Dota 2 patch 7.30 was released on August 17, and it brought about a handful of hero changes.

15 heroes had at least one of their abilities reworked, with a big focus being on the Aghanim Shard upgrade. Anti-Mage is one of the affected heroes.

The spotlight has been shining on Gyrocopter, who can be played as an effective support due to Aghanim Shard’s damage. One of the biggest Aghanim Shard reworks that’s been overlooked however, is the new Counterspell.

What does Anti-Mage’s Aghanim Shard do?

Dota 2, Anti-Mage, Legacy of the Awakened
Credit: Valve

The new Aghanim Shard upgrades Counterspell, which naturally reduces the magic damage a hero takes by 45%. With the talent upgrade, Counterspell’s resistance increases up to 65%, which is a sizeable amount of magic mitigation for a hero named Anti-Mage.

The Aghanim Shard takes it one step further and reduces the damage of enemy spells when Anti-Mage is nearby. The upgraded Counterspell normally reduces enemy spell damage by 10%, and this effect is tripled if Anti-Mage is within 300 range of the enemy hero.

How effective is the new Aghanim Shard?

Anti-Mage, Guilt of the survivor
Credit: Valve

The new Aghanim Shard provides Anti-Mage with the ability to protect his allies during combat.

The hero naturally wants to be close to his enemies to deal damage, burn mana, and land a devastating Mana Void. The Shard upgrade provides perfect synergy with that “up close and personal” playstyle.

The Counterspell upgrade also allows Anti-Mage to go toe to toe with enemies he used to avoid in the past, with Leshrac as a prime example.

Leshrac deals a high amount of AoE spell damage at close range, so when he runs into fights with Diabolic Edict and Pulse Nova active, he tends to melt enemies fast. Anti-Mage was the exception — until now.

Aghanim Shard allows Counterspell to reduce all forms of spell damage, not just magic damage

One thing that is important to remember is that spell damage and magic damage aren’t the same thing. Magic damage is a damage type, while spell damage is any damage that comes from spells.

The new Anti-Mage Aghanim Shard reduces the enemy’s spell damage, which includes magic, pure, and physical damage spells as well. In the example with Leshrac, Anti-Mage is able to reduce the damage from Diabolic Edict, which deals pure damage.

This allows Anti-Mage to tank up against physical threats too. Bristleback’s Quill Spray for example, deals 30% less damage when next to Anti-Mage. This buff, combined with the buff to strength gain increasing from 1.3 to 1.6, means it will be harder to bring the hero down.

The Witch Hunter Anti-Mage set
Credit: Valve

It’s worth noting that Counterspell doesn’t reduce damage from all physical spells. Starbreaker and Swashbuckle for instance, will deal the same amount of damage.

All these buffs have allowed the hero to gain a positive win rate for the first time since Dota 2 patch 7.27. So far, in the pro scene, he’s been picked five times in ESL One Fall 2021, with four of those games resulting in victory.

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