Outworld Devourer received the most significant buff in a patch that mostly nerfed or tweaked the rest of the heroes. The movement speed slow from the active component of his Essence Flux ability was increased from 11/22/33/44% to 20/30/40/50% while his Sanity’s Eclipse ultimate had its base damage increased on its last two levels from 225/300 to 250/350.
The hero was also affected by the sweeping talent tweaks for this patch, making him stronger in the midgame thanks to better talent choices. At Level 15, Outworld Devourer’s two talent choices are now either 6 bonus armor or 250 bonus mana, compared to 5 bonus armor and 275 bonus mana in the previous patch.
At Level 20, Outworld Devourer will also have the choice to make Sanity’s Eclipse even stronger as its damage multiplier per mana difference to all affected enemy heroes was increased from +0.08 to +0.1, or 10% more damage on the ultimate’s damage multiplier. The other choice for the Level 20 talent, which grants 20 bonus strength, remains unchanged though.
Mars remains one of the most versatile and popular offlaners in the current meta, which prompted a manacost nerf on his Spear of Mars. The ability now costs a per-level scaling 110/120/130/140 mana instead of the constant 100 manacost it had before. This should make Mars players pay closer attention to their mana management.
In addition, the Spear of Mars-Bulwark trick, which allowed Mars to throw his Spear behind him while the active component of his Bulwark ability was toggled on, has been patched out and can no longer be done.
Talent choices have also been adjusted for Mars. At Level 10, he now has the choice of either getting 15 bonus damage or a two-second reduction on the cooldown of Spear of Mars, compared to 6 bonus Strength and 15 bonus movement speed in the previous patch. With the hero’s bonus damage talent now available at Level 10, his Level 15 Talent has been changed to providing 20 bonus movement speed.
While Necrophos’ talent tree was left untouched by the patch, his stat gain has been reduced. The hero now has 2.6 Strength gain and 2.7 Intelligence gain per level compared to 2.8 and 2.9, respectively, in the previous patch. The change means that Necrophos will have less health and mana overall.
Phoenix continues to get battered by the nerf bat in 7.26, as its base Intelligence has been reduced from 18 to 16. This means the hero now has even less mana to cast spells with at the start the game.
In addition, one of Phoenix’s popular talent choices has also been nerfed. At Level 15, the hero’s Fire Spirits talent now has a lower bonus damage per second — reduced from 28 to 25.
Pangolier’s bread-and-butter ability, Swashbuckle, had its cast range reduced from 1000 to 900 but had its slash range increased from 900 to 1000. This change essentially means that Pangolier jumps a bit shorter than before when using Swashbuckle, but the ability itself now reaches just a bit farther.
The hero’s Level 10 talent choices have also been adjusted. Mana regeneration was reduced to from 2.5 in the previous patch to 2, while Swashbuckle’s bonus slash range increased to 350 from 325.
The changes should benefit core Pangolier more. Having the hero get farm as a core allows him to forego the mana regen talent in favor of the talent that makes his bread-and-butter ability significantly stronger.
Juggernaut received two small buffs to his Omnislash ultimate in this patch. First, the hero is now affected by the Helm of the Dominator’s 20% bonus damage aura while using his ultimate.
Secondly, Omnislash now waits for 0.15 seconds before ending when it doesn’t find any valid target. This small change makes it so that Omnislash no longer ends instantly when its last target disappears — by blinking away or using Manta Style, for example — and can find another target to jump to, leading to fewer wasted Omnislashes.
Juggernaut also received buffs to two of his talents. The hero’s Level 15 talent for Blade Fury now grants 80 bonus movement speed upon activation compared to 60 before, while his Level 25 talent for Omnislash now grants an extra second to the ultimate’s duration instead of just an eighth of a second.
The prevalence of heavy push strategies in previous patches has once again pushed Lycan to the upper tier of core hero picks in high-level pubs and competitive play. The 7.26c patch makes life just a bit harder for Lycan players as his base movement speed has been significantly reduced from 315 to 305.
While that change doesn’t seem like much, it makes Lycan no longer one of the fastest heroes in the game without any boots equipped. Lycan players may now be forced to buy boots first when facing faster enemies instead of just rushing to build Helm of the Dominator or Necronomicon as before.
Hero talent tweaks
One of the biggest changes in the previous 7.26b patch was a sweeping nerf to almost all hero talents that reduced their bonuses by around 20%. As expected, 7.26c fine-tunes these nerfs by tweaking the talents of almost 80 of the game’s 119 total heroes.
We’ve listed below the significant talent adjustments in this patch for some of the more popular heroes in the meta:
Gyrocopter’s Level 10 talents have been made weaker, as the hero’s choices are now between 12 bonus damage and 175 bonus health compared to 15 bonus damage and 200 bonus health in the last patch.
In exchange, the hero now gets his 40-second cooldown reduction talent for his Call Down ultimate earlier at Level 15, with the bonus damage to Rocket Barrage talent moved to Level 20.
The change makes Gyrocopter weaker at Level 10 but significantly stronger at Level 15 with a 50-second cooldown on his ultimate, as it remains the far superior choice compared to the 0.4-second Homing Missile stun duration talent.
Naga Siren received buffs to her talents across the board. At Level 10, she can choose between 20 bonus movement speed and having her Mirror Image illusions deal 9% more damage. Her previous choices for Level 10 talents were 15 bonus movement speed and having her illusions deal 8% more damage.
Naga Siren’s Level 15 bonus Strength talent now grants 13 Strength compared to 11 before, which amounts to 260 bonus health instead of 220.
Finally, the hero’s Level 20 cooldown reduction for Ensnare now reduces the ability’s cooldown to just five seconds from the base 14 seconds.
Omniknight has finally lost his rarely-picked bonus area-of-effect Level 10 talent for Purification in exchange for a bonus 20 movement speed talent. The hero’s other Level 10 talent choice has also been buffed as it now provides 10 bonus health regeneration to his Heavenly Grace passive.
At Level 15, Omniknight has also gained a cooldown reduction talent for Purification, which drops its cooldown to just 10 seconds.
Phantom Assassin had her talent choices at Levels 15 and 20 buffed. The Level 15 Cleave talent increased from a 20% Cleave to 25%, while the Level 20 bonus Blur evasion talent increased from +24% evasion to +30%.
The hero’s Level 25 Coup de Grace talent has also been changed. Instead of making the ultimate have an 8% increased chance to proc, it now makes it deal 100% critical damage when it procs. While the change to the Coup de Grace talent makes it deal even more damage than before, it’s actually an overall decrease in consistent damage dealt for the hero as Phantom Assassin is now less likely to get her ultimate to proc compared to before.
On top of having the cooldown of his Storm Bolt ability reduced by one second across all levels, Sven also had one of his Level 10 talents buffed, which now grants 7 bonus Strength instead of 6.
In addition, the hero also had his movement speed and lifesteal talents at Levels 15 and 20 switch places. One of Sven’s talent choices at Level 15 now grants 25 bonus movement speed instead of a 15% Lifesteal, which has been moved up to Level 20 and increased to a 20% Lifesteal.
Templar Assassin had her talents at Levels 10 and 15 adjusted to better fit her needs as she hits her midgame power spikes while also having one of her Level 25 talents buffed.
Instead of choosing between 12% evasion and 20 bonus attack speed at Level 10, Templar Assassin now has the choice between 15 bonus movement speed and 15 bonus attack speed. The evasion talent was moved to Level 15 and now grants 15% evasion as a result.
Finally, the hero’s Level 25 Refraction talent now grants four instances to the ability instead of three as before. That said, it should still remain the secondary choice to the other Level 25 Meld Bash talent.
Only two items received changes in this patch, namely the neutral items Royal Jelly and Illusionist’s Cape. The changes were aimed at how both items interact with illusion-based heroes.
Royal Jelly will now have its bonus health and mana regeneration duplicated on illusions, which should make the item a viable pickup for heroes such as Phantom Lancer and Naga Siren.
Before this change, those heroes were discouraged from getting the Royal Jelly despite its benefits since the buff was only visible on the real hero and not on illusions. Enemies could distinguish between the real hero and the illusions by simply looking for the one which has the Royal Jelly buff.
In addition to the illusion-related change, Royal Jelly can now also be casted globally. This means you no longer have to be next to an ally or return Royal Jelly to the neutral item stash to share the second charge of its buff.
The Illusion created from Illusionist’s Cape’s active ability now dies if the item is unequipped. This minor change is aimed at a tactic involving Illusionist’s Cape and other pushing neutral items such as Dragon Scale and Leveller.
Previously, you could safely take down towers with ease if you have the Illusionist’s Cape along with either of the two pushing neutral items by using the cape’s active ability then equipping the pushing neutral item to safely whittle down towers with the cape’s illusion.
To see the full list of changes that came with the 7.26c update, check out the patch notes here.