Patch 7.33 is not guaranteed to come any time soon, but we can hope. It is usually the case that we get a smaller, letter patch in a couple of weeks after the International, and a bigger, more fundamental update in a month or two. Today we would like to discuss things we would like to see from a big update.
A lot of players think that map needs a rework, but we don’t think change for the sake of change is necessary. If anything, the current map iteration feels balanced and great, with a couple of exceptions. Most notably, the Death Choke around Rosh Pit in the Dire Jungle still feels like it was a band aid solution and some level of polish would be welcome. It’s not like the area is functionally bad or not fun to play around, it just looks very weird.
There is also something to be said about the early laning stage, creep pulling and general lane equilibrium. Right now it feels like if you don’t have at least a moderately self-sustaining core in lane and at least a somewhat powerful support with aggressive potential, your lane is bound to lose. Not being able to contest pulls is a very big problem for the viability of supports.
In fact, the whole “I block your camp, for you to spend money to deward and unblock the camp, so then I have to block it again” route is going very much against all the attempts to make supports better off financially. Moreover, it is simply not very fun to play the laning stage like this: it devolves into a constant attempt to put out multiple fires across the jungle and lane, where you rarely get to play a classic 2v2.
We feel there are currently two very problematic items. Wraith Pact is still going as strong as it used to, being one of the most cost effective “save” items in the game. Universal damage mitigation is simply way too good to ignore, even after all the nerfs. The fact that it also gives several strong auras on top of it is what makes it overpowered. Perhaps making the totem static could change the viability of the item without ruining it, as any further number decreases might lead to it becoming unexpectedly and unintentionally weak.
There is also Witch Blade. For a 600 gold recipe, it sometimes provides an extra 200+ damage nuke at a timing, where defensive options are not yet available for supports and even most cores. The end result is misery for anyone who gets caught off guard, and a very high snowball potential for the Witch Blade user.
It would be fine, if the item wasn’t also a good teamfight purchase. All the stats it gives are great teamfight stats as well, with extra armor being especially handy on relatively squishy heroes like Lina, Storm, Void Spirit and QoP. Fixing either of these aspects would be very welcome: right now it is an item too good to ignore. Alternatively, a simple recipe cost increase could do the trick.
We think it is futile to discuss individual hero changes in a big patch wishlist. There are way too many variables that need to be taken into account and while it is easy to say something along the lines of: “Clinkz wasn’t picked at TI, so he needs buffs”, we don’t think it is productive or meaningful in any way.
Instead, we will once again complain about how there were no hard carries released since Monkey King. Void Spirit, Dawnbreaker and Marci can be played as cores, but they are more tempo-brawler type of heroes, rather than actual late-game carries. We hope that Muerta will be a ranged, agility hard-carry, especially since she apparently has some ties with the Phantom Assassin Persona character.
Given how Revenant’s Brooch is heavily speculated to belong to Muerta and the aforementioned PA Persona says: “Some of my first memories were of ethereal embrace…” after purchasing an Ethereal Blade, it might be reasonable to assume that Muerta will be a primarily magic damage hero, possibly with a built-in way to pierce Ethereal form with auto-attacks.
There aren’t many Magic Damage dealing hard carries in the game, but it could be a nice, unique addition to the game. Though in a discussion like this, Ancient Apparition and Dark Willow Aghanim’s upgrades must be mentioned. They are, for all intents and purposes, magic DPS steroids that don’t usually show up in high level games.
Otherwise, we feel like the hero meta is in a surprisingly good state. There is a good spread between teamfight and ganking heroes, tempo and late-game oriented ones and between magic and physical DPS. The only thing we could potentially complain about, is that some heroes simply can’t function in the current laning climate, but it is, once again, too hero specific and even then, these cases are very rare.
What are your hopes and dreams for the next patch? Are you satisfied with the state of the game right now and how is your Cavern Crawling going? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.