The 7.26a patch for Dota 2 has arrived, and with it, the movement speed bonus from boots and other movement speed-increasing items have been reverted from being a percentage increase to being a flat increase in value.
In addition, the XP bonus for kill streaks has been reduced while a number of heroes including Alchemist, Bounty Hunter, Phoenix, and Pugna have also been nerfed.
The 7.26a patch follows in the footsteps of the relatively minor 7.26 patch, which reverted the additions of some ‘perks’ to hero attributes alongside reducing kill streak gold as well as gold bounties across the board.
The attribute perks removed include bonus Magic Resistance, Spell Amplification, and Movement Speed for each attribute point in Strength, Intelligence and Agility, respectively, which was added in the 7.13 patch.
Boots and movement speed-increasing items
7.26a reverts boots and other movement speed-increasing items to granting a flat movement speed instead of the percentage increase introduced in the 7.20 patch.
Boots of Speed, Power Treads, Arcane Boots, and Phase Boots now grant 45 movement speed instead of their previous 15% movement speed increase. Guardian Greaves and Tranquil Boots in its inactive state both now grant 45 movement speed, although when Tranquil Boots is active it will grant 75 movement speed.
Meanwhile, Boots of Travel now grants 110 movement speed on its base level and 130 when upgraded, instead of the 38/44% increase it had before.
The neutral item boots now also grant a flat movement speed bonus, with Spider Legs, Force Boots, and Woodland Striders now granting 65, 115, and 140 movement speed, respectively.
In addition, another movement-speed increasing item in Yasha now grants 20 movement speed instead of an 8% increase. Items that use Yasha as a component are also affected by this change, with Manta Style also granting 20 movement speed, while Sange and Yasha, Yasha and Kaya, and the Trident now all grant 30 movement speed.
The reverted changes now make it so that heroes with lower base movement speeds such as Crystal Maiden will no longer be at a huge disadvantage compared to heroes with higher base movement speeds when it comes to mobility. Back when boots and other movement speed-increasing items provided percentage increases, it was commonplace to see a Crystal Maiden with boots still being outrun by other heroes with higher base movement speeds even without boots.
Spirit Vessel has been significantly buffed in this patch, as it now provides a negative aura that reduces health regeneration, heals and lifesteal by 20% for enemies in a 1200 area-of-effect. While the item’s Soul Release debuff regen reduction has been reduced from 60% to 35% as a result, its new aura effect means it will still reduce all health regen for the target of its active debuff by 55% on top of affecting other enemies in its area-of-effect.
To balance out the above changes, Spirit Vessel’s recipe cost has been increased from 750 to 1000 gold while also losing its previous movement speed bonus since it no longer requires Wind Lace as a component.
Eye of Skadi
Eye of Skadi has also been massively buffed by this patch, as it now passively reduces all regen, heals, and lifesteal by 35% of the target being attacked by its bearer. Eye of Skadi takes this health regen debuff away from Silver Edge, which first had it as a 50% health regen reduction in the 7.25 patch.
Expect to see more carry heroes build up Eye of Skadi in tandem with the new Spirit Vessel from their other cores or supports to counter heroes such as Alchemist, Timbersaw, and Slark or the mass heal strategies used to great effect by teams such as OG.
In addition to the major changes stated above, other items including Ring of Basilius, Headdress of Regeneration, Soul Ring, Vladmir’s Offering, Mekansm, and Pipe of Insight had their recipe costs increased.
Due to the reduction of overall gold gain brought about by the 7.26 patch, Alchemist was indirectly buffed due to his innate ability to create massive amounts of gold for himself thanks to his Greevil’s Greed ability.
However, 7.26a brings Alchemist more in line with the rest of the hero roster by reducing the amount of gold he gains from Greevil’s Greed. The ability’s base gold bonus was reduced from 4 to 3 while its maximum gold bonus per level was also nerfed from 20/24/28/32 to 18/22/26/30. Finally, the Bounty Rune multiplier Alchemist gets from Greevil’s Greed was also reduced from 2/2.5/3/3.5 to 1.5/2/2.5/3.
Bounty Hunter, much like Alchemist, was also indirectly buffed by the overall gold gain reduction introduced by the 7.26 patch because of his own innate ability to generate gold with Jinada and Track.
7.26a also hits Bounty Hunter’s money-making abilities by reducing the gold bonus he gets from every enemy hero killed under the effects of Track from 150/250/350 to 130/225/320.
Chen has been a popular first-phase pick in competitive matches for the past couple of patches due to his strong laning presence and heal amplification capabilities thanks to his Divine Favor passive.
While Divine Favor’s heal amplification mechanic has been left untouched, the ability’s health regeneration bonus was significantly reduced in its first three levels from 2/3/4 to 1.25/2.5/3.75. This change should reduce Chen’s impact in the early laning phase by making it so that he and his laning partner could no longer just shrug off any damage they may receive.
Keeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light continues to be one of the strongest support heroes in the current meta, even after the significant nerfs he received from patch 7.25c.
7.26a further reduces Keeper of the Light’s early game impact by increasing the cooldown of his Blinding Light ability from being 14 seconds in all levels to a per-level scaling cooldown of 20/18/16/14 seconds. His team fight presence has also been toned down slightly as the cooldown of his Will-O-Wisp ultimate has been increased from 120 to 130 seconds at all levels.
Phoenix has also emerged as one of the strongest support heroes in the meta as of late, which prompted Icefrog to hit the cosmic fire bird with the nerf bat. Phoenix’s early game presence has been mitigated as the cooldown of his primary damage ability early on, Fire Spirits, has been increased for its first three levels from 45/40/35 to 51/44/37.
In addition, the hero’s Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade no longer allows him to cast Sun Ray during his Supernova ultimate. Instead, this mechanic has been transferred to his Level 20 talent, replacing the previous bonus 1.25-second stun duration from Supernova talent.
While this change allows Phoenix players to cast Sun Ray without having to buy Aghanim’s Scepter, selecting that talent means that they will have to forego the mobility granted by the +1400 Icarus Dive Cast Range Level 20 talent.
Pugna has also been a more popular pick as of late, though more so as a Position 4 support instead of a core as part of mass heal strategies.
As such, 7.26a nerfs support Pugna by reducing the cast range of his Decrepify ability from a constant 700 range to a per-level scaling range of 400/500/600/700. Nether Ward’s duration has also been reduced from a constant 30 seconds to 400/500/600/700.
While those changes won’t affect core Pugna as much, playing the hero as a support will be a bit harder since you will need more levels in order to have both Decrepify and Nether Ward be in their full effectiveness as before. With that said, the hero’s healing potential, thanks to his Life Drain ultimate, remains untouched for now.
To see the full list of changes that came with the 7.26a patch, check out the patch notes here.