What you need to know about Dota 2 patch 7.26a: Reducing movement speed, slowing down deathball, and targeted nerfs

Valve is putting up speed limit signs.

Image via Valve

Valve has made some crucial changes to the speed of Dota 2 with the latest 7.26a patch drop.

The developer previously released wide, systemic changes across the game in 7.26. Now, it’s supplemented this by eliminating some of the power creep that had been encroaching on the game for a long time.

General changes

Experience bonus for killstreaks reduced

The high scaling in the kill streak experience bonus formula had immense variance. On one hand, it served as a way for exciting comebacks in the late game. But it could just as easily turn a large killstreak in the laning stage into a experience pinata with just one reverse kill. Making the bonus more linear will make swings less drastic.

Item changes

Movement speed changes reverted

When Boots and the various items it built into became percentage-based movement speed in patch 7.20, the item inordinately benefited fast heroes and punished slow heroes. The practically mandatory item further enhanced the differences between base movement speed ranges and made it nearly impossible for slow heroes to catch up.

Returning Boots and its associated items to static values will help improve the state of slower heroes like Crystal Maiden, allowing them get back into the meta. Surprisingly, the blanket removal of five movement speed for all agility heroes wasn’t reverted after 7.26 eliminated agility providing movement speed. 

This also means that items with Yasha as a component will return to percentage-based movement speed.

Auras are more expensive to slow down deathball

Auras have always been an important component for early push strats, but the increasingly fast meta and earlier five-man group-ups have rendered them essential across all lineups. Vladimir’s Offering, Mekansm, and Pipe of Insight have all increased in cost to slow down their buildup.

A new aura component has also been added to Spirit Vessel. The item now splits its negative health regeneration aura between its active Soul Release and the aura, making it an even more essential item across sustained lineups. This could also be seen as an added counter to the numerous health regeneration amplification that’s found its way into the game, like Chen’s Divine Favor aura, the neutral item Paladin Sword, and shop items like Sange and Heart of Tarrasque, which OG has promptly exploited in one of the most exciting pro matches in recent memory.

Eye of Skadi adds health regen reduction

Eye of Skadi will now be another choice for carry heroes to pick up. IceFrog previously attached the effect to Silver Edge but has now moved it to Eye of Skadi to make the item an even more potent offensive threat.

Skadi has always been known as a jack of all trades item that provides great stats across the board but rarely has any practical amplification. It’s recently lost favor due to the strength of the similarly expensive Satanic, which provides a ton of survivability and the always useful status resistance.

Now, Skadi adds another niche to its growing list of effects. Most importantly, it isn’t tied to an active or requires charges like Spirit Vessel. This could become a powerful item to pick up against constantly regenerating heroes like Necrophos and Timbersaw.

Hero changes

The movement speed changes have also affected the hero pool. Recent patches have introduced more ways for heroes to increase their own movement speed, like Death Prophet’s Exorcism and Spirit Breaker’s Bulldoze, or even break the 550 speed limit, such as Bloodseeker’s Thirst and Broodmother’s Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade for Spin Web. 

Most movement speed granting abilities have been nerfed, but there are also more targeted depowering some of the stronger heroes in the meta.

Alchemist, Bounty Hunter’s gold generation reduced

The two heroes in the game that can generate gold out of nothing have had the values of their abilities reduced. Greevil’s Greed now has a lower cap, base gold, and bounty rune multiplier, while Bounty Hunter’s Track self gold bonus has been lowered. The numbers are roughly in line with the game-wide 10 percent decrease in gold bounties introduced in 7.26.