Valve has announced the release date for the next Dota 2 global update, number 7.31 - it will be released on February 23rd. Professional players have long been sharing their expectations from the patch: some want to see changes in the economy, some want a redraw of the map, and most hope to get both. What will definitely be in the update is the alignment of the balance of the heroes. Meta characters like Queen of Pain with her Aghanim's Shard will likely be nerfed, and those who are currently underdogs will receive bonuses. We have collected five characters that are eligible for buffs from the developers.


1 - Crystal Maiden

Crystal Maiden has a relatively good matchmaking win rate of 49.26%. However, for the professional scene, the character is completely dead, and for a very long time. At The International 2021, the hero appeared only seven times, and then disappeared altogether - four picks in the first DPC season in all regions. Esportsmen unanimously say that Crystal Maiden is an absolutely unplayable character in the current meta. The conditional meta Weaver will simply wipe his feet on her in the lane, and not only him. The character still lacks mobility, survivability, normal control and damage through BKB, and Crystal Maiden is not particularly able to help allies. As a result, the hero in his current form is inferior to almost all characters in utility.


What are we waiting for?   Increasing the speed to at least 290, reducing the mana cost of the first two abilities by -15 at each of the pumping levels.



2 - Phoenix

For a long time, Phoenix has been a tier-1 support for both position four and position five. However, several updates in a row have weakened the hero, and now Phoenix is ​​out of the meta. On the professional scene, he is practically not taken: Europe and North America completely ignored the character in DPC matches, and in the CIS and China he appeared a couple of times as part of the elimination. According to Dotabuff's general stats, Phoenix's win rate has dropped to 46.4%, at high ranks above 7k MMR it is also slightly higher - 46.6%. Phoenix was hit the hardest by the nerfs to Sun Ray, which had both its damage percentage and health regeneration percentage reduced, making it extremely ineffective in the early game. Accordingly, the way to resurrect Phoenix should be looked for in this skill.


What are we waiting for?   First, the level 25 talent for bonus Sun Ray damage can be moved down a notch in the tree. Secondly, it is worth strengthening at least the basic health recovery from the ability. Because now, at the first level of Sun Ray, the hero will restore about 100 HP to the ally. health at full cast - Winter Wyvern can produce almost twice as much in a shorter period of time. Increasing base regen to at least 10/14/17/21 (instead of 7/10/13/16) would fix the situation.


3 - Juggernaut

Another controversial character - in general matchmaking statistics, his win rate is above 51%. However, at levels above 7k MMR, the win rate drops sharply to 44.7. Well, Juggernaut appears on the professional stage only on big holidays. Recently, Spirit carry Ilya Yatoro Mulyarchuk noted that the character needs to be buffed, however, the option he proposed (automatically dispel enemies on which the ultimate is used so that they cannot escape with Ghost Scepter) looks too unbalanced. Juggernaut's problem is not only in his ultimate, which has a large cooldown and is easily ignored with a number of items, but also in the vulnerability of the hero himself. It is very easy to get him at any stage of the game, regardless of the number of items. Because of this, Juggernaut often simply cannot finish matches in which he already dominates.

What are we waiting for?   Reducing the duration of the recharge of the ultimate to at least 100-110 seconds. Survival bonus from Aghanim's Shard. For example, so that under the influence of Blade Fury, the hero's health regeneration and resistance to effects increase. Survivability can also increase the strength gain bonus. It's currently at 2.2 per level (same as Phantom Assassin's) and can easily be upgraded to Faceless Void's 2.4.