Dota 2’s 7.25c patch has been released, with popular heroes in the current meta such as Keeper of the Light, Meepo, and Phoenix, as well as health regeneration items, hit with the nerf bat.
Keeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light has been the most popular support in competitive play as of late, thanks to his ability to outright win lanes and empower hyper-aggressive carries, such as Ember Spirit and Bristleback, with Chakra Magic.
While Icefrog left Chakra Magic’s mana restoration alone, the ability’s cooldown reduction mechanic on its target’s abilities was nerfed from being a 4/5/6/7 second cooldown reduction to 3/4/5/6. Keeper of the Light’s team fight control with his Will-O-Wisp ultimate has also been dialed down a bit, as its accompanying Level 20 Talent had its bonus area-of-effect reduced from 250 to just 200.
Meepo has arguably been the strongest he has ever been since his Geostrike ability was replaced by Ransack in the 7.20 patch. But after terrorizing pubs and blindsiding pro teams who forgot to ban him, Meepo has now received his biggest nerfs yet by having his base agility stat reduced from 24 to 17.
While the hero’s base damage and armor remain the same despite the change, it’s a significant reduction in the overall agility he can gain throughout the course of a game.
In addition, the first two levels of Meepo’s Divided We Stand ultimate had their level requirements increased, now being available at levels 4 and 11 instead of 3 and 10. This change significantly delays the hero’s massive power spikes from gaining additional clones and should give opposing heroes a bigger window of opportunity to take Meepo down while he’s not peaking in strength.
Phoenix has also emerged as a popular choice for the Position 4 support role in competitive play due to its strong magical damage potential and team fight control from Fire Spirits and Supernova, as well as added sustain for his team from his Sun Ray ability.
The hero’s laning presence has been toned down in this patch, as Fire Spirits’ damage over time for each of the four spirits has been reduced from 20/40/60/80 to 15/35/55/75. The ability’s damage potential as the game goes late has also been nerfed a bit, as Phoenix’s Level 15 Talent for Fire Spirits had its bonus damage over time reduced from +40 to just +35.
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Health regeneration items have been very popular early pickups in the current meta, with supports and offlaners notably building Headdress of Regeneration and Ring of Tarrasque, respectively, with their starting gold to sustain them through the laning phase.
Icefrog has nerfed the regeneration bonus of health regeneration items across the board while retaining or increasing their gold costs in order to reduce their overall effectiveness. The affected items by this change include the Ring of Regeneration, Soul Ring, Headdress of Regeneration, Mekansm, Pipe of Insight, Helm of the Dominator, Ring of Tarrasque, and Royal Jelly.
In addition, the Necronomicon had its strength bonus for each level of the item reduced from 10/15/20 to 6/12/18, Vladmir’s Offering had its recipe cost increased from 450 to 550, while the Dust of Appearance has been made cheaper from a 90 gold cost to just 80 now.
Finally, Wards can now always be attacked by the owning player to make them deniable from full health. A neat play enabled by this change is that supports can now drop a Sentry Ward in the middle of a neutral camp to destroy an enemy ward blocking it and then deny the Sentry they just placed so that the camp remains unblocked.
The 7.25c patch also tweaked the new pick-ban system for All Pick mode introduced in the 7.25 update last month. The time players have to select a hero in the mode has been reduced from 25 to 20 seconds.
In addition, whenever two players pick the same hero in a round, the hero is banned instead and the round restarts. This adds another layer of mind games during the picking phase in pubs, as players going up against a known hero spammer can pick the hero they know their opponent will go for in the same round in order to ban that particular hero instead.
To see the full list of changes introduced in the 7.25c patch, check the patch notes here.