Neutral items are a fun part of every Dota 2 patch, but 7.35 may have missed the mark on a few new options.
Neutral items are a fun part of every Dota 2 patch, but 7.35 may have missed the mark on a few new options. Some new additions fall flat while the reworks just don’t hit the way they used to.
When they first released in late 2019, neutral items were possibly the worst balancing decision in the history of Dota 2. Now, with five-a-side and a token-based system, they’re generally considered a solid addition. The evolving nature of neutral items makes them one of the game’s most exciting features, and every patch mixes up the pool in exciting ways. However, the latest changes in 7.35 are a step in many different directions at once.
Here are all of the explanations for every neutral item added in Dota 2 patch 7.35 and why some of them will likely need buffs before entering regular play.
All new Dota 2 7.35 neutral items explained
Starting with the Tier 1 options, Valve added one brand-new option and brought back an old favorite:
- Safety Bubble
- Royal Jelly
Safety Bubble is very straightforward, offering a single passive with 5 HP regen. After five seconds of taking no damage, heroes gain a 100-health shield. The item is likely meant to make heroes less susceptible to burst in the early game.
Combined with other cushions like a Fluffy Hat, Magic Wand, and Infused Raindrops, a support can become pretty darn tanky with little investment. It's especially useful on the squishiest of heroes like Crystal Maiden and Dark Willow. Outside of that, the item is extremely limited. Fairy’s Trinket, Occult Bracelet, and Pig Pole each provide similar bulk with major upsides. Seeds of Serenity is better in 90% of situations, so expect a Bubble buff in the first letter patch.
Royal Jelly is a little more interesting. Instead of the old permanent buff, it now provides temporary regen over time. It also grants 50 maximum mana and health, which is nice. After waiting 80 seconds for a full charge, it provides 200 health and 100 mana over 10 seconds. It sounds alright, but when factoring in downtime, it roughly provides 1.33 HP and 0.66 mana regen. That’s pretty bad. Heroes are better off specializing with Arcane Ring or Seeds of Serenity. Depending on luck, Trusty Shovel can outpace Royal Jelly for both forms of regen.
Things get weird with the 7.35 Tier 2 neutral items
Valve clearly wanted to push the design space for neutral items in 7.35, and Tier 2 is where the unique effects start to crop up. This tier includes the following new choices:
- Light Collector
- Whisper of the Dread
Light Collector is a new anti-tree item possibly spurred by Nature’s Prophet’s dominance throughout 7.34. It provides 6 HP regen in the day and 3 mana at night, which are both doubled when the user is far from a tree. This makes it a great counter to tree-based heroes like Treant Protector, Monkey King, Hoodwink, and Prophet. It also grants a 10% movement speed bonus, which is nice.
It can be hard to notice, but the Dota 2 map has a lot of trees. There aren’t many places where the regen is consistently doubled, and the 30-second cooldown on Lightbreak isn’t enough to solve the problem. Quelling blade shenanigans aside, the river, base, and the middle of lanes are the only real sweet spots. Once again, this item is essentially surpassed by an existing item. Bullwhip grants less regen and slightly less movement speed, but provides extra utility as a ganking tool.
Whisper of the Dread, on the other hand, is insane. This item provides a monstrous 10% spell amplification at all times along with a 150 maximum mana boost. In exchange, the hero’s daytime vision is cut by 15%. 10% spell amp is more than a Kaya, and the downside really isn’t that bad for the heroes that want it. Leshrac, Storm Spirit, and Puck all want to smother enemies with close-range magic damage. Distance is no issue for any of them.
Tier 3 has the good, the bad, and the buggy
The new Tier 3s ramp up the power level, but their strange numbers can make them difficult to appreciate:
- Nemesis Curse
- Craggy Coat
At first glance, Doubloon looks like an insane pickup for heroes like Skywrath Mage and Outworld Destroyer. In addition to providing modest regen, it allows players to convert 20% of their maximum HP to mana and vice versa. However, this item is essentially ruined by the fine print.
That 20% is flat for both stats. As OD, for example, you cannot suddenly gain a massive chunk of HP thanks to your huge mana pool. In addition, there’s no visual indicator for which mode it's on. Players must hover over it to read a small line of gray text as a reminder. The item also appears to be glitched in some way, as it consumes way more than 20% after cranking up the stats.
While it may not be the smartest choice for most situations, Nemesis Curse is, at the very least, funny. The item applies a debuff to both the wielder and their victims, buffing incoming damage by 8% and 12% respectively. Percentage-based damage buffs are a dangerous thing in Dota 2, especially when they come with a big innate boost. This makes it a no-brainer for blitz heroes like Phantom Assassin, Slark, and Sniper. Aside from that, it could be a valuable jungling tool for heroes who don’t mind taking a little extra damage.
Lastly, Craggy Coat. How we missed you. The returning item keeps its identity as a physical bulk option but now has its downsides kept to an active. On command, it grants a total of 18 armor for the cost of 30 movement speed. Offlaners and strength support, rejoice. You will once again be a total nuisance in team fights.
The new Tier 4s are niche, but powerful
Valve pushes the design space even further with Tier 4s, including the return of a very annoying mechanic:
- Ancient Guardian
- Aviana’s Feather
Ancient Guardian is a weird one. It grants a pretty insane 50 damage, which puts it in the realm of the late Penta-Edged Sword, but shoots past it to 100 when near an Ancient. This applies to both bases with a range big enough to reach the Tier 3 towers. It’s really only useful in endgame scenarios where any given fight will be decisive. As the only raw damage Tier 4, it will still be the default choice for strength carries like Lifestealer, Sven, and Alchemist.
Aviana’s Feather, meanwhile, is the spiritual successor to Spider Legs. This item grants 30 movement speed and 25% evasion, but the meat is in the active. When the user drops below 30% HP, they suddenly get flying movement. It doesn’t grant flying vision, but it does raise your hero's model and make it more difficult to click on.
The item is a great generic option for any hero who expects to get low in a fight, but not die. It also helps create that situation with 25% evasion. It seems like a sidegrade to Trickster’s Cloak for when the team already has enough invisibility. Expect to see it on off laners when they fail to find their Craggy Coat or Ogre Seal Totem.
Rattlecage rounds out the list of new 7.35 Tier 4 neutral items. It's essentially a clunkier form of Razor’s Storm Surge, blasting enemies for a bit of damage while also limiting their mobility. Unfortunately, the numbers seem just a little too low. 125 physical is very little past 37 minutes, and a .2 second slow can’t do much. It’s a nice toy for the Bristlebacks and Axes of the world, but don’t expect to see it much before a buff.
The new Tier 5 neutral items are the flashiest part of 7.35
Just like with the Tier 1s, Valve has brought back a reworked classic and something completely new for Dota 2’s most powerful item category:
- Unwavering Condition
- Magic Lamp
Where to start with Unwavering Condition? This item is ridiculous, containing not one, but two of the most insane lines of text in all of Dota 2. The first is a debuff that sets the wielder’s maximum HP to 1,500 no matter what. It can’t change, though barrier effects can still provide extra health. That’s pretty low for a game past 60 minutes, but the second stat almost makes it seem reasonable.
It's 95% magic resistance. Imagine getting hit with a Scepter, Kaya, and Relic-buffed Laguna Blade only to take 150 total damage. That’s what this item does. Remember that it stacks with the 25% base resistance for a total of 97%. Any hero that naturally counters physical damage like Phantom Assassin, Necrophos, or Muerta can become nearly invincible. Want to have nightmares tonight? Imagine this thing on a Medusa at 60 minutes.
Speaking of unkillable, Magic Lamp is back with a vengeance. The old Tier 4 has been promoted to the big leagues with the 300 HP heal shooting up to 1,000. It’s still a budget Aegis, but a 75-second cooldown with the potential to be refreshed makes it the perfect item to keep a support alive in a pinch. Heroes with channeled ultimates like Enigma, Witch Doctor, and Crystal Maiden can make especially good use of Magic Lamp with a Black King Bar. You won’t see it often, but when you do, you’ll remember it.
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