Welcome to patch 5.4 - the one where we follow up on patch 5.2 with some mage love. Up front: the new +120 AP item is currently slated for a future patch (soon(tm)), but this hasn't stopped us from working on the few mages that needed help in a post-DFG world. Actually, like we mentioned in the patch 5.2 foreword, the impact of DFG's removal hasn't been all that noticeable in champion performance, but there were two we knew would have identity crises (that's the plural) in the aftermath: Mordekaiser and Veigar.
When we went into deep examination of what made Morde and Veigar who they are, we realized that a lot of their identity came down to "blow this fool up (and get a ghost!)." Unfortunately, amping up a play pattern like that makes for some sad times in the world of counterplay, so we had to take a longer look to see what could be done. Ultimately we'll explain more in their individual context paragraphs, but the rundown of the issue is this: when a champion is tuned around a fine line between "functional" and "oppressive," balance isn't a question of number tuning; rather, it's all about finding a healthy direction where that champ can prosper without getting paranoid about fame. Can you imagine a world where Veigar is the best - and most popular - champion in the game? That's a tough vision to sell for his opponents, and we want to make sure his success is warranted. Check out those contexts for more information, but this is an important philosophy to keep in mind as you read through these notes!
And that's it for this patch foreword - best of luck on those fields of justice. As a random tip for success in your solo (or duo!) queue adventures, remember that sometimes it's better for everyone to do the wrong thing in perfect harmony than for one guy to do the right thing in angry isolation. But that's only applicable for a team game of League of Legends and is probably incorrect for anything else. Sorry.
Chris "Pwyff" Tom & Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
- Did you know we were manually correcting LCS stats in the post-game roundup every time? We take fantasy stats seriously, man.
- Passive - Shurima's Legacy
- DON'T WORRY ABOUT FANTASY STATS : Fixed a bug where killing Azir's Sun Disc would result in a registered turret death in Spectator mode. Fantasy LCS stats were being manually corrected until now, so this fix is primarily for in-game spectating. In other words, you can't blame this bug for your fantasy LCS team losing. SORRY.
Janna's passive now only affects champions who run toward her, but the movement speed bonus and range have been increased. Janna's personal movement speed bonus has been entirely moved to W so she loses more speed when she casts it.
- As one of the premier supports at defending the back lines, few champions can shut down initiators and divers quite like Janna. That said, it's never made a lot of sense for someone who's so good at denying aggression to also be real good at enabling it (ever been chased by a Janna team?). Bonus movement speed's strong like that. Changing Janna's passive from being 'always good' to 'situationally good' solidifies her as the Queen of Disengage (also the Storm's Fury, apparently). As an aside, we realize that if Janna leads the charge she can still enable some high-speed chases, but a Janna on the frontline is maybe not the best.
- Passive - Tailwind
- [REMOVED] IT'S A W NERF, SORRY : Tailwind no longer gives Janna bonus movement speed
- [NEW] GET TO THE JANNA : Tailwind now gives all allies in range a movement speed bonus only while they are moving toward Janna
- MOVEMENT SPEED :
5% ⇒ 8%
- RANGE :
1000 ⇒ 1250
- W - Zephyr
- BASE PASSIVE MOVEMENT SPEED :
4/6/8/10/12% ⇒ 9/11/13/15/17%
Jarvan's flag no longer gives him passive armor. His base armor has been slightly increased to compensate, but this is definitely a nerf to Jarvan's mid-late game survivability.
- With the dust settled around the preseason changes, Jarvan's proven himself to be true royalty, standing head and shoulders above the competition on his jungle throne (to be fair, Fiddlesticks doesn't like to sit down owing to bad knees). Unlike his other Warrior-enchant-toting brethren, J4's incredible gank pressure, clear speed and safety make him a threat throughout the game with no real weaknesses for opponents to exploit. Instead of hitting J4's damage, chipping away at his resiliency should punish him for failed ganks without taking too much dunk out of his princely ways.
- 25px Q - Dragon Strike
- ALL IN THE WRIST : Fixed a bug where enemies would occasionally get knocked up when they walked into Jarvan IV after his dash completed
- 25px E - Demacian Standard
- [REMOVED] WHY WOULD A FLAG GIVE ARMOR : Demacian Standard no longer grants passive armor to Jarvan IV
- Though she hops relentlessly in pursuit of betrayers and backstabbers alike, it's easy to forget an important rule in Kalista's passive - she's unable to cancel her basic attacks once committed. Increasing her basic attack wind-up might not sound like much, but it does emphasize her vulnerability at every stage of the game, making her take more time to launch her spears (and, by extension, hurricane-hop you to death).
- Passive - Martial Poise
- NEEDS MORE FOLLOW-THROUGH : Kalista's basic attack wind-up (the time between starting an attack and it firing) now speeds up at
100% of her attack speed ⇒ 66% of her attack speed
We're not calling it Riftstep. Rifthop. It's important to note that the mana costs on Riftwalk scale exponentially so while that initial lowered mana cost looks small, it gets real big real fast. Riftskip.
- Kassadin is a champion whose fantasy and identity are both defined by a single ability - Riftwalk. While this does makes him super effective as an assassin (as you might expect, ignoring walls and terrain makes it hard to hide your carries from him), it's tough to both respect what makes him unique while also respecting the need for opponents to... fight back. With this change, we're still trying to preserve the dream (one might say a very difficult dream) of letting Kassadin keep his trademark mobility but, unless he finds a specific flank or angle, he also needs to pay respect to the enemy's tank line before rendering his squishy targets Null and Void.
- R - Riftwalk
- RANGE :
700 ⇒ 450
- BASE COST :
75 mana ⇒ 60 mana
Katarina now needs to deal damage to an opposing champion within 3 seconds of them dying in order to Get The Reset.
- The deadliest Pentakill on two legs (and not even in the band!), Katarina's a volatile and competitive option for those looking to shut out their solo queue competition. Voracity's long duration means that nobody's ever allowed to reenter the fight with low health, as they're always at risk of setting off an avalanche of daggers and shunpos - even if Kat's across the battlefield. This change is to focus Katarina's rewards on the fights she's intimately involved in, similar to Jinx.
- Passive - Voracity
- VORACIOUS REDUCTION :
Scoring a kill or assist will reduce the cooldown of Katarina's abilities ⇒ Whenever an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of Katarina dealing damage to them, her cooldowns will be reduced by 15 seconds
- Elevation changes to the new Summoner's Rift made a few situations where Glacial Path's indicator was hidden, turning obvious ganks into extreme ambushes, so we're fixing it. Even Lissandra knows that's not...cool.
- E - Glacial Path
- GLACIAL CLARITY : Fixed a bug where Glacial Path's end marker could be hidden under terrain, even if it was supposed to be visible
Mordekaiser's health costs are down for Q and W. Q gives Morde a range bonus for the empowered hit. W got the Blood Boil treatment, where it buffs both Mordekaiser and his buddy he casts it on. Also, Morde and his buffed buddy get bonus movement speed when moving toward each other. Mordekaiser's ghost gives him bonus health and ability power, rather than attack damage and ability power. Ghosts also get a flat attack damage bonus, as opposed to a portion of Mordekaiser's bonus stats.
- It's no secret we've long considered Mordekaiser a thematically confused champion out the gate. Visually speaking, this guy's a walking, talking suit of armor with a giant mace. If that doesn't say scrappy fighter, we're not entirely sure what does. That said, Morde's found far more success in the present game as a bursty AP mage, picking up an early Deathfire Grasp to blow up and, subsequently, convert enemy marksmen into their team's worst nightmare.
- So what's all this mean? Well, as customer numero uno for DFG (he actually might have been second with Veigar leading the way, but we're not ones to get in the way of a good reference) we didn't want to just take away Mordekaiser's core build without any form of compensation (although as we mentioned in the patch 5.2 foreword, the results have been a little off of expectation). We also wanted to take this opportunity to try tying Mordekaiser and his thematic identity a little closer together (scrappy tank man!), but when we finally arrived at that world, we realized it wasn't a very exciting one.
- And here we are now.
- These changes aren't going to solve Morde's identity crisis in the present, but we did find a few ways to clean up his ghostly interactions so he can get the most out of his exploitative ways. Additionally, we really liked the new Creeping Death 'magnet' mechanic we were testing out with fighter Mordekaiser, so we figured we could give some extra utility love when he's hunting high priority targets with a dive buddy. So, once again: not a holistic solution but one we felt was better at preserving Mordekaiser's unique identity.
- BASE HEALTH REGENERATION :
8.37 ⇒ 3.37
- Q - Mace of Spades
- [NEW] YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER MACE : Mace of Spades now grants Mordekaiser +75 range for the attack
- COST :
25/32/39/46/53 health ⇒ 20/25/30/35/40 health
- W - Creeping Death
- [NEW] CREEPING BUDDIES : Mordekaiser now also gains the effects of Creeping Death if he casts it on an ally
- [NEW] MAGNETIC BUDDIES : Mordekaiser and any ally with Creeping Death gain +60 bonus movement speed when running toward each other
- WE'RE NOT CRAZY : Enemies will not take double damage from Creeping Death if they're beside both Mordekaiser and his Creeping Death'd buddy. Just in case you thought that and got scared.
- COST :
26/32/38/44/50 health ⇒ 20/25/30/35/40 health
- DAMAGE :
24/38/52/66/80 (0.2 ability power) magic damage per second ⇒ 20/32/44/56/68 (0.15 ability power) magic damage per second
- R - Children of the Grave
- AD MORDEKAISER ISN'T A THING : Enslaved champions grant Mordekaiser
+20% of their attack damage and ability power ⇒ +25% of their bonus health and +30% of their ability power
- [REMOVED] THIS HAD SOME WEIRD IMPLICATIONS : Enslaved champions no longer gain 75% of Mordekaiser's ability power
- WHAT DID WE JUST SAY ABOUT AD MORDEKAISER : Enslaved champions gain
75% of Mordekaiser's total attack damage ⇒ 25/50/100 attack damage as a bonus
- Simply put, this was a novel idea for Rengar that was unlocked by the addition of Trinkets in the 2014 Season, but it ended up being super complicated and often caused a ton of bugs. By moving it to a buff, we're keeping the exact same functionality but finally allowing Rengar to have a Poro Snax. You heard us.
- Bonetooth Necklace
- SORRY TRINKET COLLECTORS : All trophy collection mechanics and bonuses have been moved from Rengar's trinket slot to a permanent stacking buff due to some bug issues with trinket upgrade paths
Dark Spheres got slightly fatter when interacting with E.
- Similar to 5.2, we're increasing the consistency of Syndra's Scatter the Weak stun ever so slightly. This has proven a difficult skill to balance (feel-wise) without going overboard, so we've been taking a measured approach to get it right.
- E - Scatter the Weak
- THERE'S SOME COMPLICATED MATH BELOW : Collision width of Dark Spheres has been increased. The reason we say complicated math is because this spell operates on multiple targeting / collision radius checks, and explaining each one gets... well, complicated. Hopefully we can just say it's wider and your experience will be more reliable.
Q is now a skillshot that passes through the first target hit to get the second (so farming's a lot easier). W's cheaper on mana and has a lower cooldown. Event Horizon now has a 0.75 delay, but costs less mana, has a higher range, and has a lower cooldown. R's mana cost is down significantly at higher ranks and has a slightly lower cooldown, but has a slightly lower ability power ratio.
- Of all the champions that were primary customers of the late Deathfire Grasp, none were more iconic than the Tiny Master of Evil himself. While we recognized and intended to preserve Veigar's role as a 100-to-0 burst mage, flatly increasing the power of a champion with such a powerful combination of crowd control and single-target damage didn't feel like the humane option (for everyone except Veigar).
- Freeing up Baleful Strike to cover more range and doubly enable his AP-stacking minigame was a natural change to Veigar's kit and made his laning better. We quickly learned, however, that a strictly better Veigar left opponents with less and less options, especially with the immense power that is Event Horizon. While old Veigar needed to rely on Event Horizon's immediate stun to zone out potential threats, keeping its current iteration meant we either needed to reduce Veigar's damage (but you can't reduce a 100-0 burst mage to 100-20) or tackle his outright reliability. Ultimately we went with the latter.
- The bottom line is this - characters with inflexible kits are often balanced on a knife's edge, and the slightest change to a range or damage value can be the difference between unplayable or overbearing (Hi Ryze!). While Veigar's reliability when it comes to "blowing fools up" has decreased, the added laning flexibility and higher late-game scaling should help make Veigar more than a one-trick pony. He has to work harder for his one-shots, but has the tools to earn them in a way that feels fair...ish for his opponents.
- Q - Baleful Strike
- [NEW] SKILLFUL STRIKE? : Baleful Strike is now a skillshot that passes through the first target hit and stops on the second target hit
- RANGE :
650 ⇒ 850
- COOLDOWN :
8/7/6/5/4 seconds ⇒ 7/6.5/6/5.5/5 seconds
- 25px W - Dark Matter
- COST :
70/80/90/100/110 mana ⇒ 70/75/80/85/90 mana
- COOLDOWN :
10 seconds ⇒ 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds
- E - Event Horizon
- [NEW] EVENT PLANNING :
Appears instantly ⇒ Now has a 0.75 second delay before appearing
- COST :
80/90/100/110/120 mana ⇒ 80/85/90/95/100 mana
- COOLDOWN :
20/19/18/17/16 seconds ⇒ 18/17/16/15/14 seconds
- RANGE :
650 ⇒ 700
- R - Primordial Burst
- RATIO :
1.2 ability power ⇒ 1.0 ability power
- COST :
125/175/225 mana ⇒ 125 mana at all ranks
- COOLDOWN :
130/110/90 seconds ⇒ 120/100/80 seconds
E'S MAX STUN DURATION IS DOWN.
- Shocking Orb was originally designed as a 'melee-friendly' crowd control - better at keeping opponents at bay from afar, but worse at stopping people that had already closed on him. In practice, it amplified his already-potent long range burst when used offensively, giving him really high pick potential for such a siege-focused champion. We're toning back the max duration to be less punishing for those brave souls looking to close the gap and stomp his face in. (Mask? Arcane headplate with eyesockets? You get it.)
- E - Shocking Orb
- MAXIMUM STUN DURATION :
2.25 seconds ⇒ 1.75 seconds
Q is now a lobbed skillshot that can land on an opponent or sit on the ground. If you land two, you get a 1.5 second stun (!). W no longer interacts with R so you don't have to play this weird "spam W" mini-game to get your ultimate back. At max ranks, E slows at 99% movement speed. Ninety nine percent.
- IT IS TIME. It wasn't too long since the Chronokeeper was last in the spotlight, but to bring him back in a healthy way meant taking the time to sort through his problems one by one. Zilean's always had a ton of neat tricks (especially his signature move, Chronoshift), but has been held back, balance-wise, thanks to his oppressive "I'm-going-to-click-on-you" laning strength. Massive changes to Time Bomb seek to not only remedy this with a healthy dose of counterplay (skillshot sticky-bomb!) but let us play up the spell's exciting double-hit case by making it the largest non-ultimate AoE stun in the game (say that 10 times fast). We looked for a proper Zilean quote to end this, but all in good time.
- BASE ARMOR :
17 ⇒ 19
- ATTACK RANGE :
600 ⇒ 550
- IT'S COMPLICATED : Attack frame sped up slightly. This doesn't mean Zilean attacks faster, just that he completes his attacks faster
- ATTACK SWAG : Zilean's basic attacks have new particles!
- ICONS : Zilean has received new ability icons!
- Q - Time Bomb
- [NEW] ZILEAN'S GOT A POWER GLOVE : Time Bombs are now a lobbed skillshot with fixed travel time. The Time Bomb sticks to enemies and allies near it. If nothing comes nearby, the bomb detonates normally.
- [NEW] THAT WAS A BOMBERMAN REFERENCE : When Zilean gets two bombs on the same unit, the first bomb detonates immediately, stunning all enemies in the area for 1.5 seconds
- TIME BOMB DELAY :
4 seconds ⇒ 3 seconds
- DAMAGE :
90/145/200/260/320 (0.9 ability power) magic damage ⇒ 75/115/165/230/300 (0.8 ability power) magic damage
- RANGE :
700 ⇒ 900
- COOLDOWN :
10 seconds ⇒ 12/11/10/9/8 seconds
- COST :
70/85/100/115/130 mana ⇒ 60/70/80/90/100 mana
- W - Rewind
- [REMOVED] IT WAS A WEIRD INTERACTION : Rewind no longer reduces the cooldown of Chronoshift
- E - Time Warp
- DURATION :
2.5/3.25/4/4.75/5.5 seconds ⇒ 2.5 seconds
- SLOW AMOUNT :
55% ⇒ 40%/55%/70%/85%/99% (yes, that is correct)
- COOLDOWN :
20 seconds ⇒ 15 seconds
- COST :
80 mana ⇒ 50/55/60/65/70 mana
- RANGE :
700 (center of Zilean's hitbox to center of opponent's hitbox) ⇒ 550 (edge of Zilean's hitbox to edge of opponent's hitbox) - this should be around a ~75 range reduction, which varies depending on how fat his target is
- R - Chronoshift
- DURATION :
7 seconds ⇒ seconds
- COOLDOWN :
180 seconds ⇒ 120/90/60 seconds
- So very complicated.
- WHO KNEW HOW COMPLICATED THESE ARE : Spells that have 'on-hit' characteristics associated with them (Gangplank's Parrrley, Ezreal's Mystic Shot, Miss Fortune's Double Up, Fizz's Urchin Strike, Irelia's Bladesurge) now have their damage properly blocked by spell shields
- It's been a little bit since we last addressed splash art changes but as with last season, we're continuing our long-term project to update some of the oldest splashes in our game.
- This patch also includes an updated splash to go with Tristana's recent champion update. While we had wanted to bundle a new splash with the rest of her changes, we heard a lot of feedback from the PBE that our first update didn't feel like the new Tristana. So, we made the call to hold onto Tristana's new splash to address those concerns while moving forward with the rest of her changes. Fast forward two patches and we're much more confident in the updated update to Tristana's splash!
- SPLASH : The following champions have received updated base splashes (click the portraits for the full image!):
Sidegrading jungle items now costs gold.
- We probably overthought on this one. Our initial goal was to let you change strategic course in the early game without incurring a setback, but most were just using it to switch to the "best" lategame smite before picking up their enchant. Well then.
- COST TO CHANGE BETWEEN TIER 2 JUNGLE ITEMS :
0 gold ⇒ 255 gold
- We were intending to make this change to match the Oracle's Lens cooldown change from Patch 5.1 but only the tooltip went out (the cooldown is still 60 seconds). We'll fix this next patch!
- COOLDOWN AT LEVEL 9+ AUTOMATIC UPGRADE :
60 seconds ⇒ 60 seconds (but the tooltip says 75. We're not crazy, people.)
- Sorry guys!
- SORRY DORAN : Fixed a bug where Doran's Shield wasn't blocking 8 single target spell damage
-5 damage. Done.
- The Warrior enchant seems to be outperforming of its other enchantment counterparts, but we're still in the kitchen cooking up our long-term solutions. That said, we can afford to whip up a light stat adjustment snack in the meantime. Never write patch notes while hungry.
- Just doing some additional cleanup work for Zz'Rot Portal to help it adjust to life on the Rift.
- SMARTSPAWNS : Zz'Rot Portal's Voidspawns are now more intelligent about finding the "nearest lane"
- GPS GATES : Void Gates will automatically 're-scan' for a spawn direction shortly after a turret in its assigned lane has been destroyed
Smite's range is shorter when used against champions, but isn't THAT much shorter against jungle monsters (and in a few cases, unchanged), due to the way hitboxes are designed.
- Time to be honest: the power of Chilling Smite is just too high. We love that it adds a new tool to the game, but it's shoring up champion weaknesses so well (that is, every champion who uses Chilling Smite extends their engagement range to ~675) that we know we'll need to do this range reduction sooner or later. Otherwise, Chilling Smite just becomes a necessary purchase in order for everyone to compete.
- RANGE :
750 (center of champion's hitbox to center of opponent's hitbox) ⇒ 500 (edge of champion's hitbox to edge of opponent's hitbox)
- BUT WAIT, THERE'S CONTEXT : The above change should roughly be a ~175 range loss against champions, with many monsters being unaffected (due to them being fat), although some might require you to be a little closer
- A Summoner (spell) has left the game.
- [REMOVED] KIND OF IRONIC : Revive has been removed from the game
Relative Team Colors
- We've been working over the past several months to standardize blue and red as team colors for League's UI and environmental designs. The last step in the process is to fix the discrepancy between UI and environment for red side (well, North side now), which plays with red minions and structures but blue healthbars and minimap icons. When active, Relative Team Colors ensures your team's minions and structures will always be blue while the enemy's will always be red, mirroring the information provided by your UI.
- I'M BLUE : Relative Team Colors shows all allied minions and structures as blue and all enemy units as red, regardless of your starting side. This option is enabled by default (Options --> Game).
- Turns out we had this in our files for some time but they weren't hooked up properly. Are now!
- DANCE MINIONS, DANCE : Melee and Caster minions now have four different animations based on how they die
In-Game Camera Options
- The patch note is the context, so the context can be the patch note: You now have semi-locked cameras!
- THIS IS A LONG PATCH NOTE : In the options menu you can change to a new camera lock mode called "semi-locked camera." In this mode, the camera still follows your champion around like locked camera. You can, however, scroll the camera via all the usual methods (keyboard, edge scroll, middle click). When you scroll it, it changes where on the screen your champion will stay once you stop scrolling. The camera will not scroll too far from your champion, so they will always be reasonably close to the center of the screen.
Drag Scroll Lock
- Not sure why you guys were trying to save stuff in the middle of a game but now it won't mess with your camera! (...whoops.)
- WHAT IS THIS : Drag Scroll Lock is a camera feature originally built for Spectator mode which, when enabled, causes the camera to follow your mouse cursor. It's been present but undocumented in all game modes for a long time.
- [NEW] MAKE GOOD CHOICES : Drag Scroll Lock has been added to the Hotkeys menu for all game modes and is unbound by default (Options --> Hotkeys --> Camera Control)
- [REMOVED] HIDDEN HOTKEYS SUCK : Pressing Shift + Ctrl + S no longer stealth-activates Drag Scroll Lock
- Our first test of the updated player tooltips ran into some issues last patch. We're fixing the problem and adding in a few more features in the process!
- IT'S HAPPENING : In addition to champion and match duration, player tooltips now indicate map and queue type for players in-game - ex. "Summoner's Rift (Ranked)"
- IN CASE YOU FORGOT : You can now see your own player tooltip by hovering over your name and icon at the top of the friends list.
- Fixed a bug that made unskinned wards... large
- Fixed a bug where Panda Teemo's R - Noxious Trap explosion wasn't properly playing particle or sound effects
- Fixed a bug where Xin Zhao's Q - Three Talon Strike's third strike would occasionally not knock opponents up
- Restored Thresh's max distance indicator for W - Dark Passage
- Super Teemo has remembered how to fly while using W - Move Quick
- Pulsefire Ezreal's (well, PEARL's) custom VO when first leveling his basic skills now plays 100% of the time
- DJ Sona, League’s next Ultimate skin, takes the stage in patch 5.4! She’ll be ~25% off (2450 RP) for the first four days following her release before returning to her normal price of 3250 RP.
- Get all the details about DJ Sona here.