The Dota 2 Pro Circuit season may be over, but the balance patches keep rolling in. This week, lead developer and balance master IceFrog put out Patch 7.17, the first bi-weekly patch leading up to The International 8 in August.
Patch 7.17 brings a whole host of numerical tweaks to both items and heroes, resulting in a change log encompassing 93 individual lines of text. Some items and heroes favored in the current metagame have been toned down a bit, while those that may have fallen by the wayside or have been out of the meta for a while have been uplifted with some buffs.
First off, the movement speed bonus of Eul’s Scepter of Divinity has been bumped down to increase by 30 instead of 40, which is a fairly significant nerf to heroes that depend on the item. Death Prophet, Leshrac, Skywrath Mage, and Zeus will all take a hit thanks to this change.
Other items like Moon Shard, Talisman of Evasion, and Refresher Orb (and Refresher Shard, by extension) have also received adjustments to their attributes.
As for the many heroes in the game, Alchemist stands out near the top of the change log—thanks to a buff that makes his ultimate ability, Chemical Rage, apply a basic dispel upon cast. This is a pretty big improvement to the ability and the hero itself, since Alchemist players can now shrug off slow effects by simply pressing the R key. Given that kiting is one of his weaknesses, this could end up turning Alchemist into an actual threat in the TI8 qualifiers.
Leshrac’s popularity in the meta as of late also seems to have prompted IceFrog to hit him with the nerf bat. His Lightning Storm ability now has a fixed cast range of 650 units, as opposed to before where it would scale up gradually per level and end at a maximum range of 800. The rest of his kit is still really powerful, though, so we’ll have to see in the coming days whether this change will affect his pick rate.
The faerie dragon Puck has been out of favor in the metagame for quite some time now. In fact, she was present in just two games at the China Dota 2 Supermajor this weekend—and without a single win at that. This patch might just improve her chances in the future, though. Waning Rift now silences for 1.5 seconds at level one, which is a huge increase from the old value of 0.75 seconds.
A skill build that involves investing a value point into Waning Rift then maxing out Illusory Orb and Phase Shift could prove to be quite good—though we’ll have to wait and see if the pros catch on to this or if they think it still doesn’t make Puck worth picking.
You can check out the full change log on the game’s Steam Store page, or through the Dota 2 client itself.