The best Aghanim’s Shards can make a significant difference in the outcome of a game.
Ever since the introduction of the Aghanim’s Shard there has been little emphasis on how important they are in Dota 2. While shards aren’t always necessary to purchase, the broken ones carry the potential to affect the game. Although the recent balancing patches have addressed Shards, there are still few upgrades that are overpowered. Here are the top five best Aghanim’s Shards you can buy in the game:
Pudge who was awfully out of meta is finally finding his way back after several buffs and viable additions from his shard. Pudge’s shard enables him to gobble up his alley heroes and heal them by 6% of their max HP. This is very useful in late game scenarios when some heroes need saves to win fights. Pudge can also make Aether Lens, which gives him significant hook range to save heroes from farther away.
Crystal Maiden’s shard enables her to move at a 75% reduced speed while channeling her ultimate. It also lets her cast other spells during the Freezing Field duration. This means she can lockdown targets with Frostbite or use her first skill to inflict even more magical damage to the enemy. However, what makes CM’s Aghanim’s Shard ability overpowered is that other things can buff her movement speed, ignoring the reduction of 75%. For example: During CM’s ultimate if she uses a Haste rune, it will not limit her movement to 75% of the Haste rune. A Haste rune gives the hero 550 movement speed, but CM’s shard will not affect this value when the rune is activated after starting the ultimate. This means she can roam around a fight with 550 movement speed while channeling her Freezing Field.
Bounty Hunter’s shard grants 35% damage reduction to him and lowers Shadow Walk’s cooldown by five seconds. Additionally, BH can stun enemies attacking out of invisibility. Although the shard does not sound very flashy in theory, it is incredibly strong in-game. A 35% damage reduction from a 1400 gold item provides insane value. It is incredible for absorbing major damage during team fights and bait enemy abilities to enable core heroes of the team. BH is also very difficult to deal with for support heroes, making him one of the top shard carriers in the game.
There was a recent nerf to Phantom Lancer’s shard in the 7.29b patch. However, the nerfs were not enough to balance his ability. Phantom Lancer is still one of the best heroes with the shard, thanks to its utility in both team fights and farming. Spirit Lance illusion dealing more damage to heroes makes PL tough to deal for enemy supports and PL can easily amplify his farm using his first skill on creep waves and neutral creep camps.
Let's look at the very underrated Riki’s shard in the meta. The shard enables Riki to cast a Sleeping Dart on an enemy hero, which puts the target to sleep for 4 seconds, unless the hero takes over 200 damage. This essentially means Riki and his team have a choice to either disable the target for four seconds or cast the stun from Sleeping Dart and hit with enough damage to kill the hero. When combined with Riki’s other abilities like Smoke Screen which silences the enemy for 6 seconds, the shard becomes powerful and effective against a lot of heroes.