Sven received a couple nerfs in 7.06b, but the hero remains one of the breakout stars in the still young meta of Dota's 7.06 patch.
Featured image via Steam.

Dota 2: The Best Heroes of Patch 7.06b

May 22, 2017
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Featured image via Steam.

The release of Dota’s 7.06 patch has drastically changed the meta and tempo of the game. To check out the full 7.06 patch notes, you can refer to Valve’s nicely organized list here. If you’ve been out of the Dota loop, get ready for some hopefully pleasant surprises. Before we talk about 7.06, however, we should note that the release of 7.06b today gave an emergency nerf to fix a blatantly overpowered Sven, reduced Troll’s Agi gain to 2.5, buffed Brood’s web regen, and improved the attack cooldown of Monkey King’s Wukong’s Command ability.

These are the biggest changes that 7.06 has brought to Dota:

  • Neutral Creeps now spawn every minute once again. This means we should expect to see a much greater emphasis on stacking. If you like to play support, expect to make lots of trips to the woods to prep camps for your carry. Or farm them yourself. Your call.
  • Pushing high ground has become significantly easier. This is partially due to the Siege Creep buffs included in the patch, but has even more to do with the much-needed reduction to the number of Shrines in the base.
  • You now get a 30% XP reward for denying creeps, and mid has an extra melee creep spawning for them at the start of the game. Before 7.06, denies only reduced the amount of experience your laning opposition received when the creep (or hero) was killed. We don’t quite have enough data yet to be able to see exactly what this is going to mean. It should come as no surprise that the community has welcomed the inclusion of a reward for players who are able to outplay their opponents in lane with open arms.

The overall patch meta is still evolving, but if you’re wondering who to pick in your pubs, look no further. Let’s meet the hardest, bestest, fastest, strongest heroes of Dota 7.06b.

Sven in 7.06b

Sven ‘swin-rate shot up by about 8% in 7.06, a truly massive shift. The return of stacking to the meta is partly responsible for this, with two Ancient camps available to each side for him to cleave through. Mask of Madness a popular item on Sven already, also received buffs to its damage and attack speed (two stats Sven really needs early on). Now that it can be disassembled and build into a Satanic, for instance, the item is also a far more efficient purchase if the game goes late. In 7.06, Sven got the following buffs:

  • God’s Strength now grants a bonus 16/28/40 Strength when activated
  • God’s Strength attack bonus reduced from 100/150/200% to 80/120/160%*

Thankfully, these values were adjusted in 7.06b, since Sven’s new kit was more powerful than anyone at Valve seems to have anticipated. Here’s what Sven looks like now:

  • God’s Strength bonus strength reduced from 16/28/40 to 12/24/36
  • Base Attack Time increased from 1.7 to 1.8

That 8% win-rate spike was a little too hard to ignore, and it’s nice to see Valve responding quickly to community and pro feedback.

Sven hasn’t been completely dumpstered. The bonus Strength clearly outweighs the small attack bonus loss. Expect to see this hero more and more frequently in your pubs over the next few weeks. If you’re looking for other strong carry options, Troll Warlord and Phantom Assassin remain solid and versatile picks.

Jakiro in 7.06b

Jakiro has been slowly buffed up over the past few patches and he’s now reached the stage where the pros have decided he’s viable. Alongside Crystal Maiden, who’s still just as scary as she was before, Jakiro’s got the chops to be a top-tier support:

  • Dual Breath start radius increased from 200 to 225
  • Dual Breath end radius increased from 250 to 275
  • Replaced Respawn Talent: Macropyre Pure and Pierces Immunity (Level 25)

The changes to Dual Breath have increased the amount of area-of-effect damage and slow he’s able to output in team fights, and picking up the new talent is achievable in the longer games – allowing his Macropyre to scale far more effectively in 7.06. More importantly perhaps, now that pushing has become easier, the tactical edge Jakiro’s Liquid Fire gives you when sieging with push strat is far more relevant than in the previous patch.

Underlord in 7.06b

We haven’t seen Underlord return to professional games yet in 7.06, but with his pub win-rate rising to 55% it’s likely he’ll be returning to the offlane before too long:

  • Atrophy Aura damage reduction rescaled from 4/16/28/40 to 7/18/29/40%
  • Atrophy Aura counter now lingers through death
  • Added Underlord Scepter. Atrophy Aura’s bonus damage is now granted to nearby allied heroes for half of the bonuses. Increases bonus damage duration by 40 seconds.

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The changes to Atrophy Aura are clearly straight up buffs, and the fact that it lingers through death makes it much harder to take on his team in a five-man team fight by simply killing him off first. The Aghanim’s upgrade is less likely to be impactful since there are other utility items he normally wants to pick up first, but it remains to be seen how useful the damage bonus could be in longer games. With the duration increased by so much you could really build up a lot of bonus damage. Most importantly, with stacking much easier than before Underlord’s ability to power farm stacks with Firestorm has been greatly improved.

Outworld Devourer in 7.06b

In terms of the best mid-lane heroes, Outworld Devourer has seen the biggest change in fortunes perhaps, with a 3% win-rate increase in 7.06. This is surprising at first, since the only buff he recieved was to his Scepter upgrade, which is still unlikely to be purchased:

  • Reworked Outworld Devourer’s Scepter. Grants 2 charges to Astral Imprisonment and increases cast range by 300. Damage areas stack. Replenish Time: 12.

OD doesn’t take advantage of stacking too well and the sieging changes to benefit him too well either. So why is he stronger? Well as a lane dominator, and a hero who benefits massively from early experience, his laning stage is strengthened by the additional Melee Creep and the lack of Shrines available to opposition mids for the first five minutes. Dominating the mid lane is far more valuable than in the previous patch. The change to Intelligence’s Spell Amplification, from 1% per 15 to 1% per 14, might also benefit the hero with typically the most Intelligence in any game he plays and a huge nuking Ultimate.

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Alex Dyet
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An English student and freelance writer from London, UK, Alex has spent far more time than he'd care to admit battling it out on FIFA's Ultimate Team mode, before moving on to the more competitive eSports out there, like Dota and Hearthstone. He's got big plans for Blizzard's upcoming shooter, Overwatch, and he's counting down the days until the game goes live in May. You can catch him on twitter @Alexcd13D.
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