As expected of a major patch like this one, many of the gameplay changes greatly affect how to play the Dota 2 optimally. And with the more eye-catching visuals for the hero-specific adjustments in the changelog, it’s easy to miss a lot of the more general tweaks. Don’t fret, though! We’re here to run down the most significant gameplay changes in 7.29 and how they might shift the metagame going forward.

Cast Range Talent Nerfs and the Removal of Movement Speed Cap-breaking Mechanics

Patch 7.29 watered down the cast range talents in the game, with some even getting removed altogether. Heroes like Anti-Mage, Arc Warden, and Rubick now have different talents in place of their old Cast Range talents. Some heroes like Weaver and Windranger also no longer have the ability to exceed the movement speed cap.

Rubick had some of the longest cast ranges in the entire game (with Aether Lens) before Patch 7.29.

This is a pretty significant buff overall to heroes that rely on strict positioning to succeed. Think heroes like Huskar, Drow Ranger, and even Anti-Mage himself. These picks hate playing against heroes with long reach and high movement speed. Such heroes will have a moderately harder time kiting positionally-dependent heroes now.

This has already resulted in a resurgence for these heroes, in fact. Drow Ranger was practically absent from the previous meta, but has gone from 48.6 percent to 53.5 percent in terms of her win rate. Huskar has turned into the best hero of the patch overnight as well, going from 49.3 percent to 55.5 percent in a hurry. If you’re a fan of heroes like Drow and Huskar, you should probably spam them while you can.

Shared Tangoes Now Have a Timer

Previously, it was customary for both support players on a team to share one Tango each for their mid laner. This was, of course, done so that the mid laner can spend their gold on stat items instead of buying their own restoratives. Pooling Tangoes, after all, meant that mid heroes could buy a Bottle sooner. Or whatever it is that they would need to succeed in the one-on-one matchup.

This is no longer the case. Shared Tangoes now expire 40 seconds after they are given. Mid players will have to remove “tango pls” from their vocabulary going forward, and rely solely on themselves when it comes to bringing regen. Thankfully, balance master IceFrog has added Water Runes to the game to compensate. Water Runes spawn in both power rune spots now, so there is less randomness when it comes to rune control as well.

Couriers Have Zero Vision Inside Roshan’s Pit

One of the most underrated and underutilized mechanics from the previous patch was the ability for Couriers to see inside Roshan’s pit. There used to be a small visible radius around the Courier even in there, and when positioned correctly, can keep tabs on Roshan’s presence for quite a while.

Doing this is no longer a thing with Dota 2 7.29. Couriers have exactly zero vision inside the pit, no matter how well-positioned they are. Teams will now have to commit to checking the pit manually, or sending other units like illusions or minions in order to do so. This is huge for high-level play in particular, where players with the presence of mind to do this in the previous patch reside. Expect this change to affect pro games quite a bit.

Heroes Start with One TP Scroll Instead of Three

IceFrog has seemingly seen it fit to rein in the freebies that have been around for a while now. Town Portal Scrolls in particular will no longer come in threes at the start of the game, which means quite a lot to supports. This change might discourage early TP rotations, especially when coupled with the increased cost per scroll.

On the flip side, there’s also the fact that dying now awards you with a free scroll. This is a potentially massive buff to hard supports, who tend to die the most over the course of a single game. Which extreme end of the spectrum will end up being true has yet to be seen, but we do have the second Dota Pro Circuit season to help us find out.

Bounty Runes Now Spawn Every Three Minutes

Players who’ve had their “internal Dota clock” set to each five minute mark for a while are going to have a rough time keeping track of Bounty Runes in Dota 2 7.29. They now spawn every three minutes instead of every five-minutes, which could affect sidelane matchups from here on.

Because supports are normally expected to secure Bounty Runes when they spawn, this means that they will be absent from the lane to a higher degree than before. Whereas the old timer meant that they would leave the lane every five minutes, this time they will have to do so more often. Heroes that are self-sufficient in the lane won’t really mind this much. Those that rely on babysitting, though, might have reason to get nervous every three minutes.

Building Teleportation Range Has Been Increased

While there have always been ways of hiding the Town Portal animation when teleporting to a tower or building, the number of angles with which you could do so was rather limited in the previous patch. In 7.29, though, the available radius for teleportation is now significantly larger.

Going from a radius of 575 to 800 is absolutely nothing to sneeze at. This means that concealing your arrival (when defending a tower, for example) is now a lot easier. In turn, this makes sieging objectives harder in the early game, which could lead to a slower map control game. It is therefore advisable to exercise due caution when trying to take down towers early on. You never know what might be lurking in the trees behind it, after all.

More Hero Bans in All Pick

Hero spammers beware: the number of available bans in All Pick is now up to 16 from 10 in the previous patch. This of course limits the number of available picks in the pool further than ever before in Dota 2 7.29. Players will now have the ability to ban out some of the most popular and strongest heroes in the patch, forcing themselves and their opponents to branch out a little bit more.

Naturally, this is bad news for those that want to pick the same hero over and over in order to learn them. Pros and high-ranked streamers have also repeatedly said that having a small hero pool per role is important for climbing the MMR ladder. Whether or not this will have a lasting negative impact on pub play has yet to be seen, but generally, it’s better to have more options outside of competitive play.

There definitely exist some other smaller changes that might also affect the Dota 2 metagame over the coming weeks, but these are the ones we think are the most significant. For the rest, make sure to brush up on anything new via the official Dota 2 website.