Patch 6.88f marks only the 2nd time that Dota has been iterated up to this mark, the 5th minor patch of the series. The precedent before this was patch 6.86, with 6.86e and 6.86f consisting of minor changes to one or two heroes (Gamepedia’s summary of 6.86f: “Nerfed Invoker.”) Patch 6.88f tweaked 18 more heroes, all nerfs, including a “fix” on Centaur Warrunner’s Return skill, so that it no longer works on illusions.
Valve continues to adjust turn the hero balance knobs on a select number of their heroes. Over the course of 6.88, those heroes received multiple nerfs over multiple minor patches. Phantom Assassin saw her Stifling Dagger range whittle down close to that of Shadow Fiend’s auto attack range. Omniknight, perched on competitive viability, received consecutive nerfs over the last two minor patches.
It’s easy to lose track of how much these heroes have changed, when the changes are incremental over a long period of time. Here are some of the largest trends over the course of 6.88.
Batrider’s changes are small, but significant. He is one of the most tweaked heroes in Dota, receiving changes to every skill in his history. Yet he has persisted, and players have adapted their playstyles to fit Batrider in most metas. When Lasso was nerfed, players pivoted towards leveraging Batrider’s other skills. They used Batrider actively in the early game, building Drums instead of Blink Dagger, and exploited the damage and utility of Firefly and Sticky Napalm. The recent nerf to Flamebreak nerfs his fighting potential and his utility. Yes, the spell does do more damage, but without being able to interrupt TPs, it’s a significant nerf overall.
It does seem like it was time to nerf Drow Ranger, again. The capper was the decrease in her strength gain, aiming to offset her newfound elusiveness and tankiness from Hurricane Pike. Dragon Lance, a component from Hurricane Pike, is enough to make Drow Ranger teeter on the edge of unbalanced. It lets her outrange towers, while also giving cheap stats.
It seems like a deliberate move by Valve to avoid nerfing Precision Aura, which is one of her greatest strengths. We’ve seen this kind of balance change before, where the reasons for a hero’s imbalance is left untouched, and the hero is tweaked in other areas instead.
These were the post-TI6 nerfs, after Mirana became a leaping nuclear bomb during the event. Since then, she has dropped out of being a Tier 1, automatic first pick/ban hero (though she did have a 71% win rate over 35 games during The Summit 6 qualifiers). The two changes together hamstring her farming and her ability to nuke down solo heroes. The nerfs may have gone a little too far, but a quality of life update, long demanded by fans, to add a timer to her Starstorm might vault her back into the top tier of heroes.
Omniknight holds the crown for the hero with the highest win rate of all time, ever since we started recording stats for it. But that’s only in pubs. In competitive play, he is a situational pick. Both of these cases speak to the potency of his spells, but also how practical their applications are in a competitive environment.
Pub games are more lenient on Omniknight’s weaknesses, whereas in competitive play, drafting and lane matchups can exploit those weaknesses (one note: Omniknight still holds a 60+% win rate across 4-5k and 5k+ bracket. It’s only in professional play that he has struggled, most recently with a 40% win rate a The Summit 6 qualifiers). The reduction in cast point to Purification and Repel makes Omniknight a more practical choice, but the changes were also counter-balanced to other aspects of those skills.
OD was nerfed a grand total of 4 times, starting off the bat with 6.88. There is a case that these nerfs were well-deserved, especially when looking at how popular he was during The Summit 6 qualifiers. He was another one of the beneficiaries of Dragon Lance, while a Blink Dagger granted him the elusiveness of a poor man’s Puck.
Yes, Stifling Dagger is about the same cast range as Shadow Fiend’s auto attacks. It still has the same range at lvl 4, but the nerf to its early levels makes support PA less viable and hurts the early laning stage of a mid PA.
Illusions by far received the biggest nerfs in this patch. The subset of illusion heroes were nerfed, but there was a larger set of heroes who used Manta Style who was also nerfed. Then there was Shadow Demon, whose illusion factory would slow push teams to victory in the late game.
The issue with illusions was that it was a little to no risk way to push towers. It doesn’t cost time or gold to make illusions, and so if they do any damage at all, they’ve far exceeded their value. It doesn’t seem fair when a pair of free illusions can push a t3 tower, when summons like Necronomicon and Lone Druid’s Bear have had their experience and gold bounties tweaked to dissuade this kind of strategy.
why nerf supp PA?
Make PA cancer again !
I am in like Flynn.
LEAVE OD ALONE
When was the last time Abbadon got...anything?
Show him some love.
No mention how weak oracle is for the 1st 10 mins of the game?
hana is my crush
The post reads "Trends of Patch 6.88" but no word is said about actual trends -- all there is a half-baked patch note analysis. I usually cherish this blog but this post was a bit disappointing to be honest.
Two of the four changes to OD you listed are buffs. Also, why the hell would support PA ever exist?
Vos daronnes ?
Support PA is cool, TBH. The idea that you can run any hero that is normally a carry as a support can be quite a plot twist in drafts, the only problem comes when that hero is picked ALL THE TIME. Like PA and Mirana before her and Lina in 6.84 before that, Earthshaker in 6.83 (and to a similar manner in 6.85-6 where mid/safe shaker was a situational thing), and so on.
PA did deserve some nerfs, but I personally don't think the current ones solve the issue. Why does PA's dagger need to be over 1000 range to begin with anyway? I'd have had it go 700/800/900/1000 and added in maybe one more minor tweak on top of it, but I ain't icefrog.
"Why would support PA exist" - 1k mmr
Latest change on sniper?
Kunkka also got nerf .. my lovely kunkka
show some love to clockwerk T_T
he need everyone love back as top tier hooker
Illusions nerfed! so Monkey King got nerfed even before release.
@Jamestb0600: Not weak at all? He crushes 2v1 lanes, can gank with his root and can still trade mana hp if the lane goes bad. Which part of him is weak?
He just starts becoming bad if his ult is very delayed and he has to skirmish/teamfight without promise.
@article: I agree that there's fairly little content here. I'm not sure what exactly I learned from reading it :/
To the people asking the point of support PA was that she could go as a roamer, go to any lane with just a clarity and an orb of venom and stand outside of exp range spamming dagger on cool down without the lane she's helping losing exp. I did it a few times and you just win mid for your mid hero, it's essentially a 2v1 mid without the down side ( the farming mid hero losing exp advantage ) so she can spend a few minutes level 1 , maybe get levels if she gets a kill, control runes, and easily transition into a core later if necessary as her ult still does a lot of damage when she hits 6 regardless of whether or not she has items.
There is only one trend. It's Phantom Assassin with Desolator, every game every time.
but not now
Armor piercing dagger is the best dagger. dats why PA loves to buy Desolator. U can one hit full hp lina with crit included
WHERE IS MY ABADDON BUFF
abbadon is fine niga. check my profyle.
He was another one of the beneficiaries of Dragon Lance, while a Blink Dagger granted him the elusiveness of a poor man’s Puck. Valve continues to adjust turn the hero balance knobs on a select number of their heroes,,,,,
when the changes are incremental over a long period of time
im from indonesia country live at sangatta city............my name is SYAHRUNI a.k.a Roni (COLLEGE STUDENT STAIS KUTIM)
i hate es jumping ... haha now i dont buy ags for es...im happy without casting enchat totem
buff BROODMOTHER PLEASE
why nerf blink for pa?
if changed leep on mirana, is no chance to play him.