit in 1400 AoE (prioritizes ones that do not already have the debuff)
  • Unrefined Fireblast cooldown reduced from 10 to 6

Ignite being able to Multicast is perfect. I was always curious why two of three skills could take advantage of Ogre Magi's core mechanic but not the third. I love playing this Hero, and now I might actually start to use Ignite more often!

 Omniknight

  • Degen Aura AoE increased from 315 to 350
  • Degen Aura stickiness increased from 0.5 seconds to 1.0

Slight Omniknight buff! Also, I'm loving that they used the term "stickiness" here.

 Outworld Devourer

  • Base damage reduced by 3
  • Items no longer trigger Essence Aura

Pretty decent nerf to OD here. Base damage decreases are what turn Heroes from First Pick to Never Seen. This guy was huge during The International 2013, but I expect him to drop off a bit after this patch.

 Phantom Assassin

  • Stifling Dagger shares the same crit chance/factor as Coup de Grace
  • Stifling Dagger is now dodgeable
  • Stifling Dagger damage rescaled from 50/100/150/200 to 60/100/140/180

More damage and crit chance? Her dagger can now do INSANE damage in the late game. A 400+ damage nuke is nothing short of devastating. I don't know that this is what boosts her popularity in professional games, but only time will tell.

 Phantom Lancer

  • Spirit Lance is now dodgeable

[insert some remark about cancer]

 Pudge

  • Can now use Blink Dagger
  • If you hook a unit onto an unpathable ledge, the unit gains free pathing for 5 seconds
  • Flesh Heap magic resistance reduced from 4/8/12/16% to 6/8/10/12%
  • Dismember Scepter strength multiplier increased from 0.75 to 1.0

Being able to use Blink Dagger with Pudge's ultimate is a crazy thought. Normally, when you see a Pudge one main thing runs through your mind: don't get hooked. Now, the potential is there for Pudge to Blink to a Hero, Dismember them, and then Hook them afterwards. Pudge just got a lot scarier.

 Pugna

  • Decrepify damage amp on allies reduced from 40% to 25%
  • Decrepify damage amp on enemies increased from 40% to 50%
  • Nether Ward now requires 3 hits to kill instead of 75/150/225/300 HP (heroes hurt it for 1, others for 0.25)
  • Life Drain restores mana if it tries to heal you while you are full hp when targeting heroes

Mmmm, I love that last change to Life Drain and the Nether Ward change. The Nether Ward change in particular will make Pugna a bit more viable, though he will continue to be a very situational pick. Only now he can do what he does best, only better. Watch out, Skywrath!

 Queen of Pain

  • Shadow Strike manacost rescaled from 80/100/120/140 to 110

Slight hit to her early game, but nothing much to see here.

 Riki

  • Smoke Screen cast range increased from 425 to 550
  • Riki is no longer revealed out of Permanent Invisibility when he casts spells or uses items

Dagon on Riki = new meta. This underlined change can have a huge impact on the way that Riki is played in the future. It will be very interesting to see how his game evolves around this change. 

 Rubick

  • Telekinesis cooldown increased from 18 to 22
  • Rubick can no longer steal the Aghanim upgrade of the enemy if they have Aghanim and he doesn't
  • Added Aghanim's upgrade: reduces cooldown from 20/18/16 to 5, increases cast range from 1000 to 1400 and makes all stolen spells be considered to have their Aghanim's upgrade

Woah, that Aghanim's change really is something. This is a great upgrade for Rubick, though it won't be every game that a Rubick can afford a Scepter. The stat bonuses and now the ultimate bonus that it gives to Rubick makes it seriously tempting to go for it nearly every game. Seriously, a five second cooldown on Spell Steal?! Teamfights are about to get ridiculous.

 Sand King

  • Sand Storm dps increased from 20/40/60/80 to 25/50/75/100
  • Epicenter attack speed slow is now same as movement speed slow (10%->30%)

Pretty nice buffs to a very underutilized Hero. Anything that helps Sand King's game is alright with me!

 Shadow Demon

  • Shadow Poison AoE increased from 180 to 190

"EEAAAAAACHHGHH" -Shadow Demon using Shadow Poison.

 Shadow Shaman

  • Mass Serpent Ward count increased from 8 to 10
  • Changed Mass Serpent Ward placement structure

A pretty substantial buff to his ultimate, though I'm not exactly positive what the last change means. I wonder if trapping enemies is still possible with this new placement. If not, one of the most interesting parts of Shadow Shaman's game disappeared. 

 Silencer

  • Intelligence Steal is an innate part of the hero rather than an element of Glaives of Wisdom

This change makes a lot of sense, and I'm very glad to see it happen. Intelligence Steal is what defined Silencer, so I'm glad to see it being integrated into the Hero itself rather than a spell. This could boost Silencer's use, though only slightly. The major change came last patch with his spell reworks. This will just make teams that already liked using him that much more confident in their pick.

 Skeleton King

  • Base Intelligence increased by 5
  • Removed Mortal Strike active
  • Vampiric Aura now provides full effectiveness on ranged units
  • Reincarnation slow increased from 30% to 50%
  • Reincarnation slow AoE increased from 700 to 900

Ladies and Gentlemen, Skeleton King Classic is BACK! Two skills was way too much to keep track of, so I'm glad to see him back to his good old self again. Also, I was not a fan of Mortal Strike's active ability.

 Skywrath Mage

  • Int growth increased from 3.2 to 3.6
  • Added Aghanim's upgrade: reduces Mystic Flare's cooldown from 60/40/20 to 20/10/0

Zero.

ZERO.

 HE CAN USE IT ALWAYS AAAAHHHH. Thank goodness for manacosts (and Pugna). I do think these changes will boost Skywrath's popularity and we will start to see him used more and more as times goes on.

Slardar

  • Amplify Damage armor reduction increased from 8/14/20 to 10/15/20
  • Sprint speed increased from 20/27/33/40% to 20/28/36/44%
  • Sprint manacost removed (was 50)

Awesome Sprint buff right here. The manacost was silly anyway, so getting rid of it and making Sprint faster really makes me happy. I don't think these changes are enough to make Slardar popular, but it's a step in the right direction.

Slark

  • Shadow Dance duration reduced from 5.5 to 4
  • Shadow Dance cooldown increased from 25 to 65
  • Shadow Dance can no longer be revealed by Truesight

HUGE changes to Slark's game here. Nerf to Shadow Dance's stats, but a buff to the spell itself. That is a relatively huge cooldown, making Shadow Dance a much more situational skill. The passive element is luckily untouched, since it was easily the best part of the skill. Not being revealed by Truesight, however, might take that crown. Imagine just being able to...escape. No strings attached. As Eric Cartman would say, "Screw you guys, I'm going home!" (this is still relevant right)

Sniper

  • Take Aim attack range bonus increased from 75/150/225/300 to 80/160/240/320

Oh good, because Sniper was TOO CLOSE before...

Spectre

  • You can now continuously use Reality on your illusions
  • Reality cast point improved from 0.3 to 0

Woah, so you can now jump to multiple illusions while your ultimate is being used. That kind of mobility is insane, and is a gigantic buff to Spectre. This allows her to (potentially) pick someone off in a dangerous situation (retreating to base), and then jump back out to a safer position somewhere else on the map. It's going to take some insane map awareness and very quick reactions, but I think we're in for some amazing Spectre play in the coming months.

Spirit Breaker

  • Base attack time nerfed from 1.7 to 1.9
  • Greater Bash no longer works while doomed
  • Nether Strike now uses 1.2 Cast Time instead of a 1 sec magic immune delay (can be interrupted as a result)

And the Doom buffs keep rolling in! Nerfs to Spirit Breaker all around here, which is unfortunate because I absolutely love playing as the Space Cow. Getting an interrupted ultimate is going to make me super bummed when it happens. I'm not sure why Spirit Breaker needed these nerfs, but it looks like he'll be less fun to play as a result.

Sven

  • Stormbolt cooldown reduced from 15 to 13
  • Stormbolt is now dodgeable

Good changes to Sven here. These are the types of changes that balance the scales: lil' bit of good, lil' bit of bad. 

Tidehunter

  • Kraken Shell damage block increased from 7/14/21/28 to 9/18/27/36

Pretty nice buff for Tidehunter here. A +8 damage block increase is certainly welcome on this once-always-picked Hero. I don't think it'll change his popularity much, though you never know where the meta will take us.

Timbersaw

  • Chakram manacost increased from 75/125/175 to 100/150/200

Slight nerf to Timbersaw. Solidifies Bloodstone's importance in his game, for sure.

Tiny

  • Craggy Exterior chance increased from 6/12/18/24% to 10/15/20/25%
  • Craggy Exterior stun duration increased from 1.2 to 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5

Pretty good buff for Tiny, though he'll remain a situational pick. With the Io nerf, we might be in for less Tiny as well.

Treant Protector

  • Leech Seed damage per pulse reduced from 30/45/60/75 to 24/36/48/60
  • Leech Seed number of pulses increased from 4 to 6 (duration from 3 to 4.5)
  • Living Armor cooldown rebalanced from 15 to 32/26/20/14
  • Living Armor manacost increased from 25 to 50
  • Nature's Guise cast point improved from 0.5 to 0.3

Alright, let's see what they've done to my favorite Hero. Large nerf to his early game in the Living armor changes. I'll admit, Living Armor was pretty ridiculous before, but it's sort of all Treant had going for him after the recent Overgrowth nerf. This definitely reduces Treant's appeal, and I really don't think it was necessary to hit him this hard.

Troll Warlord

  • Berserker's Rage movespeed bonus rebalanced from 20/20/20/30 to 10/20/30/40
  • Whirling Axes (Melee) damage reduced from 125/175/225/275 to 75/125/175/225

More movespeed but less damage. This should bring Troll Warlord down to a better level in public matches, though it's nothing too major it seems.

Tusk

  • Frozen Sigil now requires a constant number of hits (3/3/4/4) instead of 200/220/240/260 HP (heroes hurt it for 1, others for 0.25)

Just like Pugna's Nether Ward, I really like this change. It should allow these things to stay out longer and serve a bigger purpose.

Undying

  • Decay steal duration increased from 25/30/35/40 to 40

Big buff to Undying's early game here, and I certainly ain't complaining!

Vengeful Spirit

  • Can now use Blink Dagger
  • If you Netherswap a unit onto an unpathable ledge, the unit gains free pathing for 5 seconds

Blink and Swap! This should really open up a bit of interesting tactics with Vengeful Spirit. If we ever see her.

Venomancer

  • Poison Nova no longer ignores invis/fogged units
  • Venomous Gale no longer ignores invis units
  • Venomous Gale damage over time rebalanced from 15/30/45/60 to 0/30/60/90
  • Poison Sting duration increased from 6/8/10/12 to 6/9/12/15
  • Poison Sting dps no longer dispels healing or disables dagger
  • Plague Wards now have Poison Sting for 50% of the damage at the current skilled level (When both Venomancer and a Plague Ward affect a target, only the highest dps is applied)
  • Plague Wards XP bounty increased from 12/12/25/25 to 20/25/30/35

Interesting change to Venomous Gale at level 1, reducing it's damage to 0 and making it only a slow. It's still a huge slow, but this brings it down a notch for sure. The change to Plague Wards to give them Poison Sting is really awesome, and will make those damn little buggers that much more annoying.

Viper

  • Poison Attack cooldown reduced from 4/3/0/0 to 0
  • Corrosive Skin no longer works while doomed

Say it with me: DOOM BUFF! Early game orb buff to Viper, though he'll likely remain hidden from public view in professional matches.

Visage

  • Base armor reduced by 1
  • Base magic resistance reduced from 25% to 10%

Visage was devastating at the most recent International. Picked or banned all the time, and always had a huge impact on the result. I am in favor of making him more squishy to help counter his insane popularity.

Warlock

  • Fatal Bonds now links the closest units to the initial target, instead of randomly choosing targets in its AoE
  • Upheaval cast range increased from 700 to 1200
  • Upheaval duration increased from 10 to 12
  • Removed Chaotic Offering 100 impact damage
  • Chaotic Offering Golem armor increased from 5/7/10 to 6/9/12
  • Chaotic Offering manacost increased from 200/250/300 to 200/300/400

Some overall good changes to Warlock. Removing Chaotic Offering's damage doesn't do much, since it was largely used for the stun anyway. Fatal Bonds could now potentially be planned out before jumping in, which could be interesting!

Weaver

  • Base attack time nerfed from 1.7 to 1.8

Weaver is another one of those jerks Heroes who is everywhere. While this change doesn't do much to reduce his efficiency, the entire rest of the game has changed so much, we still may see Weaver drop off.

Windrunner

  • Focus Fire remains sticky on the target you cast it on

This means that you can change targets and when you return to the original target, your attack speed bonus will resume.

Interesting change to Focus Fire - definitely a buff. 

Witch Doctor

  • Death Ward cast range increased from 400 to 600
  • Voodoo Restoration AoE increased from 350 to 500
  • Voodoo Restoration manacost over time reduced from 8/14/20/26 to 8/12/16/20 (50% of the heal amount)
  • Paralyzing Casks now lasts 5 seconds on illusions (same as creep duration)

Changes to Witch Doctor's heals are nice, since I've always felt it was too costly in the early game and fell off in the late game. I don't think Witch Doctor will go anywhere any time soon, but it's good to know that when I Random him, he'll be slightly better at LOOK AT IT GO.








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Dota 2



6:00 PM on 09.23.2014
THEY CHANGED THE DOTA 2 MAP

A new Dota 2 update hit today, and THEY CHANGED EVERYTHING. Two runes. New rune. THE MAP IS DIFFERENT. Reworked Heroes. Chen can take over Ancients. Something happened to Riki, I'm not sure what exactly? THE MAP IS DIFFERENT. Did I mention that they changed the map and added a rune? more



1:00 PM on 08.30.2014
Techies officially coming to Dota 2 next week

Techies, the explosive and suicidal Dota 2 Hero, is finally coming to the game next week, as detailed in the latest Dota 2 blog update. I've never played Techies in DOTA, but here's what I've gathered so far: Techie...more



5:15 PM on 08.26.2014
Video tips on how to be a better Dota 2 player

Believe it or not, in all my time spent in Dota 2, I've never played a single solo matchmaking game. I've played plenty of team games, but the anxiety that comes with playing alone with strangers gets to me while playing Dot...more



3:15 PM on 08.07.2014
Valve releases Dota 2 mod tools and possibly Source 2 (or parts of it)

Valve has released an alpha build of its Dota 2 Workshop Tools which will enable folks to create, share, and play custom maps and game modes for Dota 2. That's going to be huge and if you played custom games in Warcraft III, ...more



12:00 PM on 07.21.2014
This is it: Watch Dota 2's The International grand finals live

[Update: It's over! Newbee has been named champion of The International 4 and will take home $5,028,308 in prize money. For reaching second place, ViCi Gaming will bring home a still-impressive $1,475,699. Watch the final mat...more



1:15 PM on 07.20.2014
The biggest esports tournament in history continues

Note: there will be no spoilers in this post for day one or two, but expect them in the comments!  Yesterday was as exciting as it was heartbreaking for some, but that's just the way things go when over $10 million is on...more



2:45 PM on 07.17.2014
ESPN3 will carry Dota 2's The International

You can watch the $10+ million Dota 2 tournament The International on Twitch, or in-game, or, huh, even on ESPN. Valve is collaborating with the sports network for coverage this weekend. Notably, ESPN2 will have an exclusive ...more



9:00 PM on 07.15.2014
Dota 2 International: There can be only one (but right now there's eight)

Eight teams are left fighting for the $5 million first prize in Dota 2's International tournament. The grand final will be played Monday, July 21. Among the teams fighting for it are ViCi, NewBee, Evil Geniuses, Team DK, Cloud9, 2011 champions Natus Vincere, 2012 winners Invictus Gaming and LGD Gaming (the China qualifier winner).  Patrick was dead wrong. Team MVP didn't come close.more



1:00 PM on 07.08.2014
The Dota 2 International 2014 wildcard round is underway

The day has finally arrived! The biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year is about to officially begin! Today, four wildcard teams will battle it out for one remaining position in the tournament and their shot at a pri...more



8:00 AM on 07.07.2014
Dota Dash is Dota 2 mixed with Mario Kart

Have you ever been in the heat of a good Dota 2 teamfight, enjoying yourself as you're blasting away your enemies, and wondered -- you know what would go great with Dota? Mario Kart! Well, you're in the right place...more




DOTA

6:30 PM on 07.03.2013
Dota 2 adds more tutorials to help ease in new players

Valve has added a new collection of tutorials for Dota 2 to help newer players with movement, general tactics, and hard combat. The new system will teach you everything step by step, at which point it'll allow you to take on ...more



12:00 PM on 06.21.2013
Dota 2 is now playable without a beta key

[Update: it appears as if only the tutorial is now available for newcomers without a key, with the rest of the game to come at a later date. If you need a key, I'm sure you can easily get one in the comments below.] Fres...more



3:00 PM on 05.15.2013
The Dota 2 team adds new Interactive Compendium goals

To say Dota 2 has gotten off to a great start is an understatement. It immediately garnered the support of casual MOBA fans and competitive tourney goers alike, and the game is going very strong, heading into new stretch goal...more



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