[Patch review] Dota 6.86 Hero changes and New items (with video)

The new Balance of Power patch is coming and with it, new items, hero abilities and a HUGE change to the map. Valve and IceFrog make changes to items and hero stats balancing regularly, but a lot seldom for new items and hero skills and even rarer to see them make changes to the map. In this article I'll be talking about the new items and hero abilities.

This patch will change the game by A LOT. Mainly the map modifications will change how runes are contested and which are the better rune spots, ganking spots etc. So let's get into the changes.

First off is the new river rune. The Arcane Rune.
This causes all spell cooldowns to be reduced by 30% and mana costs to be reduced by 50% and it lasts for 50 seconds. Your spells cost 50% less guys! so you can cast them twice in  shorter period of time. This can be one of those runes that heroes can use to start a gank. Carries might be willing to let the supports get this rune during the early game if they want to go for a gank. An earthshaker fissure which takes 15 seconds to cool down will now only take about 10.5 and they can cast it twice. About that Tiny Toss Avalanche combo? You can do it every 12 seconds now. Carries also benefit a lot from this during the mid to late game from the cooldown bonus.

We go to items..

Faerie Fire
75 gold and gives +2 Damage. Can also be consumed to to restore 75 HP. Cooldown: 5 seconds. 

Faerie fire is a good item for hard carries who need some extra damage in the early game for those last hits as well as that burst HP when ganked. Probably for AM, PL or Faceless void

Dragon Lance 
Recipe: Ogre Club (1000) + Quarterstaff (875) = Total: 1875
+ 10 Strength; + 10 Attack Speed; + 10 Damage; + 130 Attack Range (ranged heroes only, does not stack). Can be disassembled.

I immediately thought about Dragon knight after i saw Dragon Lance since he might benefit from the STR gain and the atk speed as well as the range increase (since he's the only STR hero with any meaningful ranged attack... and it does say Dragon on the name). But this might be more suited for AGI DPS heroes like Drow Ranger or Sniper. The Quarterstaff can be made into a butterfly if needed later on and the ogre club into a BKB if needed. This is a good transition item if you're falling behind.

Aether Lens
Recipe: Energy Booster (900) + Ring of Health (850) + Cloak (550) = Total: 2300
+ 250 Mana; + 8 HP Regeneration; + 15 Magic Resistance; + 200 Cast Range; + 8% Spell Damage
Cast range improvement affects targeted spells and distance related spells, such as Venomous Gale. Does not affect AoE abilities like Poison Nova.

Aether Lens make your supports extra happy. CM, Rubick, Dazzle, Winter Wyvern and even IO can stay farther back during team engagements and still be effective with their spells. It's a bit expensive to farm for a support but it will be worth it.

Iron Talon
Recipe: Quelling Blade (200) + Ring of Protection (175) + Recipe (125) = Total: 500
+ 2 Armor; Bonuses of Quelling Blade
Active: Lets you target non-player enemy units to remove 40% of their current HP. Cooldown: 14 seconds.
Note: Cannot target ancients. Has normal 4 second cooldown when used on Trees.

Iron Talon can be useful for carries who are behind on their farm. The +2 armor from the Ring of Protection can be a nice little buff on top of the quelling blade. The active ability will also allow you to farm faster.

Overall these are good transition items that heroes can use which will shake up the meta and give those falling behind a chance to get back before getting the big items.

Now the heroes..

Death Prophet
Witchcraft is out. Spirit Siphon is in.

Creates a spirit link between you and the target, draining 20 + 1/1.8/2.6/3.4% Max HP per second and slowing movement speed by 6/10/14/18%. Lasts 4 seconds.
Cast Range: 500
Buffer Distance: 300
Has 1/2/3/4 charges, 45 second replenish[?]
Mana cost: 70/65/60/55

Spirit Siphon synergizes with how DP is played in that you want to keep beside your opponent while your ult spirits are running wild. Now you can also drain their hp on top of all the spirit damage.

Other DP changes:
Base movement speed increased from 280 to 310
Crypt Swarm cooldown reduced from 8 to 8/7/6/5
Silence cooldown reduced from 15 to 15/14/13/12
Exorcism spirit count increased from 8/14/21 to 8/16/24
Exorcism spawn rate decreased from 1 ghost per 0.1 seconds to 0.3 seconds

Since Witchcraft (the skill that gave your other spells lower cooldowns) is gone, they kind of balanced it by making the base hero a bit faster and with lower cooldowns. Exorcism's cooldown was not buffed still so that makes DP still a bit of a hard hero to play as a tower pusher. But Spirit Siphon might address her being squishy with low armor at the early game.

Lvl death is out. Infernal Blade is in.

Passive/autocast attack ability. Ministuns for 0.3 seconds and applies a 4 second burn that deals 40 + 1.25/2.5/3.75/5% Max HP as magic damage.
Cooldown: 16/12/8/4
Mana cost: 40

Doom has a limited mana pool at the start so 40 mana is a bit steep for the early game. But Infernal Blade is very good mid-late game just for the ministun and 4 second cooldown. You can quickly chase down heroes and just kill them. Synergizes very well with Doom ulti. You only want the ministun later on though since this is magic damage which is pretty much negated already mid-late game.

Other Doom changes:
Base Attack Time increased from 1.7 to 2.0
Scorched Earth damage/heal reduced from 12/23/34/45 to 10/20/30/40
Scorched Earth movement speed from 16% to 14%
Doom cooldown increased from 100 to 125

They gave Doom a cool new skill, but nerfed him in other areas. Slightly slower attack speed is one, but the scorched earth nerf was much needed for damage/heal/movement speed. Then the longer Doom ulti cooldown was also ok. I think the mini stun will be more than enough for Doom to catch up with his enemies to make up for the slower attack, but he's still weaker I think on his own and will need another hero to help him gank more effectively.

Faceless Void
Backtrack is out, Time Dilation is in
Applies a debuff to all nearby enemies (650 AoE) for 6/7/8/9 seconds. Causes time to be frozen on all enemy abilities, causing their cooldowns to make no progress while they have this debuff. Slows movement and attack speed by 4/6/8/10% for each locked ability.
Cooldown: 34/28/22/16
Mana cost: 50

Time Dilation is a good counter for heroes with low spammy skills. Lina, Bristleback, Timbersaw come to mind. Those that can be a real pain while FV's doing his work inside the Chrono. What's not clear is if the cooldowns are totally stopped or just stop counting down and will be as originally cooled down after the duration. (e.g. a 10 second cooldown will not count down but will be 1 second when the effect expires)

Other FV changes:
Timewalk no longer slows units
Timewalk now undoes any damage taken in the last 2 seconds
Timewalk cooldown rescaled from 19/17/15/13 to 24/18/12/6
Timewalk mana cost reduced from 90 to 40
Timewalk range reduced from 700/900/1100/1300 to 550
Timewalk cast point reduced from 0.35 to 0.2

They made timewalk into a positioning skill rather than a chasing/escaping tool. There is a reliable backtrack built into it as well. The cooldown is better at 2 onwards so you really want to skill this up. The mana reduction also reflects how this is meant to be spammed now. 

Lone Druid
Synergy is out. Savage Roar is in
Causes enemies in a 325 AoE around you or your bear to run away with 20% movement speed bonus for 1.2/1.6/2/2.4 seconds towards their fountain.
Cooldown: 28/24/20/16
Mana cost: 50
Note: An entangled hero will not be able to move still. Spirit Bear also has this ability, but the cooldown is shared with your hero.

Savage Roar just scares the crap out of your enemies and they end up running back towards their fountain. This is interesting in that it causes some positioning advantages for you especially if the enemy tank is running away and the front lines are exposed. 

Other LD changes:
Spirit Bear attack damage increased from 33 to 35/45/55/65
Spirit Bear movement speed increased from 320/320/330/340 to 320/330/340/350
Rabid duration increased from 10 to 18/22/26/30
Rabid movement speed increased from 5/10/15/20% to 10/15/20/25%
True Form Health Bonus increased from 250/400/600 to 300/600/900

Since they took out Synergy, most of the atk dmg and movement speed is now built in a a hero buff. Similarly, Rabid is now much better as well as True Form. Let's see if this gets more playtime for LD.


Reworked Permanent Invisibility to include Backstab
Riki grants 0.4/0.6/0.8/1.0 (% of agi) damage when attacking from behind.
Invisibility Fade Time: 6/5/4/3 seconds
Note: No longer grants 6/8/10/12 HP regeneration

Blink Strike back to basic ability without charges
Damage: 20/40/60/80
Cooldown: 16/12/8/4
Mana cost: 50

New Ultimate: Tricks of the Trade
Riki phases out of the world for up to 3/4/5 seconds, attacking every enemy from behind in a 450 area around him. He attacks once when phasing out and then once per second while being phased out. Cooldown: 90/80/70
Mana cost: 75
Cast Point: 0.4

This is a good team fight skill especially if the enemies are clumped together. It also synergizes well with Smoke screen. I believe this also allows Riki to disjoint some spells as it causes him to phase out. Interesting how this might allow him to have 5 seconds more to wait for the dust effect to wear off.

Other Riki changes:
Strength growth reduced from 2.0 to 1.6
Agility growth reduced from 2.9 to 2.2
Base armor reduced by 1
Smoke Screen no longer slows turn rates

Riki has been crap for a long time. Now he's even squishier with lower STR and AGI gain and lower armor. Smoke screen was also nerfed. He's now less of a 1v1 hero and more of a team fight hero.

Overall I think the changes are exciting. It shakes up the meta and hopefully we see a different pool of heroes in the next upcoming tourneys.

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