The post-major patch is finally out, and that means only one thing: lots of words. With 71 item and hero changes, as well as more out-of-game changes, there’s a decent amount to read through. But, a lot of these changes don’t actually change how the game is played, or they don’t matter on a game-by-game basis. In this post, we’ll take a look at the out-of-game, item, and hero changes that actually matter for Dota 2 Patch 7.31d.
As Valve dubbed the patch Dota 2 Patch 7.31d “The Battle Report Update”, it’s important to talk about the newly added battle reports. Battle reports are, in general, advanced stats made for Dota Plus members only.
At the end of every season, the Dota client will gather all of a player’s match data, and put it together. Then, the client will put together overall statistics, highlights, and an analysis of that player’s season.
There are several analysis systems online for Dota 2, but where battle reports shine above the competition is the in-game rewards. Depending on a player’s performance each season, their battle report will reward them with shards. The player can then immediately use those shards to add more slots to their Avoid Player list (new this update) or to buy the new treasure.
And, the report has detailed highlights of a player’s best (and worst) games of the season. It sounds like these games will have replays available too, so players can watch games where they hit 50 kills, or won a 2-hour back-and-forth match.
But, the Battle Report Update has new features for its free-to-play audience, too. This update brings a Clip Builder feature and makes some Dota Plus benefits available to everyone.
Now, all players can buy the seasonal treasure, relics, and kill streak effects with shards. Overall, this update brought a new way for Dota Plus subscribers to analyze their performance. But, it also gave the free-to-play experience some more features as well.
Black King Bar
At the Stockholm Major, Black King Bar (BKB) was everywhere. The item has been a staple of Dota for years for a reason; it’s a good item. In any MOBA, immunity to magic damage and most crowd control for a few seconds is very useful. The Stockholm Major took the item to the next level, though.
With nearly every core hero at the major buying the item, BKB was due for a nerf. While the 15-second cooldown change might seem like not that big of a deal, it really hurts the pace of the game. For most core heroes that rely on the item, that means 15 more seconds that BKB users don’t want to take a fight, or start one.
The new BKB cooldown probably won’t affect the number of times the item is bought, but it will hurt its effectiveness overall. This nerf helps disable supports quite a bit, as well as backline mages, who will be able to deal with heroes that dive them a bit better.
A Wraith Pact nerf was expected by everyone. The item was picked up basically every single game at the major, sometimes by both teams. Both OG and TSM, the finalists of the major, used the item in their runs through the bracket.
While the 30% damage reduction is still huge in any team fight, the item changes will make it easier to destroy. Pugna was a support hero that picked up Wraith Pact often, but that hero wants to be in the backline.
The item will still most likely be picked up but will have to be on engage supports or offlaners, rather than supports that stay in the back. Similar to BKB, Wraith pact will be a bit easier to deal with, but will still be seen in a majority of games.
The Hero Hit Hardest: Storm Spirit
Thank Icefrog and Gaben. Storm Spirit is a signature of Dota, but 7.31c Storm was ridiculous. Null Talisman gave mana cost reduction that doubled 25 minutes into the game, so 6 Null Talismans gave 48% mana cost reduction for just over 3,000 gold.
Players took this to the next level with Arcane Blink. An arcane Blink with five Null Talismans meant 65% mana cost reduction, allowing Storm to fly around the map freely. All a Storm Spirit needed in 7.31c was to wait for minute 25 and then fly around teamfights with over double the mana pool.
While Storm Spirit itself didn’t receive any changes, Valve changed Null Talisman to give maximum mana over mana cost reduction. This change will hopefully stop Storm Spirit from not having to worry about mana, and force regular item purchases.
As the patch sits, there will more than likely be other heroes that define the meta. But, Storm Spirit has been hit the hardest with the overall change to how the hero is played.
Mid laners like Keeper of the Light, Void Spirit, Puck, and others went largely unchanged, and might be impacted by the Null Talisman changes a little bit. But, Storm Spirit and these heroes will still find their place in this meta, especially as the BKB changes allow them to be more active on the map.
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