The stale Dota 2 meta that has been in place since August has been freshened up quite a bit. The Mistwood Update has arrived and with it comes Dota 2 version 7.28.
As expected, the update comes with a long list of changes to heroes and items but those aren’t necessarily the biggest talking points in the game right now.
Starting from the top, new hero Hoodwink was added to Dota 2 in the Mistwood Update. The hero has a number of similarities to Windranger but possesses some extra tricks that set her apart from the newly minted wind elemental. Check out the full breakdown if you haven’t already.
The biggest addition to the game is a new type of item called Aghanim Shards. These are separate from the backpack and essentially serve as purchasable talents that upgrade specific spells or add new spells.
Aghanim Shards are displayed to the left of the backpack next to the hero’s ultimate. They become available for purchase at the 20-minute mark of the game and cost 1,400 gold. These are separate upgrades from those offered by Aghanim’s Scepter.
For example, when Batrider purchases an Aghanim Shard, it upgrades his Lasso ability by allowing it to target allied heroes, which grants the target with 80% damage reduction. In the case of Clockwerk, it gives him a new ability called Jetpack which gives him flying movement with a reduced turn radius.
With the addition of Aghanim Shards, many heroes have had their Scepter abilities reworked. The full details can be found on the official update page.
More than any calls to have a specific hero buffed, Dota 2 fans have been calling for some to be nerfed. Valve obliged and chopped down a few of the most popular picks of the last few months.
Sven has been one of the most popular and unpopular heroes since the 7.27 update. The hero’s combination of absurd damage output and incredibly strong mobility with Aghanim’s Scepter made him a go-to pubstomp carry. Valve tackled this by nerfing the damage bonus of God’s Strength and nerfing Storm Hammer’s scepter upgrade by removing the bonus attack and reducing its bonus range. The Storm Hammer dispel effect was also moved from being a talent to being his Aghanim Shard ability.
Bloodseeker was hit with a blend of buffs and nerfs that should ultimately be a net loss for the hero. Bloodrage’s manacost and cooldown were increased while its bonuses were shifted from attack damage to attack speed. Thirst’s teamfight usefulness by giving an AOE healing effect from enemy heroes, while its early laning value was decreased with the removal of the half-heal given by creeps not killed by Bloodseeker. Rupture was given a buff with reduced manacost and increased damage, but the loss of Bloodseeker’s bruising early game is a tough one.
The biggest surprise of the patch was the lacking action taken against split push-focused heroes. While Broodmother and Lycan have been disproportionately strong heroes at all levels of casual play, Broodmother got a very modest nerf to Agility gain while Lycan was actually buffed. Howl’s manacost and cooldown were both reduced, while Feral Impulse now has a global effect on Lycan’s summoned units.
This is something of a surprising move by Valve, but likely has roots in the esports scene. Though both heroes are forces in pub play, the recently completed EPIC League saw both go very lightly used.
The hero changes were big, but arguably the biggest changes of all came to the items. Alongside Aghanim Shards, 11 new items were added alongside three new neutral items. The highlights of this are new upgrades to Helm of the Dominator, Eul’s Scepter and Blink Dagger.
Helm of the Dominator can now be upgraded to level two, similar to items like Necronomicon or Dagon. Upgrading Helm of the Dominator calls for an Ultimate Orb and 1,600 gold recipe, making it a much stronger late-game option. Alongside that is the extra ability to control ancient creeps and improved bonus stats for controlled units.
Eul’s Scepter can now be turned into the Wind Waker with a Mystic Staff and a 1,600 gold recipe. Wind Waker functions similarly to Eul’s but can be used on allies and allows the user to move the cyclone when casted on themselves. It also comes with much stronger stats for the late game.
Most interestingly, Blink Dagger can now be upgraded into one of three items with a recipe and either Eaglesong, Mystic Staff, or Reaver.
Arcane Blink is obtained by combining a Blink Dagger and Mystic Staff, and grants decreased cooldown and cast points to the user’s next spells. Overwhelming Blink calls for a Reaver and applies AOE damage and slow around the user’s destination. Eaglesong’s upgrade is Swift Blink and it gives bonus attack damage, attack speed, and movement speed to the user after they teleport.
Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg with these patch notes. More can be found on the official Dota 2 blog.