Dota 2 patch 7.28 reworked Aghanim's Scepter ratings: Support heroes

A lot of changes were introduced to the game of Dota 2 with the 7.28 patch, including 24 reworked Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades. Here we look at the ratings for the 8 support heroes that got reworked Scepters. A lot of these heroes can also be played as cores (Dazzle, Magnus and Nature’s Prophet), but they can be played quite successfully as supports as well. Let’s take a look at what kind of deals the supports got with their new Scepter upgrades.

1) Magnus (6/10)

Scepter Rework: Releases 3 Shockwaves going outwards from you at 30 degree angles (can only be hit by one). After reaching the end, the shockwaves come back to their origin and deal 75% damage and pull towards cast point a second time.

If it were possible to hit a unit by all three waves, this would have been a good Scepter, but with only one of the three waves hitting a unit, this upgrade is similar to the old one Magnus had before the cooldown reduction on Skewer; just instead of one, there are three Shockwaves. When Reverse Polarity is used, one Shockwave is enough to hit all the enemies caught in it. The Scepter upgrade can prove to be useful in a chaotic team fight with all heroes scattered around, but for a support Magnus, it makes no sense in getting it. The old Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade where the Skewer cooldown was reduced to 6 seconds was a lot more useful than this one.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? Magnus’ Aghanim’s Shard upgrade, which gives him the ability Horn Toss, is a bit of a meme, but at least it gives him a third ability besides Skewer and Reverse Polarity to stop interrupt an enemy hero while channeling. So yes, in case a support Magnus is maxed out, a Shard would be better. The only case a Scepter would be good is if the team is defending against mega creeps and there are creeps coming at the tier 4 towers from all three lanes.

2) Oracle (6.5/10)

Scepter Rework: Causes Fate’s Edict to no longer disarm allies or make enemies magic damage immune.

Oracle’s previous Aghs Scepter upgrades didn’t see a lot of plays and there’s a good chance the trend will continue. In theory, the effects seem good, but 4200 gold is too high for a support. The ability to heal an ally when in the midst of battle (especially when False Promise is on cooldown) or disarm an enemy without providing magic immunity is no doubt, a boost. But Oracle needs to prioritize items like Spirit Vessel, Glimmer Cape and Aether Lens and follow that up with an Aghanim’s Shard.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? Yes, it is better than the Scepter upgrade as it makes the False Promised hero invisible and there’s a higher chance for a hero in trouble to survive and be healed up. Shard should be picked up instead on Scepter after the major items in case of Oracle.

3) Dazzle (7/10)

Scepter Rework: Causes Shadow Wave to dispel allies, increases heal by +60 and increases damage by +80.

The Dazzle Aghanim’s Scepter rework takes it back to what it was for patches 7.23 and 7.24, but this time, there is an added 60 heal, which is nearly a 43% amplification to the Shadow Wave heal (from 140 to 200). The Scepter is really good, as it provides an amazing way to get out of abilities like Pit of Malice or Overgrowth, where multiple members of the team could be disabled. Having a Guardian Greaves or Eul’s or Lotus Orb also makes it possible for Dazzle to negate Global Silence for the entire team. But the question again, is farming for it. Guardian Greaves, Glimmer Cape, Force Staff are items that serve more purpose on a support Dazzle and are easier to get as well. It depends on the game and the heroes that the opposition has, but once obtained, does have the power to be a strong upgrade on Shadow Wave.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? Not for a support Dazzle. The Aghanim’s Shard is better for a core Dazzle, who has more right click inventory.

4) Keeper of the Light (7.5/10)

Scepter Rework: Now gains Will-O-Wisp, however instead of a stun on flicker, it applies a movement manipulation that pulls units inwards at a rate of 60 units per second but does not prevent attacking/casting.

Will-O-Wisp in in a weird place now, as it does not interrupt channeling. Earlier, it could be used as a perfect counter to spells like Black Hole or Freezing Field, but now it only displaces heroes without disabling them. While it is still useful, it isn’t strong enough that it warrants getting an Aghanim’s Scepter over other itemd.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? Yes, it is better than the Scepter as it is easier to farm and provides a 200 heal for every Illuminate, which is a 11 seconds cooldown ability (5 seconds with the Chakra Magic cooldown reduction. Also makes pushing high ground during the day a lot easier with the constant sustain.

5) Pudge (7.5/10)

Scepter Rework: Increases Rot radius by 200, damage by 80. Reduces health regen on affected enemies by 25%

Pudge’s Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade has seen a lot of variations, but the latest one seems like a good one as compared to a lot of the previous ones. Scepter now increases the Rot damage by nearly 67% (from 120 per second to 200 per second). That’s more than three times the burn damage of Radiance! The radius increases by 80% (area of effect increases by 324%!) which is also significant in order to ensure an enemy gets slowed down by Rot and cannot escape. Not just that, the huge radius can slow and damage multiple enemies, even in a scattered team fight. So why isn’t this the highest rated Scepter? Because it isn’t the item a support Pudge (there are some, apparently) should spend 4200 gold on. Blink, Aether Lens and Spirit Vessel provide a lot more use than a Scepter, and an Aghanim’s Shard should precede an Aghanim’s Scepter for a support Pudge. For  a position 2 or 3 Pudge though, this Scepter is an item to be prioritized.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? The initial Aghanim’s Shard upgrade wasn’t better, but with the buff it received in Dota 2 patch 7.28a where Dismember cooldown was reduced by 7 seconds (which brings down the cooldown from 20 to 13), it is possibly better than an Aghanim’s Scepter because of the low cost. A 3 second disable (3.8 seconds with the talent) that goes through magic immunity is a valuable skill to have every 13 seconds. The 18% heal it can provide to allies is the cherry on top of the cake.

6) Mirana (8/10)

Scepter Rework: Causes Sacred Arrow to release a Starfall on enemies within 500 AoE along the travel path (only active on the primary arrow). Drops a second Starfall that deals 50% damage on the impacted unit.

This Scepter upgrade is not only good in team fights, but also for clearing waves from afar. Everyone in the vicinity of the arrow gets hit for 300 damage (before reduction) and the arrow target gets hit with another Starfall for half the damage. That’s right, the target hits twice by Starfall – once for the full damage for being in the vicinity of the arrow and the second time for being hit by the arrow. A maximum duration stun Sacred Arrow does 413 damage to an enemy hero with the basic 25% magic resistance. A full duration Sacred Arrow with Aghanim’s Scepter does 777 damage(!), and that’s not even counting the damage to the others nearby. Typically as a support Mirana, you tend to go for the -3 seconds Sacred Arrow cooldown talent, and the Scepter works well in tandem with it. Once you hit level 25, the +2 Multishot Sacred Arrow cooldown just makes it all the better. Eul’s Scepter of Divinity is a necessity on support Mirana, but after that, Scepter could be an option (or maybe after Eul’s and Spirit Vessel).

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? Not for a support Mirana. Aghanim’s Shard is the ability that will bring back core Mirana because of the 1.5x critical strike, but it isn’t an item to be considered for support Mirana.

7) Nature’s Prophet (9/10)

Scepter Rework: Lowers Wrath of Nature cooldown from 85 to 60. Entangles all enemies it hits. Duration scales from 1.6 seconds up to 3.4 seconds at max bounce.

Nature’s Prophet as a support is a weird concept as the hero ends up getting more farm than most other supports because of Wrath of Nature, so farming an Aghanim’s Scepter is also a lot easier for NP than for other supports. A Wrath of Nature with Scepter that hits all enemy heroes in a team fight is like a mini Overgrowth, with affected opposition heroes disabled by Entangle. The initial durations were from 1.2 seconds to 3 seconds, but it was buffed from 1.6 to 3.4 seconds in Dota 2 patch 7.28, which wasn’t really necessary, but a change NP will more than welcome. With the 20% cooldown talent at level 20, it brings down the Wrath of Nature cooldown to 48 seconds, which helps in keeping lanes pushed out at all times.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? Not really. Nature’s Prophet’s Aghanim’s Shard isn’t one of the better ones and it doesn’t make too much sense to get it over a Scepter.

8) Vengeful Spirit (10/10)

Scepter Rework: Upon death, creates a strong-illusion of you that can cast all your spells and deals 100% damage and takes 100% damage. Illusion has 30% movement speed bonus. If the illusion is alive when you respawn, you will take its place. XP earned by your illusion is given to your hero.

Christmas came a bit early for Vengeful Spirit, as she got the best reworked Aghanim’s Upgrade of Dota 2 patch 7.28. She had a similar Scepter upgrade back in Dota 2 patch 6.86, but the illusion back then dealt only 50% damage and took 150% damage. Now, the illusion has 100% damage and takes 100% as well (more damage dealt and less damage taken than earlier). The illusion is faster than the actual hero, which makes it difficult to catch. But the best part is that it keeps earning XP for the hero, so it is basically like having two lives. Venge also spawns back at the place of the illusion, which means that if a situation requires buying back, Venge enters the fray right away in stead of requiring to teleport to the nearest location and walking. Back when Scepter spawned an illusion, ArtStlyle used to build a Scepter on support Venge right after getting two Bracers. There is a strong argument to be made to bring back that build with Venge’s most recently reworked Scepter.

PS: Even though the illusion can’t use items, item auras still work.

Is Aghanim’s Shard better? On a support Venge, no it isn’t. The Shard is a good upgrade for a core Vengeful Spirit with right click damage and even though it is beneficial as it can be used to reduce the opposition core’s damage, it isn’t being made full utilization of while playing as a support.

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