Dota 2 Patch 7.24 fixed a lot of issues. It gave heroes a dedicated neutral item slot and added a neutral item stash in the fountain. Shrines were removed and outposts were moved from the sidelines into the middle of the jungle. Bounty runes were moved into the secondary jungle. And all GPM talents have been removed from the game.
Everyone’s a winner with these changes. But the same can’t be said for heroes. Some were nerfed and others were buffed. Here’s a list of the top five heroes who received a nice little buff in Patch 7.24:
Slardar is an absolute pest or an absolute beast depending on whether he’s on your team. Since the patch, his win rate has increased by 3.05%, bringing it to a total of 55% and making him an incredibly strong pick in the current meta.
Slardar’s base movement speed increased by 10. It doesn’t sound like much. But it’s an amazing buff on a hero who relies on staying close to his targets and chasing them down. It compounds with his active and passive percentage-based movement speed skills. Not only does it give him more catch potential. But it makes him more durable with extra armor, regeneration and additional stats.
The buff gives players a good reason to rush an Aghanim’s Scepter instead of a Blink Dagger. Nothing compares to being able to blink onto your enemies and stun them. But a couple of poor executions and deaths can take a Slardar right out of the game since. The Aghanim’s Scepter, on the other hand, takes longer to farm and makes initiation less reliable. But it’s a good trade-off. Slardar will be tankier and more fearsome in team-fights. And with the movement speed buff, he can still initiate well enough. A couple of kills later, you’re halfway to a Blink Dagger. And once you get that, you’re all set to wreak havoc and help your team win the game.
2. Death Prophet
Death Prophet hasn’t been relevant in a while. Her pick rate was down to a mere 1.68%. Although it has since increased to 2.08% and continues to rise. Her win rate has increased by 2.92% as well.
Death Prophet’s base armor was increased by 1 and her movement speed was increased by 5. Again, this doesn’t seem like a significant change. But she already had a strong presence in the lane. And now the buffs have made her even stronger. The movement speed increase means she can chase down enemies more aggressively while using Spirit Siphon to siphon their HP.
What’s more, the restore time for Spirit Siphon charges has been reduced from 60/52/44/36 to 45/40/35/30. That means she is better able to dominate the mid lane. And it means she will be able to survive ganks easier too.
Luna hasn’t been a staple pick for quite some time. Her pick rate is higher than Death Prophet’s. But it’s still a low 4.56%. Since the patch, it has increased by 0.69%, bringing it to a total of 5.25%.
Luna’s buff revolves around her passive skill, Lunar Blessing. The aura was increased from 10/15/20/25% to 15/20/25/30% additional armor and damage. It doesn’t sound like much. But somehow, it’s increased her win rate by 2.64%.
Perhaps there are other reasons too. Luna is what’s known as a tempo controller. She is a hero who can farm quickly and efficiently and use that farm to push lanes and objectives, which dictates the tempo of the game. It seems like the removal of GPM talents has favored tempo controllers. If they have a good start, it’s difficult for others to keep up.
Juggernaut is a scary hero. He can hack and slash his way through teams with Omnislash. He can push lanes with a Battlefury and teleport safely with a well-timed Blade Fury. And in the hands of a good player with a good amount of farm, he can end games quite easily. And in Patch 7.24, it’s become a little bit easier.
Juggernaut is a popular pick. He’s picked in 16.87% of the games played, which has seen an increase of 3.71% in the latest patch. His win rate has increased by 2.49% too, bringing it from 48.02% to 50.50%.
Juggernaut’s base damage was increased by 4 and his movement speed was increased by 5. These aren’t game-breaking buffs by any stretch of the imagination. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how they make him a better hero. Like Slardar and Death Prophet, he can chase down heroes more effectively, which works well in the early game with Blade Fury. And he can dish out more damage too.
Huskar is one of the most hated heroes in the game. Known for his ability to stomp pubs and cheese teams in the professional scene, Huskar has always been a menace. Especially when paired with an Oracle or a Dazzle who can keep him alive. And with the latest patch, he’s even more of a threat.
Huskar is a reasonably popular hero. His pick rate has risen to 9.45% after a 1.69% increase. What’s more, his win rate has increased by 2.47%, bringing it to a total of 53.47%. But what’s changed? Nothing actually. He didn’t even receive a change, let alone a buff. But it seems like other tweaks and changes in the patch have had a butterfly effect and buffed him indirectly.
Maybe it’s because the neutral items help him to keep momentum in the mid-game. It could also be the fact that the removal of shrines and moving the outposts to the center of the jungle means there are more team-fights he can participate in. Either way, something in this patch has made him viable.
There you have it, folks. Slardar, Death Prophet, Luna, Juggernaut, and Huskar are the top five heroes buffed in Patch 7.24. Axe also deserves a special mention. He received a small movement speed and strength gain buff. And he has seen a 2.69% increase in his win rate. But I haven’t encountered any in my pubs to see the changes first-hand. And based on the statistics, it’s probably better it stays that way.
The meta is always changing and evolving. Time will tell whether these heroes will stay relevant. The ESL One Los Angeles Closed Qualifiers are happening right now. They should provide a better insight into what works and what doesn’t.
Alex is a freelance writer based in Adelaide, Australia. He finished a law degree but realised it wasn't the career for him and decided to follow his dream of becoming a writer. Since then, he has finished two postgraduate writing degrees at Swinburne University of Technology. Now he writes about his other passion; esports and gaming.