Dota 2’s 7.23a patch removes Tome of Aghanim, buffs newest heroes

IceFrog is hard at work.

dota 2 ti9 new hero snapfire
Screengrab via Valve

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The huge Dota 2 Outlanders update has received a slight balance patch in 7.23a. Twelve different heroes were adjusted and a host of neutral items also received changes.

Neutral items

For now, Dota 2 fans will say goodbye to the Tome of Aghanim, perhaps the shortest lifespan an item has ever lived. For less than 48 hours, the neutral item gave an Aghanim’s buff to heroes for three minutes, which proved to be an absolutely broken power spike. Fans might see the item in a future and even more bonkers iteration of Dota 2.

Besides the Tome, other big tweaks include a cap of three neutral items per tier on each team and the removal of end periods for lower-tier items to drop. Their drop chance has also reduced slightly.

dota 2 tome of aghanim
Image via Valve | Remix by Dexter Tan

Previously, there was a strict period for each tier of items to drop, meaning that teams would gain the possibility of accessing stronger level of items the moment the clock struck. Now, players can drop items of lower tiers even after unlocking higher tiers, but the game will roll high-tier items first. That means there are more chances for each team to cap out on three items per tier.

These changes should provide a more even spread of items throughout the team with less randomness involved. Still, neutral items don’t take into account your draft or needs throughout the game, meaning it still remains a gamble that plays no part in building a strategy. Developer IceFrog seems committed to the concept of neutral items, so it’ll most likely stay.

Right now, it’s impossible to tell which item is good or not, but mostly, it’s a good strategy to spread the wealth among your team. There aren’t enough item slots for a hero to grab onto every neutral item and your supports could probably use some of them.

Hero buffs

For the first time in a while, both new heroes of the patch have been buffed after their release. 

Snapfire, the hero with the lowest win rate in the game, received buffs to everything except for Scatterblast. Firesnap Cookie now has increased cast range and stun duration, Lil’ Shredder has more damage, and her ultimate, Mortimer Kisses, now has more damage and increased travel speed. She even got a buff to her Strength gain and additional armor to make her a better laner.

Void Spirit was also buffed, but much less than Snapfire. He now has additional cast range and reduced cast point on his ultimate, Astral Step, making him an even more slippery hero than before.

Morphling, who was already a terrible hero without Earthshaker, has plainly shown it with the second-lowest win rate on the board. Therefore, IceFrog has bestowed Morphling with some simple stat increases, which should make his dismal laning stage a bit better.

Drow Ranger, Undying, and Outworld Devourer were also buffed. These three heroes received major reworks to their skill sets and will likely see even more changes with subsequent patches while players try to figure them out.

Hero nerfs

The four heroes with the most-improved win rates have predictably been nerfed. In general, heroes who can farm creep waves and neutrals quickly have become stronger because of the addition of neutral items. Couple that with other buffs and their win rates quickly got out of hand.

Lone Druid and Razor both received nerfs to their farming speed, while Anti-Mage’s Mana Break has been reduced. Anti-Mage’s passive is still stronger than ever due to the addition of the max mana burned mechanic, and it still makes him stronger in the late game. Crystal Maiden received a small adjustment to her global mana regeneration aura, which was what made her team farm at an insane pace.

Ursa and Vengeful Spirit were also nerfed. Ursa received a movement buff to his Earthshock that greatly enhanced his chasing abilities, while Vengeful Spirit introduced a ridiculous new attack range aura that benefited her allies, catapulting her win rate through the roof to a whopping 60 percent. She also gained an additional source of crowd control in her Nether Swap. For now, both heroes got away with minor number nerfs, but they still look to be big winners of the Outlanders update.