The Bladeform Legacy Update Analysis

Just a few days after the Kiev Major Regional qualifiers finished Valve has released a new patch with some hero and item changes, as well as some changes to the mechanics of the game. Only a week later they released a smaller follow-up patch with some additions to the original changes as well as some entirely new changes. Having watched almost all of the Kiev Major qualifiers I have a pretty good idea at the current metagame and so will attempt to analyse these changes. 

Visual Changes

On top of the mechanical game changes Valve has added some aesthetic changes to the game.

Juggernaut, after roughly eight months of waiting, has finally got his arcana voted for by players before the end of TI6. Only about half a week after this announcement there were already many users on Reddit complaining about how essentially valve have just changed it to blue for no reason and that there should at least be an option to change it to red. Valve responded to this by giving you the option to change it to a red version after winning 10 games on juggernaut. This is not the first time valve has listened to the community with complaints about arcanas. The PA arcana didn’t before have a custom ult icon but valve added one after complaints by the community.

Jakiro has at last been given the remodel he deserves and so no longer looks like a bin bag in the wind which is great news.

Finally, the UI for the picking phase of captains mode has been given an update so follows a similar theme as other game modes. On top of this, players can now change captain easily from the picking phase as well as suggest picks and bans. 

7.03 Game Changes

Mechanical changes

Added Monkey King to Captains Mode.

Very High Skill players have been saying that monkey king is no longer as overpowered as he was before and as you will see later on in this article, has been nerfed further. I think for these reasons, this is definitely a reasonable change to captains mode. He has been picked up in some games by EG in Dota Cinema’s captains draft 3.0 but we will have to wait and see if they and other teams think he is strong enough to be picked in the bigger (More serious) tournaments. (Sorry Sunsfan)

XP Required to go from level 1 to level 6 increased by 15%, 300 XP total

I would say this is mostly a nerf to roamers as well as solo offlaners. As they will have to be slightly greedier to get to the same place they were before, but more likely those heroes will just get to level 6 slower and do less in the early game. So it could be said that heroes who sit in their lane and “AFK farm” for the first 10-25 minutes will have a better time. Caster and 6k MMR player “Capitalist” commented on this change with an interesting fact saying:

“An interesting change to this for offlaners is that full exp of the first wave will no longer get you lvl 2”


XP Required to go from level 9 to 13 redistributed from 700/720/740/1200 to 800/820/840/900

Valve in the 7.00 update had already got rid of the everlasting level 11 by smoothing out the XP needed around those couple of levels but apparently, that was not enough. This change will mean that 

AoE hero kill Gold and XP bounties reduced by 10% (including comeback gold and XP)

As well as the changes to the levels prior to 6, this change could also be taken as a nerf to roamers also. If you are playing a roaming earth spirit, not standing around many creeps kills before you had to rely on getting the roaming kills to have good levels. However, this change will see early roamers on lower levels than they previously were.

Tier 1 Team Bounty reduced from 160 to 120

A nerf to teams grouping up early and taking towers as they will be rewarded less. Could be noted that this is also an indirect buff to split pushers/early farmers such as Antimage. By the time Antimage has some decent items, for example, the enemy team will have less farm and won’t have snowballed as much.

Passive gold income reduced by 10%

Another nerf to roamers as they will not be getting as much gold from walking from lane to lane. However, these are not the only heroes this will have an effect on obviously, this change will see all players with slightly less money all throughout the game.

Reduced lane melee creeps base gold bounties by 2

Increased lane melee creeps gold bounty per upgrade cycle by 1

Reduced lane range creeps gold bounty per upgrade cycle by 1

These three changes will make the first 7 minutes and 30 seconds a harder time for the carry to get early items such as upgraded boots and an Aquila or a bottle but past this point, it will see carry heroes with more gold than before.

Shrines base HP regen reduced from 120 HP/sec to 100

Players may feel less scared to fight at the enemy’s shrine compared to before. Of course, it’s still not a great idea to take a fight there but if for example, you chase a hero to a shrine when they are low you may be more likely to get a kill with perseverance instead of turning around and giving up.

All towers base armor reduced by 4

Towers now gain 2 armor per nearby enemy player within 1200 AoE

This is great for split pushers such as weaver, Anti Mage or Clinkz but I believe overall this change was aimed at what has been happening with strategies such as troll + TA or SD luna which despite getting nerfed, have still been picked in a fair few games. Teams who’s strategy was grouping up early and taking towers will now have less of an advantage all throughout the game.

Tier 1 Tower HP increased from 1300 to 1400

I see this as a way of slightly counteracting the minus 4 armor to all towers change. You may be fighting early somewhere on the map whilst getting split pushed and not be able to TP immediately. Now you will have a better chance of defending the split pushed tower. 100 HP matters especially if it is combined with armour. 

Scan cooldown reduced from 270 seconds to 210

I can’t say that much about this change in terms of the pro scene but I do not believe scan was something pro players have been playing around. For example, I see scan being used previously as “Ok this is a good time so smoke into their jungle, let’s use scan as we do it” instead of “We have scan up in 60 seconds so we can smoke into their jungle with that.”

Ranked All Pick hero selection time reduced from 35 seconds to 30 seconds

Personally, for my pubs, this just means my team is going to lose more gold but I think this is an alright change as I do not believe 5 seconds will make a big difference.



Cleave damage increased from 35% to 40%

People were buying this item on basically only Antimage when they changed it. Will it see a return of BF Ember Spirit this patch? I think that it will be a situational decision now instead of always skipping it when the magic damage ember started to come into the meta. It will definitely be a good option late game but time will tell whether this change and the changes to the hero changes will make it more viable for him. Let’s not forget also that this will make Antimage slightly stronger which is good as he’s been pretty weak since the changes to the camps.


No longer available in the Side Shop

Honestly, I think this is pretty reasonable. It’s a very good item and it meant that if the carry got some early gold and was going desolator, later on, they could quickly pick this item up. Of course, you can still get this item but it was quite strong early in the game especially on heroes such as Phantom Assassin.


Cooldown increased from 13 to 14

Considering when the item was first released the cool down was 11 seconds this is a relatively big change. I think this change is more because players were picking up Bloodthorn instead of a Daedalus just because of the value and utility of it. I think this change and the Daedalus change may make players buy Daedalus more from now on but it may still not be enough.


Recipe cost reduced from 700 to 575

This is an extremely unsurprising change as Drum has pretty much never been bought since the change to Helm of the Dominator. This change will hopefully bring Drum back into the meta for heroes like Invoker and OD.


Critical Strike damage increased from 230% to 235%

As i said previously this and the Bloodthorn change will hopefully increase the popularity of this item.


Agility bonus reduced from 13 to 12

Similar to blood thorn this item has been continuously nerfed since its release. We will have to wait and see if this is still going to be worth it on heroes such as Meepo. I am quite sure though that this will still be a very common pick up for heroes such as OD and carry silencer as they will already most likely be building a force staff.


No longer slows attack speed

This change is a very slight nerf but I don’t believe this will make a huge amount of difference to the game. This just means that on heroes that you will be man fighting with this won’t be quite as good. On a hero like Slark though this will barely make any difference to him when picking them quickly.


Reduced All Stats modifier from +4 to +2

Recipe cost increased from 725 to 800


Recipe cost increased from 200 to 300

Both of these are nerfs to helm and are pretty big which will make it less of an instant buy on heroes now such a Juggernaut.


Magic Resistance reduced from 30% to 25%

It seemed like this was becoming a very common pick up on lots of heroes to combat an early lead to magic damage heroes. This change will make it easier for magic heavy lineups to win the game in the period where they are most strong.


Cooldown increased from 14 to 15

This along with the dragon lance change is making this item slightly worse but I don’t believe it is bad enough to not be bought.


Attack speed increased from 100 to 120

After this changed there were many heroes who stopped buying this. Although the silence could be debated to be better than the increased damage that you take this being silenced has been too bad for some heroes to buy such as Ursa who previously bought it.


Can now be cast on allied heroes

This could be used a new alchemist strategy with core Alch and some physical carries. This also could be the start of a new strategy with position 4s building this item early to buff their carries.


Cooldown reduced from 95 to 90

This item desperately needed a buff. Professional Lycan players have previously been avoiding this item and overall on Dotabuff this item is one of the least bought items in the game at the moment.


Cast range increased from 1000 to 1150

Although this item has been pretty popular it didn’t have as big of an effect as HOTD when they were both changed. This I think is a pretty reasonable change considering this and I expect this to be picked up more commonly against Ember and storm spirit.


Backstab damage reduced from 200 to 175 (same as Shadow Blade)

Shadow blade was upgraded pretty quickly into silver edge in most games even if there wasn’t a particular good hero to counter. This small nerf will not stop people buying it I think but it will just make a pretty good item slightly worse.


Cooldown increased from 70 to 80

With the new amount of points that you could teleport to on the map, TP scroll is now a more powerful item that before. On top of this, the addition to backpack will mean that if you put your TP scroll in your backpack pack it will take even longer to come off cool down.


Cost increased from 2100 to 2150

This and the silver edge damage change is a nerf to the item but this will also nerf Skadi which has been seen as a very must have late game item for most cores.



Aphotic Shield manacost rescaled from 100/105/110/115 to 115

Level 25 Talent increased from +200 Aphotic Shield Health to +300

Worse Early, Better at 25


Level 25 Talent increased from +80 Chilling Touch Damage to +100

Level 25 Talent increased from +3 Charges of Cold Feet to +4

Buffs the hero late in the game.


Magnetic Field manacost rescaled from 110 to 80/90/100/110

Tempest Double duration increased from 12/14/16 to 14/16/18

Level 25 Talent increased from +175 Spark Wraith Damage to +250

He was having very little play in professional play and so these buffs are a very reasonable way to fix that.


Base damage increased by 4

Level 25 Talent increased from +75 Movement Speed to +100

He already traded pretty well considering how good brain sap is but now he will be an even better hero to trade with against offlaners in the early game.


Level 25 Talent increased from +200 Flamebreak AoE to +300

This could have massive implications for major plays by knocking people back but I am not optimistic that this talent is going to do a lot on average.


Level 20 Talent increased from +350 Health to +400

Beastmaster had not been a very popular pick despite being such a good hero for game-changing vision. This buff will make him slightly better without him being picked every game. Also, I think he hasn’t had that many picks recently as he’s not Centaur or slardar but with nerfs to them also he could become a tier 1 offlaner once again.


Level 10 Talent increased from +200 Health to +225

This slight buff to Bloodseeker is slight but will make a big difference early in the game. Players may combine this with Treads and the health increase compared to before will be significant. At the moment the 70% of players get the damage talent according to Dotabuff however the win rate for each talent is very equal.


Level 15 Talent increased from +10% Magic Resistance to +12%

This change makes it slightly more convincing to get instead of the +75 thunderclap damage but I think players will still go with the + damage.


Level 10 Talent increased from +7 Strength to +8

Level 20 Talent increased from +45 Attack Speed to +50

Level 20 Talent increased from -35s Respawn Time to -40s

Almost no professional picks but this combined with the slight silver edge nerfs could see this hero in more professional play coming up.


Level 15 Talent increased from +250 Health to +325

Level 20 Talent increased from +50 Attack Speed to +70

Level 20 Talent increased from +8 Spiders Attack Damage to +12

Despite the previous brood buffs with the addition of talents, this hero has still seen very little play in pro tournaments. These buffs will definitely help brood early game, however, I don’t believe teams will pick her unless it’s a really good brood game like it has been before.


Base armor reduced by 1

Scepter Stampede damage reduction reduced from 60% to 50%

This major buff is to be expected as Centaur was one of the most picked heroes in the whole of the Kiev qualifiers. On top of this, the change to his aghs is huge when you think that the percentage when released was 70%.


Level 25 Talent increased from +250 Crystal Nova Damage to +300

Sight buffs to crystal maiden will make her slightly better in the late game.


Vacuum cooldown increased from 28 to 32

It’s almost become a meme to nerf this hero every patch. The thing is though that this hero is good in a lot of circumstances. The lane dominance Dark Seer can have against a melee carry is better than many others in the game. Not to mention how well Vacuum combos with so many skills and how his ult scales infinitely.


Level 10 Talent increased from +4% Spell Amplification to 5%

Level 10 Talent increased from +8% Magic Resistance to +10%

Level 20 Talent increased from +25 Movement Speed to +50

Level 25 Talent increased from +400 Health to +600

Level 25 Talent increased from +6 Exorcism Spirits to +8

Another hero who gets very little professional play and so these small changes as a whole I believe will increase her pick rate. The level 25 talents seem to be the main changes however so I don’t think that these changes will be that influential unless teams can fit a lineup around death prophet early game.


Level 10 Talent increased from +7 Strength to +9

Level 10 Talent increased from +20 Attack Speed to +25

Level 25 Talent increased from +60 Movement Speed to +75

DK was quite a popular pick but once 7.00 hit he been a very situational hero with very little games played. These early buffs will go towards him being better compared to other heroes and hopefully getting more professional play. The level 10 strength talent is not being picked very often also so that will make it slightly better against the 25 attack speed.


Base movement speed reduced from 295 to 290

This along with the gold and XP changes I talked about at the start of the article will most likely see earth spirit picked up less in pro play. However, with players such as Jerax I don’t believe he will stopped being played I just think ES will be slightly less effective in the early game.


Aftershock damage increased from 50/75/100/125 to 75/100/125/150

Level 10 Talent increased from +8 Strength to +10

Small buffs which will make a light difference but we will have to wait and see what happens with his pick rate. The level talent is improved to make it better compared to the +250 mana but as ES is so mana reliant I don’t think this change will sway people to change their minds.


Agility gain increased from 1.5 to 1.8

He some pretty good results when played in the Kiev qualifiers but ET has phoned for some more armor and attack speed which will perhaps see more play for him.


Level 10 Talent reduced from +12% Spell Amplification to 10%

Level 10 Talent increased from +20 Damage to +25

Level 20 Talent increased from +8 Armor to +10

Level 20 Talent changed from +15% Cooldown Reduction to +500 Flame Guard Absorption

Level 25 Talent changed from +500 Flame Guard Absorption to +20% Cooldown Reduction

These changes see Ember being far better late game which could actually lead players to go back to the old Ember build of planning for the late game with Battlefury and Daedalus.


Base movement speed increased from 335 to 340

Level 15 Talent changed from +10s Nature’s Attendants Duration to +7 Nature’s Attendants Wisps

Level 20 Talent increased from +12% Magic Resistance to +15%

Level 25 Talent changed from +12 Nature’s Attendants Wisps to Enchant Affects Ancients

As we have rarely seen Enchantress in the professional scene some buffs would be expected. The move speed change will mean she can gank lanes slightly more efficiently. The Level 15 buff makes it better compared to the other 50 damage talent and the level 20 buff makes it better compared to the +60 untouchable slow. I don’t think either of these will make a massive difference in pick rates however the level 25 talent change is an excellent change to the hero which will make pushing with Enchantress far easier, something that has previously been difficult for the hero.


Level 10 Talent increased from +7 Strength to +8

Makes this talent option slightly better compared to 15 attack speed.


Level 10 Talent increased from +200 Health to +225

Level 15 Talent increased from +12% Magic Resistance to +15%

Expected buffs as very few teams have been picking gyrocopter. Health option is better compared to +6 spell amp. Magic resist is better compared to 30 damage but not good enough for people to pick it I do not believe. 


Level 25 Talent increased from +400 Life Break Cast Range to +500

Huskar has always fallen off late game but this will make him slightly stronger in those times.


Alacrity manacost increased from 45 to 60

Expected as many invoker players who were even going Quas/Exort were putting a level into wex early to use Alacrity to win their lane. As we’ve seen already from the various professional games since the kiev qualifiers, many players are still doing this but it just means they will have less mana to play with in the mid game and may consider picking up a raindrop or a ring basi.


Relocate cooldown rescaled from 90/75/60 to 100/80/60

Worse early game but still the same late game.


Level 10 Talent increased from +20% XP Gain to +25%

Level 15 Talent increased from +25 Dual Breath Burn Damage to +35

Slight early to mid game buffs which may make a small difference but will not boost his pick rate I do not believe. Spell amp is so good for Jakiro so I don’t think that the XP increase will make people take this over the other +8 spell amp talent. Similarly, cast range is so good for Jakiro that I don’t think the burn damage increase will make players choose this over the +125 cast range.


Healing Ward bounty increased from 25 Gold to 75 Gold and XP

This is quite a big change. RTZ talked on stream a month ago about how it’s really easy to win pubs by picking juggernaut, maxing healing ward and just pushing towers with it. This nerf along with the change to how armor on towers works is quite a big nerf to Juggernaut.


Mana Leak duration reduced from 5/6/7/8 to 4/5/6/7

Mana Leak manacost increased from 150 to 160

Unsurprising nerfs to Mana leak as it’s been complained about by many professional players.


Level 15 Talent increased from +15 Movement Speed to +20

Slight Buff, not game changing it makes it better compared to +15 health regen but not much better.


Level 25 Talent changed from +25% Cooldown Reduction to -8s Press The Attack Cooldown

Could be great if you have a hero such as Juggernaut or PA on your team. You could realistically have LC Press the attack, bloodlust, and alacrity all on one hero and just siege towers really easily.


Level 25 Talent increased from +2s Lightning Storm Slow Duration to +3s

Small and quite insignificant change.


Level 10 Talent increased from +15 Movement Speed to +25

Level 10 Talent increased from +125 Health to +175

Level 15 Talent increased from -3s Frost Blast Cooldown to -4s

Kind of early buffs but with a nerf to his level 15. I think these changes will result in him being stronger than before in the mid game.


Base damage reduced by 3

He has been a top pick for position 1 recently especially with the combo of the also popular Slardar and Centaur. This change, as well as the slander and centaur nerfs, should see his pick rate reduced.


Level 10 Talent increased from -25s Respawn Time to -30s

Level 10 Talent increased from +60 Light Strike Array Damage to +80

Level 15 Talent increased from +40 Damage to +50

Level 25 Talent changed from +1 Fiery Soul Max Stacks to +40/4% Fiery Soul Per Stack

Slightly better in the early game as well as an interesting change to her level 25.


Level 10 Talent increased from -25s Respawn Time to -30s

Level 10 Talent increased from +45 Damage to +60

The change to 60 damage is interesting as many players thought that 45 damage was a lot in the early stages of the game but clearly valve thought that not enough people were picking the talent or the hero in general.


Base damage reduced by 4

Rabid cooldown increased from 30 to 45

Level 15 Talent reduced from +55 Damage to +50 Damage

Bulldog called this changes “Ruining the hero.” If this will actually ruin the hero we will have to wait and see but he is less strong in lane with the reduced damage. The + damage which was one of the factors to create the “Sniper Druid” idea in the first place has been nerfed slightly. The main change which players such as bulldog are annoyed with though is the change to cool down of rabid. This will reduce the farming speed as players will now take longer to kill camps and more around the map as they will have the boosted attack and movement speed boosts less frequently.


Level 10 Talent increased from +150 Health to +175

Recently introduced back into Captain’s mode, Lycan has been an average hero for the last patch and so this is a small buff to his early game which won’t have an effect on his pick rate but should make him slightly stronger. 


Level 25 Talent increased from +1s Stone Gaze Stun to +2s

Despite only being 1 second this buff could create some great plays especially if timed with something like a Magnus and a heavy hitter such as PA or juggernaut in the late game. I’m quite sure this won’t affect her pick rate however as you cannot play a strategy around a 25 talent in this meta especially. This change is most likely also to make this choice balance out in popularity with the other choice of +25 Lifesteal which has seen far more popularity by players with around 86% of players picking it.


Added to Captains Mode

Jingu Mastery buff now has a max duration of 35 seconds

Tree Dance night vision reduced from 800 to 400

Wukong’s Command duration rescaled from 13/14/15 to 13

I’ve already talked about his addition to captains mode but with his changes, I think they are very fair. When monkey king was released many players were like “Oh how long does the extra damage buff last” “WHAT IT DOESN’T RUN OUT?” So this is quite an unsurprising change to how his buff works. As vision in Dota is debatable the most important aspect of the game his tree dance gaining flying vision of the surrounding area is a really strong ability. This nerf to tree dance makes it slightly worse without making it a terrible ability. The change to Wukong’s commandIi don’t think will make much difference as it rarely lasts the full duration but it stops it being complete overkill.


Nature’s Call manacost rescaled from 160 to 130/140/150/160

Level 15 Talent increased from +15 Intelligence to +20

Level 15 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +35

I don’t think that nature’s prophet is an especially strong hero to deserve the ultimate nerf. However, as he’s a very common buyer of drum I think we might see a return to him in professional play in the upcoming DAC. This ultimate nerf may have been to counteract this buff of Drum. Apart from this, I feel like the buffs to his level 15 talents are not amazing but will certainly make him a better hero than before.


Spiked Carapace cooldown rescaled from 22/18/14/10 to 25/20/15/10

Nyx has always been situationally a good hero but this change will see him slightly worse in the laning stage but the same once his maxes out Spiked Carapace.


Base movement speed reduced from 290 to 285

Bloodlust manacost increased from 50 to 65

As previously talked about with the change to the gold I believe this patch does not do well for roaming heroes and as with earth spirit ogre’s move speed has been nerfed slightly meaning it will take more time to move from lane to lane.


Spirit Lance illusions now give the same constant 5 bounty as Juxtapose, rather than scaling with levels

PL has not had a great win rate above 5k MMR recently with only around 40%. This change will see PL’s enemies with slightly less gold as before.


Level 15 Talent increased from +90 Gold/Min to +120

This is quite a big increase in GPM for phoenix and this combined with the very common pickup of midas on phoenix will mean she will have a large amount of gold going into the mid game. This change is surprisingly not to counteract the strength of the other choice talent of +50 fire spirit damage as that talent has had around 35% pick rate by players.


Base damage increased by 3

Level 15 Talent increased from +15% Magic Resistance to +20%

Level 15 Talent increased from +40 Damage to +50

Level 25 Talent increased from +300 Gold/Min to +420

Puck has been quite neglected recently and so this damage increase will improve puck’s laning phase a small amount. On top of that with both level 15 talents being increased, he will be overall stronger in the mid game. Finally, valve once again succumbing to the memes by increasing pucks +GPM level 15 talent to +420. This also was not especially a balancing change compared to his other talent but this change will make puck better in the late game by giving him more items quicker. This is defiantly needed due to how puck falls off the same as many other magic damage heroes as the game gets late due to all heroes having more and more health.


Meat Hook speed reduced from 1600 to 1450

Meat Hook no longer pulls invulnerable heroes

“Great now I’ll never get hooked” – Bulldog. This change will possibly reduce pudge’s pick rate ever high pick rate but pudge is still pudge so I don’t think it will make a massive difference. As of the other change, this will change pudge hooking heroes such as Storm Spirit when he is in Ball lightning, Ember when he is in Remnant and slight of fist and juggernaut when he is in Omnislash to name a few. It will also stop pudge players being able to pudge hook someone out of Euls which has previously been a fairly common thing to do.


Pugna Level 10 Talent increased from +150 Health to +225

Pugna Level 15 Talent changed from +12 Strength to -1s Netherblast Cooldown

Pugna Level 15 Talent increased from -25s Respawn Time to -35s

The level 10 talent change I see as a way to slightly counteract the removal of the strength talent at 15. The -1s Nether blast cooldown will mean that Pugna players will be able to farm slightly faster than before. The Respawn change is fair as many other heroes have also had this Respawn time talent buffed. I think the level 15 talents will be chosen dependent on how you are playing Pugna, Nether blast cool down for carry Pugna for fasting farming or respawn time for support to come back into the game quicker after dying.


Level 10 Talent increased from +6 Strength to +9

Level 10 Talent increased from +20 Damage to +25

Level 20 Talent increased from +200 Health to +300

Level 25 Talent changed from -3s Shadow Strike Cooldown to Removed Shadow Strike Cooldown

Queen of pain has been quite a weak mid hero in the waning phase lately so it was expected that we would see some buffs to her early game talents. The level 10 talents give you the health vs damage options, both have which have been buffed to just increase how good the hero is no matter what option you take.

The level 20 talent helps to balance it against the opposite talent but it also goes towards making her overall a stronger hero.

Although I don’t believe that the cooldown being removed on shadow strike will have an especially big impact on heroes damage wise in the late game that much I think a great application of this is to counter Linkens sphere. Picking queen of pain along with heroes such as Necrophos and Legion commander will now have great application in the late game. Ultimately though the spell life steal is so good that only in very specific games will players pick the shadow strike talent.


Level 10 Talent increased from +15 Movement Speed to +20

Level 10 Talent increased from +10 Agility to +15

Eye of the Storm Scepter now hits shrines instead of ignoring them

The move speed will always be good on razor so this buff despite being only 5% will make a bigger difference on him more than others. The 5 increase on both level 10 talents will just go a longer way in making razor who has had little picks recently in the pro scene slightly better in the early stages of the game. The Aghs change is a pretty obvious one and I’m quite surprised it wasn’t like this already before.


Attack Range reduced from 600 to 550

Rubick has seen a lot of play recently in the professional scene as well as having the third biggest pick rate of all heroes in +5k MMR. He has been picked even if he is not countering a big team fight spell and so this change is definitely expected.


Level 25 Talent changed from -7s Shadow Raze Cooldown to +125 Shadow Raze Damage

The minus cooldown on shadow fiend did very little as at that point the damage of the Razes did very little as people have higher HP pools. This change will see Razes doing more in the late game and should increase the popularity of this talent option. However, the other level 25 option of attack range is so good especially combined with the common dragon lance on shadow fiend that it’s unlikely that this change will sway players to pick it still.


Base armor increased by 1

Base attack range reduced from 500 to 400

Base attack damage increased by 18

Level 10 Talent increased from +15 Movement Speed to +20

Level 10 Talent increased from +150 Health to +175

Shadow shaman was the only hero not to be picked in the Kiev qualifiers so it’s no surprise that he was going to get some quite major buffs. The increase in armor, attack range, damage and buffs to the level 10 talents will, in my opinion, make shaman a very strong hero in the early game now.


Slithereen Crush stun duration reduced from 1.5/1.75/2/2.25 to 1.25/1.5/1.75/2.0

Corrosive Haze duration reduced from 25 to 18

Unsurprising nerf to Slardar as he was being picked almost every game in the Kiev Qualifiers. The stun duration change makes him a worse hero at the early levels as well as when maxed out. The other change to Slardar is that he will have less vision on enemies who have his ult on them. This is a subtle change to how slardar works but I still think slardar will continue to be a strong hero going forward but may not be a 1st or second pick in the professional scene.


Level 15 Talent increased from +15 Movement Speed to +20

Level 15 Talent increased from +6 All Stats to +8

Level 20 Talent increased from +15 Strength to +20

Level 20 Talent increased from +25 Attack Speed to +30

Spectre is another hero with very little professional play recently so these changes are to be expected. All level 15 and 20 talents have been buffed but the increase in all stats will not feel as big of a change for some players as it was becoming quite a common build to pick up a helm of the dominator but as helm was nerfed the opposite to this buff he will essentially have the same stats.


Proximity Mines damage rescaled from 225/400/575/750 to 150/350/550/750

Since the techies change he was quite an issue in the early game and so this expected change will make him worse early game but still the same at max level as he previously was.


Level 15 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +35

Level 15 Talent increased from +45 Damage to +60

Tiny had very little picks in the Kiev Qualifiers and so these relatively big buffs to his level 15 talents should see his mid game power spike be even bigger than before.


Eyes In The Forest cooldown increased from 25 to 35

Nature’s Guise fade delay rescaled from 6/5/4/3 to 7/6/5/3

Treant’s aghs has been seen by many support players as a must have on the hero but the cool down on marking the trees has now been buffed making it slightly worse but still good enough that Aghs is still a great item on the hero. Since the change to how Nature’s guise works Treant had been quite a dominating hero in the waning phase of the game. This change will make him slightly worse early but the same when Nature’s guise is maxed.


Level 10 Talent increased from +35% XP Gain to +40%

This change will give him slightly more XP than before going into the mid game but I don’t think this is a game-changing change. This change was intended to make it more equal to the other option of +35 damage.


Level 20 Talent increased from +25 Movement Speed to +30

As his other level 20 talent is so good (+50 zombie tombstone damage) I don’t imagine that even this change will make a difference in which talent players will pick.


Level 10 Talent increased from +20% XP Gain to +30%

Level 10 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +30

Will now be better early in the game ELABORATE


Level 15 Talent increased from +7 Strength to +8

This is to be a more competitive talent against the +14 agility which is the other option. Unless you’re doing some specific strategy and going something like treads, a Mek and a Sange and Yasha I don’t see players differing from the usual agility talent.


Level 10 Talent increased from +25% XP Gain to +30%

Familiars HP rescaled from 300/500/700 to 400/550/700

Visage had quite low play unless with specific draw strategies and now with the familiars being stronger at their first level visage may get picked up by teams more often. The level 10 talent is to compare with the +90 GPM other option at level 10. Despite the GPM talent showing bigger popularity, the XP gain talent has a bigger win rate shown on dotabuff.


Base damage reduced by 3

Base movement speed reduced from 290 to 285

Level 25 Talent increased from +25% Magic Resistance to +35%

Weaver was a very strong hero previously with many players playing him safe lane instead of the usual offlane, but also some teams running him in the support role. The base damage reduction will mean it is harder to last hit that before, weaver being quite hard anyway due to his awkward attack animation. The movement speed change is slight but as some players play weaver without boots this small change may see players opt for boots now. The level 25 buff just makes it more competitive against the Shukuchi movement speed increase but not enough that players will choose it instead as it gives you better positioning and allows you to travel across the map faster.


Windrun cooldown reduced from 13 to 12

Level 10 Talent increased from +25% Windrun Slow to +30%

Level 25 Talent increased from -6s Powershot Cooldown to -7s

Like Puck, Wind Ranger has been quite a weak mid hero recently and so the wind run cool down is a good buff but I don’t think it will make a massive difference. The talent changes are to balance out how good they are compared to the other options.


Level 10 Talent increased from +6 Strength to +7

Buff to make it better compared to the +8 intelligence other talent option.


Scepter CD/Duration reduced from 40 to 35

Level 10 Talent increased from +175 Health to +200

Level 25 Talent increased from +1.5% Static Field to +2%

Although the aghs for Zeus is quite good it rarely seems worth it to buy compared to other items of the same cost. This reduction of cooldown will make it a more competitive option but we will have to wait and see if professional players think it’s worth it. As with many of the other talent changes, these are to make those options better against the other options.

7.04 Changes

Looking at all of the changes that have been made in this patch it is clear that valve is still not happy enough about the amount of difference the patch has had in the past week in pub games of high MMR players as well as in professional Dota events that have happened over the last week such as china qualifier for the manilla masters.


Hurricane Pike recipe increased from 250 to 500

This item has been nerfed further from the last patch.

Silver Edge recipe increased from 300 to 500

Silver edge saw a nerf in the last patch also and this another further nerf making it even more expensive to buy now.

Ghost Scepter cooldown reduced from 25 to 20

Not nerfed in the last patch but when there is a very dominant physical damage enemy carry it is sometimes hard to get the gold as a support to buy this item. This change means that when support players do get the gold to buy this item it is a slightly better item which I think is a very fair change.

Sange and Yasha proc chance increased from 35% to 40%

Also not changed last patch but universally seen as a bad item especially compared to manta. It’s rarely been picked up on any hero apart from troll warlord so this item deserved a buff last patch and it has finally come.

Heaven’s Halberd cooldown reduced from 22 to 18

Another item rarely bought on anyone apart from Huskar, legion and spirit breaker.

Slippers of Agility are no longer available in the Side Shop

“is this a joke” – Arteezy This will make it harder for safelaners as they will no longer be able to easily upgrade their stout shield’s to PMS. It will also be harder for heroes such as Drow, Luna, and Weaver to upgrade to a wraith band in the laning phase.


Centaur: Stampede Scepter damage reduction reduced from 50% to 40%

Pretty crazy considering it started at 70% at release but valve didn’t think it was nerfed enough in the last week.

Monkey King: Primal Spring slow rescaled from 40/50/60/70% to 30/45/60/75%

Slightly Weaker early but stronger at max level which is a nerf to roaming MK players.

Monkey King: Spring winding up sound effect can be heard by nearby enemies

Could actually make quite a big difference as you know if you are about to be jumped on however you still won’t know where he’s jumping to.

Magnus: Base attack time increased from 1.7 to 1.8

Slightly more difficult to last hit on Magnus in the lane.

Magnus: Reverse Polarity cooldown increased from 120/110/100 to 120

If used as soon as it comes off cooldown you will now effectively be losing an RP every three minutes which adds up in a long game. Magnus had seen quite a lot of play recently also with a pick rate of 21% above 5k MMR.

Abaddon: Strength gain reduced from 2.7 to 2.5

Clearly, valve realized that they made Abaddon too strong with the last few changes. This change will make him slightly worse as a tank and will see him being slightly more likely to die going into the mid and late game.

Abaddon: Mist Coil projectile speed reduced from 2000 to 1600

Abaddon recently has had the highest win rate of any hero above 5k MMR so these changes are very called for.

Lifestealer: Base damage reduced by 2

Further reductions to life stealer making it even harder to last hit with him as well as making him slightly less efficient trading with an offlaner.

Keeper of the Light: Base damage reduced from 43-57 to 43-50

His max damage has been reduced by 7 which is quite considerable but as that’s not how damage works it will only see his average damage decreased by about 3.

Brewmaster: Drunken Brawler cooldown reduced from 16/14/12/10 to 13/12/11/10

Nerf to brewmaster at early levels but will be the same when maxed out.

Nature’s Prophet: Level 10 Talent increased from +225 Health to +250

This change just makes this talent a better option as Dotabuff shows that 86% of all players choose the other + 30 Damage talent.

Nature’s Prophet: Level 15 Talent changed from +35 Movement Speed to +4 Treants Summoned

A week ago they buffed the move speed and now they are back with the + treants. This change could be good but I can’t see it having any major implications. Now at least NP players will have more treants and then more damage and health at level 25.

Razor: Level 20 Talent increased from +30 Attack Speed to +40

Razor’s level 10 talents got buffed in the last patch and now his level 20 has been buffed too.

Razor: Level 20 Talent increased from +275 Health to +325

This is all fair in my opinion as razer one of the lowest pick rates in the game right now.

Death Prophet: Level 10 Talent increased from +10% Magic Resistance to +12%

Buffed even further than the last patch.

Death Prophet: Exorcism spirit damage increased from 55 to 58

Although this doesn’t sound like a lot this change will mean that when ult is maxed out and you take the extra spirits for the level 25 talent you will deal an extra 96 damage which is quite a lot.

Queen of Pain: Shadow Strike cast point reduced from 0.452 to 0.4

Buffed even further. Now at level 25, she will have a fast cast instant Shadow strike.

Phoenix: Level 15 Talent increased from +120 Gold/Min to 150

Buffed even further from the last patch.

Phoenix: Level 15 Talent increased from +50 Fire Spirits DPS to +65

With buffs to both level 15 talents valve clearly wants to make phoenix better in the mid game.

Kunkka: Level 10 Talent increased from +25 Damage to +30

Weirdly Dotabuff shows that this talent is actually more popular than the other option. However, it also shows that the other one has a slightly better win rate so perhaps this change is to combat this.

Kunkka: Level 15 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +30

This change to talents, different to the last one is to make this a more popular option to players.

Lycan: Base strength increased by 3

This change makes him even stronger in the early game and combined with the new buff to the level 10 talent lycan should be a more difficult hero to kill in the early stages of the game.

Arc Warden: Strength gain increased from 2.3 to 2.7

Lone Druid: Level 15 Talent increased from +30 Spirit Bear Damage to +50

Ancient Apparition: Cold Feet manacost reduced from 150 to 125

Broodmother: Insatiable Hunger lifesteal increased from 60/90/120% to 60/100/140%

Brood received quite a few buffs in the last patch but once again has been given bigger lifesteal on her ult at level 2 and 3.

Broodmother: Insatiable Hunger damage increased from 60/90/120 to 60/100/140

As well as more damage at level 2 and 3 on her ult.

Bristleback: Quill Spray AoE increased from 625 to 650

Bristleback was buffed in the last patch. Clearly valve has not thought that was a big enough buff.

Puck: Base damage increased by 3

Further base damage increases making puck even better in the waning phase.

Lich: Chain Frost cooldown reduced from 120/90/60 to 100/80/60

This will make no difference in the late game but early to mid game, this is a reasonable sized buff to chain frost.

Concluding Words

Most of the changes to heroes in 7.04 were continuations of buffs/nerfs that heroes received in 7.03. Some of them are changes which I expected to see in 7.03 such as Magnus which valve realised and so updated them last minute before tournaments. Many of the talents also were making hero’s talents more equal in power with the other option. This is something I expect we will see in may patches to come.

We will see in the upcoming DAC and Kiev Major if these changes are enough to stop professional players from picking the heroes such as life stealer, centaur, and Slardar and if they think buffs to heroes like puck are enough to start picking her more often.

It’s likely that some of my comments on changes may have been off slightly. If you want to discuss some of the changes and how you think they will affect the game you can always tweet me. Link to my twitter below.


Sources –




English Esports Writer // Dota 2 and Hearthstone // Follow me on Twitter @TheCBloom // A.K.A Layton //

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