Neutral items received an overhaul in Dota 2 patch 7.30. Neutral items have gone through multiple balance changes since their introduction, and the latest patch adds another iteration to that.
Neutral items have been a hot topic since their introduction to the game. While some players enjoy the variety and new mechanics introduced by these items, other players, particularly in the pro scene, find the forced RNG too gimmicky and occasionally, flat out unfair.
New rotation of neutral items introduced in Dota 2 patch 7.30
IceFrog previously removed 14 neutral items in patch 7.28, and added 14 new ones. This patch has a smaller rotation, adding eight neutral items while removing seven.
Among the items that were removed, Minotaur horn, Illusionist Cape, and Ballista are the big ones. These items have proven to be absurdly strong on certain heroes. Illusonist Cape and Ballista for example, are situational, but incredibly deadly on heroes who make illusions and ranged damage dealers respectively.
It will take some time to figure out how strong the new neutral items are. However, it’s already clear that Pig Pole is one of the best tier-one items. Tier four and tier five items all look situationally powerful as well.
Five neutral items are now dropped per tier
The biggest complaint among pro players about neutral items is the disparity between teams. In unlucky situations, one team might get multiple strong drops, while the opposing team gets most duds and unusable ones.
This disparity was clearly seen in the match between Na’Vi and Team Liquid when Michael “miCKe” Vu received Apex on Morphling. This allowed his hero to hit for more than 1000 damage, while being practically immune to physical damage.
To combat that inequality, both teams now get five neutral items per tier. This means there is likely to be more overlap of neutral items between players, reducing the RNG factor.
This is also a qualify of life buff in Dota 2 patch 7.30. Previous patches only had four neutral items per tier in a game with five players per team, which meant that one unlucky player would be forced to play without a neutral item for the first 17 minutes.
Flicker has been significantly nerfed in Dota 2 patch 7.30
- Cooldown increased from 4 to 5s
- Now blinks in place if the owner received damage in the last 3 seconds
Flicker was seen as one of the strongest tier four items in the game, for it provided a large boost to movement speed, a vital stat in Dota 2.
While Flicker’s movement speed bonus is a plus, Flicker’s real selling point was its four-second dispel and mini-blink. This made Flicker users hard to pin down and disable, as demonstrated in the match between Team Magma and CDEC.
Flicker’s cooldown received a big nerf in Dota 2 patch 7.30. One second extra cooldown means a additional 25% downtime on the ability.
Flicker also no longer blinks heroes forward if they received damage in the last three seconds, greatly reducing the item’s mobility.
Dota 2 patch 7.30 finally nerfs Spider Legs
- No longer considered a boot
- Movement Speed Bonus reduced from 65 to 25
Spider Legs is the Flicker of tier four items. Spider Legs provides users with more movement speed than most boots do, which frees up an inventory slot.
Spider Legs drop time tends to coincide with the carry’s power spike, between 27 to 37 minutes. Most carries would start running out of inventory space around this time, so being able to backpack boots while holding on to a cheap but effective damage item like Crystalis can be game-changing.
Additionally, Spider Legs provided players with free pathing for three seconds, which allowed players to have some creative escapes.
With the changes to overpowered neutral items, along with a new season and five drops per neutral item tier, Dota 2 patch 7.30 is looking like the best iteration for the concept so far.
You can find the full list of changes on the Dota 2 patch 7.30 official page.