Arc Warden’s changelog was quite rich in 6.87, as was certainly anticipated. Being the single most annoying carry to play against, he used to sit safe and sound in his fountain while sending his Tempest Doubles with their Rapiers to tear down the enemy base (arguably) little by little.
- Flux no longer slows magic immune units
- Flux is now purgeable
- Flux slow reduced from 50% to 35/40/45/50%
- Magnetic Field cooldown reduced from 50 to 35/30/25/20
- Magnetic Field duration increased from 3.5/4/4.5/5 to 3.5/4.5/5.5/6.5
- Magnetic Field now only evades attacks done from outside of the field
- Spark Wraith mana cost reduced from 100/110/120/130 to constant 80
- Spark Wraith activation delay reduced from 3 to 2
- Spark Wraith now applies a 0.4/0.5/0.6/0.7 second purge
- Spark Wraith damage rescaled from 150/200/250/300 to 100/160/220/280
- Tempest Double no longer has an HP/Mana cost
- Tempest Double ability/item cooldowns now persist on the unit
- Tempest Double no longer replicates items that drop on death
- Tempest Double cooldown reduced from 65/60/55 to 50/40/30
- Tempest Double duration reduced from 20 to 12/13/14
- Tempest Double cast point increased from 0 to 0.15
- Strength growth increased from 1.9 to 2.3
- Intelligence growth increased from 2.1 to 2.6
The idea was obviously to make him a “smoother” Hero. Generally, his spells now cost less (in terms of mana, cooldown, duration etc) and they also do less. The exception to this is Spark Wraith, which now seems it can be quite useful.
Magnetic Field is a lot more spammable now, with its new duration and cooldown, but the smart idea of making it ineffective for enemies within its range means it must be used properly to work.
Spark Wraith is more than meets the eye. A four seconds cooldown purge can ruin certain opponents, and with its new stats it can also be a good lane-controlling spell.
Of course, the main problem would be his ult. Its effective cooldown (the time between when the spell’s effect ends and when it comes off cooldown again) was reduced and it doesn’t cost HP/Mana to use. Other than that, it’s been hurt pretty badly.
To clarify, “Tempest Double ability/item cooldowns now persist on the unit” means that the ult has its own seperate cooldown timers now. For instance, take an Arc Warden that uses Hand of Midas on his Tempest, and after 30 seconds he summons a new one. Midas won’t be available as it used to, but will still have 70 seconds (Midas cooldown is 100) left.
And last but certainly not least, the end of the fountain Rapiers era. There’s not much to say about this other than how the heck did it go through the development stage at all. . .
Most would say the Hero is useless now. I wouldn’t be so hasty with my statements. Sure, he’s not the broken little son of a gun he used to be, but a change in playstyle can work wonders sometimes. Lower costs means that he can be more active around the map sooner. Flux is weaker, but it’s still a great ganking spell on lone targets.
Magnetic field receiving a nerf is up for debate. Casually walking towards the enemy in a team fight is not always an option, and don’t forget it works on towers as well. With the new cooldowns/durations, Zet can pull off some serious tower defences.
I can see a lot of untapped potential in Spark Wraith right now. A second faster activation is a huge deal, and so is the purge effect. Lower manacost and the Hero’s boosted Intelligence means it’s very spammable. It’s still not easy to use well, but there’re certainly harder skillshots out there.
I’d like people to try Arc Warden as a mid solo Hero, maxing out Spark Wraith at first. It’d be interesting to stack them and try to force the enemy onto them.
As for his role, it’s not as if he can’t play the way he used to. Double Midas and Necronomicon can still work, just not as omnipresently as before. Though perhaps a more crowd controller approach would suit him best. Double Euls’ or Hexes or even Dagons don’t sound too bad; Force staff into Hurricane Pike and Magnetic Fields can save a lot of damage.
I doubt he’s going to see much play anytime soon since people will continue comparing him to his former, glorious self. Personally, I think the Hero’s fine, as long as players don’t expect miracles out of him. He seems really effective against certain lineups (Drow Ranger-based picks and Omniknight come to mind) and can be a good pick at the hands of good players.