To put the cherry on top, Valve also unveiled a brand-new hero, Primal Beast, from the Aghanim's Labyrinth seasonal game mode. But that's not all; there are several gameplay changes, ranging from new and reworked abilities and items to practically every hero receiving a nerf or buff.
Given the sheer volume of content, it's understandable that Dota 2 players might feel a bit overwhelmed by the latest patch. So, we've highlighted the most critical changes and information you need to know.
Jump to section
It seems Valve has finally heard the cries of players, having reworked the contentious crew of Techies Demolitions. Initially teasing the hero's overhaul days before the patch went live, Valve has delivered on its promise two-fold.
In a nutshell, Techies' Remote Mines and Stasis Trap abilities have been removed in favour of two new skills, Sticky Bomb and Reactive Tazer. Proximity Mines is now Techies' ultimate ability, and Blast Off! remains relatively unchanged, except that it no longer deals self-damage.
Techies - New Sticky Bomb ability
Techies lob a bomb cart onto a target area. If the cart lands near an enemy, it sticks to them and reduces movement speed briefly before exploding.
Techies - New Reactive Tazer ability
Techies trigger a zap that provides a jolt of movement speed and temporarily disarms enemies attacking them. At the end of its charge, the zap explodes, disarming enemies in the area.
Reactive Tazer also has a Scepter Ability Upgrade, allowing players to cast it on Allies to deal 300 damage upon detonation.
Primal Beast is a new tank initiator, boasting strong team fighting abilities, Onslaught, Trample, Uproar and Pulverise. The hero also has a Shard ability, Rock Throw. You can read more about the Primal Beast and its abilities in a future article.
The in-game hero description reads: "Rushing savagely through enemies and allies alike, Primal Beast pounds into battle as one born to raise a ruckus. An unavoidable threat amidst any fray, the Beast can punish attackers and relishes grabbing prey to repeatedly slam them against the ground until nothing but mush remains."
We won't be listing all the hero nerfs and buffs here, since there are simply too many balance changes to consider. Instead, we'll highlight some of the heroes that we believe will reign strongest in the new meta.
Strongest meta heroes in Dota 2 7.31
Axe will gain a permanent armour bonus (1/1.5/2) for each enemy slain with Culling Blade. Battle Hunger will also deal more damage, scaling with the amount of armour Axe has. Yes, this means that Axe will be broken once again in this patch.
If that's not enough, Counter Helix's Shard debuff reduces the total attack damage taken by Axe, meaning that Blade Mail will deal full damage back since the outgoing damage is no longer reduced. Yay, Axe players!
Rubick's Spell Steal has received a massive cooldown reduction from 20/15/10 to just 20/12/4. Aghanim's Scepter upgrade allows him to steal two spells and no longer reduces cooldown. However, Rubick will not be able to steal Rearm anymore.
Tinker has been nerfed slightly, although it's probably not the kind of nerf players were hoping for. Defense Matrix's status resistance was reduced from 20/30/40/50% to 10/20/30/40%. Rearm has also been nerfed, increasing Channeling Time marginally. Lastly, Laser's damage has also been reduced slightly.
As much as I hate to admit it, Valve's rework of Techies will arguably see the hero surge in popularity given its new spells. While many were hoping for Valve to outright delete this cancer from the game, I suspect that Techies' new abilities will become even more of a nuisance than before.
Dota 2 patch 7.31 nerfs Tinker, but it's not enough
Additionally, Tinker receives a new ability granted by Shard called Warp Flare. Throws a grenade towards a unit, dealing 50 damage, teleporting it 600 units away from tinker and reduces their cast and attack range by 40% for 3 seconds. Mana cost: 150. Cooldown: 15s. Cast Range: 700. Projectile speed: 1900.
Admittedly, there are loads of other hero changes that might play a significant role in establishing the new meta. While we won't mention them all here, we certainly look forward to watching them evolve throughout the season.
There are several general updates; however, again, we have only listed the most remarkable changes below.
- Base hero gold bounty increased
- Cooldown reduction now stacks diminishingly
- Moved the bounty runes from the triangle to the primary jungle
- Moved the Dire and Radiant offlane towers 320 units further away from base
- When a hero respawns in the fountain, they are invulnerable, as long as there's at least one enemy hero in the base until they issue a command
- The following abilities now consistently reveal invisibility for their duration:
- Winter's Curse (Winter Wyvern)
- Aether Remnant (Void Spirit)
- Berserker Rage (Troll Warlord)
- Shackles (Shadow Shaman)
- Life Drain (Pugna)
- Dismember (Pudge)
- Fortune's End (Oracle)
- Sinister Gaze (Lich)
- Searing Chains (Ember Spirit)
- Enchant Remnant (Earth Spirit)
- Dark Troll Ensnare (Neutral Creep)
- Rod of Atos and Gleipnir
- Creeps now have new passive abilities
- Piercing (Ranged Creeps) - Piercing units deal 150% bonus damage to non-hero units and 50% less damage to Standard Units
- Reinforced - Reinforced units deal 150% bonus damage to other Reinforced units and reduce damage received from heroes by 50% and from non-hero units by 30%
- Runty (Melee Creeps) - Runty units deal 25% less damage to heroes
- Neutral creeps now increase their HP by 30, armour by 0.5, base damage by 3, attack speed by 5, gold bounty by 1 and XP bounty by 5 every 7.5 minutes, up to 30 times. (Last upgrade at 225 mins, same intervals as lane creeps)
Primal Beast's arrival has imbued jungle creeps everywhere with newfound ferocity and power, wielding new active and passive abilities. As a result, the jungle is no longer the safest place to farm.
In a nutshell, there are two new Ancient Camps, each housing the Ice Shaman (ranged) and two Frostbitten Golems (melee). Additionally, a new Large Neutral Camp houses two Warpine Raiders.
Each of these new additions should be familiar to players who ventured into Aghanim's Labyrinth.
There are three new items, Revenant's Brooch, Wraith Pact and Boots of Bearing. Additionally, Bloodstone, Orchid Malevolence, Bloodthorn and Ethereal Blade have been reworked. Noteworthy is that Orchid and Bloodthorn are more viable for cores now.
- Requires Witch Blade, Mystic Staff, 800g recipe (Total Cost 6200g)
- +45 Intelligence
- +40 Attack Speed
- +8 Armor
- +300 Projectile Speed
- Active: Your next 5 attacks have true strike and deal magical damage. Can attack Ethereal units. Expires after 15s. Mana cost: 250. Cooldown: 45s
- Passive: Causes your next attack to apply a poison for 4s slowing by 25% and dealing 1x your Intelligence as damage every second. Can only trigger once every 9 seconds
- Requires Vladmir's Offering, Point Booster, 400g recipe (Total Cost: 4200)
- +250 Health
- +250 Mana
- Passive: Vladmir's Aura. Grants 15% Lifesteal, 18% Bonus Damage, 1.75 mana regeneration and 3 armour to allies in a 1200 AoE
- Active: Can be cast within 350 range to create a totem that reduces all enemies' attack and spell damage within 900 AoE by 25% and deals 25 damage per second. Totem can move at 150 movement speed. Lasts 25s or 5 hero hits (10 creep hits). Mana cost: 100. CD: 60s
Boots of Bearing
- Requires Tranquil Boots, Drum of Endurance, 1500g recipe (total Cost 4125)
- +8 Strength
- +8 Intelligence
- +65 Movement Speed
- +15 HP Regen
- 8 charges. Gains a charge every 3 minutes
- Active: Consumes a charge to give +50 attack speed and 15% movement speed allies to allies within 1200 radius for 6 seconds. During the first 2 seconds, allies can't be slowed by other abilities. Does not stack with Drum of Endurance Active
- Passive: Swiftness Aura: Grants +20 movement speed to allies within 1200 radius. Does not stack with Drum of Endurance Aura.
Other notable item changes are listed below.
- Arcane Blink - Active no longer grants cooldown reduction. Instead, the item grants 25% mana cost reduction and 20% Debuff Amplification.
- Bottle - Using the Bottle removes the lingering fountain buff (i.e., you can only use it once for free once you leave the fountain)
- Null Talisman - No longer grants 3% spell amplification. Instead grants 4% mana cost reduction. Doubles its bonus after minute 25.
- Bracer & Wraith Band - Double their bonuses after minute 25.
- Desolator - Now gains +2 damage if an enemy hero dies with this item's Corruption Debuff up to a maximum of 25.
- Dust of Appearance - Now also deals 25 damage to enemies revealed when cast.
- Diffusal Blade (Recipe reworked) - Blade of Alacrity + Robe of the Magi + 1050g Recipe
- Agility bonus reduced from 24 to 15
- Intelligence bonus reduced from 12 to 10
- Melee Illusion mana burn decreased from 12 to 8
- Gem of Truesight - Now has an active. Gives True Sight over a 300 AoE area within 300 range for 4 seconds. 12s CD (Note: Does not grant vision on the area, just vision of invisible units/wards). Also no longer reveals invisibility when dropped.
- Nullifier - No longer pierces magic immunity, slows enemies, or has a mana cost.
- Radiance (Recipe reworked) - Requires a Sacred Relic and a Talisman of Evasion. Basically, it's the old Radiance we know and love.
- Can now be disassembled.
- Now grants 15% evasion
- Blind effect reduced from 17% to 10%
- Can no longer be toggled on or off when the owner is out of the game (e.g., Shadow Demon Disruption)
- Swift Blade - Active no longer grants attack damage and attack speed. Active now grants 35 Agility
And that's it! If you want to read the full patch notes, then you do so by clicking here.
All featured images are courtesy of Valve unless otherwise indicated.