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Dota 2 patch 7.32: Reworked Aghanim's Shard Ratings

Dota 2 Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar

We take a look at how good the reworked Aghanim’s Shards from Dota 2 patch 7.32 are.

After what seems like an eternity, a Dota 2 patch was released that will alter the meta significantly. Patch 7.32 brought along with it a lot of general changes that are bound to change the pace of the game along with other timings. It also brought with it 18 reworked Aghanim’s Shards. Here, we take a swing at rating the new Aghanim’s Shard upgrades that have been introduced to the game.

Shard ratings are based on multiple factors including the upgrade the Shard offers, a hero’s role in the game and how easily the hero can afford to shell out 1400 gold for the Aghanim’s Shard.

The reworked Aghanim’s Shards have been rated out of 10 in ascending order.

 

Skywrath Mage (4/10)

Grants new ability – Shield of the Scion: Every time Skywrath Mage deals magic damage to an enemy hero with his abilities, he gains a buff that grants 2 bonus Intelligence and 0.5 bonus Armor. Each cast stacks independently.

Skywrath Mage is mostly always played in a position 4 role, and 1400 gold does not justify what he gets from his Aghanim’s Shard. The priority is getting items like Rod of Atos, Aether Lens, Blink or Ghost Scepter – things that will help you survive and get off all the spells already available. It might be viable for a mid Skywrath Mage, but even then, wouldn’t be a priority.

 

 Razor (4.5/10)

Upgrades Storm Surge: Now always hits up to 3 valid targets, even if the attacker/caster of the incoming spell is magic immune. Cast and attacks have consistent targeting rules (only visible enemies).

An 18% change to do a measly 150 magic damage (112 after reduction) for 1400 gold? Seems like a hard pass.

 

Dark Seer (5.5/10)

Upgrades Surge: Surged units leave behind a 150 radius trail that lasts 7s, slows enemies around it by 50% and deals 35 damage every 0.5s. Ability can be put on autocast to disable the trail.

The trail left behind by Surge can be a good way to disable Blinks Dagger’s of chasing heroes, but it isn’t the most impressive tool available to Dark Seer. The width of the trail is quite small and it is easy to sidestep. It could be used to slow down enemy heroes in chaotic team fights, but not an item Dark Seer would want to prioritize.

 

Enchantress (6/10)

Grants new ability – Little Friends: All creeps, enemy, ally and neutral within 1200 range of the target will attack the target with 100 bonus attack speed and 100% bonus movement speed for 6 seconds. Mana Cost: 75. Cooldown: 20s. Cast Range: 600. Cannot target buildings. Target is not attacked by either heroes nor illusions.

This could be a very useful skill in the laning stage, especially with an aggressive lane pairing. After 15 minutes, it doesn't serve too much use, except against heroes like Chen and Enigma, and maybe Beastmaster. Against them, it kind of becomes a poor man’s Winter’s Curse, but the enemy isn’t held in place. Could see use while defending against mega creeps, where the creeps could be sent on helpless enemy supports.

 

Enigma (6/10)

Upgrades Malifice: Increases Malefice stun duration by 0.35s and at every tick on an enemy hero creates an Eidolon which cannot split but still get a refreshed duration after a set amount of attacks.

Very situational Shard, which for the most part is helpful in keeping of an elusive enemy with the Eidolon’s that keep spawning. The increase in stun duration from 1 second to 1.35 seconds isn’t bad, but considering the importance of having a Blink Dagger, BKB and Refresher for an Enigma, getting an Aghanim’s Shard won’t be anywhere close to the top of the list. BetBoom picked a position 3 Enigma in two of their three grand final games against Outsiders in TI11 Easter EU qualifier. They prioritized building Wraith Pact on the hero, but Aghanim’s Shard was nowhere in sight. From 22 Enigma picks in the TI11 qualifiers, only 4 have purchased an Aghanim’s Shard.

 

Venomancer (6/10)

Grants new ability – Latent Toxicity: Applies a weak poison that slows by 10% and deals 20 damage per second to its target for 7 seconds. If this poison is dispelled in any way, the target will receive 300 damage and be stunned for 2s. Mana Cost: 75. Cooldown: 20s. Range: 600. Cast point: 0.2s. Projectile speed: 1200.

Latent Toxicity is a single target ability, which makes it a lot less lucrative to get. Veno nowadays is played as either a position 3 or a support, which means gold isn’t available in huge numbers. Prioritizing a Shard that does 140 or 300 magic damage instead of amplifying the other sources of massive damage he already possess does not seem like the best use of gold.

Even though it isn’t a Shard worth getting, Latent Toxicity does have some interesting interactions. It will damage and stun a hero that tries to dispel it using a BKB. It isn’t targetable on a hero that is magic immune, but the damage and stun cannot be escaped using magic immunity. With Eul’s Scepter of Divinity, the damage is applied before the hero becomes invulnerable with the use of Cyclone, but does not get stunned as the 2 seconds of being stunned get consumed in the Cyclone. So if you’re below 225 HP and use any kind of dispel, you will die.

Like the other Veno spells, the best way to negate Latent Toxiciy is by building up magic damage resistance.

 

Void Spirit (6.5/10)

Upgrades Aether Remnant: Decreases Aether Remnant Cooldown by 2s, increases Watch Range by 150 and changes Remnant to persist through being activated by creeps (damages creeps once but does not disappear).

Void Spirit’s previous Shard upgrade, which added an additional Dissimilate ring, was moved to a level 15 talent. That upgrade was one worth getting every game, and to move it to a talent was a way of buffing the hero, reducing 1400 gold spent every game. The new Shard upgrade isn’t nearly as impressive, and can perhaps be considered after Void Spirit is five or six slotted. The damage to creeps without being activated can come in handy to push out creep waves. Support Void Spirit hasn’t been popular in a while, but if that comes back, this Shard may find more use.

 

Luna (7/10)

Upgrades Lucent Beam: Every time an enemy hero is hit by a Lucent Beam, Luna's attack damage is increased by 15 for 12s.

Luna’s new Aghanim’s Shard can give her 30 additional damage for 6 seconds (8 seconds with level 15 talent that reduced the Lucent Beam cooldown from 6 to 4 seconds). With the level 15 talent, she can actually have 45 additional damage for 4 seconds (after using Lucent Beam three times). It isn’t insignificant, especially in the initial parts of the mid game. However, Luna drafts are fast paced drafts, which are often on a timer. You don’t want to spend 1400 gold on an item which isn’t completely necessary, especially in a meta like the current one, which drags games out longer. A case can be made though, that the Shard can help Luna in taking down Roshan faster. However, in the 9 picks, Luna has seen in the TI11 qualifiers up to this point, there have been 0 Aghanim’s Shard pickups (neither purchased nor gotten from Roshan).

 

Silencer (7/10)

Upgrades Glaives of Wisdom: Now causes every 4th glaives attack to silence an enemy for 1.75s. Additionally, increases Intelligence stolen on attack and on kill by 2.

Core Silencer hasn’t been a thing for a while now, but if it does gain traction, this Silencer’s new Aghanim’s Shard is a perfect fit. With a high enough attack speed, Silencer could have an enemy perma silenced (especially if the team fight begins with Global Silence), and the two additional intelligence is just the cherry on top of the cake.

 

Tidehunter (7/10)

Grants new ability – Tendrils of the Deep: Releases a wave of tentacles in the targeted direction. The tentacles deal 50% of Ravage damage and stun and travel 75% of Ravage radius. Cooldown: 20s. Mana Cost: 80.

Tendrils of the Deep is basically an ability like Earth Spike or Impale, but with a higher travel time. It stuns for 1.4 seconds (1.9 seconds with the level 25 talent that adds 1 seconds to the Ravage stun) and does 200 damage. A useful tool to have in the arsenal, and when used as a follow up to Ravage, can keep a hero disabled for 4.2 seconds (5.7 seconds with the level 25 talent!).

 

Nature’s Prophet (7.5/10)

Grants new ability – Curse of the Oldgrowth: Applies a curse on all non-invisible enemy heroes within 1200 range, revealing them in fog of war, slowing them, and causing damage over time based on how many trees there are within 250 radius. Treants count as trees for this purpose. Each tree reduces movement speed by 7% and deals 15 damage per second. Duration: 6s. Cooldown: 20s. Mana Cost: 80.

Is this Nature’s Prophet Shard as good as the old one? No it isn’t. The old Shard, which spawned greater Treants from Sprout, was one of the best Shard upgrades since the conception of Aghanim’s Shard. But the new one isn’t too bad either! It doesn’t have perpetual use, like the old one did, but it can certainly be a good tool to have in a team fight when there is no vision around the enemy. In case Scan is on cooldown, Curse of the Oldgrowth is a good way to check if the enemy team is in the Roshan pit. The only caveat is, Furion can’t be in another lane, waiting for the fight to start. He will have to be with his team. Perhaps return of the position 5 Furion?

 

Weaver (7.5/10)

Upgrades Shukuchi: Shukuchi puts a mark on enemies it damages that last 6 seconds. When Geminate Attack procs, enemies with a mark within 1200 range will also be attacked with a secondary attack.

This is very similar to the old Weaver Shard, with the only difference being that Shukuchi applies the debuff instead of The Swarm. For core Weavers, this is a lot better for two reasons – multiple heroes can be debuffed using Shukuchi a lot easier than The Swarm, and unlike before, you can’t get rid of the debuff with a few right clicks. Geminate attack has a 3 second cooldown, so you can expect at least two sets of Geminate Attack right clicks in the 6 second window. And because Shukuchi has a 6 second cooldown (as compared to The Swarm’s 20 second cooldown), the debuff can be applied a lot more frequently to keep the multiple target attacks repeating.

The disadvantage of the new Shard upgrade as compared to the old one is that it requires you to go closer to the enemies, which the previous one didn’t. In case the enemy team has a lot of lockdown, that isn’t something you want to do as a Weaver.

 

Broodmother (8/10)

Upgrades Insatiable Hunger: Increases duration by 2s. While Insatiable Hunger is active, its bonus damage is increased by 12 every 1s.

This is an interesting Shard. At level 4, Insatiable Hunger gives Broodmother +65 damage and 100% lifesteal. With the Shard, the damage scales up every second and tops out at 245. That is a good amount of damage! It is 70% the damage of a Divine Rapier, and the added damage heals Broodmother for the same amount. It also decreases the downtime of the skill from 11 seconds to 9 seconds. The question with Brood is – and always has been – how she fits in the meta and how well can she scale into the late game. If she finds a role in the current meta where the draft isn’t completely centered around her and the team with Brood can afford to let the game go long, this Shard can definitely find use.

 

Monkey King (8/10)

Upgrades Boundless Strike: Can be put on auto-cast to quickly leap to the opposing end of the staff as it hits the ground.

A useful Shard to have when going up against heroes like Drow Ranger and Sniper, where you need to close the distance between the two heroes. Not so much when playing against a Sven or an Ursa. Situational Shard, but one that can be quite beneficial.

 

Snapfire (8/10)

Upgrades Firesnap Cookie: Firesnap Cookie increases hop range by 175 and launches a Mortimer Kisses glob along with the targeted unit.

This not only increases the range, but in an offensive setting, takes the impact damage from 280 to 600 magic damage (660 with the level 20 +60 Mortimer’s Kisses Impact Damage talent)! In a defensive setting, the additional range makes it easier for the hero to get away. It’s a decent Shard to have, which is backed up by the fact that of the 12 Snapfire pickups in the TI11 qualifiers, 9 purchased and Aghanim’s Shard.

 

Bounty Hunter (8.5/10)

Upgrades Shadow Walk: Shadow Walk has 2 charges and can be cast on allied heroes. Does not break Bounty Hunter's invisibility when cast on allies. Fade time for allies is always 1s. Charge restore time: 15/14/13/12s.

Bounty Hunter’s issue as a position 4 support has always been the fact that he can’t really get up close, because without items, he isn’t the tankiest of heroes. Other than scouting and warding missions, his role in team fights has been to stay back and keep Tracking all enemies in sight. It works great if the team with Bounty is leading or if the two teams are on level ground, but for a team that is trailing, support Bounty provides little to no value. The Shard gives him an added dimension – the ability to save a hero or to give another hero the tools to initiate.

In the 7.32 update, Bounty Hunter also got a new talent at level 15 – when you hit an enemy while in Shadow Walk, it silences the target for 2 seconds. But that doesn’t just apply to Bounty Hunter, it applies to allies as well! So when Bounty uses Shadow Walk on a core, it gives the ally the ability to silence the enemy as well, reducing the changes of a response. This is all with an additional charge being added to the skill and the cooldown being reduced from 15 seconds to 12 seconds. Quite worth it for 1400 gold.

 

Morphling (9/10)

Upgrades Attribute Shift: Now causes Attribute Shift to work while stunned and increases bonus Agility by 6.

Possibly one of the best Aghanim’s Shard upgrades to come out of Dota 2 patch 7.32. It is situational, in the sense Morphling won’t need to get it if the opposition does not have a long lockdown. But if there is a hero like a Faceless Void or Bane in the enemy team, this Shard is a great way to increase survivability. The Shard will allow Morphling to use Attribute Shift even when in a Chronoshphere or held in place by Fiend’s Grip. Team’s will have to rely on silencing Morph to make sure he can’t escape away even when jumped on.

 

Spirit Breaker (9/10)

Grants new ability – Planar Pocket: Barathrum distorts the fabric of space, increasing his own magic resistance by 25%, and redirecting the first enemy spell targeted at an allied hero within a 900 radius towards him. Magic resistance is removed after the redirected spell has hit. Duration: 6s. Cooldown: 20s. Mana Cost: 75

Spirit Breaker is a tanky hero, with the second highest base strength in the game (28 strength) and a pretty decent strength gain of 3. Not only is he a good candidate to absorb a blow on an ally, but with Planer Rocket active, channeling spells like Fiend’s Grip and Shackles are rendered completely useless, as when the hero changes target to Spirit Breaker, it breaks the channeling, and the spell goes on cooldown without any use. Another potential way to use Planar Rocket would be to charge in with a hero and have Blade Mail active. Opposition will either have to wait 6 seconds, which is a lot of time, or will end up hurting themselves.

With a 20 second cooldown, there can be multiple uses of the spell in a team fight. Redirected spells include spells from items as well, so the Space Cow can redirect all sorts of hurt from his allies onto him. The hero does have Bulldoze, which gives him 65% Status Resistance, so anything redirected will be massively short lived.

 

Once the TI11 qualifiers end, GosuGamers will do an analysis on the most popular Aghanim’s Shards of the qualifiers. It will be interesting to see which of the reworked Shards make it into that list.

 Cover image: YongGFX on DeviantArt

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Siddharth “Gopya” Gopujkar
A Mechanical Engineer who is as interested in the mechanics of DotA 2 as every machine he studies. Pursuing his Master's at the Michigan Technological University.

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