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As the years have gone by, the start of the year patches by IceFrog and Valve have gotten crazier and the Dota 2 patch 7.23 is testament to that. The Outlanders Update, with Snapfire and Void Spirit, was released today and it has shaken up game like never before. TI winning coach Heen even said this patch is probably bigger than Dota 2 7.00.

The changelog is vast and it is hard to say right now what the community will like. There is a good chance a lot of those changes may not be very well liked either…

We’ll know more about that as the patch progresses. For now, let’s take a look at the biggest winners for the Dota 2 7.23 patch (the article will only include the part of the change log that affects a hero the most):

1) Bane

  • Reworked Enfeeble. Now a passive. Your abilities now place an enfeeble debuff on the target, reducing their status resistance by 15/20/25/30% and magic resistance by 4/8/12/16% for 8 seconds.
  • Brain Sap damage type changed from Pure to Magical
  • Brain Sap damage increased from 75/150/225/300 to 100/200/300/400
  • Fiend’s Grip now deals damage through Spell Immunity (as a result of the Spell Immunity change)

Let’s be here, Enfeeble, though useful, was the skill most players paid least attention to when it was an active, especially towards the later portions of the game. Getting that Fiend’s Grip off on the opposition core with his/her BKB on is always the top priority. With the new change, as long as Enfeeble has been skilled, Fiend’s Grip will now have an increased duration every time it is used. With Brain Sap damage changed to magic, the damage will be enhanced by the Enfeeble debuff. And the debuff lasts for 8 seconds, which is a substantial amount of time.

2) Bloodseeker

  • Agility changed from 24 + 3.1 to 22 + 3.4
  • Bloodrage outgoing damage increased from 10/15/20/25% to 12/18/24/30%
  • Bloodrage incoming damage reduced from 10/15/20/25% to 10/14/18/22%

Bloodrage damage amplification has always been the same, incoming or outgoing. For the first time, the outgoing damage is higher, and by no less than 8%. That gives Bloodseeker the license to play a bit more loosely with the skill while playing around the likes of nukers. However, players should be cognizant of the fact that using Bloodrage on opponents is probably not a good idea after patch 7.23. It will give them a 30% damage increase, which could end up in a way you wouldn’t like.

3) Brewmaster

  • Cinder Brew now extends the duration by 3 seconds rather than refreshing
  • Cinder Brew now deals a total amount of damage over the variable duration
  • Cinder Brew no longer causes self attacks
  • Cinder Brew now ignites on any spell damage, rather than only damage above 80
  • Cinder Brew damage increased from 100/150/200/250 to 100/160/220/280
  • Cinder Brew slow rescaled from 25% to 24/28/32/36%
  • Cinder Brew cooldown reduced from 20/18/16/14 to 20/17/14/11

Brewmaster was a hero that didn’t get used a whole lot last season, so he was due a buff. Increase in Cinder Brew damage and betterment of the slow and cooldown are big positive points for Brew. The cherry on top of the case Cinder Brew igniting on any damage, which means even a low cooldown spell Quill Spray will be good enough for ignition.

4) Chaos Knight

  • Chaos Bolt now releases fake projectiles from nearby illusions
  • Reality Rift no longer slows
  • Reality Rift now reduces armor by 2/3/4/5 for 6 seconds
  • Phantasm outgoing damage rescaled from 50/75/100 to 40/70/100%
  • Phantasm incoming damage increased from 260% to 350%
  • Phantasm illusions now have 25% Magic Resistance bonus
  • Phantasm illusions are now considered Strong Illusions and cannot be instantly killed with spells
  • Reworked Scepter. When you cast Phantasm, causes every allied hero to create an illusion (same stats as Phantasm illusions). Your hero gets an additional illusion as well. Does not interrupt allies.

Even though the Phantasm illusions may output a bit less damage in the initial levels and take bit of extra damage, the win for them comes from the point that they are now strong illusions, which means multi-target Mana Drain or AoE hex cannot just get rid of Chaos Knight’s illusions in less than a second! The additional magic resistance means illusions will take about the same magic damage as they did before and are only more susceptible to physical and pure damage. The fun part though, is CK’s Scepter upgrade. It’s hard to say if it will be used, hard to say if it will promote the usage of CK as an offlaner or support, but if his team gets a chance to push with the opposition dead, Phantasm team illusions are bound to demolish the base in a matter of seconds!

5) Clinkz

  • Skeleton Walk now provides 70/100/130/160 attack speed when coming out of invisibility. Lasts 4 seconds.
  • Replaced Strafe with Death Pact. Consumes an enemy unit, skeleton, or a level 3/4/5/6 neutral. Gains 200/300/400/500 health and causes your attacks to have -2/3/4/5 armor debuff. If a hero dies under your attack debuff (lasts 3 seconds), you gain +5 damage permanently and Death Pact cooldown is refreshed. Death Pact lasts 55 seconds. Cooldown: 90. Cast Range: 900. Manacost: 60.
  • Burning Army now deals 24/26/28% of your attack damage instead of 80/100/120% of your base damage.

Burning Army has a nice visual effect to it, but the truth is, Clinkz always needed Death Pact to be a good hero. With Death Pact gone last season, he was barely used in any of the professional games. Well, now he has both! Strafe has been incorporated into Skeleton Walk, which means Death Pact and Burning Army can both be weapons in Clinkz’s arsenal. The decreased armor debuff is like a built in Desolator for Clinkz, with a mini version of Legion Commander’s Duel effect. A mid Clinkz that can rack up early game kills can get a decent buff from the permanent added damage. There is a good chance Clinkz is going to be a popular hero in the upcoming DPC Major and Minor qualifiers.

6) Doom

  • Base damage increased by 3
  • Devour max creep level rescaled from 3/4/5/6 to 4/5/6/6
  • Devour cooldown rescaled from 70/60/50/40 to 70
  • Devour gold bonus rescaled from 25/50/75/100 to 20/80/140/200
  • Devour digest duration now matches cooldown (rather than 80)
  • Infernal Blade base damage rescaled from 25 to 16/20/24/28
  • Reworked Scepter. Infernal Blade stun duration increased to 1.75 seconds and +2s DPS duration. Applies Break.

With the nerf Doom got in the middle of last season, he could no longer use Devour on the Satyr Tormentor until level 7. At least now, he can do it at level 5 and it will make his life in lane easier. Devour will have a slight gold advantage at level 4 with the new cooldown and gold bonus; but only until Doom gets to level 15 and the +150 gold Devour talent. After that, the returns are worse. Earlier it 250 gold every 40 seconds (1750 gold in 280 seconds) as compared to 350 gold every 70 seconds now (1400 gold in 280 seconds). It’s about a 65 GPM deficit, but it also involves having to walk to a camp or creep wave less frequently.

Doom’s win though, comes through Infernal Blade. Not only has the damage been increased, but with an Aghanim’s Scepter, the skill is a 1.75 second stun every 4 seconds and that too, with a break. The burn lasts for 4 seconds, which is how much the cooldown is, so a target can be kept continuously broken and intermittently stunned. Silver Edge who? The earlier Doom Scepter was good, but this has the marks to be a primary invent choice for the demon.

7) Huskar

  • Burning Spear now costs 4% of current health instead of a fixed 15
  • Life Break slow duration reduced from 4/5/6 to 3/4/5
  • Life Break now deals damage through Spell Immunity (as a result of the Spell Immunity change)
  • Scepter has been reworked. Life Break now taunts the enemy for 2.5 seconds.

Have you nearly smashed a keyboard Life Breaking on a Lion only to be stunned and blown up by Finger of Death? No more! This Scepter upgrade is just what Huskar needs. It is as if Huskar channels his inner Axe to use Berserker’s Call on his target. A duration of 2.5 seconds is more than enough time to get rid of supports and while going up against carries, a Blademail should do the trick of returning all the damage they inflict upon the Sacred Warrior.

8) Invoker

  • Invoke cooldown reduced by 0.3 for each orb level
  • Invoke base cooldown increased from 6 to 7
  • Invoke no longer benefits from Scepter
  • Scepter now adds Cataclysm to Sun Strike
  • Level 15 Talent reduced from -15s Cold Snap to -10s
  • Level 20 Talent changed from Cataclysm to -10s Tornado Cooldown
  • Level 25 Talent changed from -16s Tornado Cooldown to +2 Forged Spirit Armor Reduction

Invoker earlier needed a Scepter before he could enter the fray. With the change in Dota 2 patch 7.23, that won’t be the case. The base cooldown for Invoke is 7 seconds and with every level, it will go down by 0.3 seconds. The Invoke cooldowns now are:

Level 5: 5.5 seconds
Level 10: 4 seconds
Level 15: 2.5 seconds
Level 25: 0.7 seconds

That’s an insanely short cooldown! Imagine what a player like Miracle or Topson could do with a six pack inventory and a 0.7 second Invoke cooldown…gives me the chills just thinking about it. If this does not bring back Invoker, nothing will.

9) Lich

  • Sinister Gaze now drains 10/15/20/25% of the target’s current mana back to you
  • Chain Frost damage increased by 15/20/25 per bounce
  • Scepter has been reworked. Sinister Gaze is now a 400 AoE target ability.
  • Level 25 Talent changed from Attacks Apply 60% MS and AS Slow to Chain Frost Unlimited Bounces

After a year of having to make Arcane Boots or ship Clarity Potions, Lich will be supporting a skeletal smile while reading the changes in patch 7.23. 25% of target’s mana is a huge amount. And the new Scepter makes it even better – not only will it disable all heroes in an AoE, it will drain mana from all the heroes. We already have the Black Hole, the White Hole…does this make this the Undead Hole? The old Scepter effect of unlimited is still alive with the level 25 talent.

10) Lone Druid

  • Spirit Bear attack range increased from 128 to 150
  • Spirit Bear armor type changed from Basic to Hero
  • Spirit Bear attack type changed from Basic to Hero
  • Spirit Bear no longer has Defender
  • Spirit Bear Demolish is now available at level 1
  • Spirit Bear Return is now available at level 1
  • Spirit Bear Entangle is now available at level 1
  • Spirit Bear Entangle duration is now 0.75/1.5/2.25/3
  • Spirit Bear Return is now a 3 second channeling ability. Cooldown: 30
  • Spirit Bear Demolish building bonus damage is now 10/20/30/40%
  • Spirit Bear damage reduced from 35/55/75/95 to 30
  • Spirit Bear now levels up when your hero does and gains +5 damage per level
  • Spirit Bear health reduced from 1500/2000/2500/3000 to 1100/1400/1700/2000
  • Spirit Bear now gains +75 HP per level of your hero
  • Spirit Bear Entangling Claws damage type changed from Physical to Magical
  • Spirit Link is now passive.
  • Spirit Link no longer heals the spirit bear when Lone Druid deals damage
  • Spirit Link lifesteal reduced from 40/50/60/70% to 20/35/50/65%
  • Spirit Link attack speed reduced from 20/40/60/80 to 15/30/45/60
  • Reworked True Form. 100 Cooldown. Transforms into a melee bear. Gains 500/1000/1500 Health (healed on cast as well), +10/15/20 Armor. Grants you Spirit Bear’s Entangling Roots and Demolish. Sets your melee attack range to 225. Duration: 40. Manacost: 200
  • Savage Roar now occurs both your hero and the Spirit Bear when cast on either.
  • Savage Roar AoE increased from 325 to 375
  • Level 20 Talent changed from -25s Battle Cry Cooldown to -40s True Form Cooldown
  • Level 25 Talent changed from Battle Cry Grants Spell Immunity to +1000 True Form Health

Lone Druid changes are probably bigger than the total changes in a small patch. Big takeaways – Spirit Bear now has three abilities at level 1 (which makes LD strong in lane), Return is now a 3 second channeling spell (so the bear can be called back even when taking damage), Spirit Bear keeps gaining damage and HP for every level of the hero. At level 30, both, the damage and HP of the Spirit Bear will be higher.

Damage increase from 95 to 180 (at level 30)
HP increase from 3000 to 4250 (at level 30)

And now, there’s two of them! Lone Druid gets entangle and Demolish in the True Form, which means more chances to lock down enemies and buildings going down twice as fast. Even Bulldog says the new Lone Druid looks good, so there must be something to it.

11) Luna

  • Base strength increased by 2
  • Base intelligence increased by 2
  • Base damage increased by 3
  • Moon Glaive now works with critical strikes
  • Lunar Blessing reworked. Now provides allied player units +10/15/20/25% Attack Damage and +10/15/20/25% Total Armor Bonus. Provides Luna with 200/400/600/800 night vision.

Moon Glaive now works with Critical Strikes? Daedalus and Bloodthorne are going to be common invent choices on Luna now! Lunar Blessing now gives damage, which it did earlier as well, as well as armor. That’s an added bonus right there, which Santa gave to Luna for being a good girl all year long. A 25% increase in armor can make a big difference, especially, looking at the armor graph below, if it is between 0 and 20, where a small change in armor can reduce the damage multiplier substantially. Like Clink, another hero who can be expected to have an immediate effect in the upcoming DPC qualifiers.

12) Lycan

  • Reworked Howl. Now causes all enemies within 2000 AoE to have 5/6/7/8 reduced armor and deal less 25/30/35/40% less base attack damage. Lasts 5/6/7/8 seconds. Cooldown: 24/22/20/18 CD Manacost: 50
  • Howl is now cast around your wolves as well
  • Reworked Scepter. Grants Wolf Bite. Target an allied hero to convert them and provide Shapeshift properties (including melee). Grants both of you 30% lifesteal, and a shared 30% lifesteal to heal the other one when within 1200 range of each other. Cooldown: 80. Manacost: 150

Why have just one wold, when you can have five?! Well, it won’t really be possible to have five like Wykrhm’s tweet shows, because the new Scepter skill, Wolf Bite, which does it has a cooldown of 80 seconds. With a Refresher Orb and Refresher Shard, there could be four wolves though! Lycan’s Scepter was a topic of debate on quite a few Reddit threads and taking heed of it, IceFrog has made it better. The shared lifesteal concept is very similar to Dota 2 Underlords, where the Warlock Alliance links two heroes and gives them a common lifesteal. Can be a good item for a position 3 Lycan. The rework to Howl now makes it an anti-carry skill. DPS damage dealers will want to stay away from the battle whilst they are affected by this debuff.

13) Pudge

  • Rot self damage is no longer lethal
  • Reworked Scepter. Reduces Dismember cooldown to 11. Allows you to target an ally with Dismember, instantly swallowing them in your belly and healing them for 4% of their max health per second. The ally can exit whenever they want by issuing a command.
  • Level 20 Talent changed from +15% Cooldown Reduction to -5s Meat Hook Cooldown

Rot being non-lethal is a bit of blow for Pudge as he cannot deny himself anymore. But the Scepter rework makes a case for Pudge to be a good support. Healing for 4% of max health is like healing at the fountain; just 25 seconds inside of Pudge and you’re back to full HP from nearly being dead! Seems weird to imagine the fact that going inside a pile of flesh can regenerate someone, but that’s how it is! The talent brings the Meat Hook cooldown from 12 to 7, so the essence of the previous Scepter effect is not lost out.

14) Razor

  • Replaced Unstable Current with Storm Surge. Passive Aura. Provides 4/6/8/10% movement speed to nearby allies. Has double values on your hero.
  • Eye of the Storm now passively shocks every unit in a 500 radius around you for 80/110/140 damage every 3 seconds. Still has the active component.
  • Static Link now causes Razor to continuously attack the linked target. You cannot attack other targets during this time. Your attack happens automatically while you are moving without interruption (as long as it’s legal to attack).
  • Static Link drain rate from 7/14/21/28 to 7/12/17/22
  • Static Link drain duration from 8 to 5/6/7/8
  • Level 25 Talent changed from +200 Unstable Current Damage to +200 Eye of the Storm Passive Damage.

Razor just got a fifth ability. with two of his older ones being merged together. Additional movement speed and just having to chase the target with the Static Link (without having to right click the hero) should make Razor a very strong her. This used to be a problem while chasing heroes; there was a necessity to click where they went and command your hero to attack them. Not any more…

15) Sven

  • Reworked Warcry. Causes allied heroes within 700 range to have 6/9/12/15 increased Armor and 12/16/20/24 Bonus Damage. Additionally increases your own movement speed by 6/10/14/18%. Lasts 8 seconds. Cooldown: 36/32/28/24. Manacost: 60
  • Reworked Scepter. Storm Hammer gains +500 cast range and you travel along it. Upon impact, it hits automatically lands an attack on the primary target.

The Justice League got a new member – Svenman! Sven’s Scepter, which was neglected for a good three years, will find good use now. An increased range on the stun with an added Blink in it is the dream scenario for Sven. Even if it isn’t the best invent to get early on in the game, the reworked Scepter makes it a good seventh item for Sven and even makes a case for the Rogue Knight to pick up the Scepter buff from Roshan. There’s a good chance players might even forgo the Blink Dagger to get an Aghanim’s Scepter.

Warcry has been reverted back to what it was before Dota 2 7.20, which makes me happy. It was better then and the rework also has it gaining additional damage. It is strange Sven has received so many buffs, considering he was one of the most dominant carries towards the end of last season, but considering the fact he was not used at all for a lot of patches before that, it seems fair.

16) Vengeful Spirit

  • Wave of Terror vision duration increased from 3 to 4
  • Vengeance Aura has been reworked. Now provides +60/100/140/180 Attack Range and +4/8/12/16 Primary Attributes to player units
  • Vengeance Aura illusion is now considered a Strong Illusions and cannot be instant killed with spells
  • Nether Swap now works against invulnerable/sleeping targets
  • Scepter Reworked. Nether Swap now fears enemies where you land in an area of 700 for 2 seconds.
  • Level 15 Talent changed from -6s Wave of Terror Cooldown to -3.5s Magic Missile Cooldown
  • Level 20 Talent changed from -6s Magic Missile Cooldown to Vengeance Aura Illusion Casts Spells
  • Level 20 Talent changed from +15% Vengeance Aura Damage to +10 Vengeance Aura Attributes

Vengeful Spirit is now a walking Dragon Lance. Dragon Lance provides strength and agility, Vengeance Aura provides the primary attribute, but it seems very similar. It remains to be seen if melee heroes will also get the added bonus, but if that is the case, Vengeful Spirit will be the perfect hero for a carry to have in lane. The new Scepter effect prevents enemies from helping an ally when Vengie swaps one of the opposition heroes. The old Scepter effect can still be achieved with the level 20 talent. The Vengeance Aura illusion now being a strong illusion will be able to pack a punch and like CK’s Phantasms, won’t be destroyed by a simple Hex or Mana Drain.

A special mention goes out to Snapfire and Void Spirit, who in their own ways, are winners for making their entrance into the Dota 2 world. The heroes mentioned above of course, aren’t the only winners of the patch, but are the more apparent ones. We will learn more about patch 7.23 by watching the DPC qualifiers and more importantly, ruin the matchmaking experience of a lot of people by theory crafting anything that comes to mind.

To celebrate the release of the 7.23 patch (The Outlanders Update), VPEsports will be doing a giveaway today on our Facebook page. The winner will get to choose an arcana of his/her choice! So make sure you’re tuned in to the VPEsports Facebook page for a chance to win an arcana.

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