IT’S FINALLY HERE! Dota Patch 7.23 (The Outlanders Update!) comes with two new heroes, a new map layout, 62 new items, and an abundance of buffs and nerfs! Let’s go into all that is patch has to offer.
Void Spirit, Good Luck Have Fun
Back in August at TI9, Valve showed us Void Spirit for the first time. We now finally get to see him in action. This Melee Carry joins (his brothers?) Storm Spirit, Earth Spirit and Ember Spirit to form a fearsome foursome. His introduction is as follows:
‘Ready to join his spirit brethren at last, the Void Spirit emerges from his Hidden Temple to stand guard over multiple areas of the battlefield at once. Able to step into and out of the mortal plane at will, he easily outmaneuvers opponents to strike from wherever he desires, calling upon the powers of the aether to shield him in times of need.”
This basically means that he will be super annoying to play against with most of his abilities designed to inflict mass damage while taking as little as possible. (You can read below the list of his abilities and how they operate) I believe we will be seeing this hero mostly in the mid-lane, and it will be fascinating to see how he will be played at the professional level.
Snapfire, Who’s a Good Boy!
‘Welcome To Bullet Hell’, this cowboy granny kicks ass and serves freshly baked cookies. Snapfire is a Support hero who looks a tonne of fun to play. Her introduction:
”Just as happy to blow your legs off with her trusty scattergun as to fill your belly up with a deliciously-dangerous cookie, Beatrix Snapfire delights in riding into battle with her dragon toad Mortimer, always ready to mow down their enemies with her homemade heavy artillery or finish them off with a steady barrage of Mortimer’s firespit globs.”
Beatrix Snapfire and her Dragon Toad Mortimer don’t seem nearly as strong as void spirit does. However, her ultimate Mortimer Kisses (as seen below) has incredible range and can do extensive damage if used correctly. To me, she seems like the perfect offlane position four hero. (Hit Play Below)
General Updates, Couriers Inbound!
Moving on to the General Updates, we have a huge change as each player now has their own courier! That means no more fighting and arguing over who needs the courier most. Your loyal donkey will gain levels when your hero increases levels, and it will provide you 85 GPM while it is alive, so make sure you don’t send it into battle to die. At level 5, the courier gains the ability to fly. At level 10 the courier gains a Speed Burst ability. This ability has been reintroduced after it was removed back in late 2017.
Finally, the courier gains the ability to use wards at level 15 and gains the ability to use items at level 25. I can only imagine the plays that are going to be made with this new system. I can foresee a lot of players picking Nature’s Prophet to try and snipe as many couriers as possible.
Continuing on, heroes start with three teleport scrolls, and observer wards are completely free. As a Support player, I am very happy with this. I might finally be able to buy an item. Backpack slots have increased from 3 to 4, the map layout has been redesigned, Spell Immunity no longer grants 100% Magic Resistance (this means that all spells that are able to pierce spell immunity now deal damage as well for example Beast Masters Primal Roar) and finally, Tier 2 Towers have been significantly buffed.
Level Cap Increase, 25 Going On 30
Heroes can now level up to 30. Once you get to level 30, you unlock the entire talent tree. This is going to make so many heroes strong in the late game that I do worry if this might hurt the game in the long run. Thankfully, respawn timers do not increase past level 25.
Goodbye Sideshops, Hello Outposts!
The Side Shops have been removed! I know one person who is going to freak out. They have been replaced with Outposts. There are two of these on the map located where the Side Shops were previously. Right-clicking on an Outpost allows you to gain control over the Outpost after 6 seconds of channelling. Having control over an outpost grants you bonus XP upon initially capturing it, and every 5 minutes you can contest over who will gain control. It also provides your team with unobstructed vision in that area and allows you to TP to it. Outposts are inactive for the first 10 minutes of the game and cannot be captured until then.
Neutral Items, How’s Your Luck?
Now we move onto the big talking point about Dota Patch 7.23. Neutral Creeps (or Jungle Creeps) now drop unique items that cannot be sold but can be shared with allies. There are five tiers of items that drop over the course of the game. Within each tier, the odds get cut by half for each subsequent drop. Items of a certain type will only drop once for each team. Drops will only begin after 5 minutes.
There are 62 Unique Neutral Items in total. I obviously can’t talk about all 62 items, but let’s have a look at some and discuss how they will affect Dota Patch 7.23.
Tier One: (5-15 Minutes)
Poor Man’s Shield: They brought it back! Poor Man’s Shield (Which grants a 100% chance for melee heroes to block 20 damage from enemy heroes and a 50% chance to block damage from creeps.) has returned. Old school players rejoice! Although not a great item beyond the early game, it is generally used by fragile melee carries who want to withstand harassment in the laning stage.
Iron Talon: Another old school item returns! Iron Talon is back. (Targets a non-player enemy unit to remove 40% of its current HP and increases attack damage against non-hero units) This is an amazing farming tool, particularly for melee heroes who plan to jungle for long periods of the game.
Tier Two: (15-25 Minutes)
Ring of Aquila: Another fan favourite item, Ring of Aquila, returns (Grants 0.5 mana regeneration and 2 armour to nearby allies.) Carry heroes can carry Ring of Aquila for an overall stats boost during the early game. In addition, allied creeps gain an additional 2 armour which is useful if you want to push the creep advantage in a lane.
Helm of the Undying: If you have played Dota Underlords then you will be familiar with this item. It provides +6 Armor, and if the equipped hero receives a killing blow then that hero survives for an extra 5 seconds. This can be an incredibly useful item if you’re a squishy support or a hero that uses a game-changing ultimate such as an Enigma Black Hole.
Tier Three: (25-35 Minutes)
Greater Faerie Fire: Now that we enter the Tier Three-stage, we’re starting to get to some very strong items. The Greater Faerie Fire provides you with +30 Damage, and you can instantly consume it to restore 500 health. You have two charges to play with on a ten-second cooldown.
Clumsy Net: If you ever wanted to be a Meepo player but can’t micromanage, then this is the item for you! (+5 All Stats and +3 Mana Regen. Activate to ensnare yourself and the target enemy for 2 seconds. 900 Cast Range. Cooldown: 25)
Tier Four: (45-70 Minutes)
Telescope: Going up against an Ursa or a Roshan taking team? The Telescope lowers scan cooldown by 50% and increases attack and cast range of nearby allies by 125. I could see this becoming very rewarding if used correctly.
The Leveller: If you’re playing Sven, Kunkaa, Anti Mage or any hero that has a cleave or splash ability, then The Leveller is the item for you! With +50 Attack Speed. Your attacks will cleave or splash for 50% in a 400/250 area.
Tier Five: (70+ Minutes)
Force Boots: If your Dota game manages to get above 70 minutes then you will have the opportunity to use some insanely strong items. Starting off we have the Force Boots. These will give the user +50% Movement Speed and unlocks maximum movement speed for your hero. Can be activated to self dispel and push you 800 distance forward. With a ridiculous cooldown of just six seconds, these boots can make certain heroes so fast. Good luck catching them.
Seer Stone: A truly ludicrous item here; the Seer Stone gives +500 Cast Range, +800 Day and Night Vision. On certain heroes such as Batrider or Pudge, this item could be a game-changer!
Mirror Shield: The Mirror Shield is an ultra Linken’s Sphere. It gives you a 75% chance to block and reflect targeted spells and provides +20 to all your stats. I see this item being completely game-breaking at the lower levels on Dota 2. You can check out below all 62 Neutral Item Drops.
Item Changes, More Gold To Spend
There have been around 60 changes to items in Dota Patch 7.23. Let’s go through some biggest changes.
Stout Shield: Has been removed from the game. (R.I.P Stout Shield at least we have Poor Man’s Shield)
Melee heroes now have a built-in passive Damage Block. (stacks with other sources of Damage Block) This saves melee carries 200 gold which they can put towards more health regeneration or an early set of Boots of Speed.
+15% Lifesteal Aura (Melee)
+10% Lifesteal Aura (Ranged)
+15% Attack Damage Aura
+1.5 Mana Regeneration Aura
+4 Armor Aura
Now Provides: +6 All Stats
+25% Lifesteal Aura
+1.5 Mana Regeneration Aura
+3 Armor Aura
Helm of the Dominator:
+2 All Stats
+20 Attack Speed Aura
+8.5 Health Regeneration Aura
+7 All Stats
+20% Base Damage Aura
5 Health Regeneration Aura
Holy Locket: No longer provides regeneration amplification. Heal amplification increased from 25% to 35%. Health increased from +200 to +250
Sentry Ward: Duration increased from 6 to 8 minutes. Stock replenish cooldown increased from 85 to 95. Initial Stock reduced from 4 to 3.
Hero Changes… is Back!
There have been numerous buffs and nerfs to almost every hero in this patch, you check out all hero changes at dota2.com/outlanders. Below is a Youtube video in which you can see some of the various changes to heroes, including the Kunkka Aghanim’s Scepter which is causing a storm online!
Dota Patch 7.23 Community Response, What is Going On!
The community response to Dota Patch 7.23, has so far been mostly negative. To be fair, the Dota population has never accepted change well. The biggest criticism by far is about the Neutral Item Drops being too random and causing RNG in a game that should be about skill and intelligent play. I’m personally happy with most of the changes, although I do agree that some of the Neutral Item Drops needed to be nerfed as they are ridiculously strong.
In Other News!
On November 24, 2019, TNC Predator won the first Dota 2 Major of the new DPC season, defeating Vici Gaming 3-1 in the Grand Final, taking home $300,000 and 4,850 DPC Points!
In addition, the Ex-Team Liquid roster that were runners up at The International 2019 have finally formed a new organisation: Team Nigma, a truly terrible name that was been ruthlessly mocked by the Dota community. Nigma responded with a tweet saying ”The name’s origin comes from the Arabic language and means Star.” A nice backstory, but I would change that name as soon as possible unless you want Twitch Chat to become even more of a nightmare!
Finally, Dota Underlords also received a huge update at the exact same time. I will write a separate article about this that goes into more detail in the coming days.
To sum up, Dota Patch 7.23 blew my expectations away. I did not anticipate this many drastic changes; it feels like we’re playing Dota 4 right now! I look forward to people trying to figure out what the Meta is for this patch, particularly at the pro level who will play the DreamLeague Season 13 major qualifiers, starting on December 1st.
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