Saturday, 20 December 2014

Dota 2 Shifting snows/ 6.83 review.

Hello everyone and welcome to my thoughts on the latest Dota 2 patch, Shifting snows sees quite a lot of changes and I feel excited to talk about some of the bigger changes to come out in 6.83. Please note I will not list every single change (Slark's pounce doing 20 less damage at level 4 for example) since some changes are relatively minor or simply don't need any sort of explanation.


* First rune spawns are now both Bounty Runes that are twice as effective (50/50 gold/xp to 100/100).
* All Illusions now deal 25% less damage to structures.

The rune change is quite interesting, if a player manages to snag both of them then they can turn to level 2 by the time they acquire the second rune, this is possible for a hero like Furion who can walk to one rune then teleport to the other. The other thing this change does is it makes the first 2 minutes far more predictable now, no longer will there be a hasted or invi support coming out of nowhere to gank a lane or a carry starts with double damage rune. I personally feel neutral to this change but I do like that it makes the first couple of minutes less luck based.

Illusions dealing less damage is a nerf to any illusion generating and manta buying hero, apart from that though it's hardly much of a change...unless you're Terrorblade of course.

* Melee and Ranged Barracks bounty reduced from 352-370 to 100-150.
* Melee and Ranged Barracks now give 125 and 75 gold to each player, respectively.

Raxes used to give gold only to the person who secures a last hit and this is a welcome change, it (usually) takes the whole team to bring down a Rax so having the gold shared is very beneficial and it also slightly makes the games faster, as we've seen lately that most games go past 1 hour so by making Rax provide a little more gold teams now have more incentive to keep their pushes going and get a Rax. 

* Ancient Granite Golem health reduced from 2000 to 1700.
* Ancient Granite Golem now has an aura which grants 15% bonus health to its allies.

Another change that is more interesting than it first seems, at first it looks like this barely makes a difference since the Golem loses 300 health and gains an aura that increases allies life, so the neutrals are a bit harder to bring down, okay?

Except... well Chen with Aghanim can convert ancients now so having 15% extra life on all your heroes is insane, it definitely makes Chen much more viable late game and certainly changes how a team fight can go, 15% more life is nothing to scoff at especially when the person who can get it for you is such a good hero at healing.

* The following abilities no longer have restrictions when cast on Spell Immune Allies: Kunkka's X Marks The Spot, Magnus's Empower, Treant Protector's Living Armor, and Warlock's Shadow Word.

These are all considered buffs for their respective heroes but some are definitely more impressive than others and the best buff is for Magnus, often times during late game Magnus players cannot empower their carry, which is one of the reasons Magnus is not more popular despite his game winning ultimate. Now Magnus can Empower anyone he wants whenever he wants, regardless if they are under BKB or repelled, so this is a great buff for him and very good for the others as well.



* Call of the Wild now always provides a Hawk and a Boar at each level, and each now scales per level
* Hawk health from 50/50/100/100 to 40/60/80/100
* Hawk movement speed from 270/270/400/400 to 250/300/350/400
* Hawk day sight from 500/500/1600/1600 to 700/1000/1300/1600
* Hawk night sight from 500/500/1200/1200 to 700/800/900/1000
* Hawk kill bounty from 30/30/65/65 to 30/40/50/60
* Boar health from 0/400/400/500 to 200/300/400/500
* Boar base damage from 0/26/26/46 to 15/30/45/60
* Boar base attack time from 0/1.5/1.5/1 to 1.25
* Boar poison slow from 0/20/20/35% to 10/20/30/40%

That's a lot of colours but as you can see I don't see any of these changes as being negative to Beast master, sure some skills might be weaker at a certain level or another but overall all his summons are better now,. The Hawk moves a little slower at level 1 and a little faster at 2 and 3, has more day sight at 1 and 2 and less at 3, Hawks provide less more bounty at level 2 and less at 3 and 4. Just a lot of number tweaks here and there.

The Boar is more obviously buffed, firstly you get him at level 1 now which offers a little damage and slow, secondly he does more damage and slows better at higher levels than he did previously, so a nice change for the Beastmaster.


* Base Armor reduced from 4 to 2.
* Thunder Clap hero slow duration from 4.25 to 4.
* Thunder Clap cooldown from 12 to 13.

Poor Brew, he just started to come back as a dominant hero in the competitive scene and now he will be pushed back, the change to Thunderclap is relatively minor to be frank, 0.25 of a second shorter and 1 second more cooldown isn't much but the armor reduction will hurt him a lot, while he still has his evasion and good str growth I doubt Brew can dominate mid lanes now like he used to with this change.


* Test of Faith now teleports all of your units to you when cast on yourself.
* Holy Persuasion max units increased from 1/1/2/3 to 1/2/3/4.

Aside from the massive buff chen received from being able to dominate golems that give 15% more life, the ability to teleport all your minions to you is a very good change for him, often times Chen might be able to teleport away from a fight but his creeps all get killed and he has to spend 2-3 minutes trying to get another army but now so long as Chen makes it out alive he can bring all his creeps back to base with him or to assist in a gank.

Holy Persuasion is very weak at level 2, providing only one creep and that is why Chen doesn't jungle so fast from level 1-4 but now thanks to being able to get 2 creeps early on his jungling speed will be incredible, so I'm hoping to see more Chen in the future.

Crystal Maiden

* Crystal Nova attack speed slow from 20 to 30
* Frostbite cooldown from 10 to 10/9/8/7
* Freezing Field duration increased from 7 to 10 seconds
* Freezing Field explosion spawn radius and slow radius increased by 150
* Freezing Field explosion damage radius increased by 50

How fitting that the Ice Maiden gets all buffs during her season, warms the heard indeed.
Anyways the change to Nova is minor and barely worth mentioning, Frostbite is definitely the skill to max out now, at least in my opinion because it is so useful against everything now, it lasts 3 seconds on heroes and only has a 7 second cooldown while on creeps it is amazing for jungling early game and now if you level it up you can jungle ever better (although whether CM jungling is worthwhile is up for debate)

I don't think Freezing field lasting 10 seconds is much of a buff, FF used to last 3 seconds and was a decent ultimate so I doubt changing it's duration matters much, the radius and explosion radius will make a different though how much I am not sure myself, either way I love the change to Frostbite while the other changes will take some testing to fully understand.


* Glimpse mana cost rescaled from 160/130/100/70 to 100
* Glimpse cooldown reduced from 65/50/35/20 to 60/46/32/18
* Kinetic Field cooldown reduced from 14/13/12/11 to 13/12/11/10
* Static Storm cooldown from 85 to 90/80/70

The change to Glimpse is very important, mainly due to how expensive it is at level 1, costing 160 mana is just too much but now it's a lot more manageable and worthwhile. It's the biggest change for Disruptor while Kinetic Field and SS are also a little better.

Faceless Void

* Time Walk no longer slows attack speed
* Chronosphere cooldown increased from 130/110/90 to 130/115/100
* Ward unit types are no longer able to attack while inside the Chronosphere

I personally never noticed that Time Walk slows attack speed, yes it's a -50 attack slow but it just never felt like it was the point of Time Walk, TW is used for either chasing, initiating or running away, rarely for it's attack speed reduction.

Chrono has a slightly longer cooldown at levels 2 and 3, making Aghanim a more attractive option now but the nerf to Ward units not attacking inside Chrono is a bit of a hit to the Void/Witch Doctor combo but I think it should be alright since you can still place the Death Ward outside the chrono and it should reach the enemies caught within.


* Call Down area of effect increased from 450 to 600
* Call Down missile one slow amount reduced from 50% to 30%
* Call Down missile two slow amount increased from 20% to 60%
* Force Staff can now be used on Homing Missile

A bigger area for Call Down is nice however the first missle now slows less than before while the second is much better at slowing so it's rather hard to judge how this change will go in terms of overall effectivness. Being able to use Force Staff on homing missles is quite nice although no Gyrocoptor ever makes Force staff so it's more useful if coordinated with allies.


* Infest now allows you to control the unit you are in using a sub-ability.

This is very nice because it allows Lifestealer to infest any neutral creep he wants and use it the way he wants, he can infest a Satyr and throw some hadoukens or infest a Centaur to stun his enemies and then infest out of it, so it's a very good change for him though perhaps not always useful as it does take some preparation to make use of. Also you can take stacks now by infesting a wildkin and using a tornado, thanks to my friend N7 for telling me about that. 

Lone Druid
* Removed the cast time on Spirit Bear's Return
* Battle Cry cooldown increased from 30 to 60
* Battle Cry duration reduced from 8 to 6
* Battle Cry bonus damage increased from 20/40/60 to 50/75/100
* Battle Cry bonus armor increased from 2/4/6 to 5/10/15

Firstly I wonder why the cast time for Return was changed, it was only 0.3 seconds to begin with so it's hardly much of a change but there it is.

Most of the changes that occur though are to Battle Cry, making it last a bit shorter, have twice as long cooldown but having a much bigger effect on Lone druid, It's quite a buff when going from 60 damage to 100 and 6 armor to 15, whether these changes will make him popular again we will see but I somewhat doubt they are enough.

Night Stalker
Base attack damage increased by 4
Crippling Fear mana cost reduced from 90 to 50
Darkness now sets all enemy vision to a maximum of 675, instead of reducing it by 25% 
Darkness no longer pauses the day/night timer
Darkness duration from 40/60/80 to 50
Darkness cooldown reduced from 180/150/120 to 160/120/80

I feel like this will be a patch where Night Stalker becomes popular again, firstly the 4 base damage increase is nice and will allow him some good last hitting power early in the game, Crippling Fear is much more spammable so his mana problems have been reduced as well.

Darkness is definitely better now, mostly due to how it reduces enemy vision to 675 rather than by 25%, this will be something of a nerf since heroes that have 800 vision at night will now have 675 rather than 600 like before but also the vision for buildings and wards is reduced and that is probably going to offset that. 

Queen of Pain

* Blink range increased from 700/850/1000/1150 to 1300
* Blink cooldown from 12/10/8/6 to 15/12/9/6
* Sonic Wave now does Pure Damage and affects Spell Immune
* Sonic Wave damage reduced from 350/475/600 to 290/390/490 (Scepter reduced from 350/530/725 to 325/450/575)

Wow the buff to Blink is huge, I've noticed that early game QOP sometimes struggles to escape due to her blink being only 700 but that's not going to be a problem anymore, sure it comes at the cost of a higher cooldown but the range of blinking at level 1 is almost doubled and that's fantastic.

A common problem with QOP is that all her damage is magical, so she is 100% countered by BKB, making her a very weak hero late game, this patch fixes that by making her ultimate deal pure damage that goes through BKB, not only that but Pure damage cannot be reduced so her ultimate now does more damage than it used, doing 290/390/490 where as before it did 262/356/450 damage to enemies with 25% magic resistance, which is 99% of Dota heroes.


* Fade Bolt mana cost from 150 to 120/130/140/150.
* Scepter Spell Steal cooldown reduced from 5 to 2.

Fade Bolt always cost too much mana early on, 150 mana for 70 damage is quite a joke so this is a welcome buff for Rubick, the bigger change though is having only 2 seconds on Scepter, this change makes Aghanim such a core on Rubick and will make the grand magus ever grander now. I fully expect to see more Rubick in competitive and perhaps even going back to the mid lane.


* Shrapnel no longer does damage to buildings.
* Shrapnel now has 3 charges with a 40 second replenish time.
* Shrapnel mana cost reduced from 120 to 50.
* Shrapnel duration increased from 9 to 10.

One of the reasons Sniper has become quite popular lately is due to his amazing ability to siege towers, he can use Shrapnel from very far away and chip away at buildings, forcing the enemy team to either stand and watch as their towers slowly fall or to go out and fight Sniper's team, two rather unfortunate situations.

Now Shrapnel doesn't damage buildings but it has 2 amazing buffs, firstly the mana cost is less than half, so getting it early is a lot more viable and secondly you can throw multiple Shrapnels in an area, giving a much bigger AOE of damage and slow, plus it lasts a tiny bit longer which is also very nice.


* Base movement speed reduced by 5.
* Ravage damage reduced from 200/325/450 to 200/290/380.

Well I'm sure everyone was expecting some Tidehunter Nerfs to come out, double ravage late game is really too much to handle and so Icefrog solved this big issue by...reducing his movement speed?

Not sure how being slower will affect Tide that much to be frank, also Ravage does 70 less damage at level 16 but does that really matter much? it still deals a good amount of damage and it has a huge AOE stun, I would have thought a much higher manacost would solve the issue but I guess not.

Treant Protector

* Eyes In The Forest's Overgrowth damage increased from 135 to 175 per second.
* Eyes In The Forest cooldown reduced from 55 to 25.

The damage from Overgrowth is huge now, 875 at max level is nothing to scoff at. Although it does come with a lot of restrictions, units must be affected by Overgrowth, Must be within 800 range of a tree that has Eyes in the forest, and well it's Treant who isn't that useful most of the time.

It's really hard to judge whether this will be enough to bring Tree into the meta, it's a very situational Aghanim upgrade but it can be devastating so only time will tell.


* Soul Rip max units from 5/10/15/20 to 10/12/14/16
* Soul Rip damage/heal per unit from 25 to 18/22/26/30
* Tombstone armor increased by 1
* Flesh Golem max slow increased from 15 to 20%

I like the changes to Soul Rip, it might seem like a bit of a nerf for level 4 where it goes from 500 nuke/heal to 460 but it's so much better now because you require less units to get maximum benefit out of it, plus it can potentially do more at the early levels which is also nice, getting 10 units at the early game isn't hard.

Tombstone is slightly more tanky, that's nice and his ultimate slows a bit more, Undying is just a little better at what he does now, which is wreck the early game, his late game abilities are unaffected and he's mostly suitable for lineups that aim to win in the first 30 minutes cause after that he doesn't contribute as much to the game.


* Fatal Bonds cast range increased from 800 to 900
* Fatal Bonds radius increased from 575 to 700

Here's a fact, often times a hero in Dota 2 will remain unused for years for some unknown reason, pros will ignore him and Icefrog will continue to buff this random unpicked heroes every patch until one day a pro picks this hero who has been overbuffed, uses him in every single match and realizes just how damn devastating he is. We've seen it with Skywrath mage, Tidehunter, Ogre magi and it seems like we will be seeing it very soon with Warlock, cause Fatal bonds was great before and it's only better now.

* Powershot travel range increased from 1825 to 2600
* Powershot max damage is now dealt after 1 second channel instead of 0.7 
* Powershot cast point improved from 0.3 to 0
* Reduced the area of the lingering vision at the end of Powershot from 800 to 400
* Focus Fire attack speed bonus increased from 400 to 500

Wow, big changes to Powershot, the distance in particular makes it so good for base defending and sniping off low hp heroes, the cast point for the spell isn't really removed when you think of it, you must channel it 0.3 seconds longer and 0.3 seconds of it's cast point has been removed, so basically you're channeling it same as before.

Less lingering vision does hurt though, it provides far less sight than it did before even though it's not a scouting ability. Focus Fire getting better every patch, I really should put a point in it some day.