Note: For the non-HoN Tour-specific patch analysis, please click here.

With the qualifying portion of HoN Tour about to come to its finale, any balance changes are certain to be looked at in great detail by the teams still competing. I expected no major changes to be made with it being so late in the qualifying rounds and also with DreamHack Winter right around the corner. It seems that S2 might have been thinking the same thing, because this week’s patch doesn’t really look like it will have any major effect on the remaining games of the HoN Tour qualifiers. Regardless, let’s at least do our due diligence here and break down the balance changes and possibly look for any impacts further down the road.

Drunken Master

Stagger: Reduced cooldown from 12/10/8/6 to 9/8/7/6
Untouchable: Reduced drunk charges needed from 4 to 2

Drunken Master has a long way to go before he’ll see the light of competitive play, which is a shame because he’s such a fun hero in concept. A step in the right direction, but he’s going to need...lunges. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Lord Salforis

Dark Lord’s Presence: Illusions will gain health regeneration and deal 33% of the aura damage

No real serious implications here. Just another step in homogenizing how illusions work with all heroes.


Movespeed: Increased from 300 to 305
Compel: Reduced mana cost from 140 to 130
Demoralizing Roar: Now does damage of 40/80/120/160 physical
Demoralizing Roar: Increased mana cost from 40 to 75

Some many needed buffs for Rally, but potentially not quite enough to get him into competitive play. The huge nerf to Demoralizing Roar’s mana cost is going to hold him back a bit, but at the very least the addition of damage should give Rally some much-needed variety in skill builds.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how teams react to these changes. Rally seems like a hero right on the cusp of being picked up. Don’t be surprised if Rally starts showing up as a last pick in the lock pool this weekend.


Defile: Increased cast range from 600 to 700
Mortification: Increased cast range from 600 to 700
Essence Shroud: Increased cast range from 600 to 700
Essence Shroud: Decreased mana cost from 90/100/110/120 to 70/80/90/100

Big buffs to Essence Shroud might be just what this hero needed to get some playtime. These changes will add a lot of power to Revenant’s early game ganking abilities, but I feel that this hero is going to need a bit more utility past the early game phase to start seeing consistent action.


Increased Strength gain per level from 2.1 to 2.3
Increased Agility gain per level from 2.1 to 2.3
Increased Intelligence gain per level from 2.1 to 2.3
Essence Shift: Cast range increased from 600 to 800

A bunch of small buffs that might bring Shadowblade from just being a trollish lock pick to something a bit more legitimate. It still feels like teams are trying to figure out a way to play this hero just because of how versatile he can be on paper. Maybe this was the nudge he needed for teams to start looking at him a little more seriously.


Shining Rays: Damage lowered from 20/30/40/50 to 15/25/35/45
Pure Light: Cooldown increased from 80/70/60 to 100/90/80

Some much-needed nerfs to a hero that is widely regarded as being a bit over-powered. If Solstice were to be available with only these set of nerfs, she’d never make it past the locking phase if she wasn’t taken out during the blind ban phase. It’s going to be really interesting to see what changes are going to be made to this hero prior to becoming available for competition.


Increased magic armor from 5.5 to 6

Game-breaking change.

(I really hope I don’t need to clarify that I’m joking...)

Hellbringer, Demented Shaman, Voodoo Jester, and Blitz

Turnrate: Increased from 360 to 450

And another somewhat trivial change. These heroes should play a bit more smoothly now.

All in all, not a whole lot of significant changes being made in terms of impact upon HoN Tour. I anticipate some of the more major changes to come after the Qualifiers and DreamHack are over. There are only a handful of teams left competing, so make sure you tune in and catch what is sure to be some intense action on Newerth!