The 6.77 Nerfed and Buffed

Pretty simple entry for the first post of the new year.  Took the win rates of all heroes in 6.76c and 6.77 (as of a couple days ago) and sorted them by the difference.  The largest changes were unsurprisingly the heroes buffed and nerfed in 6.77, and the aggregate trend for the rest of the cast was close to 0 with only a handful of significant outliers.

So let’s summarize the changes.

Centaur(-4.56%)
– Movement speed decreased from 305 to 300
– Double Edge no longer interrupts channeling
– Stampede now applies a 100% slow instead of a stun (as always, units cannot be slowed below 100 movement speed)

Drow Ranger(-2.73%)
– Trueshot Aura now only affects non-hero units within 900 range of Drow

The two big pubstompers were the new Centaur and Drow who took major nerfs to try to knock them back in line.  Centaur took a sizable hit and is close to being reasonable for pubs, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees more tweaks before being allowed into CM.  Drow on the other hand less win percent than I would have expected.  It does show that her global aura was doing major work, since removing it was the only nerf she received and she still dropped nearly 3%.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she sees some minor hits to either her stats or the amount of agility she gets from her ult.

Bounty Hunter(-2.38%)
– Track no longer reduces armor

Undying(-4.50%)
– Decay damage reduced from 40/80/120/160 to 20/60/100/140

Bounty Hunter and Undying were mostly targeted for their tournament prowess, and even though they only received one nerf apiece they had pretty major repercussions for their public win rates.  Neither change is out of line, though it’ll take some more time to really evaluate how much the loss of early damage has hurt Undying.

Jakiro(-2.32%)
– Ice Path damage from 100 to 25/50/75/100

Jakiro is a funny case.  He basically loses -75/-50/-25/0 damage on Ice Path and he drops over 2%.  I didn’t think this was that big of a nerf, but every bit of early damage on a nuke seems to matter a lot.  Incidentally, this and Undying helps the case that Treant losing the damage on his ultimate was a big nerf back in whatever patch that was changed.

Batrider(-1.30%)
– Batrider can no longer attack while using Flaming Lasso

Magnus(-1.28%)
– Skewer no longer affects magic immune units
– Skewer cast range rescaled from 1200 to 600/800/1000/1200
– Reverse Polarity duration decreased from 2.5/3.25/4 to 2.25/3/3.75

Sven(-1.78%)
– Great Cleave damage decreased from 25/40/55/70 to 20/35/50/65
– Warcry duration decreased from 8 to 7 seconds

Templar Assassin(-0.80%)
– Refraction manacost increased from 75 to 100

Batrider, Magnus, Sven,  and TA saw relatively minor nerfs.  None of them were especially overpowered in public play, but they needed to be toned down due to their prevalence in 6.76c tournaments.  From a public perspective the changes look fine, though Magnus could be a problem case where any sufficient nerf to his tournament success will be excessive for non-organized games.
Moving onto buffs…

Puck(+0.36%)
– Illusory Orb cooldown decreased from 13 to 12

Pugna(-0.07%)
– Decrepify cooldown decreased from 13/11/9/7 to 12/10/8/6

Shadow Demon(+0.01%)
– Shadow Poison cooldown decreased from 3 to 2.75

Warlock(+1.55%)
– Shadow Word cooldown decreased from 20 to 16

Puck, Pugna, and Shadow Demon saw extremely minor cooldown reductions.  Probably more of a QoL-type change than something intended to significantly boost their baseline power.  Warlock on the other hand saw a pretty big boost out of the 20->16 cooldown reduction he got on Shadow Word.

Dazzle(+0.33%)
– Shallow Grave cast range rescaled from 400/600/800/1000 to 550/700/850/1000

Omniknight(-0.21%)
– Purification cast range rescaled from 400/500/600/700 to 700

Similarly, Dazzle and Omniknight didn’t see a big win rate improvement from their range increases.  It’s possible that players aren’t used to utilizing the new ranges yet.

Ancient Apparition(+0.16%)
– Chilling Touch manacost rescaled from 140 to 110/120/130/140

Ancient Apparition similarly saw virtually no change after 6.77 lowered the mana cost on Chilling Touch.  I suspect most players still neglect this skill entirely, so this change may or may not be more significant than the win rates are telling us.

Mirana(+0.84%)
– Moonlight Shadow duration increased from 11 to 15 seconds

Necrolyte(+0.33%)
– Reaper’s Scythe stun/delay increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds

Mirana and Necrolyte saw minor buffs to their ults.  Mirana’s appears to have been more significant, but neither hero is convincingly out of the noise range.

Vengeful Spirit(+0.95%)
– Wave of Terror damage increased from 18.75/37.5/56.25/75 to 30/50/70/90

Vengeful Spirit is an interesting case.  She received a nuke damage buff, but to a skill that many players do not max early.  It’s possible that maxing wave first builds are the way to go with her now, but we won’t be able to say much about this statistically without being able to separate wave-first Vengeful Spirits from the Missile or Aura builds.  On the other hand, the damage boost was pretty small at all ranks of the skill compared to what Jakiro and Undying lost.

Lycanthrope(1.12%)
– Base Int increased from 15 to 17
– Spirit Wolves armor increased by 1

Lycan got a decent boost out of what looked like very minor buffs.  He’s a tricky character to balance.  His early game might be too weak currently, but give him too much and he still has the potential to terrorize the metagame like he did in 6.74.

Earthshaker(+1.76%)
– Aftershock stun duration rescaled from 0.3/0.7/1.2/1.5 to 0.6/0.9/1.2/1.5
– Aftershock damage increased from 25/45/75/115 to 50/75/100/125
– Enchant Totem cooldown decreased from 6 to 5

Enchantress(+1.68%) – Untouchable AS reduction increased from 20/40/60/80 to 20/50/80/110

Some weird buffs to Earthshaker and Enchantress, but they definitely appear to be doing some work.  I’m glad to see them, as they’re both interesting characters who fell out of the pub and tournament meta for a bit.  I’m kinda surprised that Enchantress is seeing the boost that she has though.  I didn’t think most players maxed Untouchable until late, but maybe a late-game survivability boost is what she needed most.

Weaver(+1.77%)
– Shukuchi damage increased from 90/100/110/120 to 90/110/130/150

I’ve felt that Weaver had been in an underwhelming place for a while.  Definitely a warranted change that does more work than it appears to at first glance.

Clockwerk(+1.78%)
– Agility growth increased from 1.2 to 2.3

Doom Bringer(+1.56%)
– Scorched Earth now also affects other units you control
– Doom now has too much armor! (+1)

Primarily armor boosts for some surprisingly fragile strength semi-carries.  I think the Scorched Earth bug is still too rare for it to have much of an effect on Doombringer’s win rate, and outside of that it’s influence is negligible.

Viper(+2.30%)
– Base strength increased by 3

Zeus(+1.89%)
– Strength growth increased from 1.8 to 2.3

Viper and Zeus are two characters who don’t see a lot of tournament play despite dominating low level matchmaking.  This makes it tough to buff them for higher level play without having another Drow Ranger on our hands.  HP boosts were probably chosen as buffs for this reason, but they both saw pretty significant win rate increases on what comes out to be a flat 57 HP for Viper, and 57 HP by level 6 for Zeus.  It’s also interesting that the flat HP boost lead resulted in the greater win rate change when the opposite was true for the armor buffs given to Clockwerk and Doom.  A lot of variables are at work though, and the differences weren’t really that large.

Spectre(+2.00%)
– Haunt no longer ends when you use reality (the targeted illusion is still replaced by you though)

A good reversion.  It’s a little surprising that this alone was worth 2%, but that could just be a reminder that there’s a lot of background noise and that the shifts aren’t entirely attributable to the nerfs and buffs.

Morphling(+2.04%)
– Cast animation time decreased from 0.4 to 0.25

Everyone probably still hates him, but Morph’s been in a pretty bad spot since his post-International nerfs.  He’s still not in a great place, but minor tweaks are probably a good way to go about buffing him without risking another shotgun bonanza tournament.

Treant Protector(+2.10%)
– Damage increased by 10
– Leech Seed cooldown decreased from 18/16/14/12 to 16/14/12/10
– Overgrowth cooldown decreased from 80 to 70
– Living Armor damage instances increased from 6 to 7
– Living Armor can be cast through the minimap (only considers heroes and towers/rax in this mode)

More major buffs to Treant and still probably not enough.  I can’t help but feel a more elaborate revamp isn’t warranted.  Even completely ignoring his win rate, I don’t feel there are many people who get excited by the skill set.

Slark(+5.34%)
– Base agility increased by 6

Slark’s win rate increase looks crazy.  6 base agility is a major buff, but +5% major?  The thing to keep in mind here is that Slark was released in 6.76c, which means he goes through the usual phase where a bunch of people who know nothing about him pick him because he’s new.  There’s some evidence that his win rate was already trending up towards the end of 6.76c.  That being accounted for, he still probably received a ~+3% boost in 6.77.

I’m not going to say much for the characters under Other Shifts.  I include them because they seem noteworthy, but I don’t have much of an explanation for them.  Maybe there’s an underlying shift to the metagame that explains it.  For instance, Visage might have seen a win rate boost because of how well he synergized with Drow Ranger’s aura.  On the other hand, maybe they’re just a warning that there’s still a lot of noise in this analysis so we shouldn’t trust it too much.  I leave it to you all to make the call.

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