After several weeks of speculation about the community, this evening finally saw Valve announce "6.87", the latest balance patch for Dota 2. Like most balance patches, the update focuses on finely tweaking the gameplay experience of Dota 2 with both small and large brush strokes, changing values by decimal places or introducing totally new items and abilities. We won't be going over most of the contents of the changelog here as there's way too much to cover, but here are a few of the highlights! A total of 7 new items have been added to the game with this patch, a number of which feature as end-game combinations or early game components for existing items. They include Bloodthorn, the game's most expensive item which features as a combination between Orchid Malevolence and Crystalys capable of guaranteeing critical hits and silences, Echo Sabre, which causes its owner to attack twice in quick succession every 5 seconds, and Hurricane Pike, a combination between Force Staff and Dragon Lance that blows enemy heroes in the opposite direction from the user. Other less expensive items include Blight Stone, a mini-Desolator which removes 2 armour on hit, Wind Lace, which gives +20 movement speed, Tome of Knowledge, a rare book capable of instantly giving 425 experience points, and Infused Raindrops, a 5-charge item able to block numerous instances of 120 magic damage. An all-new mechanic known as "Scan" allows a team to check a 900 unit radius on the mini-map for enemy activity over an 8 second period. The scan, which is on a team-wide 4.5 minute cooldown, will alert the team with a light pinging noise, alerting them that enemies are now within that area without revealing exact locations or number of opponents. Alongside this update's new items and mechanics come the usual plethora of changes for the game's roster of heroes, with Storm Spirit, Mirana, Oracle, Winter Wyvern, and Bloodseeker all being granted Aghanim's Scepter bonuses for the first time, while Earthshaker, Gyrocopter, Skywrath Mage, and more have had their benefits reworked to make them more effective or interesting. Other big changes include numerous nerfs to Invoker and Outworld Devourer, who have seen rampant success and ridiculously high pick rates over the past few months. The spawning patterns and gold / experience balance of certain jungle creeps was also modified, alongside minor changes to the map's layout and a new structure for both Ranked All Pick and Captain's Mode. More details can be found over on the official changelog should it interest you.