Crownfall Act II First Impressions

The new patch is ridiculously big. In fact, it is so huge it took us two days of non-stop Dota to form an initial impression. Turns out, there are way too many things to discuss and analyse to fit into a single blog post, so instead we are going to highlight some of our most interesting and surprising findings.

Somehow Dota is still Dota

This is possibly the most surprising bit, given the sheer size of the patch, but the Dota fundamentals are largely intact. In fact, we would argue that due to no map or economy changes, the game works surprisingly similar to the previous patch on the macro level.

The highground push is definitely easier nowadays. Taking the first lane of barracks early on is possible, especially if you are snowballing. Meaning that gaining the map control advantage is both easier and can potentially happen earlier, when it is more meaningful. The new Roshan Banner also feels a lot more intuitive and impactful to use, though it does feel more high risk, high reward.

There are several quality of life changes as well, most notable being the mana bar being always visible. Considering that it was the information readily available regardless, it shouldn’t be a big deal for higher level games, but in an average pub it can potentially increase the level of aggression: punishing an enemy who is out of resources is a good habit and this change should help newer players in its development. It is a bit of an indirect nerf to heroes who sometimes fake their abilities, like, for example Kunkka Kunkka, but it is still a very welcome QoL improvement.

Innates and Facets are a diamond in the rough

The two new game mechanics introduced in the new patch are a lot of fun. From a purely pub perspective, they allow for a whole new dimension in theorycrafting and jank buildmaking, something we are personally partial to. Where it can truly shine, though, is competitive play. Having the ability to adjust on the fly and potentially adapt to a counterpick can be a huge difference maker at the highest level of play.

Right now the system is already great, though there are undeniably some over- and under-tuned Facets. Some of them actually make the hero worse than the previous default, which is also slightly questionable, but we have no doubt that Valve will shape the system into something truly great, like they did with Neutral Items. For now, you can check which Facet works better on the Dotabuff hero page.

Random ideas

Finally, we come to the ideas that you can utilise today in your pubs, if you are willing to risk it. We aren’t going to go over the usual suspects: everyone is probably aware that Bladeform Juggernaut Juggernaut, One Man Army Axe Axe, Stonehall Plate Legion Commander Legion Commander and Spectral Blade Wraith King Wraith King are kind of busted. Instead, we are going to look at potentially janky, but very potent ideas to try.

Methodical Phantom Assassin Phantom Assassin

The hero page paints a very bleak picture for the methodical PA and for a good reason. Despite having a higher multiplier on her ultimate, the 6-hit requirement is just too punishing. It is not being methodical, it is being slow, unless…

Being an effect that you stack on makes it work with Manta Style Manta Style, which is a game changer, as long as you can actually control your illusions well enough to proc the crit from the real hero, rather than one of the clones. It probably requires a great deal of micro skill on the side of the player, but the potential payoff is a 550% Crit every second attack from the real hero, with illusions setting it up. Is it consistently strong? Probably not. Can it be a fun challenge? Almost definitely.

Quick Wit Dark Seer Dark Seer

Position one Dark Seer is, unironically, viable. At least in our opinion. Universal heroes are very strong DPS-wise by default, but Quick Wit Dark Seer takes it to another level, with overlapping DPS-increasing Innate and Aspect.

His innate makes it so that his Intelligence always catches up to his Strength or Agility, depending on which is higher. The Quick Wit Facet gives Dark Seer 0.5 AS per point in Intelligence. The end result is a hero who gets +1.4 damage and +0.5 AS per point of Strength, when building Strength exclusively. Casual Ogre Axe Ogre Axe giving +14 damage and +7 AS, on top of all the other benefits is, frankly, busted.

The hero farms incredibly fast, courtesy of Ion Shell. Can lane into most offlaners, can take stack with ease and can join fights relatively early. By building tankiness items exclusively, the hero becomes a fast and hard-hitting monk that has tons of HP, tons of Magic Resistance and high right-click and ability DPS. He also has all the mana to sustain it, while also scaling with the enemy through Wall of Replica.

You can try to make the case for pumping Agi, but due to a big discrepancy between DS Agi (1.8) and Int (2.7) growth the effect isn’t as pronounced. Though you do technically get +1.5 AS per point of Agility, which is a very important DPS attribute, as discussed recently.

Bone Guard Wraith King Wraith King and Lich Lich dual lane

We know that the Spectral Blade Facet is technically stronger, but we feel like players are underestimating the Bone Guard. It is a flash-farming Facet with strong pushing potential and a lot of chaotic teamfight presence. And it also makes Lich have close to infinite mana in lane by level five.

Every skelly from Bone Guard gives Lich 2.5% of max mana when dying. Each of them dies twice, so a level one ability already gives lich 10% of his max mana, on top of the 20% max mana he gets from the creep wave.

Bone Guard does have a pretty long cooldown, but if constantly stacking, pulling and killing enemy heroes, Lich should have mana for days. Mana that he can convert into even more kills and lane presence.

Closing thoughts

It is going to take us a while to figure out the intricacies of the patch. Moreover, some nerfs are more than likely and more than necessary, from the looks of it. So for now we will stay away from talking about stats and meta, instead concentrating on fun, educational ideas to try out or expand on.

For that reason, we also ask you to share your thoughts in the comment section below. The patch is MASSIVE and there is so much to discuss and experiment with, it is literally impossible for a single person to do. Don’t hesitate to propose crazy and janky ideas either — Dota is a beautiful game with unlimited possibilities, so everything can work!

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