Keeping to their promise and schedule, Valve released Dota 2 Gameplay patch 7.16 just as ESL One Birmingham 2018 ended. The latest gameplay update for Dota 2 focuses on balancing the game ahead of the China Dota 2 Super Major and the Qualifiers for The International 2018.
The 7.16 Gameplay Update is now released https://t.co/N7PxI7GrEm
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) May 27, 2018
Before anything else, good news for those who particularly disliked the biweekly patches.
According to Valve, we will likely still see a few more biweekly patches. However, Valve added that we should “expect the first half of the new season to have longer periods between gameplay updates.”
Click here for a complete list of all the changes that came with the Dota 2 gameplay patch 7.16.
What’s New in Dota 2 Gameplay Patch 7.16?
Following the established pattern of the biweekly patches, the Dota 2 gameplay patch 7.16 focuses on hero changes, tweaks, and balances.
First off, the Bounty Runes were nerfed once again. The calculation for the team gold bonus is now 40 + 2/min instead of 40 + 3/min. We’ve already seen the effect of the new Bounty Runes in the three Dota Pro Circuit tournaments since 7.15, with the teams valuing heroes that can move around the map quickly to pick up the runes and give themselves a rather sizeable gold advantage every 5 minutes.
The Melee Barracks’ health was also increased from 1800 to 2000. At the same time, Roshan received a significant upgrade to its damage over time (from 2.5/min to 4/min). These changes should make sieging high ground a lot more difficult and early Roshan attempts requiring even more caution from teams.
Additionally, 18 Dota 2 heroes saw their movement speed talents nerfed. Some of them received a -5 nerf, while others got 10. The highest was 15 for Techies’ Level 20 plus movement speed talent.
Certain items were also changed as well. Although the most significant has to be the longer duration of Sentry Wards, which make teams more wary about picking up Shadow Blade dependent cores.
Clinkz Becomes a Viable Pick
- Increased base hp regen to 1.75
- Intelligence increased from 16 + 1.55 to 18 + 1.7
- Strafe dodge no longer has a count limit
For so long, we haven’t seen Clinkz played in competitive Dota 2. Or at least, not played as consistently. While he is quite successful in pubs, Clinkz has a lot going against him in a professional setting. He is similar to Slark in that he is a single-target focused assassin whose main strength is going in and out of fights and picking off squishy cores and supports. Both heroes also have escape mechanisms and way to recover HP, although Clinkz’s is much less reliable. But, where Slark can flash farm and effectively trade hits in the lane because of his buffed HP regeneration, Clinkz has a hard time denying in the lane, making him less consistent compared to other ranged cores.
His Strafe is also a lot less reliable. That’s not the case anymore. Now that Strafe no longer has a dodge count limit — Strafe allows Clinkz to avoid any ranged projectiles including normal attacks for the duration of the skill — Clinkz can rely on the skill as a defence mechanism that can actually help him avoid death in fights.
The longer duration of Sentry Wards should make teams think twice about picking up Clinkz early on, but as a fifth, surprise pick, the Bone Fletcher is certainly looking a lot more viable because of his recent set of buffs.
The Phantom Creeps In
- Increased base hp regen to 1.75
- Blur now only triggers on real heroes
- Blur now always triggers on invisible and spell immune enemies
Speaking of invisibility, the changes to Blur is low key but significant and we should expect professional Dota 2 teams to try and utilize the hero.
In essence, Phantom Assassin’s skill Blur works three ways. In addition to granting the hero Evasion, it also allows the hero to “vanish” from the mini-map and become “blurry” unless an enemy hero gets within a 1600 radius. If a hero breaks that perimeter, Phantom Assassin will become less transparent and show clearly. For savvy players, this meant that Phantom Assassin had a free warning in case he was going to get ganked since 1600 is a pretty huge radius. However, it wasn’t really all that reliable.
The recent tweak should change all of that because now, Phantom Assassin should not only be harder to gank, but also be a more effective counter to heroes that rely so much on Invisibility.
Dark is the Grave
- Level 20 talent reduced from 50 to 45 movement speed
- Void no longer applies a ministun during the day
- Darkness no longer sets enemy vision to a fixed amount
- Darkness now reduces enemy unit and ward vision by 25% (doesn’t affect buildings)
We can’t exactly say for sure that Night Stalker will not see much action since he has been quite contested since the rework to Hunter in the Night over the year ago, but the nerfs don’t exactly bode well for Balanar.
Void was his main harassing tool for zoning out and harassing opposing heroes. Now that it no longer applies a ministun during the day, Night Stalker becomes a whole lot less effective unless it’s night time. But, then again, with Darkness reducing enemy unit and ward vision by as much as 25%, we might just see pros utilize the hero differently instead.
All in all, the recent Dota 2 gameplay patch seems to focus more on adjusting the heroes as opposed to directly buffing or nerfing anyone too hard. This shouldn’t come off as a surprise, though. The International 2018 is just right around the corner, and IceFrog will likely want nothing but to see every Dota 2 hero in the pool viable and competitive come August. Case in point, the adjustments to Alchemist and Ursa might just be enough to make them more attractive in the eyes of professional Dota 2 teams.
In any case, with the China Dota 2 Super Major taking place over two weeks — and a round robin group stage as well as a double-elimination playoff — we should see the participating Dota 2 teams be more open to experimenting and trying out new picks.
What do you think of the latest Dota 2 gameplay patch? Do you think we’ll see the meta change and deviate from teams picking up Gyrocopter, Death Prophet, and Dragon Knight so often? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.