But not all of them.
Here are the worst new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades. As with the previous list, only the new upgrades are eligible for this list. Reworked Scepter upgrades on heroes that previously had an upgrade do not count.
Slardar is a good initiation hero, especially once he has purchased Blink Dagger. His ability to blink in and use Slithereen Crush is a great tool for catching heroes unawares. You might imagine any boost to this ability would be a great addition?
Well, …it’s okay… That’s about as far as we’re prepared to go.
The new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade generates a 550 AoE puddle of water when Slardar casts Slitereen Crush. This puddle of water confers decent hp regen, bonus armor and +40% status resistance. It all feels great so far, but unless your team lands their combos efficiently then the enemy is unlikely to stay in the puddle. This means Slardar loses the benefits.
Even if the entire fight happens in the puddle, the only hero to benefit from the buff is Slardar himself. In addition, is the 4200 gold cost of Scepter worth it for a 550 AoE slightly worse Heart of Tarrasque?
Taking the fourth spot is the new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade for Lycan. Once Lycan purchases the Scepter, one of the three creep waves will always contain two wolves. These wolves are not the same as those summoned by Lycan’s Summon Wolves ability. They have Cripple but not invisibility, meaning the enemy will always see which lane they are in.
The wolves are decent for pushing, and they do grant gold bounty for any last hits they score. However, this is not an item that is going to win a game from behind. If the enemy team has good wave clear or is already ahead, then dropping 4200 gold on a slightly buffed wave feels like a waste.
The wolves aren’t directly controlled by Lycan, but they do benefit from the bonuses conferred by Howl and Shapeshift. This, combined with the gold bounty given from last hits has saved this upgrade from dropping further down the list.
3. Arc Warden
Rune control is something every team should aim for in almost every game they play. As fans of Dune will tell you, “he who controls the spice controls the universe”. However, Arc Warden’s new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade feels just a little underwhelming.
The ability to spawn a random rune once every minute is just okay. While Arc Warden’s Tempest Double can also use the ability, doing so involves a lot of RNG. This is because the rune is random.
It could be argued that any rune is useful for Arc Warden, but is 4200 gold for a random rune worth the investment? For Arc Warden to be useful he will need Boots of Travel at a minimum. He will often follow this with damage items like Maelstrom and Hurricane Pike. This means slowing down his timings to purchase an Aghs just for one or two random runes every minute.
It seems the cost in time and gold doesn’t justify the benefit.
One of the worst new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades in patch 7.22 belongs to Terrorblade. The 4200 cost is not at all justified for a three second fear that does not pierce spell immunity. The ability is entirely countered by a 4050 cost Black King Bar.
You could argue that teams might not be purchasing a BKB in every game. Therefore, buying Aghs would force them to do so or be feared, but it still feels underwhelming. Forced movement can also mess with combos if teams aren’t prepared for it. How many times has your Maledict been messed up by a Force Staff or a Nether Swap?
Terrorblade will typically build damage items and the new Scepter feels more like a utility than an item to increase his damage output. Just doesn’t seem worth the price.
1. Phantom Assassin
It’s pretty common to find Phantom Assassin at the top of a list in games of Dota 2. Top 5 Most Broken Crit Abilities. Top 10 Heroes We All Hate to Play Against. Top 10 Reasons Why I Threw My Laptop out of a Window. But seeing her at the top of a list about the worst new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades might come as a surprise to some.
Unfortunately, she’s here for a good reason. Her new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade confers a dispel to her Blur ability and reduces its cooldown to 12 seconds. In addition, her abilities refresh whenever she kills a hero.
This might seem great, but PA is almost never going to buy an Aghanim’s Scepter. You’d be sinking 4200 gold into an item that provides only minimal benefit to her main objective – kill heroes asap. If you see a Phantom Assassin in your games with an Aghanim’s Scepter it will mean one of three things.
- She has it cast on her by an Alchemist.
- She is already 6-slotted and has cast it on herself.
- She is itemizing incorrectly.
It’s a nice benefit if it’s one of the first two. However, aside from that it is hard to conceive a situation where Agh’s is more useful than BKB. This tops out the list as the worst new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade of patch 7.22.
As said before at The Game Haus, anything can work in a game of Dota 2. There might be situations where purchasing what has been labeled as the worst new Aghanim’s Scepter wins the game.
As usual, if you have any thoughts or opinions on the list then let us know in the comments below.
Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyMead2006.
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