The 10 best Aghanim's Shard upgrades on supports from Dota 2 patch 7.28

The Aghanim’s Shards have managed to find their way from Aghanim’s Labyrinth into Dota 2, and with their introduction and a special effect (upgrade or new ability) on every hero in the game, the complexities and options in the game have just sprouted a new tributary. The Aghanim’s Shard is a very interesting concept, as in it works pretty similar to an Aghanim’s Scepter for a third of the cost, but does not provide any stats to go with it. At the same time, it doesn’t consume a slot either (which is an additional 2000 gold for Aghanim’s Scepter). The decision making gets even harder for supports as gold isn’t too easy to come by and an investment of 1400 gold is a substantial one. Here, we take a look at the top 10 Aghanim’s Shard upgrades for supports (ranked in ascending order). When considering a Shard, the effect of the Shard as well as the hero’s ability to farm it have been taken into consideration.

1) Bane (6.5/10)

Fiend’s Grip (Upgrade) – Fiend’s Grip now creates an
uncontrollable illusion that is also channeling Fiend’s Grip on the target.
Illusion takes 750% incoming damage and immediately dies if it is interrupted.
Multiple Fiend’s Grip effects do not stack on the target.

This isn’t a bad upgrade, as it ensures Fiend’s Grip will carry on even in the event Bane is interrupted. In case no one else is around, it also allows Bane to get away from the channeling and use his other abilities while the illusion holds on to the Fiend’s Grip. But it definitely isn’t a priority item for Bane as it does not upgrade the effect the ability has. A similar effect can be achieved by better positioning.

2) Earthshaker (7/10)

Fissure (Upgrade) – Reduces Fissure cooldown by 2 seconds
and allows you to walk on it. Whenever you cast a spell, an aftershock effect
is replicated throughout the fissure path.

The upgraded Fissure ensures a stun of 3.25 seconds, thanks to Aftershock being felt by everyone near the Fissure. The free pathing is nice as well, but in all honesty, Blink and Aghanim’s Scepter are a lot better on this hero. Aghanim’s Shard takes a backseat in comparison to what those two items provide.

3) Nyx Assassin (7/10)

Vendetta (Upgrade) – Causes your Vendetta attack to
reduce magic resistance by -20% for 4 seconds. Also increases Vendetta movement
speed by 40%, unlocking max speed.

Boosts Nyx’s chasing or escaping ability, thanks to the 40% increase in movement speed. Vendetta damage is now pure, so even if the decreased magic resistance gets applied before the damage is accounted for, it won’t boost the Vendetta damage. But the other two skills  will get an amplification and if you’re one of those Nyxs who likes going Dagon (try not to be one of those Nyxs), it definitely has an added benefit. But more so because your team can follow up with some burst damage, especially when playing alongside heroes like Leshrac, Lina or Puck. Nyx isn’t the best of farmers in the support role and typically, Blink or Spirit Vessel is a better first item, so the Aghanim’s Shard won’t be too quick to come along, unless the team is snowballing.

4) Skywrath Mage (7/10)

Ancient Seal (Upgrade) – Ancient Seal debuff now causes
other debuffs applied to last 40% longer. Grants vision over the target.

Skywrath has to prioritize on Rod of Atos as his first item, but an Aghanim’s Shard can be a second choice if the game requires it. With the level 15 talent, Ancient Seal has no downtime and can provide vision over an enemy throughout the fight while at the same time, increasing the time of debuffs like stuns. But for a paper hero like Skywrath, a means to save himself with Glimmer Cape or Eul’s can be better over a 1400 gold no stats item.

5) Disruptor (7.5/10)

Thunder Strike (Upgrade) – Allows Thunder Strike to be
cast on allies, follows the ally and deals damage around them. Each strike
gives a short 1s buff that provides +50% MS and +75 Attack Speed (strike
interval is every 2 seconds). Increases radius by 160 when used on allies.

Disruptor is a support who is great while playing from ahead, and his Aghanim’s Shard is no different. In the event that your team is in the lead or at least on equal terms with the opposition, this Shard is a strong buff for carries like Alchemist, Bristleback, Phantom Assassin, Spectre or Sven, who like to get in the opponents’ faces and wreak havoc. The movement speed and attack speed buff is quite substantial and with the +3 Thunder Strikes talent, which ensures the ally gets the buff a total of 7 times. In the event you are on the backfoot though, the Shard doesn’t do too much and a saving item would make more sense.

6) Witchdoctor (8/10)

Voodoo Switcheroo (New ability) – Grants Voodoo Switcheroo.
Turns you into a Death Ward for 2 seconds. Death Ward has -30 Attack Speed. You
are hidden/invulnerable during this time. Cooldown: 70. Manacost: 250.

Voodoo Switcheroo is guaranteed 1715 damage at level 3 of the Death Ward in 2 seconds (before reductions by armor). The Ward does 7 hits in that duration and it CANNOT be stopped by anything in the game – not Black Hole, not Global Silence, nothing! Also if Witch Doctor has a Scepter (a bit farfetched to expect WD to have a Scepter and a Shard), the self Ward also bounces attacks to enemies just like the normal Death Ward. It is a cheaper alternative to a Scepter and is the perfect example of turning defense to offence.

7) Bounty Hunter (8.5/10)

Track (Upgrade) – Allies now gain 50% of Track speed
boost. Provides 800 vision around the target for your team.

Vision is one of the biggest things in the game of Dota 2 and 800 vision around a target is priceless. Track previously gave vision around the target, but it was removed in Dota 2 patch 6.85 as it was too strong. Slardar’s Corrosive Haze met the same fate in Dota 2 patch 6.86, which goes to show how good AoE vision around a target can be, especially if the target is oblivious to the fact that he/she has been tracked. For a position 4 or 5 Bounty Hunter, this is a very valuable Aghanim’s Shard, and that is without the Track speed boost that the entire team gets, which is the cherry on top of the cake.

8) Jakiro (9/10)

Liquid Frost (New ability) – Grants Liquid Frost. Autocast
attack ability. Causes your Ice head to release a frost based attack, slowing
enemies by 30% and dealing 20 + 2.5% max health as damage per second for 4
seconds. Cooldown: 12.

The biggest thing Liquid Frost has going for it is that it affects towers as well! Liquid Fire and Liquid Frost together can take down towers incredibly fast and the percentage based damage on Liquid Frost makes it a stronger skill for taking down Tier 3 and Tier 4 towers, which have more HP. The +325 range talent, which benefits Liquid Fire, also benefits Liquid Frost, so Jakiro can just sit back and take down towers. With Dual Breath and Liquid Fire, farming the Shard isn’t too much of a problem after getting something like a Eul’s or Gimmer Cape as the first item. The percentage damage also works great against tanky heroes – 10% HP in 4 seconds on a 12 second cooldown is a lot of damage.

9) Keeper of the Light (9/10)

Illuminate (Upgrade) – Causes Illuminate to heal allied
units for 40% of its damage during daytime.

A 200 heal every 11 seconds (earlier with the Chakra Magic cooldown reduction) is a useful tool to have in team fights, but more so while taking towers and Roshan. The skill ensures the team stays healthy while taking buildings and 1400 gold isn’t too much for a hero that can clear stacks or creep waves easily with Illuminate.

10) Enigma (10/10)

Black Hole – Black Hole now does a non-interrupting pull
towards its center in a 1200 AoE (pulls at a rate of 175 units per second).

This is perhaps the best Aghanim’s Shard a support hero has. The effect radius of Black Hole is 420, so the Shard effect is nearly three times of that! While heroes can still use spells while being pulled, most of their effort will be consumed in running away to ensure they don’t get sucked into the Black Hole. The edge of this event horizon (that’s what it’s called for a real Black Hole) is 390 units away from the edge of the Black Hole, so a hero caught at the edge who does not attempt to move away will get caught in just over 2 seconds. Considering the ability lasts for 4 seconds (with 0.5 seconds aura linger time), it will ensure a good amount of disable even for heroes caught at the edge. And best of all, Enigma is one of the fastest farming supports in the game, which makes it an easy item for him to get, even if it has to be after Blink and BKB.

Honarable mentions

Crystal Maiden

Frostbite (Upgrade) – Reduces Frostbite cooldown by 1
second and allows it to be cast on yourself, reducing incoming damage by 70%
for the duration. Allows casting Frostbite while channeling as long as a valid
target is in range.

This Shard upgrade would have been a lot more exciting if it could be cast on all allies to grant damage reduction, but that would have made it a bit too strong. The Aghanim’s Shard shouldn’t be a priority on a position 5 Crystal Maiden, but on a position 4 Crystal Maiden with a bit more Farm Priority, the likes of which Yapzor plays, Aghanim’s Shard can be a good option after Blink and BKB to ensure the hero doesn’t die during Freezing Field.


Telekinesis (Upgrade) – Allows you to use Telekinesis on
yourself or an ally. Throw range is 60% longer and cooldown is reduced by 30%
when targeting allies. Throw delay is reduced to 0.5 seconds.

Makes Telekinesis into a decent save, which with the additional throw range, can be used to bail out cores from the low ground back into the base or on a cliff or get someone out of the Roshan pit. Even with a 30% reduced cooldown though, it does put Telekinesis on a 15.4 second cooldown and temporarily takes away Rubick’s disable capabilities.

These are of course, initial impressions. There are a few others as well like Oracle and Shadown Demon on whom the Aghanim’s Shard does seem lucrative, but there are better items for the gold to be spent on. We won’t know until a few weeks into the patch what exactly works and what doesn’t, so the best is to get out there and experiment.

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