Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dota 6.80 changelog review/analysis

So the new patch for Dota 6.80 has come out and it's quite a bit earlier than I expected to be honest, we only spent around 3 months with 6.79 so I thought we'd get more time but Icefrog must have decided that the game needs a change to deal with some current issues and we get a pretty decent changelog this time.

I expect we will get 1-2 more patches before TI4 and I don't expect a patch to come out after June to allow the game to stabilize by the next big competition, but anyways let's start with the changelog.
GENERAL
  • You now lose one gold per second if you haven't picked a hero after the selection timer runs out in All Pick
  • All Pick selection time increased from 60 to 75
  • All Pick pre-creep time reduced from 90 to 75
These are very needed changes for pub players, too often people just sit around waiting for the other team to pick heroes so they can counter pick them, as if it makes a difference during low-level matches. Now if you don't pick within 75 seconds, you'll start losing gold and that should be motivation enough to get players to pick faster.
  • Roshan no longer stops upgrading his hp/damage/armor at 45 minutes
  • Roshan upgrade rate increased by 20%
  • Roshan bounty rescaled from 105-600 to 150-400
Roshan will no longer be so easy to kill past 45 minutes, he'll still be quite easy but he'll present a harder challenge than before. Now every 5 minutes Roshan gets 500 HP, 10 damage and 0.5 armor, the 20% increased rate either means he gets those bonuses every 4 minutes OR he gets 600 HP, 12 damage and 0.5 armor every 5 minutes, either way it's the same thing really. Less overall gold just makes Roshan a slightly less worthy investment for teams now since he will be tougher and not quite as fruitful (although still very worth it).
HEROES

Alchemist
 
  • Night vision reduced from 1400 to 800
  • Unstable Concoction maximum shaking duration reduced from 7 to 5.5 [?]
  • Unstable Concoction no longer continues to get stronger while it is in the air
Firstly I never noticed how much night vision Alch had, it really is quite a lot now that I think of it, the nerf to Concoction is quite deadly, it takes 5 seconds to fully charge it up so you only have 0.5 seconds to throw out a maximum powered concoction and if you choose to throw it early it won't gain any strength in the air. Time will tell how badly these changes will affect Alch but it's safe to say stuff like this won't happen anymore.





Ancient Apparition

  • Ice Vortex spell damage amplification increased from 10/15/20/25 to 15/20/25/30
  • Ice Vortex duration increased from 12 to 16
  • Ice Vortex aura stickiness increased from 0.1 to the standard 0.5 aura value
More damage from Ice Vortex, especially at level one is very nice, it's such a spammable spell so making it last longer and do more damage makes it well worth leveling up now to max instead of just putting one point for the slow.



Anti-Mage

  • Mana Void radius increased from 300 to 450
  • Added AoE targeting cursor for Mana Void
450 AOE is really quite big, you can check it out when the game is updated just how big 450 is and with the targeting cursor you can easily tell who you'll be killing when you use Mana Void on some poor Skywrath or Enigma.



Axe

  • Base HP regen increased from 2 to 3
  • Berserker's Call duration increased from 1.5/2/2.5/3 to 2.0/2.4/2.8/3.2
  • Berserker's Call cooldown rescaled from 10 to 16/14/12/10
Nice, even more regen for Axe. Icefrog seems to really like this hero and it's quite surprising how many buffs he's gotten lately, I assume one team will use him soon in a tournament and all others will realize that Axe is a legitimately strong hero now. Till then he'll mostly be used as a pub star.



Batrider

  • Attack animation time improved from 0.5 to 0.3
Poor bat, so many nerfs to this guy over the last few patches, I'm glad to see him get some love but it's nowhere near enough to make him into what he used to be.



Beastmaster

  • Call of the Wild Hawk duration reduced from 60/70/80/80 to 60
  • Call of the Wild Boar duration reduced from 70/80/90 to 60
  • Call of the Wild no longer destroys previous summons on cast
Ah so now you can have 2 hawks and 2 boars....for 20 seconds, more micro and a decent buff for people who can use the summons effectively like scouting out two locations or slowing down two heroes.



Bloodseeker

  • Thirst Bonus Speed and damage rescaled from 7/14/21/28 to 5/15/25/35
  • Bloodbath now gives the full hero kill benefit (instead of only half) if he is within the 325 AoE when a hero dies
Oh wait Bloodseeker is getting more buffs? really? and not small ones either, Thirst is now 25% more effective than it used to be at level 4 and full life from Bloodbath? BS has become a prime tanker now because if teams focus on anyone else then BS can kill someone and go back to full health. Long duration fights suit him perfectly as almost any death will provide him with a ton of life to keep on fighting.



Brewmaster

  • Primal Split cooldown reduced from 180/160/140 to 140/120/100
After the change to how Aghanim affected his cooldown back in 6.79 it's nice to see that the CD goes down by itself now and 40 seconds is quite significant and infact are even better than 6.78 when Aghanim reduced the Cooldown to 160/140/120.



Bristleback

  • Base damage reduced by 4
Needs more nerfs, much more in my opinion as 4 base damage does almost nothing.



Broodmother

  • Can no longer leave the map boundaries [?]
  • Spin Web no longer provides 200 vision
  • Free pathing is now removed when enemies have vision over you [?]
Finally, the amount of bullshit I've seen from Broodmother being able to walk on cliffs and run away whenever she wants is ridiculous, you can't kill her and you can't stop her from pushing and I am so happy this nerf has happened and think it's completely deserved.

No vision from Web is okay, 200 is barely anything to begin with and the removal of free pathing is nice too, still we never got Brood into CM mode to see if she was truly broken or just unstoppable in pubs.



Centaur Warrunner

  • Stampede cooldown reduced from 120/90/60 to 90/75/60
Never understood why Stampede had such a long cooldown on level one, it provided you with max movement speed for a few seconds and you do around maybe 60 damage because of CW's strength along with a slow, it didn't warrant such a long cooldown and 90 seems a lot better.



Clockwerk

  • Hits required to kill Power Cogs rescaled from 3 to 2/2/2/3
Easier to get out of Cogs early one, most people max it out last of all their spells so weakening it's early levels is the best way of nerfing Clockwork.



Crystal Maiden

  • Base intelligence reduced by 3
So Crystal Maiden is now more blonde than ever, since the last patch CM has lost a total of 5 base intel, that's quite something to be honest and relatively unwarranted, she's among the slowest and squishest heroes in dota with a lot of fire (ice) power so I dunno how I feel about all these nerfs but I think CM is being judged too quickly right now.



Dark Seer

  • Ion Shell cooldown reduced from 10 to 9
Relatively useless buff, I mean it's better than this guy getting even more nerfs but it hardly fixes DS. He used to be the #1 offlaner and now you'll be lucky if you ever see him picked up anywhere.



Dazzle

  • Weave duration increased from 20 to 24
Not bad at all, Dazle is quickly getting very powerful right now as Shallow Grave by itself makes him worth considering, combined with a decent heal and slow he's always a good pickup. His ultimate is similar to Venomancer in how they both make long drawn out engagements very risky.



Death Prophet

  • Exorcism cooldown increased from 100 to 115
  • Silence AoE increased from 350 to 425
Exorcism always felt like it lasted too long, so either increasing it's cooldown or reducing is duration is fine with me, the buff to Silence is nice and makes positioning to avoid both Swarm and Silence very important against DP.


Dragon Knight

  • Dragon Tail cooldown rescaled from 9 to 12/11/10/9
Very similar to Clockwork's nerf in that it's his early levels that get changed because very few people level up Dragon Tail early in the game, it's much better to max out his other spells but now you are forced to put more points in DT or you won't be stunning your enemies as much.


Drow Ranger

  • Reworked Silence [?] 
Similar to vengeful Spirit's roar, Drow can now release an AOE knockback that also silences her opponents, the closer they are the further they get pushed back, this allows Drow to keep her distance from her enemies so that her ulti doesn't stop working.

Earth Spirit

  • Stone Remnant recharge timer increased from 25 to 35
  • Geomagnetic Grip now does a 2/3/4/5 second silence instead of a 1/1.5/2/2.5 second stun
  • Geomagnetic Grip damage rescaled from 125 to 100/150/200/250
  • Boulder Smash damage rescaled from 100/150/200/250 to 125
  • Boulder Smash now does a 0.75/1.25/1.75/2.25 second stun instead of a 3.5/4/4.5/5 second silence
  • Boulder Smash radius from 225 to 200
  • Rolling Boulder now also gets interrupted if disabled during the initial 0.6 rolling charge, instead of only while its moving
  • Geomagnetic Grip now kills trees along the path of a dragged allied hero
  • Targeting someone directly with Boulder Smash will now be blocked by Linken's Sphere
  • Fixed being able to cast Geomagnetic Grip on magic immune allies
  • Fixed Boulder Smash being able to target Magic Immune units
  • Fixed Rolling Boulder travel distance going further than intended if you use a Stone Remnant near the end of the roll
Feels more like this hero has been remade than anything else, which fits considering how many people seem to have trouble with him. It's too bad that I have never played this hero and thus know very little of how these changes will affect him.


Earthshaker

  • Base movement speed increased from 300 to 310
  • Strength gain increased from 2.5 to 2.9
10 more movement speed will be useful for ES who always seems a bit clunky for some reason and 0.4 additional strength growth is good too but I gotta wonder why ES is even getting buffed in these two departments to begin with, I would have imagined an even longer Fissure or something.


Enchantress

  • Base armor reduced by 1
I don't think this will make any difference really, Enchantress keeps getting easier to kill but thank's to Untouchable physical attacks don't mean much to her so therefor -1 armor isn't going to change much for her at all.


Enigma

  • Black Hole AoE increased from 375 to 400
  • Black Hole cast range increased from 250 to 275
A slightly bigger Black Hole which Enigma can cast from slightly further distance, it's not big and I really think they should buff BH's cooldown instead but hey we'll take what we can get at this point.


Faceless Void

  • Chronosphere cooldown reduced from 120/110/100 to 120/100/80
  • You now have 1000 movement speed and phase while you are in Chronosphere
  • Timewalk manacost reduced from 120 to 90
In the old days Chrono was just this massive AOE ultimate that stopped everyone but Void from moving but now Void also gets 1000 movement speed, phase and deals double damage of Timelock while in the Chrono, too often enemies are on two sides o the Sphere and Void ends up wasting time trying to reach both so this helps that a lot. Timewalk always had too high a manacost so that's been fixed too.


Huskar

  • Burning Spear duration increased from 7 to 8
  • Inner Vitality bonus heal below 40% increased from 15/30/45/60% of primary attribute to 30/45/60/75%
  • Inner Vitality cast range increased from 450 to 550
Burning Speaks now last longer allowing for more damage and stacks to happen, Inner Vitality is a better spell when you're in trouble as it heals even more now than it used to be and you can cast it from further distance, allowing Huskar to save allies in a bind (especially strength allies).


Invoker

  • Forge Spirits armor reduced from 2/3/4/5/6/7/8 to 0/1/2/3/4/5/6
  • Forge Spirits attack range reduced from 300->900 to 300->690
  • EMP burn increased from 100->400 to 100->550
  • EMP delay from 3.7->2 to 2.6
  • Alacrity manacost reduced from 75 to 45
  • Ghost Walk movement speed from -30/-25/-20/-15/-10/-5/0 to -30/-20/-10/0/10/20/30
Forge Spirits have been the staple spell of choice for Invoker players, they can reduce armor, harass enemies, last hit and push the lane for him so nerfing them was almost inevitable. EMP now burns more mana in higher levels but has the same time delay all the time, this is a good thing because it allows players to get used to one timing instead of having to remember "oh is it 3.1 seconds delay now or 2.8?" 

Ghost walk is an actually useful escape now because Invoker won't be crawling when he uses it.


Jakiro

  • Ice Path damage rescaled from 25/50/75/100 to 50
  • Liquid Fire DPS increased from 10/15/20/25 to 15/20/25/30
  • Dual Breath burn and slow duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Dual Breath DPS increased from 5/10/15/20 to 16/36/56/76
  • Dual Breath damage interval improved from every 1 second to every 0.5 seconds
  • Dual Breath Attack Speed slow increased from -20 to -30
  • Removed initial impact damage from Dual Breath [?]
I don't like the change to Ice Path but I think Icey is going to buff it this way, next patch it will deal 60 damage, then 75 and so on until it's back to doing 100 or something. Liquid fire does decent damage at level 1 (75) so I think everyone will consider putting a point in it early for the sake of harassing the lane. Dual Breath has been buffed and well at that by slowing the enemy for one second longer while generally retaining the same amount of damage.

Juggernaut

  • Blade Fury cooldown reduced from 30/28/26/24 to 30/27/24/21
That's nice I guess, not really gonna chance much.

Keeper of the Light

  • Mana Leak stun duration increased from 1.3/1.6/1.9/2.2 to 1.5/2/2.5/3
Decent change although Mana Leak in itself is a bit of a weak spell, adding 0.8 more stun time won't bring Kotl back into the meta though, he's just too fragile and doesn't scale very well late game.

Legion Commander

  • Moment of Courage now only procs one extra lifesteal attack [?]
  • Moment of Courage buff grace period increased from 0.5 to 1.0 seconds
  • Moment of Courage cooldown reduced from 1.2 to 0.9
Another hero I am not an expert on nor do I like to begin with, however I'm guessing she got buffed because she can use MOC more and it's buff lasts longer, infact if you're very lucky you can be under MOC for 3-4 seconds continuously which you couldn't do before so that seems nice... I think

Leshrac

  • Lightning Storm jumps from 4/6/7/8 to 4/5/6/7
  • Lightning Storm damage from 80/145/205/265 to 80/140/200/260
  • Lightning Storm cooldown reduced from 5.5 to 4
  • Lightning Storm manacost reduced from 100/115/130/145 to 90/100/110/120
Lightning storm jumps slightly less which I think is extremely insignificant unless Leshrac's base is being pummeled in which case it sort of matters, 5 less damage is going to ruin this hero or something as there isn't much logic to 5 damage to talk about. Cooldown buff is significant, you can throw out one Storm every 4 seconds and those things take a toll on enemies and the lowered cooldown also comes with lower manacost so you'll be spamming that thing in a teamfight.

Lina

  • Dragon Slave Initial/Final AoE increased from 275/150 to 275/200
  • Fiery Soul duration increased from 7 to 9
  • Fiery Soul movement speed increased from 4/5/6/7% to 5/6/7/8%
I always thought Dragon Slave got bigger as it moved out but apparently it didn't. Still now the final Aoe is close to the initial AOE after being roughly half of it. Fiery Soul has been buffed again as it always has which means Lina can become an even better semi-carry if she doesn't die too often in the game.

Lion

  • Aghanim's Scepter now causes Finger of Death to hit units within a 200 AoE of the primary target
This was a suggested Aghanim upgrade for Lion somewhere on the Playdota forums, Icefrog still reads those and this makes Lion devastating in lineups that include heroes like Darkseer, Magnus and Enigma. All foes shall feel the finger now.

Lone Druid

  • Spirit Bear's Entangle is no longer an Orb Effect
An interesting buff that allows the Spirit Bear to use more items, a lot of players used to get Maelstorm on LD but you can't get both Maelstorm and Entangle to proc on the same hit despite how useful Maelstorm is on the Bear. Well now players can and I think we might see more LD in the competitive scene.

Lycan

  • Wolves Fade Time decreased from 3 to 1.7
  • Level 3 Lycan Wolves now have Invisibility
  • Level 4 Lycan Wolves now have a passive ability that gives them 15 HP regen
Good fade time reduction, those wolves used to spend their entire time being visible and weren't very good at scouting because they can be killed by the time they fade. They also acquire invisibility earlier and have strong regen at level 4. I like these changes but as they don't help Lycan jungle before level 7 they may not be as significant as people think they are. 

Magnus

  • Base intelligence increased by 2
More Shockwave spam early on and that's pretty much it, a small buff to Magnus's laning stage.

Medusa

  • Mana Shield damage absorption increased from 0.75/1.25/1.75/2.25 to 1/1.5/2/2.5
Mana Shield is slightly more effective at all levels, allowing Medusa to come online a little bit sooner. It's not a major buff but a hard carry like Medusa always carries the risk of being too strong if her skills get buffed a tiny bit too far, so these small number changes might be enough to make her a viable pick on all levels.

Meepo

  • Divided We Stand level requirement reduced from 4/11/18 to 3/10/17
  • Divided We Stand now passively reduces your revive timer by 10%/20%/30%
Ah Meepo, the least used hero in Dota I believe, too complicated and annoying to master and easily brought down if underfarmed, Divided We Stand now activates even sooner at level 3 and reduces how long it takes to come back to life, 10% at level 1 will be mostly useless since you're only going to be dead for 15 seconds in the early game anyways. I have a feeling that eventually Meepo will just start level 1 with a free clone or something.

Morphling

  • You can now cast and attack while in Waveform
I believe Morphling used to be able to do this before then Waveform got nerfed and he couldn't. Until now that is and this is more evidence of powercreep as heroes can do more and more things that were considered overpowered in the past but seem perfectly normal now.

Nature's Prophet

  • Wrath of Nature manacost increased from 150/200/250 to 175/225/275
175 mana is quite a lot early game actually, most of the nerfs Furion gets are to his manacosts such as when his teleport used to have 20 mana cost but now it's 50 at all levels. Doesn't change much but this is a change that will sometimes be felt in the early game.

Necrophos

  • Death Pulse now hits units in Fog of War
I never liked how heroes can dodge effects by hiding in the forest, I believe Queen of Pain can use her scream to target units hidden in Fog of War so why not Necro as well?

Night Stalker

  • Crippling Fear's night miss chance increased from 40 to 50%
You can now reduce enemy carry's DPS by exactly 50% if you use Crippling Fear at the right time, of course it also makes you consider who you use it on, the enemy Magnus with his big RP or the scary Sven doing 700 cleave damage?

Nyx Assassin

  • Cast Range on Impale now matches the travel range [?]
This allows you to aim further away with Impale, before Impale went further than the range you could target, making long range skill shots a bit difficult but now you can target a point and Nyx will stun there exactly if it is within range.

Ogre Magi

  • Unrefined Fireblast manacost changed from 400 to 60% of your current mana [?]
Ooooh I like this a lot, this means you can pretty much use UF at anytime you want, if you have 10 mana it will simply cost you 6 mana to use. Of course you should be wise to using it when you're full as taking away 60% of your manapool can be huge, that's 600 if you have 1000 current mana so best thing to do is to cast the normal Fireblast and ignite early then to start spamming UF.

Omni Knight

  • Degen Aura stickiness increased from 1.0 to 2.0 seconds [?]
Now you can attack enemies and they won't be able to leave you fast enough to escape the slow, nice but Omni is hardly known for his chasing ability so buffing his arguably weakest spell won't add much to the guy.

Outworld Devourer

  • Astral Imprisonment cast range reduced from 550 to 500
Minor nerf, still one of the strongest mid heroes in the game.

Phantom Assassin

  • Invisible heroes now trigger Blur
  • Blur delay reduced from 1.5 to 0.75
Ah so Blur works as an even better warning system for PA, if you suddenly get Blurred and there are no enemies in sight that may mean a nearby Nyx or Bounty are waiting for you. It also activates faster so you should be able to escape invisible enemies now.

Queen of Pain

  • Sonic Wave Scepter cooldown rescaled from 100/70/40 to 40
Hmm.... on the fence here, does this seem balanced? 40 second cooldown on such a damage AOE ultimate seems much but now it's on all levels, I would have preferred it if was perhaps 60/50/40 but then again it's unlikely that QoP can farm Aghanim before level 11 anyways. 


Riki

  • Base HP regen increased from 0.75 to 1.5
Thanks to his high armor and now increased regen Riki could make a comeback to the competitive scene, this guy does insane amounts of damage yet is usually ignored by a lot of players on all levels of play, he's much harder to counter than just dropping a sentry yet that's the impression players of the Stealth assassin. 



Sand King

  • Sand Storm radius rescaled from 275/325/375/525 to 525
Big Aoe increases here, allows SK to simply stand in the lane with his Sand Storm if he chooses to and harass his opponents, I like it.


Shadow Demon

  • Shadow Poison max effective stacks increased from 4 to 5
For a while now SD has had his Poison buffed by having more range and more AoE and now it even stacks more and this is a big change if players are good at landing his poison because the damage goes from 160/280/400/520 damage for 4 stacks (x8) to 320/560/800/1040 damage for 5 stacks (x16). Imagine doing 1040 damage by level 7.


Shadow Shaman

  • Shackles duration increased from 2.5/3.25/4/4.75 to 2.75/3.5/4.25/5
  • Mass Serpent Wards can no longer trap Roshan
Small buff to Shackles but losing the ability to trap Roshan while harsh is well deserved, it was incredibly cheap to see Shamans trap him at level 6 and get a free Aegis basically.



Silencer

  • Global Silence cooldown reduced from 140 to 130
I wouldn't mind if it went down even further, 130 seconds is still a long time but hey it's a step in the right direction for one of the best supports in the game.



Skywrath Mage

  • Mystic Flare damage increased from 600/900/1200 to 600/1000/1400
Magic damage tapers off a lot in the later portions of the game except for Skywrath and that's thanks to the massive potential of Mystic Flare, if players can land a good Flare the enemy is as good as dead.


Slardar

  • Bash damage increased from 40/50/60/70 to 40/60/80/100
Insane, insane even if the numbers don't seem so big, 30 more physical damage might seem like a small thing but Bash procs a lot and is hugely amplified by... well Amplify Damage so Slardar is getting closer and closer to being a very powerful carry.



Slark

  • Pounce damage reduced from 70/140/210/280 to 60/120/180/240
  • Shadow Dance cooldown reduced from 65 to 60
I never liked the reworked Shadow Dance, the old one was good enough and the new one has too long a cooldown, reducing it by 5 seconds isn't going to fix that. Pounce does less damage but I don't think that's going to be a major issue for now.



Sniper

  • Take Aim range bonus increased from 80/160/240/320 to 100/200/300/400
Sniper is now well named with an attack range of 950 (!!) at level 4 of Take Aim, that's insane and I joked about how players will continue to ignore Sniper even if he can shoot from one fountain to another but it seems like Icefrog might really allow him to do that soon.


Spirit Breaker

  • You now gain vision over your target while you are casting Netherstrike
Ahh this allows Netherstrike to not be interrupted by Fog of War, 1.2 second cast time is far too long and allowed many enemies to simply run up a hill or into the trees and dodge Netherstrik, that's fixed now.



Storm Spirit

  • Base movement speed reduced from 295 to 290
This might matter if Storm actually walked anywhere, regardless you'll still be using Ball Lightning to zip around the map so this is nothing.



Sven

  • Base armor increased by 3
  • Warcry cooldown reduced from 36/30/24/18 to 32/26/20/14
Big buff to base armor, Sven will not be brought down easily and Warcry is more spammable now. Sven used to be a strong carry but fell out of favor for some reason and now we might see a resurgence in his popularity.



Terrorblade

  • Sunder cooldown reduced from 160/110/60 to 120/80/40
  • Sunder is no longer partially blocked by Magic Immunity
  • Reflection cast range increased from 250 to 275
Hmm I haven't played Terrorblade since I moved to Dota 2 years ago and I wonder how he will fit into the game now, he is a decent carry but has no farming ability. Sunder I believe used to trade HP with magic immune heroes without affecting them but that's gone now and Sunder fully bypasses magic immunity and always does it's full effect. Perhaps this hero can be used to counter Naix now?



Tidehunter

  • Kraken Shell debuff threshold reduced from 600 damage taken to 600/550/500/450
  • Kraken Shell damage block increased from 9/18/27/36 to 10/20/30/40
I miss seeing this guy in games, ever since magnus showed up Tide has fallen out of favour because his ultimate doesn't affect magic immune heroes. Kraken shell having a 600 damage cap always seemed way too high for me so I'm glad it's down to 450 at max levels, this does make Tide a bit hard to level up as all his spells are really good now.



Timbersaw

  • Base strength reduced from 25 to 22
Hmm.... that's 3 less damage and 57 less life, seems okay and makes bringing Timber down early game a bit easier.



Tinker

  • Added Aghanim's Scepter: Doubles Laser cast range and Heat-Seeking missile count
So now Laser has a 1100 cast range and rockets fire 4 of them per attack, those are big changes and now you can either spam March or throw Missles to bring down enemies, Tinker just got a whole lot more versatile.



Treant Protector

  • Overgrowth AoE increased from 625 to 675
  • Nature's Guise cast range increased from 300 to 600
Meh change to Overgrowth, the most boring ultimate in the game. The change to Nature's guise though is well deserved as now you don't have to hug allies to turn them invisible but can case it from a decent range away.



Troll Warlord

  • Fervor max stacks rescaled from 2/3/4/5 to 4
  • Fervor attack speed per stack rescaled from 20 to 16/22/28/34
Ah so basically you go from 20/40/60/80/100 attack speed to 64/88/112/136 attack speed, so nice buff here especially at the early levels.



Tusk

  • Secondary units hit by the Snowball now take the same impact as the primary unit [?]
  • Removed 50% threshold mechanic from Walrus Punch
  • Walrus Punch base crit increased from 3x to 3.5x
I believe this means Walrus punch always does 3.5 damage regardless of enemy life? is that right? I think so and Snowball got buffed as well although I think it's cooldown is still a bit too high at 21 seconds.



Undying

  • Soul Rip cooldown reduced from 25/20/15/10 to 24/18/12/6
Excellent, very nice change here since all Undying does in a fight is spam decay and run around spreading his Ultimate form aura but now you can also spam Soul Rip a little instead of using it every 10 seconds.



Vengeful Spirit

  • Wave of Terror armor reduction increased from 2/3/4/5 to 3/4/5/6
Decent, still miss the days when it used to reduce enemy damage as well as armor.



Venomancer

  • Base damage reduced by 5
  • Base HP regen reduced from 0.75 to the default 0.25
I feel like Venomancer is overrated, he's not as strong as people make him out to be and because of that he got nerfed here to doing 5 less base damage and having less life regen. Less base damage isn't huge because you won't be last hitting but it's still annoying to lose as well as less HP regen means you'll be munching on a couple of more tangos now.



Visage

  • Base movement speed reduced by 5
  • Grave Chill manacost rescaled from 70/80/90/100 to 100
  • Familiars are now properly magic immune [?]
Visage now moves at 285 movement and that's quite slow actually... like really slow in fact. Grave chill costs more mana now at early levels which is important because people used to max it out last to conserve mana. Familiars being fully magic immune makes them no longer weak to Bane who could just brain sap them before.



Warlock

  • Upheaval max duration increased from 12 to 16
Have you ever channeled Upheaval for 12 seconds and then thought "my god, if ONLY I could have slowed my enemies down for another 4 seconds"? well now you can so congrats on that.


Windranger

  • Focus Fire manacost reduced from 200/300/400 to 150
  • Focus Fire no longer has a cast animation
Focus fire had way too high a manacost and it was such a weak ability to begin with, now it's more balanced (and useful) since you can just cast it immediately without losing all your mana. 



Witch Doctor

  • Maledict AoE increased from 150 to 165
  • Voodoo Restoration initial manacost reduced from 25/50/75/100 to 20/30/40/50
  • Paralyzing Casks can now bounce to units in Fog of War
I love Maledict and it's concept a lot but it's very hard to land and has such a low cast range, this is a small buff and hopefully will be enough as buffing it too much would easily make it overpowered. Nice reduction to the cost of Voodoo and Casks hitting in Fog of War is really nice as well, overall just decent buffs to all his spells apart from his ultimate.



Wraith King

  • Reincarnation slow increased from 50 to 75%
  • Reincarnation slow duration increased from 4 to 5
Firstly I am pissed we got the Wraith King instead of the Skeleton king, that dude was awesome and this new guy just looks boring compared to him. As for the changes themselves they just affect his ultimate and at first I wondered if that matters but 75% reduction to attack speed is a big deal to almost everyone and it lasts for 5 seconds? sure few teams ever focus on WK until all his allies are dead but ignoring him is almost as bad. This buff makes more sense the more I think about it. 

Zeus
  • Arc Lightning cast range increased from 700 to 850
Zues used to be a famously strong middle and this gives him the ability to hopefully make his return into the competitve scene, being able to use Arc from so far away will keep Zues safe while still dealing good damage to his enemies, overall a good change for him. 

ITEMS


Animal Courier

  • Ground Courier bounty per player reduced from 175 to 150 [?]
Seems there is something odd going on with couriers lately as last patch the ground courier got more life and now they provide less bounty but I'm kinda okay with that since it's no real difference, before killing the courier got you 875 gold for the entire team and now it gives 750 instead which hardly matters.


Arcane Boots

  • Manacost increased by 10
It costs 35 mana now to get 135 mana, so basically using Arcane now just provides you with 100 mana instead of 110, again small changes that don't really change much of the item.


Battle Fury

  • Cleave AoE increased from 225 to 250
Nice.


Blink Dagger

  • Blink no longer has a manacost [?]
This is significant, 75 manacost was relatively negligible before but now it can be completely ignored as Blink costs nothing and that means if you have dagger you can fire every point of mana offensively and run away, it also means you don't have to calculate 75 mana into your combo of spells which is a buff to heroes like Earth shaker, Tinker, Magnus and so on.



Bottle

  • Can now be used on your allies by holding down the Control key [?]
Ah so now I can heal allies without being forced to share bottle, wonder if it works with runes?


Diffusal Blade

  • Agility bonus increased from 22/26 to 25/30
I don't really use Diffusal that much, it's a great item for heroes with Illusions but apart from that it's rarely worth getting, providing 3/4 more agility is nice but won't change my opinion of the item.


Drums of Endurance

  • Number of charges increased from 4 to 5
  • Recipe cost increased from 800 to 875
Every patch Drums gets slightly worse, it used to give 9 damage and the recipe only cost 700, now it provides no bonus damage and the recipe is 175 gold more and instead all you get in return is 1 extra charge which I think is barely worth it. I know every hero benefits from Drums but does that make it overpowered? hmm.



Eul's Scepter of Divinity

  • Cyclone cooldown reduced from 25 to 23
An underrated item that provides a lot of bonuses for relatively cheap, this buff is more to draw attention to it than to actually make the iem much stronger, 2 second CD reduction is just here to remind players that Eul exists.


Force Staff

  • Force travel speed is reduced [?]
It's now almost twice as slow for Force Staff to push people around but it's still very fast, will make a slight difference in some situations but item is unchanged.


Iron Branch

  • Gold cost reduced from 53 to 50
Ahhh, this is interesting for me, players start with 625 gold and if you buy wards and courier, that leaves 325 gold, you need tangos of course so that's 200 gold left to buy and with branches only consting 50 gold you can afford to buy 3 branches and a clarity or even 4 branches. This also reduces the price of Wand, Meka and Pipe very slightly.


Mask of Madness

  • Lifesteal increased from 17% to 20%
A subtle buff to heroes that get this item a lot (Sven, Void) buffing a hero too much would be too forceful so Icefrog cleverly buffs commonly used items for that hero in an effort to make them stronger. 


Mjollnir

  • Changed the area type that is used when Static Charge hit units [?]
When it procs it searches in a 900 AOE around the target for the next person to jump to, very similar to Lich's ulti and I guess this is a buff (?).


Necronomicon

  • Necronomicon units bounty increased from 100/125/150 to 100/150/200
  • Necronomicon units armor reduced from 6/8/10 to 4
  • Necronomicon cooldown increased from 80 to 95 
If there was one thing you can say about 6.79 it's that too many people were getting Necro books, these things were popping up everywhere once people realized how damn strong they are and they got well nerfed here by making them provide more gold when killed, easier to kill and having a longer delay between being summoned. Personally I'm okay as long as their offensive abilities are untouched so this is fine for me.


Observer Ward

  • Can be targeted on allies to transfer one charge
I cannot be the only one who clicked on an ally to give them wards and warded the fountain, it's too common a problem and this also allows players to be able to ward two spots early game without forcing one guy to run around from two ends of the map. Just give your offlane one ward so he can block the pull camp and you can go ward the runes or something.


Radiance

  • Attack damage bonus increased from 60 to 65
Cool, always wondered why Radiance didn't increase the damage from sacred relic.


Refresher Orb

  • Recipe cost reduced from 1875 to 1800
Still a very expensive item but hey it's about 2 creeps cheaper now so that's something.


Ring of Aquila

  • Agility bonus increased from 6 to 9
I believe that until this buff Aquila was the only item that didn't provide anything extra when it was made, it had exactly the same stats as Ring of Basilus and a Wraith Band except in one slot but now it provides 3 more agility which is kinda useful for the heroes who get it. I find it core one some heroes like Weaver and Potm so I'm happy with this change. 


Rod of Atos

  • HP bonus increased from 325 to 350
How does this item keep getting buffed? does no one use it? it's a 60% slow for 4 seconds along with 25 int and 350 life, all for 3100 gold people. Come on people buy it already before Icefrog starts nerfing it when he realizes how good this item is.


Sange and Yasha

  • Sange and Yasha slow duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds
  • Sange and Yasha slow increased from 30 to 32%
A slightly longer better slow that lasts longer, doesn't fix the fact that SNY provides too general stats for what it costs. People want something more specialized that focuses on doing one thing like increasing damage (Deso) or providing magic Immunity (BKB) and SNY just tries to do too much without doing enough of one thing.


Sentry Ward

  • Can be targeted on allies to transfer one charge
Same as Observer wards.


Shadow Amulet

  • Fade delay improved from 1.8 to 1.5
  • Can now be used on allies [?]
Decent fade delay but the more important part is being able to use it on allies, good buff but nobody buys this item just for itself, it will be made into a Shadow blade and therefore can't help allies anymore.


Shiva's Guard

  • Arctic Blast range increased from 719 to 900
  • Arctic Blast speed increased from 300 to 350
Decent sized buffs on an already good item really, can't add much to this.


Smoke of Deceit

  • Duration decreased from 40 to 35
Lasts too long to begin with and if you can't find someone by 35 seconds you probably wouldn't have by 40 anyways. Plus this allows teams to realize quicker when a gank has failed and try something new instead of wasting an additional 5 seconds searching for enemies.


Teleport Scrolls

  • Stacking delay decreased from 3/5/6/7/8 to 3/5/5.5/6/6.5
  • Max targeting range increased from 525 to 575 [?]
The stacking delay is okay I guess, how often will 5 heroes tp into the same area anyways? even if it's the base itself they will usually tp to different buildings. meh.


Tranquil Boots

  • Movement speed increased from 85 to 90
  • HP Regen increased from 10 to 12 [?]
Now an even better item for support roamers, still don't like it because it's practically useless in a teamfight where it's easy to be hit by a few stray AOE spells and lose the movement speed.


Veil of Discord

  • Strength/Agility/Damage bonus increased from 3 to 6
Veil is to Int heroes what Aquilla is to Agility heroes, it now provides 6 to all stats and an amazing active ability, it really should be picked up already and this should be the change that makes that happen.