No point ruining a Good thing: 6.88c

No point ruining a Good thing: 6.88c


Date: 2nd September 2016

6.88 was one the best patches the game of Dota has ever seen. Apart from 5 heroes, (Visage, Lina, Rooftrellen, Bloodseeker, Leshrac) every hero in the game saw some action in the International 2016. Hence it is not surprising that Icefrog chose to put in a balance patch instead of a complete game overhaul after TI6. The patch focuses on nerfing some of the most picked heroes of TI6 while some of the unpicked ones some minor buffs.

Gameplay Changes and Impact

Lane creeps now give 35% of experience when denied by neutrals rather than 20% (normal player denies give 50% experience)

Denying creeps to the neutrals now is less punishing for the offlaners (if they are in experience range). While 35% may not seem much, it almost is double of the original 20%. Often it means the difference between a level up, which in turn means the difference between life and death for an offlaner.

However it is unlikely that most of us will be impacted that much by it in our pub games since supports rarely deny creeps in Pub matches however this could have a huge impact on the competitive scene.



Lina’s Base Attack Time improved from 1.7 to 1.6

Reduction in base attack time usually doesnt mean much for intelligence heroes who rely much more on their spells than their right clicks. However with Lina’s passive Fiery Soul, she gets enough attack speed to  easily become a decent semi carry in the mid to late game. The improvement in base attack time will make sure that Lina wont fall off as hard in the late game. While this doesnt mean that Lina will become a tier 1 mid pick, but she definitely has come out stronger than she was.


Rupture damage increased from 26/42/60% to 30/45/60%

Bloodseeker’s biggest problem is he is in a weird place. He needs too many items to carry a game, while not being able to offer enough in other position. Increasing Rupture damage at earlier levels gives him some more snowball potential but thats still not enough of a buff. He still gets countered pretty hard by a 75gold item (TP scroll). Our opinion: Cute but not enough.


Living Armor regeneration bonus increased from 4/7/10/13 to 4/8/12/16

Rooftrellen’s Living Armor is easily his best spell as a support. Buffing it makes him stronger as a defensive support while increasing his synergy with heroes like Weaver. A strong buff, this might just push him into the situational picks tier.


Stone Form stun delay reduced from 0.85 to 0.55

In a meta where Drow Ranger was everyone’s darling it was very odd to see that no one picked Visage. But though Drow gameplay evolved to the point where she could be a team fight as well as a tower pushing hero, Visage offers very little when teams don’t get early towers. His reliance on gold also makes him a liability when his team is behind economically. None of this is solved by the 6.88c buffs.



Shadow Demon

Disruption illusion damage taken increased from 150% to 200%

Shadow Demon’s synergy with carries like Luna, Alchemist, Terrorblade etc. leads to insane tower seiging potential. The fact that the illusions created by Disruption are much more tanky than normal illusions plays a huge part. While no change in the damage dealt means that the illusions are still capable of doing huge damage, the fact that they take twice the damage as normal heroes means that they are easier to get rid of. A fair buff that nerfs Shadow demon without making him unplayable.

art _by_yakonusuke

Elder Titan

Echo Stomped units no longer get targeted by towers or creeps (like nightmare)

Echo Stomp damage decreased from 85/110/135/160 to 70/100/130/160

Stomped units dying from towers and creeps have made for many etertaining videos on youtube. However it’s absence leaves Elder Titan a bit weaker. Factoring in the reduction in damage for Echo Stop at level 1 mans he can no longer annoy the Mid laner to the same extent. A very necessary buff in my opinion.


Starstorm Aghanim upgrade no longer releases a second meteor

Of all the buffs or nerfs in this list, this was the most needed one. If Mirana wasn’t such a loved hero by the Dota community, people would be flooding the internet asking for a nerf. The fact that there are 4 waves of star storm instead of 3 makes it much harder for Mirana to just delete a hero from the map. While she still has great solo potential, Mirana with aghs is simply not as scary as before.


Reactive Armor duration decreased from 14/16/18/20 to 10/13/16/19

Reactive Armor is one of the main reason why Timbersaw is playable in mid. (Timberchain is less effective due to there are no trees around the mid river.) The reduction in the duration makes the value point in the skill significantly weaker, hurting his strengths in the offlane as well. A severe nerf to the power of the hero.

Drow Ranger

Gust cooldown increased from 13 to 16/15/14/13

A not so significant nerf which doesn’t hurt the strengths of the hero in the least bit. Drow at the earlier levels rarely gets off more than a single single in team fights before killing or being killed. The nerf doesn’t really hamper the main potential of the hero in any way.

Faceless Void

Chronosphere cooldown increased from 130/115/100 to 140/125/110

The 10 second increase in Cooldown really hurts Void. It gives teams more time to play around when the skill is on cool down. A whiffed chronosphere hurts your team even more. Now its almost necessary for an offline void to get sceptre at some point in the game.


False Promise cooldown increased from 90/60/30 to 100/65/30

Just like the chromosphere nerf this also hurts the power of the hero significantly. In some ways this is even more painful as Oracle rarely manages to hit level 16 where his ult is 30 seconds. Not unplayable but Oracle isn’t going to be thanking Icefrog anytime soon.


Generally there is a huge patch after TI to give the professional scene and the pubs to start afresh so that Dota does not become stale. However this time, for once I’m actually not screaming for a patch change. I’m quite happy with the way the meta is and it seems like Icefrog is of the same mindset. Maybe once Monkey King is out I might change my mind, but for now, Does anyone want to queue SEA Ranked?


Rohan Pashankar

Rohan Pashankar

Analyst at Mag Gaming
Rohan Pashankar

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