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Dota 2

Dota 2 Patch 7.30 Biggest Changes: Nerfed Neutrals, Support Tinker

Michael Hassall

After a huge drought, the latest patch for Dota 2 is finally here! The 7.30 Patch dropped late on August 17, bringing a plethora of changes with it.

Underlords Dot Patch 7.30

Clinkz, Underlord, and Tinker are big winners in the 7.30 patch for Dota 2 (Image via Valve)

Being the last big patch before The International 10, Patch 7.30 has been one of the most anticipated patches of recent memory. Headed in, there were huge expectations, from wild sweeping changes to the game to possible new hero reveals. But, ultimately, the patch has instead focused on creating a more diverse meta headed into TI.

How has Valve achieved that? With Neutral Item tweaks and adjustments, reworks of less-played heroes, and not fixing what isn’t broken. Full patch notes are available here, but for a summary of the biggest changes, keep reading!

Pruning the Neutral Items, Adding Replacements

Neutral Items are some of the most contentious parts about modern Dota 2. Some see them as a bit of much-needed variety. Others think that the element of randomness they bring to the game is unsuitable for competitive play. Whatever you believe, Valve has removed some of the most annoying Neutral items and changed others.

Neutral Item Changes

Some Neutral Items received the chop in Patch 7.30, but we also have new toys to play with (Image via Valve)

Faded Broach, Ironwood Tree, Imp Claw, Illusionist’s Cape, Minotaur Horn, Orb of Destruction, and Ballista are all gone. The two final items on that list are the most significant changes, meaning cores are no longer in a waiting game to get the piece of gear that can end the game on its own.

Existing Neutrals got a tweak, including the much-maligned Spider Legs and Flicker. Those two items alone have created more havoc in pro and pug games than perhaps any other set of Neutrals. So seeing them have their movement speed reduced and blink potency changed will be a welcome sight for many.

In their place are some fun new toys: quite literally. The Tumbler’s Toy is an excellent free blink dagger equivalent, while Pig Pole… turns you into a pig. Brigands Blade, Fae Grenade, and Blast Rig are nice for bursting heroes down mid-game. Ascetic’s Cap and Arcanists Armor are impressive defensive items, and Witchbane looks ideal for giving supports more clout late game.

Patch 7.30’s Big Hero Changes

While almost every hero received changes, there’s a reason Underlord, Tinker, and Clinks made it onto the cover art for this patch. Each of the heroes received significant changes and additions to boost them from situational, rarely-played picks to potential top-tier.

Underlord’s new Aghanim’s Scepter ability has turned him into Dota 2’s premier taxi service. Able to create “Fiend’s Gate,” this clickable portal has all kinds of potential for shenanigans. Lasting 20s, you could potentially use it to teleport an entire team from one point to another. Perhaps the closest thing we’ll ever get to tele-fragging in Dota 2.

Underlord Changes

Underlord may have to change its name to ‘Uberlord’ because of how effectively they can deliver heroes to their destination (Image via Valve)

I hope you like support Tinker because it’s what you’ll see in pugs and pro games very soon. With some abilities moved around (Defense Matrix to basic ability, March of Machines to Agh’s Shard), a splash damage-dealing Laser, and now a free teleport on Rearm means Tinker now has the true support utility his design suggests.

Clinkz is the final big winner, thanks to the new Burning Barrage ability. A wave of burning arrows with huge range means Clinkz now better fills the role that someone like a Windranger, Drow Ranger, or even Mirana does. With this improved harassment and tweaks to Skeleton Walk and Death Pact, expect to see the skeleton archer in more of your games soon.

As mentioned, almost every hero received some changes in this patch. Besides the three listed above, Broodmother, Bounty Hunter, Chen, Dawnbreaker, and Outworld Devourer received some significant alterations. Meanwhile, Axe fans are in mourning, as the angry red Oglodi was hit with the biggest nerf of the patch. Oh, and Pudge seems broken right now.

Final Thoughts on Patch 7.30

As some have mentioned, this isn’t the massive patch that one might expect for a ’round number’ update. Some of the biggest changes that many expected haven’t materialized. For instance, there have been no adjustments to the map, Neutral Items, for the most part, still remain, and no sign of a new hero.

But fundamentally, this patch has done what it needed to: Shake things up for The International 10. It also addressed some of the significant issues with the game’s meta. For example, in removing some of the Neutral Items that made players want to wait until Tier 5’s spawned to win the game, Valve has made waiting until 60 minutes a less appealing win condition. And in giving more heroes the ability to make cross-map macro plays, they’ve reduced the chance of a single hero using its mobility to dominate a game.

Full patch notes are available here. And watch the latest patch in action at ESL One Fall: Bootcamp Edition on August 21 to August 29.