Dota 2 patch 7.28 was released five days ago, when the concept of Aghanim’s Shard was introduced. It didn’t take too long for the community to get accustomed to the most recent magical crystal to be introduced in the game, just as it took just a small time to relealize which changes were good and which ones weren’t. After observing the effects of the patch, IceFrog and Valve have released a follow up balance patch to even out the things that seemed either too underwhelming or overwhelming. The patch is a combination of nerfs and buffs, to skills and Aghanim’s Shards upgrades. The entire patch notes can be found here. The biggest changes to have come out of patch 7.28a are the buffs to Outworld Destroyer and Lifestealer, who felt really underwhelming after patch 7.28 was released.
Outworld Destroyer (feels better than Devourer, doesn’t it?!) got a name change in Dota 2 patch 7.28, but sadly, that was the only good thing he received. A hero that has been subject to an ample number of changes in the last few years, the latest set of changes didn’t do him a whole lot of good to bring him back from the astral prison he was in (although he was getting picked a bit towards the end of the last patch as a counter to certain heroes). When the patch released, OD’s pub win rate was somewhere around 46-47% according to Dotabuff. After patch 7.28, it plummetted to 36-37%; after what were supposed to be buffs to the hero. Buffs to his movement speed, two of his abilities and talents will surely help in increasing that abysmal win rate. Perhaps it also just a matter of time before players get used to the new OD, rather than just the need for buffs. Either ways, if this does not improve his win rate, there will be more buffs incoming for him in Dota 2 patch 7.28b. One of the areas where the hero could get a better deal is the Aghanim’s Shard upgrade, which for OD does not seem to be the most lucrative item to buy.
Lifestealer got the hard end of the bargain when patch 7.28 was released. There were quite a few carries who had established their dominance in patch 7.27 and of them all, LS probably got hit hardest by the nerf hammer when Open Wounds, an ability associated with the hero for ages (since Dota 2 patch 6.49) , was taken away and added as an Aghanim’s Shard ability. Just like OD, Lifestealer’s win rate went down after the patch released by a good 4-5%, and patch 7.28a tries to right some of those wrongs. Open Wounds was a tool for him to close the gap between him and a ranged hero or any fast moving hero for that matter. With that gone, it hampers Lifestealer’s ability to get up close and personal. Ghoul Frenzy, while also provides the slow, needs that initial right click to connect to have the slow effect, which leaves him being open to be kited or use Rage in situations he didn’t have to. Additionally, the Open Woulds Shard ability had a significant mana cost, which is at least something this patch deals with. The increase in base damage should make life a little easier in lane and the 4% increase in level 1 Ghoul Frenzy might be the change (along with the base damage increase) that LS needs to be more of threat in lane.
Other than these two prominent changes, Dota 2 patch 7.28a also brings with it buffs to many a Aghanim’s Shard upgrades.
A few heroes also saw their Shard powers limited after it seemed they were a bit too good.
A lot of balance changes coming in with patch 7.28a, which gives all the players the chance to try out somethings again to get an idea of what will fly in the new meta that is developing. Aghanim’s Shards still seem to be at the center of the storyline and probably will continue to be for the new few weeks.
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