Valve releases 7.28a update for Dota 2 to fine-tune the Mistwood patch

"This time, for sure!"

Image via Valve

It’s only been five days since Valve dropped the latest season-defining Dota 2 patch, the Mistwood update. Considering this type of patch usually drops right after The International around September, fans were getting restless over some much-needed buffs and nerfs.

The International’s postponement eventually delayed the patch as well, but the wait was considerably worth it. Significant updates like Mistwood still require some finishing touches, however, and Valve has now released Patch 7.28a to balance the latest gameplay update further.

Alongside introducing 120 new spells, meaning one for each hero on the roster, the Mistwood patch also brought some much-needed nerfs to heroes that have been outshining other options both in public and competitive matches. The two biggest offenders, Sven and Outworld Destroyer, found themselves out of the list of top heroes with the highest win rates. Though Sven could average a win rate close to 50 percent after the changes, Outworld Destroyer was basically sent to the bottom of all tier lists available. The community even seemingly spotted a cycle in the hero’s balance changes, turning him into a Dota 2 meme.

While many finer tweaks were introduced with 7.28a, the most notable ones belong to Lifestealer and Outworld Destroyer. It looks like IceFrog may have swung the nerf hammer a tad bit harder than usual for these two. The buffs they received don’t make up for the nerfs that gutted them.

Here’s everything that was changed with the 7.28a update.

Attribute and talent changes

  • Arc Warden
    • Base strength reduced from 25 to 23.
    • Leven 10 Talent (Right) +250 Flux Cast Range was reduced to +200.
    • Level 20 Talent (Right) was reduced to +125 Spark Wraith Damage from +150.
  • Batrider
    • Movement speed increased from 290 to 295.
  • Clinkz
    • The Level 15 Talent (Right) was reduced to -7 seconds Skeleton Walk Cooldown from -10 seconds.
  • Enigma
    • Level 15 (Right) Talent changed from 10 percent Cooldown Reduction to eight percent Cooldown Reduction
  • Keeper of the Light
    • Level 15 (Right) Talent changed from six seconds of Blinding Light Cooldown reduction to eight.
  • Lifestealer
    • Attack damage max increased from 27 to 30.
    • Attack damage min increased from 21 to 24.
  • Lycan
    • Level 15 (Left) Talent changed from 10 percent Cooldown Reduction to 8 percent Cooldown Reduction.
  • Mirana
    • Level 15 (Right) talent was reduced from -3.5 seconds Arrow Cooldown to -3 seconds.
    • Level 20 (Right) Talent changed from +10 percent Spell Amplification to +8 percent Spell Amplification.
  • Ogre Magi
    • Attack damage max reduced from 43 to 40.
    • Attack damage min reduced from 37 to 34.
  • Outworld Destroyer
    • Level 15 (Left) Talent changed from +6 Armor to +8 Armor.
    • Level 25 (Left) Talent changed from 20 percent Spell Lifesteal to 30 percent Spell Lifesteal.
    • Base movement speed increased from 310 to 315.
  • Snapfire
    • Level 10 (Left) Talent changed from +15 Movement Speed to +20 Movement Speed.
  • Vengeful Spirit
    • Attribute strength gain increased from 2.4 to 2.6.

Ability changes

  • Alchemist
    • Greevil’s Greed: Recent kill window reduced from 40 to 36.
  • Axe
    • Conter Helix: The Aghanim’s Shard upgrade now increases Axe’s attack speed by 25, up from 20.
  • Bounty Hunter
    • Track: The Aghanim’s Sharded version of the ability grants 600 vision, reduced from 800.
  • Broodmother
    • Silken Bola: The ability now deals 75 damage.
  • Clinkz
    • Death Pact: Changed bonus damage from 4/9/14 percent to 4/8/12 percent.
  • Invoker
    • Ice Wall: The Aghanim’s Shard upgrade now increases the wall lenght by 320 distance units.
  • Juggernaut
    • Swiftslash: Ability cast range reduced from 650 to 600.
    • Swiftslash: Ability cooldown increased from 15 to 20.
    • Blade Fury: The Aghanim’s Shard upgraded version of the ability now deals 75 percent of Juggernaut’s damage instead of 100 percent.
  • Keeper of the Light
    • Chakra Magic: Changed mana restore from 80/160/240/320 to 100/180/260/340.
    • Illuminate: Changed max damage from 200/300/400/500 to 225/325/425/525.
    • Solar Bind: Changed ability cooldown from 22/20/18/16 to 23/20/17/14.
  • Kunnka
    • Tidal Wave: Mana cost reduced from 150 to 75.
    • Tidal Wave: Cooldown reduced to 14 from 16 seconds.
  • Leshrac
    • Nihilism: The ability no longer causes you to take increased damage.
  • Legion Commander
    • Duel: The Overwhelming Odds strike interval, introduced with the Aghanim’s Shard upgraded version of the ability, was increased to two seconds from 1.5.
    • Duel: An Overwhelming Odds will be cast immediately as you use Duel after purchasing the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade.
  • Lifestealer
    • Ghoul Frenzy: Changed movement slow from 6/12/18/24 percent to 10/15/20/25 percent.
    • Open Wounds: Ability mana cost reduced from 125 to 75 (-50).
    • Rage: Changed move speed bonus from 15 percent to 15/16/17/18 percent.
  • Lion
    • Mana Drain: The attack speed debuff of the ability with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade was increased from 90 to 120.
  • Lone Druid
    • Save Roar: The duration of the ability with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade was increased to five seconds from four.
  • Luna
    • Lucent Beam: The stun duration of the ability with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade was increased from 1.1 seconds to 1.2 seconds.
  • Mirana
    • Sacred Arrow cooldown: Value reduced from 3.5 to three.
  • Monkey King
    • Shadow Tree Dance: The cooldown of the ability with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade was increased to 0.4 seconds from 0.3 seconds.
  • Nature’s Prophet
    • Wrath of Nature: The duration of the spell with the Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade was increased to 3.4 seconds max from three seconds.
  • Nyx Assassin
    • Impale: Changed ability mana cost from 95/115/135/155 to 105/120/135/150.
    • Vendetta: Changed ability mana cost from 140/200/260 to 160/220/280.
  • Ogre Magi
    • Ignite: Ability mana cost increased from 100 to 110 (+10).
  • Omniknight
    • Hammer of Purity: Bonus damage increased from 25 to 50.
  • Outworld Destroyer
    • Arcane Orb: Changed ability cooldown from 6/4/2/0 to 4/3/2/0.
    • Arcane Orb: Changed mana pool to damage from 14 percent to 16 percent.
    • Sanity’s Eclipse: Changed radius from 375/475/575 to 400/500/600.
  • Phantom Assassin:
    • Phantom Strike: Changed bonus attack speed from 100/125/150/175 to 75/100/125/150.
  • Phantom Lancer
    • Spirit Lance: The illusion damage with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade was incread from +20 percent to +30 percent.
  • Pudge
    • Dismember: The Aghanim’s Shard upgrade now reduces Dismember’s cooldown by seven in all usage cases. It used to halve its total cooldown if it was used on allies.
  • Riki
    • Sleeping Dart: Ability cooldown reduced from 20 to 15.
  • Rubick
    • Arcane Supremacy: Changed cast range from 75/125/175/225 to 100/150/200/250.
  • Shadow Shaman:
    • Shackles: The Serpent Wards that appear with the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade will now last seven seconds instead of eight.
  • Slark
    • Fish Bait: Ability cooldown reduced from 20 to 12.
    • Fish Bait: Ability mana cost reduced from 100 to 50.
    • Fish Bait: Bait duration increased from four to six.
  • Sniper
    • Concussive Grenade: The ability now deals 125 damage.
  • Spirit Breaker:
    • Netherstrike: Aghanim’s Shard no longer changes the cast behavior.
    • Netherstrike: Aghanim’s Shard now gives two seconds of spell immunity after a successful cast.
  • Templar Assassin
    • Psionic Trap: Silence duration increased from 2.5 to three seconds.
  • Terrorblade
    • Demon Zeal: Berserk bonus movement speed increased from 25 to 50.
    • Demon Zeal: Duration increased from six to seven.
  • Tidehunter
    • Tidal Wave (Aghanim’s Scepter upgraded version of Gush): Ability cooldown reduced from 16 to 14.
    • Tidal Wave: Ability mana cost reduced from 150 to 75.
  • Timbersaw
    • Flamethrower: Damage per second increased from 75 to 90.
    • Flamethrower: The slow percentage increased from 20 percent to 25 percent.
  • Tinker
    • Defense Matrix: Barrier duration increased from 10 to 12.
    • Defense Matrix: Damage absorb increased from 200 to 275.
  • Tusk
    • Frozen Sigil: Changed movement slow from 20 percent to 30 percent.
    • Frozen Sigil: Movement speed increased from 310 to 340.
  • Vengeful Spirit
    • Nether Swap: Changed ability cooldown from 60/45/30 to 50/40/30.
    • Vengeance Aura: Changed base damage bonus from 8/16/24/32 percent to 11/18/25/32 percent.
    • Wave of Terror: Changed ability damage from 60/80/100/120 to 70/90/110/130.
  • Viper
    • Poison Attack: Aghanim’s Shard max stack increase from +2 to +3.
  • Visage
    • Silent as the Grave: Scepter upgrade no longer provides flying vision.
  • Wraith King
    • Mortal Strike: Changed critical damage from 150/190/230/270 percent to 140/180/220/260 percent.
  • Zeus
    • Static Field: Reduced health reduction from 6/8/10/12 percent to 4/6/8/10 percent

The update also fixed a couple of particle bugs affecting some cosmetic items, like Pudge’s immortal item, Scavenging Guttleslug. If you’re wondering how Hoodwink may have dodged any changes, she didn’t. Hoodwink was nerfed a day after her release in a small update and her overall damage was reduced alongside her area of effectiveness.