I’m late to this party. 6.85 came out a couple of days ago with the intention of balancing the current meta without changing it too much. I actually feel like it has done a lot of good, at least for the pro scene but the reason I find the patch itself underwhelming is that it has had such little effect on pub games.
Let’s start with my favourite hero: Ursa. Ursa was OP in the last patch. His rework last patch meant that he still wasn’t picked up in pro games but you saw him even more in pubs. His biggest weakness is being kited around the map but, in pubs, people don’t have the coordination to kite Ursa effectively so he is really good at the average and lower level of play. He has been nerfed quite a bit, in my opinion, but I feel that this will have little effect on how much he is picked up as the problem isn’t with the strength of the ability but its nature. Ursa, over all the time that Dota 2 has been a thing, has had a 53% winrate. His rework was meant to make him viable in the professional scene but I feel like it changed little for them. That said Ursa + Io is a matchup that challenges Tiny + Io and, were it not for the teamfight based nature of 6.84 and 6.85, I feel like we might have seen a few of those.
Leshrac, of course, got nerfed but not as much as I thought he should. I, personally, never thought that Leshrac was overly powerful but a lot of things in 6.84 came together to benefit him greatly along with the fact that he had been buffed in small doses over the last patches. He had good teamfight capabilities, a stun, lots of sustain after he got Bloodstone (an item that also took a nerf-bat to the knee-cap) and he scaled really well. He was almost as powerful in 6.83 but, because of the meta of 6.83, we saw very few Leshrac players. Bloodseeker also took a big nerf, mainly for pub players, and I think the fact that he falls off so hard in the late game will mean that he is much more balanced now, but we are yet to talk about the most satisfyingly nerfed hero.
Techies is the worst hero in the game. You hate him if he’s on your team, you hate him if you’re against him and he’s boring to play, and, after all that, he drags out the length of games to, in some instances, hours long. I won’t go through his change log but, suffice it to say, everything was met with a big grin by him, even though he got some mild buffs. I am yet to play as him or against him but, in my mind, Techies is now balanced.
Lina got a bit nerf as well but I always thought that Lina support was the way to go and all the got nerfed was Lina carry, unless a game goes on long enough for the support to get an Aghanim’s Scepter. To be honest. I think everything else was very reasonable and moderate. There are so many more viable heroes now. Batrider is finally being played again, and by people other than Funnik! About 20 heroes dominated the last patch and now I think we will see, for a time at least, some perfect imbalance at play. I’m sure some heroes are more powerful than others still, but nothing like in 6.84.