Valve has released yet another update into the already heady mix of recent changes, so let’s go over the patch 7.22f highlights. If this keeps up, Valve is going to run out of letters before The International hits.
Ancient Apparition Nerf
AA has seen some fairly decent game time recently. This includes Games 1 and 3 of the 3 game series between Alliance and paiN at Summit 10.
This time Ancient Apparition’s Cold Feet takes the hit. The travel distance required to safely avoid the stun has been reduced from 740 to 715. This makes an already tricky to land stun even tougher to land.
In addition, AA’s ultimate, Ice Blast takes a small mana cost increase. His level 15 talent has also been reduced from +20 Health Regen to +15. While not massive on their own, these three changes may combine to reduce the frequency with which AA is picked in the new meta.
Almost not worthy of inclusion, we just wanted to throw this one in for fun.
The knockback from Beastmaster’s Primal Roar now destroys any trees that the affected units come into contact with. Not really a nerf or a buff…unless you’re a Monkey King or Treant Protector player hiding in said trees.
We can only really guess why Valve felt it necessary to make this change, unless they really hate trees. But bless their little hearts for it, regardless.
Dragon Knight Buff
While not one of the best new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades, adding a fourth Elder Dragon Form was a neat addition. One of the patch 7.22f highlights sees Dragon Knight’s Black Dragon form receiving a pretty substantial magic resistance boost. 40% magic resistance is a huge amount.
Dragon Knight is a hero who is already pretty tanky. This is thanks to the health regen and armor bonuses conferred by Dragon Blood. A sudden jump from 0% to 40% magic resistance with Scepter makes killing a well-farmed Dragon Knight a tall order.
In addition, Dragon Knight’s level 20 talent receives a substantial buff. While players are still unlikely to pick the gold bonus over +25 strength, +210 gold per minute shouldn’t be overlooked.
Drow Ranger Buff
Ah, Drow Ranger, what are we going to do with you? It seems Valve is asking the same thing. Nothing they try seems to be curbing the Drow epidemic that is plaguing pub games around the world.
Now, it seems that Valve thinks they’ve nerfed her too much and have seen fit to buff her again. Drow receives both a strength and agility increase of +1 and a boost to her level 15 talent.
Instead of conferring a +30% miss chance, her level 15 talent now gives Gust a +40% miss chance. This also stacks with other sources of evasion. Give Drow this talent and a Butterfly and for a few seconds, she’s the new Phantom Assassin.
With Drow making into the last 8 of the next Arcana vote, there’s a good chance we will be seeing a whole lot more of her in games to come.
While not a complicated nerf, Grimstroke has definitely felt Valve’s wrath in patch 7.22f.
He takes a massive base damage reduction of 4. This reduces his ability to harass in-lane and makes it a lot tougher to trade in the early game. He is now one of the lowest base damage support heroes in the game. With 44 – 48 base damage, he is beaten to this dubious honor only by Winter Wyvern and Oracle.
His abilities like Stroke of Fate and Phantom’s Embrace go some way towards compensating for this lack of damage. However, the same could be said of heroes like Witch Doctor, and his base damage is 51 – 61.
Tinker has been somewhat out-of-fashion in the professional scene for a while now. There’s no doubt he’s a pain in the rear in pub games, but he rarely gets picked by the pros. Perhaps this buff might go some way towards remedying this situation.
One of the more interesting of the patch 7.22f highlights is the changes to Tinker’s talents. Both of Tinker’s level 10 talents receive a buff. Typically, Valve will buff only one of the talents in an effort to make it more competitive. Buffing both talents shows a concerted effort to buff the hero in general.
While a slight cast range increase and a +2% increase in spell amp might not feel substantial, they will make a difference. Tinker’s main mission is to dance around the fight and spam out his spells. Both a cast range increase and a buff to spell amp makes this easier.
In addition, his level 15 talent has been changed from +15% Spell Lifesteal to +11% Manacost/Manaloss Reduction. This stacks with items like Kaya, causing Tinker’s spells to benefit from a +23% Manacost/Manaloss Reduction with the item.
Is this enough to thrust Tinker back onto the mainstage at TI? Unlikely. But perhaps, unlike last year’s TI, he will make more than one appearance?
Nothing absolutely game-breaking in these most recent Patch 7.22f Highlights. As usual, you can find the complete set of patch notes on Valve’s website.
Featured image courtesy of Valve.
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