6.82 Changelog Analysis
Like many of us I was rather disappointed when the Techies patch came without any balance changes. To be perfectly honest 6.81b was an excellent patch, and if it seemed like the "DeathBall" or "FaceRush" meta was the name of the game during TI4, it was not necessarily because the patch allowed for it to be abused, but rather because many teams came unprepared for a very fast-paced and aggressive Chinese Dota.
This patch is probably the biggest ting that has happened to Dota 2 since its official release, making it impractical to go over it in a single blog post. Hence, the things discussed today will be solely concentrated on the balance changes to the heroes, leaving map, items and general changes for a later entry.
As previously, to make things a bit simpler for you to read, I will use colour coding with Green indicating a minor change, Yellow indicating a moderate amendment and Red indicating a big one. The impact of a change on the gameplay will be based on my personal opinion, so feel free to post a comment if you disagree with something.
- Mist Coil mana cost rescaled from 75 to 50/60/70/80
I do not necessarily think that the manacost change is going to have a really big impact on the Abaddon gameplay for the support players - while 25/15 mana savings at level 1 and 2 respectively are a nice buff, it is no way a strong change.
What we assume it will do, however, is increase interest in the skill in the first place. Lately I have been seeing a lot of players skipping the skill altogether in favor of extra early points into the Curse of Avernus. While a value point in it is a must have, which allows for a very annoying harassment of an offlaner (especially coupled with Orb of Venom), heavier investments tend to produce marginally diminishing returns.
- Acid Spray negative armor increased from 3/4/5/6 to 4/5/6/7
A relatively minor buff which, however, can prove quite handy in helping Alchemist to protect allied structures against a heavy push line-up.
- Base strength increased from 20 to 22
In most cases the extra 38 HP on a hero would be barely noticeable. With Anti-Mage, however, the effect is going to be stronger since his EHP would increase a little bit more, compared to most other heroes, due to increased magic resistance and high armor value. It is still a minor change by all means, but coupled with a very elusive hero it can make a substantial difference.
- Counter Helix chance to activate increased from 17% to 20%
- Culling Blade no longer ignores Linken's Sphere
An increase in Counter Helix chances is actually a relatively big deal, even if it is only a 3% increase. In many cases an extra hit with it can mean the difference between being able to finish off an enemy/escaping and getting killed. It also makes for a much more reliable mid/jungle hero in lower tier games.
The Culling Blade nerf on the other hand is a extremely situational. Linken's Sphere is not the commonest of items and while it can and will disrupt some of the plans for Axe players, this effect will not be observed too frequently.
- Aghanim's Scepter Fiend's Grip now also causes anyone who attacks Bane while he is channeling to be afflicted with Nightmare
I am not a big fan of Aghanim's Scepter on Bane. It is rare that he can pull of all 5 seconds of his ultimate, let alone 7. Now, however, it might be considered a very decent purchase for a support that has suddenly found himself already owning a Blink Dagger and Black King Bar.
- Flaming Lasso cooldown increased from 90/70/50 to 90/75/60
Let's be honest - the hero is still among the strongest initiators in the game and a 0/5/10 seconds cooldown increase is not going to change that. It is a compulsory meaningless nerf to a popular hero.
- Wild Axes damage type from Composite to Physical
- Wild Axes damage reduced from 90/120/150/180 to 70/100/130/160
- Primal Roar side knockback radius increased from 250 to 300
- Primal Roar side damage same as primary damage now (100/200/300 to 200/250/300)
- Primal Roar push distance increased from 240 to 300
- Primal Roar side push duration increased from 0.4 to 0.6
The changes to the Wild Axes go in line with the simplification of the game mechanics and should work more or less the same for all intents and purposes.
The ultimate buff, however, might as well put the hero back on the professional scene radar. While it may seem underwhelming, the increased damage and radius as well as the extra 0.2 seconds of knockback will definitely increase the contribution to the teamfights this hero can offer, especially in the earlier stages of the game.
- Shuriken Toss now bounces to all Tracked units within a 900 range
It is a very cool addition, but it does feel a bit too gimmicky and situational to actually matter in most cases. There are several neat tricks that were otherwise impossible, such as cancelling channeling spells without getting into the danger zone, but we believe that the occurrences of when it is going to be actually necessary are going to be quite infrequent.
- Drunken Brawler's critical strike/evasion timer increased from 10 to 16/14/12/10 seconds
Considering the only change when leveling the skill is the chance of crit/evasion it is a very well placed nerf on a hero that has been gaining a bit too much of the very deserved attention.
- Stampede mana cost increased from 80 to 100
A nerf worth 1.54 Iron Branch or 77 gold.
- Phantasm Illusion duration increased from 24 to 34
This buff is really close to being red. A 40% increase in the ultimate uptime is nothing to look down on and in many cases losing a teamfight against Chaos Knight is going to be a lot more punishing to your structures.
- Penitence duration rebalanced from 7 to 5/6/7/8
- Penitence slow and damage amplification rebalanced from 8/16/24/32 to 14/18/22/26
- Penitence now amplifies a damage source directly instead of attempting to re-deal a percentage of the damage taken as Physical damage
- Penitence cast range increased from 600 to 800
- Holy Persuasion is no longer restricted from targeting Spell Immune neutral creeps
- Aghanim's Scepter now allows Holy Persuasion to target Ancient Creeps (maximum 1 Ancient Creep per level of Hand of God)
While the first three changes do not necessarily mean a lot to the Penitence, the range increase might actually make it worth picking it up early.
The Holy Persuasion going through magic immunity, on the other hand, is rather huge, especially coupled with the fact that with an upgraded Hand of God you can now control ancients. Given successful early push - something this hero excels at, getting your hands on an Aghanim's Scepter is not out of the question. Imagine the fear in the eyes of your foes when their structures start being sieged by a Black Dragon.
- Searing Arrows is no longer an Attack Modifier
Another one-liner that is worth more than a lot of other changes combined. The possibilities are endless. Even though Orchid Malevolence should still be a priority for a Clinkz player, getting an Orb of Venom early on to be later built into an Eye of Skadi will make the hero a lot stronger. And it is only one of the options.
- Hookshot now pulls Clockwerk to neutral creeps normally like any unit
Extra escape capabilities with a trade-off of minor annoyances here and there. An interesting but an insignificant buff.
- Frostbite damage interval from 70 per 1 second to 50 per 0.5 seconds (total damage now 150/200/250/300)
- Freezing Field explosion radius increased from 230 to 250
I guess everything goes as long as it is not an Intelligence nerf.
- Aghanim's Scepter Weave armor reduction per second increased from 1/1.25/1.5 to 1.25/1.5/1.75
All the more reasons to upgrade the ultimate on this hero. The change in itself is not that impressive, but the difference between upgraded and non-upgraded Weave is too huge to ignore the item.
- Exorcism cooldown increased from 115 to 135
Slowing down the pushing without breaking the signature skill on the hero is definitely a good thing, especially considering people are getting more and more fed up with the pushing meta.
- Doom now requires Aghanim's Scepter to disable passives
- Doom ability cast point increased from 0.3 to 0.5
The passive disabling aspect of Doom is heavily underestimated since everyone is just so used to it. Now some heroes will have higher chances of escaping an imminent death. As if we needed an indirect Faceless Void buff.
The cast point getting an extra 0.2 seconds will make the blink initiation with a focus on a priority target a lot harder as well, since it is 0.2 seconds more time for the enemy to react - something that can never be taken out of account.
- Frost Arrows slow increased from 11/24/37/60 to 15/30/45/60
It is not a very strong buff, but somehow it makes a lot of sense, since the progression is a lot clearer now. The main difference will probably be noticed at the level 3 of an ability, where the actual increase in MS slow is at its largest. And it is rare for a player to skip the final point in an ability instead of maxing it out.
- Fissure no longer has unit targeting
- Fissure is no longer blocked by Linken's Sphere
To be fair, a well-landed Fissure was always a skillshot, so there isn't a lot of change in this regard. And as already mentioned in the Axe discussion, Linken's Sphere is a rather uncommon item for the second part of the changes to really matter.
- Added Aghanim's Scepter: Causes units that are pulled in by Earth Splitter to be disarmed in addition to being slowed. Slow/disarm duration increased from 3/4/5 to 4/5/6.
- Natural Order armor reduction increased from 25/50/75/100% to 40/60/80/100%
- Natural Order magic resistance reduction increased from 8/16/25/33% to 12/19/26/33%
The ultimate upgrade is probably among the strongest in the game - the disarm mechanics keeps on being heavily underestimated. Considering it goes through magic immunity, the effect in certain cases can be very strong.
The changes to Natural Order now makes it a rather great candidate for a value point and opens up some build with a primary or secondary focus on Echo Stomp - a great setup for an aforementioned great ultimate upgrade.
- Base movement speed increased from 310 to 315
From an absolute perspective this increase can be equaled to a 0.8 seconds of time saving to walk from one side of the map to the other without boots. But Dota is all about relativity and there are cases where this increased speed will allow Enchantress to successfully slow an enemy.
- Midnight Pulse cooldown increased from 25 to 35
- Black Hole max damage rebalanced from 60/100/140 to 50/100/150
- Black Hole max damage area of effect increased from 150 to 200
- Black Hole min damage rebalanced from 30/50/70 to 25/50/75
- Black Hole min damage area of effect reduced from 500 to 400
- Black Hole mana cost rebalanced from 250/350/450 to 275/350/425
I don't think anyone has ever though of Black Hole as of a damaging spell - it is a great disable that goes through BkB and forces the enemy to constantly stay scattered. The change to the Midnight Pulse, however, is a big one. The skill was generally overpowered after the last patch and it is a decent nerf that in no way should discourage people from playing Enigma. Just try to make it count.
- Chronosphere area of effect reduced from 450 to 425
- Chronosphere flying vision area reduced from 1000 to 425
- Chronosphere no longer disables passives
- Chronosphere's effects no longer linger for an extra 0.5 seconds (like normal auras do) at the end of its duration
Some very well-deserved and appropriate nerfs/bug fixes to a hero that urgently needed them.
- Homing Missile Maximum damage increased from 110/220/330/440 to 125/250/375/500
It is still a value point kind of skill, despite a decent amount of buffs to it in the recent patches. Potentially it can lead to a support Gyrocopter making a return and it will not be unwelcome.
- Inner Vitality cooldown reduced from 25 to 25/22/19/16
- Berserker's Blood attack speed bonus increased from 8/12/16/20 to 14/16/18/20
- Life Break cooldown reduced from 45/30/15 to 12
- Life Break damage reduced from 50% to 35%
- Life Break self damage rebalanced from 40/35/30% to 35%
- Life Break slow duration rebalanced from 5 to 4/5/6
- Lifebreak slow rebalanced from 50% to 40/50/60%
Making Berserker's Blood actually useful at level 1 is probably one of the best ideas that could help the hero solve some of his problems. Despite a rather serious nerf to his ultimate, overall the changelog for this hero sums up to a sizable buff and a greater versatility in both skillbuild and gameplay choices, potentially opening up additional roles in the team lineup.
- Tornado flying vision area reduced from 1200 to 600
- Tornado damage from 2Wex+Quas to 3Wex
A heavy Wex build got a minor nerf and a very interesting buff. By reducing the requirement of Quas for the actual damage dealing, Invoker players now have an option of getting a single point in it, concentrating on a potentially more painful Exort earlier in the game. It does not necessarily mean the return of QW Invoker, but it certainly helps its viability in certain cases where the usual "pushing" skillbuild makes no sense.
- Dual Breath movement and attack slow rebalanced from 30% to 28/32/36/40%
A rather minor buff that is nonetheless welcome.
- The following abilities no longer cancel Blade Fury: Chronosphere, Toss, Black Hole, Global Silence, Doom.
- Blade Fury cooldown from 30/27/24/21 to 30/26/22/18
An overall situational buff to Blade Fury.
- Mana Leak mana removal percentage increased from 3.5/4/4.5/5 to 5
- Mana Leak duration increased from 4/5/6/7 to 5/6/7/8
- Recall can now target invulnerable allies (e.g. allies affected by Song of the Siren)
- Blinding Light knockback distance from 250 to 400
In a patch where Wraith King is so popular, I have always wondered why Keeper of the Light is not picked more - he can be considered a direct counter to the hero until he gets his BkB. A very sizable buff to Mana Leak should and will allow for this hero to make a return, especially given the fact that the current meta calls for counter-push heroes like no other.
- X Marks The Spot cooldown from 13 to 14/13/12/11
A very minor buff to an extremely versatile skill that can allow for some crazy dives with little to no risk.
- Enabled in Captain's Mode
- Duel no longer disables passives
- Overwhelming Odds base damage from 60/100/140/180 to 40/80/120/160
- Press The Attack mana cost from 80/90/100/110 to 110
An addition of [hero-legion-commander] should not come as a surprise, considering (s)he is available in this mode in the original Dota client. Some nerfs, however, do make her substantially weaker. Since her ultimate - Duel no longer disables passives, she can be considered a weaker pick against heroes like Phantom Assassin and Faceless Void, as well as any hero with a bash-based abilities that would otherwise not work.
Some minor nerfs to both Overwhelming Odds and Press The Attack will also tamper with her debut in the professional scene. While the former should not have that huge of an impact, the latter makes both her jungling and laninig significantly harder. Jungling Legion Commander is definitely not the best of ideas, but having at least a point in Press The Attack was a must only because it is one of two spells in the game that can actually dispel stuns.
- Pulse Nova damage increased from 80/120/160 to 100/130/160; Aghanim's Scepter damage from 100/160/220 to 160/190/220
- Pulse Nova activation cost reduced from 110 to 70/90/110
To be perfectly honest, even despite the buffs, Leshrac's ultimate is still a bad option until later into the game simply due to the fact that his other spells are better. We might see ultimate getting skilled at level 6 more and possibly some Aghanim's Scepters rushes, but it is unlikely to change the preferred skill build for the hero for the most players.
- Ice Armor now slows ranged heroes for the full amount (instead of half)
In a meta where almost all core heroes are ranged this change can not be underestimated. It is not necessarily OP now, but it will certainly make things a lot harder for a lot of heroes.
- Light Strike Array cast range increased from 600 to 625
- Light Strike Array stun duration increased from 1.6/1.7/1.8/1.9 to 1.6/1.8/2/2.2
Obligatory Lina buffs. This time with a rather different flavor, but quite insignificant nonetheless.
- Earth Spike damage increased from 60/130/200/260 to 80/140/200/260
A very minor improvement to Lion early game.
- Spirit Bear now has 300 mana
- Spirit Bear using Hand of Midas now grants the XP to Lone Druid
This update is going to completely destroy a small amount of pubs with people going Double Midas (a terrible idea in most cases) and the availability of a dagon build on the Summon Spirit Bear.
- Shapeshift no longer grants 1.5 Base Attack Time
- Shapeshift cooldown increased from 100/70/40 to 120/90/60
- Shapeshift speed increased from 522 to 650
- Shapeshift now has a 1.5 seconds transformation time
I believe the BAT increase should have very little effect on the hero effectiveness in engaging enemies, since in most cases they are laready running away or trying to disable you, rather than fighting you face-to-face. An increased cooldown, while significant, should not generally tamper with a rather "ratty" Lycan gameplay.
The speed increase coupled with the transformation time, however, feel like they are definitely going to shake things up a bit. In many cases it is going to be significantly harder to escape as a Lycan, since you no longer have this "run-away" button. At the same time, having a speed that exceeds the maximum movement speed for many heroes is certainly a big plus, especially coupled with the fact that the effect should transition to summons as well. All in all - a very interesting series of nerfs/buff that I personally can't wait to see in game.
- Empower is no longer removed by Spell Immunity
- Empower mana cost increased from 40 to 30/40/50/60
The Spell Immunity dispel on Empower was a lot more punishing that a lot of people tend to think - activating your BKB was always a trade-off between extra damage and safety from disables. In many cases (e.g. Sven) it was a very difficult choice to make.
The Mana Cost rescale, on the other hand, should not have a major impact on the general gameplay, with the exception of, possibly, early single point in it to enhance farming being a little bit more spammable.
- Mana Shield damage absorption rate increased from 50% to 60%
- Mystic Snake outgoing speed increased from 633 to 800
- Mystic Snake return speed reduced from 833 to 800
- Mystic Snake mana steal increased from 20/30/40/50 to 20/35/50/65
The Mana Shield changes alone should and will make Medusa a very viable pick. While seemingly minor, and extra 10% damage reduction is nonetheless strong, but will chew through your mana a little bit faster.
The increased speed on snake will make landing them on an enemy hero a lot easier, while the mana return increase should allow for some lane spam of the ability. In certain situations, Medusa can be a very good hero in a crowded lane situation.
- Meepo clones' boot item slots now match whichever slot Meepo Prime has his boots in
Coming from someone who occasionally messes up hotkeys for the items, this change is a huge one.
- Leap speed reduced from 2000 to 1600
- Leap distance rebalanced from 630/720/780/870 to 600/700/800/900
A speed decrease on Leap is not something people should ignore. Not only is it easier to disable her mid-flight, but it also makes chasing her a little bit easier. Coupled with the fact that the earlier levels of the ability now have a shorter range, it can be stated that overall it is a significant nerf to her offlane presence and survivability.
- Nature's Call Treant magic resistance reduced from 20% to 0%
It is a general theme of the patch - making early push heroes not lose their ability to push effectively, but making it possible for the enemy team to react earlier. A 20% increase in Magic Damage taken should not be overlooked, especially in situations where you are facing heroes like Keeper of the Light.
- Reaper's Scythe added respawn time penalty from 30% to a constant 30 seconds
I feel like a lot of people are going to overlook this change, however the early game kills by Necrophos will allow for a lot of liberty and having buyback in this stage by the enemy can be considered crucial, as otherwise a lot of towers/objectives will be taken with very little opposition. Granted, you actually need to kill someone with a rather mediocre ability at level 6, but it is really worth it.
- Hunter in the Night attack speed increased from 45/55/65/75 to 45/60/75/90
- Darkness duration increased from 25/50/80 to 40/60/80
While the AS increase is a nice addition, it is really the prolonged night that takes the cake in the Night Stalker changes. Being able to be relevant for longer periods of time can make all the difference between snowballing out of control and becoming a dead weight for your team.
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 2.5
- Fireblast damage reduced from 80/145/210/275 to 60/120/180/240
- 2x Multicast chance increased from 25/40/50 to 40/50/60%
- Multicast spread interval increased from 0.3 to 0.4 (affects Ignite and Fireblast)
Ogre Magi has been ignored by professionals and pub players alike for way too long and this patch can certainly change that. An increased Hp regeneration can help him re-discover himself in an offlane position, while the increased chances and spread on multicast will make him a lot more reliable and won't make level 1 ultimate useless.
It is going to be interesting to see this hero in this set up with a potential access to more XP, since it was one of the main problems on the hero - he really needs levels to be effective. Given the fact that he also has a really great starting armor value, it will be quite hard to kill him without a decent amount of burst magical damage early on. And even though I am usually against heroes that have a random factor built into their spells, I feel extremely excited to see Ogre Magi being played in a professional setup.
- Base armor increased by 1
- Purification damage area of effect increased from 240 to 260
A "please notice me" patch to a hero that already had an incredible Win Rate in public matchmaking, but gets persistently ignored by the pros. These changes do not necessarily do much on their own, but they catch people's attention, and it is good.
- Essence Aura chance to activate increased from 10/20/30/40% to 40%
- Essence Aura percentage of mana restored reduced from 25% to 10/15/20/25%
- Aghanim's Scepter Sanity's Eclipse now always triggers the mana drain
I am generally a very huge fan of the Lower risk - Lower reward approach, as it promotes consistency and makes the game generally less random and a lot more about skill. And the changes to the Outworld Devourer's aura is something I feel can really make the hero a lot more viable in certain lineups.
The upgrade, while a bit lackluster on its own (except for some extreme cases), can be comboed really well with a multitude of spells possessed by other heroes, such as Anti-Mage or Keeper of the Light.
- Blur minimap hide now has the opposite effect, and is active when no enemies are near
It might seem a rather small and irrelevant change, and it is such in most cases for professional reasons where communication patterns are well established. In a public matchmaking setup, however, where communication is virtually non-existent, this change will make navigating during a teamfight easier, while the attacks from PA herself a bit sneakier. For someone who is extremely used to using minimap at any stage of the game in any situation, I have always found the PA minimap disappearance annoying during a fight. And I feel that with this change it is going to get a bit more annoying.
- Added Aghanim's Scepter: Allows Phoenix to cast Supernova on an allied hero, bringing both into the Sun to be reborn together. This does not refresh either hero's ultimate. 500 cast range. If the Sun is destroyed, both heroes will die.
The way I see it, in many cases this ability can be used to refresh really long cooldown spells that are not ultimates - triple Tombstone with a refresher does sound scary for many reasons. Additionally, in an event where the ally is probably going to die anyways, it can allow for a spectacular comeback in a given fight, especially if the saved ally was under an effect of some really strong disable, such as Chronosphere.
- Turn Rate improved from 0.5 to 0.7
A lot of people underestimate the importance of turn rate for skill shots when calculating the expected position of an enemy and a possible intersection. An increase turn rate on a hero that recently had a moment of fame in some of the Na'Vi games is pretty interesting and it could lead to a very strange side-effect, where experienced players might actually have a disadvantage due to the fact that the old habits die hard, while newer ones will easily get accustomed to more fluid and responsive animations.
- Dream Coil no longer ignores invisible units or Illusions
- Aghanim's Scepter Dream Coil snap stun now pierces Spell Immunity
- Aghanim's Scepter Dream Coil snap stun duration increased from 1.5/2.25/3 to 1.5/3/4.5
For many reasons I believe that any addition of the Spell Immunity penetration deserves an immediate red marker - I am the type of person who would never feel like I have wasted 4k gold to get extra 6 seconds of Spell Immunity - the effect is just too strong.
The possibilities with the skill, therefore, are endless, since it can allow all of your team to escape an otherwise very punishable engagement or get some really needed kills for a comeback - 4.5 stun is nothing to look down on and while it is still going to be hard to make the enemy actually get stunned, their mobility is going to be severely limited.
- Life Drain can now be targeted on allies, allowing Pugna to drain his own life into them
Weirdly fitting for a hero and opens up a lot of potential later in the game. A chain of healing from Io to a target can allow Pugna to stay a really long way behind while granting a single ally a massive regeneration.
- Base Attack Time improved from 1.7 to 1.6
- Removed unit targeting from Sonic Wave
- Sonic Wave final area of effect increased from 300 to 450
Some really great all-around buffs that will not necessarily make QoP a viable pick, but can make her situationally effective. A BAT decrease is one of the things that is rather hard to analyze, however in this case, with relatively good progression of both agility and intelligence, the hero can turn out to be a very strong rightclicker in the later stages of the game, especially considering innate mobility.
- Plasma Field minimum damage from 60/100/140/180 to 30/50/70/90
- Static Link no longer ignores Linken's Sphere
- Static Link mana cost from 20/30/40/50 to 50
- Eye of the Storm no longer lingers through aegis reincarnation
Some decent nerfs that will make Razor weaker in certain situations, while he remains one of the most desirable picks. The changes are significant enough to make a certain difference, but will not break the hero.
- Soul Catcher now amplifies damage by 20/30/40/50% instead of attempting to re-deal 20/30/40/50% of the damage as Pure damage
- Aghanim's Scepter Demonic Purge charges increased from 2 to 3
The former can be considered more of a bug fix, rather than a buff, but it does mean that it now goes through magic immunity in case the source of the damage is physical, which does make a lot of sense.
The latter, I believe, is already extremely powerful and adding an extra charge can and will make kiting enemy heroes a trivial task.
- Necromastery soul cap increased from 12/20/28/36 to 15/22/29/36
- Requiem of Souls debuff is now applied when the wave hits units instead of in a slightly smaller area independently
- Requiem of Souls slow increased from 20% to 25%
While these changes do look like they matter, they really don't. No one is going to pay attention given a new arcana item and a model rework.
Joking aside, the Necromastery buff could be exactly what this hero needed to make a comeback. Being able to get +30 damage with a single level of the ability will certainly make some choices in skill build easier to make. It will also help greatly in a mid vs. mid situation, since denies just got a lot more powerful.
- Shackles mana cost rebalanced from 110/130/155/185 to 140/150/160/170
- Mass Serpent Ward cooldown increased from 110 to 120
While seemingly minor, the Shackles mana cost progression will severely tamper with some of the early game presence of the hero, especially considering it is a general practice to get no more than 1 level of it, until all other abilities are maxed out.
The 10 seconds increase in ultimate cooldown is another thing that should make pushing just a little bit slower, so that it is viable, but not as punishing.
- Glaives of Wisdom percent intelligence to damage from 30/45/60/75 to 30/48/66/84
- Global Silence mana cost from 250/350/450 to 250/375/500
Given the fact the Glaives of Wisdom deals pure damage the equivalent of a double damage rune when using it will be an appropriate comparison. And it is a lot of damage, even if it is not coupled with any damage boosting items.
The ultimate mana cost increase, on the other hand, should not have any major impact on the gameplay.
- Concussive Shot movement slow rebalanced from 40% to 30/35/40/45%
- Concussive Shot is now disjointable
- Mystic Flare damage is now dealt over 2.2 seconds instead of 2 seconds
A variety of small changes that combined actually make the hero decently weaker, but without going overboard. The fact that the slow now scales and can be disjointed can and will make the lives of the heroes being ganked by Skywrath Mage a lot easier.
- Slithereen Crush stun duration increased from 1/1.5/2/2.5 to 1.6/1.9/2.2/2.5
Level 1 and 2 of the ability got a very serious buff that will certainly help out the hero to be what he excels at being - a very major threat in the early stages of the game. Problem is, you will still want to max out the skill by level 7 and the time window for when this will actually matter is rather narrow.
At the same time, it does open up interesting possibilities for a roaming support Slardar. Coupled with a reliable disable/slow the ganking potential can be devastating.
- Slark is no longer visible inside Chronosphere during Shadow Dance
A rather situational, albeit strong buff. Given the fact that the popularity of Faceless Void is going to decrease, even if slightly, it is too situational to deserve further investigation.
- Headshot now causes a 0.5 second 100% MS and AS slow instead of a 0.25 second stun
- Shrapnel area of effect increased from 400 to 450
I honestly have no idea what was going through the mind of a game designer that decided to take away the signature skill of one of the pubs favorite heroes. While not necessarily being a nerf in every imaginable situation, it does severely limit the interrupting potential of the hero, which makes him a worse pick against lineups that include strong channeling spells.
The buff to Shrapnel on the other hand is definitely not unwelcome. The radius on it is now officially massive and it can be used to stop pushes/push, again, opening some interesting possibilities in different roles.
Overall, I feel like the issue of the Shrapnel being almost completely ignored is being forced too hard and these changes will need some time to get used to.
- Spectral Dagger movement speed change increased from 5/9/14/18% to 8/12/16/20%
- Spectral Dagger projectile speed reduced from 857 to 800
Some minor tweaks to a spell. Level 1 Spectral Dagger is not completely useless anymore, but there is not a lot to discuss here.
- Charge of Darkness cooldown reduced from 35 to 12
- Charge of Darkness cooldown is now triggered when Charge hits its target or is cancelled, instead of when cast
- Empowering Haste can now be cast to improve the Aura by 50% for 6 seconds. 20 second cooldown. After it is used, the aura is 50% weaker while the ability is on cooldown.
- Greater Bash damage from 10/20/30/40% to 22/28/34/40% of movement speed
- Ball Lightning mana cost per 100 units from 10 + 1% to 12 + 0.7%
Spamming short-ranged Ball Lightning is now more punishing to the mana pool, but there is now a possibility to travel longer distances for less. It is going to be interesting to see an actual impact on the gameplay.
- Added Aghanim's Scepter: While activated, God's Strength grants an allied aura (900 area of effect) for 40/60/80% of base damage.
Support Sven can definitely be a thing now.
- Psionic Trap cooldown from 11/9/7 to 11/8/5
At level 3 of the ability it is now possible to almost permanently slow an enemy. Given the nature and magnitude of the slow, it is a very strong addition to the arsenal of TA.
- Enabled in Captain's Mode
- Sunder cast point improved from 0.5 to 0.35
A very strong buff and a Captains Mode debut. The hero should be extremely powerful in the capable hands of someone like EE-sama and I am extremely excited to see him in action.
- Anchor Smash damage reduction reduced from 60% to 45/50/55/60%
A very sizable buff that will prevent Tidehunter allowing themselves to be extremely aggressive in an offlane. Given that the skill is usually maxed first, it should reaming the same for all intents and purposes after the laning stage is over.
- Added Aghanim's Scepter: Grants Timbersaw a second Chakram.
Latest changes to the map have already decreased the forestation in certain regions. Did we really need a second Chakram flying around as well?
- March of the Machines no longer affects Spell Immune units
I can't think of any way to write down a diabolic laugh without it looking obnoxious. But that was definitely my first reaction when I saw this change.
- Ranged Whirling Axes cooldown from 20 to 20/19/18/17 seconds
- Acquisition Range increased from 600 to 800
- Ice Shards no longer stops when it hits a hero
- Ice Shards now travels until the cast location and creates its blockade there
- Ice Shards cast range increased from 1500 to 1800
- Ice Shards no longer destroys trees
- Snowball bonus speed per hero increased from 75 to 100
- Allies can now click in the snowball to jump into it
I really don't know how to feel about the Ice Shards rework. On one hand, with an increased travel distance and potential to hit multiple enemies it is now a much better nuke. But the trade off is the inability to block an opponent on demand, which I find quite depressing.
The snowball buff, on the other hand, might be able to sort this out, since with greater travel speed comes lower risk.
- Tombstone area of effect increased from 400/600/800/1000 to 600/800/1000/1200
- Aghanim's Scepter Flesh Golem damage amplification increased by 5% at all levels, both min and max
- Flesh Golem slow aura increased from 9% to variable from 5% to 15%, based on distance to Undying (same mechanic as the damage amplification)
Some really nice all-around buffs. I believe the new and improved Tombstone is a good enough reason for the pick of this hero, since disabling blinks was never that easy.
- Nether Swap range increased from 650/925/1200 to 700/950/1200
A very small improvement that has a potential to have a very huge impact.
- Poison Nova applies its debuff on Spell Immune enemies
The fact that you no longer have to wait to use your Poison Nova if you are accidentally late to a party can greatly contribute to the viability of the hero. It is a really strong buff that will definitely show itself in the matches to come.
- Corrosive Skin now only affects enemies within 1400 area of effect
- Corrosive Skin damage cannot be reflected multiple times
No more Morphling [missing skill: morphling-replicate-5057] bullshit. More of a bug fix, rather than a balance patch, but can still change certain interactions with global spells.
- Familiar Stone Form cooldown from 30 to 26
It is not a strong buff, but it is going to be noticeable. I like it.
- Fatal Bonds now shares the same damage type that is dealt to it, before it is reduced
- Fatal Bonds damage percentage from 20% to 25%
- Golem attack range increased from 100 to 225
- Golem Base Attack Time improved from 1.35 to 1.2
- Golem HP regeneration increased from 15/20/25 to 15/30/45
- Golem Immolation area of effect increased from 250 to 300
- Golem Flaming Fists chance reduced from 60% to 40%
- The Swarm duration increased from 8/12/16/20 to 14/16/18/20
- Shukuchi no longer ignores invisible units
- Shukuchi damage reduced from 90/110/130/150 to 75/100/125/150
- Geminate Attack can now proc items
- Geminate Attack cooldown increased from 6/5/4/2.5 to 6/5/4/3
To be perfectly honest, Weaver has always been a very strong offlane hero with a lot of potential for aggression due to high amount of burst damage, coupled with a really good escape mechanics. While the latter remained untouched, the former got nerfed for the initial stages of the game, which is a good, especially if you are a support player.
The item proc on Geminate Attack is incredibly interesting and it is not before long that we shall see some really interesting builds.
- Shackleshot max latch distance from 525 to 575
- Windrun duration increased from 2.75/3.5/4.25/5.0 to 3/4/5/6
The hero is still heavily outclassed by other support and offlane heroes alike, however an increased latch range on Shackleshot is something I really need to try out for myself before driving a conclusion.
- Maledict area of effect increased from 165 to 180
- Death Ward bounces now behave the same as the Death Ward attacks with regards to Blademail (neither redirects damage to Witch Doctor)
A couple of great buffs to a hero that will desperately need them once Faceless Void falls out of favor.
- Reincarnation mana cost increased from 140 to 160
Get one extra Iron Branch and pretend nothing has happened.
- Static Field area of effect increased from 1000 to 1200
Depending on whether it does or does not disable Blink Dagger this change can be either considered good or excellent. Still, a realy nice addition to an underused hero.
That is it for now. We will be releasing the next parts of the patch analysis in the days to follow, so stay tuned.
As always, thank you for reading!