Dota Auto Chess got the biggest update since its advent on
the 25th of February. The update included the addition of three new
heroes to the game -Riki, Mirana and Death Prophet, reworks on a few existing
heroes and changes to certain species and class related bonuses. Let’s take a
look at how the new heroes fit in to Dota Auto Chess and in what way the
changes will affect the game.
New chess pieces added: Riki(3 cost, Satyr Assassin),
Mirana (3 cost, Elf Hunter), Death Prophet(5 cost, Undead Warlock)
1) Riki (Satyr, Assassin)
Riki’s introduction in the game brings a new race into the
game – Satyr. Satyrs are good at concealment and what having Riki on the bench
does is it makes your bench invisible to others. But there’s a problem – it always
takes away a good chunk of visibility from the player owning Riki which makes
the heroes on the bench difficult to see. Ideally, you would know what heroes you
have on your bench. But if the bench has a good 8-10 heroes, it is difficult to
keep track of every hero on there. While buying new chess pieces, it becomes
kind of a problem as you don’t want to buy the wrong piece. That is a major
problem that needs to be fixed. The owner of the piece should not lose any
visibility at all.
On the battlefield, Riki isn’t too bad. His ability is Smokescreen
which silences heroes and makes them miss. But he isn’t too exceptional either
and the only lineup he fits into is Assasins. Without that, there is no synergy
for the Stealth Assassin. With just 50 damage and 0 armor, Riki does not seem
like a piece that is worth three gold.
2) Mirana (Elf,
Mirana adds to the huge tally of Elves and is the second Elf
Hunter after Windranger. She is also the first to have an ability that crosses
chessboards. The way it works is the Mirana on your board sends her arrow to
the other board which your team are attacking and the Mirana from that board
sends it to the Mirana on your board. Depending on the distance, the stun and
damage are decided. There is a major problem with this, however.
i) If your team steamrolls to victory in the matter of a few
seconds with Mirana even hitting 100 mana, the other board is left waiting for
an arrow which never comes.
ii) Similarly, if you lose quickly, the other board does not
get a Mirana arrow.
In both scenarios, even of the Mirana from the other board
sends an arrow towards your board, it is pretty much useless as the battle on
your board is already done and dusted. The only time it will be extremely useful
is when both battles are long drawn and Mirana gets to use Sacred Arrow. Similar
to Riki, Mirana has average damage and 0 armor which makes her not-so-good a
buy for three gold.
3) Death Prophet
Death Prophet is the same as Necrophos – Undead Warlock and
is probably the only hero from the newly introduced ones that is worth buying. Like
the other two newcomers, DP is a 0 armor hero as well and her ricght click
damage is even worse. But the damage that does matter is the damage from
Exorcism. Exorcism, her skill, deals a crazy amount of damage even for a 1-star
DP. The only problem is, for all other five gold heroes (Gyrocopter, Techies,
Tidehunter, Enigma, Lich), it is quite ok if they use their ability and die.
Just the use of their ability makes a huge difference in the team fight. For
DP, she needs to stay alive. The moment she dies, all that damage disappears. So
even with high damage, a 1-star Death Prophet is not worth having on the board.
A Void Stone is an invent that will make life a lot easier for DP, getting the
Exorcism Spirits out as early as possible. I am not sure if wielding a Refresher
will double the spirits, but if it does, that would just mean instant board
clearing damage. It needs to be a 2-star DP for a bit of sustain. But on the whole,
the hero is an interesting one which should add a new dimension to the late
– Slark reworked: Replaced Shadow Dance
with Pounce. Cost reduced from 3 to 2.
Slark was a hero that could be a handful, especially if he was a 2-star Slark
with a Ring of Health or something to keep him alive. Shadow Dance would just
keep triggering and Slark would not die at all. It made him a strong unit. The
new Slark (2 gold instead of the earlier 3) uses Pounce to deal damage to
enemies. It isn’t too bad if you get and early 2-star Slark, but it isn’t as
good as the hero used to be. However, with the Naga species buff, it might be a
unit to hold on to.
– Alchemist reworked: Replaced Acid
Spray with Chemical Rage. Attack rate decreased by 0.3.
Alchemist just went from a top tier hero to a bottom tier one. Acid Spray was an
amazing ability which dealt damage and reduced the armor of whoever was staning
in it. Chemical Rage just makes Alch attack faster, which means he has some
potential to be a major damage dealer, but just isn’t good as some of the
heroes already in the game. While BSJ was streaming Dota Auto Chess, Kirbynator
(a Hearthstone player who has faalen for Auto Chess) mentioned how ALch has become
useless. Earlier, the hero was so good that it didn’t even need synergy to be
in a lineup. But now, Alch’s days are over, pretty much like in Dota 2!
– Decreased Horror (Undead combo) Armor
reduction from -5/-7 to -4/-6.
With one more Undead hero now available (Death Prophet), it will be easier to
accumulate four Undead heroes. Also an
armor reduction of five with just two heroes on the board does seem a bit high.
– Decreased Hunter’s Pack (Hunter combo) bonus attack damage from +30%/+30% to
Even with this nerf, Hunters will continue to be one of the main sources of
damage. But those bullets and arrows will hurt a little less.
– Increased Power of the Wild (Beast
combo) bonus attack damage from +10%/+15%/+20% to +15%/+20%/+25%.
This change has made having two Beasts on the board totally worth it. A 15%
damage increase on the entire team is something that could definitely turn the
tides in a battles, especially early on in the game when damage dealers are yet
to grow and get items.
– Balanced Scale Armor (Naga combo)
bonus magic resistance from +20%/+40% to +30%/+30%.
Like Beasts, having two Naga heroes seems quite worth it, more so if there are
magic based lineups developing. 30% increased magic reduction is a sizable
decrease in damage and it applies to the entire team. If early sustain is required
against burst damage, it would help to have a Slark and Slardar in the lineup
early game. That is the only advantage of having Slark reduced to two gold – the
hero is easier to find and upgrade early on in the game.
– Decreased Battle Hardened (Orc combo)
bonus HP from +250/+350 to +200/+300.
A needed buff for the Orc race as three of the four members (Beastmaster, Axe
and Juggernaut) can be accumulated early and they make a sturdy trio. Axe and
Juggernaut are also Warriors so putting another Warrior in with them gives them
armor as well. Adding Disruptor to the mix, all members got an additional 600
HP which is a lot! A small nerf to 500 should put them in their place to an
– Decreased Razor’s Plasma field AoE
from 400/500/600 to 400/450/500.
After Shadow Fiend, Razor probably has the best DPS, at least in the early and
mid game. The hero can be seen in any and every lineup, irrespective of synergies.
The hero was being used a lot and a nerf was incoming. The magic takes a bit of
a hit. But it shouldn’t knock Razor off his pedestal.
– Improved Lina’s base attack rate by
– Decreased Lina’s Laguna Blade cooldown from 13/10/7 sec to 10/8/6 sec.
Line is a hero very underused even though she has a high damage nuke. 0.3 is a
big reduction in base attack rate which make Lina attack faster and get off
Laguna Blade quicker. A smaller cooldown means a higher probability of getting
two Laguna Blades in a battle, especially by a 2-star Lina who has the ability
to soak a little damage and can dish out Laguna Blades every eight seconds.
Lina should see an increase in usage after this patch.
– Decreased Disruptor’s Static Storm
maximum damage from 100/200/300 to 100/150/200.
It’s a double nerf to Disruptor – Orc HP and the Static Storm damage. Static Storm
is a strong skill just with the silence effect which prevents heroes like
Tidehunter and Techies to get off their abilities before dying. Having an
insane amount of damage along with it is just adding insult to injury. Disruptor
had received a buff to his ability before owing to a low win rate, but looking
at the nerfs in this patch, it seems his win rate has gone up considerably.
So here it is, the first new patch of Dota Auto Chess. Watching
streamers makes use of Death Prophet is something I am looking forward to. It
is hard to say how much the strong and favorable heroes will change with this
patch, but one thing is for sure, Riki and Mirana definitely need some rework.