Items are a hugely important part of the game and, though the changes aren’t quite as grand and far-reaching as the hero changes, these adjustments still make a pretty big difference (especially the new item, bottle and TP costs, the flying courier and ethereal blade changes). So, without further dithering, let us dive into these changes!
Armlet of Mordiggian
- Recipe cost reduced from 700 to 600
A slight cost adjustment. Reduces the total cost of the item from 2600 to 2500 (~4% less).
- Assault Aura no longer displays its debuff on the enemy if the carrier is not visible
A nice change for heroes with a shadowblade or innate invisibility who would have had to be careful about the debuff showing otherwise. Now you’ll have to be super aware to notice that your armor has dipped suspiciously in order to figure out that they are nearby.
Black King Bar
- Avatar spell immunity duration and cooldown are now tied to the hero, instead of the item [?]
- Minimum immunity duration increased from 4 to 5
No more buying a new BKB to get that fresh duration. I really dislike BKB so anything that makes it a little less prevalent throughout the entirety of the game is a plus to me. This means a lot for heroes that rely heavily on BKB and would have been able to continue refreshing their BKBs once the duration got too low.
- Gold cost increased from 2150 to 2250
:'(, Blink Dagga Dagga. Such an amazing item, it was inevitable that it eventually be toned slightly as it was just too great. I like that they’ve elected to make it a bit more difficult to obtain rather than reversing the removal of the mana cost. This keeps those awesome plays open but reduces it’s strength a bit.
- Now requires Soul Ring and a 800 gold recipe instead of Perseverance (1600 vs 1750 total gold)
- No longer grants +10 damage (other bonuses stay the same)
Bloodstone is no longer a huge pit that you throw all of your gold into in the hopes that you will end up getting a lot of kills after you purchase it and have near infinite mana regeneration. With the change from a Perseverance to a Soul Ring you can purchase Soul Ring early on and build it into a Bloodstone later on when it suits you. A great change for heroes that tend to build into Bloodstone.
- Gold cost increased from 650 to 700
50 gold is one more last hit required to get that bottle for your mid hero. Though it may not seem like much it does add up and puts it a little further out of reach. In combination with the changes to the flying courier and the rune spawn adjustments it looks like they are seeking to severely restrict bottle crowing and have mid be a more favourable place for heroes that can make their way to runes quickly and contest them well.
Boots of Travel
- Teleport cooldown reduced from 60 to 50
This adds to the value proposition of BoT. Aside from saving you the 100 gold it now costs to purchase a teleport. It also shaves a delightful 10 seconds off of the usual cooldown for Teleportation. This means that you’ll be able to flee from those difficult situations that much quicker. I really like purchasing BoT later on in the game in order to free up an item slot (usually occupied by a TP) and this makes it that much more appealing to purchase.
- Butterfly now has an active ability, Flutter, which can be cast to trade Butterfly’s evasion for a 20% movement speed bonus for 8 seconds. 35 second cooldown. [?]
A great little addition to Butterfly. 20% movement speed increase is nothing to balk at. And as long as you’re fleeing or chasing you won’t mind the temporary loss of your evasion. Adds another dimension to an item that was viewed a little less favourably due to the fact that it could be countered nearly entirely by the purchase of an equivalently costed item (MKB).
- Cloak, Hood and Pipe magic resistances now stack like all other normal magic resistance do
Not sure how this was set up before but I imagine it has something to do with the streamlining of various mechanics in the game.
- New Item that is formed from Vanguard and Buckler
Total: 3850 gold
+6 HP Regen
Passive Damage Block (80% chance for 40/20 melee/ranged)
+2 All Stats
Active: Guard – Gives nearby allied heroes (750 range) +2 armor and a damage block shell that has a 100% chance to block 50 damage. Lasts 9 seconds. Cooldown 70.
Passive: Damage Block – Gives the wearer a chance to block damage from each incoming attack based on whether the equipped hero is melee or ranged.
Note: Guard only affects heroes. Has the same no stacking mechanic as Pipe of Insight/Mekansm for 70 seconds.
- Intelligence bonus per level increased from 13/15/17/19/21 to 13/16/19/22/25
- Energy Burst mana cost increased from 180/160/140/120/100 to 180
The 100 mana cost at level 5 for Dagon was a bit much and this makes it a little less spammy later on in the game. Most heroes would never upgrade Dagon all the way to Dagon 5 but it does hurt heroes like Tinker (who also suffered as a result of the E-Blade nerf) who now have to manage their mana a little more carefully.
- Recipe cost reduced from 850 to 700
- Agility bonus rebalanced from 25/30 to 20/35
- Feedback rebalanced from 20/36 to a constant 25
Diffusal Blade now offers more agility at the second recipe level but drains a lot less mana. This helps heroes who pick up a casual Diffusal Blade but is quite a tragic change for heroes like Phantom Lancer who absolutely love the Feedback portion of the item and consider it to be the item’s strength.
- Ether Blast now has a projectile [?]
- Ether Blast now only turns the caster ethereal if they target themself
Ethereal Blade is no longer the do-it-all nuke and protect yourself tool. Now you have to choose whether you want to render your target ethereal and damage them or save yourself. This item gave a little bit too much reach to certain spellcasters in the late game and made them pretty un-enjoyable to play against. Though it was a nerf for those spellcaster types it is certainly a buff for more physical damage based heroes like Morphling who like to pick up an E-blade for themselves.
Finally, the change from an instant to a projectile makes it dodge-able and removes a portion of the absolute certainty that once existed with regards to the final fate of your victim (formerly a quick, painful death).
Eye of Skadi
- Frost Attack attack speed slow increased from 35 to 45
Eye of Skadi was basically ignored most of the time so this buff makes it an even more important item to consider when playing a hero that could benefit from it. A constant 45 attack speed slow is quite significant when facing off against the opposing carry in the late game. We may begin to see this item being picked up more often.
- Base movement speed increased from 350 to 430
- Flying Courier now takes 50% extra damage from melee heroes
- Flying Courier Speed Burst cooldown increased from 40 to 90
- Flying Courier Speed Burst duration reduced from 20 to 4
- Flying Courier Speed Burst speed increased from 522 to 650
These changes to the courier make it more vulnerable as boosts come far less frequently. Increasing the damage taken from melee heroes helps them with trying to pick off the courier (as before it was quite a fruitless proposition for the most part). Though this change makes my courier much more vulnerable, I do like the fact that it encourages you to put a bit more thought into your decision before pushing on the courier sprint button.
Helm of the Dominator
- Now provides +3 HP regeneration (to match its components)
- Dominated units now have 250 bonus HP
Nice little buffs to HotD. The regeneration will help with sustaining it’s holder and bring things a bit more into synergy. The extra 250 bonus HP helps you bring creeps along with you into battle (and not just use them purely for stacking). Neither of these changes are huge but they do help a bit with making the item better.
Hood of Defiance
- HP regeneration increased from 8 to 9 (to match its components)
Nothing to see here.
- Linken’s Sphere only blocks Wrath of Nature’s initial bounce, not subsequent bounces
- Linken’s Sphere only blocks Lightning Storm’s initial bounce, not subsequent bounces
- Nether Ward no longer triggers Linken’s Sphere
- Lightning Bolt now triggers Linken’s Sphere when targeted at the ground
- Maelstrom and Mjollnir no longer trigger Linken’s Sphere
A mix of changes for Linken’s Sphere. Not included in this change log are that Fissure no longer triggers LS and Static Link now does. Not too consequential and people will still be picking it up for the same reasons that they did before.
- Recipe cost increased from 600 to 700
After the changes to Maelstrom we’ve been seeing it built on pretty much every hero. The recipe cost increase seeks to make it a little less tempting to purchase on every single hero that benefits from attack speed.
- Mirror Image vision type changed from Unobstructed/Flying to Ground [?]
- Recipe cost reduced from 900 to 800
Manta Style no longer temporarily gives Flying vision when creating illusions. This removes the opportunity for sneaky plays to spot out an enemy hero juking away or a fleeing courier.
The recipe cost reduction is nice and for those of us who aren’t 360 NO SCOPE MLG PRO it’s a net improvement for the item.
Mask of Madness
- Recipe cost reduced from 1000 to 900
MoM has seen a lot of play on a few core heroes (Faceless Void most notably amongst them). It’s an interesting item with pretty significant advantages and trade-offs so I’m happy to see it being given a chance to have it’s day to shine.
- Restore mana cost increased from 150 to 225
50% increase in mana cost is nothing to scoff at. Makes Mekansm much more mana intensive and pushes it towards being suitable solely for heroes with larger mana pools. Heroes like Doom (who is already struggling with a Devour mana cost increase) will find it pretty difficult to sustain all of his various mana costs along with Mekansm.
Pipe of Insight
- HP regeneration increased from 8 to 9 (to match its components)
- Reset Cooldowns cooldown increased from 160 to 185
25 seconds on top of the previous 160 seconds adds even more gravity to using this item. You’d better have some pretty significant cooldowns to be resetting if you’re going to be popping it.
Ring of Protection
- Armor increased from 2 to 3
- Gold cost increased from 175 to 200
The armor increase is a bargain when you consider that the gold cost was only increased by 25. It does make it a bit tougher to pre-purchase and bring out to lane with you than before though. Overall, a buff for RoP though.
- True Sight area of effect increased from 800 to 850
Making life for invis heroes and wards a little more difficult.
- Shadow Walk invisibility break damage increased from 150 to 175
An extra little punch for shadow blade users. Moving towards strongly encouraging users to try and get that initial hit off before using other abilities.
- Freezing Aura no longer displays its debuff on the enemy if the carrier is not visible
Similar to the AC changes. Helps Shiva’s Guard users sneak around if they happen to be invisible or hidden.
Town Portal Scroll
- Gold cost reduced from 135 to 100
One of the largest changes in this patch. A 35 gold reduction is not significant for roles that generally would be fairly well off in terms of gold generation but for the hard support roles saving 35 gold is a pretty important change. It looks like Icefrog is moving towards making the support role a little bit less arduous (reduction in cost of boots, wards, etc) which I support to a certain extent as it makes it more attractive for people to try it out and actually support their teammates.
Overall, a bunch of good changes. An exciting new item. Plenty of measured and reasonable adjustments. The large changes are the TP scroll cost reduction, flying courier changes, bottle changes, Butterfly active being added, Ethereal Blade projectile, Mekansm mana cost increase and BKB duration being tied directly to the user.
That’s all for now and I’ll be back with thoughts on the last few changes soon. Have a pezant day!
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