Item changes – Part II

NEW items are listed at the end of the post.

RECIPES – Initiation :

+ Alchemist’s Bones : NO CHANGE.
+ Amulet of Exile : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (3) > Grave Locket > Ring of Sorcery > Sand Scepter
+ Arcana : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (3) > Harkon’s Blade > Hellflower > Jade Spire
+ Blood Chalice : NO CHANGE.

+ Firebrand : REWORKED.
No longer grants bonus MS passively. Grants the Fired Up! buff instead which grants slow resistance and additional AS when hit by a slow. Reduces the overall passive MS heroes can reach with items. Builds into (4) > Dawnbringer > Geometer’s Bane > Frostburn > Searing Light

+ Fortified Bracer : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (2) > Astrolabe > Ranger’s Claw (NEW)
+ Ghost Marchers : NO CHANGE.
+ Grave Locket : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > Sacrificial Stone
+ Lightbrand : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (4) > Dawnbringer > Frozen Light > Grimoire of Power > Searing Light
+ Plated Greaves : NO CHANGE.
+ Post Haste : NO CHANGE.
+ Power Supply : NO CHANGE.

+ Searing Light : REWORKED.
See Firebrand. Builds into (1) > Dawnbringer

+ Sorcery Boots : NO CHANGE.
+ Soulscream Ring : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (2) > Energizer > Nullfire Blade

+ Steamboots : TWEAKED.
+10 stats reduced to +8. Grants way too many stats for free. Would encourage more variety in item builds.

+ Striders : TWEAKED.
Recipe replacement with a Featherstone. Consistency change as it’s the sole Marchers direct upgrade which uses a recipe. Builds into (1) > Post Haste

+ Sustainer : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (3) > Null Stone > Restoration Stone > Runed Cleaver

RECIPES – Support :

+ Abyssal Skull : NO CHANGE.
+ Astrolabe : NO CHANGE.
+ Barrier Idol : NO CHANGE.
+ Energizer : TWEAKED.
Requires an additional Featherstone. Makes sense with the active effect.

+ Kuldra’s Sheepstick : NO CHANGE.
+ Jade Spire : NO CHANGE.

+ Lex Talionis : NO CHANGE.
+ Nome’s Wisdom : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > Jade Spire
+ Puzzlebox : NO CHANGE.

+ Refreshing Ornament : TWEAKED.
No longer uses Duck Boots. Adding it for the sake of having all 3 stat items having 3 upgrades is silly. Builds into (2) > Astrolabe > Warpriest Torc (NEW)

+ Restoration Stone : TWEAKED.
Now requires Primal Orbs + Sustainer + recipe. Passive stats changed accordingly.

+ Ring of Sorcery : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > Sorcery Boots
+ Ring of the Teacher : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (2) > Abyssal Skull > Nome’s Wisdom

+ Sand Scepter : REWORKED.
Immobilisation replaced by a restrain + slow. An immobilisation + dispel for such a cheap cost is way too strong. Ally casts now dispel and grant slow immunity. Makes it feel like a reverse effect on allies so it makes sense conceptually.

+ Soultrap : NO CHANGE.

+ Spell Sunder : TWEAKED.
Now requires Major Totem + Perpetual Cogwheel + recipe. Stats altered accordingly. It used to build from Major Totem and uses an icon which displays a totem itself. Gets cheaper, thus potentially picked up more often.

+ Stormspirit : TWEAKED.
Scarab replaced with Featherstone so the bonus Movement Speed comes from somewhere.

+ Staff of the Master : REWORKED.
If only that thing wasn’t ported over.. I really am unsure about what to do with such a mess, few issues being and not limited to :

  • I absolutely hate being forced to buy the item not to miss on a full gameplay experience with a specific hero. For example, I’d have loved Madman’s initial ulti to involve the death delay.
  • One should not expect devs to come up with unique upgrades for every hero. That’s irrealistic. I’ve read TONS of these (probably more than anyone, really) and a common issue is that people tend to reduce the hell out of the skill / reward ratio with these. Look at Accursed : a good ulti is supposed to require timing. SotM rubbishes that as a skill requirement to use it well.
  • It’s amazingly inconsistent. Some upgrades are lazy number overhauls while others are unique. Some are crazy strong while others are weak due to its costbeing either fine or too prohibitive depending on the heroes role / farm priority.

Trying to come up with a fix gave me headaches. In the end, a radical option came up : Remove it and add a new shop / character in the base which has the same purpose. Check the ‘Gameplay Ideas’ post.

+ Tablet of Command : NO CHANGE.

RECIPES – Protective :

+ Assassin’s Shroud : TWEAKED.
Now requires Fleetfeet (got removed on Nullfire Blade and needs another upgrade). Recipe cost reduced to compensate. Builds into (1) > Genjuro

+ Barbed Armor : NO CHANGE.

+ Behemoth’s Heart : REWORKED.
Health regeneration is supposed to be the selling point of Heart but it’s really mediocre. Make it so that when the hero does not take damage, the regeneration is vastly increased.

+ Daemonic Breastplate : NO CHANGE.
+ Genjuro : NO CHANGE.

+ Helm of the Black Legion : TWEAKED.
Now requires Beastheart + Helm of the Victim + Iron Buckler. Grants altered stats. Has been ignored by the vast majority of heroes lately and could use an upgrade. Builds into (1) > Ultor’s Heavy Plate

+ Icon of the Goddess : NO CHANGE.
+ Iron Shield : NO CHANGE.
+ Null Stone : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > The Negator (NEW)

+ Sacrificial Stone : REWORKED.
Requires Gravelocket + Lifetube + recipe. Upon use with a charge, causes the user to die after a delay, denying himself and granting health regeneration over time in an area to nearby allies. Can only be used under X % max health. Current effect doesn’t have anything to do with Gravelocket.

+ Shaman’s Headdress : NO CHANGE.

+ Shield of the Five : REWORKED.
Now requires an additional Iron Buckler. Active effect grants damage block instead of armor so Plated Greaves damage block comes from somewhere. Builds into (1) > Plated Greaves

+ Shrunken Head : NO CHANGE.
+ Sol’s Bulwark : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > Daemonic Breastplate

+ Ultor’s Heavy Plate : REWORKED.
Requires Helm of the Black Legion + Platemail + Pickled Brain. Recipe removed. Does too much stuff (grants an aura, massive armor and removes debuffs). Should be focused on its unique features. Can be activated while stunned to grant Stalwart but DOES NOT dispel debuffs. The AS reduction aura could use a buff as well.

+ Void Talisman : NO CHANGE.
+ Wingbow : NO CHANGE.

RECIPES – Combative :

+ Arclight Crown : NO CHANGE.
+ Bloodborne Maul : TWEAKED.
Bolstering Armband replaced by Mighty Blade. Bolstering Armband has more than enough upgrades while Mighty Blade could use another.

+ Brutalizer : NO CHANGE.

+ Codex : TWEAKED.
No longer uses upgrades. Instead, upon getting kills & assists, receives stacks, increasing its stats (damage & intelligence) and the damage from the active. Upon cast, resets the stacks. Should work nicely considering heroes who get it tend to participate a lot in fights.

+ Doombringer : REWORKED. (credits to Sven2k)
Has a 1066 recipe cost. No longer drops on death. Now grants 300 damage. Cannot be dropped in any way. Upon death, reduces the damage given by Doombringer by 50 and applies -1 armor to the holder. This can apply 4 times. There is a limit of 1 Doombringer per hero. It’s an interesting item which doesn’t see enough play. Not losing it on death should give a higher incentive to get it. However, shall the holder die too much with it, the item will work entirely against him, providing not only less damage, but also less physical defense. May allow DB rush strategies to be a thing.

+ Geometer’s Bane : NO CHANGE.

+ Grimoire of Power : REWORKED.
Every “brand” upgrade has an active. Passively increasing spell damage is bland compared to other upgrades. Upon use, applies “Transcend” to the holder, giving him the ability to penetrate magic armor fully. Reminiscent of Spellshards effect ? Indeed, see below.

+ Hellflower : NO CHANGE.
+ Insanitarius : NO CHANGE.

+ Mock of Brilliance : REWORKED.
Every X attacks, Blinds the target, causing a chance to miss its attacks for a short duration. DotA 2 effect with a twist.

+ Nullfire Blade : TWEAKED.
One Quickblade replaced by Voltstone. The passive slow transfers well into the active slow and it could use an additional upgrade.

+ Riftshards : TWEAKED.
Now requires 2x Spiked Knife + Punch Dagger + recipe.

+ Runed Cleaver : TWEAKED.
Give it a visible cleave effect for clarity purposes.

+ Savage Mace : REWORKED.
Now grants a passive 50% accuracy. That means that evaded attacks still deal 50% of their initial damage on the target. Additionally, when an attack ‘misses’, next attack’s truestrike is increased to 100%. Makes it not as hard of a counter to the evasion / miss mechanics.

+ Spellshards : REMOVED.
There are too many items in the game which focus on increasing magic damage. I’d like Spellshards specific niche (deal with high magic armor enemies) to be moved towards Grimoire, which effect is awfully dull for its cost. We’d have the following scheme :

  • Want a cheap way to reduce magic armor in early ganks > Get Lex Talionis.
  • Want to deal with team comps using Nome’s Wisdom & stacking magic armor > Get Grimoire.
  • Want to deal with a tanky frontliner stacking health > Get Spell Sunder.
  • Want to be a battlemage which reduces magic armor > Get Harkon’s Blade.

+ Spiked Bola : REWORKED.
Requires Spiked Knife + Dancing Blade + recipe. Now applies a physical immobilisation and causes allies attacks to crit against the target. An immobilisation makes sense with its thematic. Retail buildup for Spiked Bola is terrible. See Snake Bones (NEW) for a replacement using the disarm mechanic.

+ Thunderclaw : NO CHANGE.

RECIPES – Morph Attack :

+ Dawnbringer : REWORKED.
See Firebrand.

+ Elder Parasite : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > Symbol of Rage
+ Icebrand : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (4) > Dawnbringer > Frostburn > Frostwolf Skull > Frozen Light

+ Frostburn : REWORKED.
See Firebrand. Becomes the go-to chasing item. Builds into (1) > Dawnbringer

+ Frostwolf Skull : NO CHANGE.
+ Frozen Light : NO CHANGE.
Builds into (1) > Dawnbringer
+ Harkon’s Blade : NO CHANGE.
+ Shieldbreaker : NO CHANGE.

+ Symbol of Rage : REWORKED.
Now requires Elder Parasite instead of Whispering Helm. Grants new components stats. Upon use, grants current lifesteal and bonus AS from Elder Parasite. The user still takes bonus damage. Symbolic Rage has always been reminiscent of Elder Parasite active and hardly has anything to do with Whispering Helm’s effect as it loses the ability to dominate creeps. Thus, it makes much more sense for the item to be EP’s upgrade, even thematically (they both cause the hero to be enraged). Elder Parasite users tend to sell it for Symbol of Rage in the late game. They no longer will.

+ Whispering Helm : REWORKED.
No longer builds into Symbol of Rage. It does not retain the ability to dominate creeps and it has been a trend in item reworks to remove such item progressions (Nullfire Blade used to build into Geometer’s Bane / Storm spirit used to build into Kuldra’s Sheepstick).


+ Ophidian Bones : NEW.
Requires Ranger’s Claw + Broadsword + Snake Bracelet + recipe. Grants stats from components and a target physical disarm ability. Grants an additional use to Snake Bracelet and is a logical upgrade from an attack damage reduction.

+ Primal Orbs : NEW.
Requires 2x Scarab + Glowstone + recipe. Gives health, mana, mana regeneration and the Echo active skill, which upon use, resets the cooldown of the last non-item, non-ultimate spell used by its owner in the last X seconds. That spell’s manacost is doubled. Builds into (1) > Restoration Stone

+ Ranger’s Claw : NEW.
Requires Fortified Bracer + recipe. Causes the hero’s next attack to apply ‘Weakened’ to the target, reducing its attack damage when it’s off cooldown.

+ Swift Edge : NEW.
Requires Spiked Knife + Quickblade + Alacrity Band + recipe. Grants stats from components. Extra damage from crits are stored and released as a lesser secondary attack instead which can trigger other items effects.

+ The Negator: NEW (credits to GeneralGrind).
Requires Null Stone + Blessed Orb + recipe. Creates a sphere (Null field) of which any spells casted from within will be negated if casted on someone outside, and vice versa. Sphere lasts for 5 seconds. Cannot be used if the passive spell negation is on cooldown. Takes skill to use optimally.

+ Warpriest Torc : NEW.
Refreshing Ornament + 2x Pretender’s Crown + recipe. Grants stats from components and passively causes any heals and shields cast by the hero to be increased.


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