Michael "Torte de Lini" Cohen is known for his popular Dota 2 guides: Standard Hero Builds. His guides are trusted both by the community, pro players, and Valve. Each week leading up to The International 10, Michael will be providing game tips, player updates, and tournament analysis. Stay tuned, only with SteelSeries.
In a surprising twist of events, IceFrog and Valve have released a patch nearly less than a month before the big event: The International 10. My interpretation is that this patch seeks to stamp out obvious strong performers leading up to TI10 but also help adjust some heroes that were too weakened during the “Great Reduction” (i.e 7.30c). All this said, what does this new patch mean coming into TI and which heroes were most affected?
Tinker & Overwhelming Blink
Probably the biggest change we’re seeing in this patch is Tinker & Overwhelming Blink. Tinker has returned to being a mid-lane hero and he’s even more annoying than ever. With his new build: Overwhelming Blink, he was destroying creep lanes almost instantly, ganked in fights incredibly well and combined with his Defense Matrix, he was practically untouchable. The new nerfs to his mana cost, Missile and Overwhelming Blink’s damage, we’re hoping to see his impact less influential in the game. I personally believe it’s not enough for TI10. Prepare yourself for Tinker Domination.
For a lot of these nerfed heroes like Dawnbreaker & Bane, it’s a shift to reduce their laning capabilities. This is especially true for Dawnbreaker as a support hero where her Starbreaker opening levels received a drop in damage output. Bane is similar where his Nightmare ability has also been significantly impacted. Time will tell whether this affects their draft pick-rate or not. One last note is Tiny where he’s become a surging popular safe-lane carry in Dota these recent weeks. Again, his laning stage like the rest of the nerfs this patch, has been affected with longer downtime between Tree Grab abilities and a reduction in his unit damage bonus. The effect is not too significant to affect his popularity but it does give him a bit less safety during that critical stage of the game.
For a brief moment, Bane was the king of supports. Now slightly nerfed, there should be a bit more room in versatile picks and opportunity.
Clinkz makes a return in the late-game after plunging in popularity after patch 7.30c. The extra damage from Burning Barrage and more Arrows at level 20s talent means he’s a lot more viable through all stages of the game. Speaking of which, Naga Siren’s change to her Mirror Image cooldown is massive, causing her to have less of a downtime between illusion duration and thus better farming, split-pushing and re-engagements on fights. She was already a competing hero compared to Luna and Terrorblade during their peak in patch 7,29. Let’s see how popular she is now that she remains relatively in form compared to other carry heroes.
So that is the basic breakdown for this patch and how it lines up this coming TI10. I very much expect these heroes to be routinely picked, if not banned, during The International 10 but for your pub. games you may not even notice that much of a difference.