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If you thought the Underlords Mid-Season Update, which completely changed the game and landed about two weeks ago, would mean a prolonged period of stability for the game, you were wrong. Last night, Valve dropped another major patch which not only introduced some new features (like casual play, new ranked mode, and head-to-head battle), but also made sweeping changes to the item system in Underlords.

The hero changes are a handful too. Venomancer’s Plague Wards are getting their stats buffed, although Venomancer can no longer spawn three Wards when at 3*. Lina is now a 3-gold unit up from 2, with no changes to her stats or abilities, which would make her drop a power rank tier perhaps, and Juggernaut will now be smart and only cast Blade Fury when there are multiple enemies ahead.

The biggest change in the patch, however, is to the items. Four of them — Cloak, Recruiter, Vicious Intent, and Wicket Intent — have been removed and replaced by four new ones. Helm of the Undying allows the carrier to survive for 4 extra seconds after dying. Bracers of Desperation is a mini Refresher Orb, which resets cooldowns and refills mana when the carrier drops below 30% HP. Poaching Knife has a chance of producing 1 gold when the carrier kills a target. And Dawning of Ristul is a global item which reduces healing by 50% for both you and your opponent (useful when they got some nice Warlocks and you didn’t).

What’s more, Alliance items are gone. Yes, correct — gone. Some have been incorporated directly into the Alliance (for example, Demon Hunters now get the Strange Bedfellows bonus for free), while Valve figures out how to fix them.

This is a good patch overall. The Alliance global items have been tricky to balance since day 1, since they either make you commit to a strat early on, or appear as useless ones once you’ve committed. With such sweeping changes to Alliances, however, expect to be more balance patches next week.

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