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Dota Observatory

Dota 7.20 Patch Recap

The yearly patch bomb is enormous, so I will try to digest it for you guys, hope that it is useful. I am publishing the analysis after 7.20b; things can be changed soon.

Map changes

The high ground between Tier 1 and Tier 2 towers has become a vital strategic spot, controlling it will also control the ancient camp and have a much easier time taking down the Tier 2 tower.

Here is an excellent article about pulling and warding.

Deny Mechanics

Denying gives gold instead of experience now, so laning does not snowball as hard as before since level advantage usually leads to lane dominance due to having more powerful skills. Many heroes that are weak during the lane phase will have a much better chance of transitioning to mid-game and shine eventually.


from Jonathan “PimpmuckL” Liebig

In 7.20, stacking armor is more efficient than 7.19. On the other hand, armor reduction item/skill is also buffed.

The towers have lower armor in 7.20, but in fact, it has almost the same damage reduction as before. Somebody may find death-ball pushing seems to be more powerful now, but it is due to the bonus armor from each nearby enemy hero being removed.

Hero Kill Bounty EXP

Winning a team fight does not come back as hard in 7.19. You can also check this article for more detail.

Misc Mechanics

We will skip all the mechanics clean up and focus on critical changes.

  • Hex can now be removed by strong dispels, it is a straight buff to Slark and other heroes with strong dispel skills.
  • Scan now works in Roshan pit, so remember to use it for Roshan checking.
  • The New Mechanics Leashed is added for Pounce, Dream Coil, and Soulbind to avoid teleport and mobility based abilities, another buff for Slark and that may be why his win rate increases rapidly and immediately nerfed in 7.20b.
  • Lifesteal amount is not limited by the current health of target now, and you can always choose weaker targets(lower armor) for more lifesteal.
  • All damage buffs to allied heroes are removed or changed to adding attack speed instead, for example, Drow Ranger, Chen, and Lycan.
  • Most magic damage reductions from heroes skills are removed, only Viper and Anti-Mage left.
  • Status resistance is back, it is annoying for CC chaining.


Black King Bar received a massive buff as many skills do not pierce it now.

Boots change

  • Phase boots are now good for any melee heroes. Strength heroes will benefit from the armor, and any skills with a proc chance will take advantage of the attack speed. You can always get the phase buff by issuing attack commands every 0.5 seconds. However, when you are retreating it does not help you run away from the enemy.
  • Power Tread is more a damage item now, no more attack speed bonus.
  • Tranquil boots will not stop the passive effect when last hitting creeps, support heroes should find a much better time in farming now. But it still goes cooldown if creeps attack you, be careful about the aggro.

Upgrades of Kaya is very situational, only heroes like Storm Spirit is hungry for extra mana cost reduction.

Ring of Tarrasque is a great mid-game tank item.

Holy Locket is mostly a healing item. But also works on core heroes that depend on health regen.

Solar Crest is an expensive and strong item now since it buffs allies a lot and helps kill Roshan even more.

Stats items (Bracer, Wraith Band and Null Talisman) are super strong now, most of the heroes should consider getting at least one of them, and heroes that benefit from stats should buy even more.

Bloodstone, Holy Locket and Heart of Tarrasque are the only items that provide mana or health regen multiplier.

Spirit Vessel is now more an item to counter healing.

Sentry ward radius is increased to 1000, heroes that depend on invisible like Riki will have a hard time in lanes since words can easily be hidden in trees.



He used to be ignored in teamfights, especially when his ult is on. But now with the new Curse of Avernus, people have an urge to run away from him or cc him due to the silence and attack speed. The massive attack speed also helps to take the tower down much faster.

Ancient Apparition

Rework of Chilling Touch creates a different direction for AA, but it is definitely a nerf now, it is a very weak skill. AA still has over 50% win rate now because he is usually picked for countering heroes that focus on healing(i.e., Chen) or regen(i.e., Huskar).


He has got a fun new skill Counterspell, which should highly increase his survivability and people should play him with an early combat style instead of the old, farm and split push style.


The new Enfeeble is extremely strong; the status duration increase can easily synergize with other skills. It seems too unforgiving now; it may be nerfed soon.


Rupture has become one of the best skills to take down tanky heroes, 8% current health as pure damage is massive, but it is non-lethal now, so any item for gap-closing or a teammate with global damage will be useful. This is an excellent way to remove the anti-fun factor of the hero.

Bounty Hunter

Stealing gold is fun, you can always get the gold even if the target does not have any unreliable gold. And the change to Track makes Bounty Hunter an assassin instead of pure support. It concerns me that losing gold is un-fun, especially in the early stages of the game. The damage of Jinada also works on towers.


Drunken Brawler used to be a boring and duplicated passive skill, but now it increases the carry potential of Brewmaster, and enemies have to play around it.

Cinder Brew is a little annoying though; you can bash yourself under this effect, some other modifiers work too. Proc Time Lock makes self-attack lethal, expected to be fixed.

With these two new skills, Aghanim’s Scepter is a great item for Brewmaster now.

Centaur Warrunner

He scales better in the late game now, but his laning power is reduced. Retaliate aura only lets allies retaliate, and does not benefit from the active part of the skill.

Chaos Knight

He is much more reliable now with less randomness, Chaos Strike deals the same DPS at Level 4. With 100 damage, the DPS was 121 and is 121.25 now. Phantasm is now equivalent to getting 0.5 extra phantasms compared to 7.19. Chao Knight seems weaker due to losing the minus armor of Reality Rift.


Send back is removed, it is way too strong and hard to balance. Chen can now focus on supporting and healing, and his lane time is also worse due to the neutral creep level limit. Beware that he can single-handedly adding 200 attack speeds. Penitence works on all units that attack, like Death Ward of Witch Doctor.


Getting rid of one of the most boring ultimate, Clinkz got a new but currently weak ultimate, the skeleton spawned too slow and dealt lackluster damage. Expected to be buffed soon.

Dark Seer

By removing the movement speed limit with Surge, he makes Spirit Breaker a monster to do massive damage with Charge of Darkness. He is also much stronger in teamfights now.


He is one of the rising stars; Bad juju is extremely powerful, the radius is huge, it does not require vision to work, it works on creep and can easily be refreshed due to the cooldown reduction, the cooldown reduction also works on items. Dazzle is now a very valid mid hero, who does not only go for utility items but a real carrying core.


Simply buffed his laning regen, not as drastic as people think.

Drow Ranger

Although her win rate is low right now, she still has lots of potential with the armor piercing hit, and since it also instantly kills the ancients, she should be able to farm faster. The problem is that she wants to have AGI items for Precision Aura and pure damage items for Marksmanship hit, and also needs survival items. Negative armor does not benefit piercing hits, which is counter-intuitive.

Earth Spirit

Better on ganking but lose the ability to turn teamfights with the long range aoe stun.

Faceless Void

Time Lock can trigger Time Lock itself, and other proc, he is one of the stronger carries now.


Removed the magic resistance and added lots of regens. With the disarm, he becomes a beast when he gets his BKB. Using it within Life Break allows you to always land on a disarmed target. However, he is now vulnerable to both physical and magical bursts. The regen seems not enough to cover the drawback.

Keeper of the Light

A new strong aoe cc ultimate, synergize with Blinding Light and many other heroes, like Madusa. These type of CC with direction forcing makes Force Staff a very valuable item.


Removed the boring sacrifice and added a new cc. Frost Shield is so much better as a saving skill and chasing skill. Sinister Gaze can make enemy walk through cliffs for trapping. Force Staff can make the process faster.

Lone Druid

The bear walks extremely fast now, especially with phase boots. Spirit Link also makes farming much more efficient and most importantly his survivability buffed a lot.


Lunar Blessing is giving too much stats and is nerfed in 7.20b immediately. Beware that Strength hero with a reduced-regen debuff (i.e., Ice Blast) will lose health by merely going in and out the aura.


Stone Gaze become a CC skill without any damage type restriction now, it is much easier to combo with teammates. However, she is not a natural Terrorblade and Chaos Knight counter anymore.


Highly benefited from the buff to Wraith Band, Ransack provides some much-needed sustain. His highest win rate was 67%, dropped to 54% after the 7.20b nerf.

Monkey King

Added a dodgy effect to Mischief but it is only useful for high-end players.

Naga Siren

The new Rip Tide helps her farm quickly, she is better played as a carry now, sadly the armor debuff from different illusion does not stack.

Night Stalker

30 seconds of Superman mode, also a new carry hero who is very dependent on the night time and ultimate cooldown.


Heavenly Grace combos very well with any heroes that are afraid of CC instead of damage, like the new Huskar.

Outworld Devourer

Down in oblivion, his current win rate is 37%. With Equilibrium, he is even harder to execute and maintain his mana pool. Equilibrium works on item damage as well.


Lucky Shot synergizes better with Swashbuckle and also gives direction on how he should scale to the late game, which is attack speed. Lucky Shot can be stacked with multiple disarms and silence.

Phantom Assassin

The Blur active a new type of invis, allowing her to roam and gank after getting the first item.


He is a new mid hero now, with the new Arcane Supremacy and Fade Bolt, starting from Level 2, enemy hero will have -20 damage or more for most of the time, and eventually loses the lane to Rubick.

Shadow Demon

Soul Catcher has become one of the most powerful damage skills, but it does not count as damage that puts Blink Dagger to CD and does not stop Healing Salve.


Gain lots of indirect buffs; the AGI steal in Essence Shift is not needed at all, which is nerfed in 7.20b. But you can now escape Pounce with Force staff.

Spirit Breaker

Bulldoze fits him so well, now he creates a substantial threat after the charge combo. He is unstoppable for going for the 17% bash.


Anchor Smash triggers modifiers. When there are multiple targets, SkullBasher and Maelstrom only trigger on 1 of them. Echo Sabre, Crit, Mana Break, and lifesteal can proc on all targets. Echo Sabre does not go cooldown but still triggers the slow, allowing Tidehunter to attack three times quickly with two stacks of slow.


The change of Avalanche makes him less bursty, allowing counterplay within the duration.

Troll Warlord

Battle Trance has some face roll skills. It works like Shadow Graves, so he is directly countered by Culling blade.


Tag Team is crazy when working with lots of summons, like Broodmother. I think it also boosts the damage of Winter’s Curse.


Flesh Golem is a free scaling Radiance, and the slow is much stronger now. It is a straight buff to Undying.

Hope that the article provides more understanding of the patch.



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