How long have we waited for this one.
In ages past, Lucifer the Doom Bringer (there had to be a better name, though) wasn’t much of a scary hero, despite his title. In the 6.66 patch (see what he did there?), Icefrog decided to experiment a bit and turn him into that despicable monster we all got to know. It was then he got his ability to obtain the devoured neutrals’ abilities, and the current form of Scorched Earth.
He’s received quite a few tweaks before this remake, and he had gone from utterly broken to completely forgotten and back to broken again. Personally, I believe he always had potential to be a valid pick, it’s just that people tend to recognize a hero only if they can mean a free +25. His ability to farm so fast, obtain the damage aura and critical from the poor wolf (what else?) and to completely negate a hero are not attributes to be ignored. Recently, the buffs to Scorched Earth had made him a very potent offlaner, but it’s not as if he couldn’t be in other roles. He was even valid as a carry, as long as there was a single wolf to be found in the jungle. His Level Death was an unreliable nuke that usually didn’t offer much, but it was still useful in removing a Linken’s. It was, nonetheless, a skill that felt completely out of place.
His new Infernal Blade deals HP Percentage magic damage and also applies a mini-stun. People haven’t tried him that much yet so it’s hard to say whether this is really useful or not; after all, theory is just theory. His chasing potential certainly increases with this, and heroes that had high enough HP to live through Doom may have a harder time now.
The nerfstick seems to have hit him harder than most (to the relief of many). Scorched Earth keeps getting nerfed bit by bit, making us wonder if it really needed a buff in the first place. His base attack time is now a very slow 2.0 seconds, and Doom cooldown is now a longer-than-average 125 seconds. Also, a very important detail is that with Level Death’s removal, he’s also lost the ability to remove the Linken’s buff on his own, which is perhaps the biggest nerf he received. Indeed, the days when he could solo kill pretty much anyone that wasn’t Meepo are gone.
Despite being a passive, Infernal Blade deceivingly doesn’t offer much for carry potential. The only ways this skill could get stronger through items would be a Octarine Core for better cooldown, and I’m guessing that an Aether Lens should also boost its DPS.
It appears that the drawbacks weigh heavier, as most of his common builds aren’t as overwhelming as they used to be. Shadow Blade into solo killing can be countered by Linken’s (not to say every single Hero is to get it, but it’s now a very solid counter). A DPS build doesn’t have much synergy, especially with the 2.0 BAT, although a Radiance could still be useful; after all, he can farm it fast. A Radiance+Octarine based progression comes to mind, but is it really worth the resources?
All in all, I prefer having a slightly weaker Hero for now rather than the World Ender we used to see in every single match. Maybe his numbers have suffered quite a bit, but he still possesses very powerful spells
and he can totally get back in action with a few tweaks, or with a different build.