5 changes we want to see in Dota 2 Patch 7.33

Sending Icefrog our 7.33 wishlist.

With the Lima Major in full swing, we have seen the pinnacle of what can be done in Dota 2’s Patch 7.32 by the best teams in the world. Feb. 24 marked the six-month anniversary of Patch 7.32 and it is safe to say that the meta is somewhat getting stale. Every team knows each other inside out and pubs echo out with the cries of the dying as cheese meta picks wipe everyone out.

In short, we believe changes are long overdue. With the news that Icefrog has finally taken the creative and developmental reins again after over two years of inactivity, it seems like things may be looking up in this upcoming patch. Now that we have an accurate release date for Patch 7.33, this is a good time to look into the changes we wish for.

With so many variables in Dota 2 when it comes to heroes, items, and their interactions, it is truly hard to create a balance patch that is truly balanced. Despite this fact, there are a few changes that we believe the community objectively wants to happen.

Someone stop the machine gun

Dota 2 LinaImage by Valve

This one is probably the most egregious example of a power creep that we haven’t seen since the days of prime Superman Sven. The TI11 meta was dominated by Wraith Pact and Bloodstone carriers and when they got nerfed, it gave rise to this monstrosity that is now plaguing professional and pub games everywhere. When a hero is either first picked or first banned in every single game, you know you have a problem on your hands.

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Her previous moniker as the Slayer seems very apt right now as Lina slays any objective in her path, be it towers, heroes, or Roshan. While her magic damage build is in a very strong place right now as well, there is very little that can be done to stop the “machine gun” physical damage build. Tweaks to Lina’s Fiery Soul seem to be the only viable solution here.

While the usual solution of stopping a ranged hero like Drow Ranger is gap closing, it doesn’t always work on Lina. She can shred melee or ranged heroes provided she can maintain her Fiery Soul stacks. The rise of carry Marci and Break-oriented heroes has somewhat mitigated this threat, but you still have four other heroes to deal with when Lina is at her strongest and that just does not seem fair.

There’s a new sniper in town

Image via Valve

While the original Sniper may have fallen out of favor with several professional players, the new sniper we have now is even deadlier. Riki was shunned by professional teams for several patches now since all he really offered was an unreliable silence and forced the enemy team to spend money on truesight items. His damage was mediocre at best and he only truly excelled at killing supports.

All of the above stands true for core Riki. Support Riki was an idea only rarely touched upon and in most cases, with good reason. All he did offer was an unreliable silence. With the addition of his Sleeping Dart and a new build that centered around cast range, Riki rose to prominence as the most untouchable and annoying support hero of this meta.

Despite a couple of nerfs to his Sleeping Dart in the last two patches, an almost instant projectile flying at you from a hero too far to be caught under truesight is very hard to dodge. Follow up the sleep duration with a cloud of silence and many backline heroes instantly die to a well-coordinated gank. When you have a support duo of Riki and Mirana, no hero is safe on the map.

Nerfing Riki’s Sleeping Dart and buffing his other skills might be a worthwhile solution.

We need an exorcist

Image via Valve

Another egregious example of a power creep is Death Prophet. This hero didn’t rise to prominence as quickly as Lina did but she had a steady climb to the top. Primarily played as an offlane or midlane core, Death Prophet and her army of wailing banshees make short work of heroes and objectives. While she is quite formidable come the late game, her true strength lies in her early-game dominance.

Ever since Spirit Siphon was changed from a percentage-based health drain to a flat 100 HP drain per second for six seconds at max level, she has become unkillable in the laning phase. With a 600 HP swing between her and her target and four charges of Spirit Siphon, she can take on 80 percent of the enemy team by herself.

When you add in items such as Guardian Greaves to dispel debuffs and provide a burst heal, and Kaya and Sange to provide status resistance and even more spell amplification, killing her becomes a true nightmare. If Death Prophet has a good lane, which she usually does, she can get her core items in around 20 minutes and her team will snowball the game to an early win.

Changing Spirit Siphon back into a percentage-based health drain would nerf her early game and make her stronger in the late game in exchange.

Break these chains of captivity

Screengrab via Valve

With the rise and fall of Wraith Pact, aura items such as Guardian Greaves took its place. One item which consistently performed well that flew under the radar was Gleipnir. The unusual combination of a farming/pushing item in Maelstrom and the root from Rod of Atos was something players took a while to understand. Now that we know its full potential, it has become the best catch item of 7.32.

This is down to the heavy teamfighting meta we are currently in. Heroes like Nature’s Prophet that can take all the space on the map to farm and is very item-flexible almost always picks up a Gleipnir to provide teamfight presence. The item suits any lineup and the stats provided by the Rod of Atos component make the wielder very tanky.

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The Eternal Chains active ability roots all enemies in a huge 450 radius from a whopping 1100 cast range. Add to that, it can be cast from and into the fog of war to create some clutch plays. If you haven’t been convinced of this item’s power, just knowing that Gleipnir is highly favored by Lina players should tell you everything you need to know about it.

Shortening the root duration or decreasing its cast range should be enough to reduce its effectiveness.

Where are we now?

Image via Valve

The final change that would be worthwhile is one to the overall metagame. We have been in the same 2-1-2 laning meta with similar standard picks for too long now. The innovation that we used to see during the early days of Dota 2 is what used to make the game magical to the players and viewers. More often than not, experimentation is not highly regarded anymore and is usually punished in the game.

Beyond that, map changes would benefit the stale meta as well. New ward locations, neutral camp reshuffles, a new Roshan pit location, and even changes to the outpost and bounty rune locations would freshen up the game. New heroes are always a welcome addition and we already know of Muerta on the horizon to shake up the early meta of 7.33.

And finally, changes to the XP and Gold formula need to happen. Changing their values for creeps, both lane and neutral, and increasing the kill bounty for heroes would change the fundamental way the game is currently being played. We don’t know how many of these changes will be applied, but our fingers are crossed for a fresh overhaul of the game.

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