Dragonclaw Hook owners have been pulling their hair out over the last six months as the most long standing prestige item in Dota 2 has skyrocketed in value.
Pudge cosmetics have always been highly sought after. Although most of the 2012 cosmetics look dated and ugly to today’s standards, the Dragonclaw has always been an eye catcher simply because of its unique visuals and stunningly high price tag.
At its peak level, the Dota 2 Dragonclaw Hook sold over $1,000 to the Steam Community Market. Its price dipped a bit from there, but from 2018 to early 2020 it still constantly called for a purchase price of over $800.
But the item has been in complete freefall since March 2020. As of this writing, a number of Dragonclaw are available on the Steam Community Market for less than $150. What caused this to happen? And is the price ever going back up?
Why is so expensive?
It’s easy to put together why the Dota 2 Dragonclaw Hook was so expensive. Although there are a number of costly and prestigious items in Dota 2, Pudge is the most popular hero in all the ranked brackets below Immortal, and he has made rare items related to Pudge more expensive than the average.
Not just that, but Pudge hooks stand out a lot more than most cosmetics. While Anti Mage players have plenty of skin options, any combination will still leave them looking like a purple ninja. By comparison, Pudge hooks are clearly visible every time the spell of the Meat Hook is used.
The true reason that any item is getting expensive is that more people think that it’s expensive. Valve game skins like Counter Strike: Global Offensive Dragon Lore AWP and Team Fortress 2 Earbuds aren’t necessarily that much better than other options.
There are just enough people who think they’re worth more than other skins to make that belief a reality. For some other reason, people hung on the Dragon Claw hook in particular, making it one of Steam’s most wanted marketplace items.
Why has Dota 2 Dragonclaw Hook dropped in value?
There are many different factors behind the drop in value of the Dragonclaw Hook, but the biggest culprit behind its precipitous decline is the overall decline in the Dota 2 premium item price .
Initially, it seemed that the global economic decline that began in the second quarter of 2020 was the driving force behind the Dragon claw price decline, but that may not be the case. Prestigious items in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has seen their prices rise across the board over the past year.
One theory is that Valve has become a bit too cavalier with Pudge cosmetics in recent years. There have been limited options for eye catching Pudge hooks for a long time after the release of the Dota 2 Dragonclaw Hook, but the Scorching Talon and Ripper’s Reel have become strong options since 2016.
The International 10 Battle Pass also introduced the Abscessorator, which could eventually replace the Dragonclaw as the ultimate flex item for dedicated Pudge players.
Almost all of Dota 2 most expensive items have seen their values plummet in the last 18 months. Items including the Golden Ornithomancer Mantle, the Fantoccini dilemma, and the Alpine Stalker set only sell once every couple of months on the Steam Marketplace, but they’re selling much less than they were at that time last year.