While Valve has done well in trying to bring a handful of forgotten heroes back into relevance with patch 7.06f, it doesn’t exactly shake the meta up much and it definitely is not the big post-TI patch that most people were expecting to see.
With that said, below are 4 changes we’d love to see in the next big patch.
Bring Back Techies
Unpopular opinion alert! Techies deserves to come back to the professional Dota 2 scene. He was the odd man out at TI7, which saw the most number of heroes ever picked in a Dota 2 tournament.
Yes, Techies is arguably everyone’s least favourite hero to play with and against, and Kurtis ‘Aui_2000’ Ling has already made a strong case for why the hero doesn’t belong in professional play back in TI5. But, with two new heroes likely coming in first big post-TI patch, it’s high time that the big ol’ frog himself tinkers around with Techies and bring him back into the foray.
Buff TI7’s Unpicked Heroes
Speaking of the odd man out, while Techies didn’t see a single minute of play at TI7, it was only because he’s the lone hero unavailable to play in official matches. Meanwhile, five other heroes actually went unpicked throughout the whole tournament: Bane, Lion, Spectre, Tiny and Wraith King.
Spectre going unpicked doesn’t really come off as a shock given how the current meta favours shorter games. Ditto for Wraith King and Tiny, but to a lesser extent, as while both heroes can contribute rather early, they’re not exactly as useful in team fights without much farm compared to Sven, Lycan and Chaos Knight, nor can they push towers as well as the three aforementioned heroes.
Both Lion and Bane also became irrelevant as teams realised that Shadow Shaman and Lich brought more to the table as supports.
The latest patch 7.06f tried to address some of the issues with these heroes. However, a 10% addition to Spectre’s Haunt illusion damage (30% to 40%) and reducing Wraith King’s Reincarnation cool down at level 1 and buffing his level 15 move speed talent just doesn’t cut it, nor does reducing Bane’s cast point for Nightmare (0.5 to 0.4).
In fact, of the five, only Lion and Tiny received notable buffs with the latest patch. Even then, only Lion serves to benefit a lot, and it remains to be seen if that will still be the case once official matches start in the next few weeks.
Admittedly, this is nitpicking already, as the current patch has proven to be incredibly balanced. However, when five heroes go unnoticed rather than, let’s say, twenty or so, that’s a sign that the handful of forgotten heroes deserve a bit more love, either via a direct or indirect buff.
“Break” is a very powerful Dota 2 mechanic that, in certain situations, can prove to be game-changing as it disables a hero’s passive skills. Accordingly, IceFrog has done a fine job keeping “break” a niche pickup. Right now, it is exclusive to the expensive item Silver Edge, Shadow Demon’s ultimate and an Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade for Doom.
So, it’s only fair to wonder what would happen if IceFrog played around with “break” a bit more and decided to add it to a new item, or perhaps, a new hero?
Competitively, only Bristleback currently poses enough of a threat to warrant a Doom counter pick (very rare) or a Silver Edge pickup (most likely). It’s even worse in pubs, as the oft-underutilized mechanic often becomes nearly irrelevant.
That could easily change if the next big post-TI patch comes with a fourth, or even fifth “break”, especially since many seem to believe that one of the newest Dota 2 heroes’ abilities, the “Pangolin”, will feature the “break” mechanic.
If that happens, it’ll be interesting to see how IceFrog designs around the adverse effect it will inevitably have on well-balanced core heroes such as Phantom Assassin, Viper, Bristleback, and Antimage.
Change the Mid Lane
From TI1 to TI6, we’ve seen the likes of Danil ‘Dendi’ Ishutin, Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev and Sumail ‘Suma1l Hassan completely take over after destroying other mid players early in the game. However, that no longer has been the case since patch 7.06 came out.
The post-Kiev patch changed the game as a whole. Offlaners had to dial back on their aggression now that shrines started on cooldown for the first 5 minutes of the game. Illusion-based heroes such as Phantom Lancer and Naga Siren also became nearly irrelevant as cores as illusions received heavy nerfs. High ground defense too was affected because of the reduced number of shrines inside the base.
Of all the notable changes, however, the change to the mid lane was, perhaps, the biggest of them all.
The 30% XP bounty of creep denies made lane dominance a top priority in all of the three lanes, which indirectly led to the number of Lich picks at TI7. Paired with the additional melee creep in mid for the first 15 minutes of the game and winning the already hotly contested lane became even more important.
The change also left very little chance for players to showcase their skills in a 1v1 setting as it no longer became unusual for teams to run dual or even tri-lane setups mid. And while this made for some very exciting skirmishes, it also came at the expense of making both the safe and off lane relatively boring to watch.
Hopefully, IceFrog realises this and decides to make a few gentle adjustments to the overall mid experience in the next big post-TI patch.
Ultimately, 7.06, in particular 7.06e, was a very balanced patch. However, as change is the only permanent thing in the world, a big post-TI patch is all but guaranteed right now.
While we can never really predict when exactly Valve will release the next big patch, it’s highly likely we’ll see it as soon as the Battle Pass ends on September 18th, which is also when the Closed Qualifiers for StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 3 starts.
The timing should give teams more than enough time to prepare for the LAN finals of the first three LAN tournaments under the new minor-major system.
What changes would you like to see in the first big post-TI patch? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!