Expect to see a few less Vanguards — an item that’s dominated pro play in 7.33 — in the upcoming Bali Major.

Valve dropped the Dota 2 patch 7.33d this morning, which focused mostly on nerfs. 45 heroes received minor changes, with overperforming heroes like Windranger, Void Spirit, and Medusa, receiving the heaviest hits.

But the biggest nerf was probably to the omnipresent item Vanguard — a staple for offlaners in the current meta.

Why the Octarine Core change is actually a Vanguard nerf in Dota 2 patch 7.33d

Dota 2 Batrider Burning Jack Bomber
Credit: Valve

The Vanguard numbers received small tweaks:

  • Health regen bonus decreased from 4.75 to 4.5
  • Damage block decreased from 56/28 to 50/25 (melee/ranged)

But part of why the item was so popular was due to its ability to be disassembled. The painful nerf to the item was a change to the components in Octarine Core — now requiring two Void Stones instead of Perseverance.

The Ring of Health could be used for a Pipe of Insight for heroes that liked auras, and both components could be used for Octarine Core. The item became so popular, it became practically the first item pickup for heroes that never bought it, like Spirit Breaker, Timbersaw, and Batrider. When combined with Arcane Boots, they represented three of the components needed for Octarine Core last patch.

Vanguard will likely continue to be a staple, efficient item for offlaners. No other choice replicates its efficient health regeneration and damage block, allowing Vanguard-buyers to stay in the lane while their support roams aggressively. It can still be disassembled for Pipe of Insight, and the remaining Vitality Booster can be turned into a series of tank items like Heart of Tarrasque, Aeon Disk, or Soul Booster.

Octarine Core losing its health regen bonus and gaining mana regen is sort of a sidegrade, with some heroes likely preferring one or the other. Considering mana regen gets more important later in the game for farming and staying on the map compared to health regen, it’s probably a minor buff overall.

You can read the full patch notes here.

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