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Dawnbreaker – Dota 2 Patch 7.29, Item Changes Analysis

Dota 2 patch 7.29, also known as Dawnbreaker, has finally arrived. As usual, IceFrog decided to mess around with the balance of the items, either buffing or nerfing them, depending on how he wants to shape the new meta. In this article, I will cover most of the big changes and how I think they will impact the game.

Goodbye Necronomicon, Goodbye Lycan and Beastmaster

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This item is the main reason why heroes like Lycan and Beastmaster thrived over the years. Quite often, you’d see Lycan players skip everything just so they can buy the first Necronomicon book and start killing enemy heroes around the map. With Beastmaster it was the same. The hero would buy boots and then rush Necronomicon 1. Arc Warden is another popular hero when it comes to this item.

The question is: now that the Necronomicon is out of the game, what’s going to happen with all of these heroes? In my opinion, it’s going to be very hard to replace the standard build. And because of that, their pick rate is probably going to drop sharply. I can only imagine Lycan and Beastmaster players, who spent hundreds or even thousands of hours spamming these heroes, reading the patch notes and finding out that their number 1 item choice has been removed from the game. What a tragedy!

Goodbye Shared Tangos

This is another massive change brought by Dota 2 patch 7.29. Usually, the early game was made easier for midlaners by their teammates, via what is called tango sharing. In effect, if you were one of the team’s supports, you would give 2 of your tangos to your midlane Templar Assassin or Queen of Pain in order to minimize their consumable costs and help them get faster to a Bottle or some other item that provides regeneration. But now that option is pretty much gone, due to the following change made by Dawnbreaker: shared tangos expire after 40 seconds. So if you don’t use your tango shortly after you have received it, it’s gone. And obviously, you don’t want to use it if you don’t have to.

With this item change, IceFrog practically nerfed the midlane by 90 gold. And this 90 extra gold that mid heroes will have to spend on tangoes might make a huge difference in the midlane match-ups. Because it’s practically translated into 2-3 last hits.

The Creep Damage of Battle Fury Got Nerfed

The creep cleave damage of one of the most used items in the game went from 50% to 40%. That’s a 20% nerf. Will it deter people from buying the item? It remains to be seen. I think that Juggernauts and Trolls will continue to use it in spite of this nerf, simply because their way of dealing damage to enemy heroes is greatly enhanced by it. So it’s not just about the creeps. Sure, you’ll farm just a bit slower. But overall the item’s still worth it, even with the cleave damage reduction and the mana regen reduction (from 3.25 to 2.75).

Abyssal Blade No Longer Has Blink

This is a huge nerf I think, because the blink effect is what made it so unpredictable. Players often had the feeling that as long as they’re some distance away from the enemy carry, nothing bad can happen. They would practically underestimate or neglect the Abyssal Blade’s ability and have a false sense of security near Anti-Mages and Ursas. That allowed carries to get a lot of kills on unsuspecting supports. Because you could double-blink using both the Blink Dagger or a blink ability and then immediately use your Abyssal Blade’s ability.

In spite of losing its surprise element, Abyssal Blade will likely continue to be bought quite often. Because its price has gone down significantly. The recipe is 200 gold cheaper and the overall cost is 300 gold cheaper because of the Vitality Booster cost reduction.

Swift Blink No Longer Grants Formula 1 Speed

If you got used to moving like a race car, that’s no longer possible. Swift Blink no longer ignores the maximum movement speed allowed by the game.

Wards Are Now Fully Deniable If Located in a Spawn Camp Box

I think this is a welcome change that prevents people from sabotaging their teams. Quite often, we see players raging for some reason and then blocking all of the neutral camps for their teammates. In turn, this prevents the creeps from respawning. No creeps, no farm. So the game ends much faster because of the disadvantage accumulated every minute.

If your teammate placed a ward inside a spawn camp box, now you can deny it from full health.

Another interesting change here is the fact that Sentry wards cost just 50 gold instead of 75.

Fewer Town Portal Scrolls

In Dota 2 patch 7.29 you no longer get 3 Town Portal Scrolls at the start of the game. Instead, you only get one. And their cost is no 100 gold instead of 90. The good part is that you always get a TP scroll on death.

Armlet of Mordiggian Got Big Buffs

With patch 7.29, IceFrog seems determined to make Armlet popular again. Many players used to buy the item on their Huskar, Lifestealer, and even Legion Commander. Now that Armlet’s active ability only has a 40 HP/s life drain and gives +6 armor, I think that for many strength heroes it is once again viable.

The Energy and Vitality Boosters Got Cheaper

Energy Booster now costs 800 gold instead of 900. Vitality Booster costs 1000 instead of 1100. So if you like heroes that buy mana boots, you’re going to be happy.

Black King Bar No Longer Starts With a 10 Seconds Active

The duration of the BKB effect has been modified from 10/9/8/7/6/5 seconds to 9/8/7/6 seconds. This is great for the late game but a bit annoying for the early game. However, given the fact that you only get to use the 10 seconds duration once but then use the 5 seconds many times, the 1 second increase on the minimum duration is more than worth it. Because you’ll get to enjoy it quite a bit.

Bottle Got Nerfed, Again

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The cost of the Bottle is now 675 instead of 625. The health regen went from 125 to 115. The mana regen went from 75 to 65. Everyone is going to do their best to avoid this item from now on, because it’s no longer a good deal in the early game. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get the rune and the mana/HP regen could be replaced with better items.