Valve is dropping big hints for the Dota 2 Frostivus patch, and new items are definitely on the menu.
Valve is dropping big hints for the Dota 2 Frostivus patch, and new items are definitely on the menu. A new poem released through Dota 2's Steam page is sending the community into a guessing frenzy.
Valve is famously cryptic, but over the past few years, Dota 2 developers have started playing very coy. On Dec. 13, 2023, the team dropped a massive hint about the next patch in the form of a Christmas-themed poem. The rhymes include tons of hints about the next patch, with several item changes outright stated. It also confirmed the release date of the patch, which is tomorrow, Dec. 14.
We won’t have to wait long before figuring out what it means, but let’s break down the Frostivus poem and guess what Valve is planning for the next big Dota 2 patch.
Dota 2 Frostivus poem spoils neutrals and item changes
The poem, which is based on The Night Before Christmas, is now available on the Steam Community page. It starts with the unseen entrance of King Kringle (who is likely Wraith King), in festive costume. He introduces three sacks of presents representing items given, items changed, and items taken. This likely represents the regular changing of neutral items, with some being removed and others added back. First, he spoils the name of three new items:
- Nemesis Curse
- Whisper of Dread
- Moonlight Tiara
It’s not clear of these are shop or neutral items, but the names could give us a hint. Nemesis Curse is probably a new debuff item like Bloodthorn or Solar Crest. Whisper of Dread could be a reference to the Dread Retribution Drow Arcana, though its effects are a complete mystery.
Moonlight Tiara is a little clearer. Dota 2 currently has three generic stat items named after crowns. There’s Circlet, Crown, and Diadem, with each granting an increased amount of all three stats. Moonlight Tiara is likely another generic stat item, potentially rivaling Ultimate Orb. Its possible reference to Luna and Mirana could hint at something else, but someone on the development team clearly has a thing for crowns.
The next Frostivus stanza hints toward item changes coming in the next Dota 2 patch. King Kringle lists three items that will likely be reworked:
- Arcane Boots
- Orb of Corrosion
It doesn’t hint at how these items will change, but they will likely keep their core identities. Arcana Boots could provide passive regeneration instead of the current burst of 175. It’s hard to guess how Orb of Corrosion will change, but it could be reworked into a more potent midgame item accompanied by a price increase. Bloodthorn’s silencing active will likely remain, but its buildup could switch to a Kaya to make it less appealing to carries. No matter what, another hint confirms that its build will change.
Another neutral item cycle coming to Dota 2?
The third major verse concerns items being removed. Wraith King, likely wearing a silly little hat, proclaims that the following items will be taken out of the game entirely:
- Ring of Aquila
- Titan Sliver
- Penta-Edged Sword
- Quickening Charm
There’s much less to speculate on here, as these represent the regular swapping of neutral items. Their replacements could either be brand-new options or returning favorites like Minotaur Horn, Witchbane, and Essence Ring.
In traditional Valve fashion, the poem ends on an absolute bomb with the reveal that both Roshan and the Tormentors will get new abilities in the update. This is bad news for fans, as they will almost definitely be buffs to make both objectives more difficult.
For Tormentors, Valve will probably change the damage return mechanic to prevent players from taking the objectives solo. Currently, heroes like Templar Assassin, Slardar, Juggernaut, Troll Warlord, Ursa, Dazzle, and more can take it alone with minimal investment. Something like raising the returned damage but lowering it proportional to the number of heroes present could work. As for Roshan, he may forego the Warp Gates in favor of stomping through the river.
Will Ring Master release during Frostivus?
While there’s plenty to speculate on for this year’s Frostivus, the addition of Ring Master is not one of them. The new Dota 2 hero announced at The International 2023 was not mentioned in the Frostivus poem for the next patch. In addition, his reveal included a release date of 2024, putting him outside the realm of the event.