There's still so much to unpack from Valve's new Dota 2 patch.
But apart from those eye-grabbing changes, some of the more underrated yet influential changes in 7.31 include new Aghanim's Scepter and Aghanim's Shard upgrades for a variety of heroes.
We've already rated the new Aghanim's Shard upgrades in 7.31, so now let's turn our attention to the new update's Aghanim's Scepter upgrades:
New Scepter ability: Blood Mist - Bloodseeker sprays his blood in an area, taking 5% max HP in pure damage every second while dealing 5% of a unit's max HP to enemies within a 450 radius, and slowing his enemies by 25%. While Blood Mist is active, Thirst's healing is increased by 50%. CD: 4s Cannot be turned off while on cooldown
A high risk and high reward ability in which Bloodseeker uses his health to slow and damage nearby enemies. Looks like it would work well for an offlane Bloodseeker who needs to do more damage late game.
But for 4,200 gold, there are better things for Bloodseeker to spend his money on, such as a Black King Bar or Glepnir to hold enemies in Bloodrite. This Aghanim's Scepter upgrade only seems worth taking after multiple core items are purchased, or if it drops from Roshan.
Reworked Scepter: Good Juju now also reduces all of Dazzle's item cooldowns by 50% and can be cast on an ally to reset their item cooldowns. 180s CD 250 Mana cost
This is an interesting ability with a lot of potential.
Dazzle can reset a carry player's Black King Bar, Satanic, and Abyssal Blade if he needs to. A strong initiator like Tidehunter and Enigma can also have their Refresher Orb reset, allowing for possibly three ultimates in one fight.
The spell does have a big mana cost and a three-minute cooldown, but on paper it looks like an incredibly powerful late game Aghanim's Scepter upgrade for Dazzle.
Reworked Scepter. Increases Shockwave range by 150 and radius by 50. Shockwaves now Erupt after 1.5 seconds, dealing an additional 50% of Shockwave's base damage and applying a debuff that slows and reduces base Armor by 50%. Affected units recover over 5 seconds.
Out of all the Aghanim's Scepter changes in 7.31, this is certainly the most confusing to fit in an item build.
Magnus typically buys Blink Dagger then Aghanim's Shard before going for utility items such as Guardian Greaves, Force Staff, or even a Refresher Orb to cast another Reverse Polarity in teamfights.
The Scepter-upgraded Shockwave will catch more enemies and the armor reduction is helpful for bringing them down.
Still, it doesn’t help Magnus catch people as much as his Shard and the 4,200 gold price tag is steep for a mediocre upgrade.
Added Aghanim's Scepter. Reduces Unleash Cooldown by 10 seconds. While Unleash is Active, Marci's abilities trigger Unleash pulses
For a core Marci, there are better items to buy first if players want to deal damage.
The cooldown of Unleash is 70 seconds and reducing it by 10 doesn’t significantly reduce Marci’s downtime, especially late game when fights become more spread out.
The bonus Unleash pulses are nice, and can potentially add a lot of bonus damage and slow. While not worth rushing early in the game, this Aghanim's Scepter upgrade looks pretty solid later in the game once the enemy's Black King Bar durations go down.
For support Marci, it’s too expensive and doesn’t provide enough. Better to go for Aghanim's Shard in that situation.
Reworked Scepter. Replicate steals 20% of each stat from the replicated hero. If the replicated hero's primary attribute is Strength it will also steal 35% status resistance, if it's Agility, it will steal 50 attack speed and if it's Intelligence, it will steal 20% spell amplification. Reduces Replicate Cooldown by 20s.
This is a rather confusing rework, as it removes Morphling’s ability to replicate an ally, which means no more combos with Earthshaker and Dark Willow.
In return, Morphling steals stats from his enemies and receives a bonus based on their primary attribute.
Frankly, this is a hard upgrade to rate as it could be very good or very bad.
Carries often want more damage and tend to go for items that provide that as well as stats. While this Scepter upgrade can provide Morphling with an impressive amount of stats, it might be better to get traditional items.
Will it be a good rework or a bad one? Find out in the Dota Pro Circuit's Spring Tour.
Reworked Scepter. Grants Rain of Destiny. Brings forth rain on a 650 unit area for 10 seconds. Enemies standing in the area receive 50 damage per second and have -25% heal amplification. Allies heal 50 health per second and have 25% increased incoming heal amplification. CD: 40s Mana cost 150s
On paper, this looks one of the best Aghanim Scepter reworks in 7.31.
Oracle now has an area-of-effect, damage-over-time spell that also heals allies. The Rain of Destiny also provides health amplification for allies while reducing it for enemies.
The spell also has a short cooldown of 40 seconds and a generous area of 650.
The only issue here is buying the item, as Oracle is one of the weakest heroes at clearing creeps and getting farm. If purchased, though, it is a very powerful upgrade for Oracle.
Reworked Scepter: Waning Rift now has 150 extra radius and range and knocks enemies back 400 distance over 0.5 seconds (non-interrupting). Reveals invisible enemy units and wards in the area for 5 seconds.
Puck is one of the two heroes who received a change to both their Shard and Scepter upgrades. The Faerie Dragon's new Scepter ability is the old Aghanim's Shard, which knocks people back when hit by Waning Rift. It also has an extra 150 Radius added.
The knockback could be useful for breaking Dream Coil and the extra radius makes it easier to damage and silence multiple enemies. The reveal on invisible units and wards adds a solid amount of utility to the spell.
This definitely feels like a late-game Scepter upgrade or drop from Roshan for Puck. That doesn’t make it a bad upgrade, just not worth rushing in most games.
Aghanim's Scepter now lets you steal 2 spells. (Note: If you steal a spell with 2 subabilities like Sun Ray, it will take both your spell slots.)
Well, this definitely makes core Rubick more feasible.
The hero can now borrow two abilities from enemies instead of just one. This upgrade allows Rubick to enter teamfights with up to two enemy ultimates stolen and the chance to get more.
This is a great upgrade for the hero.
Imagine Rubick with Ice Path and Fissure at once. While this will raise the hero’s skill ceiling even more, it’s well worth it for the plays Rubick can do with two stolen spells.
Reworked Scepter: Fiend's Gate spawns a Pit of Malice under both portals. Pit of Malice slows enemies by 40%
The new Scepter opens up interesting options for Underlord, having a Pit of Malice at both ends of Fiend's Gate safeguards it against enemies looking to use it.
With that said, the more useful aspect of this upgrade is that Pit of Malice now also applies a 40% slow and gives Underlord more crowd control.
It’s an interesting change but whether we see this Aghanim's upgrade will depend on how good Underlord is in 7.31. Like Sven, the hero was practically invisible in the previous meta.
That’s all the Aghanim's Scepter upgrades in Dota 2's 7.31 update. Which are you most excited to try and think will have the biggest impact in the game?