Dota 2 V6.86 Brings New Hero, Big Balance Changes

I do enjoy the Dota 2 [official site] patches which change so much that I have no idea how the game even plays anymore. Version 6.86 is arriving this week with The Balance of Power Update and… I’ll be awful for ages figuring out what’s even happening. It ports another hero over from the original DotA, Arc Warden, while also adding new items, tweaking balance, and reshaping the map.

The patch is currently on the test client, and I imagine it’ll launch properly on Thursday.

Arc Warden, then, is a ranged agility hero whose abilities are a damaging slow, a ghostly landmine sort of thing, an AoE bubble giving allied units and buildings bonus attack speed and evasion, and, as its ultimate, creating a duplicate with the same items and abilities. Arc was added to WC3 DotA after I stopped playing, so I’m keen to see what it even is.

Over in New Item Corner, you’ll find the Dragon Lance giving extra attack range to ranged heroes, the Aether Lens boosting spell damage and cast range, the Iron Talons as a souped-up Quelling Blade, and Faerie Fire, a cheap consumable which gives +2 damage until you munch it for 75HP.

As for balance changes… well! Death Prophet, Doom, Faceless Void, Lone Druid, and Riki all have an ability replaced with a new one. The map is reshaped in ways I won’t memorise for ages. And loads of items and skills and creeps and things have been tweaked. Do check the changelog to see how your favourites are affected. Oh, and there’s a new Arcane Rune, which reduces spell cooldowns and mana costs for a while.

I like the sound of being able to plant Ironwood Branches to sprout “a happy little tree” – especially with plays like this.

Oh, and Valve have a new comic introducing Arc Warden and showing how Zeus got his long-overdue a new look. It’s nice that he’s classic Dirtbag Zeus. And the desert terrain is coming for Compendium owners. And Zeus has a flash new Arcana set. And here’s DotaCinema demonstrating Arc Warden’s abilities:


  1. abardam says:

    I liked the comic, but it’s got some troubling implications. None of the heroes know exactly who or what they’re fighting for? The battle is offhandedly mentioned to take place “tomorrow” — is this the battle, or simply one of infinite battles? Creeps are walking around in the very city where they are used as currency? Also aren’t they formerly human?

  2. yogibbear says:

    Dammit I just got decent after 1800 Hrs on current patch. :(

    • mexgri says:

      This is particularly impressive when you consider there have only been ~2000 total hours since 6.85 was released

  3. BloodIReaver says:

    Great possibly broken stuff in this patch. They’ll probably patch it out over the next 2 months. Now its just wait and see.

    PS: Text typo – “Version 6.82” should read 6.86

  4. Synesthesia says:

    That ultimate is insane. If you duplicate a necrobook, do you keep its warriors after the ult duration is done?

    • shaydeeadi says:

      They will probably expire after the same amount of time as usual. Either that or they will replace your original Necro warriors when you activate it. You can’t refresh Necro and have 2 squads normally, they overwrite each other.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        After watching the video Lars linked I stand corrected, that is some monster push potential.

  5. shaydeeadi says:

    I’d expect the 6.86 patch to come out after WCA/whatever other finals finish, they don’t push massive balance patches in the middle of LANs any more. I could be wrong but I’d also be surprised.

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    Probably. A farmed Zet looks like he is going to be fun to play against.

    link to

    The new “happy little tree” mechanic feels like it is going to be ripe for annoying abuse. Shutting in enemies or teammates in fountain or roshan pit. I’m hoping they will reduce how long the tree lives to a few seconds. Then you can still use it for stuff like blocking people from following you when you run into the trees, or an instant shackle target/Timbersaw pure damage source.
    Not that I’m ever going to be able to pull it off. I feel I just keep getting worse at this game.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to Synesthesia.

    • KevinLew says:

      First of all, Iron Branches don’t stack, so the only way this would work is to purposely deny yourself better items just so you can troll the other team. I should also point out that the “ultimate counter” to blocking in another team is called a Tango.