Patch 7.21c - A ton of nerfs across the board

Vignesh Raghuram

3rd, Mar, 2019

Dota 2’s 7.21c patch dropped unexpectedly, earlier today bringing in a ton of changes to about 40 heroes, rebalancing them and making the meta much more stable. On a glance, there was only one major change to Hand of Midas which might result in a shift of the meta, but in all likelihood, the shift won’t be significant enough for us to see changes to the Pub meta.

Here are some of the changes that we felt were significant enough, to notice


1. Hand of Midas: No longer a no-brainer?


Over the last month, across several tournaments like the MDL: Macau 2019, ESL One: Katowice 2019, and the ESL One: Mumbai 2019 Qualifiers one item has become a default pickup for almost every hero: The Hand of Midas.

The item’s efficiency had been unquestionable. Initially giving 200 Gold per usage, the time it took for a Midas to payoff was extremely short allowing cores and supports to amass massive amounts of net worth without being punished very often.

However, the item has been nerfed in two patches straight, bringing down the Gold per usage to 160 Gold, resulting in an efficiency drop of 20% which means that the item will take atleast an extra 2-4 minutes to pay off. While this change might make the item situational, it is still one of the stronger items in the game and will probably be seen tons of times in the upcoming Dreamleague: Season 11 Major.


2. Kunkka gets ‘Balanced’


There really is only one hero, who can consistently get as many denies as last-hits without many items in the midlane. It’s Kunkka with his absolutely ridiculous Tidebringer Denies. He can win seemingly unwinnable lanes as a result and can really scale pretty well into the late-game.

He is a really well-rounded hero with absolutely no weaknesses, which is why Icefrog has decided to nerf his easy ability to deny creeps and win the laning phase. Kunkka actually has bad matchups now, which brings in multiple other midlane heroes back into the meta.


3. Viper

No one would disagree with the fact that Viper was the most broken hero in the 7.21B patch. Yo farm the jungle faster than any other hero at level 3 and could get a Rod of Atos in under 8 minutes to allow you to continue snowballing towards an easy win.

Nethertoxin was absolutely bonkers, it just did too much damage and offered too much utility for a 70 mana spell with a 5-sec cooldown. The fact that it could stack when it was overlapped was just too OP for the frog, who decided to remove that particular aspect of that spell with this patch.

The mana-cost nerfs, will also go a long way towards making the hero balanced. But make no mistake, the hero is still extremely strong. Unless something drastically changes, we will still see plenty of Viper picks in the upcoming Minor/Major.


4. Pubs are going to get a lot more annoying

The latest patch also saw some of the most annoying and frustrating heroes to play against get massive buffs. Meepo, Broodmother, Techies, and even Riki were all buffed making pubs particularly susceptible to these heroes.

These changes also might have some impact on the upcoming Minor/Major. Any cheese strategies involving these heroes can be enough of a surprise element to allow weaker teams to pull off upsets against the favourites to progress in these tournaments. But this is quite unlikely.

Pubs, on the other hand, are surely going to get terrorised by these heroes no matter what tier you are playing at.