Lets take a look at some of the most intriguing changes in the new patch.
A cold wind blows
I am the midnight of your soul
While the loss of the armor talent definitely hurts him, The Scorched earth bonus damage / heal increase of 37.5% is by no means insignificant and can provide a lot of sustain to compensate.
Shrines are now vulnerable after a T3 tower dies.
It also allows you to make flanking plays much easier especially when the enemy is assaulting your high ground. Teams can now smoke and backstab the enemy while they are pushing highground by smoking and tping to the shrine. Hence teams gearing up for a push need to place defensive wards so that they don't get caught off guard.
However, this comes at a price. Before, even if one had taken down barracks in a lane, map movement couldn’t be restricted till all the outer towers get destroyed. With Lycan back in the pool, look for hyper aggressive building damage focused lineups that might be able to use this to their advantage.
Go back to where you came from
His early game potential was way too good and hence Icefrog has decided to reduce the Atrophy Aura damage reduction. The tried and tested skill build may change and hence his influence will be reduced in the early game.
However the Hero isn’t dumpstered like the sorry Arc Warden. Pit of Malice and Firestorm are still strong early game spells that wreck havoc onto the enemy side.
The stalwart flame flickers
Image Courtesy: http://fantazyme.deviantart.com/
The second nerf may feel underwhelming in theory but it is a fair way to nerf Ember without destroying the hero. The new magic damage build has lead to his winrate increasing by a significant amount (54% in VHS Pubs). He’s also one of the most highly contested heroes in Pro Games, with players like W33 and Miracle dominating and taking over games single-handedly.
These nerfs which target both the early and late game stages of Xin are well warranted. However, I feel like Ember spirit with his mobility and versatile playstyle will still be around in the meta till the Kiev Major.
Queen of Pain: Right when QoP was in the meta again, Icefrog has nerfed her by patching out the blademail interaction with lifesteal.Lone Druid: Icefrog has shown good restrain and has only minorly nerfed Sniper-druids talent tree. The hero has not been completely nerfed. But there will be a slight decline in Lone Druid's power peak at level 20.
Anti Mage: This hero has recieved a few welcome buffs as he is currently being almost completely ignored by the pro scene whilst struggling in pubs. He can now reduce Bink cooldown in level 15 as well as dish out Mana Voids on a ridiculous 20 second cooldown at level 25.
Patch 7.02 will, in all likelihood, be the last balance patch before DAC and the Major. We can see that Icefrog is still adapting and constantly tweaking the patch to scale back some of the more overpowered heroes, whilst trying to show some love to the slightly weaker heroes of the meta. What this might lead to is potentially even more open-ended gameplay.
None of the nerfs seemed too harsh, and none of the heroes were made too overpowered. In theory, it will lead to a bigger pool of viable heroes, which is a good thing for the road to the Kiev Major.
Do you agree with my opinions? Did I miss out anyone? Please feel free to comment below or contact me on my social media pages.
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