On what 7.06 brings on the table for the support and jungle metas, and why 7.06 will bring in quicker games.

A lot of changes in the way recipes are built and individual buffs on different support heroes make it a great time for those who main supports, meanwhile making it harder for teams to make a comeback. The changes made will make farming cores go on-line much more quickly, and the days of your team completely wiping off the jungle and being shut down from farming for a full minute are over.

Welcome to 7.06, where supports are happy and games are much quicker.

Or so I think. I haven’t tried playing in the new patch yet, but it’s quite obvious that IceFrog meant for faster games and stronger supports with the changes that he implemented. For example, removing the shrines behind the barracks will make it harder for teams to defend high ground. Augment that with Underlord’s OP af Scepter buff, and you got a team wiping out the defenders and having increased damage to push their towers and their base to clean it up completely. It also shows with how the buyback cooldown has been made longer, which means it becomes more important for teams to save their buybacks for more important situations in the late game. Removing the respawn cooldown reduction talents also ensures that when you die, you stay dead for the length of the time you’re supposed to be, which makes it harder for you to defend high ground when dying becomes more recurrent for you and your team.

However, pushing teams will have to find new ways to push, as the illusion tactic has been heavily nerfed by the changes in the patch. For a start, the bonuses that heroes receive from killing illusions have been increased, while buildings have become more resistant to the damage given by creeps. This makes illusion-reliant push heroes like Naga, Terrorblade, Phantom Lancer and Anti-Mage less effective in ratting out the opponents. Perhaps push strats would have to rely more on the likes of Nature Prophet, whose Level 25 talent has been reworked to give his Teleport 0 cooldown, or Chen, who can persuade neutral creeps more often now and can give them a big boost in health with his reworked Level 20 talent. But I think Beastmaster will be picked more often, thanks to his +1 Quill Boar Level 15 Talent, and the increased duration of the Necronomicon summons mean that Beastmaster can push even better this patch, considering how strong he is already without receiving any nerfs this patch. Scarier still would be Drow Ranger, who has a lot of new item combinations to choose from now that Unique Attack Modifier restrictions are out of the way. She can use Frost Arrows and Eye of Skadi together, or Drow Ranger hitting really hard with a Desolator.

Meanwhile, siege creeps have become scarcer but stronger, with their damage output against buildings being drastically improved while also making them a bit sturdier. The additional siege creeps that usually spawn at the 45-minute mark are pushed forward to appear much earlier at the 40-minute mark.

Junglers can also rejoice at the fact that neutral creeps spawn every minute, instead of every other minute. This makes it easier for trailing teams to farm safely, thanks to the increased respawn rate of their exp and gold sources. Neutrals, however, give out less gold and experience to balance out this change. The Midas rework also allows for a faster exp farm, but the lower gold output makes it a wee harder to farm for your items. This makes it more important for heroes to optimize their Midas targets for optimal returns in their Midas purchase, especially since the Midas is more expensive now. A sidenote: the more frequent spawn for the neutral creeps would have meant Alchemist being able to farm insanely fast, so his Greevil’s Greed got nerfed by a lot.

People who are reliant to team objectives for growth will also be affected negatively by this patch. Roshan gets a minor boost in his armor bonus, while he gives out less bounty. Thankfully, Roshan has become more generous with the cheese, sharing it more often to his slayers. Shrines and Tier 3 and 4 Towers also give out less bounty this patch. Thankfully, the protective armor given by towers to nearby heroes now has increased AoE, so it would be harder for davai heroes to make some kills.

The middle lane also gets a boost, with the initial spawn count of the melee creeps have been increased ahead of the other lanes. This gives the middle lane hero potentially an additional ~35 gold every minute. The increased spawn rate of the jungle creeps would also provide the offlane and midlane heroes additional resources if ever their lane gets pushed out way too far.

Finally, we get to the supports. From the changes to the items to the specific changes of heroes, it’s hard to ignore how much push the supports are receiving in this patch. Observer wards, Mangoes and Faerie Fires are now slightly cheaper, but the small change in cost would add up in the long run, allowing the supports enough room to grow with core item purchases. Aether Lens’ new recipe makes it easier for skill-reliant supports to sustain themselves in lane, while the new Force Staff gives higher HP regen. On a sidenote, healing salves and clarity potions can now be purged.

But the biggest changes come in the form of the changes in some popular support heroes. Take, for example, Crystal Maiden’s Scepter Upgrade from the previous patch matched with her new Level 20 talent that gives Freezing Field an extra 50 burst damage. Or Pugna’s Life Drain now giving him truesight over his target, which, paired with his +1s Decrepify talent, is devastating at the very least. Shadow Shaman receiving a +4 Serpent Ward talent makes him much more viable for early push strats, and as well as Vengeful Spirit’s decreased Wave of Terror cooldown. Bane’s Brain Sap piercing Spell Immunity and having only a 1.5s cooldown with the Scepter makes Bane a terrifying opponent, giving Bane a really, really strong presence in team fights. Earthshaker also will be making a comeback with his Enchant Totem True Strike and increased Fissure Range for his Level 20 Talent. Jakiro’s Level 25 Talent gives his Macropyre pure damage and pierces spell immunity, and to boot, his dual breath receiving a much wider cone. Warlock gets a sick new Level 20 Talent, which allows him to Summon a Golem for free at his dying breath. But the sickest Scepter Effect goes to Dazzle, who now has an AoE for his Shallow Grave. If we had gotten this years earlier, there wouldn’t have been any doubts at all at ArtStyle’s skill. Jokes aside, be wary whenever your enemy team bans Axe. You know what’s coming next, and you should know well how to counter this insane skill.

Things to watch out for are Io’s tether stunning opponents passing through it again when you take his level 25 talent, Axe’s Scepter upgrade giving him a Battle Hunger-inducing Culling Blade, Outworld Destroyer’s Scepter Upgrade rework now giving him two charges of Astral Imprisonment, Queen of Pain’s Level 25 talent now making Shadow Strike an AoE skill with 550 radius, Spectre cooldown being rescaled to give her less map presence in the early to midgame, Techies Level 25 Talent giving him +250 Attack Damage, and Sven becoming freaking scary with his Strength Bonus from God’s Strength.

My personal favorite would be Silencer’s reworked Scepter upgrade giving his glaives piercing against spell immunity and bonus damage against silenced units. Pair it with Bloodthorne, and Silencer is now a very strong carry again.

Enough of all these talk, it’s time to test these theories out. See you in pubs.

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