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The culling of neutral items continued in today’s 7.23d update for Dota 2 with the removal of Elixir and the Helm of Undying.
General changes include more reductions to experience gain and nerfs to some of the rising stars in the pub meta.
- Passive gold income no longer increases with hero level.
- Tome of Knowledge initial stock capacity reduced from two to one at 10 minutes.
- Hero kills XP bounty reduced from 40 + CurrentXP * 0.14 to 40 + CurrentXP * 0.13.
- Outpost experience reduced from 18 * Min to 15 * Min.
Experience is now a bear market. The introduction of outposts meant that there was a heavy influx of experience to every single hero on the team. It wasn’t uncommon for heroes to hit level 25 by 25 minutes, which provided insane power spikes for heroes like Templar Assassin and Weaver. Tying levels to passive income also meant that core heroes got richer faster, altogether turning into a meta all about snowballing out of control.
Besides the decrease in outpost experience gain, Tome of Knowledge’s initial two charges has been reverted. Kills are also now worth less experience.
The removal of the 10-minute Tome is bad news to support players. Teams that have a bad game on both supports will have to contend with only having one experience tome and likely miss a crucial ultimate timing. Dota 2 is a game of inches and this has made securing at least one initial outpost an even more crucial objective.
The neutral item battle royale continues with 58 items left to keep up the fight. Elixir and Helm of the Undying are the next two items to be eliminated.
Elixir’s removal was well-warranted. The item essentially functioned as a personal Shrine with three charges. Considering that it was a tier-one early drop, it meant that one lane would essentially win the regen war all based on one single item. It swung the early game advantage too hard and has thus been removed from the game.
Helm of the Undying was an item that essentially provided a mini Wraith King Aghanim’s Scepter to the equipped hero, allowing them to cast spells and items when dead for six additional seconds. This proved to be a massive problem when heroes, even after getting burst down, were still able to get off their spell combos and turn the fight from the grave. It unduly punished poor enemies for blowing valuable cooldowns to remove a key target then proceeded to lose the fight anyway. While the item was moved to a later tier, it proved to be too powerful of a tool for too low a cost.
Six heroes were changed in 7.23d. Crystal Maiden was the sole hero to get an extremely slight buff to her Arcane Aura, but she still had to pay the cost of a lower base mana regen.
Bloodseeker, Drow, Lina, Outworld Devourer, and Treant Protector all received nerfs. Surprisingly, Lina received a base damage nerf despite her terrible win rate across skill levels.
Bloodseeker wasn’t changed much, but the new brawling meta meant that he benefitted more from Thirst. With more heroes choosing to fight early and surviving on lower health, Bloodseeker reveled and became a monster in the early game. His Rupture cooldown was increased, but he probably remains one of the most stable carry picks in the patch.
Outworld Devourer’s changes were bewildering at first, but players have quickly realized the hero’s change from a right-click carry to outright spellcaster. Due to his damage scaling from mana rather than intelligence, more item options have opened up to the hero, meaning that his reduced farming speed didn’t gimp his output. Thus, he received a slight nerf to his Sanity’s Eclipse multiplier.
- Multishot damage reduced from 95/125/155/185 percent to 90/115/140/165 percent.
- Level 15 Talent reduced from +14 Agility to +12.
- Level 25 Talent reduced from 50 percent Cooldown Reduction to 40 percent.
Drow Ranger was reworked to become more of a solo hero now, instead of the ranged aura slave that she used to be. The changes have made her a much better laner and brawler, capable of joining fights rather than being forced to flash farm and splitpush. This suits the faster-paced meta and players who adapted quickly have enjoyed the hero’s damage potential.
Multishot looked underwhelming but had the capability to destroy squishy supports with one spell cast. It’s also cheap and has a low cooldown. She still scaled extremely well into the late game thanks to her cooldown reduction talent, which allowed her to fire even more Multishots and use items liberally.
- Leech Seed mana cost increased from 80 to 110.
- Leech Seed cooldown increased from 16/15/14/13 to 22/19/16/13.
- Overgrowth cooldown increased from 100/85/70 to 100.
Treant Protector grew into a giant beanstalk practically overnight. While he was overly nerfed at the outset of the Outlanders update, he’s now become the strongest support hero in the patch.
His new passive, Nature’s Guise, practically gives the hero two skills at level one. Combine that with his bulkiness and free pathing and Treant was basically incapable of losing a fight, and could freely dominate any side lane. The free pathing also allowed him to get better angles on his Nature’s Grasp to cordon off areas for his team to swoop in and deal damage. Even then, his massive teamfight ultimate allowed him to scale into the late game without any items.
Treant’s strength is such that even after the nerfs, his win and pick rates are still increasing. But the hero’s new turn in the spotlight will likely result in even more nerfs coming his way.