Dota 2 has dropped a new gameplay balance update, 7.29d. Primarily a nerf-patch, 7.29d levels out a series of prior buff-patches which made the game approach a power-creep state.
In all likelihood, the upcoming WePlay AniMajor is going to be played on the 7.29d patch. After several patches of almost continuous buffs, this one balances out numerous OP aspects of several heroes.
One of the most notable changes is to the ages-old Timberchain and Tiny Toss buyback interactions, off the back of which Quincy Crew had won a game against Evil Geniuses in the NA DPC to secure first place in the league. The patch also reduced Tiny’s movespeed from 300 to 295, which reduced the hero’s viability as a roaming position 4.
A major Pudge exploit has also been fixed. Jenkins recently demonstrated the trick which allowed Pudge to secure the offlane for their teammate by denying the enemy safelane the ranged creep XP. The exploit worked by hooking the Radiant ranged creep into the trees near the T3 tower, where the creep would get stuck.
Damage block reduced from 70/35 (melee/ranged carrier) to 64/32.
For an item that costs 1925 gold and lets you tank tower hits, this item has been too good for way too long. A deserved nerf, but it might need a little more in the coming days.
Sange and Heaven’s Halberd
Lifesteal and health regen amplification reduced from 24% to 20%.
Sange & Yasha, and Kaya & Sange
Lifesteal and health regen amplification reduced from 25% to 22%.
While Sange’s upgrade components deserved a nerf, this change impacts the already-weak Heaven’s Halberd, which doesn’t feel like a good purchase even in scenarios where its active is needed. The pick-rate of Heaven’s Halberd is dwarfed by the pick-rate of Sange and Yasha.
Shine (Solar Crest’s active ability) attack speed bonus/slow reduced from 55 to 50.
After the 7.29 update made the item cheaper by 1150, it’d been too good a purchase, essentially giving free 65 attack speed which had been reduced to 55 in the 7.29c gameplay update. A deserved nerf to an OP item.
Ice Vortex magic resistance reduction from 15/20/25/30 to 12/16/20/24, and Ice Blast damage from 250/350/450 to 250/325/400.
A hero that enjoyed a comfortable ~55% winrate with close to 20% pickrate was too strong. The 7.29d changes nerf the hero’s OP-ness, but he will still be relevant.
Aghanim’s Shard Counter Helix proc chance from 10% to 5%. Berserker’s Call cooldown increased from 16/14/12/10s to 17/15/13/11s.
The ballerina Axe meta popularized by Secret.zai seems to have come to an end with the Shard proc chance being cut in half. The strategy relied on dishing enough damage with Shard + Manta illusions to bring enemies down to the Culling Blade threshold, which is highly unlikely after the 7.29d nerfs.
Viscous Nasal Goo cooldown increased from 1.5s to 1.75s. Scepter upgraded Goo AOE reduced from 950 to 900. Level 10 talent changed from +20 movespeed to +15 damage.
The movespeed talent change is the biggest nerf to this fast boi. Catching him should be easier, though the other two changes are nearly inconsequential. They affect BB’s ability to stack up Warpatch instances and his effectiveness in team fights, but not by much.
Insatiable Hunger lifesteal reduced from 70%/80%/90%/100% to 40%/60%/80%/100%. Shard no longer reduces Spin Web recharge time. Level 15 talent from 15% Cooldown Reduction to -15s Web Recharge time. Level 20 talent from +18 spiders attack damage to +15.
Broodmama is the biggest loser of 7.29d. Arguably the strongest hero since the last major patch when her abilities were reworked, she enjoyed a ~60% winrate in the Divine/Immortal bracket. The lifesteal reduction to Insatiable Hunger cripples her lane sustenance, while the rest of the changes should affect her sufficiently enough to bring her winrate closer to 50%.
Base attack is reduced from 100 to 90, and level 15 talent from +6 to +5 armor, which are insignificant. A more impactful change is the +10s cooldown increase to Stampede.
Cursed Crown’s Shard cooldown reduction from 3s to 2s. Level 20 Bramble Maze cooldown reduction talent reduced from -8s to -7s.
The Biggest Oversight’s phase of nearly perma-disabling the enemies should come to an end with these tweaks. The hero has been too strong in the Pos 4/5 roles.
received an insignificant base strength nerf of -2.
Cold Snap trigger cooldown increased from 0.77->0.57 to 0.83->0.62. Alacrity damage/attack speed reduced from 10->115 to 10->94.
Cold Snap trigger CD nerf is good news for heroes with Blink abilities, although only in early levels. The Alacrity change nerfs the absolutely ridiculous Solar Crest + Alacrity combo.
Mystic Snake Scepter base stone duration reduced from 1.5s to 1.3s. Level 15 talent from +35% Mystic Snake mana gain to -1.5s Mystic Snake cooldown. Level 20 talent from -3s Mystic Snake cooldown to +35% Mystic Snake mana gain.
Medusa’s Scepter + Shard combo has been way too good of late. All that is beside her normal power spikes with level 15 and 20 talents. These nerfs should restore some sense of balance to the hero, although it’s very likely that another round of nerfs might be in store considering just how good the hero is right now.
Firesnap Cookie stun duration reduced from 1.6/1.8/2.0/2.2s to 1.3/1.6/1.9/2.2s. Lil’ Shredder|
Armor reduction per attack reduced from 1 to 0.75.
These nerfs impact the hero’s utility kit a little, forcing supports to invest more points in the Cookie. For cores, the Lil’ Shredder armor reduction means the hero’s effectiveness is lessened, although not by much. Nothing a Desolator purchase won’t cover up for.
Base strength reduced from 26 to 24. Shadow Word duration reduced from 12s to 10s, and heal/damage increased from 15/25/35/45 to 18/27/36/45.
The base strength reduction doesn’t affect the hero, while the Shadow Word changes make the spell stronger in earlier levels and weaker later on. Still, with his Shadow Word talent and AoE Shard upgrades, the hero is super strong.
Vampiric Spirit mana cost increased from 65/70/75/80 to 70/80/90/100. Mortal Strike cooldown increased from 4s to 5.5/5/4.5/4s.
The manacost change likely calls for a few extra clarities throughout the game as WK spawn his skellies, but doesn’t affect the hero’s kit otherwise. The Mortal Strike CD change marginally slows his early game farm and lane effectiveness.
You can read the full changelog on the official Dota 2 blog.