Dota 2's 7.28 patch (the Mistwoods Update) changes everything

Kurt Lozano
·Esports Content Producer
·7-min read

The long-awaited 7.28 patch for Dota 2 has finally been released on Friday (18 December). Also known as the Mistwoods Update, it adds a new hero, new shop and neutral items, as well as a new set of ability upgrades for every hero to the game.

Read on for a breakdown of the biggest changes in the patch.

A new hero: Hoodwink

The main attraction for the new patch is, of course, the newest hero: Hoodwink. She is a ranged agility hero that excels in fighting near trees, with strong disables and nukes that make her a menace despite appearing like a cuddly woodland creature.

For a closer look at Hoodwink, including a breakdown of her abilities and a quick guide on how to play as her, check here.

Aghanim’s Shards — new abilities for every hero

While a new hero is usually the spotlight for huge updates such as this one, arguably the biggest change of the patch is the addition of a new item: Aghanim’s Shards. They are a new consumable item that permanently adds a new ability or improves an existing one for every single hero in the game. Yep, you read that right.

Aghanim’s Shards can be purchased for 1,400 gold starting at the 20-minute mark and gets consumed immediately when it's given to your hero, much like the Aghanim's Blessing.

With the addition of this new item, there is now a new section in the hero UI that shows what Scepter and Shard upgrades do for the selected hero and indicates which ones are active.

The new section in the Hero UI dedicated to the Aghanim's Scepter and Shards. (Photo: Valve Corporation)
The new section in the Hero UI dedicated to the Aghanim's Scepter and Shards. (Photo: Valve Corporation)

We can’t list every single Aghanim’s Shards ability upgrade for each hero or this article will be far too long, so instead we’ll list some of our favourite ones thus far.

As seen in the image above, Clockwerk’s Aghanim’s Shards upgrade lets him use a new Jetpack ability that gives him both flying movement and vision for six seconds. It’s great for initiation and scouting, plus he looks like he’s really having fun flying around.

Getting Aghanim’s Shards on Dark Seer lets him use Normal Punch, a passive cooldown attack that causes his next attack on an enemy hero to knock an illusion out of them and stun them for up to 2 seconds, knock them back, and deal 250 damage based on how far you've moved in the past 3 seconds.

The new ability looks good on paper, but really we love the One Punch Man reference in its name as well as the anime visual effects. This is something you should get just to show off how cool you are.

Timbersaw’s Aghanim’s Shards upgrade lets him use a Flame Thrower that unleashes a line of fire in front of him for seven seconds, adding to his already deadly arsenal of heavy area-of-effect damage abilities. With respect to the hero’s lore, his new ability also destroys any trees hit by the flame, which is especially useful against the newly-introduced hero with a reliance on them.

Aghanim’s Scepter reworks for 23 heroes

Aside from the addition of the Aghanim’s Shards, the Mistwoods Update also reworks the Aghanim’s Scepter ability upgrades for 23 heroes, namely; Anti-Mage, Arc Warden, Axe, Brewmaster, Dark Seer, Dazzle, Doom, Keeper of the Light, Leshrac, Lifestealer, Magnus, Mars, Meepo, Mirana, Naga Siren, Nature’s Prophet, Oracle, Phantom Lancer, Pudge, Tinker, Troll Warlord, Underlord, and Visage.

Some of these reworks merely shuffle the ability upgrades between Aghanim’s Scepter and Aghanim’s Shards, while others give heroes entirely new ability upgrades compared to before. Anti-Mage, Axe, and Brewmaster and Nature’s Prophet, in particular, received better Scepter upgrades in the patch.

Also worth mentioning is that Keeper of the Light has been slightly reworked as a consequence of the shuffled ability upgrades.

Blinding Light is no longer a basic ability of his and has now been replaced by Solar Bind, which lowers the target's magic resistance and causes them to become increasingly slowed the more they move. Keeper of the Light then gets his old ultimate, Spirit Form, back. As before, it gives him bonus movement speed and cast range, allows him to cast Blinding Light and Recall, and removes the channelling requirement for Illuminate.

Keeper of the Light’s ultimate before this patch, Will-O-Wisp, is now his Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade, though it now applies a movement manipulation that pulls inward any units caught in its area-of-effect with each flicker instead of a stun. His old Scepter upgrade, which causes Illuminate to heal allies during daytime, is now acquired from Aghanim’s Shards.

13 new shop items

The 7.28 patch also adds 12 new shop items, including three distinct upgrade paths for Blink Dagger. (Photo: Valve Corporation)
The 7.28 patch also adds 13 new shop items, including three distinct upgrade paths for Blink Dagger. (Photo: Valve Corporation)

Aside from new abilities from the Aghanim’s Shards, Dota 2 heroes also get new items to play with, namely; a Fluffy Hat, Falcon Blade, Orb of Corrosion, Witch Blade, Gleipnir, Mage Slayer, Eternal Shroud, Windwaker, a level two upgrade for Helm of the Dominator, as well as three distinct upgrade paths for Blink Dagger.

Gleipnir is an alternate upgrade path for Maelstrom, which combines it with Rod of Atos to give its wielder a passive Chain Lightning proc as well as a powerful 450 area-of-effect, two-second ensnare. Windwaker gives Eul’s Scepter a much-needed upgrade path, which now allows its Cyclone ability to be casted on allies for increased utility.

The most exciting new items are the three new upgrade paths for Blink Dagger, with each getting additional effects corresponding to the three primary attributes of Strength, Agility, and Intelligence.

The Strength Blink upgrade, the Overwhelming Blink, slows and damages all enemies in a 800 area-of-effect around where its wielder blinks to. The Agility Blink upgrade, the Swift Blink, gives its wielder bonus damage and attack speed as well as phased movement upon blinking. Finally, the Intelligence Blink upgrade, the Arcane Blink, gives it wielder -50 per cent Cast Point and 25 per cent Ability Cooldown Reduction.

Octarine Core, Bloodstone, Silver Edge, Heart of Tarrasque, Holy Locket, Satanic, Drum of Endurance, Glimmer Cape, Hood of Defiance, Vladmir’s Offering, Mekansm, Guardian Greaves, and Dagon had their recipes updated while the Ring of Tarrasque was removed.

14 new neutral items

In addition to new shop items, the 7.28 patch also adds new neutral items to the game. (Photo: Valve Corporation)
In addition to new shop items, the 7.28 patch also adds new neutral items to the game. (Photo: Valve Corporation)

Aside from the new shop items, 14 new neutral items have also been added to the game while a number of existing ones have been cycled out.

Tier 1 neutral items: Fairy’s Trinket, Chipped Vest, and Possessed Mask have been added while Mango Tree, Poor Man’s Shield, and Iron Talon have been removed.

Tier 2 neutral items: Quicksilver Amulet and Bull Whip have been added while Clumsy Net and Vampire Fangs have been removed.

Tier 3 neutral items: Elven Tunic, Cloak of Flames, Ceremonial Robe, and Psychic Headband have been added while Repair Kit, Craggy Coat, and Greater Faerie Fire have been removed.

Tier 4 neutral items: Penta-Edged Sword, Stormcrafter, and Trickster Cloak have been added while Magic Lamp, Witless Shako, Prince’s Knife, and Havoc Hammer have been removed.

Tier 5 neutral items: Giant’s Ring and Book of Shadows have been added while Woodland Striders and Trident have been removed.

For the full list of changes in the Mistwoods Update, check the update page here.

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