Saturday, 26 April 2014

Dota 6.81 Patch analysis.

Welcome everyone and welcome to my post on the changes for Dota patch 6.81. This will most likely be the final patch released before the International 4 and therefore there are a lot of changes added into the game so that all teams must adapt and use new strategies in the coming tournaments. I'm also pretty sure we will get minor number tweaks here and there in 6.81a and maybe even a 6.81b but overall this is the last patch update till next august or september.

So let's review the changes shall we? I won't mention all the bugs and visual changes and instead I'll just focus on gameplay, heroes and items.


* Roshan base armor increased by 1

Since 1 armor = 6% more protection against phyiscal attacks this means Roshan is roughly 6% slower to bring down, not exactly a big change and won't really affect anything except really close teamfights in the Roshan pit.

* Attack Speed now always continually adjusts based on the latest modifications applied to the unit 

Ahhh this is quite interesting, what it does is let's say a hero has been slowed and attacks once every 3 seconds now, the duration of the attack speed slow lasts for 4 seconds, before he'd attack once in 4 seconds, have 1 second left of attack and that one second makes his entire next attack also take 3 seconds, essentially being similar to a 6 second attack speed slow, hope that was easy to understand.

To put it more simply all attack speed slows have been nerfed basically.

* Melee illusions created by a Rune of Illusion take 200% instead of 300% damage

Arguably the worst rune in the game has gotten better, Melee heroes seem to have quite a few advantages against ranged these days, with better usage of Manta, Basher and Heaven's halberd and now even Runes are more useful for Melee heroes than range, not bad.


* Aghanim's Scepter Borrowed Time now redirects 35% of all damage dealt to nearby allied heroes to Abaddon when active

Basically this means that Abaddon now provides Dispersion to all nearby allies and it's not something small like 400 Aoe, it's freaking 900 and that's just huge. Abaddon used to just have a longer duration Borrowed time but now it's pretty damn useful in all situations, it also means players will definitely want to get Aghanim as not only does it redirect damage back to the enemy but the returned damage also doesn't affect your allies, making everyone 35% tankier if they are close. This would also work wonderfully with Blade Mail and Spectre Dispersion.

Thing is though Aghanim isn't the cheapest item and that means Abaddon will be played as less of a support if players want to get Aghanim on him and it's too good to pass up.

Lastly because of how good Aghanim Abaddon is now Doom, Axe and Ancient Apparation will be very important if teams pick him up.

  • Chilling Touch attack speed reduction increased from -15 to -20
I believe AA is one of if not the most picked Support hero last patch, with two incredible abilities in Chilling Touch and Ice Blast he simply had a ton of damage to provide all game, the nerf to CT attack speed is small but it's there to show that AA's extreme popularity is noticed and we might expect more nerfs in the future, overall the hero is weaker but not by too much.

  • Mana Void's area of effect increased from 450 to 500
 An even bigger AOE for Mana Void, this skill started out at what, 250 or something? it's doubled since it's turned into AOE damage and before that it was even a single target spell.

More AOE makes it easier to catch more enemies in it's effect = AM slightly better.

  * Counter Helix now uses Pseudo Random chance

Here's the difference between True Random and Psuedo Random. True random means it's always 17% chance you will proc something, if it's proced 20 times in a row the 21st will still have a 17% chance, Psuedo random means each time it procs in a row the ability chance to happen lowers, example if it is 17% and axe spins, the chance he will spin on his next attack is 16% and if he does spin it goes down to 15% and so on until he doesn't spin on an attack and the chance goes back to 17%

It also works the other way, if Axe is attacked and doesn't Helix, it goes from 17% to 18% and continues to climb until Axe uses Helix, the benefit of Psuedo random is it makes heroes less likely to be luck based (Ogre Magi) and more likely to use any procing ability, Axe is more likely to Helix now if 5 attacks in a row don't get punished, he is also less likely to keep spinning on every hit.

Overall Axe is less luck based and will perform less randomly and become more consistent.

* Flaming Lasso mana cost increased from 150 to 225

What? even MORE nerfs to Batrider? I mean come on dude this guy has had way too many nerfs in the last what 5 patches at least? although to be fair despite the many nerfs Bat receives he never disappears from the competitive scene as he is still quite powerful, this nerf doesn't hurt so much though when you think about it, last patch Blink Dagger went from 75 mana to 0 and in this patch Lasso cost 225 more so overall Bat spends the same mana to blink+lasso as he did back in 6.79.

  • Base damage increased by 4
That's nice, easier last hitting early game and overall more damage, not much to add just Beasmaster is slightly better at physical damage.

  • Bloodrage cast point improved from 0.6 to 0.4
  • Bloodrage can no longer be dispelled 
I like the cast point improvement, you will spend less time casting it allowing you to close the gap faster and land more hits, Bloodrage has been removing buffs for a couple of patches already but now it cannot be dispelled by using items like BKB or Manta, I assume this means spells cannot remove it also like Apothic shield or Repel so it seems like Bloodrage is a form of Doom now in a way isn't it?

  • Track cast range increased from 900/1050/1200 to 1200
I'll be honest and say I never even knew Track's casting range improved per level but it's great that it now has 1200 cast range at all levels which is big by the way. You can see the difference is huge now.

  • If you have not attacked for 10 seconds, your next attack will always activate a Drunken Brawler critical hit
  • If you have not been attacked for 10 seconds, Drunken Brawler will cause you to evade the next attack
This makes Drunken Brawler something like a cooldown spell a little, if you don't get attacked for 10 seconds you're guaranteed a critical and a dodge the next time you get into a fight, this is quite useful when it comes to sieging the enemy as it takes quite a while of standing around not doing much so when the fight begins you have a crit and a dodge ready, also while traveling to runes you won't be attacked, going for a gank you'll probably be safe for 10 seconds and when you blink in on enemies you can thunder clap, hit them with a critical then use Primal Split for a pretty damaging combo.

  • Warpath no longer has unique values for the first movement speed stack
  • Warpath movement speed stack bonus increased from 1/2/3% to 3/4/5%
Ah so let's see how this goes, before you start with 5% and with 4 more stacks you end up with 9% ms at level 1. Now it gives 3% every time you use it at level 1 and at 5 stacks that's a total of 15% MS so that's quite a buff eh?

Level 3 used to max out at 28% but now it's 35% ( 7 stacks x 5% MS) so it's not a huge change but it is a nice buff and makes Bristleback a little bit speedier, not that I like that at all because I already think the hero is too strong and buffing him more just makes him even more overpowered but that's just my opinion.

  • Spiderling's Poison Sting damage per second increased from 4 to 8
  • Spin Web's free pathing no longer deactivates when enemy has vision on Broodmother
  • Spin Web's free pathing is now disabled for 3 seconds when Broodmother takes damage 
  • Insatiable Hunger lifesteal increased from 40/60/80% to 60/80/100%
Hmm Spiderling poison lasts 2 seconds on heroes and now does 16 instead of 8 damage, I don't believe it stacks either so that's a rather...pointless buff.

Spin Web caused a lot of issues when it gave free pathing the first time, Ice Frog then changed it so that Brood cannot just run away if enemy see her but that made Brood Mother go back to being unused so now you get free Pathing so long as you don't take damage, if you get hit you can't run away and that seems fair for now, I'll have to play against Brood a few times but it's definitely better than when she had free pathing all the damn time.

More lifesteal on her ultimate is good, particularly now that level 1 has the same lifesteal as her old level 2.

  • Hoof Stomp mana cost increased from 85/100/115/130 to 130
The biggest change here is to his early game, Centaur starts with 195 mana so before he could afford to Stomp twice in a fight as it only cost him 170 mana, now it's 260 so that's a big hit to his mana pool although thankfully his ultimate still only costs 80 mana.

The big change here is that players will want to max out Hoof Stomp earlier now, you're paying 130 mana regardless of spell level so you might as well get more damage and stun time out of it, whether people will prioritize Hoof Stomp over Double edge is unlikely though.

  • Phantasm now has a 50% chance to create one extra illusion when cast
I do like the "randomness" of Chaos Knight, his nuke has random damage and stun time, he has a chance to crit on his attacks and when he uses his Reality Rift it puts him and the targeted enemy in a random point between them, now Phantasm has a chance to produce an extra Illusion when it's used which is a really big deal as every Illusion does the same damage as the original. So now every spell of Chaos Knight has some sort of random factor in it, you can't predict exactly what will happen when this guy casts any of his spells.

  • Penitence cooldown reduced from 14 to 14/13/12/11
Ooookay that's nice I suppose, sometimes a hero has just a small number change and there isn't much to say about it, Chen has a minor buff to Penitence at higher levels, congrats.

  • Death Pact cooldown reduced from 45 to 45/40/35
This is interesting, it's now possible to almost always be under the effect of Death Pact since it has a 35 second cooldown at max level and lasts 35 seconds as well, you'll have to find creeps of course but apart from that you can always be under Death Pact, it also makes farming a bit faster at level 2 and 3 as you can use it more liberally on creeps now.

 * Poison Touch no longer causes a ministun

Whenever Dazzle uses Poison Touch it ministuns the enemy when it first lands, interrupting channeling spells and teleports but that's no longer the case since the ministun has been removed so you can freely teleport when you see a Dazzle coming which is quite annoying but I suppose it's alright since having a spell that ministuns the enemy then stuns them again 2 seconds later (at level 4 Poison Touch) is a bit overpowered for Dazzle.

  • Kinetic Field cooldown reduced from 14 to 14/13/12/11
Similar to what I said about Chen but this is more important because Kinetic Field is a better spell and lowering it's cooldown makes Disruptor a bigger threat. Hero is still the same.

* Doom damage no longer ignores magic shields

Ah so Doom used to go through anything that blocked magic damage, such as as Pipe, the question I have is does Apothic Shield absorb the Doom damage? I'm not sure of the mechanics there, I think Ember Spirit's Fire Guard would block Doom's damage as well but what other magic shield are there?

Repel doesn't count since it's a magic block spell so apart from Pipe, Apothic shield and Fire Guard are there no spells that absorb magic damage? I'm not even sure Apothic shield even counts in fact.

  • Gust knockback duration increased from 0.2 to 0.5
I assume the range of the spell is the same but it knocks them back slower so it takes more time, this is a good buff as it gives Drow more time to land hits, roughly 0.3 seconds more time but Drow hits really fast so it's pretty good.

  • Stone Remnant recharge time reduced from 35 to 30
When Earth spirit was changed in the last patch he has all but disappeared from the game completely, I do not believe I have seen the hero more than 5 times in the entire 6.80 patch which is shocking considering how popular he was in the previous patch, I have no experience using this hero but I do know that Stone Remnant is important for all his spells so hopefully this buff brings him back into the game.

  • Creeps no longer try to path around Fissure; they will wait for it to disappear
  • Echo Slam no longer ignores units that are invisible or in Fog of War
The first change is to stop creeps from going to other lanes or into the neutral camps as demonstrated here.

Nice! Echo Slam now hurts everyone in it's radius regardless of how they hide or if they go invisible, this is beautiful and should have been a part of this hero a long time ago if you ask me but I'm glad it's finally here.

  • Echo Stomp mana cost reduced from 100/115/130/145 to 100
  • Echo Stomp physical and magical damage increased from 80 to 80/85/90/95 each
Another hero who has been absent from both the competitive scene and pub games, ET is quite powerful yet somehow people have been preferring other offlaners for quite a while now, I don't believe this change is big enough to make him worth picking again but he might fit in with some Niche lineups or something, it's really more to remind players that ET still exists in the game. The damage buff is quite small at only 30 more damage at level 4 and Echo Stomp is the spell that is maxed last so the buff to it's mana cost is also negligible.

  • Searing Chains duration reduced from 2/2/3/3 to 1/2/2/3 
  • Sleight of Fist bonus damage reduced from 30/60/90/120 to 20/40/60/80
I'll start with Sleight of Fist first, I have actually been thinking of this skill for a while now since I have picked up Ember Spirit quite a lot and I knew it would get nerfed eventually, of all the nerfs to Fist though this is the least painful one, if the cooldown was increased you can't spam Fist anymore, if the manacost is increased you'd have the same problem and if the AOE was reduced you'd have a harder time aiming the spell, lowering it's damage while a nerf is really tame compared to what could have happened and what's 40 damage really?

The change to Chains is more important, firstly now players have to put in at least 2 points in Chains otherwise you get a 1 second disable that does 80 damage which is pathetic. And you can't just put 3 points either because at level 3 it still only disables for 2 seconds so you are forced to max Chains now, players who maxed Flame Guard rejoice, you have been relatively unhurt by these nerfs compared to players like me who liked to put 3 points in chains early and max out Fist, it may be time to adjust out skill build a little.

  • Untouchable slow duration increased from 3 to 4
 Oh crap, it already slows by a huge amount and now it lasts even longer?

This change though is mostly for the mechanic of how attack slows work now which I talked about earlier, overall since attack slows in general have been nerfed this is a needed change to keep Untouchable a useful spell.

  • Midnight Pulse area of effect increased from 400 to 600
Excellent, Enigma's worst spell has gotten 50% bigger making it much easier to land and creating more chaos in a teamfight, the damage from Pulse is huge if enemies are careless and it's easy to be careless when the AOE is this big, I don't think though that it will combo into Black Hole any easier but it's a good buff overall.

  • Base agility increased from 21 to 23
  • Turn rate improved from 0.5 to 1
Oddly enough the master of Time is remarkably.... slow when it comes to attacking, he is fast but only on his feet so a small buff to his agility is nice but FV is still way too slow when it comes to his attack speed. The turn rate buff is okay I suppose, not much to add there.

  • Homing Missile now hits invisible units
  • Homing Missile hits required to destroy increased from 3 to 3/3/4/5
Like Enigma Gyrocoptor has had his worst skill buffed and decently so, the fact that it hits invisible units is really useful now, a lot of times players are able to disjoint it by using Shadow Blade or any sort of invisible ability they have but not any more. Homing Missle also takes more hits to be destroyed so players are encouraged to max it out as even late game 5 attacks on a target can be a really good distraction.

This also introduces the idea of Gyrocoptor middle since I think any hero would have trouble bringing down Homing Missle early game and they can't dodge it either, of course Gyro has no escape mechanism and would be easily ganked but it's a possibility now to play him as mid.

  • Burning Spears is no longer a Unique Attack Modifier
The main point I see here is that you can combine Burning Spears with Life Steal now which is the most common Modifier used for Huskar, this way during the late game Burning Spears isn't rendered a useless skill nor are you forced between choosing " Life steal or Spears?"

Nothing else apart from that, nobody will use Spears and Desolator..... right?

  • Ghost Walk slow no longer affects magic immune enemies
  • EMP delay increased from 2.6 to 2.9
First I find it hard to believe Ghost Walk used to affect magic immunity, that's broken as hell since it means Ghost walk speeds up invoker, makes him invisible AND slows down all enemies regardless of what they are doing or their current state.

The EMP delay now gives players a small window to blink out of it's range after Tornado but over time I think most players will be able to time it perfectly that this delay won't make too much of a difference.

  • Dual Breath range increased by 50
  • Liquid Fire level 4 cooldown reduced from 5 to 4
  • Aghanim's Scepter Macropyre duration increased from 7 to 14
  • Aghanim's Scepter Macropyre range increased from 1350 to 1800
The change to Dual breath is nice and small and cute, Liquid fire has it's cooldown reduced so it's moe spammable at level 4, I do wish the cooldowns were changed for the early levels as well but hey a buff is a buff.

This Aghanim change though, holy crap first everything about Macropyre has been doubled, it's duration goes from 7 to 14 and it's range goes from 900 (no aghanim) to 1800 with Aghanim and that's with the damage bonus Macropyre already gets. This makes base sieging quite a spectacle as you have 14 seconds of a huge fire path in the enemy base and it just makes team fights super tricky..... IF Jakiro can farm it that is.

  • Base attack time improved from 1.6 to 1.5
A game changing buff!... is what I'd like to say but really Jug just attacks a bit faster which is useful for him because he can proc his critical more and it makes Omni slash more dangerous with attack speed now. Small buff but not every buff to every hero has to be a big change and this is a good example of a small useful change.

  • Added Aghanim's Scepter upgrade: Provides permanent Spirit Form. Additionally, the following effects are active during the day: Keeper of the Light gains unobstructed vision and Illuminate heals allies for 75% of the damage values
Ah so now you're in permanent spirit form, that's quite interesting but I do like the Unobstructed vision more, it's the same as Night Stalker's Aghanim upgrade except it's permanent and that makes it more useful actually, Illuminate healing for 75% of it's damage is really huge, at max level Illuminate does 500 damage to enemy heroes and now heals 375 to allies as well, wow! That's even better than Meka which heals 250 every 45 seconds so...huh.

  • Torrent area of effect increased from 215 to 225
  • X Marks The Spot can now last twice as long on allied heroes
  • Ghost Ship allied buff duration increased from 8 to 10
  • Add Ghost Ship AOE indicator for allies
Torrent is slightly easier to land, nothing to see here as the change to X marks the Spot is much nicer, what does lasting twice as long as allies do? simple, if it lasts 8 seconds on allies then an ally hero can teleport to base to pick up items or heal and Kunkka brings him back after a few seconds, before it only lasted 4 seconds and that's not much time for a hero to regenerate from the fountain but 8 seconds is a lot of time.

Ghost ship AOE means allies will try to be in it to get the extremely useful buff it provides which now lasts even longer, Kunkka is going leave his Mark (heh heh) in the next international.

  • Overwhelming Odds bonus damage per hero is increased from 14/16/18/20 to 20/35/50/65 
  • Overwhelming Odds area of effect increased from 315 to 330
  • Overwhelming Odds base damage rescaled from 50/100/150/200 to 60/100/140/180
  • Moment of Courage now uses Pseudo Random chance
What? No no no no! Legion gets buffed? and by a big amount as well? oh crap.

Overwhelming Odds damage scale is so annoying now, heroes who get caught by it will definitely feel the hurt and if you can get 5 heroes that's an extra 325 damage, 505 total in a 330 aoe, it used to be 300 damage total if you hit 5 heroes and this is really annoying because this hero is strong enough as it is.

Moment of Courage has been changed to be more consistent, similar to Axe's Helix.

  • Lightning Storm now slows its targets by 75% for 0.5 seconds
Leshrac now sort of has his own setup to help him land Split Earth, plus Lightning Storm can bounce a lot so you can easily hit multiple heroes with one Storm and 75% slow is really big, all Leshrac players will have a lot of fun with this.

  • Frost Armor can now be cast on buildings
  • Aghanim's Scepter Chain Frost no longer has a bounce limit
Combine Lich and Treant and enemies will pull their hair out to destroy towers, thankfully it's not global though but this is a nice buff and well deserved for Lich, I always thought that Frost Armor would eventually affect buildings and it finally has, also it's not just towers but raxes and even the throne so base races are very tricky against Lich as buildings are more durable and slow attacks as well.

Aghanim provides no bounce limit? hmm. ( WARNING VERY LOUD VOLUME, REDUCE BEFORE PLAYING VIDEO)

  • Attack range increased from 650 to 670
  • Aghanim's Scepter Laguna Blade damage goes through magic immunity
More attack range keeps Lina safe in fights but it's not a huge deal, Aghanim is now even more distinct for Lion and Lina, Lion gains AOE and Lina's Aghanim makes her ultimate go through magic immunity, which is a pretty big deal since her ultimate is the hardest hitting single target nuke in the game with Aghanim.

  • Hex cooldown reduced from 30/25/20/15 to 30/24/18/12
3 Seconds is quite a big deal at max level, hexing an enemy 2-3 times in a fight is game changing so I like this for Lion quite a lot.

  • Spirit Bear health regeneration increased from 2 to 2/3/4/5
Spirit Bear has been getting so much nerfs over the last few patches so it's nice to see him get some love now and it's quite needed, when you have 2700 life it makes 2 hp regen remarkably useless so more than doubling his regen will prove quite useful now.

  • Base agility reduced from 22 to 18
Luna at all stages of the game now does slightly less damage, have slightly less armor and attacks slightly slower, overall she's almost as strong as she was in 6.80 but just a tiny bit weaker. A fed Luna is still one of the scariest things in the game and 4 less agility doesn't change that, it just makes it a tiny bit harder for Luna to reach the stage of the game where she can destroy teams solo.

  • Shapeshift no longer provides 100/200/300 bonus health
To be honest the HP bonus isn't a huge deal, what is 100 more life at level 10? it's not much but I am still happy for this nerf because Lycan is becoming too much of a nuisance to deal with in Pub games, every little nerf is something to be grateful for and even the Competitive scene is being abused by his insane pushing power, he can still easily push and run away but he's slightly easier to bring down now, it's not enough but it's a step towards a more balanced wolf.

  • Removed Skewer maximum target limit
  • Skewer range increased from 600/800/1000/1200 to 750/900/1050/1200
The change to Skewer targets is huge at early levels, level 1 skewer had 1 enemy hero, now it has 5, can you believe that difference? and not only can you skewer 5 at level 1 but it's even easier to do that because the casting range has been really buffed at level 1 and 2, it makes it easier to escape with Skewer, initiate and to get multiple targets, overall this is a powerful buff.

  • Split Shot reworked from 50/60/70/80% damage with 5 maximum targets, to 80% damage with 2/3/4/5 maximum targets
  • Mystic Snake no longer requires Fog of War vision to bounce
  • Mana Shield damage absorption per mana increased from 1/1.5/2/2.5 to 1.6/1.9/2.2/2.5
Split shot seems to be... weaker in general I think compared to before, at level 1 it used to deal 50% x 5 targets = 250% of Medusa's damage, now it's 80% x 2 = 160% which is more useful when engaging small amounts of heroes like 2-3 but weaker for farming and big skirmishes. Overall I am not sure which Split Shot is better but for large amounts of enemies the old one is better, for small team fights the new one is much more suitable.

Mystic Snake hits fogged units if they are in range, I love that because I think spells should hit their target if they are within range and not miss just because a hero is hiding behind a tree.

Mana Shield scales better now especially at level 1, 60% better so Medusa is not so easy to bring down early game anymore.

DrFrankVI:  You wrote that you consider the Split Shot weaker since it hits less units now (in exchange for more damage from level 1). Mathematically you are right, but this is a buff IMO because you won't be using Split Shot in earlier skirmishes, and even if you do use it the 250% damage isn't noticeable because she won't have any damage at that point. Early game you want to do a lot of damage to one or two targets, not minuscule damage to their whole team. It helps a lot with farming, hitting 2 creeps (talking about jungle/Ancients here, not necessarily lane) with 80% damage is a lot better than hitting 5 creeps (few camps have that many, most are 2 or 3) for less. Still, I don't play Medusa a lot so it's just my opinion.

  • Base movement speed increased from 305 to 315
A hero I do not like nor play moves a bit faster, Meepo's base abilities are impressive aren't they? 315 movement speed, 35% magic resistance, good life regen and he levels up and respawns faster than other heroes, bah I don't like him.

  • Sacred Arrow vision reduced from 800 to 650
While a nerf I feel this is hardly noticeable, Arrow still provides a crap ton of vision and it's not like you will miss anything when you scout with it, what you can spot Roshan with 800 vision but not 650?

  • Mirror Image illusion damage dealt reduced from 30/35/40/45% to 20/25/30/35%
  • Rip Tide area of effect reduced from 350 to 320
  • Rip Tide negative armor no longer goes through magic immunity
Naga has seen quite a return as a carry lately, with many players farming Radiance on her then sending her to push a lane some where, by making her Illusions deal more damage she can't carry as efficiently as she used to, also Rip Tide has a smaller AOE and the armor reduction doesn't work on Magic Immune heroes so she's not as useful late game against other carries, before you could reduce their armor whether they have BKB or any sort of Magic immunity which gave Naga an edge in a fight, with multiple illusions and reduced enemy armor she could destroy other carries but now her Illusions are less damaging and enemies won't have their armor reduced, her carry career is... kind of over isn't it?

  • Heartstopper Aura area of effect increased from 1000 to 1200
  • Reaper's Scythe now adds +30% duration to the respawn timer
I love the aura getting bigger, it's one of my favorite auras in the game and making is bigger is just awesome, perhaps one day it will be global but that's a dream I know. The increase in AOE means Necro does not need to dive so deep into a fight and can affect enemy heroes from even further away, making him effective even at super long range. Scythe now is even more important as a death blow, and landing a good Scythe is huge, even more so with Aghanim as enemies cannot buyback AND need 30% more time to respawn, a carry killed by Necrophos late game will almost certainly lose the game for his team.

  • Darkness now also affects the vision of buildings
Darkness sight reduction is quite useful in getting pick offs but players quickly learned to hug towers when it happened and the sight reduction was mostly useless when attacking the base, not so anymore as Darkness is effective no matter where players try to go, Warding is unaffected I believe and this means placing proper Wards around the map is even more important against Night Stalker.

  • Impale cooldown increased from 11 to 13
  • Impale can no longer be blocked by Linken's Sphere
Overall I do not like this change and think Nyx is weaker now, his Impale is always gonna be less effective than before due to the longer cooldown but IF the enemy has a Linken's then Impale won't be blocked so it's only more useful when enemies have Linkens otherwise you can't use it as much as you used to and that's a nerf in my book.

  • Base armor increased by 1
  • Cast animation improved from 0.56 to 0.45
I like more armor, Ogre is quite different from other spell casters, he is slow and melee and has a ton of survivability so adding more to it just makes him easier to use and more impressive. The lowered Cast animation makes juking his spells harder as I've had a few instances where enemies were able to escape Fire Blast due to it's somewhat long casting animation.

  • Purification area of effect increased from 225 to 240
  • Repel no longer removes positive buffs from allies 
  • Guardian Angel duration increased from 5/6/7 to 6/7/8
  • Aghanim's Scepter Guardian Angel duration increased from 5/6/7 to 8/9/10
Purification has bigger AOE yeah that's nice but here's what we've all been dreaming of for years has finally happened, Repel doesn't remove Guardian Angel, oh sweet lord it's finally here, no longer do countless Omni Knights everywhere have to worry about casting repel before a fight so that Guardian angel doesn't get removed, now you use Guardian angel and depending on who gets attacked you repel them, not only that but Repel also keeps other positive buffs like Apothic Shield, Ice Armor and Empower etc etc.

Guardian angel used to last 9 seconds and we're close to approaching that now, the buff to all levels is nice but most noticable at level 1 when the mana cost is still not too high and since GA will be kept at level 1 for a long time, lastly the Aghanim buff.... wow no one can base race against Omni anymore, 10 seconds of global protection for buildings and they regenerate as well? Aghanim is now almost a core for Omni Knight. 

  • Stifling Dagger cooldown reduced from 8 to 6
  • Blur evasion chance increased from 20/25/30/40 to 20/30/40/50
Stifling Dagger even more spammable, allowing much easier chasing and you can easily farm even the hardest lanes now, just stand back and take out creeps with it, pretty easy.

Blur had a weird scaling didn't it? +5 evasion for level 2 and 3 then you get +10 but now you get 10 evasion per level and you dodge half of all physical attacks aimed at you, PA's health points are going to be very deceptive now since she will be dodging a lot of incoming attacks, making her far tankier than she seems.

  • Icarus Dive cast point extended from 0.01 to 0.2
  • Fire Spirits damage reduced from 15/35/55/75 to 10/30/50/70
  • Fire Spirits health cost increased from 15% to 20%
Icarus Dive is a bit slower to cast now, from practically nothing to 0.2 seconds which isn't much really, the Fire Spirits are also generally weaker now as they do less damage and cost 1/5 of Phoenix's life to cast, a rather hefty amount for a weakened spell isn't it?

Does Phoenix need to be nerfed though? I think he is still banned from Captain mode so I haven't seen him in any professional game but his Pub performance is just decent so far so I don't see him as a hero who needs nerfs.

  • Decrepify mana cost reduced from 100 to 60
  • Nether Ward duration increased from 25 to 30
For a hero like Pugna with the highest intelligence gain in the game lowered mana cost isn't a buff to be honest, I'd prefer lower cooldown instead. Nether Ward lasting longer is quite useful though since it's a huge part of this hero's power so thank you Ice Frog for that.

  • Shadow Strike cooldown reduced from 20/16/12/8 to 16/12/8/4
  • Shadow Strike cast range increased from 400 to 435
4 Second Shdow strike? half the cooldown at level 4 of what it used to be which means QOP can easily slow 3-4 heroes in a fight with a maxed out SS, it's also the skill players are most likely to put only 1 point in but it's looking more and more attractive to max out Shadow strike even later in the game for it's damage and slowing multiple heroes.

  • Strength gain increased from 1.7 to 2.3
  • Unstable Current slow duration increased from 0.4/0.8/1.2/1.6 to 0.5/1/1.5/2
 Razor even more of a tank now, with an additional 0.6 strength gain per level he now has a ton of stats to him, 0.6 amounts to 15 more strength at max level and 1 more strength every 2 levels compared to Razor in 6.80. Current's slow now lasts a bit longer especially at level 4, a 2 second purge every time you get targeted by a magic spell is quite powerful, especially combined with the extra life Razor now has.

  • Backstab now works when attacking allied units
 This means it's much easier to deny creeps thanks to backstab, making Riki a more difficult opponent in the lane although he is still just as easy to nuke and harass, the thing I wonder about is does this Backstab change apply to other Heroes? is it easier to deny a Doomed ally now? Hope someone can answer this for me.

  • Added Aghanim's Scepter upgrade: Demonic Purge cooldown replaced with two charges that have a 40 second replenish time
Similar to Ember and Earth Spirit's remnants which you can deploy multiple times and have them recharge, with Aghanim Shadow Demon is also able to use two Demonic Purges in quick succession before having them on cooldown, I'm not so sure this is worth much because while DP is a powerful spell I don't think it's worth 4200 gold to get another use of it in a fight, other items are far more useful and I'd rather aim for Force Staff, Euls or even a Hex than Aghanim.

  • Requiem of Souls' secondary debuff now affects magic immune units
The Secondary debuff is a 50% damage reduction and 20% movement speed slow, both lasting 5 seconds, if you had magic immunity you could block both the damage and these debufs but now fighting a Shadow Fiend is quite risky as either he uses his ultimate and makes you do 50% less physical damage or if he's killed he still gets his ultimate off and makes enemies weaker whether they have magic immunity on them or not, risky risk.

  • Agility growth increased from 2.1 to 3.0
  • Curse of the Silent cooldown reduced from 20/18/16/14 to 20/16/12/8
While it's quite rare to see him played in such a way, carry silencer can be very effective now as he gains almost 1 more agility per level, he'll be attacking much faster as well as having more armor and Silencer is already one of the best supports late game thanks to how hard Glaives of wisdom can hit, now they hit hard and fast as well.

Curse of the Silent has always felt a bit too easy to remove for most heroes so reducing it's max cooldown by 6 seconds makes it decently spammable in a fight and enemies will have to try hard to keep removing multiple Curses, I like this change very much but it does mean I will have to consider changing my build a little as I prefer to max out Last Word myself, not sure I will stick to that from now on or not.

  • Base movement speed increased from 315 to 325
  • Concussive Shot damage increased from 50/100/150/200 to 60/120/180/240
Wow, 325 movement speed makes Skywrath one of the fastest heroes in dota 2, the extra damage for Concussive shot is nice but not enough to justify putting more than one point in that skill.

  * Fixed Sniper's acquisition range not matching his maximum attack range

This seems like more of a bug fix than a patch change but regardless Sniper's acquisition range has been fixed, acquisition range is similar to casting range, when someone enters in the AOE of the casting range you are able to cast a spell on them, same with sniper his attack range may have been 950 but if his Acquisition range was only 800 then he had to wait till people got within 800 range of him before he could attack them.

  • Nether Strike cast range increased from 400/550/700 to 700 
  • Nether Strike cooldown rebalanced from 75 to 80/70/60
The range increase is a long time coming, Nether strike has a 1.2 second cast time making it one of the slowest spells in the game AND if enemies manage to juke or walk into fog then the spell stops so adding a longer cast range helps avoid that problem, the cooldown change means you can gank more but it's not much of a change until level 3 at which point it's unlikely to be used in ganks and such.

  • Base damage increased by 6
Sven even stronger now, 6 damage is no laughing matter and it's with him at all stages of the game, Sven will have an easier time last hitting and denying early on and trading blows with him will be even harder, quite a strong buff for Sven.

  * Psionic Trap sub-ability now has the same cast point as the ability on the trap itself

Using the slow from TA apparently was slower than just activating the trap by itself, now it's the same ability so Templar Assasin has no casting time for using the Trap Sub-Ability which is.... nice I suppose?

  • Strength gain reduced from 1.9 to 1.4
  • Reflection slow no longer persists through magic immunity
  • Reflection duration rebalanced from 5 to 2.5/3.5/4.5/5.5
Good strength nerf and a rather heavy one at that, still quite deserved though as Terror Blade has been very annoying whenever I've played against him in pubs, he can push one lane easily and by late game he is a super strong carry to bring down so at least his Health Points are not as high now as they used to be, making him easier to bring down.

Reflection no longer slows Magic Immune heroes and scales better rather than just a flat 5 second duration, I'm happy he's gotten nerfed but I would have liked to see his Illusion spell weakened more so than Reflection, still a step forward at least.

  • Anchor Smash damage reduction increased from 40 to 60%
  • Anchor Smash now works on Ancient creeps
In a month or so we'll be seeing Tidehunters farming Ancients, I guarantee it.

60% Damage reduction, that's more than half of heroe's damage and the debuf lasts what, 6 seconds right? good luck handling that, it's a 50% increase in Anchor Smash effectiveness and that's just scary.

  • Heat Seeking Missile is no longer blocked by Ethereal
Sometimes you read a change and you think " wait, it wasn't like that to begin with?" I remember when Juggernaut's Blade Fury used to not damage units who were decripified and I can't believe Tinker's rockets used to ignore Ethereal units, that should have never happened to begin with as I'm sure nobody sees a tinker pick and goes "yeah I need a Ghost Scepter to counter that" so glad this has been fixed.

  • Craggy Exterior stun duration rescaled from 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5 to 1/1.25/1.5/1.75
Slightly weaker at level 1 and 2 but stronger overall, you lose 0.2 seconds of stun at level 1 and gain a quarter second of stun at max level, not a big deal but it does scale nicer and is slightly more effective.

  • Melee Whirling Axes cast point improved from 0.2 to 0
These small changes to cast range numbers might seem insignificant to some players, after all it's only 0.2 of a second difference how can that matter?

It does matter and quite a lot in some cases, now when he is in melee form and chasing his enemy Troll won't pause for a fraction of a second to use his Whirling Axes, is it a big game changer for troll? no not really but it is something that you'll notice.

  • Reworked Snowball into a two-part ability: one which creates the snowball, and a sub-ability to launch the snowball. You have up to 4 seconds to use the sub-ability. The area that automatically pulls allies in has been reduced. 
  • You can now load an ally into your snowball within 400 range by right clicking on them
  • Snowball moves 75 MS faster for each allied hero inside it
  • Snowball deals 20/30/40/50 extra damage for each additional hero in it
I feel a video would best show how this skill works now.

So basically you spin for up to 4 seconds in an area and you can add any nearby ally to the snowball, then you launch yourself to the target enemy and deal damage and stun them, it looks like it's a much better ganking spell now than it used to be and it does more damage if you have allies in the ball with you, I'm not sure I like the time it takes to "charge" the snowball though but apart from that it definitely looks like it's a buff.

  • Soul Rip area of effect increased from 975 to 1300
  • Tombstone Zombie Deathlust's Max % health threshold increased from 5/10/15/20% to 20/25/30/35%
  • Tombstone Zombies no longer give any experience or gold 
  • Tombstone Bounty increased from 70/90/110/130 to 75/100/125/150
  • Flesh Golem's Plague Aura now affects magic immune units
One of my favorite hero, poor zombie has been ignored for too long and finally has some much needed buffs.

Soul Rip now has a bigger AOE for when it searches for nearby allies and enemies to count so it's much easier to get higher heals/nukes, good change but Tombstone's changes are more impressive, first the threshold change finally is much higher, at 5% life it was very unlikely that zombies would ever get Deathlust but now it's 20% at level 1 and goes all the way up to 35% which is quite a lot of life.

Zombies no longer give any gold or Exp so no more Tomb farming like the old days when Alchemist would drop an Acid Spray or Bristleback would spam his Quills and get a lot of gold, in exchange the Tomb itself does give slightly more gold but it's nothing compared to zombie farming. Lastly his ultimate affecting Magic Immune heroes should have been there a long time ago, although it does make me think that a lot of effects this patch go through Magic immunity so BKB has really been nerfed now hasn't it?

  • Fury Swipes is no longer a Unique Attack Modifier
Vladimir no longer core on Ursa! or at least no longer the only way to get Life Steal, I'm pretty sure that Ursa players will still want to focus on Life steal but now you can do that with Satanic or even Mask of Madness if you wish. This change also allows Ursa to solo Roshan sooner as ursa doesn't need to farm all the way to Vladimir which costs 2050 gold but a simple mask of death is enough at 900 gold.

* When Vengeful Spirit is slain, her killer is inflicted with a negative Vengeance Aura, which decreases the damage of her killer and their nearby allies, until she revives

She really suits her name now doesn't she? Vengeful spirit when killed now applies an aura to her killer, this aura reduces their damage based on the level of her damage aura, so at max level if Vengeful Spirit is killed enemy heroes will do 36% less damage and that's a game changer, particularly if VS is on the weaker team or if you're facing a lot of Physical DPS.

If the enemy is stronger it's better to lower their damage than increasing allies or if your team has someone like Obsidan destroyer and the enemy team uses Phantom Assasin then it's also better to lower PA's damage than increasing OD's.

  • Grave Chill cooldown increased from 10 to 16/14/12/10
Surprised this guy got another nerf, he's been fading out of the competitive scene and nobody in pubs likes him due to the amount of micro required to use him, nerfing him seems a bit like overkill to me but Ice Frog seems to think he is a bit too strong so Visage is nerfed and we'll have to see if teams pick him at all now.

  • Shadow Word duration increased from 9 to 11
  • Upheaval cooldown reduced from 50 to 50/46/42/38
2 More ticks of Shadow word which brings the total effect to 165/275/385/495. It's well worth maxing Shadow Word before Fatal bonds now with how strong it is, sure it's not a burst heal/nuke but it's long term effect is very powerful.

Upheaval now scales in cooldown to encourage players to add more points to it, I think a lot of players dislike this spell but it's getting better, it's had it's cast range improved last patch and now has a lower cooldown so it's definitely getting better and better if not already worth maxing out right after Bonds and Shadow Word.

  • Activating Windrun now disjoints incoming attack projectiles
  • Aghanim's Scepter Focus Fire damage reduction decreased from -50/-40/-30 to -30/-15/0, and no longer has special rules for procs
Windrun already felt like it disjointed attacks due to providing 100% evasion, I believe this effect now works even if the enemy has True Strike but does attack projectile extend to magical attacks? can you dodge Wrath King's hellfire blast? if you can then this is a pretty strong buff, if you can't then it's still a good change to have.

  • Maledict cooldown reduced from 35 to 20
  • Death Ward base attack time improved from 0.25 to 0.22
Maledict had a bit too long of a cooldown for a spell that is so difficult to aim, Maledict cast range was improved last patch and here we get it's cooldown to almost half of what it used to be, I think Maledict is now...overpowered actually.

Death Ward buff is relatively minor the Ward simply attacks faster leading to more damage, spell does around I think 13% more damage over all I believe, somewhere around that number, it's just slightly over 10% and it's not a big deal since half the time WD can't channel the spell long enough for the extra speed to make much of a difference but if he can then yeah players will notice Death Ward is scarier now.

  • Mortal Strike damage ratio increased from 1.25/1.75/2.25/2.75 to 1.5/2/2.5/3
  • Base armor reduced by 1
So Wrath King can crit a little harder but takes slightly more damage? I think that's fine since he is a strength hero and has two lives so more DPS is worth trading for slightly less survivability.

  • Arc Lightning cast point improved from 0.4 to 0.2
  • Lightning Bolt true sight range reduced from 900 to 750
  • Lightning Bolt flying vision range reduced from 1000 to 750
  • Lightning Bolt can now be cast on the ground, affecting the closest enemy hero in a 250 range
Arc Lightning now has half it's cast point which is useful for such an extremely spammable spell, Bolt grants less sight than it used to but the trade off is well worth it, ever tried to kill someone who jukes into the forest a lot? no problem, just Bolt the ground near where he went and bam!, should kill him.

Zues now has 2 methods to scout the map, one with his ultimate and Bolt can be used as well on any area, it's both a damaging nuke and a scouting tool now and Zues ought to make a comeback soon into the competitive scene, he really has some of the highest burst damage in the game right now.

Oh and free dewarding, if you think a ward is somewhere then just Bolt the ground near it and BAM, you can easily deward, for free. Noice! especially since I am pretty sure that Zues is currently the only hero in Dota who can see enemy Wards without needing sentries or a gem to do so.


  • Ground Courier respawn time reduced from 180 seconds to 140 seconds
This fits in with the latch patch's change to ground Courier, you can sometimes see a support camping between the Tier 2 and Tier 1 tower in hopes of catching the courier when it delivers items in the first 3 minutes, most of the a bottle for the mid lane hero and if the courier gets caught during that time then mid lane is almost definitely lost and this doesn't really solve that but it's just 40 less seconds of losing mid lane. Then again do you really need to buff ground Courier when you have mad juking skills?

  • Bloodpact heal increased from 400 HP + 30 HP/charge to 500 HP + 30 HP/charge
I do not know why but I never notice Bloodstone's heal for some reason, it just never occurs to me that if someone holding Bloodstone dies we get healed and who knows maybe this helps make the heal even more noticable, it's a bonus 100 hp heal no matter what and since you start with 6 charges when you buy bloodstone that means you automatically get a 680 hp heal if you die with Bloodstone, not bad at all.

  • Mana regeneration from 100 over 30 seconds to 135 over 40 seconds
Roughly the same rate of Mana regen provided as before at about 3.3 mana regen per second but now you get an extra 35 mana more for an extra 10 seconds of being forced to play careful and not take hits. A 100 mana seemed kind of small when you think about it so a bonus 35 is very nice but I wish it didn't recover at such a slow rate, 10 seconds is a long time in the game and a lot of ganks and counter ganks would benefit from faster mana regeneration. Useful if you use it while travelling between lanes though as you have the time to spare then.

  • Cyclone now deals 50 damage to enemy units when they land
  • You can now cast Cyclone on yourself while you are magic immune
The point of the 50 damage isn't to grab kills or even to deal damage, it's to stop Blink Dagger from being used when enemy heroes land, before you would Cyclone someone with Euls, they float in the air and when they land they can immediately blink away thanks to the 2.5 seconds of invulnerability provided by cyclone, not so anymore.

The self-cast of Cyclone while being magic immune seems kind of pointless to me, not because I think it's a weak buff or anything but I can't think of many heroes who get both BKB and Eul's sceptor, perhaps Obsidan Destroyer maybe?

  • Mirror Image now resets the current attack and spell targeting priority
When players used their Illusion producing abilities the newly made illusions would simply continue targeting the same targets that the player was focusing on before the illusions were created, this saved players time and effort as you don't need to manually click on illusions and ask them to focus on the same target as the main hero, this change removes that from all illusion producing abilities and Manta Style so using illusions is a bit harder now. So yeah Illusions no longer copy the original anymore, making videos like the one below impossible now :(

  • Chain Lightning damage reduced from 160 to 150
  • Static Shock area of effect is now centered around the unit with the Static Charge, rather than around the attacker
  • Fixed Chain Lightning not functioning properly when it procs while a previous proc is still bouncing
While not used very much in the both the Competitive and the Pub scene, Mjollnir is a very strong item and got a bit of a nerf this patch, the lowered damage for Chain Lightning won't be changing much at all but Static Shock now no longer makes the attacker the focus, this is kind of a big deal and means that range heroes who are grouped together won't have to worry so much about that allies procing Static Shock anymore.

The change to Chain Lightning means that it can proc while other bounces are happening making it very useful for extremely high attack speed heroes.

  • Necronomicon Warrior's movement speed rescaled from 330/360/390 to 350
  • Necronomicon units XP bounty increased from 59 to 100/150/200
A nerf to Rat Dota eh? the increased EXP bounty is well deserved, not fair that such a powerful creep to provide only 59 EXP, especially considering how much damage you could take from killing the Melee Necro.

Also the Melee creep has had it's Speed buffed for level 1 and reduced at level 2 and 3, not much at level 2 but the change for level 3 means Melee Necro's are unlikely to be faster than heroes now. Overall this is expected and so long as Necro DPS isn't reduced I am fine with whatever changes they get.

  • Sharing wards with allies now requires a Control key override.
  • Wards can no longer be placed in the fountain areas
Picture this scenario, you're lich and you just bought some lovely wards for the early game, Aaaah Wards, your ally Timbersaw says he wants to block top pull camp, "no problem Timber bro" so you click on your Observer Ward and click on Timber but oh shit, at the last minute he uses Timber Chain for some ungodly reason and oh double shit, you just warded the ground he was standing on, screw you Timbersaw.

Now that won't happen ever again, you can't Ward the Fountain area to begin with and sharing wards requires you to hold CTRL and won't let you plant wards only share them with allies, thank god for this change because I am sick of being terrified my allies might move a quarter inch and cause me to ward the base and get insulted for the next 30+ minutes for it.

Best Dota Change 2014.

  • Pipe health regeneration reduced from 11 to 8
  • Pipe now provides Insight Aura, which grants 4 health regeneration to nearby allies
  • Pipe's active buff is no longer dispellable
Pipe provides 3 less regeneration to it's wielder but now has a 4 HP regen aura so that's a net gain of 1 Regen for Piper holders and an aura for your allies, it's nice but making Pipe's buff no longer Dispellable means it can no longer be purged off or removed by spells such as Blood Rage, this is a good buff.

  • Cripple ability cooldown reduced from 12 to 10
I know Rod of Atos is a great item, it provides a ton of life and Intelligence with a great slow at a very low cost, and yet.... nobody uses it.

This item has gotten nothing but buffs since it's introduction and yet players would either go cheaper and get a Force Staff or save money and get a Hex, Atos is great but it's stuck between two superior items and I hope this change makes players finally buy it.... although I don't think I will myself despite how buffed this item has gotten.

  • HP bonus increased from 325 to 350.
  • Cripple cooldown reduced from 16 to 12.
  • Cast range increased from 800 to 1200.
  • Slow increased from 50% to 60%.
  • HP bonus increased from 250 to 325.
  • Cooldown decreased from 20 to 16.
  • Created.

  • Hexed units' base movement speed increased from 100 to 140
As I just mentioned about Rod of Atos, it's stuck in Hex's shadow and therefore Scythe of Vyse must be weakened a little to the point where Atos is worth considering, 40 movement speed is nothing and people do not get Hex for the slow (although it is a part of the package) so this change doesn't do much but we can expect more, perhaps a higher Cooldown in the future, that would make me consider taking Atos.

  • Fade no longer requires the target to remain stationary
When you cast Fade you can still move around but once invisible you still have to stay put or lose your invisibility, considering that the Fade time is 1.5 seconds that won't really allow you enough time to move far enough from Sentry or Dust range I believe so while it's a buff it's mostly worthless I think, I could be wrong though. 

  • Shadow Walk duration increased from 12 to 14
Definitely needed, when Shadow walk cooldown went up from 22 to 30 seconds it's duration had to be buffed, 18 seconds of being visible with no chance of using Shadow Blade made it quite unreliable, no longer can you cast Shadow Walk, engage an enemy then run away, you still can't do that now but it's getting there.

  • Added an option to require a halt command to in order to cancel a Town Portal Scroll
A change more geared towards new players yet we all make this mistake where we teleport somewhere and we cast a spell only to realize we never finished the channeling time for teleporting and now we're stuck in fountain and have to walk all the way to the top Tier 1 tower while watching our team get killed, you can't accidentally cancel teleports anymore by walking or casting spells only by Halting it manually can you stop teleporting, another very nice change.