With the release of Dota 2 patch 7.22, a total of 24 new Aghanim’s Scepter upgrades were added to ensure all 117 heroes in Dota 2 have an upgrade. Along with that, some of the old Scepter’s were reworked. Here, we have done some analysis on 32 Scepter upgrades – the 24 news ones and some of the reworked ones and rated them out of 10. The list of ratings starts from the Scepter upgrades that are the worst of the lot and proceeds as the rating improve.
1) Io (1/10)
Spirits now passively spawn around you constantly every second (max of 5 spirits at a given time)
Probably the least useful Scepter upgrade from all the new ones. The Spirits keep spawning and can give away Io’s location. As an Io, you want to be hiding in trees behind your core, getting ready to Tether and Relocate if necessary, which is not something uncontrollable Spirits promote. They would also give up location during smoke ganks, not to mention the possibility of continuously taking damage from Blademail or getting stunned due to Spiked Carapace. The very slight chance it is ever useful could be when a team is steam rolling the opposition and the Spirits just add to the aggression.
2) Lycan (2/10)
Causes one of the three creep waves to include two wolves. You cannot control the wolves, but they are considered your units. These wolves have the same movement speed as lane creeps.
When playing a Lycan draft, you want to finish the game in 30 minutes and in those 30 minutes, Scepter cannot be a priority at all. Maybe after Lycan has his basic items, it can be a consumable, but by then, there is a good chance that the game is lost. Also for farmed carries, the wolves just provide extra gold and Lycan can’t really do anything as they are uncontrollable. This could see use in a game where Lycan is not the position 1 hero, is playing second fiddle to someone like Medusa and the team is just holding on to the base till the Medusa comes online. But from the first looks of it, not a Scepter upgrade you would want to go for.
3) Phantom Assassin (3/10)
Blur now has instant cast time and applies a dispel. Anytime you get a hero kill, your abilities are refreshed. Reduces Blur cooldown to 12 seconds.
The refresh on abilities is not a bid deal as PA has very short cooldowns in the first place. What is good, if anything, is the dispel every 12 seconds. But it’s just a basic dispel and PA has a BKB to do that every time a fight breaks. This hero is all about building damage finishing opponents off quickly, and getting and Aghanim’s Scepter comes in the way of that. The only time I could see this being used is if the opposition has multiple Nullifiers which a preventing her from getting off the BKB. In that case, the dispel could be handy. On the whole, a Scepter that won’t see too much play.
4) Beastmaster (3/10)
Wild Axes have no cooldown and can be used again once they have returned to Beastmaster.
At first glance, seems really good, right? Keep spamming axes, keep increasing that damage amplifier. Two things that hinder this plan: Beastmaster does not have all the mana in the world and the enemy team is not going to be standing still and taking Wild Axes damage. Beastmaster is better off getting items that benefit the team instead of a Scepter.
5) Windrunner (3/10)
Now adds 2 charges to Windrun and increases movement speed by 45%.
Combined with her cooldown talent, Windranger can stay invisible permanently. It would be useful if Dota 2 were just about running away from enemies, but it’s not. If the opposition has lockdown, the additional movement speed and extra charge mean nothing. Before the change, Scepter was a must have item on Windy. Not so much anymore. The occasional game where there is absolutely no lockdown could be the one where Windranger could think of getting a Scepter.
6) Spectre (4/10)
Grants you a new ability, Shadow Step. Allows you to perform a single target unit Haunt. Cooldown 70. Manacost 180.
The ability by itself isn’t too bad, but isn’t so good as to make Spectre go out of the way and change her item build. ‘Shadow Step’ allows Spectre to chase that elusive target who just gets away during the team fight. Spectre isn’t a hero like Anti-Mage who farms up extremely fast and can get that seventh item within 40 minutes. Even when Spectre is six slotted, the item that makes the most sense to store in your bag pack is a Refresher Orb for Haunt. Using the Scepter consumable from Roshan on Spectre wouldn’t be a bad idea though.
Bonus info: Spectre and Scepter are anagrams. Shouldn’t that make her Scepter the most powerful one? IceFrog, do something!
7) Troll Warlord (4/10)
Reduces Battle Trance cooldown to 35 seconds and allows it to be cast on allied or enemy heroes. Lasts half duration on enemies. Cast Range 525.
Like Spectre, not worth sacrificing an item for a Scepter. But Troll Warlord can farm a lot faster and get the seventh item. He doesn’t really need a Moon Shard, so the natural option is a Scepter that is consumed. It can be cast on others, which is a good way of saving an ally just about to die (especially if it is another hard hitting core). It can also be used to stop enemies from channeling. The biggest advantage though is the reduction in cooldown from 80 seconds to 35 seconds, so Troll Warlord can actually use Battle Trance offensively in certain situations without being too worried about the cooldown.
8) Templar Assassin (4/10)
Grants you a new ability, Psionic Projection. Allows you to teleport to any Psionic Trap after a 2 second channel. Does not break Meld. Cooldown 30. Manacost 100. Detonates the psionic trap on arrival.
The concept of the TA Scepter is brilliant, no doubt. It makes her a global hero with the ability to pick off supports anywhere on the map. But the thing with TA is, she is a snowballing hero who needs to get ahead to ensure she is effective. For that, she needs to have the right mix of items and I don’t see a lot of TAs in the professional scene making an Aghs on her. We’ve had TA being picked a lot at ESL One Birmingham and not once has an Aghs been made on her. A meme strat would be taking the additional Psionic Traps talent and going all over the map along with a Nature’s Prophet or maybe an Infested Lifestealer to get kills.
9) Terrorblade (4/10)
After casting Metamorphosis, a wave travels outwards in all direction causing enemy heroes to become feared for 3 seconds upon impact. Wave starts traveling after 0.6 seconds and has a travel speed of 1000. Spell Immune units do not get hit by the wave. Has a global sound effect.
Terrorblade wants enemies to stay where they are, not to make them run away. TB has low movement speed in Metamorphosis, so he can’t even chase them. Also, it makes a global sound which alerts enemies on the usage of Metamorphosis for something like Roshan or farming ancient stacks. It can be situationally useful, like when playing with Mars, using it to fear enemies into the walls of the Arena of Blood or when there are heroes like Sven and Troll who like sticking to you. But in most cases, like Spectre, even when a TB is fully farmed, he’d rather go for a Refresher Orb rather than a Scepter.
10) Mars (5/10)
God’s Rebuke cooldown is now 1.4 seconds during Arena of Blood. Resets God’s Rebuke cooldown when Arena of Blood is cast.
The problem with this is, it is only a reduced cooldown in Arena of Blood. It’s a good thing to have, but having to spend 4200 gold on it? Seems a bit pricey. Mars is more of an initiator played in the offlane, which makes him the one building the items for the team like Vladmir’s Offering, Pipe and what not. ESL One Birmingham did see Old Eleven and S4 making an Aghs on Mars, but it didn’t really end up going their way.
11) Night Stalker (6/10)
Void is now applied in a 900 AoE around you. Increases the Void ministun duration from 0.1 to 0.6 and reduces cooldown by 2 seconds.
It’s hard to gauge this Scepter. For Night Stalker, a huge weapon in his arsenal is vision. Earlier, that was with Scepter which was why it was a high priority item. Now he gets that with his ultimate and can invest in either team fight items or damage, so there aren’t too many occasions where the Scepter seems like a priority anymore. At the same time, an AoE ministun and slow sounds so good (and combines well with his AoE silence). Potential for a million dollar Void stopping multiple teleports! Could be useful to help cores get away to safety while being chased by multiple heroes or while playing alongside someone like Leshrac, who dishes out a lot of AoE damage.
13) Monkey King (6/10)
Spawns a monkey soldier near you every 3.5 seconds. These soldiers last 12 seconds. Soldiers do not spawn if you are invisible or on trees. These soldiers can attack any target (however, they will not attack buildings if you are not within 500 range of them).
This Scepter was first made by PSG.LGD’s Maybe in a game against Evil Geniuses at ESL One Birmingham, but that was a meme game with neither team taking it too seriously as the group placings had already been finalized. But Maybe made Radiance and followed that up with a Scepter to leave soldiers all around the map that had the Radiance Burn damage. The damage from soldiers have the effects of all items like Radiance, Diffusal Blade and Desolator. A good chance that a crazy guy like Topson will go for it, but other than that, not a lot of viability in the pro scene, because it doesn’t give damage or survivability.
12) Dragon Knight (7/10)
Adds a 4th level to Elder Dragon Form, a Black Dragon. Gaining Scepter increases the level of your ultimate by one. Black Dragon has 50% more Corrosive Damage, Splash Damage and Slow amount. It also increases your attack range to 600 and grants you +30% Magic Resistance.
It’s a good 6th item for DK. The Scepter upgrade would have been a lot more popular if it meant permanent Dragon Form. The Black Dragon has 45 Corrosive Damage, 155% Splash Damage and 90% Movement Speed slow! Illusion heroes will be annihilated with the help of this Scepter.
14) Abaddon (7/10)
While Borrowed Time is active, anytime an ally takes more than 525 damage while within 1600 range of Abaddon, an individual Mist Coil will automatically fire towards that ally. (Scepter still increases duration by 1).
Great Scepter upgrade to help keep teammates alive when taking a lot of damage and as Borrowed Time is a strong dispel, Abaddon can get it off even when disabled. With the additional Mist Coil damage/heal talent, Abaddon just shoots off 315 heal Mist Coils in all directions. The problem is, Abaddon being played as a position 5 hero does not farm too fast to get a Scepter.
15) Arc Warden (7/10)
Grants a new ability, Rune Forge. Creates a random Rune in front of you. Cooldown 60. The selection of Runes include Bounty Runes and Powerup Runes.
No Arc Warden would prioritize Scepter, but with two Hands of Midas, the hero farms at an alarming rate and can afford to buy a Scepter after he is six slotted. If Arc Warden’s team has good map control, it means a possibility of four power runes every two minutes. A Double Damage or Regen rune can make a huge difference while trying to infiltrate the enemy base.
16) Anti-Mage (7/10)
Mana Void kills now add +70 seconds to the highest cooldown ability on the enemy hero. Cooldown starts once the enemy respawns. Increases the stun duration by 1 second, if the target dies during this period it is still counted as a Mana Void kill.
Used on the right target like Enigma or Tidehunter, the increased +70 seconds cooldown has the potential to turn a game. Also useful against heroes like Bristleback, who won’t be able to use Quill Spray for 70 seconds! At this point, buying back on the hero is pretty much useless. Definitely not a core item for Anti-Mage, but being one of the fastest farmers in the game, Anti-Mage can easily get a consumable Scepter 35-40 minutes into the game. It’s better than a Moon Shard as AM already has a very high attack speed thanks to the low base attack time and a consumed Moon Shard won’t make too big a difference.
17) Keeper of the Light (7/10)
Scepter now also causes Illuminate to not require channeling (still provides heal bonus).
KotL’s Scepter upgrade is nearly the same as before now, except the unobstructed vision (which was a big thing). The Scepter is good, no doubt, but with the change made to the hero, I wonder if it will be prioritized as much as it was before. Also, with the vision component gone, it does not seem that lucrative.
18) Morphling (7/10)
While Morphed, you gain +35% cooldown reduction, +50% manacost reduction and +600 cast range.
A Morph with a Scepter already gets the Scepter upgrades of the hero he Morphs into (as long as it is not related to the ultimate). Imagine a Morphling with a Scepter that Morphs into a Sand King – that’s a 2000 cast range stun! And that is pretty much the case for all spells. Scepter is not the best invent to be getting on Morphling, no doubt. But considering the rate at which he farms once he has his basic items, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a seventh item. Will be situational based on the other heroes in the game, but there is a good chance it will see play.
19) Razor (7/10)
Eye of the Storm Scepter now hits up to two different units strike instead of one (still affects buildings).
The two different units includes two buildings as well, which means quick base taking abilities. In a team fight, it has the potential to damage two heroes and reduce their armors at the same time. Along with Unstable Current, that’s a lot of damage. Last season, players used to make Scepter on Razor quite a bit, but it’s gone out of favor. Might comeback with this change.
20) Slardar (7/10)
Slithereen Crush now creates a puddle of water that is considered a river for bonuses. Provides +25 HP regen, +12 Armor and +40% Status Resistance while in a Puddle or River (in addition to the normal Guardian Sprint River bonuses). Puddle AoE is 550. Puddles last for 25 seconds.
Once Slardar has a Blink, he’s pretty open to going a few different ways with his item build. Scepter gives him an additional path. The increased armor and status resistance along with the HP regen give Slardar a lot of survivability. Slithereen Crush can also be used in the middle of nowhere to get back 625 HP if you’re low. Not too bad, eh?
21) Brood Mother (8/10)
Increases Spin Web max count from 8 to 20, movement speed bonus from 70 to 100%, and removes movement speed limit.
Webs covering half the map (thanks to the 20 webs) and the ability to fly to all these places. Already vouched for by Matumbaman twice at ESL One Birmingham, it could end up becoming a part of the typical build for Broodmother. The only problem is, Brood is in kind of the same position as Templar Assassin. If she doesn’t win in 30 minutes, the game starts getting difficult for her. The Scepter has to come very early in the game and help her continue to snowball.
22) Elder Titan (8/10)
Echo Stomp now causes you to become Spell Immune while channeling and for 2 additional seconds per affected enemy hero.
Elder Titan is one of those supports who doesn’t depend too much on items. His dependence is more on levels and skills being used correctly. With a Scepter, ET can ensure that the Stomp is not interrupted (unless the enemy has a magic immunity piercing stun, which is not what they would want to use for a Stomp). More the heroes caught in it, more the duration of the magic immunity, during which time, ET can just call back the Spirit and roam around hitting enemies for a lot of damage.
23) Grimstroke (8/10)
Grants you a new ability, Dark Portrait. Creates an ink illusion of a target enemy hero. Illusion lasts 15 seconds and is magic immune with +30% movement speed. Takes 350% incoming damage and deals 150% outgoing damage. Cooldown 35. Manacost 200.
Dark Portrait got nerfed in 7.22b, and for good reason. A magic immune illusion that deals more damage and moves faster than the hero itself can do massive amounts of damage if used on the right hero. A hero like Terrorblade or Troll Warlord is a perfect target for this ability. The icing on top of the cake is the fact that you can get two Dark Portraits with Soul Bind. Hex takes priority for Grimstroke for the Soul Bind into double Hex combo, but after that, Aghanim’s Scepter could be the item to go for.
24) Tiny (8/10)
Grants you a new channeling ability, Tree Volley. Every 0.4 seconds a random tree within 525 range of your hero will be thrown towards the targeted AoE. Deals 120% of your damage to enemies in that area. Target AoE 400. Cast Range 1300. Max Channel 2.4 seconds. Cooldown 12. Manacost 150.
Has the potential to make Tiny a strong mid hero again! If channeled for the entire duration, it throws six trees that all do 120% damage. Good while on the offensive as well as while defending the base. Works better along with a Daedalus, which falls in a core Tiny’s natural item build.
25) Clinkz (9/10)
Creates two skeletons near Clinkz when exiting Skeleton Walk. Increases Skeleton Walk speed by +30% and unlocks max movement speed.
Great pickoff tool for Clinkz! It’s like having one-third of his ultimate every time he comes out of his Skeleton Walk. Considering the fact the Clinkz is a hero that farms more by killing heroes than killing creeps, this can be quite useful. The only down side to this Scepter is the skeletons do not hit creeps or buildings and leave a trail behind Clinkz that can give the opponents an idea of his location. However, definitely an item worth getting for Clinkz after the first couple of standard items like Orchid and Desolator.
26) Dark Willow (9/10)
Attacking no longer takes you out of Shadow Realm. Each attack still has bonus damage based on the duration of the buff.
The Scepter upgrade works great on Dark Willow because of her low base attack time. Patch 7.22b did increase it from 1.3 to 1.5, but she still hits faster than most heroes. Combine that with great amounts of magic damage from every right, and that is a lot of damage. The only downside is Dark Willow is played as a position 4 hero and may not necessarily find the farm to get a Scepter every game. For pubs, this has good potential for a mid Dark Willow with a Drow in the team!
27) Omniknight (9/10)
Guardian Angel Scepter now also provides +40 HP/sec regen (affects buildings still)
Level 3 Guardian Angel with the Aghanim’s Upgrade lasts for 10 seconds. That’s no physical damage taken for 10 seconds and 400 HP returned (both, heroes and buildings)! Definitely a good Scepter; great to stop enemy pushes if your cores are down. Guardian Angel along with Glyph is 16 seconds where the enemy cannot do any damage to buildings.
28) Alchemist (10/10)
With Scepter equipped or synthesized, you gain a bonus +30 Damage and +6% Spell Amp for each Scepter that you gave allies at any point in the game.
Sunsfan’s list already ranks the Alchemist upgrade (his ability of giving other heroes a Scepter) as the best in the game. Now Alch gets additional damage and Spell Amplification for each Scepter? Seems like a very good deal. The Scepter consumable only gives the Aghanim’s upgrade effect, but a Scepter shared by the Alchemist also gives a hero the stats along with the effect, which is another big bonus for the hero. In nearly every Alchemist game that isn’t a train wreck, the Alch gets his items by 30-35 minutes and can start doling out Scepters. So in nearly every above average Alchemist game, this change will see play.
Note: For the additional damage or spell amplification, the Alchemist himself needs to hold or consume an Aghanim’s Scepter. So may be after the ‘good’ Scepters have been given out, Alch can think of getting one for himself.
29) Death Prophet (10/10)
Anytime an enemy is affected by your spells (crypt swarm impact, silence debuff, spirit siphon target) or when you attack an enemy, a ghost will fly out and hit the enemy for double the usual damage then return to you with life. These ghosts apply a 100% slow for 0.3 seconds.
One of the best Scepter upgrades of 7.22, if not the best Scepter upgrade. It’s like having Exorcism all the time! It helps a lot during farming as well, helping her farm ancients quickly. First or second item to build on a DP.
30) Ember Spirit (10/10)
Fire Remnant cast range is 3 times longer and initial remnant movement speed is 2 times faster. Maximum number of charges increased from 3 to 5. Activate Fire Remnant costs no mana.
Five Remnants add up to 1500 burst damage. They don’t cost mana so there’s no reason to play extra safe with the mana usage. And the longer cast range (3 times longer is insane!) makes it a lot easier to escape. This one is a no brainer!
31) Pangolier (10/10)
Shield Crash now casts a 2-attack Swashbuckle every 90 degrees around your hero.
Every Pangolier played in the professional scene is now getting a Scepter. With the Shield Crash every two seconds in Rolling Thunder talent, Pango can Swashbuckle in four directions every two seconds while rolling. It’s the sweet amalgamation of three skills which include stun, damage, disarm, magic immunity and damage reduction!
32) Phoenix (10/10)
Supernova Scepter now also allows you to cast Sun Ray and turn its direction while in Supernova.
Phoenix is one those heroes who is level dependent, not item dependent, which gives him more freedom to go for a Scepter than a lot of the other new Scepter heroes. The ability to use Sun Ray while in Supernova gives Phoenix colossal damage output when he uses his ultimate! Anyone getting hit by the Sun Ray while standing in the effects of Supernova will be subject to 152 damage per second in addition to 6.75% max health as damage per second (8.75% with the talent). For a hero with 2000 HP, that’s 287 damage every second! With the talent, that increases to 327 damage every second. Additionally, the Phoenix Sun takes 13 hits to destroy at level 3 when he has a Scepter (14 with the talent).