It’s that time after The International when not a lot is happening and everyone is waiting for the new, big patch. But it is going to be a while before patch 7.20 arrives, as a it was made clear by a Valve employee a few days ago:
In his tweet, Daniel said it would be the similar in terms of distance from TI. Last year, TI7 ended on the 12th of August and the new patch came on the 31st of October. This year, TI8 got over on the 26th of August, so do not expect patch 7.20 until the second week of November! But just as Daniel mentioned in his reply on Reddit, Valve have released a new patch, patch 7.19d, which like its recent predecessors, is all about nerfs. This will (hopefully) be the last patch before 7.20 and will be the one on which the first DPC Minor and Major of the season will be played, along with ESL One Hamburg. Let’s take a look at what the big nerfs are in patch 7.19d.
* Drow Ranger: Marksmanship agility bonus reduced from 40/60/80 to 35/55/75
By itself, this wouldn’t be the biggest nerf. But couple this with the early loss of agility with the last patch and the Drow patch seems to take a decent hit in the early stages. As the game goes on, the reduction becomes less significant as Drow builds more agility based items. However, I don’t see this affecting her pick rate by a lot. Drow has been a strong hero this patch and I believe she will see it out till 7.20.
* Grimstroke: Ink Swell max damage reduced from 220/280/340/400 to 160/240/320/400
* Grimstroke: Ink Swell movement speed bonus reduced from 18/22/26/30% to 18%
* Grimstroke: Phantom Embrace latch duration from 4/4/5/5 to 5
* Grimstroke: Phantom Embrace DPS rescaled from 12/18/24/30 to 6/14/22/30
220 damage at level 1 along with a stun was definitely not balanced. That is well deserved nerf as is the one to movement speed. I’m just surprised Stroke of Fate hasn’t been nerfed, but I can say with certainty that it will be before Grimstroke is introduced into Captain’s Mode. Phantom Embrace didn’t really see too worthy of a ban to me, but it does get some extra latch duration to balance the damage reduction for the first two levels.
* Necrophos: Level 10 Talent reduced from +40 Damage to +30
* Necrophos: Level 20 Talent reduced from +80 Attack Speed to +70
The attack speed reduction ins’t a nerf, but the one to damage could be. Necrophos, especially a position 1 or 2 Necrophos, needs that extra damage to accelerate his farm. As the game goes on, 10 damage might not seem a lot. But from levels 10-15, somewhere in the mid game is when this change will have an effect of Necro’s farm rate.
* Phantom Lancer: Spirit Lance cast range rescaled from 750 to 525/600/675/750
Phantom Lancer is one of those heroes who’s not just strong late game, but he’s a beast in the laning phase as well. Spirit Lance is a definite reason for that lane domination and the decrease in early level range will have a say in that. This will especially matter when playing PL in the mid lane against a ranged hero.
* Riki: Smoke Screen slow rescaled from 10/15/20/25% to 8/12/16/20%
* Riki: Smoke Screen miss chance rescaled from 40/50/60/70% to 10/30/50/70%
* Riki: Tricks of the Trade AoE reduced from 500 to 450
* Riki: Tricks of the Trade duration rescaled from 4/5/6 to 4/4.5/5
* Riki: Level 20 Talent reduced from +900 Blink Strike Range to +700
* Riki: Level 25 Talent reduced from +400 Tricks of the Trade AoE to +300
Although not seen in the professional scene (not due to his invisibility), Riki has terrorized pub for the past few months now, and a few nerfs here and there have not stopped him. Smoke Screen nerf is the one that will most affect the heroes presence in the game. The skill slows, silences, reduces vision and makes enemies miss! On top of that, level one of the skill was so good that according to Dotabuff, most Rikis did not get that second point in Smoke Screen till level 13. The change in 7.19d will make them reconsider that. Tricks of the trade, if you ask me, is still a bit overpowered. And the Blink cast range talent still gives the skill a maximum blink distance of 1500, which is insane. This is probably the hardest hero for IceFrog and Valve to balance in such a way that he becomes viable in professional games and is not a menace in pubs.
* Silencer: Last Word damage reduced from 120/180/240/300 to 75/150/225/300
Apparently, beating the living daylights out of Arcane Curse wasn’t enough, so IceFrog decided to go after Last Word. The damage reduction to Last Word and the mana cost increase for Arcane Curse makes Silencer a creep with wards early on in the lane. Well, it’s not literally that bad, but the Last Word damage reduction does come as a surprise this patch. Patch 7.19c reduced level 1 damage from 150 to 120. Now 7.19d has further reduced it to 75. In two successive patches, the early damage for the skill has halved. Has the Silencer finally been silenced?
* Terrorblade: Conjure Image manacost increased from 70 to 70/75/80/85
* Terrorblade: Reflection slow reduced from -25% to -20%
* Terrorblade: Sunder manacost increased from 200/100/0 to 200/100/50
* Terrorblade: Level 15 Talent reduced from +300 Health to +250
Terroblade has had a bit of a different journey as compared to the others getting the nerf hammer. He wasn’t contested a lot at TI8 (although he was picked in the last game!), nut post TI8, we see a lot of TBs wandering around in games. It was never a case of TB being bad but more of cores such as Spectre and Phantom Lancer being a lot better. The changes make TB a bit more mana intensive, especially Sunder. With a 5 second Sunder cooldown, TB will no longer be able to spam those Sunders with no mana in the pool. According to Dotabuff, the HP talent is chosen over 70% of the times, and there’s a reason for that. For TB, that +300 HP means he has a better chance to survive and get that sunder off and get a green health bar again. That chance just got hacked down to a small extent.
* Ursa: Fury Swipes duration reduced from 20 to 8/12/16/20
Patch 7.19d has not been kind to Ursa. A reduction from 20 seconds to 8 seconds is far too much. The good thing is, Fury Swipes is the skill maximized so it will be a non issue after level 7. But in the laning stage, if an Ursa is running at you, a stun or slow will ensure he doesn’t have Fury Swipes by the time he reaches you. Killing potential in the lane will be affected by this.
* Weaver: Shukuchi Manacost increased from 60 to 70
Weavers have been using Shukuchi a bit too liberally in the lanes, may it be to get that last hit on the low ranged creep far away, harass the enemy hero or to escape. A lot of times, multiple objectives are fulfilled by Shukuchi. The increase in mana cost will at least force Weaver to? spend some gold on Enchanted Mangoes and Clarities.
* Zeus: Arc Lightning manacost increased from 65/70/75/80 to 80
Zeus depends on Arc Lightening for a good chunk of his lane farm. Granted his right click damage has received a buff recently, but in most scenarios, the Thunder God will depend on his first skill to get that gold. And there’s a reason why most Zeus players will start with a chunk of Clarities – his mana pool or mana regeneration is not high enough for him to keep spamming Arc Lightening. Each Clarity meant a little less than 2.5 Arc Lightenings before. Now the mana from a Clarity won’t even get you two Arc Lightenings (usually the skill is kept at level 1 and Lightening Bolt is maxed out). I woudn’t say worrying times for Zeus, but definitely a lot more planning with the consumables for the first few levels.
I has been a long time since the Dota 2 community saw some big nerfs that instill positivity. It has all been nerfs from 7.17b to 7.19d. I hope we don’t have to endure another patch before 7.20 is released. Till then, let’s just be happy Riki got nerfed. A bit. At least.