Hi everyone. Before I get started, I would just like to thank everyone for all of the likes and shares of my previous post/rant. League of Legends can get kind of bleak sometime, when all you seem to run into are people who bring you down. The positive response I got was an awesome reminder that there are still a lot of nice people in this game who feel the exact same way I do, and that was very comforting.
There are a lot of potential champion, item and game play related changes floating around on the PBE. I’ve let the number of changes build up to a staggering amount, so I’m going to try and get them down as concisely as possible. Ok, that’s not totally true, I can never resist a bit of analysis (or the sound of my own words :P). Please keep in mind that most of these changes still only exist in the beta environment. They may be further tinkered with before release or never be released at all. Consider them to be, at the very least, an indication of the kinds of things and champs Riot is looking at changing.
Amumu: The base damage on his Q and R are being lowered (by 40-50 points at max level for each) and the range of his Tantrum (E) is going down.
My belief is that these changes are to compensate for the fact that a lot of people are starting to stack AP on the mummy and not build him pure tank. This will make pure tank mummy a little bit less useful, but he will probably still be a fairly consistent pick or ban thanks to his amazing ultimate.
Kayle: Decreased the duration of her slow by one second, but it now levels up and is not a flat 35% slow (will be 50% at max levels). Will also no longer gain any natural MR per level (something that is apparently quite standard with ranged champs, which is how we see Kayle being used).
These nerfs may hurt Kayle in the mid lane, where her solid ratios and natural MR scaling combine to make her a solid pick. She is short ranged enough that she needs the durability to match up against more long range casters. Kayle should still be a good pick in top and in mid, depending on the matchup, but might not be able to dominate all the other mages quite as easily as she can now.
Nidalee: No longer gains natural MR per level (see Kayle) and no longer gains natural armor and MR when in cougar form.
She is very much in season. We have seen her used basically everywhere from support to jungle. I can see why they felt they needed to make these changes. The bonus armor and MR allowed her to be decently tanky while investing in other things such as AP or health. This change should bring AP Nid more in line with other casters. I’m curious to see if it will limit bruiser Nid to a more match up specific role. Right now she is tanky enough to be used in pretty much any match up. This nerf might limit her ability to do well against champions who can get to her in the top lane. Or it might simply force her to build some defensive stats before she can be as useful as she once was. I’m confident that Nid, cat that she is, will keep coming back.
Vi: The max health damage on her W is being lowered, but only for her early levels, and her base damage is being decreased slightly. The damage on her ult is being reduced.
This change will it make it harder for her to win early trades in lane. Since most people player her in the jungle anyways , I doubt we will see it send Vi the way of Rengar or Kha Zix
Xin Zhao: The cooldown on his E is being increased and the damage is being decreased (though not by much in both cases). The same is being done to his ult.
Everyone’s favorite jungler of season three will get a minor tweak here. The changes to his E should make it a little harder for him to lock down those early game ganks, but probably won’t hurt his overall performance too much. His kit remains too strong to be ignored, and I expect he will remain a popular pick or ban. It should hopefully be a little easier to escape his ganks, however.
Ash, Vayne, Tristana: All are getting their attack speed increases per level buffed significantly (usually by at least 1% per level) to allow them to better farm up for their epic late games.
Garen: His W will now give him additional MR and armor based on the current BONUS armor and MR that he already has.
Should force him to at least build some defensive items to dominate his lane, but that’s what they tried to do last time they nerfed him. It probably won’t slow him down too much.
Hecarim: Damage on his Q is being increased slightly at all levels. Cooldown on his W will now start at 18 seconds before working down to 14 seconds (used to be 14 at all levels). The damage on his W will be decreased at higher levels, and the amount that Hec heals for off of it is now set at a flat 20%. This will be an increase in healing at lower levels, but a decrease at later levels.
I admit Hecarim is one of the champions I really don’t know that much about, so if anyone has any feedback on how this will effect him, please let me know!
Taric: Passive has been reworked. Taric now does 2% of his max mana as magic damage on hit (double against champions). Shatter no longer gives a flat amount of bonus armor to surrounding teammates. It will give a percentage of Taric’s armor as bonus armor for his teammates. Shatter will now also have an armor scaling damage ratio (along with the AP ratio). The mana costs on Tarics W and E will be reduced significantly, as will his base damage.
Probably my favorite support, I’m really intrigued by what these changes will do to him. I feel like he will no longer the same kind of natural bully he is now, but once he gets built up, he could well end up with a lot more power than he had before. Riot is trying to make Taric more of a niche support instead of a support that does well in basically every matchup. Depending on what the ratios are on his W, i think he and his allies will be a bit weaker in the early game, but should still have a decent later game. I’m just not sure if it will be enough to rule him out of every game. I think it will be hard to reduce the play of a champion that has a sure hit stun, so I don’t think we’ll see the end of Taric. Maybe just a little bit less of him.
Darius: If his Ult kills an opponent, he will only be able to recast it again within 12 seconds before it goes on cooldown. It’s cooldown is also being significantly increased at all levels.
I currently feel that Darius is the biggest lane bully of them all. He’s strong, and there are very few ways to effectively counter him. One of the ways he could bully you was by using his ult to kill you and have it ready to kill you again when you made it back to lane. This should allow you a bit of a grace period before he can kill you again, but I don’t think it will really stop the bullying. Darius’ kit is simply too strong at the moment. Until they rework him, as they have been hinting they will, he will remain the biggest lane bully in the game.
The Blade of the Ruined King: Has had some significant changes done to it. I posted a picture of its altered form below so you can see what it could look like after the next patch. This item was supposed to be the main way to counter health stacking, but so far, we haven’t seen it used on a ton of champions. It has started gaining some popularity with ADC’s. For an excellent article on how it works with ADC’s, (and on what you should be building on your ADC in general) check this out. When this new version of the BoRK comes out, I could actually see this item becoming the next “must build on all champs” item. Life Steal, an active slow and more Life Steal, a passive health shred and attack speed? Yup, this item is going to offer everything that is important (and hard to buy) in season three. I am going to confidently proclaim that the Ruined King will soon be the item king of LoL, if they leave it in this form.
New HUD bars: Just when you thought the game didn’t look fancy enough, Riot is bringing in some spiffy looking new bars for your HUD. Check them out here. Apparently you will be able to turn off the new bars, so hopefully it won’t hurt your ability to play the game on a slower computer too much.
New replay function: Spectator mode was pretty earth shattering. But what if you missed a friend’s game or wanted to watch one of your own later to see where you went right or wrong? Well, a ways into the future, Riot is hoping you should be able to do just that. Check out more on this proposed feature here.
New ping redial: We all say that communicating in LoL is good, but it sometimes seems like a ping can mean a thousand different things. Riot is looking into making it a bit easier to ping out exactly what you mean. Check it out here. It looks like the new pings should be pretty quick to use. If they aren’t, I could see them not being utilized too much. The good news is that the old pings will still function as they used to, so I doubt there will be too many complaints about the new system.
New health bars: How champ health is being displayed could be changing. I’ve posted a picture of the new bars below, and more info can be found here.
Restricted Chat: I want to go into more depth on this subject, so please expect a full blog post sometime soon. In the meantime, take a look at Riot Lyte’s post to get an idea of how this will work. Basically, bad players will have their ability to use chat reduced. Stay tuned for how I feel about this. Hint: Pretty ok!
I could write a whole other post to get you caught up on how the LCS is going, but matthewchanyy has done a much better job of this than I could ever hope to do. So please, check out his blog for all of your LCS updates. His most recent post can be found here.
My apologies for the length of this post and my only briefly touching on a lot of the game play changes. I believe you’ll find the articles at surrender@20 to give a great job of showcasing those changes. I have a feeling that we will still see a lot of changes, and changes to the changes, before the next patch hits us. Until then, hopefully this will allow you to get yourself ready and make peace with the more OP versions of your current champs. I for one will not be out dunking with my Lord Darius. Instead, I think I will go grant some allies a flat armor bonus with my favorite support.