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Dota Auto Chess got the biggest update since its advent on the 25th of February. The update included the addition of three new heroes to the game -Riki, Mirana and Death Prophet, reworks on a few existing heroes and changes to certain species and class related bonuses. Let’s take a look at how the new heroes fit in to Dota Auto Chess and in what way the changes will affect the game.

 New chess pieces added: Riki(3 cost, Satyr Assassin), Mirana (3 cost, Elf Hunter), Death Prophet(5 cost, Undead Warlock)

1) Riki (Satyr, Assassin)

Riki’s introduction in the game brings a new race into the game – Satyr. Satyrs are good at concealment and what having Riki on the bench does is it makes your bench invisible to others. But there’s a problem – it always takes away a good chunk of visibility from the player owning Riki which makes the heroes on the bench difficult to see. Ideally, you would know what heroes you have on your bench. But if the bench has a good 8-10 heroes, it is difficult to keep track of every hero on there. While buying new chess pieces, it becomes kind of a problem as you don’t want to buy the wrong piece. That is a major problem that needs to be fixed. The owner of the piece should not lose any visibility at all.

On the battlefield, Riki isn’t too bad. His ability is Smokescreen which silences heroes and makes them miss. But he isn’t too exceptional either and the only lineup he fits into is Assasins. Without that, there is no synergy for the Stealth Assassin. With just 50 damage and 0 armor, Riki does not seem like a piece that is worth three gold.

Satyr passive ability
Hidden bench with Riki

2) Mirana (Elf, Hunter)

Mirana adds to the huge tally of Elves and is the second Elf Hunter after Windranger. She is also the first to have an ability that crosses chessboards. The way it works is the Mirana on your board sends her arrow to the other board which your team are attacking and the Mirana from that board sends it to the Mirana on your board. Depending on the distance, the stun and damage are decided. There is a major problem with this, however.

i) If your team steamrolls to victory in the matter of a few seconds with Mirana even hitting 100 mana, the other board is left waiting for an arrow which never comes.

ii) Similarly, if you lose quickly, the other board does not get a Mirana arrow.

In both scenarios, even of the Mirana from the other board sends an arrow towards your board, it is pretty much useless as the battle on your board is already done and dusted. The only time it will be extremely useful is when both battles are long drawn and Mirana gets to use Sacred Arrow. Similar to Riki, Mirana has average damage and 0 armor which makes her not-so-good a buy for three gold.

Mirana’s ability – Sacred Arrow

3) Death Prophet (Undead, Warlock)

Death Prophet is the same as Necrophos – Undead Warlock and is probably the only hero from the newly introduced ones that is worth buying. Like the other two newcomers, DP is a 0 armor hero as well and her ricght click damage is even worse. But the damage that does matter is the damage from Exorcism. Exorcism, her skill, deals a crazy amount of damage even for a 1-star DP. The only problem is, for all other five gold heroes (Gyrocopter, Techies, Tidehunter, Enigma, Lich), it is quite ok if they use their ability and die. Just the use of their ability makes a huge difference in the team fight. For DP, she needs to stay alive. The moment she dies, all that damage disappears. So even with high damage, a 1-star Death Prophet is not worth having on the board. A Void Stone is an invent that will make life a lot easier for DP, getting the Exorcism Spirits out as early as possible. I am not sure if wielding a Refresher will double the spirits, but if it does, that would just mean instant board clearing damage. It needs to be a 2-star DP for a bit of sustain. But on the whole, the hero is an interesting one which should add a new dimension to the late game.

Death Prophet’s ability – Exorcism
A 1-star Death Prophet’s damage

– Slark reworked: Replaced Shadow Dance with Pounce. Cost reduced from 3 to 2.
Slark was a hero that could be a handful, especially if he was a 2-star Slark with a Ring of Health or something to keep him alive. Shadow Dance would just keep triggering and Slark would not die at all. It made him a strong unit. The new Slark (2 gold instead of the earlier 3) uses Pounce to deal damage to enemies. It isn’t too bad if you get and early 2-star Slark, but it isn’t as good as the hero used to be. However, with the Naga species buff, it might be a unit to hold on to.

– Alchemist reworked: Replaced Acid Spray with Chemical Rage. Attack rate decreased by 0.3.
Alchemist just went from a top tier hero to a bottom tier one. Acid Spray was an amazing ability which dealt damage and reduced the armor of whoever was staning in it. Chemical Rage just makes Alch attack faster, which means he has some potential to be a major damage dealer, but just isn’t good as some of the heroes already in the game. While BSJ was streaming Dota Auto Chess, Kirbynator (a Hearthstone player who has faalen for Auto Chess) mentioned how ALch has become useless. Earlier, the hero was so good that it didn’t even need synergy to be in a lineup. But now, Alch’s days are over, pretty much like in Dota 2!

– Decreased Horror (Undead combo) Armor reduction from -5/-7 to -4/-6.
With one more Undead hero now available (Death Prophet), it will be easier to accumulate four Undead heroes.  Also an armor reduction of five with just two heroes on the board does seem a bit high.

– Decreased Hunter’s Pack (Hunter combo) bonus attack damage from +30%/+30% to +25%/+25%.

Even with this nerf, Hunters will continue to be one of the main sources of damage. But those bullets and arrows will hurt a little less.

– Increased Power of the Wild (Beast combo) bonus attack damage from +10%/+15%/+20% to +15%/+20%/+25%.
This change has made having two Beasts on the board totally worth it. A 15% damage increase on the entire team is something that could definitely turn the tides in a battles, especially early on in the game when damage dealers are yet to grow and get items.

– Balanced Scale Armor (Naga combo) bonus magic resistance from +20%/+40% to +30%/+30%.
Like Beasts, having two Naga heroes seems quite worth it, more so if there are magic based lineups developing. 30% increased magic reduction is a sizable decrease in damage and it applies to the entire team. If early sustain is required against burst damage, it would help to have a Slark and Slardar in the lineup early game. That is the only advantage of having Slark reduced to two gold – the hero is easier to find and upgrade early on in the game.

– Decreased Battle Hardened (Orc combo) bonus HP from +250/+350 to +200/+300.
A needed buff for the Orc race as three of the four members (Beastmaster, Axe and Juggernaut) can be accumulated early and they make a sturdy trio. Axe and Juggernaut are also Warriors so putting another Warrior in with them gives them armor as well. Adding Disruptor to the mix, all members got an additional 600 HP which is a lot! A small nerf to 500 should put them in their place to an extent.

– Decreased Razor’s Plasma field AoE from 400/500/600 to 400/450/500.
After Shadow Fiend, Razor probably has the best DPS, at least in the early and mid game. The hero can be seen in any and every lineup, irrespective of synergies. The hero was being used a lot and a nerf was incoming. The magic takes a bit of a hit. But it shouldn’t knock Razor off his pedestal.

– Improved Lina’s base attack rate by 0.3.
– Decreased Lina’s Laguna Blade cooldown from 13/10/7 sec to 10/8/6 sec.

Line is a hero very underused even though she has a high damage nuke. 0.3 is a big reduction in base attack rate which make Lina attack faster and get off Laguna Blade quicker. A smaller cooldown means a higher probability of getting two Laguna Blades in a battle, especially by a 2-star Lina who has the ability to soak a little damage and can dish out Laguna Blades every eight seconds. Lina should see an increase in usage after this patch.

– Decreased Disruptor’s Static Storm maximum damage from 100/200/300 to 100/150/200.
It’s a double nerf to Disruptor – Orc HP and the Static Storm damage. Static Storm is a strong skill just with the silence effect which prevents heroes like Tidehunter and Techies to get off their abilities before dying. Having an insane amount of damage along with it is just adding insult to injury. Disruptor had received a buff to his ability before owing to a low win rate, but looking at the nerfs in this patch, it seems his win rate has gone up considerably.

So here it is, the first new patch of Dota Auto Chess. Watching streamers makes use of Death Prophet is something I am looking forward to. It is hard to say how much the strong and favorable heroes will change with this patch, but one thing is for sure, Riki and Mirana definitely need some rework.

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