Explore the biggest losers in the Dota 2 Patch 7.34c update, uncovering the Heroes and items most impacted and how the changes could reshape the game's meta
It's that time again! The new Dota 2 Patch 7.34c rolls out, shaking up the meta, Heroes, and strategies we've grown accustomed to. Some rise, while others fall. In this article, we'll take a closer look at which Heroes and items have been on the losing end of the changes.
Heroes Hit the Hardest
The adjustments made in Dota 2 Patch 7.34c have redefined the playing field for several Heroes. While some merely got a slap on the wrist, others were handed significant nerfs that could impact their pick and win rates. Let’s take a look at the Heroes who got hit the hardest with this update.
Beastmaster's unique combination of vision and pushing prowess has taken a hit. The increased Mana Cost for Call of the Wild Hawk from 30 to 50 may seem insignificant at first, but when spammed in the laning phase, it's bound to strain his Mana pool. Furthermore, the reduction in the Hawk's Base Health decreasing from 250/375/500/675 to 200/325/450/625 makes it easier to kill, hindering its primary role as a scouting tool. But the most notable change is to Drums of Slom, which no longer takes illusion damage amplification into account for healing. This severely impacts its effectiveness in illusion-based strategies, dampening Beastmaster's versatility.
The celestial warrior Dawnbreaker has also faced some blows in this patch. But this was bound to happen. She was too strong and was one of the strongest Heroes in the previous patch. So a nerf was needed to balance the Hero. Dawnbreaker’s Base Movement Speed reduction from 310 to 300 slows down her early game rotations, and the reduction in Base Strength from 27 to 25 makes her more susceptible to harass in the laning phase. This was a good nerf to make the Hero more balanced right before The International 2023.
Earth Spirit, known for his high mobility and disruptive capabilities has been considerably nerfed. The decrease in his Base Intelligence from 20 to 18 reduces his spell-casting potential. The adjustments in his Talents (Level 10 Talent – Rolling Boulder Distance decreased from +325 to +200, and Level 15 Talent – Rolling Boulder Damage decreased from +120 to +110) further dent his mid-game impact. Still, Earth Spirit will be a good pick in many scenarios.
The guardian of the forest, Treant Protector has faced considerable nerfs in Dota 2 Patch 7.34c. Nature's Grasp's increased Mana Cost from 75/80/85/90 to 90, and Leech Seed's longer cooldowns from 18/16/14/12 seconds (s) to 24/20/16/12s particularly affect his early game harassment and sustain. The most significant change, however, is the increased cooldown for Overgrowth, making it less readily available in early game team fights. Overgrowth’s cooldown increased from 100s to 120/110/100s. The cooldown is much longer in lower levels.
The fiery Ember Spirit hasn't been spared either. The reduction in his Base Health Regen from 1.25 to 0.5 makes laning more challenging, forcing players to invest more in regenerative items. Moreover, the increased Mana Cost for Sleight of Fist from 50 to 60 affects his harass and farm efficiency, especially in the early to mid-game. He might have Mana issues because of this change since Ember Spirit has to use Sleight of Fist regularly. These nerfs can affect Ember Spirits' win and pick rate in TI 12.
Items Taking a Hit
Dota 2 Patch 7.34c wasn't just hard on Heroes – several items, both regular and neutral have seen changes that might reduce their impact on the game.
Solar Crest, often sought for its movement speed augmentation, now offers a reduced shine movement speed change which decreased from 18% to 15%. This change makes its chase and escape potential slightly less formidable. Arcane Ring (Neutral Item) was a favorite for many intelligence-based Heroes. It now offers one less point in intelligence bonus (Intelligence bonus decreased from +8 to +7). Though minor, this could sway choices when considering which neutral items to keep as the game progresses.
The damage bonus reduction (Courage Damage bonus decreased from +18 to +16) of Spark of Courage (Neutral Item) might make it a less appealing option for damage-hungry Heroes. Though the change is slight, it can make a difference in close encounters. The all-rounded Vambrace (Neutral Item) now gives less in terms of other attribute bonuses (Other Attributes bonus decreased from +4 to +2). This might see it being swapped out more often for items that provide more specialized bonuses.
The Impact on Players and Strategies
With these adjustments, players will be forced to reassess their Hero choices, especially in the drafting phase of competitive games. Heroes like Beastmaster, who offered versatile strategies centered around vision and push, might see reduced pick rates due to his nerfs.
Support players who favored Heroes like Earth Spirit or Treant Protector will need to be more judicious with their skill usage, given the increased costs and cooldowns.
For core players, particularly those favoring Ember Spirit and Dawnbreaker, the laning phase will be more challenging. They might need to rely more on supports to sustain or adjust their item builds to counteract the nerfs.
A New Meta on the Horizon?
While Dota 2 Patch 7.34c presents challenges for these Heroes, it also opens the door for new strategies and picks to emerge. As players adapt to these changes, we're likely to witness shifts in the meta, with other previously underpicked Heroes rising to prominence. Seasoned players and newcomers alike will be enticed to delve deeper into the patch, rediscovering and redefining the potential of long-neglected Heroes. They will surely forge novel strategies and thereby shape the next dominant meta before TI 12. This cyclical resurgence embodies the essence of Dota 2 – a game where change is the only constant, and adaptability is the ultimate skill.
Dota 2 Patch 7.34c can be a significant turning point in the game's meta before The International 2023. Heroes that once reigned supreme found themselves pushed to the sidelines a bit. However, the fluid nature of Dota 2 ensures that no Hero stays down for too long. As players adapt and strategize around the new changes, it's only a matter of time before we see a shift in the meta once again. Stay tuned for more news, articles and guides related to Dota 2.