Valve released Patch 7.26a on Tuesday for DOTA 2, making changes to dozens of items and heroes. The changes generally focused on reducing the speed of DOTA 2’s gameplay by nerfing movement speed for some heroes, reducing the movement buffs tied to various items, and increasing the cost of early game Auras. This update supports the broader changes made in Patch 7.26 on April 17th, which were intended to slow the game down.
The 7.26a Gameplay Update has been released https://t.co/NScn0ca04K
— DOTA 2 (@DOTA2) April 21, 2020
Patch 7.26a featured a significant nerf to boots across the board, switching their movement buff from being percentage base to being a set amount. For example, rather than Boots of Speed offering a 15% increase in movement they will not offer you a flat +45 increase to movement. This change reverted the movement changes made back in patch 7.2, which made fast heroes much faster and disproportionately punished slow heroes.
Various heroes received a nerf to their base movement speed. Death Prophet’s base movement speed went from 315 to 310, Razor’s movement speed was reduced from 285 to 280 and Night Stalker’s movement speed was reduced from 300 to 295. In addition, many hero abilities which increased movement speed were also nerfed, including a nerf to Batrider’s Firefly ability, Slardar’s sprint speed, and Razor’s Storm Surge ally movement buff, among others.
On top of the numerous speed changes, the patch also made a number of other notable changes to Yasha items and Auras.
The Yasha item buffs were switched from flat increase in damage to a percentage. For example, Yasha was changed from +20 damage to +8%. Other Yasha Items like Manta Style and Trident were also switched to percentage buffs. This means that Yasha items will be stronger for heroes with a higher base damage.
Valve increased the cost of all Aura recipes, presumably to prevent them from being so powerful in the early game. The gold needed to purchase various Auras went up by as little as 50 gold and by as much as 250 gold. Auras have been an essential element in the recent early push deathball meta, so the increased price should help slow down that meta.
The patch also brought a few changes to Auras. Silver Edge lost its health regen effect, making it a slightly less valuable pick. Eye of Skadi was buffed and will now emit an aura that reduces regen, healing, and lifesteal by 35%. These changes will make the item a much better pick against lifestealing opponents.
Spirit Vessel received a small rework. The item will now emit a negative aura reducing health regen, heals, and lifestyle by 20%. The Soul Release debuff regen reduction was reduced to 35% and the Spirit Vessel “no longer requires Wind Lace, nor provides a movement bonus.” Although Spirit Vessel no longer provides a movement bonus, overall these changes increase both its usefulness and its price.
The changes introduced in Patch 7.26a should help curb the power of the current DOTA 2 deathball meta and slow matches down significantly. If you are interested in the full changes, you can check out the patch notes.