The Dota 2 7.31b patch released today, a small patch with the biggest nerf targeted at stacking mana cost reduction.
Tiny, Batrider, and Undying were the three heroes that received the biggest nerfs. A few heroes received small buffs, including Morphling, Naga Siren, and Pudge, but it was the reworked Techies that came out of 7.31b with the most benefits.
The Primal Beast didn’t receive any changes in this patch, but got a small update of his own just one day after 7.31.
Biggest changes in Dota 2 7.31b
Null Talismans now stack diminishingly
Mana cost reduction now stacks diminishingly as a whole, but it was Null Talismans that proved to be the biggest culprit.
In 7.31, Null Talismans and Arcane Blink are the only purchasable sources of mana cost reduction, with the others tied to random events such as the Arcane Rune and Fairy’s Trinket.
But since Nulls were so cheap, and also doubles their potency in the 25th minute, the new trending build was to stack Null Talismans on a mana-intensive hero—particularly Storm Spirit—and purchase Arcane Blink. This made spells cost practically nothing, and allowed a hero like Storm Spirit to Ball Lightning great distances.
Tiny comes back down to earth
When Aghanim’s Shard became available at 15 minutes in the new patch, Tiny’s win rate shot up dramatically.
Tree Throw becoming permanent—despite its nerfed numbers—five minutes earlier than usual meant that it was nearly impossible for any hero to match a hard carry Tiny’s farming speed. Coupled with his immense natural bulk and armor from Grow, Tiny became a foreboding damaging force that one-shots supports, outfights any carry, and crumples buildings like paper.
Tiny’s Grow now gives him less armor per level, as well as making the bonus tree damage scale in 7.31b.
Batrider is no longer a right-click carry
Batrider’s new Shard upgrade, which gave him the ability to stack Sticky Napalm with every attack, briefly made him one of the best damage dealers in the game. Besides a brief period where, somehow, the ability was able to be triggered by Batrider’s illusions, high-level players were building Witch Blade and stacking attack speed on him.
It proved to be synergistic, since Witch Blade’s damage-over-time was also buffed by Napalm’s damage, making it doubly efficient for him to be constantly attacking, and functioning like a Ranged Ursa that could also fly over walls and lock down targets.
7.31b changed the Shard to trigger only on 50 percent of attacks. To compensate for the drastic damage loss, Bat received a consolatory buff to his movement speed, and a lowered mana cost on his ultimate Flaming Lasso.
7.31 introduced sweeping changes to attack types, introducing the piercing ability to tag units that deal more damage to creeps but less to standard units.
Unfortunately, Undying’s zombies escaped the initial scrutiny. They used to deal piercing damage, but were passed over in 7.31, which made them deal much more damage to heroes than expected. It also contributed to Undying receiving a major jump in win rate.
The zombies retain their attack type, but have received a major nerf in their damage numbers to compensate for the change.
Techies get more explosive
The contentious Techies rework has gotten many players to jump on the demolition crew, but their success has been abysmal. In more than 1,000 pro-level pubs, Techies only have a win rate slightly above 38 percent. Some quick buffs were much-needed.
Techies’ Blast Off now scales based on their current HP instead of their max, making it much less painful to jump into enemies—at the cost of slightly reduced damage throughout the levels.
The new skill Sticky Bomb also has an additional slow with its explosion, whereas previously it only slowed when it was attached to an enemy. Reactive Taser also now has scaling, making it less of a one-point wonder, with an increase to 3.3 seconds of disarm at max level.
You can read the full patch notes here.