Aeon Disk protects fragile heroes from a quick death, and allows them to return fire almost immediately.
New kid on the block
Aeon Disk is one of the newest additions to the Dota 2 in-game shop, having been implemented to the game in Patch 7.07. This makes it just nine months old as of July 2018, which is basically the fetal stage compared to items like Manta Style, Black King Bar, and other equipment from the DotA Allstars era.
Image via Valve
That said, it quickly proved itself as an incredibly powerful item almost straight out of the gate, with it being a solid choice as a protective item for core heroes and supports alike. It turns out that having a strong dispel built into an item (an important distinction, as it can be purchased by anyone) along with a Shallow Grave-like effect would be really good—particularly when the metagame dictates burst damage is king over consistent DPS.
The right stuff
Looking at Aeon Disk’s profile, it becomes pretty clear why it is indeed a useful and versatile item. Its passive ability applies a strong dispel to the owner when its health falls below 70 percent of its maximum, as well as a buff that reduces all incoming damage by 100 percent. This means that stuns and debuffs get removed instantly, and you take no damage (unless there are damage amplification effects on you) over the next two and a half seconds.
For most heroes, that window of near-invulnerability is extremely valuable. Not only does it save them from certain death for a pretty sizable amount of time, it also effectively wastes the cooldowns of enemy heroes that are a little too trigger-happy with their abilities. In public matchmaking settings, this accounts for most players—especially in the lower leagues like Legend and below. Essentially, Aeon Disk’s passive punishes uncoordinated teams for pouring all their abilities into a single target at once, while giving the user plenty of time to escape to the safety of their teammates or their side of the map.
Aeon Disk doesn’t even necessarily have to be purchased on squishy heroes; it’s also a nice pick for those that are already naturally tanky. Think of it as if you were doubling down on your hero’s inherent durability, allowing it to become an even bigger nuisance and distraction during teamfights. Axe, Brewmaster, and Bristleback are just a few of the heroes that would benefit from an Aeon Disk pickup, which would make them more difficult to kill than they already are.
That said, Aeon Disk is no silver bullet. While its passive effect sure is powerful, the strong dispel is only applied once throughout its activation. This is in stark contrast to something like Slark’s Dark Pact, which applies multiple strong dispels over several instances—thus creating many opportunities to shrug off long-duration stuns and disables. The fact that Aeon Disk does this just the once means that smart players can play around its effects, primarily through the use of slows or root effects after the strong dispel is applied.
Moreover, Aeon Disk is rather expensive, both in terms of actual gold and in terms of inventory space. 3,350 gold is nothing to sneeze at, especially for support heroes. It also becomes less relevant later on in the game, when more slot-efficient deep late game items start to take center stage. Also, the buff doesn’t protect from instant kill effects like Axe’s Culling Blade or Ancient Apparition’s Ice Blast.
Of course, these shouldn’t completely dissuade anyone from considering the item at all. There are serious benefits to using Aeon Disk, and it can even turn entire teamfights around if built on the right heroes. Just be sure to keep its obvious shortcomings in mind, and you should retain a decent level of caution even when you are in possession of the item.
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