The wait is finally over and the patch is here. Dota 7.22 is a massive patch and once again we will be dividing it into several separate blog posts, one focusing on the general and item changes, one discussing the hero changes and one fully dedicated to Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades.
We will discuss new scepter upgrades in more detail in our discussion of the heroes, but it is interesting to see Valve going for an extra stalemate-breaker for the later stages of the game. Talents introduced new, interesting power spikes back in 7.00 and the new consumable Aghanim’s Sceptre has the potential to do the same.
Not all Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades are even decent, but in the later stages of the game there is now an extra outlet for gold. In most cases, though, players would still want to fill their inventory spaces with items first, before going for Moon Shard or Aghanim’s.
Consumable Scepter from Roshan is a massive support buff. Supports generally had little use for Aegis and Cheese, but both Shard and Scepter can fit them really well. Since the consumable Scepter can only come out from the third or fourth Roshan, core heroes should be mostly six-slotted by this point. Do not underestimate the straight-up power spike from Agh’s Disruptor or how situationally effective Agh’s Shadow Demon can be.
It is surprising to see Mars getting more nerfs going into CM than Io. After the nerfs, Mars looks like he will be an adequate hero in the professional scene, possibly even on the tamer side of things. Io is going to be a 100% contest rate in every single tournament until the hero gets nerfed.
Slowly but surely we are getting back there with trialnes and solo offlaners. From how accurate Valve is with the Deny XP percentage, it looks like they are searching for this magical value, where 2-1-2, 1-1-3 and R-1-1-2 lane compositions are all equally viable at the same time. It is never going to be perfect or ideal, but the extra 5% is a step in the right direction.
Ultimates are going to come a little bit earlier, while level 20 and 25 talents are going to come a little bit later. A couple of extra creeps per level isn’t going to make much of a difference in most circumstances, but it can result in sieges after taking a lane being more effective, since super creeps in lane award a lot less XP.
Theoretically it should increase the value of taking early set of barracks and make the strategy of having late game-oriented highground defenders, who are typically ok with losing an early lane slightly less viable.
A huge change to early game tower-taking. Heroes like Dark Seer, Enigma, Lycan and Chen were often picked for these early Siege units and extra map control before the enemy could react properly. Now they will have to adapt with jungle creeps in their army. Overall, this change should lead to a slightly slower early and mid game and give both teams more time to get to implement their strategies.
Similar assessment—games should become slightly longer, defending objectives should be slightly easier and Ogre Magi with a glyphed tower can become a thing.
Roshan is now slightly tankier, hits a little harder and gives less XP as a reward, but given how third Roshan can now give a permanent upgrade to one of the heroes, it is fully understandable. It shouldn’t change much and should also make level one Roshan considerably less lucrative.
Eye of Skadi got considerably worse at dealing with melee attackers. 20% MS decrease is significant, but it won’t allow for continuous kiting against speedier melee targets. At the same time the item got a lot better for melee heroes, who get kited by ranged attackers with slow effects, pushed out with Hurricane Pike or rooted with Rod of Atos.
Losing five armor is massive and Greaves are not as amazing as they used to be, though they are still pretty good. It is still an item to build early on one of the utility cores, it is still more or less a necessary aura for both teams in the late game, it is just slightly worse at what it was doing.
With increased cost and no ability to dominate Siege creeps, HotD should become a lot more niche. We are still going to see it on heroes like Lycan and Dark Seer, but maybe not as the first item, at least not in every game.
Vision game got both cheaper and more interesting. There is now no justification not to search for enemy wards and try and keep the vision as much as possible across the map, while looking for enemy wards.
Given how Sentries now have an extended range, we strongly advise to plant your wards either in Smoke or where you are absolutely sure the enemy has no vision of you. Dewarding is going to be very rewarding in the new patch.
Invisible heroes are also indirectly buffed by the limited Sentry stock, but 10 is still plenty and Dusts are sill unlimited, so it shouldn’t be that big of a problem. Though it can get frustrating against heroes who have ways of dispelling Dust or use invisibility primarily as an initiation tool.
The item is now worse across the board, but to be fair it was excellent in certain games, while being good overall. It is now slightly less of a counter to heavy regen heroes, but is still a necessity and a game-changer against heroes like Alchemist and Morphling. It is just not as good as it was as a general purpose damage-dealing item.
“Everyone should have their ultimate by minute 10” — IceFrog.