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After a long wait, the new Dota 2 patch, patch 7.28 – the Mistwoods update – is finally here and as expected, the changes it brings will totally revolutionize the game of Dota 2, as most of the large updates at the start of the Dota 2 season do. While the patch does not have very many general changes and the map has been kept the same, the new hero, Aghanmin’s Shard upgrade for all heroes and new items should be more than enough to create chaos in pubs for the next few weeks. The entire set of patch notes can be found here. We will take a look at the bullet points of the patch and analyze how each factor will possibly affect the game.

(1) Hoodwink

The headline of the Dota 2 patch 7.28 is the new hero – Hoodwink. She’s a ranged agility hero who quite looks like a Ferret and looking at her abilities, seems like a good fit for mid or offlane (position 2 or position 3), with position 4 also a possibility ( kind of like Windranger or Batrider – pretty versatile). For the next few days at least, Hoodwink will be banned or picked in all pub games, at all skill levels, in all regions. Quite a unique kind of unity, isn’t it?!

(2) Aghanim’s Shards

The Aghanim’s Shard’s upgrade may not headline patch 7.28, but it is the biggest change that the patch brings – a new ability or upgrade to an exisiting ability for 1400 gold. It can only be purchased after 20 minutes and does not provide any stats like Aghanim’s Scepter does – only gives the upgrade.

What does this do to the game? It adds a whole new dimension! Just like the addition of the talent tree diversified the game, the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade will open up endless possibilities. Depending on the hero, the role and the state of the game, heroes will have to make a decision on whether to do the Shard route, the Scepter route or a totally different route. It will also open up new roles for heroes – some supports becomes cores and some cores supports! In the days to come, VPEports will rate the Aghanim’s Shard upgrades.

(3) Hero and Scepter reworks

Innumerable heroes have received a rework on their Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade and many others have also gotten a new ability. VPEsports has had a tradition of looking at the new abilities and Scepter upgrades in detail, and this time around will be no different. In the days to come, both categories will be given the attention they deserve.

(4) New items

A lot of new items have been added to the game, regular and neutral both. The item that leaves is this year is Ring of Tarrasque, which has been removed from the game. A lot of new items have been crafted in a way that combine mid game items with other components so that late in the game, when item slots end and gold keeps accumulating, certain items can be upgraded. Here is a glimpse of items that can be upgraded from Helm of the Dominator, Blink and Eul’s Scepter of Divinity, shown below.

Neutral items of all tiers have new items introduced and a certain number of items cycled out. Of them, Poor Man’s Shield and Iron Talon find themselves booted from the game for a second time.

(5) General changes

There aren’t a lot of general changes to the game, but the most prominent one is the game starting during the night time. This will impact the starting vision, making ganks before the game starts more difficult unless the team has a Night Stalker or Slark.

It isn’t easy to absorb all the changes in such a huge patch and it will take everyone a good chunk of time to get accustomed to Dota 2 patch 7.28. But as things start getting clearer, VPEsports will be on standby to decipher the new meta as it unfolds.

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