Dota 2 Patch 6.87 has been released

After watching the Dota 2 community collectively lose their sanity and go full-on meme mode, Icefrog finally took mercy and unleashed the much anticipated patch 6.87 in to the great wilds of the test live servers.

From my initial reading of the patch notes it seems that this is going to be one hell of an update for melee heroes, those that hate the currently overpowered flavor of the month, Invoker players who will finally be able to actually pick their favorite hero, and most importantly, for those that like item diversity.

There are far too many changes for me to simply cover them all and still have enough time for dinner... or even breakfast, so here are the official patch notes instead.

I will comment on couple of things, however, with the first one being the new Scan ability that allows you to reveal a targeted area (900 AOE) for 8 seconds, at a 4.5 minute cooldown. It will not indicate units within the Roshan Pit, but smoked and invisible ones are fair game. Its not an especially flashy ability, and I can see it being misused heavily in pub games, but the amount of depth and trickery this will add to pro games is astounding.

Since the Scan doesn't tell the enemy they're being revealed, every single group gank will need to be carefully considered because you never know if the enemy is on to you, and more importantly, if they are planning a counter attack of their own. Its such a simple little feature, but the ripples it will make when it comes to gameplay are absolutely massive, and will make for some amusing youtube clips over the coming years, something I'm sure we can all appreciate.

Starcraft 2's scan ability

I'm sure the similarities between the two abilities are totally coincidental

Next up, the changes that will positively affect melee heroes:

Starting HP increased from 180 to 200

HP per strength increased from 19 to 20

Hero base mana increased from 0 to 50

Mana per int reduced from 13 to 12

Intelligence now increases your spell damage by 1% per 16 Intelligence points. [?]

Melee hero attack range increased from 128 to 150

Lane Creep Aggro duration increased from 2 to 2.5 [?]

Abyssal Blade - Now requires Basher, Vanguard, and a 1550 recipe 

These might not sound like much on paper, especially since the majority affect ranged heroes as well, but mana is one of the biggest issues when it comes to early game Strength heroes, and now you'll have more of it! Furthermore, Strength now gives you 20 health per point (up from 19), which combined with the starting HP increase should result in Strength heroes being able to take an extra hit, perhaps even two, in the early-mid portions of the game.

Add to that an increased melee attack range, the inclusion of the seemingly overpowered Echo Saber that allows you to crit/bash twice in a 'single hit', as well as the new build-up for Abyssal Blade that includes the trustworthy Vanguard, and you've got a recipe for heroes like Lifestealer or Phantom Assassin to once again force their way back in to the competitive scene. Whether I'm correct about this or not, it remains to be seen, but either way these are exciting additions that I welcome with open hands.

Finally, the change that makes me question Icefrog's commitment to balance, his job at Valve, and what on Earth he's doing to make a hero so overpowered:

Puck - Increased Illusory Orb speed by 1

If you have no idea what the joke is about I'd suggest heading over here and preparing to laugh your pantaloons off.

Dota 2's Puck artwork