It has been a while since a major balance update and the slightly annoying meta of magic casters, quick bursts and extreme mobility might finally be coming to its end. Despite no new heroes being released, Dota should feel a lot fresher now and we can't wait to see how the changes are going to reflect on the trends. You can expect a pub Tier list follow up as soon as the dust settles, as well as other various meta-analysis Blog Posts.
As we did in our previous Patch Analysis Blog Post, we will highlight what we feel is going to have the biggest impact on the game in red. Without further ado - 6.85 Patch Analysis:
Purge no longer deals bonus damage to summoned units
Siege Creeps now behave like normal lane creeps for spell targeting rules
Siege Creeps now have 80% Magic Resistance
Ancient Thunderhide has a new ability: War Drums Aura - provides +15 Attack Speed and +15% Attack Damage
Ancient Black Drake has a new ability: Dragonhide Aura - provides +2 Armor, stackable
Ancient Dragon Camp units now have 2 less armor
Fixed the following passive abilities not being disabled by Break: Nethertoxin, Tidebringer, Essence Aura, Hunter in the Night, Poison Sting and neutral ability passives
Siege creeps becoming targetable is a lot more important than it may seem - being able to disable/deal magic damage to catapults can make base defenses for supports an easier task - especially when your team is playing from behind and someone has to stay at base to prevent a lane of barracks or Tier 4 towers from being destroyed.
EDIT: It is also a nerf to Skill Shots such as Meat Hook and Sacred Arrow, since they no longer pass through Siege Creeps. Additionally, Breath Fire/Rocket Barrage and Nether Blast now deal reduced damage to the catapults.
Added abilities on the Ancient neutral creeps is also welcome, however the cases in which it is going to matter are going to be scarce. Despite some buffs to Lifestealer and Chen, it is unlikely that they will shape the current meta, so in our opinion it is a transitory step for later patches.
EDIT: Clearing stacks is also going to be tougher, however not by a lot, except for Gyrocopter. More in the comment section.
Various fixes to Break mechanics can not be called balance updates, but it is certainly nice that some of these bugs are being fixed.
A very minor change to Mist Coil mainly aimed at level 3 ultimate and/or Aghanim's Scepter holders. On its own, certainly doesn't look that impressive, however it can be used as a way of dealing damage to yourself during the ultimate and being able to heal twice over the duration can make some clutch plays more possible.
The ultimate upgrade suffers from a distinct problem - if your support needs an Aghanim's Scepter to be fully effective, it might not be worth it picking him. Especially since he is a melee hero with 1 armor.
I really want Support Alchemist to be a thing, and he is slowly approaching a playable state. While core Alchemist still suffers from high kite-ability and poor stats growth, support one has a couple of advantages over other heroes in the similar role.
He can build support items faster - with a single point in Greed clearing neutrals will net more gold and bounty runes can help him get to the items much faster compared to other supports. His stun is pretty good in the early game and coupled with armor reduction he can go for some early kills on the offlaner. Finally, he can always transition into Plan B type of hero with better scaling than the like of Crystal Maiden.
He is still a melee hero, which is generally a bad thing for a support, but he can thrive against certain lineups with teammates who have problems with having not enough item slots.
I remain firm in my belief that this spell is similar to Poison Touch on Dazzle - you get one point in it and go for stats. At the same time, a cast range of 1000 should not be underrated. As a support who generally prefers to stay out of the fight and help with his long-range spells, this addition does not necessarily justify extra skill points, but can make his late game slightly stronger. If only (spoiler) Euls range wasn't nerfed.
One thing to note when playing against the hero - you always know which level Cold Feet is being used on you - there are purple damage ticks which show the amount of damage dealt and sometimes it is worth suffering 1.5 second stun instead of escaping the AoE.
These changes are minor and will only make difference in borderline cases. With level 1 blink he will still be able to cross the river/find his usual juke spots. He is certainly weaker, but it will not have a meaningful impact on the way the hero is played.
Same goes for the ministun on his ultimate. There will be borderline cases in which an enemy Storm Spirit will be able to escape after lvl 3 Mana Void but they are not going to drastically increase in quantity because of 0.15 ministun difference.
These small changes are actually really strong and can make Bane see more competitive and pub play. Let's not kid ourselves - the hero is extremely boring, but with a more spammable nuke he can become more aggressive early in the game - something he did not necessarily lack, but was not as good at as other heroes.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity of nerfs, there is a buff to Batrider. And it certainly looks promising.
Flamebreak changes are not that important - despite all the efforts it is still an early value-point type of skill at best. Upgraded lasso, on the other hand, is interesting.
Two enemy heroes caught generally means two enemy heroes dead - at least in a perfect world. In reality, this spell can occasionally backfire, with your team unable to focus both heroes and consequently entering a drawn-out fight - something Batrider is not good at. It is especially terrible if you manage to grab something along the lines of a tanky core + saving support (Dazzle, Oracle, Winter Wyvern).
Additionally, Vengeful Spirit still renders the hero quite useless. It is even more heartbreaking now, since she can save not one, but two teammates and make your investment irrelevant.
Will it make the hero a dominant competitive hero again? I think it has the potential, but we will have to wait and see.
A thousand times yes! While the change will not nerf him as much as many of us would like it to, it will still make early game harassment a thing when playing against Bloodseeker. If previously any kind damage in one lane would result in a loss in the other lane, currently the drawbacks are not as terrible. Supports can trade hits, mids can be more aggressive and your jungler will not be as much of a liability. A nice change that does not take a lot from the hero, but rather fixes his laning stage from being as OP.
If you think that the first point being in red is an exaggeration you have not played Bounty Hunter enough. They could even retain his old track gold gain and the hero would still enter the Tier 3 type of heroes - he simply won't work as well with the nerf. If previously one track would ultimately lead to the whole team being tracked providing very necessary vision and strategic information, currently it is simply means of gold gain and a counter to invisibility heroes.
On the other hand, his mid lane pressure has remained untouched and he can still be annoying early on sucking the money off supports - it is just his late game potential that is currently in question.
The boulder cooldown reduction can and will make him a stronger early-game force - with a 40% uptime on stun chasing and disabling heroes will become more annoying and a lot more effective.
I am not entirely sure whether the hero will become a popular pick once again - certainly not in public matchmaking, since he is still very micro-heavy. But as a hard counter to Windranger and Dark Seer he can work wonders.
A very small buff. 8% more Quill Spray is nice but not exactly gamebreaking.
This ability is really strong now. It pierces spell immunity and with the stat growth on the hero you can't really afford to ignore him. Additionally, clearing creepwaves and pushing towers should be easier.
Overall, I feel like it is more of a "notice me" buff for the professional scene, since the hero was already quite strong.
A very interesting change which might justify an early value point in the spell. -5 armor is strong regardless of the stage of the game and can boost the early game on the hero even further. It also works on Roshan, which can lead to the hero becoming viable, despite inability to flash-farm.
Nuke Chen can become a thing in your local pubs. At least for a little while.
With the added versatility to be a decent laner (not as Plan A, but rather out of necessity), we might see more Chen picks in the near future. He will still need levels for the strategy to be effective, though, hence it is very unlikely that it is going to have as much of an impact.
I am not a great Chen player, but I feel like lvl 2 Holy Persuasion might become a go-to build in case you want to have more fighting presence as opposed to higher pushing capabilities.
A small nice buff. There isn't really much to talk about - the hero was already quite balanced and might become more of a serious threat as a position 1 core in the later stages.
I am not sure why this buff was needed and it will probably go unnoticed, unless I am missing something crucial on the hero. From my perspective - you still only have mana for two of your regular spells and ultimate in the early game. Hence cooldown reduction will have very minor influence.
26 mana is a lot in the early game and this nerf will result in lower amoung of Ion Shells. It is not going to be very noticeable once Dark Seer gets his hands on Soul Ring, but getting there will become a little bit harder.
I have stated my opinion on the spell countless times and the manacost reduction does not change much - it is still a sub-par spell and in most cases going for stats will be more beneficial. Getting to the magical level 14 as a support is generally quite hard and having higher survivability and manapool, especially with how spammable his spells are, is generally preferred.
Early push is back in the meta. Well, not really, but 2 extra spirits early in the game can make a lot of difference. As it stands, however, the hero still looses even to the nerfed Leshrac.
A change very similar to the one of Bounty Hunter, but in this case it is not as crucial to the hero. Reduced cooldown, on the other hand, can make the spell a stronger "damage" spell, if your team lacks it.
No longer being a one-trick pony is something this hero truly needed. Otherwise he was just a generic hero which did not contribute much apart from taking one enemy hero out of the fight.
Same glass - slightly bigger cannon. I think it is the Aura cooldown reduction which is going to have a bigger impact. Visage players are certainly happy.
The hero is simple - you either block an enemy and kill him, or you don't block him properly and he has the potential to escape. 15 damage in this scenario make little to no difference.
A quality of life improvement rather than a balance change. For people using quickcast it does not even matter.
Personally, I find these changes excellent but not enough to justify an Elder Titan pick for the offlane. He can be a decent support coupled with a good stun, though.
Wisp count is nice and all, but it is an UAM removal from impetus that takes the cake. I never expected to say that, but Enchantress can be a decent semi-core now. Given good farm, she will scale extremely well - Magic Immunity penetrating pure damage coupled with Lifesteal/Skadi at an enormous range - sign me up. Also, a Mask of Madness build can be a thing.
Landing combo is now easier and I feel like it is going to be the play most people will go for. Extra radius on Black Hole will also help with avoiding PGG-style misplays.
Very needed nerfs to the hero preventing him from being that much of a powerhorse in the early game and a strong kite-master later on. I don't think it is too much, personally, but dedicated Gyro players will certainly feel the consequences.
One of the most annoying surprise picks is nerfed to the point where he does not render half of the former meta heroes useless. I think our pubs will be better off, but I do feel sorry about the hero losing some of his uniqueness.
High base damage gain as well as late-game prowess will certainly make the hero a lot stronger. This does not solve his problem of being useless against Magic Immune targets in a direct way, but his auto-attack damage can make up for it. Stronger Alacrity will definitely help with that.
Additionally, higher manapool and conservation of skill points with Aghanim's Scepter should be noted. You can go full on QW build with no points in E and with a fast scepter you will still get the benefits of Deafening Blast and Alacrity. Level dependency was one of the issues the hero had and with the current buff certain builds will become stronger while others will become viable again.
EDIT: Aghs Upgrade does not give you an extra level for each of your primary skills (QWE), but rather influences the Invoked spells directly. You still get the extra utility/damage but my initial assumption was wrong and it is weaker than described here.
Small buffs all around will not necessarily return the hero to the meta, but he does feel stronger in certain situations - catching blinking targets might be possible and the early-game damage from his underused Dual Breath can justify a value point.
I think at this point people are too accustomed to the stats build for this change to make a lot of difference. Nonetheless, it is still a nice buff - if only it was done to the first level of the spell as well.
There are currently only two professional players who play KotL - Puppey and Aui_2000. Both of them do it really well and fully utilise his skillset. The problem is, it is not what the hero has been picked for and it will only help in certain situations. Double LSA from Lina does seem scary, though.
Notice me buffs to a very underused hero. He is currently in a weird spot - he can't manfight and for the most part his contribution in the late game is a really strong AoE hit. That generally makes for a weak core.
Played as a support, he suffers the melee problem, which is partially solved with the early-game range on X buff.
We will certainly see more of him, the question is - is it going to be successful?
A variety of small buffs. Overwhelming odds can now be cast twice per creepwave, and these three seconds are slightly more meaningful than they appear, while cast time on Press the Attack will solve the problem of sloppy initiation, but I feel it might not be enough.
This is a lot more than what we asked for. The nerfs on the hero are brutal, not only making the Lightning Storm hit for less, but also making it harder to land on fleeing targets, especially with the horrible cast point.
His other strengths are also nerfed with a Bloodstone nerf discussed further.
The deny game for Lich is getting a lot stronger. If you need a hero to be under-leveled after the laning stage, Lich is the definite answer. Being able to eat Siege Creeps only adds to his already high lane control and played with a naturally "pushy" hero such as Kunkka, Luna, Sven etc. will make him really powerful.
Overall, I feel like it is going to be the next "no fun for offlaners" hero.
I am not entirely sure this will be enough for the hero to get back into meta. That said, it is going to be possible to become a magically immune monster for a very long period with a BkB and in certain cases he will require a response.
His natural combos with Infest are still quite strong, with only Storm Spirit receiving strong nerfs this patch.
Losing 40 damage early on is a bit too much, I think, but otherwise the nerfs are not as strong as people will assume. She is still as strong in her prime at level 11 and will still deal tons of auto-attack damage later in the game. -140 damage from combo is not something to cry about, but it was something direly needed.
If anything, it is the Euls nerfs which are going to make a bigger difference.
I still feel it is a bad upgrade with Blink Dagger and other support items taking priority. Can work in certain combos, but it already did without the buff.
I am not a good LD player, but a 30 damage increase at level 1 of ultimates sub-ability does seem a strong buff. Generally, in fights, it will not be doubled, since it is unlikely that your actual hero will attack in melee form, but it is excellent for pushing and in the late-game.
The cooldown reduction on Spirit Bear is also great, especially with all the nerfs it has received several patches ago.
I think that in its current state Aghanim's Scepter on Luna might be worth it. If put on a mobile ally or cast on highground, it can provide some crazy benefits to non-spell-immune allies. It will tamper with her ability to be a hard carry, but she already was rather weak in this regard. All-ining on hero early-mid game prowess can be quite interesting. We should also keep in mind Alchemist.
The strength gain, while nice, translates to a rather small amount of 60/120 HP at levels 10/20. Do not overvalue it too much.
Being stronger at direct confrontation is something this hero needed and being one of the very few melee heroes which cannot be kited the added damage/health and critical chance can make him a viable core in a more classic sense. Skipping necronomicon is still ill-advised, since it provides one of the best cost to damage benefits, but he will no longer be outshone by other cores later in the game as much.
A very nice buff which will allow you to use the skill more often and ensure that the newly buffed/added purge effects are not as potent. It will also allow you to have more of your team covered simultaneously, but it is generally not as important.
This thing now deals 900 damage to the last target at level 7. Yest, it is tricky, despite added speed in the last patch. Yes, it is not always that you have enough targets in the first place. But it is still 900 damage - and it can even be pure under the effect of Stone Gaze. I feel like the hero will be played competitively and will probably excel at it. There are combo pieces required, but the payoff is worth it.
EDIT: The damage is a lot lower than I assumed since only the base damage gets per jump increase. It can still be a 550 damage nuke, but it is far from being as scary as I made it out to be.
Still not exactly carry material, but doesn't fall off as hard as she used to. 5.5/11 Damage and AS at levels 10/20 do not look scary, but can tilt the tables somewhat.
The second damage instance from meteor has been changed from random to closest enemy in the previous patch hence this is a straight-up buff. Pretty good one at that, making it a very reliable nuke at all levels.
Both support and Core Morphling received very strong buffs. I feel like with Terrorblade entering the meta and Undying getting some late-game potential, there are now more good targets for Hybrid and despite it being known to the enemy, it can still provide a lot of utility.
My experience with Morphling is rather abysmal, I think I have the lowest Win Rate on him across all heroes, so if you have extra insights feel free to comment - theorycrafting without experience can be dangerous.
I am not sure why the hero needed these buffs/nerfs, but they are still here. Being 30 damage weaker at level 1 Rip Tide does lose a bit of its potency, but it should not impact the game too much for support Naga.
Core/Mid Naga will have weaker harass and waveclear, which was uncalled for and in the long run she will be slightly weaker in the mid role. This is partially counter-weighed by the bottle changes, but it goes both ways hence we are not entirely sure about her viability in the role.
At the same time she did receive a Radiance related buff with the recipe cost returning to 1350. It could be the case, that these changes are here to make sure the hero does not get too strong.
Aghanim's Scepter is a core on the hero now. With a BAT of 1.0, any AS aura will make the Great Treants hit fast and they already hit quite hard. The playstyle, I feel, will be more teamfight oriented, with Nature's Prophet needing those treants to be effective. But a lost teamfight will cost a lot more to the enemy and can make huge swings in terms of map control.
On a more serious note - becoming a stronger mid/support is something the hero needed - his early game was too reliant on last hitting with a bad attack animation and poor base damage. Extra 50 damage on a spammable nuke at level 1 was more or less a necessity at this point.
Extra regeneration on lvl 4 sadist at the same time will make incredibly tanky with a right initiation. Getting a kill will get him to Alchemist level regeneration and the teamfight can snowball from that. If the enemy team is reliant on ship damage/DoT or right-clickers (as opposed to burst damage), the hero can be a monster. Probably scarier than current Leshrac, albeit more situational.
Night Stalker at level 1 with no items currently has 2.7 Health Regeneration, 5.5 armor AND 63 Attack. Trade hits with that, if you want to.
Now add items to that and you have a strong mid-game hero who can dominate his lane against most other heroes despite being melee. Coupled with Crystal Maiden in his team, he can take control over mid-lane early on and simply never let go. As an offlaner, he can sustain better and have higher chances of survival, yet I feel it is still ill-advised apart from very specific cases.
Despite adding only a single new Aghanim's Scepter upgrade, this patch feels a lot more like The Aghs Patch than the previous one. Previosuly, these upgrades were nice, but quite gimmicky. But you simply can't argue with 75% longer Impale/Mana Burn and 7 seconds cooldown Stun.
Forget about your Dagons - you can do so much more with an item that will boost your survivability and make you one of the strongest teamfight heroes.
Pickoffs into push are still inferior to teamfight into push, in my opinion. Especially in the current meta (which might change).
- "Our Towers can run faster!"
We have another strong melee hero on our hands that can zone any single hero with ease. In my opinion, he was not necessarily overnerfed, when his Fireblast got cast range reduction and I still played him occasionally, if only to annoy the enemy offlane. With extra armor, he has one of the highest EHP in the game against physical damage and still scales relatively well into the late-game, with decent Expected damage on nukes and disables.
Also - slapping bloodlust on greater Treant will result in 0.55 Attack Cooldown.
Radius increase and now a cast point decrease? It seems like someone really want purification to deal damage. Overall - it is a very strong buff and can allow for clutch plays.
At the same time, Degen Aura stickiness will make him worse at chasing enemies while dealing damage - I think most heroes with the speed slightly higher than the Wolves of Icewrack will be able to run away if Omniknight will try to auto-attack them without Orb of Venom. Especially in the early levels.
The hero is slowly deviating from Utility support towards straight-up nuker. Honestly, I really don't like it, since it currently justifies playstyle oriented around dealing damage, rather than preventing it. Lower damage on Q will make it a value point, the way I see it, especially since it deals more damage at level 1. Spammable Purifying Flames combos even better with his ultimate now, while changes to Fate's Edict makes him rather balanced - it was one of the most underrated spells in the 6.83 Glass-Cannon + Lifesteal meta.
Currently, I feel like the hero got less similar to Dazzle, which is good for diversity. It is just... I really like Dazzle...
Slightly tankier, combos well with Anti-Mage and can deal with Storm Spirit better. Yet, he is still far from becoming Tier 1. This hero needs Aghanim's Scepter to do his thing and with no way of flash-farming it can get tricky.
He is a monster with Aghs+Refresher - forcing the enemy team to lose 80% of their Maximum Mana as well as a lot of intelligence can turn around a lot of fights, the problem is none of his spells go through Magic Immunity and no team is bad enough to clump up as 5 for maximum effect.
The hero becomes irrelevant faster than he becomes relevant, unless the early game is won really hard.
The changes are interesting, but unless there is a bash proc it still doesn't make a lot of difference. With a Skadi, the Stifling Dagger can slow extremely hard and the item in general is quite decent on the hero, but you have to get to that point.
This will require testing, but I feel it is not that much of a buff. It might be, but it will require a weird build-up which might not necessarily be the most efficient. There are many questions regarding Lifesteal/Crit from Daedalus that need to be answered. Also, I am not a big fan of a chance-based interrupt you get with MkB - it can make too much of a difference in a fight based on pure luck.
This is not necessarily a cure for cancer, but it definitely stops the speed it spreads with. Just imagine what hero would look like with his former Agi growth of 4.2.
A small buff to an already decent hero. He is not your typical first pick material, but can be situationally godly (same applies to every hero in Dota, I don't know why I keep repeating myself).
Small all-around buffs. Extra range from Illusionary Orb will probably come into play the most. Yet, the hero relies way too much on his Bottle and runes, and it has been nerfed. It is unlikely that the combined effect will make the hero much stronger.
They are making Pudge a good hero. 27% slow ensures no one can escape from him, while extra damage on Rot solves some of his pre-Aghs damage issues, especially against targets with higher resistance.
I don't know whether we will see hero played competitively, but his Pub presence is going to be even higher. I am slowly reconsidering my stance on the hero.
I particularly like the targetable Nether Ward buff. Everything else is somewhat minor, even the MS increase, since the hero was already faster than most other heroes.
Oh wow... 20 damage.
Thinking a bit more - in certain cases it can make a difference between clearing wave and not clearing it with a Sonic Wave+Scream of Pain combo (or a single Sonic Wave). Very specific cases, might make difference if an enemy is TPing with Boots of Travel, though.
On average you will get slightly more damage, since the damage increase/reduction was applied at the end of every second. The ability will be less annoying and will have more impact right-away, before the first tick has happened. It is a buff albeit not a very strong one.
This buff screams for roaming Riki. Or at least for a more active one.
Not having to make base trips can make the hero really strong - trade hits, go invisible, gank some other lane etc. I am not a fan of semi-support Riki, he needs farm priority to be effective, but he can certainly work as a jungle interrupter/roaming ganker (similar to BH, but better in certain cases, since he has a silence).
They really want this thing to work. Rightly so, since it can be a very strong lane harass/kill opener. Coupled with Lich, it will also be possible to keep lane momentum in check.
Thinking of it - it can be a really strong trilane, with incredible XP gains. Lich makes sure the lane is in check and gets XP rewards for it, while SK is farming/stacking jungle. Core hero gets full lane XP and in case the enemy offlaner gets over-aggressive, he can be heavily punished with stuns/slows from supports.
A very minor buff, but given how this spells uses stack mechanics and provides vision it can make some difference.
A decently sized buff in arguably the wrong places. The hero has high manacost issues and his base health is really low. Moreover, maxing shackles is generally a bad idea. Maybe there is a new build in the brewing, but it seems it will be less efficient.
Thank you! We no longer have to wait for the damage to tick to use our Manta Style. A very strong situational nerf.
Small buffs. Maybe the hero will find his place in the new Meta, but it seems unlikely. Will probably remain a niche pick against certain heroes.
This is a huge net buff to the hero. The phase mechanics might be unerrated by some players, but it can make a lot of difference when chasing and escaping. Additionally, it will prevent Blink-initiations being slightly off because your model collided with the enemy and you were pushed a couple of units in a particular direction.
The cooldown/duration decrease, at the same time, will mean that you will have it on when you need it and have it off when you don't more frequently. (e.g. if it was 3 s. duration/5 s. cooldown it would be really strong, since you could turn it on only when you are not receiving damage and need to catch up, while otherwise you have it at the ready, but not affecting you and forcing you to take extra damage).
Hehe. Yeah, it was an over-nerf last patch.
This balances the whole thing quite weirdly. On one hand Dispersion now deals more damage. On the other, it is now reduced by armor/magic resistance.
Net result will be the same against pure/magical damage heroes/nukes (unless they have Magic Resistance boosting) and definitely worse against agi right-clickers. The net effect on EHP is the same though (X0.78Y=XY0.78, where Y is resistance and 0.78 is Dispersion effect). Combos really well with Elder Titan.
You can now be unlucky with an even lower probability.
+ Manacost on his spammable abilities. Does not take too much from the hero in terms of his strengths, just makes it slightly harder to manage mana. Will throw certain players off their usual patterns, but I think people will adjust soon enough. Who knew that heroes actually had to walk a little to change their position, right?
Earlier flash-farming+more mana. Not something that solves the main problem of the hero, but can make him come online faster. I really like this change and I feel like Sven will see some competitive play.
Assume everything here is RED:
If you think this is a situational buff you are not entirely wrong - in certain cases having an unlimited amount of mines available is a very strong buff. Otherwise - burn you filthy Techies pickers.
Ok, now let's start with the analysis:
There is probably plenty more, so feel free to add anything in the comments. Overall - the hero is nerfed in his ability to deal surprising bursts in teamfights and there is a payoff to demining. BUT with unlimited mines the map control can even tighten - will probably require some testing to completely figure out the new possibilities/drawbacks.
Again, all RED.
There are so many things to talk about. His Q - Reflection is pretty much Wall of Replica from Dark Seer, with an added slow. Against Agility carries that rely on base damage it is amazing. Against everyone else it is really strong.
Faster cast point on Conjure Image was not necessary, but it is a nice buff. Even with illusions clearly visible to the enemy, the damage output on them is really high. They can also turn ranged if you can in a teamfight or while pushing. It gives more versatility in direct confrontation and adds to his pushing capabilities.
Increased cast range on Sunder at the cost of lower potential damage is good - you generally use this spell to save yourself, rather than deal damage.
In his first day, the hero has already gained 6.2% Win Rate, sitting comfortably at almost 51%. Well played!
A small change that will not bring the hero back, most likely.
A really strong buff. Can apply the Attribute Decrease debuff twice. Devastating against Str heroes and squishy Agi/Int heroes.
Nerfs to Bloodstone do not affect him as much. He is not as dependent on gold as Storm Spirit, neither does he benefit from decreased respawn time as much. It is also unlikely that he will go down first in his team, due to his natural tankiness, hence the XP gain from the Area had a lower effect on him, compared to Storm/Leshrac who would often rush in and Bruise the enemy team, getting attention so that the allied second core could get in and finish off the weakened enemy.
It is a huge buff to level 2 Rearm - huge enough to justify an early point in it.
If previously many Tinker players skipped the second ability early on, I think now it scales so much better that it can open up possibilities for two more distinct Tinker playstyles - one revolving around the March of the Machines and the other around burst damage from his first two spells and items.
It will unlikely bring him back into the meta, but the possibility for suprise pick is there - especially in response to stronger pushing heroes in the current patch.
Being ables to cast both of his spells on level 2 is something the hero truly needed. Couple with better last-hitting, it makes for a great core with much better early-game presence.
A nice buff. Opens up a lot more possibilities in the laning stage. Not a lot to discuss.
I don't think it will bring him back into the competitive play, but the hero is stronger. Coupled with nerfs to certain magic damage heroes and possible meta-shift to a more right-click oriented game can be very strong. Too meta-dependent to draw accurate conclusions.
A great array of nerfs. The hero was too strong at both saving teammates and dealing damage. In his current form, he should be a lot more balanced - the burst potential is still the same, it is just harder/more costly to execute.
The Aghanims Upgrade might actually work now, since I feel a lot of Melee Right-click Heroes will come into play and the ability to render them almost completely useless even if they have a Blink Dagger cannot be overrated.
The Tombstone rework was needed but it feels like too much of a nerf. Three hits at level 1 is way too little, compared to previous 6-7 it required. Later in the game, however, it might be better if you are facing melee hard-hitters with little AS.
His late-game potential has increased by a lot. The added upgrade seems really strong. Hitting one enemy nets you 190 HP and takes that away from the enemy on top of the damage it deals. If you survive long enough, not only do you make the enemy weaker, but you also become a hard-hitting hero yourself. I feel like this way the hero is more balanced, since he no longer destroys early-game, but has more mid-game potential to justify his pick.
Lower cooldown - lower multiplier is somewhat similar to the Sprint rebalance on Slardar. You rarely needed this much damage anyways, but now you can have it more often. It also does not affect early game.
Overall, the hero was only slightly nerfed in terms of raw power, but got some "versatility" in return.
I don't know what is so magical about the number 3.3 but it seems a lot of heroes are getting this treatment. It is a nice buff which provides some extra AS/Damage and Armor, but the hero doesn't really need it, except for situations when you have her as your core. These situations should be rare - we've all seen game 1 of TI3 Grand Finals.
The hero is in a weird spot right now. On one hand he has one of the highest Damage spells in the game, on the other it is countered by BkB/Pipe and a newly added Glimmer Cape. There is no post-effect associated with his ultimate so it is purely damage and the damage kicks in really slowly.
I am not sure what this will mean to the hero, but I will say that the upgrade is now relatively stronger and is more or less a necessity.
His harassing capabilities have also increased, making him a slightly better support (and making all damage ticks divisible by 2 for plague wards).
The buff is much smaller compared to the nerf the hero has received. If previous patch was all about adding stuff that pierced spell immunity, this one seems to be concentrated on the things that no longer do.
Overall, this nerf results in the hero not being such a strong counter to many melee carries that rely on their/teammate disables to deal damage - Sven and Lifestealer can chew through Viper in the duration of a stun/silence with more ease, since they will no longer be affected by corrosive skin in their BkB/Rage. Once it is over, however, they will steal eat a Viper Strike to their face and become temporarily useless.
A minor "notice me" buff.
This can make the hero slightly more viable. If earlier Diffusal Blade made the hero useless, now the enemy will have to fight the golem or flee.
Overall, there aren't many natural Diffusal carriers in the game hence this buff was mainly aimed at making the hero viable in certain matchups, frequently related to illusion-based heroes.
A value level into the spell was already a must and now I feel like getting more into it before maxing out geminate attack might be a bettter option.
Stop butchering the hero, please! In reality, this is unlikely to change much about how the hero is played except for Lifestealer matchups. It is no rare to have multiple BkBs in a team, but most players playing against WW already try to spread out, making it hard to catch more than 2-3 targets.
The hero is weaker, that is certain. But it still has Cold Embrace to deal with the said BkB-carrying rightclickers. We will have to adjust and not lose hope.
Depending on the situation you might no longer need to rush Aghs on the hero. The single target damage is the same and you don't always need the bounces to be effective, especially standing in the backlines. So, in a sense, he became more self sufficient with higher damage. Only get Aghs if you have some combo disable - otherwise I feel like survivability/usual support items are preferred.
Some situational buffs possibly in the right places. The whole "second life" theme with the Scepter is gimmicky, but still quite cool. Can ensure your squishy supports don't simply die.
We have discussed most of the effects from item changes in the heroes section, hence will only add information on the items not already covered.
A cool change to the mechanics. Will make wasting aegis a lot more painful when you can see the whole enemy team ganging up on you while you respawn to die the second time.
Invisibility evasion and chasing capabilities are increased with this change. Yet, there is still now way to get extra charges.
A nice buff. Still does not reveal mines.
Might slowly become a more widely used consumable. A nice buff - the item was very underused.
Now a second core item on Undying. Grants armor/survivability and can deal tons of damage to a bough back enemy. I am not even joking - this item can actually make snowballing Undying a thing.
With the provided MS boost it is still possible to catch up to most targets, but at least you are in a worse position and the enemy has more time to react. Still a good item by all means.
Get Octarine Core and enjoy your heal every 30 seconds.
I like this rebalance, especially with strong nerfs to magic damage heroes. The item is still really strong in saving teammates, just not as strong. Still a core on many support heroes.
S&Y into Halberd+Manta into Manta+Silver Edge+Butterfly? As ridiculous as it sounds, we might see this mechanic come into play. Not necessarily in the same form, though.
It is a dispel with a 15 seconds cooldown. A very good item against multiple hexes and strong single-target abilities.
Both of these items being nerfed when it comes to Roshan is something this game really needed. Roshan is supposed to be a tough enemy and with this change he will becomes slightly stronger and will allow for a reaction from the enemy team.
Making it easier for ranged heroes to outpush. Might become the item supports needed late-game to defend high-ground from super creeps while the rest of the team is trying to win.
Lower cost+less hassle in building. A good late-game option AND an interesting tactical option for early-mid game.
A really good catch-up item. Will probably see more play despite the duration nerf. You rarely needed/utilized the whole duration anyways.
A buff the item needed after the introduction of Break mechanic. Still, no longer the Best option in 100% cases, which is good.
More supports can now afford the item and it is really good in certain lineups. It is also better than Aghs upgrades on SK/Shaker.
In my opinion the patch is a lot less crazy than many of us have assumed. For the most part it deals with extremely weak and extremely strong heroes, albeit in a very decisive manner.
What it leads to is potentially more open-ended gameplay. No nerfs were too harsh, or they were complemented with buffs in other areas.
Smaller patches will surely follow in the nearest future in the preparation for the major, while we will be compiling our pub Tier lists and monitoring current trends, so stay tuned!