Dota 2 artwork for the universal hero Pangolier

[Update #2]: Dota 2's Patch 7.34e has arrived with nerfs to most of the annoying and omnipresent heroes.

[Update]: Dota 2 will be getting the rather megalomaniacal Ringmaster hero in 2024.

Dota 2's annual The International tournament is nearly upon us, so in order to ensure the meta is as diverse as possible, Valve has now unleashed a sizable balance update. Supremely effective 'tank' items like Blade Mail and Heart of Tarrasque have received small nerfs, as have some of the more powerful early game neutral items like Occult Bracelet and Tumbler's Toy.

On the hero front, it should come as little surprise to hear that two of the strongest carries, Phantom Assassin and Sven, have both scored some major nerfs. Pangolier has also scooped up a whole suite of nerfs, though given that he's been nerfed like a dozen patches in a row, I doubt this will be enough to truly bring him down. Still, it might knock a couple percent off his winrate, so hopefully he won't be too dominant at The International.

Other notable changes include nerfs to Invoker's sustain in lane, both in terms of health and mana regen, as well as a small Witch Doctor rebalance. He now has a bit more base strength, a slightly longer cooldown on his ultimate, but also a decent chunk more ultimate damage at level 1. Whether this will make him viable at the pro level, that still remains to be seen.

You can check out the full list of hero and item changes over at the patch notes. If you're interested in all of the random bug fixes, however, you can also find those by hopping to the Dota 2 website.

Enjoy, and I'll make sure to let you know once the next big update arrives.