The aftermath of 7.20 has seen a lot of chaos and disappointment over the update. The biggest change in 7.20 came to the hero movement speeds and their XP / Gold gain. However, after several weeks of playing 7.20, Valve is still releasing hotfixes to the game.
The Movement Speed Changes
- Melee heroes below 300 base movement speed increased by 5.
Movement speed in the game was just broken with the 7.20 update. There were situations when one hero would simply be unable to catch the other due to lower movement speed. This was especially the case with melee heroes who were slow and would not have much impact in the team fights. While a movement speed increase of 5 is not much, it definitely narrows down the gap in the speed difference.
Dota 2 Item Changes
- Tranquil Boots: Movement speed reduced from +28% to +24%.
- Power Treads: Attribute bonus increased from 12 to 14.
- Phase Boots: Now has the active again instead of the passive.
- Mask of Madness: Movement speed changed from +12% to +25 constant.
- Yasha: Movement speed changed from +8% to +25 constant.
- Manta Style: Movement speed changed from +8% to +25 constant.
- Sange and Yasha: Movement speed changed from +12% to +35 constant.
- Yasha and Kaya: Movement speed changed from +12% to +35 constant.
- Wraith Band: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240.
- Bracer: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240.
- Null Talisman: Recipe cost increased from 220 to 240.
The changes to the various items fall into two categories.
- Movement speed changes from percentage to constant
- The demise of the triple Bracer Meta
The fact that the movement speed changes in the game were percentage based was a huge problem. Heroes which start with a higher movement speed would only get faster with the same items and levels. It was a huge disadvantage for the heroes with a lower starting movement speed. The gap in the movement speed only widens with levels and experience. So certain heroes would simply be ineffective in the game due to the movement speed changes.
Valve has made changes to almost all the items which affected movement speed. Instead of a percentage increase, these items now provide a fixed movement speed buff. This is crucial as it will not be a big difference in the mid-game to late game.
At the same time, the game was developing into a very stale and non-diverse meta. Almost all the heroes would be strongest if they built multiple bracers / Null Talisman / Wraith Band. In an attempt to break this meta, Valve has increased the recipe costs of these items. Ofcourse this makes them even costlier and could be a huge disadvantage to supports. However, it ensures that players who want to stack bracers have to make an inefficient spending of their gold. We don’t know if the +20 Gold difference would make an impact, but it surely will have a bearing.
- Counter Helix damage reduced from 75/110/145/180 to 60/100/140/180
- Level 15 Talent reduced from +4 Mana Regen to +3
- Primal Split cooldown increased from 140/120/100 to 140/130/120
- Level 10 talent reduced from +30 Damage to +20
Brewmaster has slowly seeped into the competitive gameplay. The hero can do a lot with its abilities and is a great way to control the crowd. As a means to punish the hero, Valve has increased its Ultimate cooldown. The late game ultimate now has a 120-second cooldown, which is quite a long time.
So Brewmasters need to ensure that they pick the right fight and choose when to use their ultimate. This change alone could be more than enough to push Brewmaster out of the meta.
The Clinkz Burning Army [ ultimate ] did a lot of damage in 7.19c. The new changes measure that the damage type is Hero, so it does only 50% damage to heroes now. This will reduce its effectiveness heavily. Clinkz is not seeing a lot of play right now, and this might just push Clinkz further away.
- Burning Army damage type changed from Pierce to Hero type (50% vs heroes to 100%)
- Burning Army base attack time increased from 1.5/1.35/1.2 to 1.75/1.6/1.45
- Intelligence gain reduced from 3.4 to 3.2
- Bad Juju cooldown reduction reduced from 30/40/50% to 20/35/50%
Dazzle receives slight nerfs to its abilities. Bad Juju’s changes to the cooldown reduction aspect definitely will hurt Dazzle in the mid-game. However, it still remains the same as we head into the late game. At the same time, Dazzle’s Int Gain is reduced, so we might not see Matumbaman-like Ultra kills in the game very soon.
- Level 25 Talent changed from Astral Spirit Grants Spell Immunity to +600 Echo Stomp Wake Damage.
- Base armour increased by 1
- Time Lock chance reduced from 10/15/20/25% to 10/14/18/22%
- Level 10 Talent reduced from +20 Damage to +15
- Ink Swell max damage reduced from 160/240/320/400 to 100/200/300/400
- Ink Swell max stun duration reduced from 2/2.6/3.2/3.8 to 1.7/2.4/3.1/3.8
- Soul Bind cooldown increased from 80/65/50 to 90/70/50
Grimstroke sees some big changes to the hero. It has been a common complaint amongst pros and more so in pubs that the hero is too powerful. There are nerfs to the hero across the board. Ink Swell which is the staple ability of the hero will see a massive reduction in damage. The Level 1 Ink Swell damage is now reduced from 160 to 100 only. At level 4, it still remains the same at 400, however, these changes definitely lower the impact Grimstroke has in the early levels.
- Tether heal/mp transfer rate from 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5 to 1.05/1.2/1.35/1.5
For all IO players who want to keep Tether at lower levels, this update definitely changes their skill progression. With the Level 1 Tether granting only 1.05 Heal / MP transfer rate now, support players will need to level up Tether to provide more healing to their allies.
- Omnislash now removes debuffs on cast
- Level 15 Talent reduced from +25 Attack Speed to +20
Keeper of the Light
- Will-o-Wisp now has a 100/125/150 gold bounty
- Will-o-wisp mana cost increased from 200/300/400 to 250/350/450
The Changes to Will-o-Wisp are slight nerfs to the hero. While the bounty is great in the early levels, the increase in mana cost is sure to make KOTL players unhappy.
- Base movement speed reduced from 315 to 310
- Empower cleave damage reduced from 30/45/60/75% to 20/38/56/74%
- Level 15 Talent reduced from +15 Strength to +12
- Level 20 Talent reduced from +12 Armor to +10
- Mischief invulnerability duration reduced from 0.3 to 0.2
- Agility gain increased from 2.8 to 3.3
- Wrath of Nature’s max targets increased from 16 to 18
The increase in the Agility Gain is definitely going to make Nature’s Prophet a viable hero once more. While it will not be the Position 2 hero any time soon, it does make a potential position 4 hero. It can transition into a late game alternate carry for the team.
- Phantom Strike attack speed duration reduced from 2.5 to 2.25
- Blur now has a 0.4-second cast point
- Coup de Grace damage reduced from 230/340/450% to 210/330/450%
Phantom Assasin now has a 0.4-second cast point for Blur. This is huge nerf to the hero, which was seeing an increasingly high win rate in pub matches. The instant blur would help PA players get out of sticky situations and re-adjust their positioning. Now, it definitely reduces their early game impact as the blur is no longer a sure shot way to escape.
- Dream Coil stun duration from 1.5/2.25/3 to 1.8/2.4/3
- Telekinesis cooldown increased from 28/26/24/22 to 34/30/26/22
- Telekinesis lift duration reduced from 1.1/1.5/1.9/2.3 to 1/1.4/1.8/2.2
- Sand Storm cooldown from 40/32/24/16 to 40/34/28/22
- Burrow Strike stun duration from 1.9/2/2.1/2.2 to 1.6/1.8/2/2.2
- Level 15 Talent reduced from +50 Sand Storm DPS to +40
- Leash distance increased from 350 to 400
- Shadow Dance movement speed reduced from 30/40/50% to 20/35/50%
- Level 25 Talent reduced from +100s Essense Shift Duration to +80s
Slark is another hero who received a lot of buffs to its abilities. While the permanent Agility steal still remains a reality, Slark receives multiple nerfs with 7.20d. In the early to mid game when Slark is potentially the most dangerous, his movement speed under Shadow Dance is significantly lower now. Valve has reduced it by 33% which is a huge nerf for the hero. At the same time, they provide Slark with a means to escape especially with the leash distance increased.
- Greater Bash damage reduced from 12/20/28/36% to 8/16/24/32%
Final Thoughts on 7.20d
Overall, 7.20 d seems to be a great update for Dota 2 overall. The removal of a percentage based speed increase to a fixed amount means that all heroes are now viable. At the same time, Valve has also addressed some heroes such as Slark, Phantom Assasin, Axe and Grimstroke with the update.
The Chongqing Major qualifiers definitely provided a lot of insight into these heroes and their abilities. We will see the best teams in action at the upcoming Dota 2 Minor, the Bucharest Minor.