Patch 7.31 is called the “Primal Beast” update. The related blog post has the Primal Beast at the very top of the page, complete with animations, ability descriptions and bits of lore. It makes quite a bit of sense from a “hype” perspective, but when it comes to the actual meta and game impact, we feel like the new items are a much bigger deal: after all they are a potential option in every game. With that in mind, today we would like to discuss the new items and figure out how much of an impact they have on the game and why.
Before we start the discussion, though, we would like to remind everyone that item win rate and use rate stats are not straightforward. Unlike heroes, a team can have multiples of the same item on their side and they are not team-exclusive either.
There is also a question of whether an item is an endgame slot, or an intermediary item to be sold, disassembled or upgraded later, though it is irrelevant for this particular discussion.
Finally, items have different prices, which should also be kept in mind.
The cheapest of the new items has a 63.37% win rate as an endgame slot. There is a good reason it was nerfed in 7.31b and we believe it is going to get nerfed further. The item provides a very noticeable passive movement speed increase, its active is pretty much a free Sange and Yasha for your team for six seconds and the buildup has a 1500 gold recipe as its most expensive component.
Are Boots of Bearing overpowered then? Yes, they are, but not to a degree that can be concluded from the statistics.
It is firmly a support item and it is a luxury support item. It is something a support character would get in a game, where he doesn’t need to desperately and quickly respond to a particular threat from an enemy.
Unless the opponent is completely incompetent or has an outright bad draft, BoB is an item a support should build after Glimmer, Force Staff, Ghost Scepter, Lotus Orb, Solar Crest or some other save. Hence most of the time, it is an item that supports build in games where the game is already progressing well or in games where it doesn’t really matter what they build.
Moreover, the 1500 gold recipe doesn’t really add much. It gives an extra 5 AS and 2% MS when activated and makes Tranquil Boots “unbreakable”. So it is best to buy the recipe when you have already used all your Drum of Endurance charges.
Don’t get us wrong. BoB is a very good item. It is theoretically, practically and statistically above average in its usefulness. It doesn’t mean, however, that it should be rushed in every game on every hero and it is definitely not a substitute for more straightforward support items aimed at solving particular problems.
The Wraith Pact is a 67% win rate item with a 4200 gold cost. It is 25 gold more expensive than BoB and has a 1200 gold Point Booster as its most expensive component. The total cost of the recipes going into building it is 800 gold, compared to 2050 on BoB. Purchasing the last recipe gives your team a very impactful damage-mitigating tool, though it should be noted that it doesn’t work through BKB.
Why the comparisons? Because while BoB might not be the most overpowered item in the history of Dota, Wraith Pact is getting pretty close to it. It can be an amazing early game support item, especially against well-rounded drafts. If the enemy has high mobility, good catch, a mix of both physical and magical damage and aggressive supports, Wraith’s Reprisal totem, an all-around damage mitigation tool that doesn’t do one thing particularly well, but does a lot of things decently, can be the way to go. The extra armor and mana regen is a cherry on top.
We could also see it being built on position three Offlaners like Tidehunter. Vlad’s already was quite popular on the hero back in the day, because of the way it interacts with Anchor Smash. Wraith Pact is an upgraded version of it. For similar reasons it could be a good item for Mars and Pangolier, and a decent one for practically any offlaner.
Finally, there is a point to be made about the potential position one purchases. There are heroes who are slow farmers, don’t really work well with Battlefury, but who can’t really play active Dota. Spectre is the first one to come to mind, but there is also Faceless Void. There are also heroes who can build into Battlefury, but are frequently forced to play a considerably more active Dota, such as Phantom Assassin, Ursa and Anti-Mage. A ~40% uptime on a 25 DPS aura can really help with taking early stacks, while the sustain from Vlad’s aura is usually more than enough to not leave the jungle.
All of the above is still subject to change. We definitely expect Wraith Pact nerfs, once the popularity of the item starts increasing and players get a better feel for it. For now, though, do try to keep it in mind: there are many situations where it can be the best purchase.
Revenant’s Brooch is, by default, the endgame item for right-clicking intelligence cores — a rather limited subset of heroes. It is in the same price category as Abyssal Blade and it is more expensive than Scythe of Vyse, the two big late-game disabling items, making it hard to justify the purchase, at least from a theoretical standpoint.
Statistically, the item is doing well: similar to Wraith Pact it is not the most popular item, but it has a very high win rate as an end-game slot. Though there is an important distinction between being underrated, like Wraith Pact is, and being niche, like the Brooch. It should also be reminded that all expensive items generally have high win rates, as only winning teams can afford them. Revenant’s Brooch also has a lower win rate compared to Satanic, Butterfly and Assault Cuirass, which all cost less. Both Swift and Overwhelming Blink Daggers outperform RB as well, though they are more expensive.
Practically, it is still a bit of an unknown. There is a very strong combo of Ethereal Blade into Brooch that should not be underestimated, but it more or less screams “glass cannon” and “high risk-high reward” on any intelligence core. The item does look extremely good on both Silencer and OD, but if these heroes are allowed to stand and hit their targets with impunity, they more or less win by default anyways.
The item is really good when dealing with either evasion, some ridiculous amount of armor or a combination of both. Heroes like Terrorblade and Morphling can really suffer against the Brooch. On non-Int position one cores having MKB is still a better option, though, so RB should only be considered if you are playing against heroes like Pugna or Leshrac, or when your team is close to 100% physical damage and the enemy is reacting accordingly. Though Nullifier is still, probably, a better option.
Overall, we feel like with RB it might be a little bit too early to tell: the item is very expensive on top of being extremely situational, so the data is very limited. Personally, we feel like it might be a little bit too niche and even perhaps a little bit underpowered. It is an extremely punishing item in lower level uncoordinated pubs, but at a higher level of play it is extremely rare: the only hero it is built on consistently is OD.
Share your thoughts on the new items in the comment section below and let us know if you agree with Wraith Pact being overpowered.