The latest 7.19 d Dota 2 update brings nerfs to multiple heroes

After several days of complaints and forum threads of a much-needed update, Valve has finally released a new Dota 2 update. The new 7.19 d update lays focus on balancing several overused abilities and heroes. Almost all the patch notes point towards a nerf one way or the other. The detailed patch notes can be read on theofficial Dota 2 Blog.

We discuss the biggest changes in this patch and how they will affect the current meta.


The community has voiced its opinion about Riki repeatedly. The hero felt too overpowered in its current state and it desperately needed a nerf, at least from the pub matches perspective. Surprisingly Riki was not seen in the Professional matches too much. It was its dominance in pub matches, especially at lower ranks that made the hero extremely powerful.

7.19 d Patch Notes – Riki

  • Smoke Screen slows rescaled from 10/15/20/25% to 8/12/16/20%.
  • Smoke Screen miss chance rescaled from 40/50/60/70% to 10/30/50/70%.
  • Tricks of the Trade AoE reduced from 500 to 450.
  • Tricks of the Trade duration rescaled from 4/5/6 to 4/4.5/5.
  • Level 20 Talent reduced from +900 Blink Strike Range to +700.
  • Level 25 Talent reduced from +400 Tricks of the Trade AoE to +300.

The biggest change comes to Riki’s first skill, the Smokescreen. With the miss-chances in the early stage of the game is too powerful, the hero seemed just too strong in its current state. While the Level 4 smoke remains at 70% the level 1 Smokescreen miss chance has been rescaled dramatically.

We will also see a reduction in Riki’s range and AOE [ tricks of trade] henceforth. A farmed Rikimaru at a high-level would almost always ensure an easy kill on an enemy hero. The reduction in AOE while not much, still has a significant impact on Riki’s versatility in pubs. The character is a very snowball hero at times, and the reduction in his early game presence definitely stalls his snowbally nature.


Grimstroke has received several changes to its skill-set since its release. The hero is still undergoing changes to its kit. 7.19 D>

7.19 d Patch Notes – Grimstroke

  • Ink Swell max damage reduced from 220/280/340/400 to 160/240/320/400.
  • Ink Swell movement speed bonus reduced from 18/22/26/30% to 18%.
  • Phantom Embrace latch duration from 4/4/5/5 to 5.
  • Phantom Embrace DPS rescaled from 12/18/24/30 to 6/14/22/30.

Grimstroke’s changes seem to balance out the hero a bit more. While Phantom Embrace’s duration has been increased by a second at the early levels, its damage has been halved. Overall, Phantom Embrace as an ability does significantly less damage in the early levels.

Grimstroke is already seeing a lot of play time in pubs as well as in a few tournaments. The hero still is quite strong and should not see a massive drop in pick-rate. The reduction to the Ink Swell damage further reduces the damage output of the hero.


Terrorblade does not see much in terms of professional gameplay as earlier. However, Valve felt that he still needed a nerf. The character has received several small nerfs throughout his toolkit.

7.19 d Terrorblade Changes

  • Conjure Image mana cost increased from 70 to 70/75/80/85
  • Reflection slow reduced from -25% to -20%
  • Sunder mana cost increased from 200/100/0 to 200/100/50
  • Level 15 Talent reduced from +300 Health to +250

The biggest change for Terrorblade ofcourse remains the increase in mana cost on multiple skills. Conjure Images receives a big nerf when we see the mana cost for the skill increase by 15 at Level 4. This might not seem extreme, however, when viewed in conjunction with the Sunder mana cost, this is a big problem for Terrorblade players.

Terrorblade does not remain as strong a hero in the mid-level as he was before. The nerfs to mana cost definitely hurts his ability to move around freely and without worry. As Terrorblade moves further up the levels, he will make more statistics. The hero also gains from +10 stats talent tree at level 20. In the late game, Terrorblade should not be adversely impacted by these nerfs. But his viability in the mid-game, especially with the lack of items, definitely hurts the heroes survivability.

Notable changes to other characters

Few of the most understated changes in the 7.19 patch update are the ones to Weaver and Zeus. Both the heroes will see an increase in the mana cost of a few abilities which have a very low cooldown. Sukuchi and Arc lightning will both see an increase in mana cost.

  • Weaver: Shukuchi Manacost increased from 60 to 70.
  • Zeus: Arc Lightning mana cost increased from 65/70/75/80 to 80.

The increase in mana cost, when viewed on paper, does not seem to be too much. But these are abilities that form the lifeline for the heroes. Zeus has a very poor attack animation and almost never relies on his physical hit to get any last hits. On the other hand, Weaver already faces mana issues, especially in the recent item builds that most players opt for. The lack of a Linkensphere and any statistic items in the early game definitely hurts Weavers Mana pool and regen. With this increase in the mana cost for Sukichui, Weaver players might have to realign their item choices.

When is 7.20 going to be released?

Many players were hopeful of a 7.20 update. However, Valve has already stated that they have a fixed schedule for 7.20 and will not be releasing it before that. As promised, they did deliver some minor changes via the 7.19 D patch update.

With a new hero yet to be released, we can expect Mars to be released alongside 7.20 update. The update will bring about major changes to gameplay and will possibly be released after the first Major of the DPC season.