But perhaps the most shocking change came to three stalwart items in Dota 2: Bracers, Wraith Bands, and Null Talismans. They’ve been around forever, and though have been tweaked here and there, 7.31 gave the stats trio one of the strangest buffs in the game’s history: their stats now double after 25 minutes.
Often known as early-game filler items, they have waxed and waned in popularity over the years. But in their current iteration, these items might even be considered overpowered.
Why are Bracers, Wraith Bands, and Null Talismans overpowered?
In Dota 2, items don’t scale linearly in cost. The Ironwood Branch, which gives +1 all stats for 50 gold, is one of the game’s most cost-efficient items per stat. Compare it to the Ultimate Orb, which costs 42 times more at 2,100 gold for just 10 times the stats.
These three accessories provide great value because you’ve already paid for your money’s worth—but they suddenly become many times more valuable once 25 minutes hit. Even core players generally have one or two empty slots after 25 minutes.
A Bracer becomes 200 health, just 50 less than a Vitality Booster, and strength heroes get 16 damage from the strength and damage combined. At this point, every strength offlaner considers at least one Bracer to round off their early-game build—which literally grows in strength later on in the game!
A Wraith Band gives 20 attack speed and nearly five armor after 25 minutes. It’s a great first item for many agility carries, but is arguably even better on low-armor strength carries that need supplements to their survivability and farming speed.
But amongst these powerful items, Null Talisman still stands out. Even after the nerfs to Null Talismans in 7.31b, the intelligence counterpart is arguably the most powerful of the trio. Aside from the expensive late-game option Arcane Blink, no other purchased item provides mana cost reduction. It’s incredibly efficient for spellcasters, who love the extra mana from intelligence, mana regeneration, and mana cost reduction—a triple whammy of wonderful stats.
Stacking five of these items still might not be the best idea, since you lose utility with active items like Eul’s Scepter and Orchid Malevolence. But a couple of these powerful items will serve you well in the lane—and get a nice boost later in the game.