Nicolai Jensen
Nicolai Jensen Last updated / Published Nov 09 · 2021
The Best Aghanim's Shard Upgrades For Cores Right Now

Following up on our article of the best Aghanim's Shard upgrades for supports is our list of the same for cores.

Almost all the core heroes in the game right now have at least decent Aghanim's Shard upgrades, so it is quite difficult to find those that are downright bad and never worth buying.

The upgrades have been reworked, buffed and improved multiple times since they were first introduced, but there are those that truly stand out. We have divided the list into three sections based on the lane in which these heroes are generally played. Let's take a look!

Safe lane heroes

Bloodseeker's upgrade allows Bloodrage to deal 2% of the target's max health as pure damage and heals him for the same amount.

This solves his main problem of not being able to deal damage with his right-click attacks and is especially lethal against high HP off lane heroes.

It also makes him much tankier than he already is with his heal from Thirst, and is one of the reasons why his win-rate is quite high right now. Faceless Void becomes absolutely obnoxious to play against with his Shard upgrade, which allows him to reverse his Time Walk for a short time after casting and increases its range by a massive 400. It bolsters his ability to initiate and can also be used to play mind games with your opponents.

Medusa's upgrade is one of the strongest, and arguably broken, Aghanim's Shard upgrades right now. When she is targeted by a spell, a single target Mystic Snake is sent back towards the enemy.

The best part is that it is passive, so you don't have to do anything to utilize it. And combined with her level 20 Mystic Snake Mana Gain talent, it looks absurdly good.

Monkey King's Shard upgrade was reworked in patch 7.30, reducing Mischief's cooldown and increasing its invulnerability duration. On top of that, it also disjoints projectiles and no longer slows him, turning the somewhat underused spell into a significantly useful tool.

Phantom Assassin's Aghanim's Shard upgrade provides her with the Fan of Knives ability. It releases blades around her that break enemy units and deal 16% of their maximum health. It was more of a niche pickup before, as the break mechanic was needed only against certain matchups.

But with the added burst of damage, it has become more viable now. Ursa's upgrade has almost become a 'must-have'. It causes Earthshock to apply a 1.5 second Enrage buff on the hero, making him harder to kill and last much longer in teamfights. It was pretty much broken before when it also reduced Earthshock's cooldown, but despite the nerf, it still remains a popular pickup.

Mid lane heroes

Alchemist's upgrade grants him the Berserk Potion ability, which gives attack speed, movement speed and HP regen, while also applying a basic dispel. The biggest reason why this is so good is because it provides him with a much needed dispel against items like Spirit Vessel.

Plus, the fact that Greevil's Greed allows him to accumulate gold faster than any other hero makes it that much better. Arc Warden's Shard upgrade is probably one of the most underrated ones. But with the buffs it has received over the last few patches, it actually feels really strong.

Providing both evasion and magic resistance on top of the attack speed bonus of Magnetic Field makes it an attractive pickup in almost any game. And like Alchemist, because he accumulates gold faster with his double Hand of Midas, it is easier for him to afford compared to other heroes.

Batrider is wrecking the pro scene right now, and his Shard upgrade is a good reason for it. Granting two charges to Flamebreak and applying a Sticky Napalm charge on impact means it is next to impossible to escape this hero alone.

It allows him to continue his dominance in the early-game and excel without having to purchase a Blink Dagger. Dragon Knight's upgrade solves his issue of dealing limited damage in teamfights and not being able to push waves quickly in the mid-game. Earlier, it was only available to him during Dragon Form, which wasn't so great. But it is easier to recommend it now.

Puck's Aghanim's Shard upgrade provides a ton of bonuses. It allows Waning Rift to deal more damage, knock back enemies and even reveal invisible units and wards.

The best part is that it allows you to deal an almost guaranteed stun with Dream Coil by pushing them out of the break range. Templar Assassin's upgrade allows Psionic Traps to silence enemies, and it probably would've been a fine one with just that. But it also increases the maximum trap count by 4 and increases their vision radius. That is an excellent upgrade, especially in conjunction with her Aghanim's Scepter upgrade.

Off lane heroes

Beastmaster's upgrade provides him with the perfect setup for closing the gap and using Primal Roar. It allows his Hawk to target an enemy, dealing 200 damage and stunning them for 2 seconds.

It can be very annoying to play against, as you can never really be fully prepared for it. But the best part is that it reduces the cooldown by half at level 4.

Legion Commander's upgrade has been quite popular, despite its simple description. Granting spell immunity on Press the Attack with a reduced cooldown is just too good an offer to refuse. But the absurd part is that it also works with her level 25 AOE talent for the spell.

Magnus's Shard upgrade wasn't very popular at the start, but is getting picked up more recently, even in the pro scene. The added stun from Horn Toss and easy setup for Skewer makes it so much easier to play the hero.

Pangolier's upgrade on the other hand can be seen in almost every pro game that the hero is played in. The bonus ability Roll Up allows him to get out of a sticky situation and disengage from a fight, or even reorient himself during Rolling Thunder. The spell is just too good.

Slardar's upgrade may have gone under the radar, as the hero isn't the most popular these days. But the value it provides is amazing. Causing Slithereen Crush to apply Corrosive Haze is exactly what the hero needs. But don't let the 75 bonus radius fool you. It may seem small on paper but makes a big difference in the game.

Lastly, Timbersaw's Aghanim's Shard upgrade grants him the Flamethrower ability, which slows enemies and deals damage. The best part is that it eliminates his weakness of not being able to push towers. Oh, and it also burns trees!

Honorable mentions

Like we said, most core heroes have pretty good Shard upgrades right now, so it is only natural for some good ones to not make it to the list. With that in mind, a few honorable mentions are Brewmaster, Ember Spirit, Luna, Nature's Prophet, Outworld Destroyer, Slark, Storm Spirit, Sven and Viper.

It is worth mentioning that Luna's upgrade also allows her to deal the 200 bonus damage from Enchanted Quiver with her Lucent Beam. Ember Spirit's upgrade's main selling point is that it provides an extra charge on Fire Remnant when an enemy hero dies nearby. And Outworld Destroyer's upgrade is suitable only in niche situations. Allowing allies to move during Astral Imprisonment also works when they're inside a Chronosphere, which is pretty cool.

These are the best Aghanim's Shard upgrades for core heroes right now in patch 7.30b. Choosing whether to buy this item or not can be a pretty important step in the mid-game. So, remember to refer this list and buy a Shard only on heroes that can make the most out of it.

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