Dota 2

A few more Aghs shards thoughts and why I think some of them got a rough review the first time around

I finished up with Bane in the last one, saying I think he's pretty good vs specific counters with Aghs shard now . I'm not going to do them all alphabetically, but I just want to touch on the ones I think are better or significantly worse in my opinion than the general consensus has suggested, and again, it's just an opinion from a scrub and you're welcome to trash it as you please.

I think Timbersaw got a lot of flak over his Aghs shard, which I think is not as shitty as they say it is, and here's why:

If you dispel the Flamethrower debuff and you get debuffed with it again, which debuff dispelling item/ability do you use to dispel it now that you've used one? I think maybe Jugg, PL and Alchemist are the only heroes I can think of that consistently will opt for items that grant a basic dispel that complements their ability set's inherent basic dispel. Most other heroes that will receive a 30% slow and get hit by it again after dispelling it once via Lotus, Eul's or Manta. This is really good control for a hero like Timbersaw that doesn't really want to get items like Atos or Gleipnir and probably isn't in a practical position to get a Scythe until the very late game.

It's for this reason that I think in certain matchups, 30% slow before you've even used Chakram allows you to hit your spells a lot better than previously, and is pretty solid damage to boot. Plenty of analysts and pundits have called this shard trash, and I honestly think it's pretty good, especially against heroes that are going to struggle once they've used their only source of basic dispel. And, in the instance that they pop BKB or TP out to avoid dying, you've essentially "won" that interaction anyway.

Centaur Warrunner: I think this one is legit as fuck. If you have Hood, you don't lose HP in absolute terms because of the STR gain from the shard, if you have Pipe or Shroud, and you gain 15% STR for every time you use this ability, you will actually gain HP in numerical terms for the first 5 stacks of Double Edge. This ability is broken as fuck, and it's so good if you can get Double Edge hits off before the stack timer runs out. It's just plain busted because it's zero manacost damage, you gain HP in absolute value terms and it's on a 4-second cooldown. It's not an every game thing, but if you are in amongst it and aren't getting totally kited, this ability is really fucking good.

Dazzle: I thought to myself what most of the analysts and commentators thought about this to begin with. "Yeah, who needs a right-clicking Dazzle when you're trying to do other things? This shard is shit" Yeah, nah. The reason I think it's not complete shit is because of one thing that the decision hinged upon:

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Does Poison Touch refresh upon ability usage with the shard's function? The answer is yes. So, every time you cast a spell, you're right-clicking and refreshing Poison Touch from anywhere inside 1,200 range on any hero that has the debuff on it. This is – in the instances where fights go on long enough that Poison Touch can be recast more than once, or where heroes lack the capacity to dispel the debuff, the combination of armour reduction from Bad Juju, the Poison Touch refresh from the shard and the physical damage from that ability, this Aghs shard is situationally so damned good even from a support Dazzle point of view because you're able to refresh something from 1,200 range or less to both slow the enemy and deal damage over time, plus it isn't reduced by damage block. Even on a support Dazzle this can situationally be really good, but on a core Dazzle, this could quite possibly ruin the enemy team's life. Add to this any item with a modifier like a slow, an armour reduction, Dragon Scale, Orb of Destruction, a critical strike, Maelstrom/Mjollnir on a core Dazzle, you've got yourself a really hard to deal with source of damage without really being able to get near the hero.

Dragon Knight: this one's not as bad as I think is being suggested either. It's situational, but it's damage in an AoE which is handy for Roshan, sieging or defending towers, and additional waveclear on a 20-second cooldown. What I like about it is that it turns Dragon Knight from a hero that's kind of like half a Lina in the mid-lane, as in, has one of the two ways of waveclearing, and turns him into a hero that can dump Fireball on the ground, get the enemy creeps low enough that he can Breathe Fire, and the wave is cleared in around about 4 – 5 seconds rather than right-clicking the creeps about two or three times each pre-or-post Breathe Fire. The only downside as has been suggested is the fact that it's only available to Elder Dragon Form, which limits it at best to 50% availability. Again, situationally really good with abilities like Upheaval, Pit of Malice, Bramble Maze, Black Hole, Wukong's Command, Arena of Death, Kinetic Field, Dream Coil, Chronosphere, Reincarnation, Power Cogs, Epicenter, Overgrowth, Supernova… you get the picture. It's even pretty decent in the context of simply planting it on you like a Sand King sandstorm and making it impractical for enemies to go on you unless they're Piped or have magic immunity.

Faceless Void: I think this one was dubbed one of the worst Aghs shards in the game by a series of players and commentators. I … what? At any stage of the game, what's Faceless Void's biggest problem? He doesn't have Chrono up: that's really his only issue in any game, at any time. What does he do when he doesn't have Chrono? In fights, not fucking much. If he goes in with Time Walk, he's now in. This is prime time to take a shit-ton of damage, get stunned and probably die.

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Now, they give you an ability that – in conjunction with Aghs itself – offers a means of stunning and damaging an enemy in an AoE and being able to get back out again almost immediately, and they call it shit. What. In. The. Fuck. This hero can hit enemies – assuming you're not against a Silencer with Last Word – from 925 range away with the Timewalk cast range talent, and immediately nope the fuck out of there with practically no chance of consequence, on about a 4.5 to 5 second cooldown with the talent, 6.25 to 6.5 seconds without. This ability is so good in conjunction with Aghs itself for being able to do what Faceless Void normally can't do when Chrono is down, which is ever really fight.

Necrophos: I have trouble understanding why people think Bristleback's shard is great, and Necrophos' shard is garbage: they're essentially the same thing. They provide reach on heroes that don't really have any. Bristle has this irritating issue sometimes where he'll get you down super low but he can't catch you to deal the last instance or two of Quills to actually kill you. Necrophos is legitimately a worse hero than Bristle in this patch, granted, but the issue is the same. Necro lacks the ability to get on top of people because he's so damn slow, so when you get someone low enough that you could conceivably kill them, but they're out of range, Death Seeker can hit the target from a substantially longer range and have the Death Pulse spawn out of that, and travel even further to hit the intended target. This means that you can hit someone that's trying to get away by hitting someone that's nearby that hero and get a kill. Again, I think Necrophos is kinda dogshit these days but he's had the STR gain per level gone from 2.3 to 2.6 to 2.8 to 2.6 in the last few patches. I don't think the shard is crap as much as the hero is … not that good right now. BSJ and other players/casters/analysts have mentioned that Necro is really a lane dominator, but if he's not in front and can be killed at any point, he's not really that strong a lane dominator. Still, I think if he's in front or he doesn't have to frontline in the strictest sense, he's pretty good. If he doesn't have to deal with multiple silences, then he won't need to do much beyond getting Greaves before focusing on other items. Still, all that aside, I feel like the hero's Aghs shard isn't awful, and it's good waveclear in conjunction with your passive and Death Pulse itself. Sure, it's a fair chunk of mana but I think the 6.5 mana regen per Sadist stack is enough to offset that, and I personally really like Soul Ring on the hero as the heal from Death Pulse and the HP regen from the passive stacks more than make up for the HP loss from Sacrifice, and 150 mana covers most of either Death Pulse or Death Seeker, and +2 armour and +6 STR are never shitty to have on this hero. All in all, I think the item is fine given it's not a bad Necrophos game.

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Viper: I actually don't know what people have been saying about this Aghs shard, but I think it's really bad. Most heroes get an upgrade to an ability or a new ability , and I think while Viper's isn't a DLC shard, it is kinda shitty.

If you think about Viper's kit, his Q does bonus magic damage and reduces magical resistance for each stack, his W is magical damage, his E is magical damage and his ult is magical damage. And his shard reduces armour… okay. I think if you're getting it, it's for the sake of your teammates' physical damage that you're reducing armour, and the bonus stacks. I don't really see it as being particularly beneficial for Viper's physical damage himself. He doesn't really go straight AGI and damage items most of the time.

Anyways, that's just a scrub's thoughts on a few of the Aghs shards that might differ in opinion from the majority of stated opinions. Disregard at your leisure.


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