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It has been two weeks since the release of 7.08 and as promised, we have a new patch! My thought process was it would proceed as 7.08 a, b and so on, but it seems Valve really wants to get a move with the numbers. Oh well, as long as it stirs up the game, right? This patch surely seems to have done that, especially for the supports and that too, just before the ESL One Katowice Major! Let’s check out the changes and how they can potentially change the game.

 It all starts differently

-Courier cost reduced from 200 to 50
-Starting gold is reduced from 625 to 600
-Tangos now come with 3 charges and cost 90 gold

The starting gold has bene reduced by 25, so everyone takes a bit of a hit in that regard. But for supports, especially for position 5 heroes who buy the courier and Tangos for the mid at the start, it is basically Christmas coming a lot earlier than expected. The biggest change of the three is probably the courier cost being reduced to 25% where the support saves 150 gold.

Before 7.09
Courier – 200
Observer + Sentry Ward – 180
Smoke – 80
Tangos – 150
That amounts to 610 gold and left the hero with 15 gold. If you’re counting pubs, you’ll probably go for a clarity instead of a smoke and probably get a salve instead of the early sentry.

After 7.09
Courier – 50
Observer + Sentry Ward – 180
Smoke – 80
Tangos – 90
This amounts to 400 gold and basically leaves the support with an extra 200 gold, which is approximately the networth’s Solo has after 15 minutes.

What can you do with the extra gold?
If needed, you can buy an extra set of tangos are share a few more with your mid laner. Maybe a Salve if you’re expecting an aggressive trilane from the opposition, just to make sure you’re carry has a backup HP plan. The support can forgo the smoke or ask the position 4 to get it which leaves enough money for an Orb of Venom or Wind Lace. In the laning stages, these small invents make a huge difference. An Ogre with our without an Orb of Venom can easily be the decisive factor in whether or not the team gets the First Blood. Basically, it’s a bit of a leeway for supports, and something that was necessary after the cost of wards and Smoke of Deceit were raised.

We all share, we all prosper

-Initial bounty rune now gives +40 gold to all heroes instead of 100 to the hero that picks it up (those bounty runes look slightly different)

Don’t you just hate it in pubs when you are supposed to get the bounty being the mid player but the support or offlane (playing Antimage or Spectre) just come in and grab your rune? Well, now you might as well help them secure it! In the case that everything seems calm and a skirmish is out of the question, the mid can retreat to the lane earlier and ensure a good block. A thing to notice here is the value of the initial Bounty Rune has gone up from 100 to 200. Team getting three Bounty Runes will be starting with a 400 networth lead right away. This is another change that benefits supports, as assuming the team secures two Bounty Runes, 80 extra gold is guaranteed which covers the cost of an extra ward.

An ulterior motive to stack

-Killing a neutral camp stack now gives a bonus 15% gold bounty to the hero that stacked it. No bonus is given if the stack is cleared by an enemy or the hero that stacked it. (New audio is now played once a stack is successful. Stacked neutrals have a buff with the stacker’s hero icon on it)

Of the thankless jobs that supports have, stacking is one of them. Make a nice juicy stack just to see it devoured in seconds by your carry. Well, the support can get experience off it but how much better if there’s some monetary benefits involved?!

Consider a quad stack of ancient creeps with one of each type of ancients (Dragons, Golems, Thunderhides and Prowler Shamans). The total gold a player gets by clearing a stack like this is 610-712. The support that stacks it gets 92-107 gold without having to touch a single creep! It is a bit unclear what happens if a certain player stacks the first time while someone else stacks the next time. But I’m assuming you get 15% of the bounty only for the stack you made, or else it would be quite broken. This gives a lot of incentives to supports to stack and will probably have a bigger effect in pubs, where you need to beg the support to do the needful.

Let’s come a bit closer

-Tier 1 mid lane towers are now a bit closer to the river

Visually there doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference. This change will probably make it a bit difficult to gank mid, as the hero can get into the safety of the tower quicker than earlier.

 Let there be vision

-Removed a tree in the radiant jungle (to the top right of the blue crystals near the ancients)

The tree in question was blocking out vision for any wards placed on the edge. As the image below shows, the cleared up spot can now be used to get decent vision of two entrances to the radiant jungle as well as the bottom rune.

The tree removed in the Radiant Jungle in 7.09 opens up a new ward spot


Are you good at pulling?

-Range creep attack acquisition range reduced from 800 to 600

First, let’s clear up what attack acquisition range is. It’s that range within which an enemy or neutral unit needs to come for the creep to be distracted from its path and go after the unit. This is sort of important while pulling. Have you observed that if you’re a bit late with the pull, only the ranged creep gets pulled. The reason for that is the melee creeps have an attack acquisition range of 500 while till now, the ranged creep had an attack acquisition range of 800. Now with that being reduced to 600, you will have to get the pull timings exactly right!

7.09 has brought in some exciting changes as to how the early game could pan out. Although no hero changes were made, it might also propel teams to pick heroes that are really good at clearing stacks (well, we already have Gyrocopter and Medusa in the meta). Teams have probably already started tweaking their strategies and we will get to witness it when ESL One Katowice kicks off on Tuesday, the 20th of February!

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