Patch 7.31d dropped a big nerf hammer to the Healing Salve meta, bringing some fundamental changes in the game.

The new Patch 7.31d update dropped earlier this week, bringing a bunch of anticipated buffs and nerfs. As a whole, the patch was seemingly small, however, some of the updates would bring a massive shift in the meta. One of the biggest and hottest changes from the patch is the nerf to the Healing Salve.

The ‘salving your carry’ trend has been pointed out a lot, even by professional players. That meta is basically supports investing in PLENTY of Healing Salves to feed the carry heroes and sustain them during the laning stage. 

In the patch update, we see IceFrog nerfing this playstyle. The Healing Salve receives a massive nerf in the game, having its duration halved if given to an ally.

Dota 2 nerfs Healing Salve.
Dota 2 nerfs Healing Salve.

So what is the butterfly effect of this particular change?

Heroes with healing abilities rise in value

Finally. Heroes with healing abilities have long been under the shadows. It is apparent even back in the TI10 days. At the grand event, no healing heroes topped the support meta, except for IO which is a go-to pick for most tournaments. In the recently concluded ESL One Stockholm Major, a number of healing heroes: Warlock, Dazzle, and Dawnbreaker were uncontested.

Now that Salves are weaker if given to an ally, supports can no longer provide strong HP sustain for their carries during the laning stage. And heroes with healing abilities can help fill that void. We might see heroes like IO, Dazzle, Warlock, Enchantress, and Oracle surge in popularity.

Other than the supports, carry heroes with their own sustain abilities also win from this change. Heroes like Juggernaut with Healing Ward and Lifestealer with Feast are able to survive the laning stage even without the help of Healing Salves - which makes them a great pick.

Carry heroes need to invest in more sustain items

Not all games can have healers, but your carry heroes still need the sustain. There is no other way to solve this problem but.. dare I say it: Carry players must buy their own regen. Yes, now carry players have to make that gold sacrifice and take care of themselves.

Carry players might opt for the consumable regens such as Tangoes or Healing Salves but they might have to spend more for long-term sustain such as the Ring of Health or Helm of Iron Will.

Ring of Health gives +6.5 HP Regen
Ring of Health gives +6.5 HP Regen
Helm of Iron Will gives +5 HP Regen and +6 Armor.
Helm of Iron Will gives +5 HP Regen and +6 Armor.

Supports might also grab a Headdress in the laning stage to buff up the carry’s HP regen. All in all, this means cores will have to invest gold in sustain items, which will delay the mandatory farm they need.

Supports are able to come online faster

Less babysitting and more activity. With core players having to buy their own sustain and regen, supports can spend their gold on more valuable items such as Boots or stat items. With a quick Boots of Speed in the hands of supports, they are able to make more quick and effective rotations. 

Supports coming online rapidly also means a change in game pace, with more early fights and overall faster games.

Healing Salve is out of the game

It is time to bid farewell to the Healing Salve meta. Some people would still try and use the same 'salving your carry' for sustain but it would be extremely taxing for the supports. Sure, the Healing Salve is now cheaper by 10 gold, but that is not worth the other half duration of regen. Carry players need to either buy themselves a Salve or find other sources of regen.

The patch is still in its infancy and we will see how the meta evolves from here on.

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