There were less direct support hero reworks in the new patch, but the role feels quite different anyways. 7.23 made supports considerably more relevant throughout the game and it was a pretty awesome change.
That said, some of the heroes were still reworked slightly and today we would like to look at how the changes have impacted their theoretical playstyle.
Changing Enfeeble into a passive was an interesting decision. On one hand it shaves off some of the cast time required to pull off a long chain of spells. On the other—the hero is a little more independent, which can be both good and bad, depending on the lineup.
We firmly believe it is mostly good, but no longer having an option for low-commitment pre-initiation will be missed in certain cases. Nonetheless, these cases are going to be rare and for the most part the hero only got stronger so it might be the time to start playing him.
Io is now back to the support realm and is already making a comeback in high-level pubs. The new Overcharge and the return of slow from Tether made the hero a lot more viable as a lane support outside of some hero combinations.
It also made the hero more interactive in some sense: while flat damage reduction was a mechanic that had no direct counter-play, massive healing can be played around. Overall, the hero got stronger, but there are now more options of dealing with it, so it is a net positive for the game.
The new Silencer isn’t necessarily a support, we feel. He can still be played in a non-greedy position, but the way the hero scales opens up possibilities for some high-level core plays as well. Getting the mechanic from Outworld Devourer, where the damage is calculated based on the Intelligence difference, can turn Silencer into a pretty powerful damage dealing core who can really hurt in the later stages of the game without right-click commitment.
On the other hand, he no longer has the ability to pierce spell-immunity with his Glaives of Wisdom, which is a big problem that has to be played around. Outworld Devourer started to truly shine in prolonged engagements where BKBs would start wearing off, and we feel like there is a chance Silencer can be played in the same manner.
The old new Treant somehow felt less unique. The hero used to have some interesting interactions with the trees that made him truly stand out, while simultaneously making him a lot more flavorful and luckily they were returned to the hero in 7.23c.
The new new Treant is one of the most powerful supports in the current meta with global presence and some good tools for teamfight engagements, even when his ultimate is on cooldown. He might not be as good of a scout anymore, but that is more than made up for with his ability to be a tanky, somewhat elusive frontline support in the early midgame.
Undying was one of the biggest losers of the patch. His Flesh Golem received some heavy nerfs, making it a lot less menacing. While the former effect didn’t look or feel that intimidating, it was pretty powerful with its ability to deal percentage-based damage. Current iteration of Flesh Golem really lacks this necessary oomph to truly recommend playing Undying, at least as a support.
On top of losing the percentage-based damage effect, it is also a lot more situational, since it requires Undying to actually hit targets to apply the effect. Perhaps switching Undying to offlane with slightly higher farm priority might yield better results, but the hero also doesn’t really farm too well, so his future in this patch is really uncertain.
Still the strongest support in the current patch even after the nerfs, Vengeful Spirit is what position four Luna wanted to be, but never quite managed to achieve. Extra attributes in a right setup can lead to pretty powerful tempo plays, while the extra range is a nice situational bonus.
Moreover, the new Aghanim’s upgrade for the hero is among the best upgrades in the game, since it immediately follows-up focus initiation with an AoE disable and the combination of these effects make for a pretty straightforward and effective gameplan.
Vengeful Spirit is currently strong in lane, strong in mid-game and has one of the highest potentials in the late-game, both from offensive and defensive standpoints. There is a reason she currently wins 60% of her games in Divine+ and there is absolutely no reason not to pick this hero.
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