With the recent Dota 2 update patch 7.22, all Dota 2 heroes received their scepter upgrades.

To provide a better view of the situation, we will list the upgrades and rate their usefulness for you to judge.

S – game-changing, exceptional upgrade, should be rushed as 2nd or 3rd major item.

A – very cost efficient on the hero, recommended in most situation after some major items.

B – situational, should be considered in some strategy and lineups.

C – situational after getting six-slotted, can be picked over Moon Shard or backpack refresher.

D – worst upgrades, considered only after 6 slotted and Moon Shard consumption/ backpack refresher.

Countless Aghanim Upgrades for heroes

S class

Grimstroke, Tiny, Dark Willow, Ember Spirit, Pangolier, Brood mother

Tiny: Tiny has long been notorious for his tankiness and large damage output even with few items. Tiny himself is really well-rounded with high armor, high raw damage and good disabled. The only problem he faces is lack of mana to deliver his already sky-high damage potential. His 2 spammable skills Avalanche and Toss deal tons of damage but at the same time, cost the same amount of mana. He can now deal with reliable damage without worrying about mana with Aghanim.

Dark Willow: the recent Aghanim upgrade has turned Dark Willow into a machine gun, literally. With her Shadow Realm when upgraded making her a combination of Sniper and Slark, Dark Willow can hit from the high range with extra magic damage while staying invulnerable. Definitely worth the money if you are playing Willow as a core hero.

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Machine Gun Willow would prevail as cancer in Dota

Ember Spirit: Ember has always been famous for his ability to maneuver and disable opponents. This Aghanim upgrade delivered bad news for Ember haters, now that his ultimate requires no mana cost, with more charge to Fire Remnant, improved speed, and cast range. Ember can now rival his brethren Storm Spirit in mobility.

Pangolier: the annoying jumping pangolin is back with another trick up his sleeves. The already annoying spamming hero now has even more damage output to his Shield Crash. Upon acquiring Aghanim, Pangolier will cast 2-attack Swashbuckle in every 90 degrees around him, causing more chaos and damage to the battlefield. Imagine one Pango equipped with 1 Maelstrom and able to proc it even when his 8-sec cooldown Swashbuckle is off, isn’t it too annoying?

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More spam, more damage

Brood mother: Aghanim on this hero remove the 550-speed limit while Brood is under her webs. It also adds more charge to web count, more speed bonus to make her a speed runner rival against the likes of Spirit Breaker, Sladar and Bloodseeker. The already elusive spider will now be even harder to catch and remain a big threat to squishy victims alone in the jungle.

A class

Clinkz, Omni Knight, Dragon Knight, Death Prophet

Clinkz: the hero after his reworked ultimate was underwhelming. The once feared tanky and high damage output assassin was no more. His ultimate now, Burning Army, is more team fight oriented. However, there is one problem with his ultimate, he has 110 seconds cooldown, such a long ultimate for an active hunter like Clinkz. The problem now is solved with Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade. The item provides synergy for Skeleton Walk which will spawn 2 archers from the burning army when breaking the invisibility, which seems like half of the ultimate when you consider it. Needless to say, it allows you to cast your 110 sec Cd ultimate with just a 17 CD skill. This item is so valuable on Clinkz that many people rush it after some of their core items.

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Half your ultimate at the cost of 4200? Worth every penny

Omni Knight: The purist already got Scepter to upgrade before this patch. It always has been a good upgrade on this hero considering the fortify-like skill for your whole team in team fights. The recent patch brought a good buff to the item, granting extra 40Hp/sec regen including building. Considering that buildings never heal up except Treant’s Living Armor, this gives a good opportunity for teams with Omni to turn the tide in combats and heal the damaged building at the same time. Also, extra heal in team fights is always of much value.

Dragon Knight: Scepter upgrade to the all-rounded hero gives an extra skill point to his Dragon Form. Considering the hero is already perfect, he just needs to build up his overall stats to be useful in the game. It also grants 30% magic resistance which is nice as it provides more protection against magic better than one hood of defiance. A well-rounded item for Dragon Knight players to pick up.

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The tanky knight gets a decent upgrade to himself

Death Prophet: Aghanim adds a spirit to every time you hit enemies, both with right clicks and skills for double the usual damage. It also works against towers, which is a decent boost to your damage output once your team sieges enemy tower. The ghost also slows the target for 0.3 seconds and return to Death Prophet to heal her. This is indeed a really valuable item for its price.

B class

Grimstroke, Elder Titan, Sladar, Razor, Morphling, Keeper of the Light, Abaddon, Beastmaster, Alchemist, Anti-Mage

Grimstroke: Aghanim upgrade grants him the Dark Portal ability. It creates an ink illusion of a target enemy hero with added speed and deals a considerable 150% outgoing damage. The illusion’s damage capacity can rival even Dark Seer’s Wall of Replica even with Scepter upgrade. The item goes really well to counter heroes with high DPS like Terrorblade, Meepo, Morphling, Juggernaut or Antimage. Other than that, the upgrade seems not really impressive as their duration is only 15 seconds.

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A good pickup to counter attribute reliant heroes

Elder Titan: The upgrade makes Elder Titan spell immune while he channels his Echo Stomp. The item makes sure Elder Titan does not get disrupted during his channeling ability. It is a really good pick up if the game extends longer than expected and you desperately need Black King Bar to cast the skill. Other than that, a 4050 gold BKB is more recommended for the 10s spell immune and freedom to act.

Sladar: Aghanim gives more bonuses to his Guardian Sprint, also enabling Slithereen Crush to create a puddle of water that is considered a river to synergy with Guardian Sprint. It gives Sladar 12 Armor bonus, 40 Status Resistance bonus, and 25 heal regen bonus. If your team desperately need a tanky front, you might consider picking up an Aghanim Scepter. Otherwise, a BKB is more cost efficient as Sladar is often played as an initiator instead of a tanking hero.

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You should only consider the item when you build Sladar as the main tanking hero

Razor: The hero is often tricky to play. Aghanim upgrade enables his ability to hit towers. The item was considered situational for Razor if the game extends and his team needs a reliable damage source to take down buildings. The update brought more bonus to Aghanim upgrade when enabling the Eye of the Storm to hit 2 different units at the same time. Razor often needs many items to upgrade his already low tankiness before he decides to stack up to his damage output. Aghanim should be a good 4th or 5th item after BKB and Heart of Tarrasque.

Morphling: While morphed, you gain 35% Cooldown Reduction, 50% Manacost Reduction and 600 Cast Range increase. This sounds good in theory as a utility Morphling. But if played as a support hero, Morphling is really slow farming to pick up the item. If built as a core hero, Morphling often has better cost efficient items to consider before acquiring the flashy 35% Cooldown Reduction to make Youtube clips.

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The super carry would go for many other choices over an Aghanim

Keeper of the Light: Aghanim allows Illuminate to heal allies during the day for the same amount as its damage values, and causes Illuminate to not require channeling. Upon getting reworked, the hero lost his Aghanim upgrade to get unobstructed daylight vision. However, getting to cast Illuminate when free to reposition is nice as you get to move to safer spots. Extra heal is always welcomed in team fights as well as sieges. However, KotL may need to build more other utility items first before he gets his hands on this luxurious item.

Abaddon: Aghanim increases duration. While Borrowed Time is active, anytime an ally takes more than 525 damage while within 1600 range of Abaddon, an individual Mist Coil will automatically fire towards that ally. I would say this is actually a downgrade for Abaddon. His old Aghanim upgrade to his Borrowed time was actually much better which redirects 50% of damage allies take within a 900 radius to Abaddon. That was more team fight oriented which basically reduced your team’s sufferings. However, Aghanim is still a decent pickup for Abaddon if he stacks up enough money.

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Aghanim was already a good pickup on Abaddon, but the recent rework made it less appealing to Abaddon players

Beastmaster: Aghanim Causes Wild Axes to have no cooldown, and can be used again once they come back. This would turn Beastmaster into a spammer in fights or defense situation. However, with this Aghanim pickup, we will have to play Beastmaster in a different way as he is now a manapool dependent damage dealer instead of the crazy mob team fighter like before.

Phoenix: the item is pretty decent for Phoenix from the prior patch. The update enables Phoenix to cast Sun Ray even in Egg form. That may add some more utility to the hero but not too much. Phoenix still needs to focus on other items to ensure his survival in combats before he gets this luxurious item.

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Aghanim adds a decent upgrade for Phoenix' Supernova

Alchemist: the bonus from granting Scepter to other players is not really impressive. 30 more damage and 6% Spell damage amplification for 4200 gold is really meh for Alchemist himself. Other than intentionally benefitting teammates, do not consider picking an early Aghanim over other core items for Alchemist.

Anti-mage: Scepter was once removed for Anti-mage and added in this patch. With Aghanim’s upgrade, Anti-mage can add 70 more seconds cooldown to the longest cooldown skill of enemy heroes if they die within 1.3 seconds. That can work really well against heroes with decisive ultimates like Magnus or Enigma. However, Anti-mage should consider many items before acquiring this flashy upgrade for his ultimate.

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True sorcerers' fear

C class

Spectre, Windranger, Troll Warlord, Terrorblade, Mar, Night Stalker, Monkey King.

These heroes' Aghanim upgrades are questionable. You should only consider it after your hero got all the core items or in some specific situations.

Spectre: a single target ultimate with half the cooldown? It sounds too flashy to be useful as Spectre needs tons of items to build up her tankiness as well as capability to kill off enemies quickly enough. If you have extra money and have personal issues with one enemy support hero who bullied you early game, this is good for its money. Revenge tastes sweet, they say.

Winranger: She can be now called Wind-runner just like the old version of her in Dota 1. The Scepter upgrade for Focus Fire was removed, which is a huge downgrade, and was replaced with an upgrade to Windrun, granting 2 charges to the skill, increases movement speed, and removes movement speed limit. The upgrade is more supportive oriented where Windranger can move fast to chase down the opponent while still keeping 1 more charge to escape should things go wrong. I would say this is a big nerf to Windranger as a core hero.

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A huge nerf to the insane single target DPS dealer

Troll Warlord: Make your enemy crazy and hit randomly like a Winter Wyvern’s Curse? It sounds too funny and may look like an odd addition for the hero. However, just like Spectre’s upgrade, “It was just business before. Now it's personal.” Bounty Hunter’s advice.

Terrorblade: 3 seconds fear with your 155 seconds cooldown Metamorphosis? Meh. It sounds too flashy if you want to try something new for your Youtube channel or to show off with friends. 4k2 money to turn a Terroblade into a lower tiered Tide Hunter with “fear-induced Ravage” sounds so odd.

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Why would you turn a handsome devil into some ravaging watermelon?

Mar: Decreases cooldown of God's Rebuke during Arena of Blood. Resets God's Rebuke cooldown when Arena of Blood is cast. Just like the issue with Spectre and Troll, it is only available with your long CD skill, Area of Blood. Only if you want to abuse the support who bullied you early game, waste 4k2 money to buy it. Otherwise, stack up your tankiness with that money.

Night Stalker: 4k2 money just to make your Void an AOE skill. It even removes your targeting skill, making you clueless about whether or not your enemy is within the range of Void. With that much money, you can build much better utility items or go for DPS weapons.

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The Dark Knight should go for more money efficient items to remain useful in the game

Monkey King: like the upgrade with Clinkz, but in a way worse version. 4k2 money to create some funny looking monkeys with 300 attack range every now and then sounds like a too bad idea.

D class

IO, Lycan, Phantom Assassin, Arc Warden, Templar Assassin

These Aghanim upgrades for heroes are too bad to even consider building. You should only pick up Aghanim after you are full slotted and want to waste money so bad.

IO: Spirits now passively spawn around you constantly every second. Max of 5. Are you a little lonely? Do you need friends? Here with 4200, you can have 5 more friends revolving around you, chattering away beep beep bloop bloop all day. Spend another 4700 gold to make it a party of disco balls. Other than that, do not spend your 4200 precious money on some flashy features like those.

IO is most often played as a healing supportive hero. He would need escaping items or healing ones like Mekanism/ Urn of Shadow to be useful. If you want to build IO as a core hero, go for other DPS items like Maelstrom, Mask of Madness, Armlet of Mordiggian or even Crystalys.

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More friends may help you feel less lonely but won't win you the game

Lycan: Causes one of the three creep waves to include two wolves. You cannot control these wolves, but they are considered your units. These wolves have the same movement speed as lane creeps. It is the same as Monkey King or Clinkz except your spawned units are a pack of wolves. They don’t benefit from your main hero’s stats, just a couple of wandering wolves adding more power to one creep wave every 30 seconds. It does not guarantee your lane creep pushing their tower since wolves are pretty weak. Just like IO, if you intend on playing Happy Farm on Dota 2 platform, feel free. Otherwise, use your money wisely.

Phantom Assassin: do you miss playing –wtf mode on Dota 1? Good news for you it is viable on Dota 2 now. With just 4200 you will benefit from the well-rounded 10 all stats plus 175 health/ mana. If you are lucky enough, your “Bingo, omae wa mou shindeiru” crit will enable your hero another chance to “Bingo, you are already dead”, leading to a rampage you can share with friends via Youtube. Other than that, refreshing skills after kills sounds too funny especially when she is an Assassin and need to spend money on valuable DPS enhancing items. Also, most of her abilities are already low cooldown.

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Consider this only when you are overly rich and want to try new stuff

Arc Warden: Creating an extra rune for 4200 gold? totally unnecessary unless you have too much money to spend. I would recommend giving Moon Shard to your teammates rather than acquiring one Aghanim on this hero

Templar Assassin: Do you want to win a marathon competition? Pick this up. Now all you need is to put a trap in the finishing line and just snap your finger, poof, you are already there. Experience the unique Templar Prophet hero in the game with just 4200 gold. Tempoof Assassin can now teleport to the traps she already set after channeling for 2 seconds.

Templar Assassin already has too many items to pick up, wouldn’t it sound fun if you are 9 slotted even Refresher, Hex, Silver Edge in the backpack and you need the 10th slot? Other than that, please use 4200 gold to buy Desolator and burst out your opponent within seconds.

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If you want to surprise your enemy and teammates, 4200 gold for a good magic trick show is not a bad idea

Overall, the Aghanim upgrades added more fun to Dota 2, and while we are at it, choose wisely.