It's like playing a whole new game
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.
\ We've blogged about this before: read (52) back stories
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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, 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!
I'm a big fan of Brad here, so this slight change is nice! Stay cool, Brad.
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?
Slight nerf to Chen's early game, but nothing major to see here.
Pretty solid buff to Clinkz, though I can't see him penetrating any lineups any time soon.
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.
One day Dark Seer will have all 120 second cooldowns. He will still be used all the damn time.
New Poison Touch:
Slow target by 33% for 3 seconds
Slow target by 33% for 2 seconds, then slow target by 66% for 1 second
Slow target by 33% for 1 second, then slow target by 66% for 1 second, then slow target by 100% for 1 second
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.
I think Icefrog is telling us to start pushing towers again. Expect to see Death Prophet more often.
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.
More Doom, better Doom.
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!
Fissure range increase! A buff to Rubick! (zing)
If I were at all decent with Elder Titan, I might be upset with this. The early game is affected most here.
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 just got that much better! Still a force to be reckoned with.
Great! Now my teammates can catch me in Chronosphere MORE OFTEN.
Yet another Doom buff! Any nerfs to Huskar are okay with me!
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.
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.
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!
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
Yeah man, fuck trees.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nice! Now if only I could get used to her attack animation...
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.
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.
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.
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.
And now Magnus is even better at dancing!
Gotta love Pure damage! This sounds like a pretty good change to me; it just makes sense.
OH GREAT. More Meepoes earlier.
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.
A nice little buff to Leap for Mirana, not much to say here.
WHAT A BUFF.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Slight Omniknight buff! Also, I'm loving that they used the term "stickiness" here.
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.
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.
[insert some remark about cancer]
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.
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
Slight hit to her early game, but nothing much to see here.
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.
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.
Pretty nice buffs to a very underutilized Hero. Anything that helps Sand King's game is alright with me!
"EEAAAAAACHHGHH" -Shadow Demon using Shadow Poison.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Oh good, because Sniper was TOO CLOSE before...
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.
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.
Good changes to Sven here. These are the types of changes that balance the scales: lil' bit of good, lil' bit of bad.
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.
Slight nerf to Timbersaw. Solidifies Bloodstone's importance in his game, for sure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Big buff to Undying's early game here, and I certainly ain't complaining!
Blink and Swap! This should really open up a bit of interesting tactics with Vengeful Spirit. If we ever see her.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.