Were universal heroes supposed to be added to Dota 2 in 2019?

By Kenneth Williams


Apr 30, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Some heroes have become downright broken in Dota 2 7.33 by switching to Universal, but there are some signs that Valve was planning on the chance four years ago.

With DreamLeague Season 19 done and the Berlin Major currently running, Dota 2 fans are getting tons of opportunities to watch pros dissect patch 7.33. The biggest takeaway, besides certain heroes being stupidly overpowered, is that universal heroes will be a driving force. Between diverse item builds and interesting interactions, the new fourth category has already become a mainstay. However, there are several signs that Valve has been planning the massive change for years.

Universal heroes are a new type of hero that isn’t tied to either strength, agility, or intelligence. They benefit from all three stats at a reduced rate, getting .6 damage per every stat instead of 1 for just their primary. This allows universal heroes to grab whatever items they want instead of being steered toward a primary attribute. The implications are huge, with Bracers on Void Spirit and Null Talismans on Sand King.

Did Dota 2 mean to add universal heroes for 4 years?

Void Spirit and Snapfire have both become universal heroes, implying that Valve has been planning the massive change since the 7.23 update in late 2019.

When Void Spirit was first revealed at The International 2019, fans immediately began speculating about a new stat. The three existing spirits, Storm, Earth, and Ember, were all meant to be complex, high-skill heroes representing each state. However, they were disappointed when Void turned out to be a second-intelligence spirit. 

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However, in 7.33, Valve finally implemented the new hero type, and to no one’s surprise, Void Spirit was included in it. Fellow 7.23 newcomer Snapfire was also added to the list. In addition, other new heroes Pangolier, Dark Willow, Marci, and post-rework Techies also became universal. 

It’s possible that Valve originally intended for the universal heroes split to come out in 2019 as part of the Outlanders update. If universal heroes were in the company’s mind the whole time, it would explain why so many other newer Dota 2 heroes are also universal. Valve had the change of mind the whole time but decided to hold back for whatever reason.


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