Dota 2’s 7.28b patch focuses on Aghanim’s Shards balance, nerfs Batrider’s Ancients stacking strategy

Dota 2‘s latest balancing patch is out, with emphasis placed on finetuning the newly introduced Aghanim’s Shard mechanics for most of the hero roster.

Heroes that were dominating public matchmaking with high pick rates and win rates such as Batrider, Lycan, Puck, Nyx Assassin, Wraith King, and Monkey King received targeted nerfs.

Batrider has enjoyed a resurgence in a core role due to his Sticky Napalm buffs in the Mistwoods update. The skill’s reduced damage against creeps was removed, while Ancients’ creeps magic resistance was reduced. This created a perfect storm situation for the hero, who could easily clear out large Ancient stacks in the early game at little risk to his health to burst ahead of the competition in farm and experience. Batrider, already one of the most powerful gankers, inevitably became more domineering due to this invaluable technique.

Lycan’s overall pack damage was reduced following a percentage reduction to his passive Feral Impulse, Puck’s obnoxious teamfight ability was slightly worsened after a cooldown increase on ultimate Dream Coil, and Nyx’s ganking prowess and map movement was made slower due to nerfs in base movement speed and Vendetta’s shard movement speed bonus.

While many heroes were specifically buffed due to their underused Aghanim’s Shard, Outworld Destroyer’s list of changes was the most extensive. The hero’s rework in 7.28 made him one of the weakest heroes in the game, and Valve has buffed several of his skills and base stats to compensate for the hero’s lack of farming capability.

A few newly introduced Mistwoods items were changed as well. Orb of Corrosion quickly became the choice item for all manners of brawlers providing health, a decent slow, and armor reduction in an all-in-one package. It now has a 100 gold recipe to make it more costly than before.

Cloak of Flames, the Radiance-lite neutral item, will now have its damaged reduced when present on illusions. Its radius and provided armor was decreased as well.

Falcon Blade, likely intended to be a sort of Ring of Aquila and Drums of Endurance starter item replacement for cores, had a lukewarm reception through its first stages as an item. Its mana regeneration and health provided was increased slightly, hopefully enticing more spell-casting carries to pick it up.

Swift Blink was one of three new upgraded Daggers introduced in 7.28, and it was deemed to be the weaker one. It paled in comparison to items like Butterfly and Monkey King Bar for damage, and Abyssal Blade or Eye of Skadi for lockdown and chase. The item now allows you to exceed the movement speed cap, and also received buffs to its bonus damage and attack speed on use.

Here are the full patch notes for Dota 2 7.28b.


Orb of Corrosion

  •     Now has a 100 gold recipe

Falcon Blade

  •     Mana regen increased from 1.6 to 1.8
  •     Health increased from 150 to 175


  •     Cost increased from 450 to 500

Swift Blink

  •     Buff allows you to exceed max movement speed
  •     Movement speed increased from 30% to 40%
  •     Bonus damage and attack speed increased from 40 to 50


  •     Damage increased from 45 to 55

Chipped Vest

  •     Return damage from 26/13 to 28/17


  •     Speed modifier increased from 16% to 20%
  •     Speed modifier duration reduced from 5 to 4

Cloak of Flames

  •     Armor reduced from 5 to 4
  •     Radius reduced from 400 to 375
  •     Illusions now deal 30 damage per second instead of 45 (this was applied in a recent patch)

Psychic Headband

  •     Cooldown reduced from 30 to 20

Book of Shadows

  •     Cooldown reduced from 25 to 15



  • Curse of Avernus shard slow increase from +6% to +10%


  • Berserk Potion shard cooldown reduced from 45 to 35


  • Counter Helix shard attack speed increased from 25 to 35


  • Sticky Napalm now does half damage to ancients


  • Base damage reduced by 2


  • Bloodrage shard increased from 1.5% to 2%


  • Silken Bola shard root duration increased from 2 to 2.5


  • Jetpack shard cooldown reduced from 25 to 20
  • Jetpack shard movement speed bonus increased from 15% to 22%
  • Jetpack shard manacost reduced from 150 to 75

Dark Seer

  • Normal Punch illusion damage dealt increased from 25% to 40%
  • Normal Punch max stun duration increased from 2 to 2.25


  • Thunder Strike shard radius increased from +160 to +260

Dragon Knight

  • Fireball shard manacost reduced from 150 to 100

Drow Ranger

  • Frost Arrows shard now also adds +5 damage per stack


  • Ink Over shard cast range increased from 700 to 950
  • Ink Over shard total damage increased from 240 to 320
  • Ink Over shard movement slow increased from 20% to 25%


  • Inner Fire slow increased from 35% to 40%
  • Inner Fire shard cooldown reduction from -2 to -3


  • Ice Wall shard cast range increased from 900 to 1100


  • Tether shard movement bonus increased from +5% to +10%


  • Ice Spire shard health increased from 300 to 600
  • Ice Spire shard radius increased from 500 to 600


  • Base damage increased by 3


  • Feast increased from 1.6/2.2/2.8/3.4% to 1.8/2.4/3.0/3.6%


Summon Wolves

  • Summon Wolves Cripple moved from level 3 to 4
  • Summon Wolves Invisibility moved from level 4 to 3

Feral Impulse

  • Feral Impulse damage reduced from 14/26/38/50% to 12/22/32/42%


  • Horn Toss shard landing damage increased from 150 to 200

Monkey King

  • Base strength reduced from 19 to 18
  • Max damage reduced from 57 to 55

Wukong’s Command

  • Wukong’s Command Scepter spawn interval increased from every 3.5 seconds to every 4 seconds

Naga Siren

  • Rip Tide shard slow increased from 30% to 40%
  • Rip Tide shard slow duration increased from 3 to 4
  • Rip Tide shard active no longer deals 100 bonus damage
  • Rip Tide shard increases armor reduction by 2

Nyx Assassin

  • Base movement speed reduced from 315 to 310


  • Vendetta shard movement speed bonus reduced from +40% to +25%
  • Vendetta manacost increased from 160/220/280 to 180/240/300

Ogre Magi


  • Ignite damage reduced from 26/34/42/50 to 20/30/40/50

Fire Shield

  • Fire Shield shard manacost reduced from 125 to 75
  • Shield cooldown reduced from 18 to 16



  • Level 10 Talent changed from +20 Movement Speed to +40 Base Damage
  • Level 15 Talent changed from +70 Damage to +30 Movement Speed

Outworld Destroyer

  • Base armor increased by 2
  • Agility gain increased from 1.3 to 1.6
  • Movement speed increased from 315 to 325
  • Base HP regen increased from 0 to 1

Essence Flux

  • Essence Flux chance increased from 25% to 30%

Astral Imprisonment

  • Astral Imprisonment damage increased from 120/190/260/330 to 120/200/280/360
  • Astral Imprisonment mana steal from 14/16/18/20% to 16/18/20/22%

Sanity’s Eclipse

  • Sanity’s eclipse base damage increased from 200/275/350 to 200/300/400


  • Level 15 Talent changed from +8 Armor to +30 Movement Speed
  • 20 Talent increased from +0.1 Sanity’s Eclipse Multiplier to +0.15
  • 25 Talent increased from +1.6% Arcane Orb Damage to +2%

Phantom Lancer

  • Spirit Lance shard now also increases cast range by 200


  • Dream Coil cooldown increased from 70/65/60 to 80/75/70


  • Level 20 Talent reduced from -7s Waning Rift Cooldown to -6s


  • Dismember shard cooldown reduction from -7 to -10


Base hp regen reduced from 3 to 2.5

Sleeping Dart

  • Sleeping Dart slow increased from 25% to 30%
  • Sleeping Dart cooldown reduced from 15 to 12
  • Sleeping Dart manacost reduced from 125 to 85

Skywrath Mage

  • Ancient Seal shard status resistance reduction increased from 40% to 50%


  • Fish Bait shard attack speed bonus increased from 50 to 75
  • Fish Bait shard cooldown reduced from 12 to 9


  • Concussive Grenade shard manacost reduced from 75 to 50
  • Concussive Grenade shard cooldown reduced from 20 to 16

Templar Assassin

  • Psionic Trap max trap count now increases by 4 with a Shard


  • Demon Zeal shard hp cost reduced from 25% to 20%
  • Demon Zeal shard melee bonus from 50% to 100%


Whirling Death

  • Whirling Death manacost increased from 70 to 80


  • Flamethrower shard slow increased from 25% to 30%


  • Level 10 Talent reduced from +1.75 Mana Regen to +1.5

Treant Protector

  • Nature’s Guise shard bonus now increases speed in trees by +15%


  • Frozen Sigil shard hits to destroy from 3 to 4
  • Frozen Sigil movement/attack slow increased from 30%/30 to 35%/35


  • Stone Form shard manacost reduced from 300 to 200

Winter Wyvern

  • Splinter Blast shard now also increases damage dealt by 80

Wraith King

Base damage reduced by 2

Vampiric Spirit

  • Vampiric Spirit manacost increased from 50/60/70/80 to 65/70/75/80


  • Reincarnation manacost increased from 160 to 180

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