The Dota 2 meta shifts frequently and sometimes dramatically.
A certain strategy, hero, or item becoming overpowered is usually a composite effect of the trending meta in Dota 2. This can fasten or dampen the pace of the average game or cast certain heroes into the shadows of irrelevancy. The balancing of a patch is very closely related to how the previous patch shapes this meta, and in turn, shapes Dota 2.
Following are the possible changes in the upcoming Dota 2 patch
5) Buffs to the Radiant jungle
This entry is not strictly related to the 7.29 meta. Overall, changes to the map have always been a staple of major Dota 2 patches. Since 7.00, players have taken almost all post-TI terrain changes for granted. The current map with single ancient camps on either side has also been sitting dormant for over two years now.
In classic Dota 2 fashion, the terrain and neutral camp layouts are asymmetrical. Many pro players have confirmed their preference of the Dire side for farming purposes since three close camps can be stacked at the same time easily with just one ward. The next patch will very likely return icefrog's good favor to the Radiant jungle.
4) Nerfs to Roshan rewards
Throughout many pro Dota 2 games in 2021, many surprise upsets have come from the second Roshan kill. A free shard on top of an aegis and cheese is a huge ramp-up at minute 30, which is when the second Rosh fight tends to happen in high-tempo games. Considering how many comebacks in the current Dota 2 patch happen around Roshan, the free shard or cheese might be pushed back to the third one.
3) Nerfs to Manta Style and Dragon Lance
Luna, Medusa, and Terrorblade are some of the most successful Dota 2 heroes in this patch. This statistic also accounts for high-profile DPC games, as pro Dota 2 drafts value these heroes highly for their pick/ban plan.
The emergence of ranged carries over previously meta melee carries like Sven or Spectre is no coincidence. For one, ranged carries are great at defending high ground sieges.
As the map-closing momentum has become mainstream in Dota 2, a defensive advantage can even out an otherwise disadvantageous game. On the other hand, ranged carries are also good at taking objectives themselves, meshing well with the fast-paced meta.
Instead of nerfs to the ranged carries, the changes to address this will come as item nerfs or item price increments. Since patch 7.29 changes, the ranged heroes of Dota 2 now get the same benefits as melee heroes from Manta Style: roughly 30% lower cooldown and more durable illusions.
Dragon Lance is the second prime target for a possible nerf. For a meager 1900 gold, it is a solid transitional item for squishy agility cores, granting them 2.5 extra armor, 16 damage and attack speed, and 250 health.
On an aside about item nerfs, Aeon Disk will also be nerfed in some way, most likely through a cooldown increment.
2) Buffs to magic damage
Currently, Dota 2 does not have much in terms of magic damage scaling. There are spell amp items to gain up to 30% extra damage on nukes potentially. But strats maximizing magic damage potential can easily be countered by a Black King Bar purchase.
This was most apparent in the second game of the WePlay AniMajor grand final. Evil Geniuses dominated the early game with an all-in magic damage lineup, but a Terrorblade BKB was all the late-game firepower PSG.LGD needed to clinch a comeback victory.
The current Dota 2 meta also has a resurgence of healing with Holy Locket. Heroes like Warlock and Wyvern becoming meta again also spells out the danger of damage-over-time heroes like Venomancer.
Stacking enough heals can sometimes even make heroes impervious to magic burst, as seen in the EU qualifier grand finals. Coincidentally, this is also among the reasons behind Ancient Apparition becoming the highlight support of the patch.
Status resistance has lately been relegated to Sange-based items only, giving crowd control a roundabout buff. Similarly, an indirect nuke buff can come through nerfs to BKB and Minotaur horn. Magic damage, in general, can also be buffed with a re-introduction of spell amp scaling from the Intelligence attribute.
1) Nerfs to ‘overpowered’ heroes
Whether through shard reworks or meta evolution, some Dota 2 heroes have a clear edge in this patch. These are generally the usual suspects at the ban phase, but a nerf or rework for them seems to be in order. The prime target for the upcoming series of nerfs is obviously Winter Wyvern.
In no particular order, the other heroes include Axe, Huskar, Grimstroke, and Warlock.
Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.