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Dota 2

Dota 2 Patch 7.29 Removes Necronomicon, Tries to Fix the Meta

Patrick Bonifacio

As promised by Valve social media personality Wykrhm “Wyk” Reddy, Dota 2 Patch 7.29 has arrived. The latest major balance update brings with it a truckload of gameplay changes, ranging from massive to innocuous at first glance. A brand new hero also joined the roster in the form of Dawnbreaker.

Dota 2 Patch 7.29 Beastmaster

Beastmaster's reign of terror in the metagame has come to an end, thanks to the removal of Necronomicon in Dota 2 Patch 7.29. (Image courtesy Valve)

Lead developer and balance master IceFrog has seen it fit to rework the game almost wholesale. Tons of changes to heroes, items, general gameplay mechanics, and even the map itself are included in the update.

Terraforming Anew

As expected from a major balance update, IceFrog and the rest of the development team at Valve have reworked some parts of the map. New paths, relocated ward spots, and adjusted tower positions in lane are all part of the map reworks.

Some neutral creep camps moved entirely. Outposts have likewise been made to “stand more prominently in the primary jungle, ” with both being moved more towards their respective jungles’ center areas. Valve provided comparison sliders for easier visualization, which you can check out in the changelog itself.

Moving Mechanics

Refreshing Runes

Dota 2 Patch 7.29 also includes several significant changes to gameplay in general. New power runes, Water Runes, spawn at both power rune locations. Water Runes instantly restore 100 health and 80 mana when picked up or used from a Bottle. However, they only spawn at the two and four-minute marks, after which the regular power runes will spawn as normal on one side of the river.

This changes the solo mid matchup in a meaningful way. For one, having Water Runes spawn in both spots at the same time means that both mid heroes likely won’t have to fight over Bottle refills. On the other hand, supports could be incentivized to rotate to contest both runes at once. Mid heroes with sustain issues will also greatly appreciate the early restoration.

Dota 2 Patch 7.29 Bounty Rune

Bounty Runes will only spawn in the river once per game.

Bounty Runes, on the other hand, were reworked. These will no longer spawn in the river, but have had their bonus gold converted to passive gold gain to all heroes over time. This means that the total number of Bounty Rune spawns has been reduced from four to two. However, two Bounty Runes will also spawn at the power rune locations at the zero-minute mark, making for a total of four at the start of the game. They also now spawn every three minutes instead of five.

Adjusting Outposts

Outposts, meanwhile, no longer give team-wide bonus experience every 10 minutes when controlled. Instead, they provide passive team-wide experience gain at a rate of two points per minute. For example, controlling an Outpost for the first 10 minutes grants a total of 110 passive experience.

Like with the Outposts from the previous patch, controlling both Outposts simultaneously will not provide additional experience gain. This is presumably to ensure that teams do not suddenly gain a massive advantage by denying their opponents experience from Outposts.

Town Portal Scrolls Galore… For Supports

In the latest set of IceFrog’s gifts to support players, Town Portal Scrolls are now given away for free upon death. Seeing as how support heroes are typically the ones that die the most in a game of Dota 2, this should make up for the cost of buying TP Scrolls somewhat. This is especially important given that TP Scrolls are now 10 gold more expensive, up to 100 gold each from 90 in the previous patch.

On a related note, the teleportation radius of TP Scrolls and Boots of Travel has also been increased from 575 to 800 units. This change is presumably in line with the map reworks mentioned previously, as the reworks themselves include the removal of some trees close to towers.

Metagame Shifts

Dota 2 Patch 7.29 likewise brings in plenty of changes to help shift the metagame from 7.28c, in the form of hero and item changes. Frankly, there are far too many for us to list here, so we’ll just pick a few that jump out in relation to the previous metagame.


Perhaps the most notable change to come out of the patch is the removal of Necronomicon. Necronomicon was a driving force in the resurgence of summon-based heroes like Enigma and Beastmaster. Especially in the respective metagames of the Dota Pro Circuit and the Singapore Major. The item enabled extreme, high-tempo laning phase strategies to become viable for these heroes. The strategies in question allowed picks like Beastmaster to rush Necronomicon and roll over their lane opponents with little to no effort, which IceFrog seems to have put a stop to.

This change ends 16 years of existence for Necronomicon, which was added to DotA Allstars all the way back in 2005. Although it hasn’t been an iconic item in Dota 2’s competitive history, it’s fairly clear that Icefrog thinks it causes more trouble balance-wise than it’s worth.

Tangoes on a Timer

Previously, shared Tangoes would last indefinitely, allowing supports to pool Tangoes for mid heroes in particular basically without consequence. 7.29 does away with this entirely, making it so that shared Tangoes now expire after 40 seconds. This pretty much forces mid heroes to buy their own Tangoes now, which should slow the matchup down a little given the additional spending.

Side lane matchups are more or less unaffected. Side lane cores usually purchased their own Tangoes even prior to this patch, while supports don’t have to worry about their shared tangoes expiring at all.

“Abyssal Blink” Is No More

After being granted an instant teleportation effect on cast in 7.23, IceFrog has officially reverted Abyssal Blade to its previous incarnation. This change likely addresses the new Shadow Fiend build which involved building Abyssal Blade in order to instantly burst targets down with Requiem of Souls.

It also affects melee heroes across the board, though, which all definitely enjoyed having a purchasable gap closer that wasn’t just Blink Dagger. To compensate, the whole item has had its cost reduced by 300 gold.

A King’s Broken Scepter

Monkey King’s Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade was undoubtedly one of the most powerful in the previous metagame. Heroes playing against him weren’t even guaranteed to be safe after Monkey King died in a teamfight, as his Scepter soldiers would remain in the area even after death. No longer will this be a problem, though, as they now disappear when Monkey King is killed.

Scepter soldiers will likewise no longer attack Roshan, which puts an end to Monkey King’s ability to solo-kill Roshan. He will now need his teammates to assist him in this endeavor, but even then his Roshan kill times will be significantly higher with this nerf.

Receding Tide

Much to the enjoyment of pub players everywhere, Morphling has taken a pretty big hit this patch. Attribute Shift now costs 10 mana per second, which is kind of how the hero was in his old incarnations. Picks like Anti-Mage and Phantom Lancer—the latter of which builds Diffusal Blade—will now find it easier to play against Morphling as a result.

Like we said, the entire changelog is massive, and there’s way too much to even talk about in this article. If you’re interested in all the details, check out the Patch 7.29 notes on the official Dota 2 website.