Patch 6.87 Brings Aghs Upgrades Both Powerful and Ridiculous
One of the most exciting parts of every major Dota 2 patch is the new slew of Aghanim’s Scepter (or, “Agh’s”) upgrades granted to heroes without a Scepter upgrade, as well as crazy changes made to existing Agh’s. Head Dota designer Icefrog always seems to have some truly kooky ideas cooking, and no matter how many preposterous suggestions fans make on Reddit or Valve fora, the coldest of toads never fails to surprise. As usual, Patch 6.87 brings us some Aghanim’s upgrades that are sure to become core parts of a hero’s build, and some that are a little more out there.
Here are the heroes to receive Icefrog’s Agh’s blessing in patch 6.87:
Bloodseeker’s Agh’s gives Rupture two charges, replenishing one charge every 40 seconds. This is a great upgrade that allows ‘Seeker to effectively lock down multiple targets in a fight.
Earthshaker already had an Agh’s that was built with some regularity, which granted more damage to Echo Slams in a crowd. Icefrog’s verdict: Too boring! The new ‘Shaker Agh’s allows our favorite earthen grumpybear to take to the skies, giving him a 900 range leap on casts of Enchant Totem. I think it’s fair to say that nobody saw this upgrade coming. This is a great change to the Agh’s because, while it’s totally ridiculous, it’s also very useful for the hero.
Gyrocopter is another hero that already had an Agh’s. Gyro’s previous upgrade, global range on Call Down, was clearly useful and granted alternate functionality to the hero, but was basically never built. So, Icefrog has chucked the old skill change into the bin, and given us a new Scepter… which we will also probably never build. The new Gyro Agh’s gives Gyro a “Side Gunner” that attacks a random enemy within 600 range every 1.4 seconds (half of Gyro’s BAT). Like the Earthshaker change, this was definitely unexpected. Unlike Earthshaker’s change, it’s not clear why you would want to build this over any other standard Gyro damage item. One change that would instantly make this a must-buy would be allowing the Side Gunner to proc Flak Cannon, but for now this upgrade is little more than a very strange curiosity.
The new Mirana Agh’s passively casts Starstorm once every eight seconds, waiting for enemies if none are around. This is a lot like Gyro’s Agh’s except really, really good. The new Agh’s has turned Mirana into a reliable burst damage core hero, and has become a common pickup in pro play.
Since Oracle is typically played as a low net worth support, Agh’s is unlikely to be on the standard menu of items available for purchase. Agh’s for supports need to be truly powerful (see: Ancient Apparition) or the give the hero real additional functionality (like Keeper of the Light) to be worth saving up the 4200 Gold. Does Oracle’s new Scepter live up to that marker? Probably not, but it’s still pretty crazy. Scepter reduces the cooldown of Purifying Flames to one second, and brings the cast time down to .1 second. The spell is already on a short cooldown, but the capability to deal over 1000 damage in three seconds is pretty neat.
This Agh’s turns Electric Vortex into an AoE spell. Storm is already deadly one-on-one, but this significantly turns up the dial on his contribution in a teamfight. A solid 3rd or 4th item Agh’s upgrade.
Another usually poor support, Winter Wyvern is another hero who isn’t going to be casually buying an Agh’s every game. This upgrade turns Arctic Burn into a toggleable skill without a cooldown, and removes the limitation of attacks on a single target. On-demand flying movement and upped range and damage is definitely strong, but the constant mana cost means Wyvern will have to back this purchase up with solid Int. or mana regen items, which is a big ask for a support already trying to fund an Agh’s.