Items in dire need of a nerf – DOTABUFF

Last time we discussed things that could definitely use some love, and today we’re going to focus on the opposite. There are some things that feel a little too good: they either cost too little or do too much. While most of them aren’t necessarily overpowered, they’re powerful enough to have a limiting impact on the meta, so we think they need a few small nerfs.

bloodstone is Items in dire need of a nerf – DOTABUFF Satanic for magicians. There is a place for such an item in the game, but we think it should do less.

Compared to Satanic, it has a significantly lower actual cost and overall investment. Items previously purchased supporting Satanic Demands. It doesn’t really do much on its own: you need attack speed and attack damage, as well as a potential Black king bar Black King Bar to use Satanic effectively.

Bloodstone is self sufficient. For a price of 4400 gold, certain heroes will receive an item that will give them everything they need. It offers lots of mana, lots of extra survivability, can be built as the first item from Arcane Boots Arcane Boots and it doesn’t need anything else to work on any sustained magic damage hero.

Furthermore, unlike Satanic, a hero doesn’t even have to actively participate in combat to receive the benefits. One of the reasons Gyrocopter is one of the greatest satanic wielders is because he can use his Aghanims to hit enemies even when he’s disabled, making him significantly more difficult to burst down. The same mechanic was available for Mars until recently and was removed from the game when professional players started abusing it.

Any hero with sustained damage ability damage or proc damage can be effective with Bloodstone even when disabled. Leshrac is probably the best Bloodstone wielder, but heroes like Razor, Viper, Bristleback, or even Pudge can really benefit from it.

In addition, it replenishes mana for the using hero, making it the ultimate sustain item. Activation costs nothing, provides good stats and can certainly be built early. We think that’s a problem.

We’d hate to see the satanic ability damage niche go away, but there must be some cost to doing so. Maybe Bloodstone shouldn’t restore mana: anti-wizard Anti-Mage wasn’t even considered a proper Leshrac counter, simply because the Disco Pony’s speed is way too high for it to handle, and its Mana Void is highly ineffective against that ridiculous mana sustain, the Bloodstone offers.

Maybe also consider returning the 10% HP cost for Bloodstone activation. It fits the theme thematically and would be a big enough nerf for low HP bloodstone activation turnarounds.

Or maybe the item just gets a little more expensive to be more satanic. All of the above solutions and many more are possible and we hope at least one of them will be implemented.

The problem with Witch Blade is not immediately apparent. Everyone knows it’s a high-quality item with a low recipe cost that allows for a lot of medium-intelligence heroes. It has a heavily scaling nuke, but it’s not too oppressive or overpowering to be considered problematic. Although it may have been one of the most problematic items in the current and previous patches.

The main issue with the item is the prescription cost. For 600 gold you get a nuke with 200+ damage that keeps getting stronger and stronger. They also gain +6 additional Intellect compared to Robe of Magi and an additional +2 Armor from Chainmail. Projectile speed is largely irrelevant, although sometimes useful.

Even Dagon comparisons favor the Witchblade, as the stats the latter provides can support a more right-click oriented playstyle. With the additional six armors and attack speed, many smart heroes can now hold their ground and fight in the early game instead of bypassing their cooldowns.

It shines as a niche filler. It gives Nuker some extra damage, allows them to be a bit more aggressive, and encourages a more active playstyle as it’s not the most efficient farming item. The problem is, it’s so good at what it did and does that the game had to adapt to it.

If you look at many changelogs of intelligence heroes after patch 7.28, you can see how most of them received direct nerfs. For example, Puck lost a lot of his laning ability during this time with significantly lower starting damage and a much slower Illusory Orb. There were also several Dream Coil damage and cooldown patches during this period.

Void Spirit received almost nothing but nerfs over the same period, as did Storm Spirit. More importantly, these heroes do not receive any significant buffs, although most of them have sub-50% winrates in higher level brackets.

We think a lot of this has to do with Witch Blade. The ability to purchase an additional Nuke as a first item while boosting your teamfight stats is definitely something to consider when it comes to Secret Service Hero balance.

Most builds on such heroes almost assume a mandatory Witchblade, which doesn’t feel healthy since heroes have to be balanced to have this really powerful item relatively early on. Playing without it feels inferior, but Dota is still the Dota customization skill, and sometimes you just can’t go for Witch Blade as you may need a specific defensive item.

The bottom line is, as mentioned, many Intelligence midplaners are currently struggling to have a positive or even neutral winrate, and part of that is Witchblade, resulting in them getting nerfs sooner or not being buffed right now. By making the item slightly weaker while also boosting other Intelligence mids, balance can be maintained without the item being a cornerstone of the overall mid-game.

What do you think of the two points we discussed today? Agree with us and what other items would you like to see nerfed in the next patch? Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.