Dota 2 7.23c patch nerfs Magnus' upgraded Skewer, gives Treant Protector free pathing and global presence again

There's quite a few changes to unpack before the next round of competition.

magnus skewer
Image via Valve

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With all the competitors decided for the next Majors and Minors, Valve has released the 7.23c gameplay patch for Dota 2. The patch introduces decreases in experience gain for heroes and returns damage block against player-controlled units along with several changes in heroes and items.

General

  • Outpost XP reduced from 25 per minute to 18
  • Level 10 XP talents reduced from 20/25/30/40 (most were 25/30) to 20 percent
  • Level 15 XP talents reduced from 35/40/50 to 35 percent

The addition of Outposts and the level 30 upgrade to the game has made experience talents more valuable than ever. It has also made games snowball even faster and allowed heroes to reach level 25 at 25 minutes, once an impossible feat.

Therefore, experience gain from outposts has been reduced. This will help to slightly dampen the effects of a winning team’s snowball, preventing them from steamrolling the game too soon. Comebacks are too difficult to execute due to the overwhelming item and experience advantage the winning team gets with map control, which is reflected in the current speedy state of the game.

Related: More than 40% of pro Dota 2 matches have ended before or at 30 minutes post in 7.23 update

Experience talents have also been reworked across the board. Now, heroes will have a standardized value of expedited experience gain, which is 20 percent at level 10 and 35 percent at level 15. Experience talents became more powerful with the new max level cap and the unlocking of talent trees and even benefited from the Outpost experience. This is undoubtedly a nerf to heroes like Weaver and Warlock, who had high experience talents to help them reach their talent power spikes earlier.

  • Innate Damage Block now works against player units again (same rules as regular damage block now)
  • Innate Damage Block changed from 100 percent for eight block to 50 percent for 16 block
  • Innate Damage Block no longer stacks with damage block instances

Damage block will now work on a percentage chance like the old Stout Shield. It also works against player-controlled units now, so Broodmothers and Nature’s Prophet will become less obnoxious. 

Items

Early aura items like Buckler, Vladimir’s Offering, and Drums of Endurance have proved far too valuable and thus nerfed either with slight stats decrements or an increase in cost. Several neutral items were buffed, with the exception of Mindbreaker.

Boots of Travel

  • Now has the same six second teleportation delay when teleporting to outposts

Boots of Travel became way too valuable when they didn’t have any teleportation delay to outposts and became the premier boots choice for several offlaners and four positions. Now, they will still retain their power due to the ability to teleport to nearby creep waves and towers, instead of just blindly clicking on an Outpost.

Third Eye

  • Removed

Third Eye was one of the most powerful neutral items in the game. Not only did it provide true sight, it increased vision range and even provided additional stats. Plus, it didn’t drop on death and instead disappeared only after three deaths. It was a Gem of True Sight equivalent with lower true sight range but so many other benefits that it was a superior option in most cases. Like the Tome of Aghanim, the item provided too insane of a power spike for the team that got it and has been promptly removed.

Hero buffs

A total of 27 heroes received changes this patch. Fourteen were buffed, while 13 were nerfed.

Treant Protector

  • Now has an innate Nature’s Guise passive ability. Whenever you haven’t taken damage in the last 3 seconds, you gain the ability to path through trees. While in trees you gain 25% more regeneration and heal as well as a 15% Movement Speed bonus. (Once you have the ability to walk through trees, you don’t lose it until you aren’t near trees.)
  • Scepter now also causes trees to respawn every 10 seconds instead of the default 5 minutes

Living Armor

  • Living Armor is now global.
  • Living Armor bonus armor reduced from 7/10/13/16 to 4/6/8/10
  • Living Armor now heals over 12 seconds instead of 8
  • Living Armor total heal reduced from 60/120/180/240 to 60/100/140/180

Talents

  • Level 10 Talent changed from +10 percent Cooldown Reduction to Nature’s Guise Invisibility
  • Level 10 Talent changed from +60 Living Armor Heal to +50 Damage
  • Level 15 Talent changed from +90 Damage to +60 Living Armor Heal
  • Level 20 Talent changed from Gains Tree Walking to +15 percent Cooldown Reduction

Treant Protector is undoubtedly the biggest winner of 7.23c. The hero has regained his core identity in the ability to walk freely through trees, turn invisible near them, and his global saving presence.

His Nature’s Guise has arguably gotten stronger than his previous iterations. Before it was reworked, Nature’s Guise required an active cast, and would break the moment you found yourself too far away from trees. Now, you can instantly gain your passive by walking near trees as long as you haven’t taken damage, making traversing the terrain in the early game easier and stronger. His invisibility is now tied behind a talent choice, likely to prevent him from being one of the best courier sniping heroes in the game. 

Treant’s Living Armor is global again but retains the rework of it being additional armor and heal rather than damage block instances. It’s probably slightly weaker in the early game and against spellcasters but is now tremendously effective against physical carries and pushes. Instead of charges instantly running out against a concerted push, towers can now be protected for the entire 12-second duration. It’s a really strong buff for the hero, and it’s possible that we might see a return of the hero to the competitive scene.

Hero nerfs

Crystal Maiden

Arcane Aura

  • Arcane Aura no longer provides magic resistance

Crystal Nova

  • Crystal Nova cooldown reduced from 14/12/10/8 to 11/10/9/8

Talents

  • Level 15 Talent changed from +14 percent manacost/manaloss reduction Aura to +10 percent magic resistance Arcane Aura

This poor hero just never seems to catch a break. Arcane Aura is now one of the game’s few remaining global auras and is especially powerful in a patch that emphasizes speed and rotations for objectives. The addition of magic resistance pushed her to one of the highest win rates in Patch 7.23 and has thus been swiftly nerfed in subsequent updates.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Crystal Maiden, for at least the cooldown on her Crystal Nova in earlier levels has been buffed. This opens up the possibility for players to leave one value point in Nova before proceeding to max out Arcane Aura.

Magnus

Skewer

  • Skewer Scepter reduces manacost by 50 percent rather than 100 percent
  • Skewer Scepter cooldown increased from four to six seconds

The age of unlimited Skewers is over. The new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade pushed Magnus into “Looney Tunes” category. No mana cost and a four-second cooldown allowed for plays like this to exist.

The hero also saw a resurgence in mid lane usage in the professional circuit, with Secret’s Michał “Nisha” Jankowski using it against Nigma to great success. It has been nerfed now, but it’s still a pretty good tool instead of an instant 100-percent pickup every game.