Another Dota 2 Major has come to a close, which means Valve has released the newest patch that will be used for upcoming events.
DreamLeague Season 11 featured a lot of lesser-used heroes being drafted alongside the professional standard picks—and this patch looks like it will help a few of those lesser heroes rise up the draft board.
The last patch made a few pretty significant changes to both items and heroes, but update 7.21d dives even deeper into the actual heroes. With only one change to the overall gameplay, things weighed heavily on which buffs and nerfs would be dropped on the top or somewhat-frequent tiers.
That general change came on the Dire side of things, making it easier for players to hard pull from the Dire camp. This will likely make laning for the Dire a little bit easier and less technical.
Of course, Valve didn’t leave every item untouched—but the changes that were made don’t seem very drastic or imply things will shift away from what has been popular since the last update.
The main bulk of changes hit items that have fallen off from popularity since the new meta came into place, specifically the Aeon Disk getting a recipe price drop from 1,250 to 1,100. This drop makes it slightly more viable, but it will need more than this to push back into the normal rotation.
Likewise, Guardian Greeves got a price increase from 1,700 to 1,800. Although the increase might push when the popular item will be picked up, the already-expensive build likely won’t suffer from such a small bump.
Rod of Atos is the last item that will see significant change from the update since it’s been one of the more popular items over the last few events. Some of the heroes that used it the most were hit in this patch too, but the cooldown increasing from 16 to 18 and a 50 reduction to cast distance won’t affect the item much.
The first hero change might end up being one of the biggest—Arc Warden got an agility increase to 2.4 and his Tempest Double gained better second and third stage bases, up to 16/20/24 from 16/18/20. This will help the character lock down kills on a more consistent basis, especially in the late game.
Dragon Knight also saw a lot of key changes—the slow provided by his ultimate is now 40 percent and his talents all received significant buffs. His true potential will be in the late stages still, but getting early talent buffs like an extra five percent on Breath Fire Damage at level 10 will help, too.
Earthshaker got a plus-two increase to his base armor, making sure that any trades he makes during laning or teamfights will be easier to stomach.
One of the biggest changes went to Storm Spirit, a hero that helped Virtus Pro push Vici Gaming to a game five in the finals at DreamLeague Season 11. The level scaling on Static Remnant leaves it in a much more favorable position to level now, going from 120/170/220/270 to 120/175/230/285, which gives players more incentive to put resources into it.
At the same time, Electric Vortex got a pull distance increase from 140/180/220/260 to 180/220/260/300, meaning that it’s significantly better at level one. This means resources can be split up easier in the early game without fear of being locked out of something good later on. He also got an intelligence boost from 22 + 3.7 to 23 + 3.9.
Valve must hate seeing Viper a lot because after getting massively nerfed earlier in the season, he was hit again here. Agility going down from 2.8 to 2.5 and Nethertoxin moving to a six cooldown from five still won’t do much, but it’s dropping him closer to out of the rotation.
Chen also got another hit that will make his laning a lot harder to manage. Divine Favor’s duration dropping from 14 to 8/10/12/14 in a scale will severely limit how often it is up—and that doesn’t bode well for his abilities to lane.
The newest hero to join the game, Mars, wasn’t immune to changes this time around. The two biggest nerfs for him are a deduction in vision on Spear of Mars being reduced from 500 to 300 and God’s Rebuke now having much higher mana costs across the board at 65/70/75/80 up from 55/60/65/70.
It’s highly likely Mars will continue to be nerfed as Valve gets a feel for his place in the game, but for now, this balance seems like it will fit.
Oracle has one of the highest pick rates this season and its key ability has now been hit. False Promise now has a cast range of 700/850/1,000 rather than a base 1,000 rescaled to 700/850/1,000.
Not only that, but the mana cost increased from 100 to 100/150/200 and the cooldown increased from 100/65/30 to 115/80/45. Not only is everything more costly to use and have a higher cooldown, but Oracle can’t use the insane reach to save everyone. This closes the gap for how far the hero can be, thus making it easier to zone against.
The last big change hit another top hero, Pangolier, who’s Lucky Shot ability can now only apply one silence or disarm, not both. The chance for the move was also decreased three percent down from 20 to 17.
Rolling Thunder also got a mana cost nerf, pushing it up to 100/150/200 from unscaled 100. This isn’t huge depending on build, but it will lessen the chances of Pango coming into a fight and just rolling through.
Overall, this patch looks like it might force a few heroes up in the pick list while dropping a few highly-used characters down a bit. No one character seems to be inherently dead in the water after this, but when actual competitions roll around, we’ll get our first real look at what these changes could mean.