After much anticipation, Valve decided to change up Dota 2 one last time with a major patch before The International.
The priority of patches is usually balancing abilities, items, and synergies that are deemed too powerful. On the other hand, buffs are also doled out to bring underutilized heroes ahead of the curve, or to encourage a certain kind of meta evolution.
Five Dota 2 heroes whose winrates will increase in TI
Rather than a direct buff, Tinker has gone through some fundamental changes in the new Dota 2 patch. Some are of the opinion that Tinker is worse off due to a lack of stack farming mechanics.
Having no March of The Machines before midgame will indeed make it difficult for a core Tinker to recover in a difficult match, but a free teleportation with Rearm adds numerous possibilities.
Tinker is now good as an early ganker, a buff hero due to the new Defence Matrix basic ability, as well as a mana battery due to the possibility of Greaves-Rearm synergy.
Bane had been relatively untouched in the last couple of patches. It also did not have a spot in the tournament meta in the Dota 2 TI qualifiers and the two Majors this year.
But over a few patches, a cumulative series of buffs have made Bane a strong pick against Dota 2 cores who can be kited easily, e.g. Ursa.
After the changes to Nightmare, which deals Pure damage over time now, a Bane with three points in Q and E is a nuisance up till the late game.
3) Monkey King
Monkey King was borderline broken when it was first released as an exclusive Dota 2 addition in 7.00.
It is extremely unlikely that Monkey will retain the overpowered stats of the early days, but the current patch has made Monkey much better now.
Tree Dance is significantly faster, opening up Monkey's viability as a position 4 in Dota 2 again. The reworked Shard upgrade is also a welcome addition, making Monkey a good pick against burst-heavy heroes like Shadow Fiend.
Sinister Gaze Aghanim's upgrade, making other abilities castable, gives Lich a high cap for late-game scalability.
Coupled with with Chain Frost and Frost Blast buffs, this easily makes Lich one of the highlight supports of this patch.
1) Bounty Hunter
The changes to Shuriken Toss have made Bounty Hunter much more economical in terms of Mana Sustain.
The buffs seem to nudge bounty in the direction of an Aghanim's Scepter build.
However, this practically pays for itself in terms of gold investment, thanks to the unique Dota 2 mechanic of gold steal on spell hit.
The 400 Magic Damage nukes that chain between Tracked targets, is no joke in the midgame.
Disclaimer: The article reflects the writer's views.