As is custom after a big patch, the high-elo community figures out the meta over the weeks. OP heroes are identified and picked – or banned – literally every single game. Trash tier heroes are singled out and never touched again. IceFrog, of course, cannot see the game be in a state where almost every hero is not viable.
And that’s how we get balance patches.
Dota 2 just got the 7.28b balance patch, complete with numerous nerfs and buffs to many of items and heroes. The patch was announced on Dota’s official Twitter account.
Early game items mostly got nerfed. Orb of Corrosion now has a 100 gold recipe, making players give a little more thought before blindly picking up the item on every melee hero. This ridiculously cost effective item might still need minor tweaks in the future.
Falcon Blade now gives slightly more mana and HP, while Cloak’s was hit with a 50 gold increment to its cost. Chipped Vest now returns 2 more damage against heroes and 4 more against creeps. Bullwhip’s values were rescaled; it now gives 20 percent movespeed versus its erstwhile 16 percent, but the buff duration now lasts 4 seconds against the earlier 5.
Psychic Headband and Book of Shadows had their cooldowns reduced to 20 seconds and 15 seconds respectively. Cloak of Flames – the budget Radiance – got a deserved nerf. Its armor bonus is reduced from 5 to 4, burn radius from 400 to 375, and illusions now deal 30 burn damage around them instead of 45.
Satanic received +10 damage, while the agility based Swift Blink now allows heroes to unlock the max movespeed while giving thm 40 percent move speed increase, in addition to +10 bonus damage for 6 seconds.
On the hero front, we’re only listing the most impactful changes. Most Aghs Shard upgrades were buffed so their purchase would not be ignored. Nuisance heroes like Lycan, Monkey King, and Nyx got minor nerfs, checking their pub dominance, in combination with tweaks to their shard upgrades to break OP combos.
- Batrider’s Sticky Napalm now deals half damage to ancient creeps, hampering his ability to quickly farm stacks. This change slows the hero’s item timings slightly. He’s still very strong even in mediocre hands.
- Clockwerk’s almost entirely unpicked Shard upgrade ability, Jetpack, got its cooldown reduced from 25 to 20. It now gives +7 percent more movespeed at half the manacost. The Shard is still a situational pick, but much better considering the ability’s lowered manacost on a hero with a puddle’s worth of mana. In some situations, it might just be OP. Similar in line, Dragon Knight’s Shard mana cost got reduced from 150 to 100, although it does little to make the purchase worthwhile on a low mana pool hero.
- After being dumpstered in 7.28, Lifestealer finally got a +3 base damage increase to make players not regret the pick. His Feast ability now received a 0.2 percent increment. Even with these, it seems the hero needs more to compensate for his gutting with the removal of the Open Wounds ability from the base hero.
- Permanently stuck in an alternating cycle of being S-tier or F-tier, 7.28 patch’s local zoo nuisance – Lycan – is finally nerfed. Feral Impulse’s damage bonus is reduced by 2/4/6/8 percent on each level to help supports live around 4 seconds longer than before. His wolves now get invisibility at level 3, and Cripple at level 4 instead, so all you support players can die 2 minutes later than you did in 7.28a.
- Nyx Assassin, the number two nuisance in your Dota 2 pubs had his move speed reduced by 5. More importantly, though, his Shard upgraded ultimate now gives +25 percent move speed versus the older +40 percent, making it a marginally less viable pick for every game.
The 20 mana cost increase on Vendetta will hurt him a little early game, but not by much. Good luck trying to catch this racecar making a pitstop under your measly 1000 radius sentries.
- The non-existent and purposeless Outworld Destroyer received a series of buffs to bump his abysmal 39 percent winrate. He now has better agility gain, movespeed, armor, and HP regen, making his early game potentially bearable.
Astral Imprisonment now steals 2 percent mana on each level with a +20 added damage on max level. Sanity’s Eclipse now does more damage on later levels. All this coupled with his buffed talents could revive the hero. Although, If history is telling, OD is either gonna be dog-tier or god-tier with no in-between.
- Vision abilities are one of the strongest in Dota 2. Templar Assassin’s Shard upgrade now gives her +4 total traps which means more vision around the map, especially late game when vision is scarce and super valuable for pick-offs, especially for cores. The Shard is still a situational pick, but is a certain late-game pick for a farming core liek TA, mostly because of the vision aspect.
- And finally, Wraith King with his -2 base damage, increased Vampiric Spirit mana cost in the early game, and an additional 20 manacost to his ultimate means the hero won’t be as much of an early game powerhouse. The ult change should also prompt players to purchase the Shard upgrade which removes the manacost from his ultimate.
You can read the full changelog here.