Big changes arrived right after the Leipzig Major.

10:00, 29 Jan 2020

Without even a second to breathe, the new patch dropped right after the conclusion of the DreamLeague Leipzig Major, which Team Secret won with aplomb. While hero changes were aplenty, including nerfs to some of the most-picked heroes in the most recent round of the Dota Pro Circuit, but the most significant alterations were to the overall game state.

With the neutral items system modified, Shrines being removed, and a reworked map, 7.24 can be a little confusing. Here’s what you need to know going forward into the fresh update.

Neutral items system revamped

  • Heroes now have a dedicated neutral items slot. A maximum of one neutral item can be equipped on your hero.
  • There is now a Neutral Item Stash in the fountain. Neutral items are now stored there instead of on the fountain floor. Right clicking on an available item in the new UI will place it in your stash/courier and can be delivered to you. This UI will also show the state and location of all the other items that have dropped.
  • Neutral items can now be teleported to your Neutral Item Stash at home through a right click context menu (from your backpack or your neutral slot)
  • Neutral items have been a contentious addition to Dota 2. While there’s been more criticism than praise, neutral items have added an extra dimension to the game.

Now, each hero only has one neutral item slot, thus preventing heroes from equipping multiple neutral items. This puts a stop to heroes gaining massive power spikes by stacking their inventories with free items, boosting heroes’ tankiness and offensive potential. The problem was further exacerbated with poor RNG which might favor one side dramatically. 

This forces players to engage in possibly the most important skill in Dota 2: itemization. Players will have to equip a particular loadout rather than getting the best of every world. This could help to combat RNG with decision-making factoring into the process once again.

This also results in the reduction of the backpack slot count back to three, while allowing four neutral items to drop from each tier instead of three. Ancients will also have a higher rate of dropping the items as compared to normal camps. 

Most neutral items that require recipes, except for the tier five Trident, will now drop fully, and have also received stat nerfs to compensate for their reduced cost. Tier five items will also now drop at 60 minutes and have been adjusted accordingly.

Shrines replaced with Outposts

Shrines have been removed from Dota 2. Outposts roughly replaces the Shrine locations in each side’s primary jungle, while the old Outpost and side shop locations are now just a juking path.

Since Outposts are now in their primary jungles, this should aid in reducing Radiant’s Roshan advantage slightly. Since the movement of the Roshan pit, the objective has become heavily favored towards Radiant. By removing the Shrine, this allows the Dire side to have a neutral objective closer to the pit.

Being Outposts, they can be controlled by the enemy team, allowing for novel ways and paths to gank and teamfight players. After all, it’s difficult to expect a teleport gank coming from behind you while you are in your safelane. Certainly, pro players will explore and best exploit the buildings to full effect.

Bounty Runes location changed

Bounty runes have been moved into each side’s secondary jungle. This makes it more difficult for either team to secure three to four bounty runes, especially in the initial skirmish, due to players needing to dive further into the mid lane and allowing for additional heroes to rotate and help when necessary.

All GPM talents removed

Following the removal of experience talents, gold talents are the next blanket talents to go into the garbage. 

Generally, gold per minute talents were the most effective ways to supports, and even some core heroes, to remain effective into the late game. Since they materialize out of thin air, one team is literally winning the battle of attrition simply by existing. They were so good that few players would choose the opposite talent as opposed to the gold one, except in very specific circumstances.

While it wouldn’t shake up the support tier list too much, it’s likely that more importance will be placed on position four supports that can clear waves. Also, some of these GPM talents have been replaced with generic, mostly terrible ones, so expect to see more adjustments as IceFrog continues to hammer out the state of the game.

Buyback cost changed

  • Buyback cost increased from 100 + NW/13 to 200 + NW/12

Buybacks have become an increasingly important thing to save for, especially for supports. Due to the change in recent patches, heroes with low net worth could buyback at a whim, providing additional support or information with their lives at a fairly low cost.

Now, this will cause early buybacks to be more damaging to a team’s economy, while reducing the inflation of buyback costs as it goes into the late-game.

Wards no longer destroyed by Quelling Blade and Tangoes

Instant dewarding will no longer be an option. To aid melee heroes in their dewarding endeavors, they now gain an additional 150 range when targeting wards.

For heroes like Sand King, who relied heavily on their ability to quickly deward an area to ensure that they are safe in their invisibility, this is a double-edged sword that forces you or your enemies to commit to the vision battle rather than rapidly eating the ward. 

Void Spirit and Snapfire added to Captain’s Mode

The two heroes introduced in the Outlanders patch will finally be making their debuts in the competitive scene. These new, powerful heroes will certainly shake up the status quo with their novel abilities. 

Snapfire has already seen play in some online tournaments as a support. The hero’s powerful laning and insane long range damage output allows her to be a menace throughout the game even with little farm, although she is quite susceptible to ganks and assassins due to her poor mobility.

Void Spirit will probably be a high-octane core in similar vein of his spirit brother, Ember Spirit. The hero is extremely mobile and provides good burst damage. The hero’s only physical scaling ability is tied to his ultimate, which means that any team that picks him will likely be on a timer.
 

There are tons of modifications to items and heroes that came with patch. In general, the most-picked heroes at the recent Leipzig Major was nerfed. Popular picks like Puck, Tiny, and Doom were hit with some minor adjustments, while less popular ones like Death Prophet, Juggernaut, and Slardar received buffs.

While the Leipzig Major was one of the most exciting events in recent memory, there was little diversity in hero picks. Hopefully, the buffs mean that there will be more variety in hero picks and strategies in future tournaments. 
 

Image via Valve

Esports Calendar