Patch 7.12 review: Pangolier and more

Just like how superheroes destroy buildings to save civilians, Valve disrupted DAC participants for us. The anteater has finally met the captain.

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(Image Credit: Melissa Doroquez)

Patch 7.12 is utilized as Valve’s solution to a possibly boring Major. The balance changes are much harsher than patch 7.10 and Pangolier is enabled in Captain’s Mode.

Big changes

  • Chen: Holy Persuasion can no longer target non-player allied creeps

Ridiculous nerf to the most feared hero before the patch. Chen is indeed valued so highly in the professional scene and is by far the most banned hero in the first ban phase.

This change is likely to stop players from drafting this hero at least during DAC. Perhaps the nerf is too hard, but it is a good way to get rid of the hero for a while.

  • Dark Seer: Vacuum AoE increased from 250/350/450/550 to 400/450/500/550
  • Dark Seer: Vacuum cooldown rescaled from 32 to 60/50/40/30
  • Dark Seer: Vacuum cast range rescaled from 500 to 450/500/550/600
  • Dark Seer: Vacuum Pull duration increased from 0.5 to 0.3/0.4/0.5/0.6
  • Dark Seer: Vacuum damage rescaled from 40/80/120/160 to 25/50/100/200
  • Dark Seer: Wall of Replica incoming illusion damage reduced from 400% to 300%
  • Dark Seer: Wall of Replica width increased from 1000 to 1300

Wall of Replica changes are great buffs. Vacuum AoE increase in early levels is also a great buff, probably even a greater buff than the Wall of Replica buffs, mainly because Vacuum is not the first skill to raise until maximum.

We might see this hero again soon. Dark Seer does well in creepy offlanes and this hero fits the Chinese deathball strategy. Vacuum cooldown can seem crazy at first, but compared to fountain trips, it is fine.

  • Enchantress: Untouchable slow rescaled from 40/70/100/130 to 20/60/100/140
  • Enchantress: Enchant cooldown rescaled from 30/24/18/12 to 55/40/25/10
  • Enchantress: Enchant slow increased from 2.25/3.5/4.75/6 to 3/4/5/6
  • Enchantress: Enchant dominate duration rescaled from 80 to 50/60/70/80
  • Enchantress: Impetus manacost rescaled from 55/60/65 to 40/55/70

The other neutral creep controller was also prominent in tournaments and as a result she got nerfed as well. Enchantress still can dominate neutral creeps, but not too many. Before this patch, Enchantress with zero experience can dominate three creeps at the same time. Now she can only have one.

This hero’s neutral creep control nerf is not so bad compared to Chen’s nerf. The other nerfs also do not affect this hero’s playstyle. This hero should still be drafted, at least in DAC since participants don’t have enough time to try new strats.

  • Io: Tether now sets your movement speed to match the tethered target’s speed
  • Io: Relocate cooldown increased from 120/100/80 to 130/110/90
  • Io: Tether no longer has a duration
  • Io: Tether movement speed rescaled from 10/12/14/16% to 7/10/13/16%
  • Io: Tether regen sharing rescaled from 1.5x to 1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5
  • Io: Base damage reduced by 4

Tether had longer duration than cooldown, but permanent Tether is still amazing. This change should make Tether off cooldown most of the time, making it easier for Io to change Tether targets for healing, buffing, slowing and escaping.

Movement speed change is a big buff in the early phase of the game. This hero is now the worst Boots of Speed user in the game.

  • Riki: Tricks of the Trade reworked. Instead of hitting every hero in the AoE once per second, it hits a random hero once per 0.5/0.45/0.4 seconds.
  • Riki: Tricks of the Trade will hit creeps if there are no heroes available
  • Riki: Tricks of the Trade duration increased from 3/4/5 to 4/5/6

Riki is commonly ignored in the professional scene, but when the hero gets drafted, we would see the stealth assassin walking around instead of killing creeps. Support Riki typically would not deal a lot of damage with Tricks of the Trade. Therefore, Riki’s ultimate skill was actually not much of an upgrade from Puck’s non-ultimate skill Phase Shift in terms of usefulness.

Tricks of the Trade now deals less damage when there are many enemy heroes in the AoE, but deals much more damage when there is only one hero. Riki should be played as a roamer and this change will help Riki kill enemies that wander alone.

Unfortunately, this hero is still weak against deathball strats. With six Chinese teams in DAC, this hero has little chance to shine for the next couple of weeks.

  • Shadow Demon: Demonic Purge slow now always scales linearly with time from 100% to 20%
  • Shadow Demon: Demonic Purge cooldown increased from 40 to 60 (affects charge replenish)
  • Shadow Demon: Demonic Purge duration increased from 5 to 7 seconds
  • Shadow Demon: Demonic Purge no longer roots non-hero units for 3 seconds
  • Shadow Demon: Demonic Purge now continuously dispels the target

Continuous dispel for seven seconds is good, but Demonic Purge still suffers from being a basic dispel despite the game having a lot of skills that are only affected by strong dispels or are even undispellable.

Demonic Purge can use another significant buff such as dealing strong dispel or the ability to dispel teammates as well, but the buffs granted in this patch are already pretty significant. It will be interesting to see if teams will start picking Shadow Demon.

  • Undying: Undying Zombie critical health attack speed boost increased from 50 to 75
  • Undying: Flesh Golem hero kill heal increased from 10% to 15/20/25%

Undying’s Tombstone was not a weak skill. The Undying Zombie buff might make the skill seem too strong in some situations, especially now that neutral creep stack bounty is increased from 15% to 20%. More incentive to stack results in more incentive to patrol the safelane, and zombies are usually happy against crowded safelanes.

Flesh Golem is an awkward skill for a hero like Undying. Unlike the hero’s other skills, Flesh Golem demands Undying to be durable. He is usually played as a support and Flesh Golem is often not used optimally due to him being too poor to be in the front. The Flesh Golem buff is a situational heal and does not contribute much in solving his issue with durability. With 750 Flesh Golem aura range, Undying need not be too close to enemy heroes, but it will be nice to see him do it.

Fun facts

  • Clarity: Mana Regeneration reduced from 3.2 to 3.0
  • Moon Shard: Attack Speed increased from 120 to 130

Using Clarity to allies can be done within 500 range, but if you are over 500 range away, you will walk until you are within 250 range before you use it. On the other hand, you can use Moon Shard to allied heroes and Lone Druid’s Spirit Bear regardless of range.

What heroes do you expect to see in Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018? Let us know in the comments below!