A lot of changes were introduced to the great game of Dota 2 with the 7.23 patch, including 26 reworked Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades. VPEsports already rated 16 of those new Scepter upgrades for core heroes. Here are the ratings for the 10 support heroes that also got reworked Scepters. A lot of these heroes can also be played as cores (Clockwerk, Enchantress, Dazzle, Pudge and sometimes, even Ancient Apparition), but they are more commonly seen as supports. In this second part, let’s see what kind of deals the supports got with their new Scepter upgrades.
1) Ancient Apparition (6/10)
Scepter has been reworked. Chilling Touch has no cooldown.
The Chilling Touch cooldown goes down from 3 seconds to 0 seconds. Chilling Touch gives Ancient Apparition 170 magic damage (250 with the talent) and an additional 240 range. So the Aghs upgrade seems a pretty good thing, right? Not so for two reasons. AA is primarily played as a support, so getting support items will be priority over a Scepter. It also needs 90 mana per hit, so unless your mana pool is pretty high, it leads to mana depletion faster than you realize. When or why is the new Scepter good though? If you’re playing mid AA – and we’ve seen N[o]one, Sumail and Dendi play it in professional games – it is an amazing item to get for damage. And if you’re playing support AA, the changed Scepter is good because now, you don’t need to get it every game. Ancient Apparition was one of the few supports that absolutely needed a Scepter before patch 7.23, so you’d usually see professional players go for a Hand of Midas and Scepter. That doesn’t have to be the case now, so AA players can focus on getting other items that’ll benefit their team.
2) Clockwerk (6/10)
Grants you Overclocking, refreshing all of your abilities and granting you 40% bonus movement speed and +200 Attack Speed for 8 seconds. After the duration expires, you become stunned for 4 seconds. Cooldown: 60, Mana cost: 150.
Note: The stun after Overclocking ends cannot be prevented using a Black King Bar. Even if Clockwerk uses Eul’s just before Overclocking ends, he gets stunned on landing. The stun cannot be dispelled by a basic dispel. It requires a strong dispel to dispel the Overclocking self-stun.
The biggest win for Clockwerk now is the cooldown reduction for his Hookshot from 40 seconds to 30 seconds. It may not be as good as the Scepter change from earlier (12 seconds), but it’s short enough that Clock has an impact without having to buy a Scepter. Overclocking refreshes only abilities, not items and the additional movement speed and Hookshot can be used for either chasing an escaping enemy hero or for Clock himself to escape. The bad part is the stun, which, like mentioned above, cannot be prevented using Eul’s or BKB. It can only be dispelled by a strong dispel, so any error on Clock’s part and he can end up a sitting duck for the enemy team to attack. Overclocking costs 150 mana, so all four abilities with Overclocking cost 530 mana overall. Once the ability is used, mana is not restored which means Clock may not have mana to use all spells again. A Soul Ring is a necessity for operating with a Scepter. Clockwerk was one of the three heroes not picked at TI9 (along with KotL and Ursa) and since the turn of the patch from 7.22 to 7.23, he has been picked in only 16 of 473 professional games (8 wins, 8 losses). The fact is, changes Clock received in 7.23 weren’t enough to make him a good hero again and that includes his new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade.
3) Elder Titan (6/10)
Now grants you with Spell Immunity when the Astral Spirit returns to you, based on the number of heroes hit. Provides 2 seconds per hero.
Let’s look at Elder Titan’s Scepter upgrade description from patch 7.22 before we delve into analyzing the new Scepter.
Patch 7.22 for Elder Titan: Echo Stomp now causes you to become Spell Immune while channeling and for 2 additional seconds per affected enemy hero.
The older Scepter ensured that ET always got Echo Stomp off unless the opposition had something that went through magic immunity to stop him. Getting the stomp off meant Earth Splitter would always land. The new Scepter grants spell immunity only when the Astral Spirit comes back to ET, which is not when you usually channel Echo Stomp. The older Scepter upgrade was definitely better for a support ET. It can be good in pubs, for a core ET, but I don’t see it being too popular in professional games.
Note: In case you didn’t know, Elder Titan’s stomp deals physical damage while the Astral Spirit’s Stomp deals magical damage.
4) Vengeful Spirit (6/10)
Nether Swap now fears enemies where you land in an area of 700 for 2 seconds.
This is a potentially very controversial Scepter upgrade to write on, as a lot of players believe it to be a good upgrade, but my opinions differ, as do those of professional players. Just to give you an idea of the popularity of the new Scepter, Vengeful Spirit has been picked in 119 professional games played on the 7.23 patch, and only 3 times has an Aghanim’s Scepter been made on her. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the worst upgrade in the world, but it is useful in limited situations. The first good situation that comes to mind is Roshan – if you get vision, Swap an enemy hero out and make the others run out of the pit. It can also be good to start a team fight when the two teams are clumped up, heading towards each other for some smoke on smoke action. But in a situation where there are no enemy heroes to fear, that’s a 4200 gold item that serves absolutely no purpose. Nether Swap works just the way it is supposed to without a Scepter in that case. Vengie is better of getting items like Force Staff and Glimmer Cape to save allies. The advantage for Vengie with this change from 7.23? The old Scepter is now a level 25 talent, where her illusion on dying can cast spells (which is a lot more useful than the currect Scepter upgrade), so she does not have to go for Scepter anymore.
5) Enchantress (7/10)
Grants Sproink, moving you backwards 400 units and disjointing projectiles. Cooldown: 3, Mana cost: 50.
Enchantress’ old Scepter was a must have to maximize damage output, but that isn’t the case anymore. The new Scepter upgrade is very situational, but in a game where the opposition has a lot of skills with projectiles, it can prove to be quite useful. The big advantage is the low cooldown and mana cost. The disadvantage is that it takes you backwards, which makes it a bit awkward to use. Image a Magic Missile or Storm Hammer heading towards you and while you are attempting an escape, turning and then using Sproink might not be the most feasible thing. But it is definitely good to give her a bit of breathing space when she gets ganked unsuspectingly. Not an item I’d expect to see in every Enchantress game, but like I said earlier, situationally can be very useful.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
6) Oracle (7/10)
Fortune’s End Cast Range increased by 800, AoE by 150 and causes half of the Root duration to be a stun.
Fortune’s End’s original cast range is 850, which becomes 1000 with the level 15 talent. Paired up with the new Scepter upgrade, that goes all the way up to 1800! To get an idea of the range, even without an Aether’s Lens, Oracle can use Fortune’s End on an enemy in the Roshan pit from both, the Radiant and the Dire shrine. When channeled for the complete 3.5 seconds, it is a 1.75 second stun followed by a 1.75 second root with just a 6 second cooldown! The spell also does 210 magic damage in a the AoE (350 radius). Oracle’s main duties, however, are saving an ally and healing him/her which makes Spirit Vessel and Aether’s Lens the primary invent choices. If the game goes long enough though, Aghanim’s Scepter can definitely be a viable option to continuously disrupt the enemy team’s rhythm in a team fight. The stun and increased cast range also makes it a good candidate for stopping teleports or channeling spells from far away.
7) Silencer (7/10)
Last Word becomes a 600 AoE spell.
Gives Silencer a second Global Silence of sorts. 600 AoE is sizable area and if this can be used on enemies to make them pop their BKBs, most heroes will not have a good answer to the Global Silence that follows. This will have to be used before though, because while Global Silence goes through magic immunity, Last Word doesn’t. Last Word now does damage based on an intelligence difference multiplier, so Agility and Strength heroes will end up taking a good amount of damage from it. Silencer has a +120 GPM talent at level 15, which can help him get a Scepter in decent time even while being played as a position 5 support (can also be played mid, which we might see more of after 7.23).
8) Dazzle (8/10)
Shadow Wave bounce count increased by 3, bounce range by 200 and each bounce dispels the allied targets.
The new Dazzle Scepter upgrade is miles better than the two he had before. AoE Grave seemed like a fascinating upgrade, but there were hardly situations when multiple heroes needed to be Graved at the same time, so it didn’t see a lot of use, if any. But the new one is good, mainly because of the dispel. Heroes have to get Eul’s Scepter of Divinity or Lotus Orb or even a BKB to get rid of a pesky silence or slow the enemy team possesses. Dazzle’s Scepter holds the answer to everything – and with Bad Juju, it can be used every 4 seconds! Imagine a scenario where the whole team gets silenced because of Global Silence. A Dazzle with Guardian Greaves and Aghanim’s Scepter get the silence off himself and then his entire team with just a single Shadow Wave. Granted, it costs a lot of gold to get all these items, but thanks to his cooldown reduction, a Midas isn’t the worst item to get on Dazzle to speed up his farm, even as a support. The Scepter also increases bounce count by 3 (from 6 to 9), which means paired up with a hero like Phantom Lancer, the heal bomb damage can be increased from a maximum of 1020 to 1530!
9) Lich (8/10)
Sinister Gaze is now a 400 AoE target ability.
We have a Black Hole Dota 2. We have a White Hole Dota 2. We now have a Ghost Hole (trademark pending) as well! It’s a 400 radius spell, which is similar to a Black Hole’s radius of 420 with just an 18 second cooldown! With the right positioning and waiting till enemy heroes clump up ina team fight, Lich can disable multiple heroes for 2.5 seconds. The dream scenario is unleashing Chain Frost in a bunch of enemy heroes and then using Sinister Gaze on them! The Scepter ability, like Lion’s AoE Hex talent, also gives Lich the ability to disable invisible or untargetable enemies like Slark in Shadow Dance or Dark Willow while using Shadow Realm. Definitely one of the better reworked Scepters of the 7.23 patch. Also, the old Scepter effect of unlimited Chain Frost bounces is now included as a level 25 talent, so that hasn’t been lost either!
10) Pudge (9/10)
Reduces Dismember cooldown to 11. Allows you to target an ally with Dismember, instantly swallowing them in your belly and healing them for 4% of their max health per second. The ally can exit whenever they want by issuing a command.
Heart of Tarrasque and Fountain heal for 5% of max HP every second, which gives us an idea how much the new Pudge Scepter upgrade can heal. A good 25 seconds inside Pudge is enough to restore a dying hero to full HP. It’s a decent amount of heal and more than that, it also serves as a save (same as the old Lifestealer Scepter). Pudge can just blink in and Dismember an ally getting gone on and tank the damage till his core heals up inside his him, which seems gross, but is helpful. This applies to allies in any situation – taunt, stun, root – any kind of disable is negated when Pudge consumes an ally. Additionally, it reduces Dismember cooldown from 20 seconds to 11, which is useful while on the offense as well. Pudge is a hero who is better than most supports at farming thanks to Rot and won’t have the hardest time farming a Scepter. More recently, he’s also being played as an offlaner, which could mean a faster Scepter after Blink and Aether’s Lens.