Patch Patch 4.21
BIG PRESEASON FOLLOWUP PATCH. If anyone remembers last year's followup preseason patch (it's only been a year but check out the progress we've made!), we were very conservative with our changes.
Not this time.
While it's true we've introduced a lot more change in the 2015 preseason than 2014, it's also worth highlighting how many more 'design levers' we have to tune with. That's a fancy way of saying we have the right dials in the game to crank up or down when something appears too strong or too weak - all without having to fully reconstruct the kitchen. We're mixing metaphors, but you get the point.
Anyway, the big narrative before we ring in the holiday break and the new year is systems cleanup and last-minute gifts for League's many orphaned champions. Talking about the system changes: while we're happy with how the preseason has progressed, we saw a number of opportunities to address the more egregious problems (snowballing, early to mid game gold flow, jungle balance, Warwick). We know everyone's still getting adjusted to the new preseason, so we'll be watching closely over the next while to see what new Warwicks come bubbling to the surface.
Please don't let it be Warwick.
Chris "Pwyff" Tom
TOOLTIP FIX The "Reinforced Armor" turret tooltip
now properly indicates turrets gain +75 armor/magic
resist when no enemy minions are nearby
BUGFIX Fixed an issue where Flash caused
several 'charge-up' abilities (ex. Vi's Q -
Vault Breaker) to immediately go on
BUGFIX Successfully last-hitting with
E - Rend no longer causes Rend to
auto-cast itself a second time
BUGFIX Casting R - Fate's
Call on an Oathsworn Karma, Nidalee, Jayce or
Elise no longer affects their ult skill rank
BUGFIX Sewn Chaos Orianna's ball is no
longer invisible while idle
Fixed damage ramp-up inconsistency with red-side Inner turrets
Dragon's AoE fireball now deals the same damage to each target hit, rather than the second target taking more damage than the first, etc.
R - Cataclysm no longer deals damage multiple times if Jarvan's target displaces him while Cataclysm is active
More bugfixes and we're making Azir a little smoother to play.
Having tweaked Azir just last patch, we're looking to see how he performs from here before really changing his power level. So... bugfixes. Always bugfixes.
W - Arise!
Fixed a bug where it was possible for targets to walk out of range of a soldier's attack, causing the attack animation to play but do no damage.
E - Shifting Sands
Fixed a bug where casting Shifting Sands outside of its cast range would always cause Azir to walk into range. Shifting Sands now checks for the nearest soldier to your mouse and immediately goes there if the soldier is in range, no matter how far from Azir the mouse was.
Fixed an issue where Shifting Sands would fail to be queued up during a cast of W - Arise!. Now pressing W + E together should always create a soldier and then instantly move Azir to that soldier. Note: there's a similar problem with pressing W + Q together that we have not fixed yet but are looking into.
R - Emperor's Divide
The allied speed boost of Emperor’s Divide now grants assists
Aspect of the Serpent now gains stacks over time and every second an enemy champion is poisoned (rather than on poisoned unit kill or when using Twin Fangs on an enemy champ). Twin Fang now adds a debuff that amplifies poison damage on the target.
Cassi's recent update definitely gave her the late-game we intended, but at two great costs: her early-game strength, and her identity as a 'Poison Mage.' We're trying to smooth out a bit of Cassiopeia's power here with some early buffs alongside some guaranteed scaling on her passive so that she can hit her early-mid-lategame fantasy (that is now a word) at the appropriate times. In short, we're looking to reach a middle ground between the update and her original feel of killing you slowly with venoms. Just quicker. (And with more venoms).
Passive - Aspect of the Serpent
Cassiopeia builds a stack of Aspect of the Serpent
on every poisoned unit kill or on Twin Fang cast on enemy champion
once every 6 seconds (10 times per minute) and for every second that an enemy champion is poisoned.
Cassiopeia gains special bonuses at
100/250/500 stacks. The new breakpoints will be hit sooner than the old ones based on the new stacking mechanics (above).
Q - Noxious Blast
Fixed a bug where Noxious Blast's delay wasn't actually normalized (it was hitting anywhere between 0.25 seconds and 0.5 seconds). Now has a flat 0.4 second delay.
10/15/20/25/30% bonus movement speed
20% bonus movement speed at all ranks
E - Twin Fang
Twin Fang now adds a debuff on the target that amplifies further poison damage by +20% for 5 seconds. This debuff stacks up to 2 times (capping at +40% poison damage).
0.4/0.45/0.5/0.55/0.6 ability power
0.55 ability power at all ranks
Life's hard for a Cho'gath. You want to eat your enemies, they don't want be eaten, and all it takes is one little death to set this poor little monster back. These changes should help Cho get back into the fight, but we also wanted to create bigger decisions between saving Feast for a kill or nommin' down on some creeps.
R - Feast
Feast now has 50% of its cooldown and mana cost refunded if it kills a minion or monster.
60 seconds at all ranks
80 seconds at all ranks
Phosphorus Bomb travels slower.
Oh Corki. We've known about your strengths for some time, but we're always careful about balancing you because you're rarely a 'standout' in any particular category (unlike, say, Tristana or Kog'Maw who you know are strong when they're strong). But with power reductions coming for Lucian, we know you're up next on the "very strong, safe marksmen" list in competitive play, so we're taking some cautious steps to keep you in line as well.
Q - Phosphorus Bomb
Lunar Rush still gets the reset if Diana casts it on a Moonlight'd target but is interrupted mid-dash.
When getting the reset, two things can go wrong for Diana: missing her Q, or having R interrupted. Cancelling R not only removes all of Diana's damage options, but often just leaves her dead in the water, so we're throwing her a lifejacket (check that metaphor). As long as you target a unit affected by Moonlight, Lunar Rush's cooldown will be refunded even if the dash was cancelled. This change makes it a little easier for those hoping to become the living embodiment of the vengeful moon.
That line's in the tooltip. We wrote that.
R - Lunar Rush
Casting Lunar Rush on targets that have the Moonlight debuff will reset Lunar Rush's cooldown, even if Diana is interrupted out of her dash
Dread now applies on things Fiddle interacts with, as opposed to a broad area of effect. Dark Wind no longer silences the same target multiple times but will try to prioritize new targets as it bounces along.
Terror's always kind of been Fiddle's thing, and he's certainly a pretty big one (terror, that is) given the current jungle environment. With that in mind, we're looking to drain some of his less-clear power and add more consistency (for him and opponents).
Passive - Dread
Dealing magic damage or casting Terrify applies Dread to enemies for 2.5 seconds, reducing their magic resistance by 10
Fiddlesticks no longer applies Dread to all enemy units within 800 range
E - Dark Wind
Now prioritizes targets not yet hit by Dark Wind
Dark Wind can still hit targets multiple times, but it will now only silence them once
Don't let me get in my zone.
Galio's ultimate has two major risks involved - either he's crowd-controlled during its channel or his opponents buy Mercury Treads. We like the teamplay that comes from coordinated interrupts but find it a little sad that tenacity messes with his flow so much. Is now fixed.
R - Idol of Durand
Idol of Durand's taunt is no longer reducible by tenacity.
IF HE'S MAKING A CRATER SOMEONE'S GONNA GET HURT.
R - Cataclysm
Fixed a bug where Jarvan would sometimes fail to do damage if he was killed quickly after landing from Cataclysm. Note: Jarvan still won't deal damage if he's killed mid-air, but if he's able to land and create the wall, he should always deal damage.
Jax's E and R scale better into the late game.
Surprise - he's back. While it hasn't been too long since Jax's reign over top lane, now that his laning power is a little more manageable we think we can give him some more late game love as a reward for getting through the early to mid phases.
E - Counter Strike
R - Grandmaster's Might
25/35/45 (+0.3 attack damage)
20/35/50 (+0.5 attack damage)
25/35/45 (+0.2 ability power)
20/35/50 (+0.2 ability power)
Before this change, you could activate Hyper Charge, wait a bit, then Double Hyper Charge someone, doing 'The Most Damage In League of Legends' (maybe?). It was unintended and kind of goofy.
W - Hyper Charge
Hyper Charge now goes on cooldown after the third shot rather than right on cast
Rules are made to be broken. Like buildings. BUT NOT CLARITY. NEVER CLARITY.
Recent updates to the way buff icons are shown have made telling what weapon Jinx is using a little chaotic (and not the kind she prefers). We've changed it so Switcheroo's icon is always the gun you're currently using, and added a flashy-toggle swirl to show you're spending mana while using Fishbones.
Q - Switcheroo!
Switcheroo!'s spell icon displays
the gun Jinx will switch to
the gun Jinx is currently using
When using Rockets, the ability icon will flash (like Ashe's Q) to show that Jinx is now in "mana spending mode"
More early damage on Rend, Usability buffs
to Sentinel's passive, and a tightening on Fate's Call to make
Kalista's early levels more smooth.
Whether you think she's the second coming of Beta Twisted
Fate or just another marksman in the crowd, it's clear to
us that Kalista needs a bit of love to reach her full
potential. Refunds to Rend will let
savvy Kalista players stay afloat in lane, while some extra
damage makes it more worthwhile for her to land extra
attacks in extended trades.
Playing her Oathsworn Ally's gotten easier too - we've
added an execute function to Sentinel's passive to help you
feed your baby vengeful spirit some much-needed gold, while
tag-teaming teamfights with Fate's Call should feel more
Finally, eternally giving your soul up to a quest for
revenge (and really cool initiations) is too big a deal to
be decided by a simple mis-click, so we're letting Kalista
rebind before a certain point in the early game. You'll now
have 3 minutes to get over your cold feet before you're
stuck with her for the rest of your existence. No pressure.
WE SHOULD SEE OTHER PEOPLE Kalista can now re-bind to a different
ally any time before minute 3:00
MINION DAMAGE FLOOR
100 ⇒ 75
LIKE TARGON'S If
Sentinel procs on a minion with 125 health or less, it will
automatically kill that minion.
removedX-RAY GHOSTS Soul Sentinels no longer see through
brush or over walls
35 ⇒ 40
REFUND Now restores 20
mana if Rend kills a unit, up to twice per cast
DAMAGE PER EXTRA SPEAR
.15/.18/.21/.24/.27 attack damage ⇒ 10/14/19/25/32 + .2/.225/.25/.275/.3
- Fate's Call
ALLY RECAST DELAY
⇒ 1.1 seconds
SPOOKY CLARITY Visuals slightly tweaked to emphasize the
General quality-of-life buffs for this weird lookin' Yordle.
Like many champions before him (Veigar, Karthus, and Cho'gath come to mind) Kennen has been held back by inconsistencies in the timing of his abilities. After a much-needed round of re-coding, we've fixed an issue with Electrical Surge while also tuning Slicing Maelstrom. It's worth noting for Kennen's R that this is a slight late game nerf to his single target ult burst, but a buff to his area-effect speed.
W - Electrical Surge
Electric Surge now checks for viable targets on the beginning of the cast rather than at the end (it still hits enemies after a cast time, but is generally more reliable)
R - Slicing Maelstrom
0.25 seconds at all ranks
0.5 seconds at all ranks
Slicing Maelstrom's tooltip now reflects the duration of the storm rather than maximum number of strikes. Its duration has always been 3/4/5 seconds.
Lucian's got a shorter window to double tap people with Lightslinger, and deals less damage with it at lower levels.
Lucian is a character that's carefully defined by his low combat range (500) and being opportunistic to succeed within it. These changes are more along the lines of pushing that while creating more windows of opportunity against Lucian. We do say windows of opportunity a lot.
Passive - Lightslinger
0.5 attack damage at all levels
0.3/0.4/0.5 attack damage at levels 1/7/13
We're going to copy paste the patch note into the summary: Nocturne now gains massively increased movement speed when moving toward feared targets. This works with other fears!
Waaaaaay back in 4.3 (That's February! Hi Vel'Koz!), we changed fear mechanics across the board to make the affected unit move away from you instead of in random directions. Unlike other champions, however, Nocturne has lacked a way to really capitalize on the consistency of his newer fear. So we're fixing that. Also, this means any of Nocturne's spooky friends (Shaco, Fiddlesticks, Hecarim, Lollipoppy) can set him up for some sweet ganks.
Because he's a nightmare.
A living nightmare.
E - Unspeakable Horror
Nocturne now gains massively increased movement speed when moving toward feared targets
As some who benefited a lot from the Preseason changes, Pantheon fits well within our expectations for a jungler: his ganks are amazing and he really benefits from the itemization paths available (see: Warrior enchant, Stalker's Blade, etc). From a durability standpoint however, Aegis Protection's been giving Panth a free pass in terms of health-pool, making him head-and-shoulders above other Assassins/Fighters when it comes to ganking-uptime. We're lowering his attack speed to make his passive proc less often unless he focuses more of his mana into casting spells, which translates to a riskier jungle for him overall.
To slightly compensate (and make his combo abilities better), we're speeding up Pantheon's attack frame animations, which gets a little complicated but basically means he completes attacks faster but doesn't attack faster overall.
Pantheon's attack frame animation speed has been increased by +26%
Haha oh dear.
Bonetooth Necklace actives no longer benefit from cooldown reduction
Sej has more base mana, Q no longer scales with max health but just does straight magic damage. W and E are more focused on consistent damage over time.
Winter is coming, and she's riding a boar. Sejuani hasn't been in the spotlight for some time, but in light of the updated jungle we figured we'd look back at some outliers. While Sej's far from the bottom of the ice-bucket, she's always suffered from not having incentives to stay in the fight compared to other tanks. Instead she just throws out her spells and then sits around waiting for them to recharge.
Seizing the opportunity to improve this, a lot of Sejuani's damage has been shifted out of her up-front burst (Q) and instead shoved into the damage-over-time of her Flail and Permafrost, making her a more active threat in prolonged fights. Sometimes icy hearts just need warm smiles. Or buffs for the holidays.
We're giving you both.
Q - Arctic Assault
Arctic Assault no longer scales with 4/6/8/10/12% of target's max health
40/70/100/130/160 magic damage
80/125/170/215/260 magic damage
W - Flail of the Northern Winds
40 mana at all ranks
40/60/80/100/120 (0.3 ability power) magic damage
4/6/8/10/12% of target's max health (+3% per 100 ability power) in magic damage
80/120/160/200/240 (+10% bonus health)
40/70/100/130/160 (+4/6/8/10/12% total health)
E - Permafrost
11 seconds at all ranks
60/110/160/210/260 magic damage
60/90/120/150/180 magic damage
1.5 seconds at all ranks
Check out this awesome summary: Shadow Dash costs less energy. 20 less.
Though Shen is no stranger to the shadows, we all remember how crazy this ninja gets when he's gets out of control. That said, we think loosening some of Shen's larger energy constraints is a nice place to push his power without instantly putting him on top. We're still assessing where he's at, but hopefully this allows us all to see a little more Shen in our lives. Or not? (He's not a very good ninja).
E - Shadow Dash
Twin Bite has a slightly lower cooldown and Burnout now deals bonus damage to monsters.
In light of her recent exit from popularity, Shyvana's a character that's been left without a clear identity. Is she a human? Is she a dragon? Is she viable? Leaning on her original jungling roots, we've decided to boost Shyv's clearing speeds so that she can be one of the faster farmers out there, opening her up to make cooler decisions than just shoving in top-laners and living forever.
Q - Twin Bite
W - Burnout
Burnout now now deals +20% bonus damage to monsters
Fixed a bug where Burnout was scaling incorrectly with attack damage when Shyvana was in her dragon form
Soraka's base health regen and health regen growth stat have been reduced, but Astral Blessing's passive now scales better with ability power.
One of the problems the Soraka update tried to fix were the times when she would just sit in the back and heal things without ever being vulnerable. In practice, however, Soraka's synergies with health and mana regeneration allowed League's Premier Healer to overcome these obstacles and amp her annoying meter all the way to 11. Thanks to the way regen works in the 2015 preseason, we're able to mitigate the effectiveness of this strategy by lowering her base stats, but we're adding more power into Astral Blessing's passive to reward the most accurate of star-snipers.
W - Astral Blessing
Ability power ratio range is now
0.2 ability power to 0.4 ability power
0.4 ability power to 0.8 ability power (there's a range because this scales in effectiveness with Soraka's missing health)
Despite being an effective lane-bully, Varus's effectiveness is so heavily tied to his Q harrass that he often finds himself running out of gas when it comes time to leverage that early-mid advantage into a more substantial one. We think Varus is a pretty cool dude (if perhaps a little grumpy; all he does is grumble), so we're seeing if this small change helps him stay relevant into the late game.
We bet nobody saw this coming.
Warwick's popularity (and subsequent insanity in the win rate department, even though we don't like using win rate as a statistic because it's loaded with so many other variables but let's not get into that) is a perfect storm of changes to preseason systems, the jungle, and the latent powers within his kit. We all know Warwick should be lowered a peg (or two. or five.), so we've decided to focus on Hunter's Call and Infinite Duress.
We're going to be monitoring Warwick heavily to see if we need to go harder, but we're confident this reduces his power enough that you might actually be able to compete with him in games. 60%. Never forget. Now let's not talk about win rates again (seriously though, win rates are a correlation of game health, not a cause).
W - Hunter's Call
R - Infinite Duress
250/335/420 magic damage
150/250/350 magic damage
Yasuo moves slightly faster and Steel Tempest has a lower cooldown at early ranks.
We might have overdone it a tad with 4.18, so we're stepping back just a bit. These changes should maintain Yasuo's vulnerability to ganks in lane but give him a little more leeway to make plays with Steel Tempest. A wanderer isn't always lost, but that doesn't mean he's over-nerfed. What does that mean. We don't know.
Q - Steel Tempest
4 seconds at all ranks
Elastic Slingshot makes more chunks if Zac hits multiple champions, and Let's Bounce has a higher knockback range.
The last on our 'Naughty or Nice' junglers list, we wanted to give Zac a little more oomph for those who make it through his somewhat punishing early-levels. In-line with Zac's identity as initiator, buffing the knock-back effect on Let's Bounce! means finding fights at max-range lets Zac play more with his opponent's positioning to single someone out.
E - Elastic Slingshot
Zac now creates extra chunks for each additional champion he hits
80/120/160/200/240 magic damage
80/130/180/230/280 magic damage
R - Let's Bounce!
400 (enemies will be knocked up higher and longer to match the new range, but total crowd control durations remain the same)
Mass Texture Rebalance (Part 4)
We're continuing our comprehensive pass at the game's older character textures. As with parts 1, 2 and 3, our goal is to improve parity with newer releases and make sure everybody looks at home on the newly-updated Rift. Is anyone even reading this paragraph anymore?
The following textures have been updated:
- Base, Coral Reef, Marble, Obsidian, Shamrock
- Base, Djinn, Overlord, Shadow Prince, Vizier
- Base, Blood Moon, Frozen, Surgeon, Warlord, Yellow Jacket
- Base, General, Jade Dragon, Volcanic
- Base, Commando, Imperial, Viscero, Winged Hussar
Turrets are worth more gold!
One issue with Dragon getting stingy with his gold bounties is that the amount of accessible gold in each game has gone down. What that means is that players are having more difficulty hitting their mid-game fantasy item builds (that is now a term) at a reasonable time. Rather than just throwing gold onto everything, we're going to up the rewards on objectives that are already gold-focused so as to reiterate their strategic value. And diversity.
We don't hate Mordekaiser or Malzahar, we swear.
Our philosophy with the inner turret shield has always been about offering a broad strategic defense against poke / siege teams, and not a weird way to nullify damage-over-time abilities. That said, our safeguard against the latter wasn't very fine-tuned as the turret basically checked every second if a champion within range had been damaged and, if they hadn't, it gave them a shield. This lead to some weird timing issues where a DoT-ed champion could potentially cycle between being on fire while also getting shielded if they hit the right window. Hopefully this change removes that but, if it doesn't, we'll be sure to revisit this!
The death timer is being unilaterally raised by 2.5 seconds.
We've noticed that because objectives are so much more important (or everyone just wants to protect the Rift Scuttler crab...), team fights are also starting earlier and more frequently. While the extra action is great, lower death timers mean the victorious team doesn't have enough time to do anything after, which leads to a lot of combat without much progression in objective control. We're hoping for a better balance here, even if the change itself is small.
Experience Rewards for Champion Kills
Slightly less experience rewards for killing everyone.
Echoing the above point, there are a lot more team fights in the early game so we're doing some light retuning to make sure things don't get out of control too quickly.
More minion gold on the map!
With every other objective on the map gaining more importance, we want to make sure that lane control strategies feel equally rew