Dota 2 is one of the longest standing Esports out there. The game is sophisticated with multiple levels of mechanics. Each time Dota 2 gets an update, there are countless lines of code tangled into one game. That makes Dota 2 even harder to debug.

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Dota 2 is one of the most complex games to fix bugs

Recently, Valve seems to be concentrating too much on their cash cow Battle Pass. The International 2019 has boasted more than $31 million in the prize pool. The event has become the most successful tournament in term of money.

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The International 2019 will come in just 2 weeks

Valve’s staff seems to have neglected other features in the game as many bugs kept popping up. Recently, we have a serious exploit with Morphling where he can freely throw trees as a Tiny. Now we have another game-breaking bug with the interaction between Ethereal and Spell Immunity status.


In Dota 2, Ethereal and Spell Immunity are two of the strongest mechanics in the game. Ethereal gives user immunity to physical damage why rendering the object unable to attack or be attacked. Once you are in Ethereal state, you cannot do regular attacks or get hit by physical damage.

Spell immunity, on the contrary, grand the user immunity to most spells and 100% magic resistance. It means, once you are Spell Immune, you are totally unaffected by magic damage.

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There are many sources of Spell Immunity in Dota 2

What if we combine the two? Invincibility, immortality, “balanced” feature, game-breaking mechanics are all we can talk about. There are many sources of Spell Immunity and Ethereal state in the game. Most notably, we have 2 items at a middle-ranged price to grand these statuses.

That is what in Valve’s staff have considered long before we even think of. They are well aware of the potential game-breaking mechanics if these two statuses combine. They did their research and make sure Ethereal state can never go with Spell Immunity. Once Spell Immunity is active, it will override the Ethereal state.

Where it went all wrong

However, for some unknown reason, Dota 2 seems to be broken with its mechanics after recent updates. You can now activate Spell Immunity while retaining the Ethereal state. The most notable example of this is the heroes with an innate ability to provide either Ethereal or Spell Immunity status.

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Pugna is invincible with Decrepify and a BKB

Pugna has Decrepify which grants Ethereal Status. Imagine if he can afford a Black King Bar and Stay Invincible for 5 seconds in the frontline, how to take him down?

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With just one Ethereal Blade, Juggernaut is virtually unkillable

Juggernaut also has a source of Spell Immunity which is his Blade Fury ability. What if he can afford an Ethereal Blade and decide to charge in, how can we stop one immortal Juggernaut?

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Even one regular hero with Ethereal Blade and a BKB can become unbeatable

However, the interactions between Necrophos’ Ghost Shroud and Ghost Scepter with Black King Bar are still effective. Black King Bar grants Spell Immunity which will override the Ethereal state from Ghost Shroud and Ghost Scepter. That should make more sense.

What action should Valve take?

Obviously, the strange reactions between Ethereal state and Spell Immunity are unintended. It is not and should not be a feature, especially in a popular Esports like Dota 2. The wrong reactions between the two statuses should be fixed as soon as possible.

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Dota 2 should be free of bugs as an established Esports

The International 2019 will take place later this August. We get to enjoy the most well-funded Esports event in the world this year. With $31+ million on air, no one would expect some game-breaking bug to pop up out of nowhere and ruin this very event. Please fix it Valve.