The Changing Faces of Dota 2
Maybe it’s the way of Dota, but every time I think I have a handle on the meta, Icefrog changes his mind and releases a new patch.
After playing Dota for two years I thought I had the hang of it. Then Icefrog released 7.00. December 12th 2016 will go down in the history books. The new patch was released and the Dota 2 community descended into a panic.
Nine days later and we are presented with another patch, 7.01. Let’s get into looking at what the mighty Frog has served up for us this time:
This is a minor balancing patch that is mainly focused on tidying up the User Interface (I am sure Reddit will love that), and balancing some of the more overpowered heroes and Talents. At first glance it looks like most of the heroes are in a pretty good place in terms of balance, apart from Gyro (he is still awful).
Broodmother – The sultry Brood Mama gets some love from the frog once again. Her passive Incapacitating Bite has been reworked, the percentage slow has been increased to 14/24/34/44%. This is a pretty good buff to late game Brood, although it wont change much for the early game.
Meepo – With the addition of the four Bounty Runes, why not make it so that one hero could potentially pick them all up at the same time? Well, with the new Meepo change he can now do this. Meepo clones can now pick up Runes, which will make dominating the mid lane rune battle even easier.
Natures Prophet – After the 7.00 patch release, Prophet players may have been left disappointed with the new level 25 Talent “Spawn six extra Treants”. For most, this was just not good enough. The community was disappointed and valve responded.
Prophet’s new level 25 Talent is now “2x Treants HP/Damage”. Now reaching level 25 on Prophet will give you a real boost in pushing power. Combining this Talent and Aghanims upgrade and we may begin to see Prophet making a return to the meta
Visage – As part of the 7.00 update, Visage’s familiars received a massive buff. They were given a Hit Point (HP) value, rather than requiring a certain amount of hits to kill. This change saw the win rate for Visage spike and move from a very low 44% up to 51%.
I think that Visage was maybe a bit too overpowered following the 7.00 patch, and so did Valve. Following the 7.01 Patch update, Visage’s familiars now have 300/500/700 HP rather than 500/750/1000.
Personally, I think Visage has been hit really hard in the patch update. His win rate has dropped from 51% to 47%, and this will probably continue to drop down to about 45% in the coming days.
Monkey King – The newest hero on the block, and the first hero in Dota 2 that was not in the original Dota. The 7.00 release saw the first appearance of Monkey King, and within hours the community wanted him nerfed.
Every game that was played since the release of 7.00, Monkey King was either picked or banned. He has shot to the top of the popularity rankings on Dotabuff.
Valve took note, and they have tried to make it easier to deal with the Monkey in the early game. As such, Boundless Strike’s critical strike has been rescaled from 200% crit to 140/160/180/200%. This change, coupled with Jingu Mastery counter duration being reduced to 10 seconds, will mean that Monkey King will be easier to deal with in the early game.
The Shop – With the 7.01 update, Valve also changed the User Interface (UI) for the shop. The change didn’t quite hit the mark, leaving the community confused.
Reddit did not take kindly to the change and we all know that the louder reddit shouts about something the quicker Valve responds. I expect that the Shop UI will receive some attention from Valve in the near future.
Final Thoughts on the 7.01 Gameplay patch
This was a minor balancing patch which has allowed Valve to scale back some of the more overpowered heroes, whilst trying to show some love to the slightly weaker heroes of the meta.
In the coming weeks, the meta should start to take shape and the pro teams will start to identify the better heroes of the patch. Dota is in a very interesting place and it will be nice to see where the new patch takes the game.