The wait is finally over and we are presented with an impressively bold patch. While the hero changes were largely conservative, the introduction of new items as well as general gameplay changes will make for a potentially very different game.
Overall, the game seems to be taking course into a more tanky metagame, with armor and regeneration becoming a popular theme for buffs. It is still to early to judge, however, and there are many things this patch can turn our favorite game into.
A very interesting approach to the AP drafting—the random aspect ensures that no heroes will be permanently banned in all games, while making hero spamming in the higher brackets less of a nuisance. Overall, this change should allow for more diverse games without taking away the relative simplicity of the most popular ranked mode.
Scans a targeted 900 AoE for 8 seconds. Indicates whether there are enemy heroes in that area during the 8 seconds. Starts on cooldown and has a global team-wide cooldown of 4.5 minutes Note: Does not consider units inside the Roshan Pit, but does consider Smoked units. Does not show how many heroes there are, just if there are any enemies. Enemies do not know when your team casts it.
The massive cooldown on the ability will unlikely make it as game-breaking as it might look. However, it will allow for safer objective-based plays, since it is now possible to better position the team if, for example, the risky Roshan attempt is expected to be countered. It can also be used early in the game to "scout" the ward placement from the enemy team and whether their supports have teleported to the lane.
Starting HP and Mana increase of 20 and 50 respectively are easy to overlook, given all the craziness this patch is introducing, however the latter opens up a lot of new possibilities and can single-handedly introduce an array of new heroes to the competitive pool. All the Strength and Agility cores which suffered in the laning stage from the lack of mana are substantially better off, while low cooldown/manacost casters such as Skywrath Mage might become exceptionally relevant in the early game (at least until the 3-minute mark, due to"infused raindrops" consumable).
The spell damage scaling is once again boosting casters' ability to stay relevant throughout the whole game, however the changes are rather conservative—at 160 intellect, the 10% increase in nuke power will mean, for example, an 85 damage increase on one of the strongest damage-dealing spell in the game— Laguna Blade. It will come into play, but not to the degree where it will be absolutely game-breaking.
The change is mostly there to compensate for the extra nuking power of wave-clears coming from intelligence boost.
Diving towers is slightly harder in the early game, and the pushes with multitude of illusions/summons are easier to deal with. It will unlikely to slowdown the dedicating pushing lineups, however. The True Sight reduction is a common theme in this patch and will generally increase the value of wards while making invisibility as a concept a lot more relevant.
Initial Bounty Rune no longer gives experience
Melee hero attack range increased from 128 to 150
Lane Creep Aggro duration increased from 2 to 2.5
Lane Creep Aggro cooldown increased from 2 to 2.5
This will not only make harassing slightly harder, but will also ensure a decent change in the creep equilibrium when using "lane tricks", such as reverting the position of melee creeps in the lane or re-aggroing enemy melee creeps to your own ranged creep. Has the potential of throwing better mechanical players off-guard, and will require them to re-adjust their habits.
There is no change to an overall XP a single wave of creeps gives in the early stages of the game. Later on, however, with an earlier addition of melee creeps to the wave, the overall change will result in lower XP gain and higher gold returns (15/30 minutes into the game). It will also make denies on ranged creeps hurt substantially more and since they are usually the easiest creeps to deny, it might have a substantial impact on the game overall.
Experience required to get to level 8 and 9 rescaled from 600/1200 to 800/1000
Ethereal now blocks in-flight attack projectiles fully, rather than just ones launched before Ethereal
Evasion now uses Pseudo-Random Distribution
Evasion is now calculated on impact rather than on launch
Centaur Courser health reduced from 550 to 350
Centaur Courser armor reduced by 1
The large Centaur camp now spawns 2 Centaur Coursers instead of 1
This change will make some neutral stacks even harder to flash-farm for magic caster, since Centaur Coursers were the ones who had the "cloak" aura. This is, however, counterweight by the Intelligence spell damage boost to some degree. Physical junglers will generally find this change to be in their favor, since the HP on the creeps now line-up nicely with battle-fury numbers.
Level 1 Roshan is not nearly as rewarding as it used to be, while the changes to resistance and HP ensures that casters can contribute more to taking him down. Overall, however, he should be a lot tougher to take down—extra 50hp/min is a substantial increase on top of the flat 500 hp one.
The following buffs are now purgeable: Nightmare, Spawn Spiderlings, Malefice, Cold Snap, Corrosive Skin, and Leap movement speed buff
Minor adjustments to cast range mechanics to reduce overly long cast ranges when the target is moving quickly
Illusions now benefit from Damage Block
This change might have some strong consequences on the disturbed balance of the illusion-based heroes, since, if I understand it correctly, it will prevent 96 units of HP loss from an auto-attack on 300% incoming damage illusions. Squishier early-game illusions therefore can once again become a strong pushing power against both creeps and heroes alike.
The last change ensures that the team with the first pick does not also get the last one. In a game where Dire advantage is almost eliminated, having a better balanced drafting stage was also necessary and it is a step in the right direction.
A simplification of the games basic rules from the wc3 was direly needed and these changes, while not changing much in terms of actual gameplay, make it more accessible.
A couple of decently strong nerfs to the amount of annoyance early-game "domination" heroes bring to the board. One less "Hadouken" and 2-3 less chain lightnings will make the game easier for solo lane heroes.
Requires: Orchid (4075) Crystalys (2120) Recipe (1000) Total: 7195
Provides: + 25 Intelligence + 30 Attack Speed + 60 Damage + 150% Mana Regeneration
Active: All attacks on the silenced target, including from allies, gain True Strike and a 1.35x critical hit
Passive: Grants a chance to land a critical hit
An impressively strong late-game option for a multitude of heroes which is best suited for Intelligence heroes, but can be useful on many other cores and even occasionally supports in the uber-late.
The item grants an insane amount of DPS, however, as it is the case with Orchid Malevolence it will be probably be dispellable with BKB, making it a rather risky investment. Overall, it can be a great situational item for Windranger, Outworld Devourer and even Invoker. As if these heroes needed more late-game options.
Requires: Oblivion Staff (1650) Ogre Club (1000) Total: 2650
Provides: + 10 Strength + 10 Intelligence + 10 Attack Speed + 15 Damage + 75% Mana Regeneration
Passive: Causes melee attacks to attack twice in quick succession. Your double attack applies a 0.6 second 100% MS/AS slow. Has a 5 second cooldown.
Note: The passive only works on Melee Heroes.
The stat bonuses make it a rather weird item and there is no clear answer as to what heroes might benefit the best from it. Heroes who get benefits from continuous auto-attacks on the same target might find it to be a great consistency booster (e.g. Ursa and Troll Warlord), but it will unlikely make it as their core item and is overall redundant in the later stages. The same goes for hard-hitting cores like Sven. It is very likely the hero will be able to kill the target in the said two hits, but it is still sacrificing an item slot for the later stages.
Some heroes, which rely on strong "chance" procs might find a better use for it. Spirit Breaker and his horrible BAT will probably benefit from the item the most, however there are heroes in the similar role, such as Slardar who can make good use of it.
Costs: 300 gold
Passive: Reduces armor by 2 on attack.
Available in the Side Shop.
Item is used in Desolator and Medallion of Courage.
Costs: 225 gold
Provides: + 0.85 Mana Regeneration
Passive: Comes with 5 charges, the item is destroyed when it reaches 0 charges. When you receive over 50 Magic Damage it procs, consuming a charge and blocking 120 Magic Damage. The proc has a 4 second cooldown.
Becomes available for purchase at the 3 minute mark.
600 HP for 225 gold is an excellent deal against magical harass in the early game. Depending on the damage block priority it can also be essential on Ember Spirit, to prolong the Flame Guard effects. This item will probably be a "core" item for squishy late-game cores and even has the chance of being purchased several times.
Costs: 225 gold
Provides: + 20 Movement Speed
Available in the Side Shop.
Item is used in Drums and Eul's.
Multiple instances don't stack.
A single boot for slightly more than half of the price. This item can replace starting boot on many heroes as their safety option of choice, but will also allow for faster rotations on roaming heroes and higher chances of success.
Costs: 150 gold
Use: Grants you 425 experience.
Starts out of stock, increments stock every 10 minutes.
Getting to the desired level, if you are really short of hitting it on level-deprived supports, should be the primary use of this item. The difference between a level 5 and level 6 hero can be immense in any fight. A very interesting design choice and it is too early to say whether it will have a significant impact on the game.
Requires: Force Staff (2225) Dragon Lance (1900) Recipe (250) Total: 4375
Provides: + 20 Agility + 15 Strength + 10 Intelligence + 4 HP Regeneration + 130 Attack Range (ranged heroes only, does not stack)
Active: When used on an enemy, it pushes you both away from each other 450 units each, and allows you to attack that target without range restrictions for 4 attacks for a maximum of 5 seconds. Does not give vision over the enemy. Works normally like Force Staff when used on self or allies.
Cast range: 400 when used on enemies, 800 on allies or self.
A very interesting design which is rather hard to evaluate—dragon lance was only effective on a handful of heroes and for them the later progression into the hurricane pike is more or less a no-brainer, however it is still unclear whether it will open up new possibilities on other heroes. A natural carrier for this completed item, previous dragon lance carriers aside, would probably be Luna, since her attack modifier is not restricted by range, as it is the case with Medusa and Gyrocopter. However, this item is still built from a Force staff which has little value on its own on core heroes. It might become a decent support pick-up later in the game, but otherwise it is too early to tell.
With a change to build-up, the item has lost 60 damage, however increases the HP pool by 250 and HP regeneration by 15. The overall cost has also decreased by 350.
In its new form, the item has gone from the late-game DPS utility item to a more safety oriented one—the requirement to have a Vanguard is rather unwelcome, since the effectiveness of this item has always been debated, but on certain heroes it will allow for better late-game transition. These heroes include Axe, Bristleback and, of course, the newly rediscovered Faceless Void.
The change to build-up also ensures that there are no extremely expensive single parts—a very necessary change for the new iteration on this item.
A very strong buff to the item. The change from Pure damage will hit its damage output, however the lack of natural counter in the form of spell-immunity makes for a scary counter-play against high damage lineups. An excellent item to come back into the game as well—relatively cheap and makes the enemy team's net worth work against them.
The item was heavily nerfed in 6.86, as well as multitude of heroes, who benefited from the item the most. The new iteration, however, has a very high chance of being successful. The increase in the amount of charges makes it as effective on purchase as the previous Bloodstone when it comes to respawn time reduction, while granting an extra 4 mana regeneration. What it means, is that the item is no longer as time-sensitive as it used to be—if previously it was general the first or the second core item on heroes who were interested in building it, currently it can be build even later in the game for a massive increase in mana regeneration.
A rather strong buff to the mana-burning aspect of the item on regular illusions heroes with the exception of Phantom Lancer. The cooldown increase is a definite nerf, however scenarios in which one would want to use multiple charges in quick succession are rather rare.
Net result of +50 HP.
A massive buff to the item and a nerf to most heroes with strong single-target spells. The item has gotten a lot more affordable even for supports later in the game and is a lot more viable option in many scenarios.
Another great option for supports against single-target lineups. Since Aether Lens has lost some its potency, disassembling Arcane Boots into Lotus Orb can be a better option, even more so in aforementioned scenarios.
A very welcome change—the reduction on duration/cooldown of the wards increase the "vision mobility" and makes adjustment to the changed circumstances easier, while the increase in gold bounty incentivises dewarding even more. With vision being one of the core Dota concepts, having less limited options is a welcome change.
A rather minor nerf that doesn't take away from the core idea of the item. It is still one of the best late-game options on heroes which benefir from cooldown reduction.
Multiple pipes might becomes a thing against certain lineups. A total of 800 magical damage block can render certain heroes and even lineups almost completely useless.
A small nerf to Outworld Devourer when he is attacking evasive heroes and/or uphill.
The item has gotten practically worthless for ranged heroes with the exception of stats it provides, but a 26% slow with a really high chance to proc make for a very reliable way of staying on target. Previously, the item was looked down upon almost in the same way as Vaguard, but the recent trends have shown its value and the buffs further solidify its position as a very strong mid-game item not only for farming, but also for fighting.
The new stats distribution on the item make it a better choice for non-Strength heroes. While the item has lost its slowing properties, it is now a lot more flexible and costs substantially less. A further 10% decrease on the damage output of the target make it an excellent situational choice in a variety of games on a variety of heroes.
More smokes=more action, while the cooldown attached to a hero make for a nice quality of life improvement.
A very minor buff, but it substantially increases the value point in the passive—an 8% slow can create opening in the early game for support Abaddon. It will unlikely make the hero any more popular among the professional players, due to him being melee and having limited cast range.
The cooldown reduction is nice, however it will unlikely result in a substantial change in the playstyle for the hero. The second change, however, has a rather strong hidden potential—it is no longer possible to blink out from the Cold Feet and given a massive cast range of 700/800/900/1000, it can make the hero a lot more viable when initiating on natural blink dagger carriers.
Goodbye annoying core Arc Warden, and greetings to a utility one. With no gimmicky "I will sit in my base with rapier and midas" the hero has lost almost all of his capabilities in the core role, since he can longer safely scale and boost his GPM/XPM in a relatively risk-free manner. His potential as a support or utility semi-core, however, has increased. Getting items such as Linken's Sphere, Lotus Orb etc. can make for a very scary team to go against. The changes to Pipe of Insight also make him a perfect carrier—as stated previously, an 800 magic damage block is a massive boost.
Alternatively, having multiple aggressive utility options is also possible—the new Bloodthorn or even the usual Scythe of Vyse make for a very strong gameplan, when doubled.
A massive direct buff to Axe couple with Vanguard and Blade Mail buffs make for one of the prime candidates for the title of 6.87 cancer. Being able to effectively dual lane in the offlane and jungle, if necessary, he makes for a very consistent and, frankly, scary hero to look out for—there are too many stars aligned well for the hero not to be effective, and he was already quite strong previously, so the professionals won't need to devise new strategies with him.
The ability has been underused in a lot of games. A massive reduction in attack damage renders several mid-game tempo heroes practically useless—no one will fear a Templar Assassin with 120 damage. The reduced manacost is a welcome addition, since the hero does suffer from moderate mana issues. Moreover, a global increase in mana by 50 on every hero will make points into this ability a viable option.
The day vision took a massive hit of 350 untis, but it is unlikely to make the hero any less viable. Ever since the Shanghai Major the popularity of the hero in the professional scene has been growing and he was contested in at least 80% of the game in both SL | i-League Invitational and ESL One Manila.
He still has the ability to both slow and stun through spell immunity as well as farm jungle early on for increased consistency. His aura is still as potent on 0.75 BAT necronomicon warrior and even a decently sized nerf to one of his stronger abilities is unlikely to make him much weaker.
Grants 2 charges to Rupture with 40 second replenish.
A small stat and cast point buff is unlikely to make the hero any better—he is still in this weird pub-stompy spot, where he deals exceptionally well in the lower brackets but is almost completely useless in the higher ones. The scepter upgrade is a Rubick buff at the very best, even despite the Blade Mail buffs the hero is unlikely to become relevant again.
A very conservative nerf which more or less counterweights the +50 mana at the start. The hero should still remain very viable.
Not necessarily a buff, but rather a game mechanics simplification. Adding demolish to the Earth "panda" might come into play once in a while, and the previous pulverize ability was rather lackluster, but the hero will remain relatively unchanged, with the exception of higher potential burst from the Wind "panda".
Coupled with the item buffs discussed previously, Bristleback is substantially better off. Having an option to go for Abyssal Blade later on also makes for a stronger late-game—something the hero lacked.
A rather minor series of buffs. The relevance of the hero is once again dependent on how certain items turn out to be.
A rather strong, but well deserved nerf. Chen without his army becomes quickly irrelevant as a separate entity and not being able to fully restore the ancients once they are low will take a lot away from the general appeal of the hero. He is still going to be a strong opening and early-game tempo-control, but his ability to stay relevant is diminished even further.
A very conservative buff to a currently very weak hero. The big problem with him is not necessarily his lackluster skillset, but rather how he is inferior to many other options. These changes are unlikely to bring him back.
The hero had a decent showing at the ESL One Manila and it seems she is in a rather decent "situational" tier. These buffs are unlikely to change that, but will make her a stronger presence in the games she is already good in.
The whole spell is extremely weird in what it does and a random range increase doesn't really change the fact that the hero is somewhat inferior to Oracle and is way more situational. Personally, I love the hero, but he is not in a very good spot currently.
Despite the nerf to the base strength, the hero has the same starting HP, while everyone else has 20 more. The changes to the Spirit Siphon are rather harsh, since they do take away from the hero's late-game potential. That said, increased damage and duration means more MS and Substantially more damage on non-spell immune targets.
The hero should still remain relevant, but not as overpowered as she was previously seen as.
A series of rather minor buffs make for a very good hero, especially with all the item changes about to be implemented. The hero should find his place in the top 30 of the most popular heroes of the patch—he is extremely versatile, decently tanky and offers a variety of skills which have multiple uses.
Hurricane Pike + Better Gust for the ultimate can't touch this experience. The buff to gust is a very welcome one and the hero was already rather relevant in 6.86. It will be interesting to see whether her increased popularity will bring Visage back from the grave.
It is still the same cancerous hero we all know and love, but with weaker early-game presence and a more conditional stun. Overall, it should not influence the popularity of the hero too much—even without a very reliable stun, he still offers a tremendous amounts of damage which simply can't be ignored.
Enchant Totem becomes a 900 range ground target ability. Causes you to jump in the air and land at the target spot, casting enchant totem there. Self casting the ability will make it behave in the original form, without jumping.
The previous Aghs upgrade was a rare sight on the hero—unless you were facing Phantom Lancer, the benefits from it were easily outweighed with a simple Veil of Discord. The current added ability gives the hero a built-in blink on a 5 second cooldown makig him almost as mobile as the anti-mage. Will it replace Blink Dagger? Unlikely, since it is not instant and costs a lot more. Is it a viable option in the late-game? Very much so—mobility is key, especially in prolonged games and this ability can even open up potential for core-shaker.
A total of 100 extra damage (physical+magical) barely makes up for other flaws of the hero—he requires way too much setup to be effective. With a potential trend towards tankier heroes, however, he might still find his place in the meta—his aura is as potent as ever.
The max distance has rarely come into play, but the 3% damage decrease on impetus is a rather big deal. Given the new Hurrican Pike item, some sort of nerf was required to the hero and these small tweaks will potentially put her in a better position, where she is not one of the most contested hero in every tournament for the last several months.
A one-button way to deal with a BKB-piercing slow is never a bad thing.
Faceless Void can become one of the prime candidates for the new Echo Sabre—an intelligence stat is never wasted on a hero with a mobility spell, while the double-attack will make the bash procs a lot more consistent. The hero has become slightly better at dealing damage and slightly worse at being a strong utility hero and this throwback to the old Void is at the very least interesting. It also makes the Waga build slightly stronger.
Adds a Side Gunner, fires an attack automatically at random enemy units within 600 AoE every 1.4 seconds. Same firing rules as Rocket Barrage, but does not attack while invisible and is disabled by Break.
From one completely useless upgrade to the other. If anything, it is a small nerf to Rubick, since he can't steal the side gunner.
The only real value of this "upgrade" is that is can still proc on-attack effects such as Mjolnir's lightning, but even then it is too gimmicky to be highly effective.
A rather strong buff, especially at level 4, but the hero himself is not in a good spot currently—unless you have a perfect armlet-toggling skill, attempting to play Huskar is ill-advised.
A series of rather small nerfs to a hero who has been globally buffed with the intelligence spell damage addition. The added cast point, while miniscule, does add some time to the combos, but otherwise the hero should remain very strong for yet another patch.
The biggest change is the reversal of Spirit Health/Mana, since they will be much easier to deal with early on. This, however, doesn't take away from the late-game strength of the hero.
A massive area denial and a decent combo-piece for DPS is, unfortunately, on a rather undervalued hero. While the abilities of the hero are hardly lackluster, their cast points are among the highest in the game, which makes for a very clunky hero who isn't particularly fun to play.
Support and Core Kunkka alike might becomes slightly more viable with both the manacost reduction and a flat +50 mana increase on all heroes. A +2 armor buff on an already decently tanky hero can even make for a somewhat situational offlaner and sometimes even mid.
Disarm is a rather weird mechanics and it rarely comes into play and the first change can be considered both a buff and a nerf, depending on the situation. The Scepter duration increase is certainly nice, but it is rare to build this item in most cases anyway.
A very minor nerf to the gimmicky playstyle and a very strong buff to stats growth. At level 25 it provides extra 300 HP and a decent amount of damage. And its not like the hero really needed a buff—he was rather popular in the previous tournaments already, being picked in the situations where he was a good fit. With the return of Puck and QoP (and maybe Strom Spirit), it is possible we are finally going to see some infest-bombs.
That is a nice way of balancing a slightly overpowered hero. It doesn't take away from his core concepts, but makes him not as dominant in the mid-game.
The hero got slightly stronger later in the game, however the slow reduction takes away a lot from the immediate effect of the Stone Gaze—unless your team has a way of catching fleeing enemies while dealing damage, her ultimate is still rather easy to wait-out and re-engage.
Passively triggers Starstorm every 8 seconds. If there are no units to affect, the spell waits until there is a nearby enemy. Does not trigger if the enemy does not see you. Passive procs are disabled by Break.
There are multiple reasons why this upgrade can be considered one the best new additions—not only does it allow you to deal 1050 reliable magic damage to a single target from invisibility, while increasing your farm speed, but it can be also used as a way of determining whether the enemy has vision on you while you are invisible.
Given how the hero has already been getting some attention, it is very likely that the addition of extra viable options will make her popular once more.
An illusion capable of dealing 80% of the damage while taking 100% has a multitude of uses and can give way for support Morphling to shine. The core one doesn't really get much from this change, since for the most part his illusions are going to be used as an escape mechanism. It has the potential of being an extra farming tool, but it would require a strong stats-based core to be really effective and these are generally occupy the same team composition slot as Morphling himself.
A 5% buff to illusion damage is not necessarily reverting the damage done in the previous patches, but it is a step in the right direction. Overall, the hero is currently in a weird spot, where she is frequently outclassed by any melee hero with Radiance/Octarine build-up. Without offering anything unique, she is generally overlooked in both competitive and pub meta.
A massive nerf to Natures Prophet. The vision aspect, as stated previously, cannot be underrated in the game of Dota, while an average increase of 4 gold per creep is a very nice addition on top. The hero is a lot riskier to play, both in terms of micro and macro—mindlessly feeding treants was already a bad habit, which will be punished even more, especially against Aghanims NP, while the lack of scouting potential will make split-pushing substantially harder.
Finally, this ability in the early levels is more useful as a spell that deals damage, and not as a way of breaking the rules of the game. Overall, it should make Necrophos slightly stronger in the teamfights, but not as potent in denying the enemy their resources.
Reduces Purifying Flames cooldown from 2.25 seconds to 1.0 and lowers cast point from 0.3 to 0.1
A very interesting and rather strong upgrade. It boost both healing and damage dealing properties of the hero and, while not necessarily becoming a core item, has its uses in prolonged games.
Recent trends have been showing that the hero might not be as strong as people tend to portray him—he barely made it into top20 most contested heroes in ESL One Manila and was slowly falling out of favor of the pub players as well. Nerfing the hero even further might be even considered unnecessary.
Yes, the new change to the intelligence has the potential of boosting his damage through the roof, but it was already extremely high and yet people have learned to play against the hero. In this current form it is very likely he will be barely touched by either pros or pub players.
A scaling nuke is potentially what the hero was missing all along—opening up new possibilities in the item building can make the hero exceptionally scary even in the later stages. Massive range on the Dagger will allow PA to slowly poke the enemy to death in the lane and it can become a scary nuke in the late-game to a point where the fight would generally start with a couple of targets on the enemy team already at 50-75% health
A substantial buff to a hero who somehow lost all of his popularity despite not receiving any substantial nerfs in the recent past. The extra leeway couple with higher drain-rate will ensure a substantial amount of extra damage stolen.
With all the nerfs to truesight on both towers and gem, Riki has high potential of becoming a decent semi-carry or even a strong late-game core. His skillset scales rather well and in well-coordinated games Tricks of the Trade can become a very strong tool at his disposal. Moreover, the era of flash-farming is almost gone, with many popular heroes being heavily fight-oriented, hence Riki can be a great asset and won't become a liability in the later stages.
A value point in Null Field might be a very good idea, given how many intelligence heroes have received buffs to their spell damage, while the added damage to fade bold will more or less counterweight the added health on heroes. Otherwise the hero should remain relatively the same—the added scaling to the abilities which can be stolen is a nice buff, but it is probably going to be rather small on a support hero.
A rather strong set of buffs to a nearly extinct hero. With potential rise of Mirana, the hero might become slightly more relevant, but it is unlikely he will become significantly more popular based on these changes alone.
The Scepter might become a core build for the hero, since the damage from his ultimate scales much better now and given the 50% return damage it can make for a very strong nuker. Given these changes, it might even be the case that the hero will abandon his earlier mid position and will instead concentrate on farming the safe lane. The once gimmicky, but surprisingly effective Euls+Requiem combo might find its way back into the meta.
With these changes the heroes teamfight capabilities have increased substantially—having an AoE slow which punishes the enemy for using spells by dealing decent amount of magic damage can make the hero viable in a multitude of scenarios and the hero is no longer just his ultimate. Given that the Arcane Curse does not wear down while the targets are silenced, an Aghanims Upgarde can become a strong global slow which can be nicely couple with other global abilities.
The strong area denial can be considered a good thing only if the area in question is big enough for it to matter. If previously, having an already questionable Scepter upgrade could at least mean that the lockdown on enemy was that much more potent, currently, it deals less damage and only continuous flow of disables will make this ability stronger compared to the previous one.
A series of rather minor nerfs will unlikely heavily influence the pick rate of the hero—she is still one the most potent late-game carries who is relatively easy to play and a total decrease of 10 agility is not going to change that. The early-game cooldown reduction is certainly a nice thing, which will not allow this late-game oriented hero to snowball as hard, but overall, at least in the pub environment, the hero is more or less the same.
Causes Electric Vortex to be a 475 AoE ability around your hero. Requires vision over the units to affect them.
This change couple with a Bloodstone buff might bring storm back as a very situational hero. Given his manacost on the ultimate, some new forms of Storm Spirit might emerge—maybe the hero will be played with a Blink Dagger for initiation, for example.
10 armor. That is how much armor this hero has at level 1. Given a global increase in starting HP and introduction of the Infused Raindrops, the hero might make a comeback into both pub and professional meta—he will be extremely tanky even in the early game and his DPS was never lackluster.
It is still ill-advised to pick the hero against strong magic burst lineups, but he can be a devastating force in other scenarios.
A very strong buff to the hero. With both regeneration and armor increases being a common theme in this patch Timbersaw still manages to stand out as the clearest winner, while the debuff duration allows the ability to stack up to three times, potentially destroying Strength heroes. With some of the biggest buffs coming to the strength heroes, Timbersaw is very likely to be a priority pick.
As one of the strongest nukers in the game, Tinker is a clear winner when it comes to the added spell damage. Further buffs in increased intelligence and lower manacost on rearm will definitely have an impact on his presence in the game—the hero is now capable of doing so much more. In the right hands and at the right time he can be even scarier than in his former days of glory.
To stay invisible one would need to be even closer to the trees and switching from one forest to the other is going to be harder, however it is more than compensated for with the extra movement speed, especially given the new landscape. The cooldown reduction on Leech Seed is arguable an even stronger buff and has the potential of bringing this ability into the priority position—the amount of AoE heal it will provide can outweigh the benefits of the Living Armor.
These changes alone are unlikely to make the hero viable—he still needs too much and offers too little. Addition of the Echo Sabre to the build might make him a more reliable core hero, but he will still be a gamble.
A rather strong buff the hero desperately needed. Judging by the changes to the way Clinkz is being currently played, there will probably be a new build for the hero, potentially one involving more carry-oriented items. Also, having lifesteal on a naturally tanky hero can increase his relevance substantially.
The hero will still remain squishy if focused down, however he will regain his resistance to burst damage much faster and it is a very welcome buff. The decrease in Stone Form delay is arguably a bigger buff, however. These small numbers add up and a missed opportunity for a stun/kill can cost a lot more in the long run.
Overall, as mentioned previously, with the potential rise in popularity of the Drow Ranger, the hero might come back as her natural partner—the combo is too strong to ignore.
A lot more reliable AoE damage is what the hero needed. With two golems on the field and under the effects of Fatal Bonds, the enemy team will melt in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the duration of the bonds is now longer than their cooldown, allowing for addition of several extra targets to the mix for 7 seconds. Or, alternatively, it can be cast on the creepwave/neutrals to kill-off fleeing enemies while they are still under the effect.
Causes Arctic Burn to be a toggle and drains 40 mana per second. Activation mana cost is the same as the current, 120/110/100/90. No longer has limit on number of attacks per target.
A very strong Aghs upgrade and a very welcome cooldown reduction on a previously nerfed ability. The hero is slowly getting into a very playable state—she is one strong auto-attack/teamfight meta away from becoming the best support once again.
While getting Aghs might be tricky on the hero and there are several more useful items which will take priority, but later in the game, with a potential tanky meta, it can deal impressive amounts of damage from a very safe distance.
Depending on the rather vague definition of non-hero, this ability can be either exceptionally strong or rather mediocre. (Illusions, Spirit Bear etc. can all be classified as non-heroes)
Damage aside (which will be somewhat compensated for with the int. spell damage amp), the hero has received a very strong nerf—not being able to disable blink daggers on a sub 3s cooldown in 1200 AoE was one of the things that made the hero exceptionally powerful even in the late-game—at this stage clean initiation will generally mean a good fight for the initiating team. With it gone the hero will certainly lose a lot of his appeal. Most players probably don't even realize how many initiations they have prevented.