Dota 2 patch 7.24b brings big nerfs to Snapfire, Slardar and co.

The Dota 2 patch 7.24 was released after the Leipzig Major. After reviewing the qualifiers for the third set of DPC Minor and Major and the WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War LAN event, which were played on the 7.24 patch, IceFrog decided to make some balance changes to the game which have been bestowed upon us in the form of patch 7.24b. The patch literally only has nerfs to items and heroes, the entire set of which can be found here. We will look at and discuss some of the prominent changes from this patch.

Item nerfs

i) Bracer: Double Bracer is the best way to ensure some tankiness in the early game by getting 240 HP. Against a magic lineup, it also gives additional effective HP (or EHP) thanks to the magic resistance. Heroes have 25% magic resistance built in. One Bracer used to increase that to 28.75% (it doesn’t stack additively) while two Bracers made it 32.21%. It is a quite a sizable reduction in damage for heroes who depend on magical damage. The nerf to 4% will take the magic resistance with one Bracer down to 28% and with two to 30.88%. To be honest, it isn’t the biggest of nerfs and Bracer will still remain to be a very good early game item. But that 1.5% reduction in magic resistance can be the difference between getting a kill and having your opponent get away with 10 HP and coming back having consumed a salve. It will be quite evident playing against heroes like Huskar and Skywrath Mage in the mid lane.

ii) Desolator: Desolator is the only item that has recieved some sort of buff (the 10 added damage). This dance of the armor reduction being either 6 or 7 has been going on for a while, as can be seen from the changelog for the item below. One armor is 6% EHP, so the 10 damage doesn’t necessarily make up for it. The overall effect is definitely a nerf to Desolator, but the added damage makes up for some of the nerf.

iii) Maelstrom/Mjolnir: IceFrog is sending clear indications that it is time to stop buying Maelstrom and start buying Battlefury (on melee heroes, at least). The item has received nerfs in the last two patches (Chain Lighting damage was reduced from 150 to 140 in patch 7.24). Doesn’t make it the worst item, but its effect will be felt in team fights where enemy heroes are scattered out. Should still be decent for farming though.

Hero nerfs

i) Enchantress

Huge nerf for Enchantress. With Impetus not being the ultimate anymore, it can be used as a powerful weapon to zone out opponents in the laning stage. But that’s when the mana pool is very low, which means an increase in the manacost by more than 50% at level 1 will make the hero a lot less effective in the early stages of the game, which is where a lot of the game gets shaped. Enchantress’ pick rate is bound to go down after this change.

ii) Lifestealer

Lifestealer has been one of the prominent carries of the 7.24 patch and the reduction in base attack speed and base damage will make last hitting in the lane a bit more difficult. Feast does provide additional attack speed now, but the even with the first two levels of the skill, this nerf in attack speed will be felt.

iii) Nyx Assassin

Nyx Assassin had the highest win rate of the heroes that were frequently picked in the ESL One LA Major and SLi Minor qualifiers. Considering that, this nerf is actually not a substantial one. He also gets a talent at level 10 to increase his stun duration by 0.3 seconds, which should take it to 2.9 seconds. Unlike Enchantress and Lifestealer, Nyx Assassin should continue to be a heavily contested hero in the tournaments to come.

iv) Slardar

Slardar has been running rampant in pubs and professional games alike in the past few weeks and has rightfully received a big nerf in patch 7.24b. The last time Guardian Sprint had a mana cost was back in patch 6.79! It was 50 mana back then, while it is just 25 now. But even that small amount makes a big difference for a hero like Slardar, who is a low mana pool hero with three usable skills. Reduction to Bash of the Deep damage and the Corrosive Haze armor reduction is going to see his damage output take a big hit.

v) Snapfire

Everyone knows and has said that Mortimer Kisses is a very overpowered skill; and yet it didn’t recieve any nerfs when Snapfire was introduced in Captains Mode. This nerf was very much called for, but it doesn’t make her a bad hero in any ways. Grandma is still very much a viable hero and has immense damage potential for a suport.

vi) Tiny

Tiny is a real fighter – keeps getting nerfed time and again and still keeps getting picked in core as well as support roles. Being a hero that starts with 0 armor, Tiny needs every bit of armor he can get, which makes the armor nerf something that will put chinks in his armor, literally. The Toss cast range will mostly be a problem only for support Tiny, trying to toss enemies back to his cores. The burst potential from an Avalanche-Toss combo remains just as strong.

The SLi Minor starts on the 5th of March and the ESL One LA Major starts on the 15th of March. VPEsports did an analysis of the 7.24 patch based on the qualifiers for these tournaments, but with the nerfs from patch 7.24b, the picks in the qualifiers and the tournaments themselves should show a bit of variation. The only way to find out for sure is to lay back and watch the third set of DPC Minor and Major unfold.

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