esports

8 of the biggest changes in Dota 2 patch 7.20

© Valve
Written by Mike Stubbs
Dota 2 has again received its big annual shakeup. There's still a lot to be figured out, but already these changes are causing havoc in pubs after the biggest patch to date.
After months and months of waiting, IceFrog and the rest of the crew over at Valve have finally blessed us with Dota 2 patch 7.20, and it's changed everything. From the map to items and the most powerful heroes, nothing is the same, and we still have no idea what the most powerful combinations and strategies are. It's going to take weeks for us to figure out just how every single change will impact things, and it'll probably take even longer to memorise all of the changes so that we stop getting caught out mid-game, expecting to be able to take down someone with Rupture alone.
While it may take some time to truly master the patch, there are a few changes that we just knew would be impactful as soon as we read them. From brand-new abilities which totally change how heroes play, to new items and general mechanical changes, there are tons of changes that have already made a big impact on Dota. To make sure you don't get caught out when you jump into 7.20, these are the ones you really need to know about.

1. A new-look map

It may not have been the total map rework we've seen before, but this new look map is pretty different to one we're used to playing on. There are new ramps all over the place, some of the Bounty Rune positions have become very different, and generally, some areas have been changed. There are so many small tweaks across the entire map, your best bet is to jump into a game or two, and learn the new look map – it might just startle you.

2. Denies give gold, but not XP

Denies giving the denier experience points certainly made them more important, but now things have changed, and we expect to see the core players on your team fight for denies even more – all because they now give a gold bonus. The XP boost for pulling off a successful deny is gone, but now every deny will net you 20 percent of the gold, so that's seven or eight gold for a melee creep deny, and between nine and 11 gold for a ranged deny. Chances are you'll see a lot more core players going for a deny, but this should make them a little less important in the early stages.

3. Ring of Aquila is gone

Remember the item that pretty much every guide for any carry had listed as one of the first items you should buy? Well now the beloved Ring of Aquila is gone, and you can no longer nab one for your hero. It gave cores a great early stat boost, and even gave some passive aura benefits, making it undoubtedly the best early game item for a lot of heroes. So now you'll have to find something else to give you that early game boost. We wonder what will spring up in its place.

4. Kaya joins the ranks of Sange and Yasha

We all kind of expected this to happen one day, with Kaya seemingly fulfilling the same role as the Sange and the Yasha for intelligence heroes. Now it's finally happened, though, and Kaya seems to be useful on more heroes than just Storm Spirit. You can now combine it with either a Sange or Yasha to make a new item that's basically a Sange and Yasha, but with different attributes and benefits. It'll be interesting to see which heroes these new items work well with, because, right now, they seem to be some of the less popular new additions.

5. Scan reveals players in Roshan Pit

Actually, this probably won't change much in the grand scheme of things, because it seems that every single person we've ever played Dota with didn't seem to realise that this wasn't already the case. Since Scan was introduced to Dota, it didn't reveal players that were in the Roshan Pit, meaning scanning that area was all but pointless. Still, people did it anyway, and then when it turned up negative they were shocked when ol' Rosh was killed five seconds later. But now, whenever you have a suspicion that the enemy team may be after Roshan, you can scan the pit and get a definite answer. Progress!

6. Grimstroke is in Captains Mode

Artwork featuring Grimstroke from Dota 2.
Grimstroke is now in Captains Mode
This is a change that will have a bigger impact on the pro scene than the games we play every day, but now Grimstroke is in Captains Mode, and can be played in professional matches. So far, his usage has been limited, but give the pros a few weeks to figure him out properly, and we think Grimstoke will be played a fair amount, making this one of the more significant changes for the pro scene. His ult is incredibly powerful, and he can be a real menace in team fights, so expect him to show up more and more as time passes.

7. Keeper of the Light has a new ultimate

Lots of heroes got big changes with this patch, but Keeper of the Light received an entirely new ultimate, and had some parts of his old one moved into his regular tool set, totally changing the hero. The new Ult, Will-o-Wisp, spawns a blinding light in an Area of Effect that flickers on and off for a set time. When the light flickers on, enemies are forced to look at it, and are unable to act. The wisp can be destroyed with attacks, but it gives KotL some much needed crowd contro,l and could make him more of a factor in the pro scene.

8. Ogre Magi can Multicast Midas, and Dazzle is a core now

Of course, as soon as every patch drops, the community manages to find some memes, and while these two ideas seemed to be mere jokes, they've actually turned out to be somewhat viable strategies.
Ogre Magi's Multicast was changed with the latest patch so that it now works on offensive items, which, of course, also means it works on Hand of Midas. With some good RNG, you can get four Midas's off at once, bringing in a ton of gold. Not bad, right? This can give Ogre a massive gold lead in the mid game, and makes him a somewhat viable core.
On a similar note, Dazzle's new kit gives him some amazing cooldown reductions, and as a result he's been played a lot more as a core. Again, some theorised these two strats out of sheer meme potential, but in reality they both seem to be working out well; who would have thought?
Still want to know more about patch 7.20? Join renowned Dota analyst Kevin 'Purge' Godec as he goes through it in depth: