Dota 2′s 6.79 patch has hit the main client, bringing with it a massive amount of changes. Heroes, items, abilities, creeps, the jungle, and even the day/night cycle have all been changed forever.
There’s a lot to go over in this latest update, so I’ll just discuss some of the highlights within this article. I’d recommend reading through the full patch notes afterwards, as almost nothing in the game has been left untouched.
Beyond hero and item changes, the map of Dota itself has seen a plethora of rebalances and new additions. From buyback changes to jungle reworks, games will now see a totally different meta to before.
* Buyback prevents gaining unreliable gold (creeps, neutrals, etc) until your normal respawn time finishes
* When buying back, 25% of the remaining respawn time will be added to your next death
This is a big deal, particularly at higher levels of play. Buying back is now a much harder decision than before, and should only be done if you hero can make a real difference after respawning.
* Ranged Heroes now get the same denied experience as melee heroes (instead of less)
* XP AoE increased from 1200 to 1300
One of the more controversial changes, this makes it a lot easier on ranged heroes, particularly in the offlane and mid lane. Ranged heroes won’t be hurt quite as badly by a heavily denying opponent, which will also make ranged offlane heroes more viable. The solo lane is also a bit safer with the new xp range, particularly when combined with the new creepline changes.
* Swapped the medium pullable Neutral Camp with the small camp
Pulling neutral camps is no longer as strong as it used to be, and personally I couldn’t be happier. It used to be that a team’s carry could get solo farm, while two supports also gained a decent level of gold and xp, making trilanes something of a necessity in team play. Along with several other balance changes, this could see the return of the classic 2-1-2.
* Day/Night length decreased from 6 to 4 minutes
Yet another massive shakeup, this now makes being a solo mid a lot scarier, a lot quicker. Night has always been the bane of the solos and the squishies, and now it arrives two minutes earlier, when these heroes are at their most vulnerable. This is also a big buff to Nightstalker, who will probably see a lot more play.
Most of Dota 2′s heroes have had a rework in some way, ranging from small armour changes to complete ability reworks. There have been some nerfs, but the primary focus seems to have been on buffing the weaker heroes, which has always been the tradition in Dota 2 updates.
* Axe – Culling Blade no longer goes on cooldown if it successfully kills a hero
Axe has been considered a bit of a trash hero for a while now, and he’s been buffed in almost every way. One of the biggest reworks is that of his ult, which will now allow him slam dunk an entire enemy team in succession, if they get low enough. Whether this, along with the other buffs, will draf him out of trash-tier territory remains to be seen though.
* Bloodseeker – Thirst is now global instead of 6000 range, When Thirst is active, movement speed cap is removed on your hero
Another hero long considered trash, this is a huge buff. With a Bloodseeker on the team, the enemy essentially lose the ability to juke in trees when low, and junglers will have a much harder time. The movement speed cap is probably not as huge as some players have been claiming, but it will still make the hero far more fearsome than the old Bloodseeker considered to be outshone by almost every other carry.
* Broodmother – Broodmother now has completely unobstructed movement when under the web (can walk over cliffs, trees, etc)
Broodmother has always been one of the more unique, interesting heroes. However, she was considered too easy to counter because of sentry wards, and her spiders were far too easy to feed to the enemy. However, with this crazy change, she now has absolutely huge webs that allow her to completely leave the map if she wishes. I have no idea whether Broodmother will see competitive usage because of this change, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the pros can do with her.
* Io- Tether now does a -100% MS/AS slow instead of a stun
In one of the few hero nerfs, Wisp (sorry Valve, that name isn’t going away) becomes a lot less valuable as a single target support. This could mean the difference between Wisp being a frequent pick/ban and only being chosen situationally.
* Pudge - Can now use Blink Dagger
Pudge can use blink dagger now! Hopefully this will see more Pudge plays in pro games, beyond the occasional Dendi pick. Expect to see a lot of pub players fucking up even more than before. Vengeful spirit has also been allowed the Blink Dagger in the new patch.
* Riki - Riki is no longer revealed out of Permanent Invisibility when he casts spells or uses items
RIP in piece, pub players. While this probably won’t affect his pro pick status a great deal, this change makes Riki a very scary hero for unprepared teams. And yes, he can use a Dagon on your poor squishy hero, while staying invisible.
* Rubick - Added Aghanim’s upgrade: reduces cooldown from 20/18/16 to 5, increases cast range from 1000 to 1400 and makes all stolen spells be considered to have their Aghanim’s upgrade
Yay! A Rubick buff! This change makes the hero even more fun to play, making him almost like a thief Invoker, grabbing spells from all directions to turn the tide of battles. Aghanims is pretty much a core item on him now though, so he’ll probably be picked for the 4 position more often than 5.
A lot of item changes have been made in the patch, making most of the current in-game guides even more useless. Make sure you read the item descriptions carefully until you’re familiar with the new changes!
* Animal Courier - Movement speed increased from 300 to 350, HP increased from 45 to 75
With the flying courier not available to purchase until three minutes in, the non-winged courier has been given a bit of a buff to compensate. With the jungle changes, heroes like Nature’s Prophet will be relying on sniping couriers more than before, so be careful with how you position it!
* Tango - Charges increased from 3 to 4, Gold cost increased from 90 to 125, Is no longer shareable, Tango can be targeted on an allied hero to create a 1 charge non-stacking tango
The humble Tango has had a surprising amount of changes, making it less of an obvious pickup for almost every hero.
* Tranquil Boots - Reworked Tranquil Boots, Active Boots: + 85 Movement speed + 4 Armor + 10 HP Regeneration, Broken Boots: + 60 Movement speed + 4 Armor
Tranquil Boots have been completely changed, transforming them from offering a cheap heal, to making them a HP regen powerhouse. Of course, this makes them less useful for heroes that want to get stuck into the action, but more useful for supports that want to whip around the map with the big movement speed buff.
This only really scratches the surface of what’s been changed. Again, you can read the full patch notes here. Enjoy!