Rod of Atos got a serious overhaul in Dota’s 7.00 patch. In the past, the item had been panned, with most analysts and players agreeing that it was fairly useless outside of a few niche uses. For less gold, players could pick up a Eul’s Scepter, which offers mana regen, a decent amount of Intelligence, as well as +40 movement speed. If you needed some extra Strength, you could pick up a Bracer. In most situations, a Eul’s could accomplish the same thing as a Rod of Atos. There were a few heroes who could put the Rod to good use in certain situations, but there are lots of valid reasons why it wasn’t a popular item before 7.00. However, in the months leading up to the most recent patch, 7.06e, Rod of Atos has been slowly rising in popularity.
Pre-7.00 Rod of Atos vs. Rod of Atos in 7.06e
Rod of Atos used to require two Staves of Wizardry and a vitality booster, for a total of 3100 gold. In 7.06e, a Rod of Atos costs about the same , but the components have changed–it’s now built with a Staff of Wizardry, two Bracers, and a recipe. (This altered item progression is much more useful on the heroes you’ll commonly see build an Atos.) When it comes to raw stats, Atos grants +15 Strength, +6 Agility, +20 Intelligence, and +6 attack damage, which is a lot more bang for your
With the old Rod of Atos, Cripple applied a 60% movement speed slow to a single target that lasted 4 seconds. The cooldown was 10 seconds, but, overall, Rod of Atos was simply too expensive given the limited utility it offered. And before 7.06, the stats you got from a Rod of Atos were unimpressive–for 3100 gold, you got +30 Intelligence and +350 Health.
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As of 7.00, Cripple applies a Root to a single target for two seconds–this costs you 50 mana, and has a 16 second cooldown. If you play your cards right, you can use the Root to apply debuffs and damage, let your team get into position, prepare secondary stuns and disables, and wipe your enemy off the battlefield.
Rod of Atos vs. Eul’s Scepter
The item was finally reworked in a way to make it a legitimate alternative to the Eul’s Scepter in certain situations. Remember, Euls-ing your target makes them temporarily invulnerable, but applying a Root leaves them wide open to damage.
Rod of Atos is currently ranked 56th in popularity and sports a 57.17% winrate on heroes who purchase it. The item has been bought most often by Pudge, followed by Skywrath Mage. The decreased Intelligence gain from a Rod of Atos means that the item is slightly less efficient on Skywrath, but the Root effect is a great tool for setting up his combos. It’s no surprise that Pudge players are huge fans of the item, since it basically guarantees them a successful Hook. Rod of Atos is a great pickup against mobile heroes like Storm Spirit, Mirana, Ember Spirit, and Timbersaw.
Of course, Eul’s Scepter isn’t going anywhere, coming in at a respectable 22nd on the list of most popular items this week. Dota has an occasionally overwhelming amount of items with confusing abilities, and it can take a while for new ones to find their niche after a rework. We’re only in 7.06e, and with teams already hunkering down and preparing for TI7, we might have to wait until teams take the stage at Key Arena for Rod of Atos to become part of the professional meta. As far as your pubs go, if you’re building an early Bracer anyways, and your team needs some extra initiation, consider picking up a Rod of Atos.