Shifting Snows Bring 6.83 Dota 2 Patch

Dunkin' in a winter wonderland

Dota 2’s Shifting Snows patch notes have just been released offering a number of hero tweaks, game balance changes and – if you’re feeling grumpy about the lack of Frostivus this year – the snowy winter map makeover.

Having a skim through what Shifting Snows (or 6.83 to give it its less poetic title) has to offer a few things stood out on first pass, particularly with regard to Pudge, Lifestealer and Sniper.

Pudge’s change is pretty straightforward – his meathook range starts at 1000 and climbs by 100 with ever point in that skill. Given it previously started at an apparently puny 700 that’s going to alter laning against the butcher as characters need to recalibrate their understanding of what now constitutes “out of reach”.

Lifestealer has apparently become one of those brain parasites which turns the infested unit into some kind of powerless zombie. What happens is, when Lifestealer crawls inside a unit he gets a subskill called “Control” which lets him take charge of that unit’s skills and movement. It doesn’t work on heroes so don’t even think about trolling friends with it. You should also be aware that the unit becomes attackable by enemies and will then move with Lifestealer’s speed. Things to bear in mind if you consider hiding in an enemy creep.

Sniper feels like he’s going to play very differently now thanks to a reworking of Shrapnel. It was a really useful skill for pushing down towers, chipping away at them with a rain of explosive pellets while Sniper himself took shots from afar or waddled to a different area of the map entirely. Now Shrapnel will last slightly longer, cost less mana and… no longer does damage to buildings.

Lastly, I’m just going to do a tiny fist pump over some buffs to Leshrac. He’s a kind of tormented magical disco goat who I played a lot when first starting out. He and I now have a test client lunchdate which will involve a bacon bagel and the crushing of many fools (hopefully). Might also try out some “Force Staff can be used on homing missile” shenanigans too.

You can tinker about with the update in the test client at the moment or read the whole thing over on the official Shifting Snows blog post. Don’t forget to alt+click the notes.


  1. Gnoupi says:

    When you main support, you learn usually that such patch notes are not going to change your daily life. Personally, I play mostly Rubick, so I take interest a bit in other spells changes, but it’s secondary.

    You do however find yourself marveling at the little things:

    – Couriers are a bit less expensive
    – Potions as well (not by much, but it counts

    For someone living without much gold, you appreciate those little things.
    Then you read that your preferred mana/utility item went up by 150 gold, and you weep, a bit.

    But hey, 30 less mana to cast my “nuke” early game, that’s always nice, since I always cry for mana at this point.
    And for those games in which I’ll actually reach the endgame in good shape and finish my scepter, it will be fun to chain steal those spells (with a 2 seconds cooldown, it will be “steal ult, cast it, steal ult, cast it, rince, repeat” non stop!)

    That was the “patch notes from the support player’s vision”, thanks for reading. (Ok, some support characters got a more interesting boost, admittedly, it’s mostly my perspective as a Rubick player)

    • mechtroid says:

      Sadly, it looks like a hidden nerf/bug changed rubick in a big way: Stealing a different spell no longer refreshes the previous spell’s cooldown. No more double ravages, even with aghanim’s!

      • Smarag says:

        How often have you gotten off a double ravage with rubick using that stealing trick..?

      • Gnoupi says:

        Hm, I remember this being already fixed before, maybe it got “unfixed” in the meantime ? Because I remember refreshing the cd in my last game, prior to this patch, indeed.
        But when I learned about the hero, I remember reading that you need to steal another spell to refresh the cooldown.

        Double lich ultimate could also be fun: PENTAKILL (in pubs, obviously)

    • misterT0AST says:

      Two words (ok a few more) that CHANGED MY SUPPORT LIFE:

      Soul Ring + Tranquillity Boots.

      Endless Mana. Endless HP.

      It is absolutely INSANE.

      • Gnoupi says:

        Hm, I have to give this a try.. I do like the tranq boots for their speed bonus on other supports.

  2. BooleanBob says:

    They’re not flashy, but Disruptor’s changes (modest ability cooldown reductions) are almost certain to propel him into the professional metagame.

    Changes to heroes whose balancing came from accelerated farm (Alchemist and Bounty Hunter) are also interesting – they got hit hard by the player bounty overhaul in 6.82, which were lessened in revised iterations of the patch but still kept the fatal dynamic in place – namely that dying with a greater networth than your opponent was a very bad idea, a position that those heroes often found themselves in without necessarily being more powerful than the enemies hunting them. The changes in 6.83 seem to be an attempt to ‘solve’ these problems by throwing more gold at the heroes and hoping that they can regain their relevance through becoming six slotted faster than ever.

    Bloodseeker is returning to Captain’s Mode and will be likely to pop up in competitive games. But will he be a niche pick or first ban material? His killing potential seems potent in his current guise, be it from 1v1 right through to 1v5, but time will tell how he fares in the big leagues.

    • Vandelay says:

      I love Disruptor. I know I shouldn’t, what with him being support, but the number of first bloods I’ve got with him easily outweighs any other hero. I just wish my teammates would pay more attention to my Glimpse, which can be a glorious ability when with a switched on team (or as an escape.)

      • BooleanBob says:

        It’s definitely one of the strongest support abilities in the game, along with other positional skills like Venge’s swap. I think the nature of the spell definitely requires you to be proactive with your communication – I’d even go as far as to say using voice comm is mandatory, because there’s just no other way to give people a timely heads up that the enemy you’re chasing is about to be displaced.

        • Pantalaimon says:

          I’d go further and say glimpse is on par with a lot of ultimates. Standard gameplay it’s great, at best it’s borderline broken. It’s crazy that Disruptor keeps getting buffed.

          It’s sad that he sees such little play in competitive and pubs alike. If you’ve ever tried to defend tower pushes against a good Disruptor (who has obviously done the smart thing and maxed Glimpse), you’ll have learnt the hard way how good the ability is. It forces the defending team to tp completely out of vision, otherwise they’ll just be sent back from whence they came. If the Disruptor player is thinking ahead they can already have warded up further down the lane to support the push, making even those teleports functionally useless as he also has vision over them and can glimpse them back! The overall effect is that defending tower pushes versus this hero is sort of impossible when played properly. However, he didn’t see the light of day during the previous push meta so apparently pro teams didn’t think he was as good as other utility heroes, overall.

          I wouldn’t go as far as to call this a support patch, though. Supports are generally not as powerful as they were earlier this year or last year (the early game where they shine is less of a dominant game phase). There’s a lot of overbuffing going on for underplayed heroes (the likes of Disruptor, Undying, CM, Leshrac), and sadly this probably means that some time early next year they will be hit with heavy nerfs.

          Indeed, overall I would say that the power creep in Dota is a tangible problem at this point. Icefrog is a genius but there’s going to be a point where the entire game gets a blanket adjustment, and I don’t think people will be very happy when that happens (other games that have faced the same problem have lost chunks of their playerbase as a result).

    • Lars Westergren says:

      Urgh. Him and Silencer were already massive pains in the ass at my level, and they got buffed. I’ve started to learn how to play Silencer though. Best way to counter him is to pick him first…

  3. oWn4g3 says:

    I share your enthusiasm for the disco goat. He has received slight buffs for some patches now and there aren’t many supports that can win a trilane scenario like him.

  4. Hideous says:

    The Lifestealer change is even bigger than one might think. You can use it to scout out towers and buildings because *the enemy towers won’t shoot at enemy creeps*.

    • Pantalaimon says:

      This was already the case with infesting enemy creeps, though.

      Having messed around with Helm on Lifestealer before, what usually happens if you try to play super-secret-stealth-creep is that suddenly their entire team is tping on top of you, at which point you cry and regret your decision.

  5. sonson says:

    Pudge’ range increased?!

    Fuck Pudge

  6. firescole says:

    Anyone know when the update will come out?

  7. twitchdottvslashpsychocheez says:

    Ok, so wow.

    The only thing I can say is that I cannot believe that there has been no comment here about what can now be done with drow, weaver, clinkz, or windranger with diffusal blade. I played as windranger yesterday and weaver today, and the only items I bought were power treads, diffusal blade, and aghinim’s on wind. A pudge was doing pretty well when I was wind, despite the fact that his team really sucked, and he caught me solo, blinking in on top of me and using his hook after ult rotting me down to half health.

    I then shackled him, purged him to slow him, activated wind’s ult on him and obliterated his mana pool and 3.5k hp in 3 seconds. Now, admittedly, if he’d had backup I’d have been screwed, but if I hadn’t been fooling around solo because his team sucked I wouldn’t have been in that position. It was a pretty funny, but it was also a pretty deadly combination.

    As weaver, slark can no longer get away from you unless he uses his dance to defensively. Just ult after his pounce lands, invis away from his purge, then purge him again and start hitting. If he dances then just go invis and follow him, then purge him again and kill him.

    And drow. I’m drooling right now as I search for a match because I am going to murder them with a ranged hero that does monster damage based on agility and will be slowing them while their mana drains to nothing.