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Dota 2 patch 7.25 is here a bit earlier than expected and it is probably because of the lockdown from Covid-19. IceFrog thought a new patch would cheer the Dota 2 community up, and he wasn’t wrong! Patch 7.25 is a very interesting patch as usually, the patches bring nerfs to most heroes. But this patch is a buff patch with majority of the heroes getting buffs. The only heroes to suffer major nerfs are Batrider and Beastmaster, and even those aren’t too bad. There are a lot of winners in this patch, but which heroes are the big winners of Dota 2 patch 7.25? Let’s find out…

1) Bounty Hunter

-Reworked Scepter. Now applies Jinada to Shuriken Toss, increases cast range to 650 and lowers cooldown to 6.
-Shuriken Toss manacost from 135 to 120/125/130/135
-Level 15 Talent changed from +50 Attack Speed to +75 Shuriken Toss Damage
-Level 20 Talent changed from +125 Shuriken Toss Damage to +60 Attack Speed

Shuriken Toss has a damage of 375 which increases to 450 with the talent. Add Jinada to it and it’s a total of 610 magic damage, which is substantial with the new Scepter upgrade. If all five enemies are tracked, the Shuriken will travel to everyone, doing copious amounts of magic damage to all and stealing 36 gold from every hero (126 if Bounty gets the +90 Jinada gold steal talent). Offlane seems to be a good position for Bounty who can potentially snowball with the gold. The maximum potential of the skill and Scepter will be if Bounty plays mid, but that only ever happens in pubs, not if professional games.

2) Brewmaster

-Primal Split Fire brewling damage increased from 80/120/160 to 80/130/180
-Primal Split Fire Permanent Immolation interval changed from 1 to 0.5
-Level 20 Talent increased from +1500 Health to Primal Split Units to +1750
-Level 25 Talent increased from -65s Primal Split Cooldown to -75s

Brewmaster hasn’t been in the meta for a long time, and patch 7.25 is probably what will bring him back, with the third and fourth changes being the main reasons why. The +1750 HP makes the brewlings insanely tanky and with the cooldown reduced by 75 seconds, the level 3 Primal Split cooldown becomes just 45 seconds. The ultimate lasts for 20 seconds, which means the downtime is only 25 seconds. Considering how good that ultimate is, this should be motivation enough for teams to pick the hero.

3) Chaos Knight

-Phantasm cooldown reduced from 145 to 145/135/125
-Reality Rift cast range increased from 475/550/625/700 to 550/600/650/750

Over the last few patches, Chaos Knight has received routine buffs. The hero, for some reason, just hasn’t gotten popular in the professional scene. Phantasm cooldown at level 3 is now 125 and with the level 15 talent of 15% cooldown reduction, comes down to 106.25 seconds. Phantasm lasts for 30 seconds and with the level 20 talent, for 40 seconds. That means the downtime for it is just 66.25 seconds, which is not a lot considering how insanely powerful those illusions can get when there is no illusion counter in the game. In patch 7.23, the illusions were made strong illusions, so they can’t be eliminated with Hex, Mana Drain or Stone Gaze. Chaos Knight illusions are here to stay are wreak some havoc.

Chaos Knight buffs for the past three patches (

4) Clinkz

-Death Pact no longer has a neutral level requirement
-Burning Army damage increased from 28% to 30%

Removal of the neutral requirement means Clinkz can go to the nearest large camp and use Dark Pact on a level 5 or level 6 neutral creep. The additional HP is the same irrespective of the creep, but the big creeps tend to give a lot of gold and mainly experience for the early game. This can be a tool to get an upper hand in the mid lane, which is something Clinkz desperately needs as he’s not a very good hero playing from behind. The ideal thing to do would be to get one point in Death Pact at level 2 and max out the other two abilities. Consuming high level neutral creeps with that one point is more than enough for Clinkz to scale well and as the cooldown is the same for all four levels, there isn’t too much sense in putting more levels into the skill. In case you feel like getting reported, getting Dark Pact at level 1 and going to the jungle is also an option. Increased Burning Army damage is a good change as well, but it isn’t a substantial one.

5) Earth Spirit

-Agility gain increased from 1.5 to 2.4
-Level 10 Talent increased from +50 Damage to +65
-Level 10 Talent increased from +300 Rolling Boulder Distance to +400
-Level 20 Talent increased from +15% Spell Amplification to +20%

Remember those days when whatever IceFrog did in terms of nerfs, he just couldn’t stop Earth Spirit from getting picked? Now it’s pretty much the opposite – no buff can get him picked. But with these buffs from patch 7.25 and the ones from patch 7.24, he is slowly but surely going to show up a lot more in professional games. More agility means increased movement speed and armor, which is quite good for a roaming hero. Like Chaos Knight, Earth Spirit has been receiving buffs for the last three patches, and eventually, teams are going to realize it’s time to start picking him.

Earth Spirit buffs for the past three patches (

6) Enigma

-Base intelligence increased by 3
-Black Hole damage increased from 50/100/150 to 100/150/200
-Level 15 Talent increased from +40 Malefice Instance Damage to +100

Holy shit, that’s quite a bit of increased damage for Enigma. Let’s start with Black Hole – the channel time is 4 seconds and the damage is pure. At level 1, the damage has gone up from 200 pure damage to 400 pure damage, and that’s AoE. Quite a lot of damage at level 6. For a level 3 Black Hole, it’s an increase from 600 pure damage to 800 over the 4 seconds.

Now let’s dissect Malifice. At level 4, Malefice has 105 damage per instance and a total of three instances. That’s 315 magical damage. With the new talent of +100 Malefice instance damage, that goes to 205 damage per instance and a total of 615 magical damage! That is quite a lot. But wait, there’s more – at level 25, Enigma has a +5 Malifice instances talent, which takes Malifice instances to eight and the total damage to a whopping 1640. That’s over 14 seconds, but that still is a lot of damage, with a 1 second stun each instance. An Enigma with a Veil of Discord could be a good build.

7) Grimstroke

-Phantom’s Embrace rend damage increased from 80/170/260/350 to 120/200/280/360
-Level 15 Talent increased from +15% Spell Amplification to +20%
-Level 20 Talent increased from +600 Stroke of Fate Cast Range to +800

Maximum Ink Swell damage with the level 10 talent is 500. With the level 15 talent of 20% increased magic damage, that now goes to 600. That’s damage equivalent to a level 3 Dagon, at a cooldown of 15 seconds. Grimstroke has seen an increase in his pick rate after the last patch, but not so much his win rate. With these added buffs, Grimstroke should be a popular hero this patch. He could also make a formidable position 2 or 3 hero with the insane amount of burst damage he now possesses.

8) Pugna

-Nether Ward mana drain rescaled from 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.2% to 0.6/0.8/1/1.2%
-Life Drain damage reduced from 175/275/375 to 150/225/300
-Life Drain cooldown reduced from 22 to 7
-Life Drain Scepter now also increases damage to 200/300/400
-Life Drain break distance reduced from 1000 to 900

The Life Drain damage may have been reduced, but a 7 second cooldown is as good as having a Scepter. Even though Scepter offers no cooldown and 100 added damage, there isn’t too much motivation to go for it over items like Veil of Discord and Kaya. Pugna should be a strong mid hero with these changes. Additionally, the increased mana drain from Nether Ward at early levels is nice, as that isn’t a skill which is maxed out first. Just a level in it will suffice to harass opponents.

9) Sand King

Caustic Finale slow duration increased from 3 to 3/3.5/4/4.5
Caustic Finale now reduces attack speed as well
Epicenter damage per pulse increased from 110 to 110/120/130

If you’re a melee hero playing against Sand King, Caustic Finale is one of the most irritating things to deal with. Increasing the slow duration makes SK a stronger laner than he already is, and the attack speed reduction ensures you cannot fight back into him. The description doesn’t exactly specify how much the attack speed reduction is. Increase in Epicenter damage is just the cherry on top of the sandy, toxic cake. The buff makes a case for offlane Sand King (and may be even mid if the matchup is right?).

10) Snapfire

-Added Scepter ability, Gobble Up. Allows you to swallow an allied creep or hero and spit it towards enemies, stunning enemies in the area for 1.5 seconds and leaving a glob on the floor dealing 100 DPS for 3 seconds. Units can stay in his belly up to 3 seconds. Impact radius 400. Cooldown 40 seconds. Cast Range 150
-Scatterblast cooldown increased from 10 to 13/12/11/10

Snapfire is a winner purely because of her new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade. She can swallow and spit out a hero at the range of Mortimer’s Kisses, which makes the perfect initiation for a hero like Enigma or Tidehunter. Imagine an Enigma being thrown at you out of nowhere in the Rosh pit with a game changing Black Hole to follow. This is going to be one fun Aghs to watch!

11) Terrorblade

Metamorphosis Scepter is now a standalone ability you gain while in Metamorphosis. Cooldown 90.
Level 10 Talent increased from +20 Movement Speed to +25
Level 10 Talent increased from +15% Evasion to +20%
Level 15 Talent increased from +250 Health to +300
Level 15 Talent increased from +25 Attack Speed to +30
Level 20 Talent increased from -8s Reflection Cooldown to -10s

There was a time, a year and half ago, when Terrorblade was picked or banned in nearly every game. After getting nerfed into oblivion, TB is hardly seen these days. But with buffs to nearly every talent here, he should be a hero up for consideration. The Scepter change is nice, but still doesn’t make it a Scepter to get. It’s a 90 second cooldown, which means it can be used just once per Metamorphosis. It will be useful while running away from enemies, like the Lone Druid skill, but not worth investing 4200 gold. The big buffs here are the +20% evasion and +300 HP talents. TB has insane starting armor and coupled with these two talents, will be extremely hard to kill while playing against a physical damage lineup.

12) Ursa

-Fury Swipes damage increased from 7/14/21/28 to 10/20/30/40
-Overpower attack count reduced from 4/5/6/7 to 3/4/5/6
-Overpower cooldown reduced from 16/14/12/10 to 16/13/10/7
-Overpower manacost reduced from 75 to 55/60/65/70
-Enrage no longer has a Fury Swipes multiplier
-Enrage duration increased from 4 to 4/4.5/5
-Enrage cooldown reduced from 70/50/30 to 50/40/30
-Enrage now grants +50% Status Resistance
-Level 25 Talent changed from Enrage +80% Status Resistance to +3 Overpower Attacks

Ursa never really lacked damage, so even though the Fury Swipes multiplier was nice with Enrage, it wasn’t the most necessary thing. The problem was Ursa getting kited for the duration of Enrage, which the new update should take care of. Enrage now grants 50% status resistance, so any form of disable will take effect for just half the time. If Ursa goes for the status resistance build of Sange and Yasha with Satanic, total status resistance during Enrage goes up to 72%, which is nearly as good as a BKB (unless you want to teleport out). Since the deployment of the patch, Ursa has already started gaining popularity in high level pubs. Soon, he’ll be slashing down enemies in tournaments as well.

13) Witch Doctor

-Paralzying Casks manacost reduced from 110/120/130/140 to 80/100/120/140
-Death Ward Scepter no longer has a bounce limit

This is huge buff for Death Ward. Death Ward only bounces off heroes and illusions, so if there was a Phantom Lancer with a lot of illusions, it would just go haywire, hitting random illusions. Considering Witch Doctor’s Scepter is one of the better Aghs upgrades, it now makes sense getting it against illusion heroes. The ward will bounce to every illusion and even if it doesn’t kill the illusions, it will be pretty evident who the real hero is. It is especially good against Arc Warden now, as not only does it have no limit, but Scepter also gives True Strike, rendering Magnetic Field useless.

With the next two DPC Majors cancelled, it’s hard to say when the Dota 2 circuit will get back on track. But there is some Dota 2 action coming our way in the form of WeSave! Charity Play and the Chinese Dota 2 League that has recently formed. Both these will be played on patch 7.25, so if you are stuck at home wondering what to do, play some Dota 2 on the new patch until the tournaments begin.

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