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Every year at the start of the DPC season, IceFrog and Valve drop a big patch with humongous changes, both in terms of quality and quantity. This year is no different with the Dota 2 7.20 patch being released and from first impressions, it is going to shake up the game quite a bit! With map changes, item changes, variation in deny and XP mechanics and reworked abilities for 36 heroes, this patch is bound to make everyone go back to the basics.

But the changes that interest everyone the most are the hero changes. There aren’t too many losers (or any, to say really) in this patch as IceFrog was more focused on making heroes better/different rather than nerfing the overpowered ones (Terrorblade is still on the loose). Let’s take a look at the biggest winners for the Dota 2 7.20 patch (the article will only include the part of the change log that affects a hero the most):


1) Abaddon

Reworked Curse of Avernus. Passive. Slows the targets you attack by 10/15/20/25% for 4 seconds. If a target gets hit 4 times, they become cursed for 4 seconds and are silenced, slowed by 30/40/50/60% and all allied heroes that attack the target will receive a 40/60/80/100 AS boost

Hitting a target 4 times is not the biggest of tasks. And a 4 second silence for that? A right click Abaddon is definitely feasible now, as he will keep silencing enemies. Even if you try to kite him, Abaddon has not one, but two strong dispels which can keep him going. Speaking of strong dispels, Hex can now be removed using a strong dispel. So good lucking hexing Abaddon. He can just activate Borrowed Time and continue chasing you.


2) Ancient Apparition

Reworked Chilling Touch. It is now a passive autocast attack modifier. Cooldown: 15/11/7/3 seconds. Grants you bonus attack range and causes your attack to deal heavy magic damage that slows movement for a brief period. Damage: 50/85/120/155. Slow: 100% for 0.5 seconds. Attack Range Bonus: 60/120/180/240. Manacost: 30/50/70/90

Chilling touch is definitely the ability to max out now. AA has an attack range of 675. Add to that the 240 from Chilling Touch, that gives him the ability to attack from a distance of 915. Make a Dragon Lance and that goes all the way up to 1055, which is nearly Sniper’s maximum range! With the addition of Yasha and Kaya (one of the new items that combines, you guessed it, Yasha and Kaya), AA has a strong potential of being a potent mid laner. We’ve already seen it being done by a few players like Dendi and Sumail. This just makes it way better.


3) Anti-Mage

Removed Scepter upgrade
Replaced Spell Shield with Counterspell. Passively grants you 15/25/35/45% Magic Resistance and can be activated to provide a Counterspell shield for 1.4 second. Causes all spells that target you to be blocked and reflected onto the enemy. Cooldown: 15/11/7/3. Manacost: 40

This helps Anti-Mage in two big ways. One, there is no more need to make a Scepter. For a hard carry to use up 4200 gold and an item slot for Aghanim’s Scepter is not really recommended, but at times, it has to be done. Now, the items slot is freed up for a better item. Also, with the active from Spell Shield now working a bit like Spiked Carapace, you have the option to decide which spells are to be dodged and reflected. Spells that don’t offer a threat need not be reflected as compared to those that have the potential to get AM killed. There is a small downside though. An enemy attacking AM through invisibility or coming in through the shadows will not have a problem in getting off a spell. Like a Bloodseeker or Doom with a Shadow Blade are guaranteed to land Rupture or Doom respectively. So a bit of a problem in certain situations, but on the whole, a good change.


4) Beastmaster

Call of the Wild has been reworked. It no longer summons a neutral creep, and now has two separate hotkeys for the Boar and the Hawk. The Hawk is a global point target ability that sends a permanently invisible uncontrollable hawk to that location starting from where you are. Adjusted stats on the summoned units:

  • Boar HP: 300/450/600/750
    Boar Damage Type: Hero
    Boar Attack Damage: 16/32/48/64
    Boar Poison Slow: 10/20/30/40% for 3 seconds
    Boar Duration: 60
    Boar Ability Cooldown: 42/38/34/30
    Boar Manacost: 50

  • Hawk HP: 300/450/600/750
    Hawk Invisibility is permanent
    Hawk Movement Speed: 300/340/380/420
    Hawk Vision: 600/700/800/900
    Hawk Duration: 60
    Hawk Cooldown: 60/50/40/30
    Hawk Manacost: 30

  • Primal Roar self movement boost increased from 30 to 40%
    Primal Roar secondary units push distance from 300 to 450
    Primal Roar secondary units push duration from 0.6 to 1.0
    Primal Roar secondary unit slow duration now matches primary target
    Primal Roar secondary unit slow increased from 50 to 60

These might look like a lot of changes, but are changes only to two of Beastmaster’s skills: Call of the Wild and Primal Roar. Quite a few buffs in there. The one that meets the eye is the increase in the Boar HP from 500 to 750 (maximum HP) and Boar damage from 40 to 64 (maximum damage). Also, now that the Hawk has permanent invisibility, there is no way of knowing which areas are being scouted unless the opposition has a Gem or Sentry wards in the area. Earlier, the Hawk was visible while moving and only became invisible after a few seconds of staying at a place. As far as Primal Roar goes, the secondary units around the target will feel the slow as Beastmaster walks towards the primary target to bash him/her with his axes.


5) Bounty Hunter

  • Reworked Jinada. Passive cooldown 12/9/6/3. Causes your attack to deal +80/110/140/170 Bonus Attack Damage. Steals 12/18/24/30 Unreliable Gold from enemy heroes. Your weapon glows when the attack is ready to strike
  • Track movement speed bonus is now given to your hero only
    Track now also causes attacks you do to the Tracked enemy to crit for 1.4/1.6/1.8x
    Track cast no longer breaks invisibility
    Track gold radius from 925 to 1200
  • Level 20 Talent changed from +125% Jinada Critical Strike to +90 Jinada Gold Steal

Steals gold while dealing extra damage? Are you kidding me? And it is a 100% crit for 180% of the damage for a tracked unit. Imagine that. Additionally, at level 20, you can steal 120 unreliable gold from an enemy every 3 seconds by just right clicking them. This is one hero we will definitely be seeing a lot of in the 7.20 patch, especially with the track no longer breaking invisibility. Playing as a support, you can just sneak up to an enemy, use Track, right click with Jinada, Shadow Walk and run away. Maybe throw in a Shuriken to add insult to injury. Along with denies giving gold and Bounty Hunter already having Track, the Jinada gold steal is just bound to skyrocket his earnings even though he is played mostly as a support.  I wonder, I just wonder, if any of the professional teams will consider playing a core Bounty Hunter.


6) Chaos Knight

Reworked Chaos Strike. Passive cooldown ability. Lands a critical strike for a random amount, between Min Crit: 120% and Max Crit: 160/190/220/250%. Has 35/40/45/50% lifesteal for this hit. Cooldown: 8/7/6/5

The ability earlier only had a 12% chance. Considering that, this seems to be a nice upgrade for CK. The passive Chaos Strike also means CK will have an ability to lifesteal from every 5 seconds, which makes farming and sustain a lot easier. Although this ability is quite good in the early game, it could be considered a bit of a nerf for the late game when CK has a lot of attack speed and a 12% crit change with 275% crit (earlier ability) might seem better. However, the main problem with CK is his early game and this is bound to help him out a lot.


7) Dazzle

Replaced Weave with Bad Juju. Passive ability. Grants you 30/40/50% Cooldown Reduction. Anytime you cast a spell, all enemies within a 1200 AoE around you lose 2/2.25/2.5 armor for 10 seconds. Debuffs stack and refresh duration. Doesn’t affect Roshan

The only downside to Bad Juju is it cannot grant extra armor to allies. Other that that, the skill is aces and reduces cooldowns to:

Poison Touch: 9 seconds
Shallow Grave: 7.5 seconds
Shadow Wave: 3.5 seconds

These cooldowns are, in a word, insane! The one that stands out the most is the Shallow Grave cooldown. Just 7.5 seconds on an ability that prevents a hero from dying? Doesn’t look bad for Dazzle here! MidOne plays mid Dazzle from time to time and that has some serious contention with Bad Juju. Imagine getting an Octarine on top of all this. That makes it a 5.675 seconds cooldown for Grave!

8) Doom

  • Base attack range increased from 150 to 175
  • Devour no longer has a restriction on consuming while another unit is being consumed
    Devour now gives you 5/10/15/20 HP regen per second while the creep is being consumed
    Devour now takes a constant 80 seconds to consume a creep
    Devour can now be toggled off to not steal the creep ability

The attack range is nice while trying to farm in a lane with ranged enemies. But the big winner is Devour. The ability to consume multiple creeps means faster farming as Doom can consume the high HP neutrals. In essence, there isn’t a downtime till the creep is fully consumed. And the option to not steal creep ability makes it easier to use Devour once Doom has the required ability. A lot of times, when ancient creeps are devoured (using the level 20 talent), you don’t want to use the skill on any other creep with an ability as you might lose the one you want and have. In that scenario, you are forced to run to lane (which is bad if the lane creeps are not near you) and use it. That won’t be necessary anymore. Ancient farming will also be a lot easier from level 20. The HP regen when Devour is active is just the cherry on top of the cake. At level 4, there is a 40 second cooldown, which gives you 40 extra seconds to find a new creep till the HP regen wears off.


9) Faceless Void

Time Lock now causes Faceless Void to land a free second attack while the target is locked in place. Deals bonus 30/40/50/60 damage and bashes for 0.75 seconds

Faceless Void now has an in built Echo Sabre for Time Lock! The second attack comes in the form of a phantom or ghost who appears to attack alongside Void when the target is locked. Better for farming, better for fighting. Especially when Void has a Mask of Madness and a ton of attack speed, successive attacks will get the free second attack.

10) Juggernaut

Changed how Omnislash does the strikes from just physical damage nukes (with occasional invisible attacks depending on attack speed) to all full real attacks that can proc your crit and items. Lasts 3/3.25/3.5 seconds and attacks at 1.8x your attack rate. Provides +30/45/60 Damage. Scepter lasts 4/4.25/4.5 seconds and 70 cooldown

This is good in the sense the entire damage dealt depends on Juggernaut’s attack and the added attack speed increases the number of attacks in the Omnislash duration. While level 1 of the skill only had 3 slashes before, that number will go up thanks to the 1.8x attack rate. However, for Omnislash to be more effective, Juggernaut will need to have a good number of items in his arsenal. Scepter wasn’t a popular item choice for Juggernaut anyways, but now with the damage depending on what items he has, Scepter makes even lesser sense.


11) Lion

  • Mana Drain slow increased from 16/19/22/25% to 20/24/28/32%
  • Finger of Death now gets stronger with each kill. Gains +50 Damage per hero kill. If the enemy dies within 3 seconds of being hit by the ability, the bonus is still granted

The Mana Drain slow is quite good, but an additional 50 damage for every hero kill with Finger of Death? That seems to take the cake. Early levels of the ability are quite strong and can almost ensure kills. The ability kind of falls of later in the game, but with this change in 7.20, maybe not? I’m sure people will consider mid Lion as a potential nuker (with Kaya and Sange or Yasha and Kaya!), but I doubt that would be very effective. Maybe as a meme build?!


12) Night Stalker

  • Reworked Crippling Fear. It is now an activated 375 range aura that silences all enemies while they are nearby. Aura lasts 5/6/7/8 seconds (3 during day). No longer has a miss chance. Cooldown: 30/25/20/15. Manacost: 50
  • Hunter in the Night no longer has an active.
  • Replaced Darkness with Dark Ascension. Causes you to transform into a stronger flying creature that has +50/100/150 bonus damage and 900 unobstructed vision. Lasts for 30 seconds. Daytime is turned to night during this. Cooldown: 160/140/120. Manacost: 125/175/225

A silence aura and the ability to fly with 900 flying vision for 30 seconds. All I can say is Night stalker is back! He already gets 35% movement speed and 90 attack speed bonus from Hunter in the Night. Add to that 150 bonus damage from Dark Ascension and he seems like a complete terror at night. The cooldown on Dark Ascension is a bit high, but that can be brought down to 80 seconds with the level 25 talent. The ability to have flying vision for 30 seconds will make Night Stalker a very string fighter around the Roshan pit.


13) Ogre Magi

  • Multicast now affects targeted offensive items. Will cause the item to cast again at a different random enemy unit
    Multicast no longer provides passive improvements to the base abilities
  • Ignite cast range increased from 700 to 700/800/900/1000
    Ignite base cast launches two projectiles
  • Fire Blast cooldown rescaled from 12 to 12/11/10/9
  • Bloodlust cooldown reduced from 20 to 20/18/16/14
    Bloodlust movement speed reduced from 10/12/14/16% to 8/10/12/14%

Multicast not upgrading abilities is a bit of a nerf for Ogre, but the cooldowns for Fireblast and Bloodlust have somewhat been compensated by that. Also, Ignite always casts two projectiles which makes up for not increasing the radius. The big buff lies in the fact that multicast applies to items as well. Multiple Spirit Vessels, Orchids, Hexs, Dagons..there are a lot of possibilities there! This tweet from Wykhrm Reddy gives you an idea of much potential it has.


14) Phantom Assassin

Phantom Strike Cooldown rescaled from 14/11/8/5 to 11/9/7/5
Phantom Strike cast point reduced from 0.3 to 0.25
Phantom Strike Attack Speed rescaled from 130 to 100/125/150/175
Phantom Strike no longer has an attack limit
Phantom Strike Attack Speed bonus now lasts for 2.5 seconds
Phantom Strike Manacost rescaled from 50 to 35/40/45/50
Phantom Strike Attack Speed bonus no longer depends on attacking the specific target

Lot of buffs to Phantom Strike, but in a way, it all leads to better farming and better fighting ability. As Phantom Strike no longer has an attack limit and can transfer to a different target, in the case that the primary target dies, PA does not have to start all over again. The earlier attack limit was 4, but now with the additional 175 attack speed, PA is sure to go above that threshold. It’s not the biggest buff in the world, but the hero will take anything she can get considering her abysmal pick rate in the professional circuit.


15) Puck

  • Dream Coil now applies a Leashed state to the targets, disallowing teleportation and mobility based abilities
  • Level 15 Talent increased from +50 Attack Damage to +90
    Level 15 Talent increased from +8% Spell Amplification to +15%

A hero cannot teleport or use abilities like Blink or Leap when affected by Dream Coil. Seems like a mini silence for heroes like Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain. Also, the two new Kaya based items seem perfect for Puck. The level 15 talents buff ensures a dent bit of additional damage output, based on what build you’re going. I know right click Puck isn’t too common, but I’ve seen Abed play it quite successfully in his pubs. Opens up possibilities for the Dream Coil Rapid Fire talent! Considering all these factors, Puck should make somewhat of a comeback as compared to being totally ignored.


16) Razor

  • Unstable Current no longer slows or purges a random enemy unit every 5 seconds
    Unstable Current now deals 60/80/100/120 damage to every enemy unit within 500 AoE every 6/5/4/3 seconds
  • Plasma Field now applies a slow on units it hits, Minimum 5% Maximum 25/30/35/40% for 1.5 seconds. Slow instances stack
  • Level 25 Talent changed from -3s Unstable Current to +200 Unstable Current Damage

 120 AoE damage every 5 seconds seems like a decent chunk of damage. Add to that 200  from the level 25 talent, and it’s 320 damage every 3 seconds. An AoE damage dealer Razor with Radiance seems like a good build here. The Plasma Field slow can make enemies crawls as Razor closes in the distance, applies the Static Link and deals a lot of AoE damage.


17) Shadow Demon

Reworked Soul Catcher. Targets a 175/200/225/250 AoE area. Causes all enemy units in the area to lose 25/30/35/40% of their current health, and gain half of it back after 10 seconds. Cooldown: 26/24/22/20 Cast Range: 700. Manacost: 110

This seems to be the craziest change of the 7.20 patch. 40% HP straight up gone? Granted it is 40% of current HP, but still, it is a lot. Image a Reverse Polarity followed by Soul Catcher into Cataclysm. That’s a team wipe right there! The good thing is, it can be dispelled by a basic dispel to immediately recover half the lost health.


18) Slardar

  • Reworked Bash of the Deep. Passive. Every 4th attack your hero does (on any target) applies a bash for 1/1.1/1.2/1.3 seconds dealing 75/125/175/225 physical damage
  • Slithereen Crush stun duration reduced from 1.25/1.5/1.75/2 to 1 second. Attack and Movement Slow duration increased from 2 to 3/4/5/6 and slow amount increased from 20 to 20/25/30/35%. Damage increased from 75/125/175/225 to 80/140/200/260

I don’t think either of these buffs have the potential to bring back support Slardar, but Dota 2 7.20 just might be the patch that converts Slardar into a right clicking core. With the Slithereen Crust stun and slow and the bash, Slardar can render heroes immobile while continuing to bash them. Just a lot of attack speed will ensure the bashes keep comin’!


19) Slark

  • Turn rate improved from 0.6 to 0.7
  • Pounce now applies a Leashed state to the target, disallowing teleportation and mobility based abilities
  • Shadow Dance duration rescaled from 4 to 4/4.5/5
  • A hero dying with Essence Shift debuff on them causes Slark to permanently steal 1 Agility

Slark was in dire need for some good changes and it seems he has them. The leashed state prevents heroes like Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain from blinking out or even other heroes from just teleporting out when attacked by Slark. The added agility is a huge buff as well, as Slark does not have to be the one to kill the hero. As long as the hero has the Essence Shift debuff on him/her and is killed in battle, Slark gets the agility point. This now adds Slark to the list of infinitely scaling heroes like Silencer, Pudge and Legion Commander.


20) Sven

Reworked Warcry. Now grants you and nearby allied heroes bonus movement speed and an HP shield that blocks attack damage based on the shield’s health. Lasts 10 seconds. Buff ends if the shield is consumed. Movement Speed: 8/12/16/20% Movement Speed. Attack Shield Health: 100/200/300/400 Health. AoE: 700 Cooldown: 36/32/28/24. Manacost: 40

This is not a buff for a position 1 Sven, but more so for a support Sven. HP shield and additional movement speed for 10 seconds makes compelling argument for playing Sven as a support. Add to that the stun he already had and (if he can farm it) a Scepter to give everyone on his team God’s Strength. It does look good but it also hampers Sven’s ability to tank up against physical damage heroes with the Warcry armor. Assault Curiass will now be a necessary and early item for a core Sven.


21) Troll Warlord

  • Base damage increased from 38-56 to 44-56
  • Berserker’s Rage now applies an ensnare instead of a bash
    Berserker’s Rage proc chance increased from 10% to 10/12/14/16%
    Basher and Abyssal Blade are no longer restricted items
  • Reworked Battle Trance. Now causes you to go into an uncontrollable trance, forcing you to attack the closest targets in a 900 AoE. During this trance, you are unslowable and cannot die. Grants +140/170/200 Attack Speed, +30/35/40% Movement Speed and +40/60/80% Lifesteal. Lasts 6.5 seconds. You gain normal vision over the target you are currently locked on. Cooldown: 90. Manacost: 150
  • Level 25 Talent changed from Battle Trance Basic Dispel to Battle Trance Strong Dispel

Increase in base damage, ability to build Basher and an ultimate that will literally make you crazy. Isn’t that every trolls dream? Battle Trance seems a bit over powered now, with inability to slow Troll Warlord. Also, as Troll can’t die during Battle Trance, it is pretty much like a higher duration Grave with half a Satanic mixed in there (80% lifesteal). Use Battle Trance and teleport out! At level 25, Battle Trance being a strong dispel gives him the ability to get out of a Batrider’s Flaming Lasso, Ravage’s stun, Hex and numerous other skills. Not something that can be said for every troll, but Troll Warlord’s future is sure looking bright.


22) Undying

Reworked Flesh Golem. No longer amplifies damage. Slow is now a constant 24/32/40% in 375 AoE. Enemy units in 400 AoE lose 7% of their Current HP per second as Magic Damage. You gain +400/1000/1600 health when in this mode. Cooldown: 110

I don’t think Undying needed a buff, but this certainly works out for Dirge. The slow has increased from 20% to 40% (even though the AoE has gone down from 750 to 375). And an enemy losing 7% of HP every second? That’s quite a bit. Before 7.20, the skill amplified damage by 30%, but there had to be damage in that case. With the reworked skill, even if you are just chasing or running, enemies will see a decent chunk of HP vanishing every second. Also, as the damage is percentage based, strength heroes (especially high HP heroes) will feel the brunt of this change. Time to tank up on that undying and just make sure he stays alive!


Special props go out to Grimstroke, who made it to the Captain’s Mode and will surely be taking up a ban spot in most of the games. Other than that, Terrorblade, Morphling and Phantom Lancer are winners in a sense as well, having avoided major nerfs after being picked or banned in nearly every professional game after TI8. It will be interesting to see if they continue to dominate the scene.

Of course, there might not be the only winners of the patch. A lot of heroes with reworks might seem strong later, like Elder Titan and Keeper of the Light, but it’s a bit hard to say for now. All we can do is start playing some Dota 2 7.20 pubs and ruin it for others with stuff like mid Ancient Apparition or Lion! At least that’s my plan…

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