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The year 2019 is over and with it, the decade. Every year brings us some exciting things in terms of new Dota 2 patches, and this year was no different. However, it was a lot milder as compared to 2018, which saw a total of 14 patches! This year had four major patches – starting with 7.20 and ending with 7.23. Let’s take a look at how each patch shaped the game of Dota 2 in the year 2019.


Patch 7.20

Patch 7.20 was the patch that was released after TI8 and it was one heck of a fast patch. A lot of abilities and talents had been shifted to attack speed (like Drow Ranger) and it seemed like the deathball meta was back. Granted this patch was released in 2018, but 2019 did start with it, so it is being included here. The major changes in this patch included:

  • Change in the deny mechanic (denies don’t give denies XP but give gold instead)
  • Removal of Ring of Aquila
  • Addition of ‘leashed’ state
  • Addition of Grimstroke to Captains Mode

Professional games played on the 7.20 patch: 636

Most played heroes: Rubick (248 games), Lich (222 games), Grimstroke (191 games), Phantom Assassin (185 games), Brewmaster (185 games)


Patch 7.21

Patch 7.21 was the one that made the game a bit slower and eased off on the speed the game had received from 7.20. This was achieved by a number of ways, most of them making heroes and structures more tanky and taking away one of the ancient camps from each team (yes, there used to be two!). The big changes of patch 7.21 were:

  • Melee creeps average gold bounty reduced by 3
  • Range creeps upgrade cycle gold bounty increased from +3 to +6
  • Replaced the primary jungles’ ancient camps with big camps
  • Heroes no longer gain 25% more benefit from their primary attributes (affects attributes from both items and the hero)
  • All heroes’ primary attribute growth values increased by 15%
  • Health per strength increased from 18 to 20
  • Tier 2 tower armor increased from 14 to 15
  • Tier 3 tower armor increased from 14 to 16
  • Melee Barracks armor increased from 13 to 15
  • Tower Protection armor bonus for Tier 2/3/4 increased from 3 to 4

Professional games played on the 7.21 patch: 1698

Most played heroes: Doom (451), Shadow Shaman (413), Oracle (390), Nature’s Prophet (361), Juggernaut (353)


Patch 7.22

Patch 7.22 was the patch where all the heroes who did not have an Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade were given an upgrade. A total of 31 Scepters were doled out that patch and VPEsports did a rating of the Scepters from patch 7.22.

Patch 7.22 was the patch TI9 was played on and even though it didn’t have changes that affected game speed in a major way, a few of the chages did make seizing high ground a tougher endeavour. These were the main changes from the 7.22 patch:

  • Scepter handed out to all heroes without an Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade
  • Roshan now drops a consumable Scepter buff item. The third Roshan will randomly drop either a consumable Scepter item or a Refresher Shard. The fourth Roshan has both. You can select Roshan to see his inventory and find out what items will drop
  • Added Mars and Io to Captains Mode (Io was taken out of Captain’s Mode in one of the smaller patches after 7.21)
  • Siege creeps now spawn two units at 35 minutes instead of 30 minutes
  • Siege creeps can no longer be dominated, enchanted or converted
  • Tier 3+ towers damage increased from 152 damage to 175
  • Tier 1 Tower Protection aura armor bonus increased from 2 to 3
  • Tier 2+ Tower Protection aura armor bonus increased from 4 to 5
  • Tier 2+ Towers now have a multishot attack when glyph is activated. Attacks up to two additional targets. Prioritizes the closest units.

Professional games played on the 7.21 patch: 1238

Most played heroes: Rubick (362), Ember Spirit (336), Shadow Demon (317), Gyrocopter (281), Sand King (275)


Patch 7.23

After a long journey through the year, we come to the most recent patch, 7.23. Patch 7.23 was released towards the end of November 2019 and is the current patch in play; a patch which has still not been fully deciphered. Outposts were introduced in the game and the side shops were removed. Initially, the game seemed extremely fast, with teams having early game control of outposts snowballing out of control. But later, Outpost XP was reduced and XP talents were removed from the game, making it slower. A lot of heroes saw their abilities and Scepter upgrades reworked. VPEsports did a piece of the rewokred Scepters for cores and supports. Let’s look at the big changes patch 7.23 brought with it:

  • Introduction of Snapfire and Void Spirit to Dota 2
  • Removal of Stout Shield from the game
  • Every player getting his/her own courier
  • Introduction of Outposts
  • Removal of side shops
  • Increase in hero max level to 30
  • Neutral items introduced

Professional games played on the 7.21 patch: 1238

Most played heroes: Puck (161), Crystal Maiden (157), Rubick (150), Tiny (147), Vengeful Spirit (119)


A lot of variation in the game was experienced throughout the year as we went through 2019. Even though it didn’t have as many patches as 2018, the small, balance patches kept things interesting and heroes rotating. As 2020 comes in, we will see patch 7.23 deciphered better by teams when they play the second DPC Minor and Major of the 2019-2020 season, which will be in the very first month of the year. No idea at all what the patches from 2020 will hold, but given the diversity we have been seeing, pretty sure IceFrog and Valve will keep up the great job they have been doing for the game we love – Dota 2!

What were your favorite or least favorite changes to the game from 2019? Let us know in the comments!

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