Winners and Losers of Dota 2 Gameplay Update 7.22

At this point, we’ve pretty much seen every kind of Dota 2 gameplay update come and go. From the addition of talents, to the introduction of shrines, and the reworking of structures, heroes, and so much more, there’s only a very few things that Icefrog could do at this point that would surprise us.

But, with the Dota 2 gameplay update, 7.22, that’s exactly what Dota 2’s pseudonymous video game designer just did.

The recent patch is like a dream come true for every Dota 2 fan because of now all heroes have an Aghanim’s Upgrade now. Even more importantly, having an Aghanim’s Scepter gives the hero a visual upgrade. This is similar to what it did back in the good old days of Defense of the Ancients, the original Warcraft III mod from which Dota 2 originated from.

That’s not all, however.

Below, we rounded up the biggest winners and losers of the latest Dota 2 patch, so you’ll know exactly what you’re going to be up against once you update your game and start playing.



Dota 2 Gameplay Update

A common smurf pick, Broodmother has the latest Dota 2 gameplay update to thank for an expected rise in winrate across all levels. (Biggreenpepper / DeviantArt)

What do the Dota 2 heroes, Broodmother, Templar Assassin, and Arc Warden all have in common?

They’re very powerful Dota 2 heroes in the hands of smurfs. They are the types of heroes in Dota 2 that, when played by a significantly better player, can literally win the middle lane and end games in less than 20 minutes by their lonesome. Sure, they’re pretty balanced, all things considered. You don’t often see them stomping games in professional Dota 2 matches, after all. But, even in the highest ranks of public matchmaking, these three Dota 2 heroes can wreak havoc — and the recent patch just buffed all three of them.

With the addition of Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades to all of Dota 2 heroes with the recent Dota 2 gameplay update, these three Dota 2 heroes serve as those who most likely will see a huge spike in winrate.

Whether it’s the increased web count and movement speed for Broodmother, or the ability to teleport to any Psionic Trap laid on the map Templar Assassin, or being able to create a potentially game-changing random rune, you can expect these three Dota 2 heroes to become even more viable.

If nothing else, seeing these three Dota 2 heroes stomping pubs could finally force Valve’s hand to address the issue of smurfing in Dota 2.


Dota 2 Gameplay Update

While we’re not quite sure just yet if Anti-mage is now more powerful because of the recent buff, we do expect Dota 2 teams to try and experiment with the hero more. (AngryRabbitGmoD / DeviantArt)

  • Added Scepter upgrade. Mana Void kills now add +70 seconds to the highest cooldown ability on the enemy hero. Cooldown starts once the enemy respawns. Increases the stun duration by 1 second, if the target dies during this period it is still counted as a Mana Void kill.

Anti-Mage has been quite the situational pick for a while now. He’s a good hero, but he’s just too one-dimensional. Plus, in a patch where Dota 2 carries need to have the ability to join fights and skirmish early and still scale late, Anti-Mage and his split-pushing shenanigans just aren’t a good fit.

With the re-introduction of his Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade, however, he might just be a good pick-up going forward.

Now, with an Aghanim’s Scepter, the split-pushing Dota 2 hero has even more of an incentive to fight, and because of the added 70-second cooldown penalty for whoever he kills using his ultimate, Mana Void, he’s become an even more of a nuisance late in the game.

We might just see this ability get nerfed eventually, but until then, expect to see more Anti-Mage in professional Dota 2 matches soon.


Dota 2 Gameplay Update

We’ve seen Alchemist in and out of the meta since the huge nerf two years ago, but the recent Dota 2 gameplay update might just make Alchemist a more common pick going forward. (Lothrean / DeviantArt)

  • With Scepter equipped or synthesized, you gain a bonus +30 Damage and +6% Spell Amp for each Scepter that you gave allies at any point in the game.

As if an Alchemist lineup didn’t already have an incentive to buy as many Aghanim’s Scepter as possible, this recent rework and buff can make Alchemist even more powerful, especially with the slight nerf to Spirit Vessel (Heal reduction reduced from 70% to 60% and Current health as damage per second reduced from 5% to 4%).

Mars and IO

Dota 2 Gameplay Update

Because of the most recent Dota 2 gameplay update, we can now finally put all the speculations about how OP Mars is to the test. (Dota 2 / Valve)

  • Added Mars to Captains Mode
  • Added Io to Captains Mode

The mere fact that you can now play Mars and IO in Captain’s Mode is a huge win already.

We couldn’t even care less if they’re balanced or not. Although, our money’s on thinking that Valve knowing that Mars and Io aren’t as balanced as they’d like. But, then again, what better way is there to know just how powerful a Dota 2 hero is than to put them in the hands of professionals, right?

With a couple of massive tournaments, including the final Minor and Major of the 2018-19 Dota Pro Circuit coming out, we’re about to see just how balanced Mars and IO are in a few short weeks.


Chen and Enchantress

Dota 2 Gameplay Update

As a hero that relies so heavily on the creep timings, Chen will likely no longer see the light of day because of the recent nerf.

  • Siege creeps can no longer be dominated, enchanted or converted

One of the best reasons to play either Chen and Enchantress is because you can dominate a Siege Creep. Done right, this allows teams to have two Siege Creeps going at it at the opposing team’s towers early on in the game. But, now that neither Chen nor Enchantress can turn one over to their side, doing so becomes difficult.

In a way, this is a nerf to Helm of Dominator as well.

It’ll be interesting to see how professional Dota 2 teams play around this and if they’ll still continue playing Enchantress and Chen after this nerf.

Drow Ranger

Dota 2 Gameplay Update

Playing against Drow Ranger just got a whole lot easier thanks to the recent Dota 2 gameplay update. (Dota 2 / Valve)

  • Marksmanship no longer instantly kills Ancients (still does damage/pierces)
  • Marksmanship now only pierces base armor not total armor

This was a long time coming.

Ever since the Dota 2 gameplay update that reworked her ultimate, Drow Ranger steadily became a force of nature. But now, even though she still hurts quite a bit, she’s no longer as dangerous and as overpowered.

Previously, Drow Ranger could lose a lane only to fall back into the jungle and still come out ahead a few minutes later. Now, she won’t be able to do so quite easily. Ancients will take longer to take down, and because Marksmanship now only pierces base armor and not the opponent’s total armor, this squishy-ranged Dota 2 hero will deal far less damage, making her more prone to retaliation when she’s out there in the middle of the fights.


Dota 2 Gameplay Update

Only time will tell if the supposed nerfs to Windranger will end up buffing her or burying her further down into the obscurity. (Chrissimon / DeviantArt)

This was weird, to say the least.

We haven’t really seen Windranger in play in like, forever. The hero is weak. Or rather, was weak, in her former state. However, instead of buffing her, Icefrog saw it to to nerf Windranger for whatever reason.

To be fair, we don’t really know if the change is a big step-down, or if it’s more of a side-nerf. Who knows? It could even make Windranger more powerful and viable. After all, it does make her a relatively more useful hero as soon as she gets an Aghanim’s Scepter. But, that’s just it. Now, she’s even more dependent on it, as if she already wasn’t dependent on a single item pick-up enough.

Without an Aghanim’s Scepter, anyone who plays Windranger regularly will tell you that the hero has very little to offer her team regardless of her role.

Final Thoughts

With the recent Dota 2 gameplay update now here, professional Dota 2 teams are likely already hard at work trying to find ways to use the recent set of nerfs and buffs to their advantage.

Whatever the results may be is something that we can’t predict just quite yet.

What we do know, however, is that we won’t have to wait long to know what kind of adjustments we’re going to see, with the ESL One Birmingham 2019 coming up, followed by StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor and the EPICENTER Major.

What do you think of the latest Dota 2 gameplay update? Do you think that the changes will have huge ramifications on gameplay across all levels? Or will the current meta remain the same? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

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