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This day was coming. The pro players could smell the detonation powder in the mines of Techies. The new patch, 7.14 introduces Squee, Spleen and Spoon, the Techies to the Captain’s Mode thereby making every hero viable for the upcoming Epicenter XL Major and all the tournaments to follow. In an interview with VPEsports, Kuro ’Kuroky’ Salehi Takhasomi agreed that Techies shouldn’t be the only one left out.  It’s only fair that Techies make it in there, but nearly everyone was expecting some kind of nerf to the hero (or heroes,as they are two of them)! Instead, Valve put them in untarnished, ready to make the players and coaches blow they’re brains out! The severity of the problem lies in how it will affect getting first pick. Teams usually prefer getting first pick and with the Addition of Techies, the team with the second pick has to waste a ban on Techies or risk playing against the mine masters. Jerax doesn’t seem too disappointed though..

Clearly, he’s he biggest winner of Dota 2 Patch 7.14. Let’s look at what other changes we have been blessed with..

 

* First creep wave no longer draws aggro on the side lanes until they meet the other wave

This is a huge change for the offlane. Offlaners often relied on getting the first enemy wave to cut across the jungle and under their tier 1 to get to level 2. But with this change, that trick can be crossed off. This sort of puts a bit more emphasis on the 2-1-2 lane formation as a solo offlaner is going to have a tough time getting XP. Better get those sentries early to block off the pull camp!

 

 

Prominent Item Changes:

1) Skull Basher and Abyssal Blade
* Skull Basher: Now uses Mithril Hammer instead of Javelin. Gives +25 Damage and +10 Strength.
* Skull Basher: Bash no longer pierces evasion
* Abyssal Blade: Now grants +25 Damage
* Abyssal Blade: Bash no longer pierces evasion

The additional damage is nice, but the bash not piercing evasion is a huge nerf. If a bash procs and then misses, the next bash maybe quite a few right clicks away and the item losses its value. Abyssal will still be valuable for the spell immunity piercing stun, but Basher as a stand alone item against agility carries (especially Phantom Assassin) has lost its value.

 

2) Monkey King Bar
* Monkey King Bar: Now uses Demon Edge, Quarterstaff and Javelin. Gives +52 Damage and 10 Attack Speed.
* Monkey King Bar: Procs changed from 60 Pure damage to 100 Magical damage

MKB is somewhat back to its old form with additional damage and the proc giving a 100 magical damage. Personally, I love it this way. Before this change, for the attacks where the pure damage did not proc, it was basically like having an item less in the inventory. The new MKB gives 52 additional damage for every attack. The attack speed may have been reduced, but that was never the main objective of the article anyways!

3) Maelstrom and Mjolnir
* Maelstrom: Now uses Javelin instead of Gloves and Recipe.
* Maelstrom: No longer gives +25 Attack Speed
* Maelstrom: Chain Lightning damage increased from 120 to 170
* Maelstrom: Procs can no longer be evaded
* Mjollnir: Procs can no longer be evaded
* Mjollnir: Chain Lightning damage increased from 150 to 170
* Mjollnir: Attack speed reduced from 80 to 75
This Maelstrom change is beneficial for some heroes and not so much for others. For heroes like Mirana, who a lot of time build Maelstrom as the first item for efficient farming, the +25 attack speed is a difference maker. Early game, 25 attack speed is substancial. But for heroes like Windranger, who’s ultimate grants her a ton of attack speed, it’s actually better as the damage goes up and the attack speed isn’t affected to much. The magic damage increase (especially for Maelstrom) is nice and will bring back some attention to this item. Late game, the 5 attack speed reduction for Mjollnir will be negligible. All in all, it is a win for the item.

4) Force Staff and Hurricane Pike
* Force Staff: Now requires a Ring of Regeneration instead of a Ring of Health (total price is still the same)
* Force Staff: Manacost increased from 25 to 100
* Force Staff: Health regen reduced from 5 to 2
* Hurricane Pike: Health regen reduced from 5.5 to 2
* Hurricane Pike: Manacost increased from 25 to 100

IceFrog has done to Force Staff and Hurricane Pike what I was hoping he would do to Sand King and Terror Blade – nerfed them to the ground. Force Staff situationally is a very necessary item so it will still be prioritized, but the usage will have to be careful monitored. Luna Forces herself in the middle of the battle, BKB on and everything, only to find there is no mana for Eclipse! Range agility and strength carries are the ones that will be hurt the most.

5) Magic Wand
* Magic Wand: Now requires a 150 gold recipe instead of a Mango
* Magic Wand: Now provides +3 All Stats instead of +2 All Stats and 1.5 HP Regen
* Magic Wand: Max Charges increased from 17 to 20

This might look like a bit of a nerf as now you can’t turn that early Mango into anything, but I’d say it’s a small buff considering the added stats and three extra charges. Get two Ironwood Branches instead of that Mango while going in lane!

6) Phase Boots
* Phase Boots: During Phase your base turn rate is improved to 1.0 (the highest value, can still be lowered by other effects)
* Phase Boots: Active duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds
* Phase Boots: Active speed reduced from 24/20% to 20/16%
Great to make a quick escape when the enemy suddenly shows up and you have to turn to run in the direction of the base.

The formula for turn rate is:

Time to turn = [(0.03 x π) / Turn rate]

A turn rate of 1 makes the time to turn 0.0942 seconds (less than 1/10th of a second)! That is instantaneous.

 

7) Sange and Yasha
* Sange: Recipe cost increased from 500 to 700
* Sange: Now grants Greater Maim
* Heaven’s Halberd: Now grants Greater Maim
* Yasha: Recipe cost increased from 500 to 700
* Manta Style: Recipe cost lowered from 900 to 500

When heroes like Phantom Lancer and Terror Blade start making SnY instead of Manta, you know that item is broken. Sange and Yasha used to provide too much benefit for a price of 3900 gold. Manta style on the other hand cost 5100 gold, so you can’t blame players going for SnY instead. With the new balance, Sange and Yasha costs 4300 gold while Manta costs 4800 gold, which should bring some parity while selecting between the two.

 

With the items wrapped up, we now come to the heroes..

 

Winners:

1) Alchemist

* Alchemist: Chemical Rage Health regen increased from 40/48/56 to 40/55/70
* Alchemist: Bounty Runes bonus gold increased from 2.5 to 3x

7.07 hurt Alchemist in more ways than one, with the introduction of the Spirit Vessel and the Chemical Rage HP regen nerfed. This should provide him with some recovery for a way back into the professional scene. Also, with the buff to the Bounty Rune gold a few patches ago, the 3x gold multiplier should be a major boost as well.

 

 

2) Axe

* Axe: Battle Hunger manacost rescaled from 75 to 50/60/70/80
* Axe: Base movement speed increased by 5

With the return of the 2-1-2 laning stage, Axe might soon be a viable hero. IceFrog is trying to push him ahead. Maybe a position 4 Axe who spams Battle Hunger? Puppey used to play a position 4 Axe a couple of years back when the jungle was still viable early game. The movement speed bonus basically brings him back to his original movement speed before strength heroes got the movement speed reduction nerf, but atleast he’s ahead of most strength heroes.

 

 

3) Bloodseeker

* Bloodseeker: Blood Rite ground vision now increased to match the AoE of the spell (from 400 to 600)
* Bloodseeker: Bloodrage cooldown reduced from 12/10/8/6 to 9/8/7/6

It was around this time last year that Bloodseeker started gaining traction (with QO’s Dagon Bloodseeker) and he went on to take over TI 7. Over the last few patches, the blood hound has been receiving buffs and soon we might see him back in the professional scene (is that what everyone wants though?!). With the change to the Bloodrage cooldown, it has no downtime on level 1. Keeping Bloodrage on level 1 or 2, the other two skills can be maxed and BS can still have a very comfortable laning stage. The added vision from the Bloodrite is a bonus, especially while contesting Roshan or defending high ground.

 

4) Dark Seer

* Dark Seer: Wall of Replica illusions incoming damage reduced from 300% to 200%
* Dark Seer: Wall of Replica illusions outgoing damage increased from 60/75/90% to 70/85/100%
* Dark Seer: Wall of Replica now auto attacks the hero it made the illusion of (can still be controlled)

The Illusions are getting stronger! Level 3 is basically a Chaos Knight ultimate casted onto enemies. But again, the main advantage of DS was an offlaner who could farm utility items like Guardian Greaves and Pipe of Insight quite early, but with Underlord now in the game, SD is no longer unique. Also, the deny mechanics (75% XP taken away from the enemy hero on denying) makes him a questionable pick.

 

5) Ember Spirit

* Ember Spirit: Flame Guard magical damage absorbed rescaled from 50/200/350/500 to 80/220/360/500
* Ember Spirit: Searing Chains duration rescaled from 1/2/2/3 to 1.5/2/2.5/3
* Ember Spirit: Searing Chains now does damage in 0.5 second intervals
* Ember Spirit: Searing Chains total damage rescaled from 80/120/240/300 to 90/160/230/300

Some good early game changes that will make him a better chance in the laning stages. Pretty much the same hero later on in the game.

 

6) Mirana

* Mirana: Leap speed buff duration increased from 2 to 2.5
* Mirana: Leap attack speed rescaled from 25/50/75/100 to 40/60/80/100
* Mirana: Moonlight Shadow now grants 15% movement speed bonus while invisible

Mirana was a hot pick when Dota 2 7.00 was first introduced, but soon faded away. The Leap Attack Speed will be helpful in early game farming and pickoffs. The additional movement speed during Moonlight Shadow is the big takeaway though.  Considering a movement speed of 350, that’s an additional movement speed of 52,5 (additional 60 for a movement speed to 400). Beneficial in offensive and defensive causes.

 

7) Necropos

* Necrophos: Reaper’s Scythe respawn time penalty increased from 10/20/30 to 15/30/45

I doubt this change will bring him back into the pro scene, but 45 extra seconds is crazy! A level 25 hero who gets Reapered is gone for 145 seconds. If he just bough back before that, even more!

 

8) Silencer

* Silencer: Glaives of Wisdom from 15/30/45/60% to 25/40/55/70%
* Silencer: Global Silence duration increased from 4/5/6 to 4.5/5.25/6
* Silencer: Level 15 Talent increased from +90 Gold/Min to +120

Silencer has been long lost in the professional meta for God knows how long. The buff helps a core affects a core as well as support Silencer, although I would lean towards support. With just one point in Glaives of Wisdom, Silencer can be a major lane harasser. The +120 GPM at level 15 could help him transition into a core later on in the game.

 

9) Slark

* Slark: Base HP regen increased from 2.75 to 3.25
* Slark: Shadow Dance move speed bonus increased from 30/35/40% to 30/40/50%

Valve is basically trying to make Slark into the next Nyx Assasin with a ton of HP regen in lane. Add a Mango and that should give the hero a lot of sustain in lane, which is what he needs most. Late game, he is a terror. Really hope this change brings back Slark into the pro scene.

 

10) Sven

* Sven: Cleave distance increased from 570 to 625 (same as Battle Fury)
* Sven: Cleave end radius increased from 300 to 330 (same as Battle Fury)

Sven now literally has an inbuilt Battefury with a better cleave percentage. Depends a lot on the jungle for farm (triple or quadruple ancient stacks) so cannot be sure if he will make a return until the jungle gets a buff, but this should definitely increase Rogue Knight sightings.

 

11) Timbersaw

* Timbersaw: Whirling Death attribute reduction now considers bonus attributes (instead of only base)
* Timbersaw: Whirling Death attribute reduction lowered from 15% to 13%

This is a massive buff, especially against strength heroes. 13% of the primary attribute including the bonus will take out a good chunk of HP from strength heroes, mana from intelligence heroes and attack speed and movement speed from agility heroes, not to mention damage from all heroes! More relevant in the laning stages I believe, but does make it considerable later on in the game as well with the new change.

 

12) Warlock

* Warlock: Chaotic Offering Golem health increased from 1000/1500/2000 to 1000/2000/3000
* Warlock: Chaotic Offering Golem Permanent Immolation DPS increased from 30/40/50 to 30/50/70

It is a buff no doubt, but towards the later stages of the game (where the buff lies), a range carry like Drow or Medusa can make short work of the Golem. This will have a big effect against melee carries as not only will they have to work harder to get the Golem down, but also will take more damage.

 

13) Weaver

* Weaver: Health regen increased from 1.5 to 2.5
* Weaver: The Swarm attack damage from 14/16/18/20 to 18/20/22/24

More sustain and harass potential in the lane. I like Weaver as a position 4 hero, like was played a few patches ago (started by LiL I believe). The harass can help secure the lane and force the opposition support to spend a lot on detection.

 

14) Windranger

* Windranger: Powershot damage increased from 180/260/340/420 to 180/270/360/450
* Windranger: Focus Fire attack speed increased from 350 to 400
* Windranger: Focus Fire now always fires on the target unless you are attacking another target, or pressed stop and are not moving.

Probably the biggest buff in 7.14! Powershot is now does more damage than a level 1 Dagon and the damage increases to 520 with the talent. The Focus Fire attack speed increase compensates for the Maelstrom attack speed decreases and the added damage from the Lightening proc is just the icing on top of the cake. The MKB buff is also beneficial to her as Windy is a natural MKB builder. It has been a really long time since she was in the meta. Let’s see if she comes back. w33haa and Sumail might just be celebrating!

 

15) Wraith King

* Wraith King: Wraithfire Blast manacost rescaled from 140 to 95/110/125/140
* Wraith King: Wraithfire Blast cooldown rescaled from 8 to 11/10/9/8
* Wraith King: Level 10 Talent changed from +40 Wraithfire DPS to +1.5s Wraithfire Blast Slow Duration

Buffed time and again, this King just cannot find his way into the meta as a regular pick. Here is another attempt by IceFrog and Valve, but I don’t see it having a big effect. It may motivate WK to picked as a support though (something Puppey does at times). A core WK will never for the slow duration as the +20 Attack Speed is crucial for farming. Maybe a position 4 or 5 WK might benefit from this.

 

Losers:

1) Dark Willow

* Dark Willow: Bedlam damage reduced from 60/140/220 to 60/120/180
* Dark Willow: Bedlam rotation duration increased from 1.5 to 1.8 seconds
* Dark Willow: Cursed Crown no longer grants vision after it stuns
* Dark Willow: Level 25 Talent increased from +1 Terrorize Duration to +1.5

Any position 5 hero who can solo a position 1 hero mid game needs to be looked at, and I’m glad that’s happened. Damage and rotation duration reduction will lead to considerably low damage.

 

2) Omniknight

* Omniknight: Purification cooldown increased from 11 to 14/13/12/11
* Omniknight: Base armor reduced by 1

Omniknight is the new Earth Spirit, pelted with nerfs each patch. Level 1 Purification has gone from a cooldown of 8 to 14 in the past few weeks. He’s being crippled in the laning stages, but I still feel he’s a strong hero overall and will be picked.

 

3) Pangolier

* Pangolier: Rolling Thunder no longer gets canceled when rooted or disabled (rolls in place instead)
* Pangolier: Rolling Thunder cooldown increased from 70/65/60 to 70
* Pangolier: Swashbuckle manacost increased from 70/80/90/100 to 80/90/100/110
* Pangolier: Shield Crash cooldown increased from 13 to 19/17/15/13
* Pangolier: Fixed Shield Crash counting Spell Immune heroes
* Pangolier: Level 10 Talent reduced from +2 Mana Regen to +1.5

The nerfs were incoming and it is no surprise. More cooldown, more mana required. Although Rolling Thunder has been favored a little as to not getting cancelled if disabled or rooted, which I think is fair. Pangoe’s biggest counter is Naga Siren with a 5 second root and to get out of that, he will require a Manta Style or Eul’s Scepter to dispel it. A balanced set of changes that don’t totally get him out of the game, but make him a bit fairer.

 

4) Sand King

* Sand King: Caustic Finale no longer triggers when a unit is denied

Not the biggest nerf, but now, the carry does not have to make the hard choice of denying XP while taking damage or letting SK get the XP he wants. The level 1 damage on Caustic Finale is 90 while the level 2 is 130, so it’s no joke!

 

5) Terrorblade

* Terrorblade: Base HP regen reduced from 3 to 1.5
* Terrorblade: Reflection illusion now disappears when the reflection slow debuff is removed
* Terrorblade: Sunder minimum HP rescaled from 25% to 35/30/25%
* Terrorblade: Sunder cast range reduced from 550 to 475

I expected the nerfs to be a lot harsher, but I’ll take what I can get. The base HP being cut down to half makes him vulnerable in lane. Reflection illusion disappearing is a good nerf, but it does require a dispel. With the talent, he has a 6 second cooldown on Reflection so he might not mid too much. But someone like Legion Commander can lane much better against a TB without facing the risk of being slowed and killed.

 

6) Tiny

* Tiny: Tree Grab area damage reduced from 100% to 30/40/50/60%

Big blow to Tiny’s early farming potential (and late as well). With the attack speed he has, Tiny depends on the area damage for farming fast. Wonder if players will go for more points into Ava-Toss early on in the game or ignore the mountain giant all together.

 

7) Tusk

* Tusk: Ice Shards duration reduced from 7 to 4/5/6/7
* Tusk: Snowball Speed reduced from 675 to 600/625/650/675
* Tusk: Frozen Sigil no longer provides flying vision (ground only now)

The Ice Shards nerf hurts a lot of the early game kill potential as well as creep block potential in the offlane. However, with the aggro removed for the first lane, Tusk still should be good with getting the lane closer to the offlane tower. Frozen Sigil not providing flying vision has put a big dent in the hero’s scouting potential, specially around the Roshan pit.

 

8) Underlord

* Underlord: Firestorm overtime percentage based damage no longer affects Roshan/Ancients
* Underlord: Dark Rift manacost from 75/150/225 to 100/200/300

There goes the early Rosh potential with Firestorm. You could literally pick a lineup that was bad at Rosh along with Underlord and still grab an early aegis with the Firestorm. No longer will that be the case!

 

9) Witchdoctor

* Witch Doctor: Maledict cooldown increased from 20 to 50/40/30/20

Not too long ago, WD wasn’t seen too much. But LGD’s xNova showed how good a hero he was and he got picked by nearly all teams. The undispellable Maledict provides a crazy amount of lane harass and helps in securing the lane. This may not look like a very big change, but it has the potential to make WD very low priority during the picks.

 

On the Fence:

There are a few heroes who have had a mixed bag of changes, some good some bad. It is hard to say which ones will be more profound, so these heroes have been put on the fence.

1) Broodmother

* Broodmother: Spiderite bounty reduced from 16-21 gold and 20 exp to 3 gold and 3 xp
* Broodmother: Spiderling bounty reduced from 11-13 gold and 31 exp to 9 gold and 9 xp
* Broodmother: Spiderite armor reduced from 8 to 0
* Broodmother: Spiderling armor reduced from 8 to 0
* Broodmother: Spiderling damage reduced from 18-19 to 14-16 (~19% less)
* Broodmother: Spawn Spiderling manacost reduced from 120 to 100
* Broodmother: Spawn Spiderling cooldown reduced from 10 to 11/10/9/8

Some might argue Brood has received a nerf with the armor taken off the spiders, but it is a bit debatable. I think it is a combination of nerfs and buffs. The only ones it benefits in the early game is Kunka (viable mid laner against the Brood), Sven (not a mid hero) and Tidehunter (who can go mid but preferably not). Other heroes that deal with Brood are Puck, Jakiro and Timbersaw who rely on magic or pure damage. If you outsmarted the brood and kill her spiders in lane, there was bound to be a gold and XP advantage in your favor. But with meagre XP gains like 3 and 9, you can forget all about that. Brood is a hero who needs to snowball early on in the game and the extra gold and expcially XP helped prevent that.  The spiderling damage nerf basically means they will have to attack an one extra time for a kill (not a problem if there is no AoE clear) and the mana increase is not a problem with a Soul Ring. I might be totally wrong here and it will take a few games to see how Brood actually fares with the new changes.

 

2) Io

* Io: Tether can now target Spell Immune allies
* Io: Tether cast point changed from 0.001 to 0
* Io: Tether no longer applies slow on impact
* Io: Spirits now apply a 20/40/60/80% movement speed slow on impact for 0.3 seconds
* Io: Spirits now have two fixed positions they go to, 700 and 100 (No longer granular with toggles, but just a single press action)
* Io: Spirits In/Out is just one ability now, alternates the direction (has a 1.5 second cooldown, same hotkey as spirits ability. Base cooldown/duration is still the same)
* Io: Spirits creep damage increased from 8/14/20/26 to 10/18/26/34
* Io: Spirits manacost from 150 to 120/130/140/150
* Io: Spirits collision AoE increased from 70 to 110
* Io: Spirits explosion damage AoE increased from 300 to 360
* Io: Level 10 Talent changed from +400 Spirits Max Range to +25% XP
* Io: Level 25 Talent changed from Tether Stuns to -60s Relocate Cooldown

Tether able to target spell immune target is definitely a good change for Io. Not ok to shout at your carry for using the BKB before Tether when he is dying to a barrage of spells. The movement speed reduction (80%) is also great. However, with only two positions for the Spirits to be in, there is no chance of damaging any hero in between that range. The hero has to be exactly at one of the two locations. All in all, Io seems to have gotten a better trade out of the while deal with increased collision and damage AoE as well, but we’ll know for sure soon enough (if the ball isn’t banned out).

 

3) Pudge

* Pudge: Base damage increased by 7
* Pudge: Rot slow reduced from 17/22/27/32 to 11/18/25/32

First change makes the hero look suddenly viable, second one puts a question mark. Pudge is good for getting early game kills in the lane because of his slow, not the damage.  For a hero with 350 movement speed (let’s say the hero went early Boots), a 17% slow gets him/her down to 290.5 while a 11% slow gets him/her down to 311.5, which is more than the movement speed of most heroes without boots. I doubt he will be picked in pro games.

 

Patch 7.14 has brought in a lot of changes and that too just one day before the start of Epicenter XL. Techies introduced into Captain’s Mode along with so many hero changes will keep teams awake tonight. “Do we pick it, do we ban it, do we let them have it?!” I’m glad I’ll just be spectating all the fun.

 

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