IceFrog is certainly keeping himself amused in quarantine by firing out new patches every few days. We just had three iterations of patch 7.26 in the past few weeks, and patch 7.26c is already out. This patch is majorly in response to one change from Dota 2 patch 7.26b, which was ‘all talents are now 20% weaker’. Majority of the changes are brining back the numbers to where they were for heroes that do not deserve to have that 20% cut down, but there are also a few that have their talents nerfed even further. Certain replacement of talents can also be seen in Dota 2 patch 7.26c. The entire patch is a long one and can be found here. We will take a look at certain heroes who will be substantially affected by this patch and classify them as winners and losers.
(1) Centaur: Winner
Two reasons why Centaur is a winner with these changes. The +5 HP regen helps Centaur more while farming early game than the +8% Evasion and it’s benefit isn’t only during battle. But more importantly, the -20 second Stampede cooldown takes the cooldown from 90 seconds to 70 seconds. Centaur is a hero which is picked in certain scenarios, like while playing against a Phoenix, mainly for Stampede. A talent that reduces cooldown by 22% is definitely one that makes the hero a lot more lucrative, especially if he has an Aghs Scepter.
(2) Beastmaster: Loser
The reduction is base damage will be a massively felt in the laning stage, but like Lycan, Beastmaster has his animal companions to help him last hit in lane. But the big nerf is the switch in level 15 and level 20 talents. The increased Boar damage takes the total Boar damage to 94, and there are two such Boars! Oh, and before patch 7.26b, the boars had 94 damage at level 15 (it wasn’t +24, it was +30 at level 15). This was a huge power spike and helped Beastmaster and crew in finishing the game early. With that skill pushed back by five levels, it will most probably come online at a time where the enemy team has had time to recover and come to a stage where they can fight back. Beastmaster’s win rate and pick rate will most probably suffer because of this switcheroo.
(3) Juggernaut: Winner
The Omnislash buff is a prominent change for Juggernaut, as heroes can’t just go invisible anymore and get Omnislash stopped. Juggernaut can use Dust of Appearance (need to carry that, though) and ensure the Omnislash carries on. For Phantom Assassin however, it is a differnt issue. Her Vanish dispel delay is 0.75 seconds, so she will still be able to stop Omnislash with the Blur active.
(4) Mars: Loser
Mars is a mana intensive hero, with three usable skills. Being a strength hero, mana isn’t readily available, so the 40 increase in the mana cost of Spear of Mars is a major setback for the hero. But the bigger nerf is Bulwark being turned off while casting Spear of Mars. The skill has a castpoint of 0.25, which is when Bulwark will be disabled, so he won’t be able to throw a spear behind him while moonwalking any more.
(5) Oracle: Winner
Oracle’s previous level 3 ultimate had a 30 second cooldown, but it was increased to 45 seconds. With the new talent, it goes down all the way to 25 seconds! This is an amazing talent for Oracle, as a major lure for this hero is False Promise, which can be a game changer in fights. With only a cooldown of 25 seconds, if Oracle manages to keep himself alive, he will most probably be able to use it a second time in a fight, or a buyback and teleport back to a fight will be a lot more valueable.
(6) Phantom Assassin: Winner
Phantom Assasin really doen’t need to build a Battlefury with a 25% cleave talent. The increased Blur Evasion just puts it back where it was before patch 7.26b. But the big change is to her Coup de Grace with the level 25 talent. Previously, it was an 8% increase, which took the proc chance to 23% (450% critical damage). Now the proc chance stays at 15%, but the critical damage is increased to 550%. How do the two scenarios compare? Let’s find out.
Imagine PA has 200 damage for a target with 0 armor, so she does an average of 200 damage per hit. 450% critical damage will be 900 damage and 550% critical damage will be 1100 damage. For every 100 hits,
Previous talent: 36100 damage
New talent: 33500 damage
The damage actually decreases! Weird, isn’t it? Initially seems like a big boost of damage. However, the positive part lies in the fact that every crit will hit a lot harder. At level 30 especially, when she has both, the triple Stifling Dagger talent along with the Coup de Grace talent, there’s a higher change of a support getting deleted right away with just that one dagger.
(7) Sniper: Loser
Who would have thought that one day, support Sniper would get Sniper nerfed?! But that is exactly how crazy this game we love is. Support Sniper has been getting popular in professional games and Shrapnel is the skill maxed out by the build that is going around. Right of the bat, it’s a nerf to the laning stage. Assasinate with an Aghanim’s Scepter and the 20% cooldown was a 650 damage, 1.8 second stun with a cooldown of 8 seconds. Now, it will be a 1.5 second stun every 8.5 seconds. Still, seems like a good hero to go for. Mid Sniper could never be a regular pick in the professional scene, maybe support Sniper will bring the hero the glory it seeks?
(8) Ursa: Loser
Ursa really needs the mana regen at level 10. He has three usable skills which are used (two of them at least) even while farming and his intelligence gain is just 1.5, so not the smartest of bears here. This means shipping clarity potions and maybe even going Vladmir’s offering instead of the straight Abyssal Blade. According to Dotabuff, the mana regen talent had a pick rate of a bit over 62%, so it was pretty popular and necessary. The nerf will impact Ursa’s fast initial farm, the importance of which cannot be overstated as Ursa is predominantly an early to mid game hero.
These aren’t the only heroes affected, of course. A lot of heroes have just had their talents restored back to where they were before, but that may still turn of to be a sizable buff in comparison to the nerf of other heroes around them. With all the small patches accumulating, the meta has surely begun to change and in a month or two, we are bound to see totally different heroes than the ones being picked now. Till the pro players try to figure out what heroes will be better for the horde of online tournaments coming up, pick Sniper in ranked pubs, irritate the people around you and lose some MMR! Or if you’re as good as PSG.LGD’s fy, you might just gain some…