Dota 2's much-awaited 7.31 update has already landed. As with any major update to the game, 7.31 brings some sweeping changes that can overwhelm players left unaware.
While you can check the full list of changes here, we've narrowed down the biggest changes in Dota 2's 7.31 update that you should know about:
Primal Beast is Dota 2's newest hero
Dota 2's hero roster now sits at 123 with the addition of the Primal Beast, who first appeared in the game as the final boss of Aghanim's Labyrinth.
The new hero brings several of his signature abilities from Aghanim's Labyrinth into Dota 2 itself, and even has an Aghanim's Shard upgrade already available.
It’s too early to say exactly what role the Primal Beast will be played at but his high strength, fixed ability damage, and relatively weak scaling suggest he is best suited as an offlaner or a position four support.
Techies have been reworked
Dota 2’s most controversial hero has finally been revamped after years of players begging for a change. Base on our initial experience, Techies is now a far more active hero who can contribute to early team fights.
The Techies rework adds two new abilities, Sticky Bomb and Reactive Tazer while making Proximity Mines his ultimate.
While Techies will still be blowing people up in the game, the explosion delay allows players to have some counter-play options now, making a match with Techies less stressful.
Neutral Creeps scale and have new abilities
Since its inception, Neutral Creeps have mostly been around to get killed and provide gold and experience to heroes.
Well, those days are over as Neutral Creeps are tired of all the abuse they have received over the years, and now level up every 7.5 minutes of the game.
Neutral Creeps will get tankier, hit harder, and provide more resources as the game goes on.
That’s not the only change coming to the Dota 2 forests, as new Neutral camps and abilities have also been introduced.
These include auras that improve Healing amplification, provide a passive GPM bonus and reduce spell cooldowns.
Three new items are introduced
The 7.31 update also adds three new items to the game: the Revenant’s Brooch, Wraith Pact, and Boots of Bearing.
Revenant’s Brooch is an upgrade to Witch Blade and gives heroes a counter to Ghost Scepter and other Ethereal abilities.
Wraith Pact is an upgrade for Vladimir’s Offering that summons a totem that reduces enemy damage output while also dealing 25 damage a second.
Lastly, Boots of Bearing combines Drums of Endurance and Tranquil Boots into one item that replenishes Endurance charges.
Out of the three items, Wraith Pact looks the most game-changing. The Totem requires five hero hits to die, so it’s fairly durable, and its 25% damage reduction is massive at all stages of the game.
Teams will be able to summon it near objectives such as Roshan and Barracks to gain a huge advantage.
Aghanim's Shard is now available at 15 minutes
When Aghanim's Shard was first introduced, it was only available for purchase at the 20-minute mark. In the 7.31 update, it is now available earlier at 15 minutes.
This is a big buff to heroes that purchase the item as part of their core item build-up.
Shadow Shaman can now push lanes five minutes earlier, Spirit Breaker can break enemies at 15 minutes into the game, and Phoenix can use Supernova and Sunray much earlier in team fights.
The fact that Aghanim's Shard can be purchased earlier in the game will dramatically change which heroes are picked in the meta.
Some Shards were considered powerful before but took too long to come online, reducing the viability of heroes that depended on them. With this change, we can expect a much healthier metagame in 7.31.
New Aghanim's Scepter and Shard abilities
It wouldn’t be a major Dota 2 update if several heroes didn’t get their Aghanim's Scepter and Shard upgrades reworked, and the 7.31 update did not disappoint with its changes.
No less than 13 heroes had their Shards reworked, including Brewmaster, Io, Legion Commander, Lina, Marci, Mirana, Omniknight, Puck, Pugna, Shadow Demon, Tinker, Vengeful Spirit, and Zeus.
Out of all the Shard reworks, Mirana’s Leap doing 150 damage seems the most impressive. Vengeful Spirit stunning two enemies also looks very strong, while Pugna’s new Shard makes him a team fight menace if his allies can lock enemies down.
Ten other heroes had their Aghanim's Scepter upgrades reworked, including Bloodseeker, Magnus, Marci, Morphling, Oracle, Puck, Rubick, Underlord, Windranger, Techies.
Morphling’s rework allows him to steal bonus stats, which looks absolutely bonkers. Rubick can now hold two stolen spells, which means we can expect Rubick to now hold two enemy ultimates by himself. Expect multiple highlights of Rubick using Ravage followed by Black Hole. Oracle’s new Rain of Destiny looks very powerful as well.
Cooldown reduction now stacks… again
When it comes to cooldown reduction, it seems IceFrog is constantly changing his mind on whether it should stack or not.
In the 7.31 update, Dota 2's enigmatic head developer has decided to allow multiple sources of cooldown reduction to stack again, but diminishingly this time.
To ensure that cooldowns don’t go out of control, IceFrog also nerfed several items that reduce cooldowns, such as Spell Prism and Quickening Charm, while also removing that aspect from Arcane Blink entirely.
Bracer, Null Talisman, and Wraith Bands now scale
The three starting Pokemo- I mean stat items now double their stats 25 minutes into the game, making them the most cost-effective items Dota 2 players can purchase.
A bracer can provide 10 Strength, 6 damage, 2 hp regen, and 4 Agility and Intelligence all for 510 gold. Wraith Bands provide 10 Agility, 4 armor, and 10 attack speed along with four Strength and Intelligence.
Players can buy three Bracers at 25 minutes and be legitimately unkillable in the current patch.
Axe and Necrophos now have infinite scaling
In the 7.31 update, several heroes have had their abilities adjusted to provide a passive bonus if they get kills. The two most prominent are Axe and Necrophos.
Axe now gains 1/1.5/2 armor for every hero he kills with Culling Blade. Since Axe will typically get a few kills in every game, it won’t be surprising to see him have an additional 15 or 20 armor just from Culling Blade.
Necrophos also gets stronger for every unit he kills with his ultimate. Reaper’s Scythe now grants Necrophos 1/2/3 mana regeneration per level and triple that in health regeneration. Similar to Axe, players who can get multiple kills early on will be difficult to bring down early with all the bonus health regeneration.
These are just some of the changes in Dota 2 patch 7.31. It looks like it will be a wild ride for a while, so enjoy the game and happy pubbing!
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.