IceFrog Destroys Sand King in Dota 2 Patch 7.36b

Prior to the release of Dota 2 patch 7.36b, Sand King had a win rate of almost 57%. Now,... Radu M. | 11. June 2024

Prior to the release of Dota 2 patch 7.36b, Sand King had a win rate of almost 57%. Now, his win rate is only 44%. His pick rate also went down by more than 13% and he became a niche hero again.

IceFrog clearly didn’t want to see the scorpion in every Dota 2 game, but he probably didn’t intend to completely destroy him either. No doubt, Dota 2 patch 7.36c will adjust some of the nerfs to make the hero viable. But for now, he isn’t. And the reasons will be explained below.

How Sand King Works

sand king


Sand King’s play style revolves around his abilities: Sand Storm, Caustic Finale, Stinger, Burrowstrike, and Epicenter. In Dota 2 patch 7.36, some of these abilities were nerfed.

Epicenter, for instance, went from being a powerful nuke that could be used reliably on stunned enemies to being a much weaker nuke whose duration is 6s instead of 3s. You get more pulses, but their damage is much lower, their radius is half of what it was, and the duration is longer, which sounds good but it’s actually bad because your opponents can easily get away.

Stinger is a new ability for SK and it’s quite useful in the laning phase and for farming purposes. But it doesn’t do very much in team fights.

The hero’s facets are Sandshroud and Dust Devil. The first one used to make SK invisible and increase the radius of his Sand Storm by 125. The second one made Sand Storm follow him at 70% of his movement speed and recenter around him after each Borrowstrike.

Now it’s a different story. The radius of Sand Storm is 200 lower than before and it no longer recenters around the hero after a Burrowstrike. So Dust Devil is no longer the great facet it used to be. If you pick Sandshroud, you get an 800 radius for your Sand Storm and invisibility, but no other benefits.

This means that the storm no longer follows you at all, so you’re stuck in one area after you cast it, which leaves you open to all kinds of enemy attacks.

The tools that used to give SK his power are no longer viable, which turns the hero into a mixed bag of semi-useful abilities. The higher your Dota 2 rank is, the less interested you are in such a hero because the alternatives are so much better!

Header: Valve