Dota 2 Patch Tidies Up In Time For The International

Angry wizards

To illustrate how delightful/horrifying (delete according to taste) Dota 2‘s complexity is, I like to point to patch notes. Dota 2 and its monozygotic mod twin are still being balanced after a decade, with small changes coalescing into big effects on how we play the game. Have a gander at the changelog for Friday’s sizeable Spring Cleaning update, which affects almost every hero and lots of items with small changes that should ultimately shake the game up for months to come.

Observe the breadth of the changes yet also how small some are, tweaking numbers by a few scant integers. Why, it’s all exciting enough to make analysts chat for two and a half hours about the changelog. That’s one big reason why I like Dota: it’s a big weird huge horrible wonderful web of systems which work together in interesting ways.

It’s probably no coincidence that this update arrives shortly before regional qualifiers begin for Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament The International. Teams will have a few weeks to start figuring out how Dota version 6.81 does and doesn’t work, then we’ll lead into the qualifiers with a fresh metagame. Every few months the meta shifts, with old and busted becoming the new hotness.


  1. Anarchy says:

    Love me some Doots

  2. PikaBot says:

    This won’t affect the pro scene much, but I’m most curious about whether the changes to his Aghanim’s Ult makes Lich a valid counter to Meepo. You would think that Chain Frost would ruin Meepo’s shit, but between his bonus magic resistance and the sheer number of targets, not so much. But now that it can bounce forever…maybe. Maybe.

    • chiablo says:

      Even in a normal game, the likelyhood of seeing a Lich ult use every bounce is rare. I can see two instances where this changes how the game is played:

      1. Clearing massive amounts of mega creeps and preventing the opposing team from pushing ancient with it bouncing around.

      2. Throwing multiple instances of it on the ancient camp to prevent squishy heroes from stacking.

      • PikaBot says:

        In most play this is true, but seeing a full Lich ult against a Meepo is a very common occurrence, because Meepo’s kit requires that the clones cluster together via poof. The problem historically, however, has been that once Meepo gets Aghs and a single bulk item, with his natural bonus magic resistance and six targets to bounce between, he can just shrug the damage off.

        It’s an edge case to be sure, but I’d be interested to see how it plays out in practice.

    • Jools says:

      The effectiveness of Lich’s ult really goes down with more targets, not up. Unlimited bounces will mitigate that a bit, but only if the other team is stupid enough to stand around in it. Lich’s ult is at its best when you catch two heroes side-by-side and they don’t have any way to blink away. It can be devastating against bad players in a duo lane.

      • PikaBot says:

        This is certainly true. The reason why Meepo’s an interesting case is the same reason he is vs Earthshaker: while normally a team would just split unless held in place, and thus avoid the worst of the damage, Meepo can’t split because if Meepo’s splitting, he’s not poofing. And if Meepo isn’t poofing, he’s worthless.

        • jrodman says:

          Seems also like a little micro challenge to fail for the meepo.

    • Bloodoflamb says:

      I disagree. Many individual heroes have been given buffs that enable them to counter split pushes. I think Icefrog is trying to change the meta.

  3. Dowson says:

    Its time for the Sven mid meta.

    Its actually really legit since his last buff, his stuns so good, quick blink and just run around slaying.
    Its like the anti-mid naga.

    • godofdefeat says:

      Sven mid was used for a bit by Arteezy.
      Ogre Magi is the real legit mid tho.

      • PikaBot says:

        I’m really hopeful Ogre Magi sees some play now that his cast animation isn’t utterly garbage.

  4. misterT0AST says:

    Since they can just leave Captain’s mode untouched, they will continue porting heroes for All Pick and the rest even without further balance patches I hope/think? I’m not sure what they did the other years. I want my Winter Wyvern and hippo-man.

  5. notenome says:

    Ah, but which International is it? After all there is the First International (Communists and Anarchists together), the Black International (just Anarchists) the Second International (just Comunists), the Third International (just the USSR), the Fourth International (just Trostky)…

  6. Horg says:

    Best entry in the list:

    ”You can no longer see trees being destroyed if they are hidden by the Fog of War”

    This patch is all about sneaking up on fools ¬ ¬

  7. Stupoider says:

    A dramatic interpretation of the patch note highlights

  8. Nevard says:

    The first thing I do with any set of dota patch notes is ctrl + f the word “Sceptre”

    Then grumble to myself and retype it because Valve can’t spell

  9. Hunchback says:

    Keeper of the Light

    Added Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade: Provides permanent Spirit Form. Additionally, the following effects are active during the day: Keeper of the Light gains unobstructed vision and Illuminate heals allies for 75% of the damage values