Valve are surprisingly punctual with the bi-weekly patches coming so far. This time we have some actual changes, instead of just gold and economics, also as expected Pangolier has been added to Captain’s mode.
- Neutral Creep Stack bounty increased from 15% to 20%
A buff to the recent change in favour of supports. Considering that the on average the stacker was getting about 9 to 26 gold depending on the camp /varying from small to ancient/, this will increase it by 1/3. Supports get a tiny bit more gold, that’s always good.
- Clarity: Mana Regeneration reduced from 3.2 to 3.0
- Heart of Tarrasque: Strength increased from 40 to 45
- Moon Shard: Attack Speed increased from 120 to 130
- Nullifier: Projectile speed decreased from 1200 to 900
- Refresher Orb: Mana regeneration increased from 3 to 5
- Satanic: Duration increased from 4.5 to 5 seconds
- Silver Edge: Break duration decreased from 5 to 4 seconds
- Silver Edge: Cooldown reduced from 24 to 22
- Skull Basher: Bash duration increased from 1.4 to 1.5
- Abyssal Blade: Bash duration increased from 1.4 to 1.5
- Spirit Vessel: Enemy current health-based damage changed from 3% Direct HP modification to 4.5% Magical Damage
Clarity has been discussed many times since the rework of how regeneration in the game works. Less than a 10% decrease is not really considered a nerf to the item but more of a tweak for the potential mana you can get by spamming clarities. We can see some minor buffs to Heart of Tarrasque, Moon Shard, Satanic and Basher, Refresher Orb, but those will barely be noticeable. Silver Edge’s Break duration is reduced by approximately 25%, while the cooldown goes down by only 10%, not the best of deals, but as a situational item it’ll still get the job done. Plus, you can become invisible and make clutch escapes more often. Nullifier’s speed is further decreased, as if it wasn’t slow enough already, so people will have even more time to react and use BKB. Spirit Vessel, a common item on supports that provides a bit too much is finally more balanced so it doesn’t totally stomp heroes like Huskar, now with the damage being magical.
- Mana Void damage increased from 0.6/0.85/1.1 to 0.8/0.95/1.1
An early game buff to AM, keeping the lategame scaling as it is. A 0.2 increase on level 1 Mana Void could be the difference between life and death. Heroes with huge mana pools and low health will now be scared throughout the whole game.
- Flux cooldown reduced from 18 to 16
- Magnetic Field AoE increased from 275 to 300
Small buffs to Arc Warden, now allowing him to cast Flux twice with Tempest Double level 3.
- Battle Hunger duration increased from 10 to 12
Axe is now slows/is faster for 2 additional seconds. Woah.
- Shuriken Toss manacost increased from 120/130/140/150 to 150
Bounty has been popular in the recent patches and he’s being hit where it hurts, the lack of mana early will force players to count their shurikens and only use them when things are certain.
- Thirst linger bonus duration increased from 2 to 4
You’ve probably had a moment where a teammate kills a low health target and stops you from getting more out of the situation, now with the linger time doubled you’ll be in Sonic mode longer.
- Holy Persuasion can no longer target non-player allied creeps
Chen can no longer teleport friendly lane catapults, thus preventing the never-ending siege.
- Strafe duration increased from 3 to 3.5 seconds
Almost a 20% increase in duration, crucial when you need to dodge the hit that’s about to kill you.
- Base damage increased by 3
- Arcane Aura self-mana regen increased from 1/2/3/4 to 1.3/2.2/3.1/4
Maiden is getting more early mana regen along with extra damage on the base attack she rarely uses.
- Vacuum AoE increased from 250/350/450/550 to 400/450/500/550
- Vacuum cooldown rescaled from 32 to 60/50/40/30
- Vacuum cast range rescaled from 500 to 450/500/550/600
- Vacuum Pull duration increased from 0.5 to 0.3/0.4/0.5/0.6
- Vacuum damage rescaled from 40/80/120/160 to 25/50/100/200
- Wall of Replica incoming illusion damage reduced from 400% to 300%
- Wall of Replica width increased from 1000 to 1300
Probably what we can call the ‘big’ changes of this patch. It’s a running gag that Dark Seer gets nerf after nerf for years now. But this patch is almost the exact opposite, everything is improved early to late, except the increased cooldown of Vacuum early levels. Maybe someone realized that his ult is just a bad version of Terrorblade’s Reflection and decided it’s time to juice it a bit.
- Terrorize cast time increased from 0.8 to 1.0
- Bedlam cooldown increased from 40/30/20 to 40/35/30
Long have we waited for nerfs on our favourite position 5 that can kill a core without needing any items. Sadly, the damage of Bedlam remains just as ridiculous as before.
- Poison Touch damage increased from 10/20/30/40 to 10/24/38/52
Dazzle’s Poison Touch was recently reworked, making it have potentially infinite duration, as long as the target is being hit by auto-attacks. Increasing the damage on that, why not.
- Spirit Siphon charge restore time increased from 45 to 60/55/50/45
- Silence manacost increased from 80 to 80/90/100/110
Could the Death Prophet deathball meta be coming to an end? Probably not, since the cooldown on Siphon is the same on level 7, making her only less effective versus her lane opponent. As for the mana cost on Silence, it’s insignificant since you use it only situationally to prevent someone from casting.
- Static Storm no longer lingers on your hero for 0.5 seconds after walking away from the AoE (it already ends immediately once the spell is over)
- Kinetic Field cooldown increased from 13/12/11/10 to 19/16/13/10
Another part of the aforementioned deathball meta is affected. Disruptor was the most picked hero in recent tournaments, making him top priority for the nerfhammer.
- Precision Aura attack damage bonus increased from 10/18/26/34% to 10/20/30/40%
This change is interesting if we consider the fact that the previous two were trying to at least slow down the constant grouping of five. With the increase and the level 25 talent, 60% bonus damage to all ranged heroes is no joke. Implying anyone picks the Precision Aura talent instead of the 50% cooldown reduction.
- Echo Stomp Initial Stun duration reduced from 0.8 to 0.2
This change is a bit tricky, as now you only have one fifth of a second to deal damage after the stomp, without waking up the target. Seems like a good balance decision.
- Base armor increased by 1
Becoming literally ‘unkillable’ with almost 3 armor on level 1.
- Untouchable slow rescaled from 40/70/100/130 to 20/60/100/140
- Enchant cooldown rescaled from 30/24/18/12 to 55/40/25/10
- Enchant slow increased from 2.25/3.5/4.75/6 to 3/4/5/6
- Enchant dominate duration rescaled from 80 to 50/60/70/80
- Impetus manacost rescaled from 55/60/65 to 40/55/70
Enchantress being less of a nuisance early? Sign me up. That’s until she reaches level 6 and starts spamming Impetus, which is now 30% cheaper.
- Flak Cannon cooldown increased from 30 to 40
- Homing Missile hits to destroy reduced from 3/3/4/4 to 3
Flak Cannon should now be used with more caution, but the overall idea of the ability is the same. Save it for clearing stacks or a teamfight. I for once welcome the one less hit needed to destroy a gyro rocket.
- Tether now sets your movement speed to match the tethered target's speed
- Relocate cooldown increased from 120/100/80 to 130/110/90
- Tether no longer has a duration
- Tether movement speed rescaled from 10/12/14/16% to 7/10/13/16%
- Tether regen sharing rescaled from 1.5x to 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5
- Base damage reduced by 4
No doubt the most exciting changes of the patch. Tether is now endless and gives you significantly more move speed than before. Io doesn’t need boots anymore and that’s really exciting. Expect to see more disco balls and companion cubes in the games to follow.
- Base movement speed increased from 325 to 330
- Lightning Storm damage rescaled from 50/100/150/200 to 80/120/160/200
- Lightning Storm slow duration rescaled from 0.7/0.8/0.9/1.0 to 0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0
- Lightning Storm cast point reduced from 0.45 to 0.4
Speaking of disco, the pony gets faster in both moving and casting Lightning Storm. The latter is now a spammable 75 mana, 80 damage spell on a 4 second cooldown, but you can expect to catch up on someone from level 2 onward.
- Sacrifice mana conversion increased from 30/50/70/90 to 55/70/85/100
A nice buff for Lich, even more annoying for his opponents. You generally want to Sacrifice the ranged creep as it affects lane equilibrium the most, but that didn’t leave you with enough mana to spam Frost Blast, that will be no longer the case.
- Open Wounds manacost increased from 140/130/120/110 to 140
A barely noticeable change on a hero that already can’t afford to cast Open Wounds more than twice early.
- Earth Spike manacost rescaled from 100/120/140/160 to 70/100/130/160
You know for a hero that can always have mana by draining a creep or an enemy hero, this really feels unnecessary. Expect the same amount of Earth Spikes as before?
- Skewer AoE increased from 125 to 135
- Reverse Polarity stun duration increased from 2.25/3/3.75 to 2.75/3.25/3.75
Magnus is now just better. That’s it really.
- Base attack damage range from 39-50 to 43-48
Mirana players had trouble getting last hits due to the huge damage range, now it’s more reliable and easier to do it.
- Wukong's Command soldier attack rate improved from 1.4 to 1.3
It’s one of those times where you wonder will this change even have any impact whatsoever. In theory yes, it’s a 5% improvement.
- Heartstopper Aura increased from 0.5/1/1.5/2% to 0.5/1.1/1.7/2.3%
- Death Pulse manacost rescaled from 125/145/165/185 to 100/130/160/190
Necro’s Heartstopper Aura has always been hard to balance, first it was rescaled, then the range was reduced and now we live to see the percentages increase again. Death Pulse is now cheaper and you can use it more often shamelessly.
- Multicast no longer increases Fire Blast manacost
The usual build is going for Ignite first, but the few people that prioritized Fire Blast, here you go.
- Repel manacost increased from 50 to 85
Repel keeps getting worse every patch, duration, range, now manacost. Omniknights pick Soul Ring in most cases, so this shouldn’t make much of a difference.
- Stifling Dagger can be targeted on Spell Immune (the slow won't have any effect, but the physical damage will go through)
In other news, now nothing can stop PA from spamming daggers on you. There’s simply no escape.
- Supernova radius increased from 1000 to 1300
- Supernova now turns night into day for the duration (has highest priority)
This one was highly requested in forums, as it only made sense a giant burning Supernova to illuminate the battleground. After all Luna’s Eclipse functioned with the same mechanic already.
- Static Link cast range reduced from 600 to 550 (break range still 800)
- Unstable Current damage reduced from 100/130/160/190 to 60/100/140/180
Slight nerf to the range of Static Link, but the bigger change here is the damage on Unstable Current. Now it’ll mess up people’s last hitting for sure, as it’s usually kept on level 1 for most of the early game.
- Tricks of the Trade reworked. Instead of hitting every hero in the AoE once per second, it hits a random hero once per 0.5/0.45/0.4 seconds.
- Tricks of the Trade will hit creeps if there are no heroes available
- Tricks of the Trade duration increased from 3/4/5 to 4/5/6
This might be the patch that turns Riki into a proper assassin, allowing him to pick stranded individuals. On max level Tricks of the Trade hits 5 times for 2 seconds, if it’s a single target. Add to that Backstab and other attack modifiers and health bars will disappear.
- Telekinesis cooldown increased from 22 to 28/26/24/22
Not much of a change, since 6 seconds early are nothing and the ability is a priority when leveling.
- Burrowstrike stun duration rescaled from 2.17 to 1.9/2.0/2.1/2.2
- Base movement speed reduced from 295 to 290
Sand is slower and more susceptible to ganks when the stun’s on cooldown. Also, not having a maxed out Burrowstrike will no longer allow you to queue Epicenter and finish casting it before the duration ends.
- Demonic Purge slow now always scales linearly with time from 100% to 20%
- Demonic Purge cooldown increased from 40 to 60 (affects charge replenish)
- Demonic Purge duration increased from 5 to 7 seconds
- Demonic Purge no longer roots non-hero units for 3 seconds
- Demonic Purge now continuously dispels the target
Shadow Demon gets sort of a rework on his ultimate, changes affect the base cooldown as well as the Aghanim’s upgrade with charges. The duration is now longer and the dispel continuous making it a very good counter versus heroes that rely on buffs to be effective.
- Base HP regen increased from 1.5 to 2.75
- Turn rate improved from 0.5 to 0.6
Slark is harder to kill in lane, turning him more into a bully with the regen almost doubled. Maybe we’ll see more of Slark in 2018 as the hero’s spike in popularity has dropped ever since Hex was made undispellable.
- Guardian Sprint no longer has a 15% damage amplification
- Guardian Sprint duration reduced from 12 to 10
There’s literally no downside to Sprint now, you can spam it on cooldown mindlessly. Oh and if there’s an Io attached to a Slardar, they’d both be going with 750 move speed in the river.
- Assassinate manacost reduced from 175/275/375 to 175/225/275
- Spectral Dagger damage increased from 50/100/150/200 to 90/140/190/240
- Empowering Haste active no longer reduces your movement speed afterwards
- Empowering Haste cooldown increased from 12 to 20
- Movement speed increased from 300 to 310
- Chakram manacost per second reduced from 20/25/30 to 16/23/30
- Chakram initial manacost reduced from 100/150/200 to 80/140/200
- Base intelligence increased by 3
- Berserker's Rage base attack time improved from 1.5 to 1.45
- Ice Shards cooldown increased from 19/16/13/10 to 21/18/15/12
- Arctic Burn attack range changed from 275/375/475/575 to 350/425/500/575
- Base intelligence increased by 1
Minor buffs and tweaks, that will hardly change anything.
- Base Health Regen reduced from 2.5 to 1.5
- Avalanche cooldown increased from 17 to 20/19/18/17
Tiny is now more susceptible to being driven away from the lane, which should make it harder for him to snowball out of control.
- Undying Zombie critical health attack speed boost increased from 50 to 75
- Flesh Golem hero kill heal increased from 10% to 15/20/25%
It never felt like Undying was truly undying, now there’s a chance he’ll live up to his name with 2.5 times increase in healing from hero kills.
- Golem's attack damage increased from 75/100/125 to 75/125/175
Golems now hit harder. Beware. The attack damage was never the main factor in Warlock’s kit and combo potential, but hey it’s a buff so might as well enjoy it.
- Attack range increased from 350 to 380
- Base damage increased by 5
Zeus could be semi-efficient in denying creeps, instead of just spamming Arc Lightning. 30 attack range increase won’t be very noticeable.
That’s a quick look over the changes. Overall the patch seems to focus on tweaking the early game potential of some heroes, keeping their core kit and late game intact. We have two whole weeks to test it out and find some bugs, as there always are.