Bristleback and Medusa nerfs highlight Dota 2 patch 7.29d

By Kenneth Williams


May 25, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Dota 7.29d nerfs many of the strongest heroes in the game, breaking ground on a brand new meta.

The fourth subpatch of Dota 2 7.29 is a collection of nerfs targeting the most successful heroes  and items across the professional scene and pubs. It also removes the Toss buyback mechanic that Yawar “YawaR” Hassan may have inadvertently abused in Quincy Crew’s match over Evil Geniuses at the North American upper division. A similar feature was removed from Timbersaw’s Timber Chain ability.

Dota 2 patch nerfs Vanguard and Sange

The first nerf of the patch is levied at Vanguard. The item has become a ubiquitous pickup for every off laner thanks to its cheap build with no recipe. It retains those qualities, but the damage block was lowered from 70/35 to 64/32. It’s still a great item for low armor offlaners like Centaur Warruner and Axe. 

Sange’s lifesteal and regeneration amplification was reduced from 24% to 20%, a nerf that carries over to the strength sword’s evolved forms. Sange and Yasha, Kaya and Sange, and Heaven’s Halberd all had their numbers tweaked accordingly. Combined with the Vanguard changes, both carries and off laners are a little less tanky in patch 7.29d.

Lastly, Solar Crest had its active ability Shine nerfed. The attack speed bonus/slow had been reduced from 55 to 50. This is a very small nerf and shouldn’t affect the item’s popularity too much. Defensive supports like Warlock, Dazzle, and Abaddon should still consider Crest as a third item.

Ancient Apparition, Broodmother among heroes receiving nerfs

A total of 14 heroes had their abilities or stats tweaked in the new patch. Ancient Apparition, the winningest hero in Dota, received two changes to Ice Vortex and Ice Blast. Vortex’ magic damage boost at level four dropped from 30% to 24%. Ice Blast’s initial damage gets 25 less damage with each level, capping out at 350.

Meta nightmare Bristleback also received a nerf to his new Aghanim’s Scepter build. The radius of Nasal Goo has been reduced from 950 to 900, and his movement speed talent at level ten has been replaced with 15 bonus damage.

Broodmother is a polarizing hero at all levels of play, and her Insatiable Hunger has been toned down considerably in the early game. Broodmother’s hidden Aghanim’s Shard Spin Web cooldown reduction has also been removed, possibly because Valve itself didn’t know about it.

Medusa’s new Aghanim’s Scepter build gives the late-game carry a powerful midgame presence, so the stone duration has been reduced from 1.5 seconds to 1.3. Her Mystic Snake mana gain and cooldown talents also swapped spots.

Supports weren’t spared from IceFrog’s wrath. Snapfire Cookie had its stun time reduced by .3 seconds at level one, though it scaled back up to the old 2.2 seconds. Warlock now spawns with two less base strength, and his Shadow Word is now two seconds shorter than before.

The final round of nerfs were aimed at Wraith King. Vampiric Spirit’s mana cost was greatly increased while Mortal Strike had its cooldown reworked to be longer at lower levels. Wraith King was a solid pick, but nowhere near the level of Bristleback or Medusa. His 53% win rate is almost guaranteed to drop.


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