Leshrac, Monkey King, Axe, and Enchantress fighting in Dota 2.
Image via Valve

‘Remove the shard’: Dota 2 fans hungry for new patch really want one hero nerfed

Malpractice makes perfect.

With Elite League all wrapped up last Sunday, the Dota 2 community has turned its attention to Valve as they eagerly await the next patch, and there’s one nerf at the top of almost everyone’s wishlist: Witch Doctor’s Aghanim’s Shard upgrade, Voodoo Switcheroo.

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One Dota 2 fan is over Zharvakko’s absurd transformation spell and declared they’re ready for it to be nerfed or outright removed in an April 15 post on the game’s subreddit, highlighting it as a major pain point in Turbo, Dota 2‘s shorter and faster mode. “My muscle memory [is] still first banning him in Turbo no matter what,” another player said, with many more agreeing WD’s time at the top of the meta really needs to end.

With Doctor throwing a Paralyzing Cask in Dota 2
I think Valve should just remove the Shard upgrade altogether. Image via Valve

When a Witch Doctor purchases Aghanim’s Shard, they receive the Voodoo Switcheroo ability, which transforms the hero into their ultimate Death Ward for a moment. It’s a lower-powered version of the ultimate, but otherwise, it makes the hero “hidden” and thus invulnerable to damage for a full three seconds. When combined with the regular Death Ward and a Glimmer Cape for invisibility, the support can dish out an extreme amount of damage unseen without wards or Dust.

Others suggested alternate changes to Voodoo Switcheroo and Death Ward, such as a switch back to Physical damage. Patch 7.34 changed the ward’s outgoing damage to Pure damage, meaning it pierces all resistances like armor, and while it was slightly reduced as a result, it’s clear the ability and its attached Shard upgrade are still too much for players to bear. Valve has even dropped its damage and removed True Strike from the heroes Agh’s Scepter upgrade over the last two patches, but it did little to slow the Doc.

Witch Doctor has enjoyed a purple patch of form in Dota 2, particularly at lower ranks. He currently possesses a top-tier 53.75 percent win rate this patch according to stats site Dotabuff, and is the fourth-most picked hero trailing the likes of Sniper, Lion, and Pudge.

When a hero is this dominant and this present, it normally means a nerf is shortly behind, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on Valve this week to see whether a patch lands—and what they’ll do about the Witch Doctor taking over the casual meta.


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Author
Nicholas Taifalos
Weekend editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career in commentary, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly Counter-Strike and Dota. Email: nicholas@dotesports.com