ESL One Manila:
We didn’t know it at the time, but the last big LAN on 6.86 happened over the weekend. Our preview tournament for the Manila Major may have been anything but, seeing two of the biggest names getting bounced out during the group stages. Lanm’s EHOME squad and the new lineup for Shanghai Major winning Team Secret both failed to make it to the playoff, with EHOME failing to win a single game. CIS squad Empire, only participating thanks to a magnanimous gesture from ESL after re-forming their roster recently, proved their worthiness by defeating Secret twice and only dropping one map. The lackluster performance by the new Secret lineup in their first LAN was quite notable, giving rise to the idea that having two farm-focused core players in Arteezy and EternalEnvy may not be the best lineup for current DOTA.
The biggest story of the weekend, however, was Chinese squad Wings Gaming. Having qualified over Starladder winner VG.R, Wings showed off their very strong 5 man strategies over the weekend, beating Complexity twice during the group stages, taking a strong 2-1 series against Fnatic in the first playoff round, and capping it off with a 3-0 sweep of Liquid in the finals to avenge a 2-1 group stage loss to the same Liquid team. In similar fashion to VG.R’s Starladder run, Wings rode Bounty Hunter, Bat Rider, and Beast Master to victory, abusing the vision, roaming, and long range initiation potential of those three heroes to get pickoff after pickoff.
However, the incredible evolving metagame of 6.86 starting with dominance of Invoker and OD and ending with Beastmaster and Bat Rider has come to an end. On Monday, April 25th 2016, IceFrog finally decided to grace us with his next iteration of the masterpiece that is DOTA 2. I present to you: DOTA2 version 6.87.
6.87 is here! And also absolutely crazy:
The patch is out, it went live within hours of going on the Test client, and it has everything – Mechanics changes, item changes, hero changes, and seven (yes, you read that correctly) new items. I’ll do a concise rundown of the major changes, for an in-depth look at every change check out our video here.
The major mechanics changes you need to know:
Starting HP Increased from 180 to 200
HP per Strength increased from 19 to 20
Intelligence now increases your spell damage by 1% per 16 Intelligence points
These three really go hand in hand. The HP changes are there to standardize HP numbers to always end in 0 instead of crazy odd combinations like 1793 or what have you. The Intelligence spell damage scaling is mostly there to make up for the now slightly increased HP pools, as well as help casters scale a bit better into the late game. At 100 Intelligence you gain roughly 6% bonus, or a mere 18 damage added to a 300 damage spell. Not a huge difference and certainly not League of Legends levels of scaling.
Tier 2 tower damage now same as Tier 3
Towers now grand an armor aura to allied heroes (Tier 1 grants 1 armor, Tier 2/3/4 grants 3 armor)
Tower True Sight range reduced from 900 to 700 to match attack range
Teleport Scroll cost reduced from 75 to 50
The tower changes are there to hopefully reduce the effectiveness of early tower dives that have been occurring more and more as part of the 6.86 meta. Along with the Teleport Scroll changes, this will allow teams to both survive long enough for teammates to teleport in and will also allow for players to have TP scrolls at the ready to help against dives.
Melee creep experience reduced from 62 to 45
Ranged creep experience increased from 41 to 90
One of the biggest changes by far this patch, the ranged creep is now worth 40% of the experience for each creep wave. This is a massive change for laning dynamics as now the ranged creep is even more important to maintaining your level progression in the early game. One or two early ranged creep denies could be the difference between winning and losing a lane at any position, and now players will feel pressured and potentially put themselves in not so great positions to secure that extra experience. It will be very interesting to see the lane dynamics evolve with this huge change.
New Major Items:
Combines Orchid, Crystalys, and a 1000 gold recipe. As the now second most expensive item in the game at 7150 gold, this item is an interesting late-game amalgamation of Orchid and Crystalys. It gives int, damage, crit, and decreases the cooldown of the on-use silence from the Orchid to 11 seconds. The most interesting facet of the item is that all attacks made against the silence target now grant True Strike and a 1.35x crit (for comparison, the base crit on the item is 1.85x and Daedalus is 2.2x). This is an interesting change for teamfights, but since it’s still a silence debuff that can be removed with Manta Style, Diffusal Blade, or Black King Bar this item may not be as useful in the late late game as you may think.
:Combines an Ogre Club and Oblivion Staff. This is a relatively cheap new value item that has a very interesting passive for many melee heroes. Now you can get two hits off in quick succession, a potentially powerful interaction with many melee hero passives. Heroes such as Void and Spirit Breaker can bash more, Slark can steal more stats, Wraith King and Phantom Assassin can crit more, etc. Very strong early pickup potentially.
Combines a Dragon Lance and a Force Staff. Wow! Force Staff and the new Dragon Lance become very awesome buildup items for this incredible item. Incredibly good on ranged carriers and damage dealers that need mobility, and with the reduced cooldown on the force staff use (14 seconds down from 20) it’s even good for non-ranged heroes. The on-use is also insanely powerful when used on close enemies, allowing you to both create distance and still hit from any range. This item will be picked up quite a bit as an alternative to Sange and Yasha.
Other Big Item Changes:
Skull Basher Bash Damage reduced and recipe cost reduced.
Abyssal Blade now requires Skull Basher, Vanguard, and a 1550 Recipe.
Abyssal Blade cooldown reduced from 60 to 35
Once the supreme late game carry lockdown item, now Abyssal Blade becomes more of a midgame tank/utility item. If you need some early HP and lockdown it becomes incredibly useful though the price is not far reduced.
Blade Mail now returns damage before any kind of reduction, and returns it in the same type as it was received.
Blade Mail no longer ignores Spell Immune enemies.
This is the biggest item change in the patch. Previously Blade Mail would consider damage done AFTER mitigation from magic resist and armor, and the return damage was always considered magical making BKB a hard counter to the item. Now all damage is calculated before mitigation, meaning that high armor or high magic resist heroes will return the full damage they take. Physical damage or pure damage done to a Blade Mail target is now also returned as physical or pure, making BKB no longer an immediate counter to the item. It should be picked up a lot more now which can only be a good thing.
Big Hero Changes:
Axe Counter Helix damage type from Physical to Pure
Counter Helix damage reduced from 100/135/170/205 to 90/120/150/180
Axe is back, baby! With this change making him much stronger into the mid/lategame, plus the Blade Mail change, Axe is poised to become one of the best heroes of 6.87. His laning will be even stronger against high-armor melee carries, and the Blade Mail makes him beastly against heavy physical damage dealers like Sven, Phantom Assassin, and Juggernaut. Prepare for lots of Axe running at you!
Reworked Scepter on Earthshaker: Enchant Totem becomes a 900 range ground target ability that causes you to jump in the air and land at the target spot, casting enchant totem there.
This is an absolutely hilarious change. The previous Scepter buff for Earthshaker was so negligible that much cheaper items like Veil of Discord added more damage. This gives Earthshaker the equivalent of a Force Staff on a 5 second cooldown that stuns everything at the destination. While it probably won’t replace Blink Dagger, it makes Scepter an easy choice for second item for any Earthshaker. Plus it looks totally amazing, Chaos Dunk!
In case you missed it the first time, we have an in depth look at the rest of the patch here on Youtube. The full patch notes are available at www.dota2.com/687. This patch is going to be quite interesting with all the new items and changes, and we’ll get our first look at the professional meta with the WePlay LAN starting Thursday April 28th! What an exciting week for DOTA 2!