Image by @Hishikox
The outlanders update has finally come to save us from playing the same game we’ve been playing for years. We all expected changes but the level of change this patch brought is staggering. There have been so many changes that we’ll be figuring out the meta for months if not years to come.
There is too much to cover so we decided to break up the analysis by sections. In this section we’ll be covering the new neutral item drops.
From the Outlanders patch page:
“Neutrals now drop unique items that cannot be sold, but can be shared with allies. There are five tiers of items that drop over the course of the game. Within each tier, the odds get cut by half for each subsequent drop. Items of a specific type will only drop once for each team. Drops only begin after 5 minutes.”
From 5-15 minutes of the game, there is a 10% chance for a neutral to drop one of the tier 1 items.
There are 12 items in this tier and it features the return of fan favorites, Poor Man’s Shield and Iron Talon. It seems as if Valve wants to make farming neutrals a more impactful part of the game and the return of the Iron Talon may indicate this to be true.
The buffs provided by these items can be significant. The Broom Handle item increases melee attack range by 35 and provides 12 damage and 3 armor. This item used on heroes like Monkey King or Tiny can give them an attack range like Templar Assassin or Weaver and that adds a whole new dimension to the game that the enemy has to deal with.
Keen Optic, another item in this tier, increases cast range by 75 and +1.5 mana regen. This item is similar to the Broom Handle but for casters and once again, adds more layers in the game that everyone has to deal with.
In tier 1, the items are nice little bonuses that could help turn the tides if you’re behind. There aren’t any game winning items here but in the 5-15 minute range, these items can alter the course of the game.
From 15-25 minutes there is a 10% chance for these items to drop.
Tier 2 features the return of the Ring of Aquila, one of the most built items for core players back when it was available for purchase. There are 12 items available in this tier and they provide similar types of bonuses as tier 1, except scaled up.
There is the Philosopher’s Stone which grants +75 GPM, +200 mana, and -35 attack damage for a nice GPM boost for casters.
Repair Kit can also be found in this tier. This item has 3 charges and can repair 40% of a tower’s health over 30 seconds and provides +10 armor and +4 multi-shot during this period. This is an ability that only Treant Protector used to have but now it’s available as an item and adds further options for your game strategy.
From 25-35 minutes there is a 10% chance these items will drop and from 35-45 minutes, a 5% chance they will drop.
12 items here once again and now they start getting interesting. Usually at this timing, late game has arrived. If the game’s not over yet then teams are starting to prepare to end or defend to the end.
Some bonuses you’ll find in this tier are:
These can be game winning. You can tank through an initiation and then instantly heal yourself for 500 health, that can win you a late game fight. True sight can find invisible heroes for pick offs, ensnare can start a fight, and bonus magic and status resistance can help you in fights.
From 35-45 minutes there is a 5% chance to see these items and from 45-70 minutes a 10% chance.
A 45 minute long game is a long game. At this point it’s late game but at 70 minutes it’s super late game. In this tier it seems like Icefrog and Valve are saying, alright head to the jungle to end the game. Of course, jungling at this time is dangerous and can be game losing if you’re ganked.
One item that seems utterly broken is the Prince’s Knife. This item has +60% attack speed projectile, and your next attack hexes the enemy hero for 1.5 seconds with a 12 second cooldown. Imagine a Sniper in the back lines with maximum attack range adding crowd control to the fight simply by auto attacking. This would be frustrating to deal with and a fight winner.
In this tier, the items you’ll find are similar to the most expensive items you can buy. Finding these items would be a huge game changer if your cores have less items than the enemy cores but get a lucky drop and all of a sudden your cores are equal to the enemy.
There is the Havoc Hammer which provides +60 damage, +18 strength, increases base attack time by 0.3 seconds, and has an activation which knocks back enemies within a 300 AoE by 250 and reduces their movement speed. This item is like something a Sacred Relic would upgrade to.
From 70+ minutes there is a 10% chance for these items to drop.
Here is where you’ll find the best items in the game. At this point if you could go full 6 slot it would be better to go full 6 slot with these items.
There is the Fallen Sky item which combines Blink Dagger and Meteor Hammer and has an active that lets you blink into an area and stun in an AoE. This item could work well with Crystal Maiden who shows up like an asteroid in the middle of your team, pops Black King Bar and presses R.
There is also the Trident which combines Sange, Yasha, and Kaya together to form a super SangeYashaKaya item and increases all the stats those items provide to 33.
Phoenix Ash is another item and it’s basically like an Aegis except instant and provides stats. You get +30 stats and when you lose all your health, it heals you to full health and gets consumed.
There’s the Desolator 2 which is the sequel we’ve all been waiting for. You get +100 damage and debuff your target by -12 armor.
There are way too many items to cover in one post, this was just an introduction to the tiers and the new items. What you should expect is a whole new way of playing Dota. There have been so many new things added to the game and the possible strategies just became even more endless.
What item do you think should be removed? What item are you looking forward to using? Prince’s Knife seems pretty good to me since hex is one of the strongest spells in the game.