League of Legends - Patch Notes and Review

The light show has arrived.  Lux has some fancy effects for her spells and is a joy to play as.

The people have been clamoring for a major overhaul to many of the gameÂ’s overpowered and underused champions, and their voices have been heard!  Some of the biggest losers of the game have been overhauled, and some of the powerful tools of the current meta-game of ranked play have been nerfed as well.  In addition, the luminous light lass Lux  joins the battlefield, bringing another powerful support option to players.  How do the changes all weigh in, though?  ThatÂ’s what weÂ’re here to discuss!

Lux, the Lady of Luminosity

•    Light Binding: Fires a ball of light towards a target location, binding the units hit. The units take magic damage. Can hit up to two targets with the second target receiving a reduced effect.
•    Prismatic Barrier: Lux throws her wand and bends the light around any friendly target it touches, protecting them from enemy damage.
•    Lucent Singularity: Creates a zone that slows enemy units (zone lasts 5 seconds). Can be detonated to deal magic damage to enemies in the area.
•    Finales Funkln (Ultimate): After a short delay, Lux fires a beam of light in front of her dealing damage to all enemy units in the area.
•    Illumination (Passive): Lux's damaging spells illuminate the target for 6 seconds. Lux's next attack ignites the debuff, dealing magic damage to the target.

Verdict - Lux is a hero who has amazing range and fairly low cooldowns.  She also has a powerful version of MorganaÂ’s Dark Binding that is capable of locking down two targets at once, and it still has the same incredible range.  Prismatic Barrier is difficult to aim, but gives a decently powerful shield to allies hit.  ItÂ’s on par with JannaÂ’s, but has a shorter duration and is hard to aim at moving allies.
Lucent Singularity has multiple uses.  It can ignite a group of enemies near instantly for the purpose of farming with your passive.  It functions as a powerful slow that can be detonated the moment your target is about to escape.  Perhaps most important is the fact that it reveals the terrain it is fired at, and this includes brush.  No one can hide from the light, and that continues with her ultimate.  ItÂ’s a line nuke with a solid range of about one and a half screens.  There is a tiny delay before the laser fires, and the enemy can see a very thin red line before it connects.  This is not a Pantheon warning, and itÂ’s going to be very tough to react and dodge in time for players.  Her passive functions as a free Sheen more or less, giving her free bonus damage on targets she hits with her damaging spells.
She will not have the late game effect a good Morgana has, but she has much more versatility and much faster cooldowns to compensate. I would expect her to get nerfed slightly.

•    Health per level increased to 70 from 65
•    Base damage increased to 48 from 45

Verdict – These changes were necessary.  Anivia is damn near impossible to last hit with at level 1 due to having a terrible projectile and base damage.  She also ranks up with the frailest heroes in the game, limiting her late game effectiveness.  90 more max HP at max level is a welcome addition.

•    Bandage Toss cooldown reduced to 16/14/12/10/8 from 18/16/14/12/10
•    Curse of the Sad Mummy duration reduced to 2 from 2.5

Verdict – Amumu is typically rated as the best tank in the game by people who take the game far more seriously than they should, and for good reason.  He has two stuns/interrupts and his ultimate can set up every other AOE ultimate effortlessly while he continues his AOE damage rampage.  Bandage Toss always has had a crappy cooldown, so the buff isnÂ’t so bad, but the duration nerf to his ultimate will be felt.  He will remain as one of the best tanks until other tanks can put out the kind of damage Despair & Tantrum deal over time in a big battle.

•    Mana per Level increased to 40 from 36
•    Static Field cooldown reduced to 30 from 40
•    Static Field no longer targets stealthed units
•    Overdrive
o    Cooldown reduced to 15 from 20
o    Mana cost reduced to 75 from 90
o    Now reduces movement speed by 75 instead of 25% , which also fixes an edge case bug
•    Mana Barrier no longer uses (or refunds) Blitzcrank's mana when it is activated

Verdict – Some serious love here.  His hook needed help and didnÂ’t get it though—140 mana at level 1 is ridiculous and needs to be toned down, even if the iconic Pudge ability has always been that, this is a far different game at this point.  The ultimate cooldown reduction means thereÂ’s a potential to get two off in a large team battle with some cooldown reduction gear, but I would like to see the passive benefit from that as well.  Overdrive is now a real threat due to its high uptime (8 second duration, 7 second cooldown once itÂ’s done before cooldown reduction) and his passive has been fixed to enable him to actually cast while at deathÂ’s door.  Words cannot describe how frustrating it is to escape to your tower, turn to fire off your rocket punch and pull them in for the kill, and your mana is depleted to form a shield at the worst time.

•    Rupture cooldown reduced to 9 from 10
•    Rupture mana cost changed to 90 at all levels from 80/90/100/110/120
•    Vorpal Spikes is now classified as an area of effect spell for the sake of items like Rylai's Scepter or Hextech Revolver

Verdict – ChoÂ’Gath is an underrated jungler, and giving him a faster, flat mana cost Rupture is going to speed him up greatly.  The Vorpal Spikes buff will make RylaiÂ’s give him a permanent cone slow when attacking a runnerÂ…. Quite dangerous.

•    Gatling Gun mana cost reduced to 60/70/80/90/100 from 60/75/90/105/120
•    Phosphorous Bomb mana cost reduced to 80/90/100/110/120 from 90/100/110/120/130
Verdict – Corki suffers from mana problems just like a lot of the old cast.  A welcome change, but he still just doesnÂ’t do enough damage for his low survivability and high skill required.

•    Determined Killer (passive) tooltip clarified to explain it does not work on neutral minions.
•    Shadow Walk
•    Fixed a bug with Shadow Walk where you could stun towers
•    Fixed a bug with Shadow Walk where autoattacking would break stealth even if the attack was canceled
•    Ravage no longer has back facing requirement in order to gain the extra effect
•    Malice and Spite lifegain changed to a flat 350/500/650 upon kill or assist
•    Malice and Spite's active now has a 90 second cooldown and refreshes whenever an enemy champion dies
•    Stats
o    Base health increased to 500 from 475
o    Health per level increased from 86 to 76
o    Mana regen per level increased to 0.4 from 0.25
o    Base mana regen increased to 5 from 3.85.
•    Additional note: these changes do not represent the final remake on Evelynn. These are simple usability fixes for her current design.

Verdict – ItÂ’s still Evelynn, sadly.  The Ravage buff is huge early on and will make her a real threat against low armor and magic resist targets no matter where she strikes from.  Malice and Spite is still a terrible ultimate for her even when itÂ’s up.  Her base stats got a huge increase, but she still suffers from one of the worst skill sets and passives in the gameÂ… wait for the full remake.

•    Essence Flux ability power ratio increased to .7 from .6
•    Trueshot Barrage abiilty power ratio increased to .8 from .7

Verdict – Ability Power Ezrael is considered a complete joke, you need a ton of ability power and a Lich Bane to even compete with a physical build.  This is a good step to making the build competitive again.

•    Drain cooldown reduced to 10 from 12
•    Drain mana Cost reduced to 80/95/110/125/140 from 80/100/120/140/160
•    Dark Wind cooldown reduced to 14 from 15

Verdict – Dark Wind has always had a ridiculous cooldown, and IÂ’m glad to see Drain no longer costing 20% of my mana bar per cast early on.  The cooldown reduction will speed his jungling, possibly making him viable beyond the occasional golem.

•    Righteous Gust mana cost increased to 80/85/90/95/100 from 70/75/80/85/90
•    Resolute Smite mana cost increased to 70/75/80/85/90 from 60/65/70/75/80
•    Idol of Durand mana cost increased to 100/150/200 from 100/145/190
•    Idol of Durand duration reduced to 2 from 2.5

Verdict – Galio had an exceptionally strong showing at the most recent big tournament, and this is the result.  ItÂ’s warranted, because his nukes scale quickly in damage due to his passive and his mana would barely go anywhere with a Chalice.  I would still like to see something done about the Idol of Durand being near worthless against people with MercuryÂ’s boots.

•    Judgment can no longer damage invisible minions or objects like wards

Verdict – An important change.  Good Garens could spin past typical ward areas and keep you in the dark all game.

•    Barrel Roll cooldown reduced to 11/10/9/8/7 from 12/11/10/9/8
•    Barrel Roll now slows attack speed by 20/25/30/35/40%
•    Drunken Rage cooldown reduced to 25 from 30
•    Body Slam cooldown increased to 7 from 6
•    Explosive Cask no longer slows attack speeds

Verdict – As a big Gragas player, the only real change that matters here is the Body Slam nerf.  To be honest, it needed it.  A big slow, a tiny cooldown, and massive damage to a lone target make for a really powerful skill.  The cooldown reduction on Drunken Rage will give him an even stronger early game.  The Barrel Roll and Cask changes arenÂ’t too impressive, as the Cask is used for the knockback, not the attack speed debuff.  

•    Equipment Mastery tooltip updated to show health gained from each source dynamically
•    Leap Strike
o    Cast time reduced by 20%
o    Travel speed increased by 20%
o    Ability power ratio reduced to 0.7 from 0.8
•    Empower
o    Now only deals damage to a single target rather than to an area of effect
o    Now resets JaxÂ’s autoattack timer when cast
o    Damage increased to 75/110/145/180/215 from 40/60/80/100/120
o    Ability power and damage ratios increased to 0.4 from 0.2
o    Mana cost reduced to 20 from 35
o    Cooldown increased to 9/8/7/6/5 from 5/5/5/5/5
o    Tooltip corrected to accurately state it deals magic damage
o    Fixed bugs where Empower incorrectly did less damage when used at the same time as Leap Strike or each 3rd Relentless Assault strike.
•    Counter Strike damage increased to 80/110/140/170/200 from 80/100/120/140/160
•    Relentless Assault
o    New Active: Grants 20/35/50 + Jax's dodge percent in bonus magic resistance for 5/6.5/8 seconds upon activation. Costs 80 mana. Cooldown of 60/60/60 seconds.
o    Buff icon now dynamically shows the number of Relentless Assault stacks which Jax is benefitting from
o    Tooltip correctly indicates that Jax gains up to 10 stacks of Relentless Assault
•    Recommended items updated

Verdict  - Holy crap.  Before you cry overpowered though, realize Jax has lost one of his main legacies—taking out an entire team himself in seconds.  The loss of AOE Empower hurts, but makes his single target burst much better.  The Counter Strike buff gives him a quicker jungling speed, and Jax now has an answer to wading into a team fight.  You donÂ’t need armor due to your ridiculous dodge rates, so giving him a magic resist boost on demand answers a lot of his problems in large team fights and bad matchups.

•    Lay Waste mana cost reduced to 20/26/32/38/44 from 20/28/36/44/52
•    Wall of Pain cooldown reduced to 18 from 22
•    Death Defied now allows all spells to be free to cast while defying death
•    Fixed several usability bugs with Death Defied

Verdict – Lay Waste gets expensive quickly, so a reduction gives him a better, more offensive early game.  Wall of Pain is one of the best debuffs in the game, so having it get a ~18% cooldown buff is glorious if youÂ’re a Karthus lover.  

•    Nether Blade cooldown reduced to 12 from 15

Verdict – So you get a free charge on your Force Pulse 3 seconds faster.  God this skill is terribleÂ…

•    Death Lotus now fires blades at three targets at all levels

Verdict  - A huge buff to her early mid game when ganking.  Countless ganks have failed due to Death Lotus switching targets at an inopportune moment, and now itÂ’ll shred in the lane no matter what the level.

•    Fixed several bugs with Icathian Surprise to be more consistent

•    Seismic Shard cooldown reduced to 8 from 10
•    Unstoppable Force cooldown reduced to 130/115/100 from 140/125/110
•    Fixed a bug with Ground Slam causing it to look like it had shorter range than it actually did

Verdict – Malphite still has way too high of a cooldown for his ultimate, which is basically required to be up or Malphite isn’t very useful.

•    Nether Grasp range reduced to 700 from 750
•    Call of the Void mana cost reduced to 80/90/100/110/120 from 90/100/110/120/130
•    Null Zone mana cost changed to 90/100/110/120/130 from 80/95/110/125/140

Verdict : Malzahar is a strong mage who can hammer out spells faster early on now.  The range nerf is barely noticeable—the ultimate can still be cast from relative safety.

Miss Fortune
•    Bullet Time range reduced to 1400 from 1500
•    Bullet Time scaling reduced to 40% of damage per shot from 45%
•    Strut maximum movement speed bonus reduced to 70 from 80
•    Double Up bounce range reduced to 500 from 575

Verdict – Ouch!  The new gal in town eats a lot of nerfs, but theyÂ’re all warranted.  It is nigh impossible to lane against a good Miss Fortune solo if she knows how to work Double Up, and this will make it so you get zoned out of experience range a lot less.  Strut being toned down also hurts her early game immunity, and the ultimate hit is a step in the right direction.

•    Dark Binding hitbox size reduced
•    Black Shield ability power ratio reduced to .8 from 1
•    Soul Shackles ability power ratio reduced to .9 from 1
•    Soul Shackles damage reduced to 175/250/325 from 175/250/350

Verdict – The first real set of nerfs to a hero that got nothing but love for months, Morgana is in a real good spot after this.  Soul Shackles was a dominating, game-winning spell at level 3 with a truckload of ability power, so nerfing the coefficient to not be 2.0 is a step in the right direction.  

•    Siphoning Strike now resets autoattacks

Verdict – Not really a big change, but can be timed for some extra damage.

•    Base damage increased to 53 from 50

Verdict – She suffered from the same terrible base damage as Anivia, so this will help greatly.

•    Devastating Blow now resets autoattacks

Verdict – Not really a big change, but can be timed for some extra damage.

•    Movement speed increased to 310 from 305
•    Base Mana regen increased to 4.5 from 3.75
•    Powerball cooldown reduced to 10 from 11
•    Defensive Ball Curl cooldown reduced to 14 from 15
•    Defensive Ball Curl now scales on 10% of Rammus's total armor
•    Puncturing Taunt mana cost reduced to 50/60/70/80/90 from 50/65/80/95/110
•    Fixed several bugs with Puncturing Taunt to make it more responsive

Verdict – Was this really necessary?  Rammus was already quite goodÂ… and now each ability is better.  The taunt did cost too much mana though, so that was warranted.

•    Jack in the Box cast range reduced to 400 from 500
•    Jack in the Box can no longer be cast inside walls

Verdict – Can this jester catch a break?  The nerfs continue, slight as this one may be.  It will hurt his ability to fear people escaping from him, however.

•    Stats
o    Magic resistance reduced to 30 from 35
o    Base health increased to 448 from 429
o    Health per level increased to 82 from 78
•    Mega Adhesive mana cost reduced to 70/80/90/100/110 from 80/90/100/110/120
•    Fling cooldown reduced to 10 from 11.5
•    Insanity Potion cooldown reduced to 100 from 120
•    Insanity Potion no longer has a cast time or animation

Verdict – Most Singed builds already end up with him being a massive pile of HP, so more is only going to make him even more annoying to take down.  The critical spells have all been buffed as well, making this alchemist even more dangerous when he is charging at your team.  The shorter Fling cooldown is important because it makes him harder to ignore when heÂ’s tossing your fragile teammates into the fray more often.

•    Death's Caress no longer has a cast animation
•    Death's Caress shield reduced to 110/160/210/260/310 from 120/170/220/270/320

Verdict – a minor nerf and a large buff to the same spell.  The pause in casting was extremely annoying, and now itÂ’s gone!

•    On the Hunt attack speed bonus increased to 30/60/90% from 25/45/65%
•    On the Hunt now provides 1/3 of the attack speed bonus to allies
•    Spell Shield mana return increased to 150 from 125
•    Spell Shield cooldown reduced to 22/19/16/13/10 from 28/24/20/16/12

Verdict – On the Hunt now makes Sivir a fairly dangerous opponent to engage in a direct battle, but that isnÂ’t how this game plays out.  She needs a rework to be considered worthwhile, even with all of these buffs.

•    Decrepify
o    Ability power ratio increased to 0.9 from 0.75
o    Fixed a bug where Decrepify would slow through Highlander or Ragnarok
o    Fixed a bug where the damage portion sometimes would not stop after leaving the area
•    Nevermore ability power ratio increased to 0.7 from 0.5
•    Torment damage increased to 75/115/155/195/235 from 72/110/148/186/224
•    Torment ability power ratio increased to 0.8 from 0.6
•    Carrion Renewal regen increased to 300% from 250%

Verdict – This might be too much.  Swain is a powerhouse disabler, and these ratio improvements will give him a lot more late game power.   If he gets going, he might be impossible to stop!

•    Imbue mana cost increased to 80/95/110/125/140 from 70/85/100/115/130
•    Imbue heal reduced to 60/100/140/180/220 from 70/110/150/190/230

Verdict – Another patch, another Taric heal nerf.  Taric is capable of debuffing, stunning, healing, and increasing his teamÂ’s damage though, making him a powerful jack of all trades and theyÂ’re slowly chipping at it.  Why is Sona untouched though?

•    Stats
o    Base movespeed increased to 305 from 300
o    Base damage reduced to 47.5 from 51.3
o    Damage per level reduced to 3.0 from 3.3
•    Camouflage
o    Fade time reduced to 2.0 seconds from 3.0
o    Being invulnerable will now prevent Teemo from Camouflaging. Specifically, Zhonya's Ring and Guardian Angel's effects will block Camouflage while they are active.
o    Recalling and Teleporting will now prevent Teemo from Camouflaging
•    Blinding Dart
o    Duration reduced to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 from 1.5/2.0/2.5/3.0/3.5
o    Cooldown reduced to 8 seconds from 10
•    Move Quick's tooltip will now update to display the effects of cooldown reduction
•    Toxic Shot per tick damage reduced to 6/12/18/24/30 from 8/14/21/28/35
•    Toxic Shot on-hit damage increased to 9/18/27/36/45 from 8/14/21/28/35
•    Noxious Trap
o    Teemo now gains a "stored mushroom" charge every 30/26/22 seconds. Maximum three charges
o    Each cast requires and consumes a charge
o    Time to gain a charge is reduced by cooldown reduction effects
o    Time to gain next charge does not progress while you are at maximum charges
o    Teemo always has two charges stored upon reviving at base
o    Cooldown on placing a trap reduced to 1 second from 20
o    Damage changed to 250/475/700 from 350/500/650
•    Recommended items updated

Verdict – Teemo has not changed as much as he looks.  The most important difference is that he can save up and chain cast Mushrooms to deny a large area or prepare a battlefield instantly.  HeÂ’s still going to be weak as long as he has Strut as an activated, leveled ability.

•    Bloodlust cooldown reduced to 12/11/10/9/8 from 14/13/12/11/10
•    Bloodlust damage per stack increased to 5 from 3
•    Spinning Slash cooldown reduced to 8 from 9
•    Spinning Slash area of effect increased to 225 from 185

Verdict – Bloodlust stacks are going to make Tryndamere VERY dangerous at level 1-3.  At 8 stacks, heÂ’ll be packing +40 damage.  This is before runes and armor penetration, and if he crits you an enemy, I wouldnÂ’t be surprised to see half of their life instantly vanish.  This will also speed his jungling speed a good amount early on.  Spinning slash has always had an embarrassingly small area of effect for a guy swinging such a large blade, so IÂ’m glad to see some love for the skill.

Twisted Fate
•    Pick a Card Blue Card damage/mana return increased to 40/60/80/100/120 from 30/45/60/75/90

Verdict – Blue Cards were almost always mistakes, or wasted cards.  Now they can actually restore Twisted FateÂ’s mana with repeated use.

•    Debilitating Poison now has a range indicator
•    Expunge now has a range indicator
•    Deadly Venom duration reduced to 6 from 8

Verdict – No real change here.  Twitch will still blow up an entire team with his ultimate active and good positioning, or get blown up the moment heÂ’s spotted.  

•    Removed "Recommended" tag
•    Heat Seeking Missiles can no longer hit invisible minions or objects like wards
•    Corrosive Charge no longer will lock onto invisible minions or objects like wards

Verdict -  I have nothing to say.  Urgot needs serious help, and didnÂ’t get a damn thing this patch.  Might as well remove the “useful” tag too.

•    Chronoshift now removes most positive buffs from your champion when it activates. For example, Soraka's Astral Blessing, Garen's Judgment, and Fiddlesticks' Crowstorm will now be removed.

Verdict – A dying Garen has killed me before.  I was not pleased, and now people will stop swinging when they go down!

•    Guardian Angel now removes most positive buffs from your champion when it activates. For example, Soraka's Astral Blessing, Garen's Judgment, and Fiddlesticks' Crowstorm will now be removed.
•    Last Whisper unique armor penetration now functions with abilities (but still not against turrets)

Verdict – Very important buff to Last Whisper here that may actually make Pantheon competitive again with the other buffs to runes.

•    Soul Shroud has a new recipe: Kindlegem + Ruby Crystal + Mana Manipulator + 485 gold. Stats remain unchanged.
•    Kindlegem recipe price lowered to 375 from 425
•    Shurelya's Reverie recipe price increased to 550 from 500, total price unchanged from the previous patch
•    Malady (remake)
o    Recipe changed to: Dagger + Dagger + Amplifying Tome + 550 gold = 1825 total cost
o    Base stats changed to +50% attack speed, +25 ability power
o    Unique Passive changed to: Your physical attacks shred your target doing 20 magic damage and reducing their magic resistance by 6.
o    Magic resistance reduction stacks up to 4 times.

Verdict – A hybrid item at heart.  Jax loves this thing, and since he generally canÂ’t afford to go SorcerorÂ’s Shoes, this is the next best thing to making his lamppost hit for disgusting amounts.

•    Warmog's Armor
o    Combine cost reduced to 980 from 1100
o    Base stats increased to 920 health from 770 health
o    Bonuses now cap at 450 health and 15 hp/5
o    Unique Passive changed to: Permanently gain 4.5 health and .15 health regen per 5 sec per minion kill. Champion kills and assists grant 45 health and 1.5 health Regen per 5 sec. Bonuses cap at +450 health, and +15 health Regen per 5.

Verdict – Warmog’s is now better, but is it worth it yet? Probably not, it’s still too specific.

•    Atma's Impaler unique passive tooltip clarified to state that it adds to your bonus attack damage
•    Rod of Ages base stats increased to 450 health, 525 mana and 60 ability power from 360 health, 425 mana and 50 ability power
•    Rod of Ages bonus cap reduced to 180 health, 200 mana and 20 ability power, from 270 health, 300 mana and 30 ability power
•    Fixed a bug that allowed Quicksilver Sash to be affected by cooldown reduction
•    Quicksilver Sash cooldown reduced to 105 seconds from 120 seconds

•    Lesser Mark, Mark, and Greater Mark of Desolation armor penetration reduced by 15%
•    Lesser Mark, Mark, and Greater Mark of Strength damage increased by 200%
•    Lesser Mark, Mark, and Greater Mark of Might damage per level increased by 35%
•    Lesser Glyph, Glyph, and Greater Glyph of Strength damage increased by 200%
•    Lesser Glyph, Glyph, and Greater Glyph of Might damage per level increased by 35%
•    Lesser Seal, Seal, and Greater Seal of Strength damage increased by 200%
•    Lesser Seal, Seal, and Greater Seal of Might damage increased by 35%
•    Lesser Quintessence, Quintessence, and Greater Quintessence of Desolation armor penetration reduced by 15%

Verdict – Of particular note here are the attack damage runes.  Stacking these can give a person +30 damage at level 1.  If you see a Pantheon taking mid with this setup, swap and let someone else die repeatedly.

•    Zooming in will now match its previous functionality where scrolling results in zooming in instead of zooming out
•    Summoner Flash no longer breaks stealth
•    Updated selection radii for a number of champions

•    Pentakill Mordekaiser's size has been increased

Verdict – Have you seen that guitar?  He needs to be huge!

Final Words
A great step forward, this patch levels the playing field greatly for a lot of heroes, both in the form of nerfs and buffs.  Jax hasnÂ’t had much time out of the spotlight, and heÂ’ll be back in it at this rate.  Eve will slowly become viable as she receives test realm buffs.  And for the first time in forever, a large set of rune changes to stir things up and make picking your runes a more difficult decision than ‘armor penetration or magic penetration?Â’  Bravo, Riot, and see you all on the fields of SummonerÂ’s Rift!
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