The International 2019 ended about a couple of weeks back and 7.22g update was rolled out to tweak the TI meta. The TI meta was dominated by IO ( guardian wisp), Alchemist, Chen, Tiny and Enchantress . The new patch, 7.22g has made some significant changes to these heroes and buffing some other heroes that were unpopular at TI.
- Basic Neutrals now give 5% less bounty
This is a small change made to the game play to reduce the pace of the game and increase average game time.
- Magic resistance reduced from 6% to 5%
A small change which mainly affects offlane strength heroes that would stack up on bracers for early lane advantage.
- Armor reduced from 5 to 4
Another small change to nerf phase boots. Chainmail in conjecture with Ring of Basilius would give one side a significant advantage over the other in terms of harassing and lane prowess.
Hand Of Midas
- Recipe cost increased from 1650 to 1750
This nerf is directly going to affect support heroes that want to get a quick midas. Enigma is the hero that comes in mind while discussing this nerf. Carries won’t be affected by this change too much (a matter of farming 2-3 creeps more).
Medallion of Courage
- Armor reduced from 7 to 6
Nerf reflected from changes made to Chainmail in 7.22g .
- Armor reduced from 6 to 5
Nerf reflected from changes made to Chainmail in 7.22g.
- Stock replenish time increased from 70s to 85s
The 70s stock replenish time for Sentries was introduced very recently. However, it never felt like there was a lack of sentries in the game. Now since the replenish time has increased a bit, Sentries might feel a little more rare and the supports will have to be careful while placing them.
- Armor Reduced from 12 to 10
- Recipe cost increased from 300 to 400
Another change reflected by changes to Chainmail/Medallion Of Courage. Nerfs to heroes such as BristleBack, Nightstalker (offlane strength heroes). I don’t think this is going to stop players from buying this item. It’s still a very strong item in my opinion.
During TI, Alchemist was picked 50 times and yielded a win percentage of about 58%. He was also one of the heroes with the highest win rates for the past few weeks. I guess that justifies the nerf to the hero. The most notable change is that Chemical Rage no longer provides mana regeneration. Thus forcing players to invest in clarities and spending more time at the fountain (or even suggesting your team-mates to pick Rylai ).
Other big change in 7.22g is the tweak to Alchemist’s massive power spike at around level 15. 20 damage is a lot, and after this nerf, carry players might prefer picking the 400 health talent instead.
Mangix the Brewmaster has been getting many small buffs from Icefrog every patch. The buff he received here in 7.22g isn’t a really major one and it depends on how well you micro the wind panda in a team-fight. What I’m sure of is Panda players would welcome the change with a smile.
Aghanim’s on every hero seemed like a really good idea and people were confused when they were introduced to Brood Aghs. It was broken. It would give Brood the abilitiy to cover the entire map with webs and farm whatever she wished. These changes should not change the item’s value too much. It’s still a great item on Brood.
The buff to Chaos Strike makes Chaos Knight a formidable opponent in the lane. CK has been receiving many buffs patch after patch, and has been tried out by many teams as a strong beefy offlaner who can fight well around his ultimate ability. 15% Cooldown Reduction does seem tempting , but realistically a more fitting choice would always be the 15 strength talent.
- Holy Persuasion maximum creep level reduced from 4/5/6/6 to 3/4/5/6
- Heal amplification reduced from 8/12/16/20% to 6/10/14/18%
- Active cooldown increased from 120/100/80/60 to 140/120/100/80
- Level 15 Talent increased from -30s Divine Favor Cooldown to -40s
Chen being super popular throughout the International, fetched him some massive nerfs from the frog. Ever since 7.22d, teams and players have been exploiting Chen in their advantage. Being a Chen player myself I didn’t feel too bad after seeing the changes.
In 7.22g. Holy Persuasion has been nerfed, forcing Chen to farm more in jungle or in lane, thus reducing his capability to rotate around the map ganking with a position 4 and some tomatoes (Hellbear Smasher) to compensate for the low level of creep at each level. Changes to Divine Favor in terms of Heal amplification are small but the cooldown increase might affect the hero’s ability to relocate heroes farming on the other side of the map before a crucial teamfight. The talent changes were to counteract the increase in the cooldown.
Rattletrap, the Clockwerk was picked only a meagre 9 times during the International. A wave of buffs is surely going to change his pick rate in pubs.
Base MS increased from 310 to 315 in 7.22g, allowing Clockwerk to easily catch up to supports with battery assault in lane. The Power Cogs knockback radius increase allows Clockwerk to be that pesky position 4 that would stop the opponent from interrupting the offlane side pull with relative ease. It also allows Clockwerk to get some easy denies on the ranged creep which is very crucial.
- Maximum damage per second increased from 200/250/300 to 200/275/350
- Radius increased from 450 to 500
The most notable change is the radius increase from 450 to 500. AOE for Kinetic field is 340 units. This change allows players to easily place the combo of Kinetic field with Static Storm. 200 damage per second (level 1) makes Static storm a strong ultimate ability which can stop an opponent core from making any moves in an early teamfight.
The series of nerf to Drow Ranger over the patches made her unpopular in both competitive and pub strats. Even with the recent changes I still believe Traxex is a weak carry that cannot sustain the early game meta that currently exists. She still needs a couple of more buffs to be risen from the grave. She was picked thrice during TI9 with a win-rate of 0%.
- Astral Spirit cooldown increased from 17 to 23/21/19/17
- Astral Spirit buff is now dispellable
Elder Titan was heavily contested in TI9. The amount of lane harass this hero can produce is still very high. The nerf to Astral Spirit is justified and balances the hero. The Astral Spirit buff being dispellable is a minor nerf as most laners can’t debuff that (Enchantress?) .
- Base damage reduced by 4
- Nature’s Attendants heal reduced from 10/11/12/13 to 7/9/11/13
- Impetus damage reduced from 16/22/28% to 14/20/26%
Spoink! Easily one of the strongest laners in the current meta and most contested heroes in TI9 , nerfs to Enchantress are very justifiable. Enchantress having Untouchability and decent range could harass and dominate any lane. Thus the reduction in her base damage. Impetus nerfs might also shift the hero from being a scary offlaner to creep controlling support.
“From a place beyond time, and time beyond counting.”
Faceless Void was picked fairly few times in conjunction with heroes like Elder Titan during TI9. Void has been getting a few buffs over the recent patches. Agility gain of the hero is still very high ( loses 2 agility over 10 levels) and shouldn’t affect players too much. The cooldown on Chronosphere forces team to play less aggressively when it is down. Overall still a top-tier carry.
Gyrocopter has been a strong carry for the longest of times and received quite a few buffs pre-TI9 changes. He had a win rate of around 59.49% and led OG to win some important games.
The nerf to Gyrocopter aghs in 7.22g seems way to small for it to be unviable at the moment. This hero brings a lot to the table in terms of early game fighting and late game DPS.
- Level 10 Talent changed from Spirits Apply Slow to +90 Gold/Min
- Level 15 Talent changed from +75 Spirits Hero Damage to Spirits Apply Slow
- Level 20 Talent changed from +150 Gold/Min to +75 Spirits Hero Damage
Io , The guardian Wisp was used in TI in a very untraditional way. OG and Secret sported a carry Io in their games. This trend was tried in pubs, but mostly as a joke. The level 10 power spike was very strong. With maxed out Spirits , it would become very easy to run over supports. The nerf to the GPM makes the hero balanced although 45 damage still feels too good to lose. Overall these changes make the hero significantly weaker and delays its power spike to 15-20 level.
Keeper of the Light
- Blinding Light Cooldown reduced from 30/25/20/15 to 14
- Blinding Light Cast range increased from 550/600/650/700 to 575/650/725/800
- Chakra Magic mana leak increased from 4/4.5/5/5.5% to 4.5/5/5.5/6%
- Level 25 Talent increased from +2 Will-O-Wisp Flicker to +3
Keeper of the Light was merely picked or banned 8 times during TI9 and had a win rate of 25%. The IceFrog blesses Gandalf with a wave of buffs.
Blinding Light cooldown reduced to a whooping 14 seconds. This is a major buff as it works really in conjunction with Chakra Magic reducing your cooldown. Allows Ezalor to farm faster and produces tons of damage in a team fight. Cast range increased significantly at level 4, making him a good wave pusher and defending high ground. Chakra Magic mana leak improved by 0.5% at each levels and level 25 talent increased flicker by 1 Count. These changes to KOTL in 7.22g seem small but might affect a lot in the later stages of the game.
Kunkka was banned/picked 200 times at TI9 and was a stable pick for most teams . Kunkka received a big nerf in the previous patch where Tidebringer couldn’t be used on allied creeps anymore (while denying).
The changes to his talents are just small nerfs that balances the hero. Still a top tier mid laner that can control the tempo of the game and win many lanes.
Lycan was really unpopular at TI9 and was merely picked twice with a 0% win rate. The Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade of the hero was frowned upon and many players didn’t think that it was viable (except AdmiralBulldog). The spawn amount being increased by 1 doesn’t feel exceptionally strong, but helps in pushing the lanes out very effectively. This mixed with the reduced bounty of the spawns might tempt some players to go for this build. Still remains a very dicey build to go for after these changes in 7.22g.
- Sacred Arrow
- Base damage reduced from 80/160/240/320 to 40/120/200/280
- Bonus damage increased from 140 to 180
- Moonlight Shadow manacost increased from 75 to 125
Priestess of the Moon gained some popularity during TI9 group stages as position 4 support. Moonlight Shadow is still a very strong team fight spell and can change the favor of the game towards the side that picks Mirana. Base damage of the arrow reduced by 40 on each level basically means closer arrows would do less damage than before. Mirana having a limited mana pool would have to spend more gold on clarities and arcane boots to cover up for the extra mana required for her ultimate ability.
- Void no longer does half damage during daytime
Night Stalker wasn’t a very hot pick at TI9. I believe Balanar is tremendously strong hero which can be played as an offlaner. Optic Gaming’s 33 has shown us time and time again what a beast this hero can be. Void doing full damage at daytime is a really strong buff to his laning stage, as it can easily get last hits on ranged creeps. With his high hp and armor, balanar is a strong laner in my opinion.
The esteemed winner of the Arcana Vote was a popular pick at TI9. Having one of the highest HP and armor at level 1, Ogre Magi was ridiculously strong at laning. Combined with an orb of Venom any melee hero would lose his lane against Ogre. Reduction in his base damage seems befitting to our beautiful winner.
Phantom Lancer has been getting a lot of buffs ever since 7.22c . Juxtapose damage was 16% then. Having it buffed to 22% over the patches does seem quite a bit. Increases late game DPS and farming rate of the hero. Still a very minor buff to the Carry with one of the highest agility gain in the game.
Puck, the Faerie Dragon was picked in TI9 25 times with a win rate of 36%. Mostly being played from the offlane role, this elusive hero has been getting buff after buff in each patch. Increase in its Agility gain (5 agility extra in 10 levels) and improvements in talents are a welcome change. 50% Illusory Orb Distance/Speed increase is actually a very considerable buff.
Jaunt is now disabled by Root – This seems like righteous change. Being able to jaunt while being rooted was very broken and would allow Puck to escape in most of the situations. Having Phase shift no longer disabled by root is a balance change to counteract the change to jaunt.
Shadow Demon or as the Chinese call him, ‘Poison Dog’ was the most contested heroes at TI9 with him being picked/banned over 341 times. The new Soul Catcher would allow any hero to be killed sooner than expected with a couple of spells.
Decreasing damage by 5% at each level stops that ability to burst a hero down to zero. The talent change nerf wouldn’t affect the hero too much (as the games are much faster in this meta and they end before a position 5 support reaches level 15).
- Base Strength reduced by 2 (damage unchanged)
- Tree Volley
- Damage reduced from 120% to 100%
- Manacost increased from 150 to 200
- Cooldown increased from 12 to 15
Tiny Carry was super popular at TI9. Tree Volley, the new Aghanim’s ability dealt massive amounts of damage. Tree Volley having a small CD of 12s seemed too good. His base strength has been reduced, which weakens his laning (HP loss and regen).
Tree Volley has been nerfed to be a bit more balanced. Increasing cooldown and mana cost was the way to go for it. Still a very strong ability which can burst any hero on the battlefield.
- Soul Rip
- Max unit count reduced from 8/10/12/14 to 8/9/10/11
- Damage/heal per unit increased from 22/26/30/34 to 22/29/36/43
- Flesh Golem current health loss per second increased from 7% to 9%
Undying is another hero that wasn’t popular at TI9. He received a couple of buffs. Soul Rip max count has been reduced but overall Damage/heal has been increased per each level. Flesh Golem seems like a real ultimate now and can be used very effectively in a team fight.
- Earthshock damage increased from 50/100/150/200 to 75/125/175/225
A minor buff to Ulfsaar, the Ursa Bear, increasing his laning capability and strength. Earthshock doing 25 more damage in lane might tempt carry players to take a value level early on.
Venomancer was picked/banned 11 times at TI9 and had a win-rate of 36.36%. Buffs to Plague Ward and Venomous Gale seem attractive, but it remains to be a cheese/counter-pick in my opinion. This hero depends on Hand of Midas to farm and with the item getting nerfed, this hero doesn’t look attractive to me at the moment.
With this we come to the end of my analysis for patch 7.22g. I would like to summarise 7.22g by listing the winners and losers of the patch! Any feedback and comments are welcome! Hope to see you in my next article!
Biggest Winners of 7.22g
- Chaos Knight
- Keeper of The Light
Biggest Losers of 7.22g
- Shadow Demon