Perhaps the final patch update before the onset of Regional Leagues on January 18, 7.28b has brought changes majorly for the Aghanim Shards of certain heroes. A few of the new items have also received a buff/nerf which could potentially change their usage.
We take a look at the top 4 changes that this balance patch has introduced, considering the trend that has been prevalent in qualifiers and pubs in the past couple of weeks.
Top 4 Changes In Patch 7.28b
4. Dark Seer
Dark Seer is one of the heroes who seems to have made a comeback into professional Dota. It is being picked quite frequently in the ongoing qualifiers and offlaners are buying Aghanim Scepter on it as their first item. The new Scepter grants 2 Ion Shell Charges, increases duration by 20 seconds, and provides +350 Health.
However, its Aghanim Shard which was earlier underwhelming has been buffed quite a bit. The Shard of the hero introduces a new Normal Punch ability which does the following.
A Wall of Replica illusion that deals 70%/85%/100% damage at the three levels plus a well-timed Punch can cause an enemy carry to hit itself into death plus also lead to a considerably long stun. However, the combo requires a certain level of skill and may only be showing its full potential when in the hands of professional players.
Although a very minor yet significant change, Batrider will no longer be able to clear out big stacks of Ancient camps easily. In the past few days, even when Batrider had a bad lane, he could just clear big chunks of Ancients as early as 10-12 minutes into the game which arguably no other hero in the game can do alone. This would push him to an early Boots of Travel or a Blink Dagger.
But with the new change, Sticky Napalm will do only half the damage to Ancients which means his other skills also do lesser damage. However, the hero might still be able to kill the Ancients with the help of a Support. It will be intriguing to see in the days to come if this decrease in efficiency is really that big of a factor for Batrider players.
2. Swift Blink
One of the three new Blinks, Swift Blink, has received a significant buff considering it was ignored a lot as compared to the other Blinks. The cap on movement speed has been removed as it can now exceed max movement speed. The increased speed has been buffed combined with improved damage and attack speed.
1. Outworld Destroyer
The worst hero to play in patch 7.28 according to win rate, Outworld Destroyer, has received several buffs in the 7.28b update. From an increase in base stats like hp regen, movement speed, and armor to receiving significant improvements to his abilities, OD seems to have arisen from the ashes like a phoenix. In one day, the hero’s win rate which had been lingering below the 40s has risen sharply to 47%.
Other heroes like Slark and Terrorblade have received considerable buffs to their Aghanim Shards but considering the heroes are already very items-reliant, players may not prefer to spend 1400 gold on them.
One more minor yet big change could be the addition of a 100 gold recipe to Orb of Corrosion. The item had become a staple on almost every melee carry hero and since the item is bought in the first five minutes of the game, a 100 gold increase could even deter players from buying the complete item.
Let us know on Facebook at AFK Gaming - Dota 2 if any other change in patch 7.28b is quite consequential.