Sick of Storm Spirit zipping out of your clutches with nothing but six Null Talismans? That’s coming to an end thanks to the 7.31d patch, which reworked Null entirely.
The Null Talisman now grants additional max mana instead of mana cost reduction, as well as a slight increase to mana regen. It’s a small change for most heroes who buy the item anyway—and maybe a slight nerf in later stages of the game—but it’s a death knell for Storm Spirit.
Goodbye and never see you again, Null Talisman Storm
The multiple-Nulls build singled-handedly boosted Storm to the top of many pros’ draft boards. It became a common sight to see this hero first-phased pick and banned—a rarity for heroes that can exclusively play mid.
What’s even rare is for pros to sell their Power Treads once 25 minutes hit in favor for yet more Nulls.
The issue isn’t that Storm becomes capable of one-shotting entire teams with so much mana cost reduction: it’s that he has so many opportunities to do so.
Since Ball Lightning is almost entirely percentage-based consumption, it’s supposed to limit even a farmed Storm with huge mana items from zipping all over the map. But that particular quirk also gives Storm a uniquely efficient interaction with mana cost reduction.
A Storm Spirit will the old Null could repeatedly trigger his ultimate, instead of needing to conserve his mana appropriately. It’s even more difficult to tolerate because this strategy isn’t locked behind a difficult to get item, like Earthshaker’s old Fae Grenade-Enchant Totem combo, as you can easily gain access to it with 505 gold.
With the new Nulls, Storm has to build actual items now. The Aghanim’s Shard and Scepter build is still effective for clearing out entire teams with Overload bounces, but at least he needs to be conscientious about mana usage instead of zipping in and out scot-free.