Pre-Season 2015 (Part Two)

As promised, here is part two of the new stuff being introduced in the Preseason of League of Legends’ 5th season. You can get caught up with what was covered in Part One, or view the full Patch Notes. When you’re ready to continue, here goes:

Changes to the Jungle are immense this time around. I split up my coverage of these notes because the last post was becoming a run-on, and there was still so much more to go over. First up, the new camps being added on both sides of the map in the river, where a monster called the “Rift Scuttler” is being added. Not only is this monster a bit different in that he doesn’t attack, and actually tries to evade damage, but he also adds a huge boon to all teammates, rather than just the jungler who killed him. “Grants vision and a speed boost in front of either Dragon Pit or Baron Pit for 75 seconds upon death.” The vision granted is great not only because it’s free, but also because it can’t be countered like wards can. The speed boost is great for aiding other lanes as well, so this will surely be a hotly contested spawn.

Experience and pacing in the jungle have been changed as well, mainly to allow for a variety of junglers to reemerge. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen carry junglers (especially of the AP variety) as the meta shifted to those best suited towards fast clears and ganking. I like the fact that we might see some new faces coming to kill us, so I’m all about these changes. Smite has been retooled to do more than help secure buff/objective kills, and now grants buffs depending on what camp you use them on:

KRUGS  Smiting the Krug grants Gift of Heavy Hands – stuns minions and monsters every 1st and 5th hit. Your first attack against a turret deals 50 (+15 per level) true damage but consumes this buff. Lasts 90 seconds.
RAPTORS  Smiting the Raptor grants Razor Sharp – gives you a warning and magical sight for 10 seconds when an enemy ward spots you. Lasts 90 seconds, with 1 charge.
MURKWOLVES  Smiting the Murkwolf creates a Rift Spirit – summons a Rift Spirit that watches over a portion of the jungle. Lasts 90 seconds, but that timer goes down when the spirit chases enemies.
GROMP  Smiting the Gromp grants Gift of the Toadstool – attackers are poisoned for 6 (+ 6 per level) magic damage over 3 seconds. Lasts 90 seconds.
RED BRAMBLEBACK  Restores 20% of maximum health
BLUE SENTINEL  Restores 25% of maimum mana

Not only are some of these buffs amazing, but I can see where failing as a jungler will be more difficult. You’ll still need to know your champ and understand rotations, when to gank, when to counter jungle, etc. — the mark of a better than average jungler — but now dying to these neutral creeps will be much harder to do. Not only do you get sweet buffs from the camps, the jungler items have been revised once again, and I think in better ways than last year’s additions. Hunter’s Machete is still present, but it builds into more specific items that will help different jungler types:

Poacher’s Knife (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – SCAVENGING SMITE  When you Smite and kill a large monster in the enemy jungle, the cooldown of Smite is halved, you gain +20 bonus gold, and you gain 175% increased Movement Speed decaying over 2 seconds
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

Ranger’s Trailblazer (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – BLASTING SMITE  The cooldown of Smite is reduced by 15 seconds. Smite also deals half damage to all monsters and enemy minions near the target and stuns them for 1.5 seconds. Casting Smite on a monster restores 15% of missing health and mana.
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

Skirmisher’s Sabre (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – CHALLENGING SMITE  Smite can be cast on enemy champions, marking them for 6 seconds. While marked, you deal 18-69 bonus true damage to them on hit, have vision of them, and reduce their damage to you by 20%.
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

Stalker’s Blade (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – CHILLING SMITE  Smite can be cast on enemy champions, dealing 28-164 true damage and reducing their movement speed by 50% for 2 seconds
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

These can be further enhance with the following enchantments:

Enchantment – Devourer (NEW)

RECIPE  Dagger + Dagger + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 600 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold
PASSIVE – DEVOURING  Killing large monsters increases the magic damage of this item by +1. Champion kills or assists increase the magic damage of this item by +2.

Enchantment – Juggernaut (NEW)

RECIPE  Kindlegem + Ruby Crystal + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 250 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold

Enchantment – Magus (NEW)

RECIPE  Fiendish Codex + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 680 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold

Enchantment – Warrior (NEW)

RECIPE  Brutalizer + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 163 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold

Not only is there a lot to absorb here, but there’s a lot of awesome things that can go down. And we’re just talking about Junglers here, not the other item reworks that can potentially further complicate things for people in the role. I thought I was pretty decent at it before, but it looks like it’s going to take a lot of practice to get all of this down. Getting away from jungling, here’s a new set of consumables for the rest of us (but Junglers too!):

Elixir of Iron (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FOR  +25% increased size, +25% slow resistance, +25% tenacity, and the Path of Iron buff for 3 minutes
PATH OF IRON  Moving leaves a path behind that boosts allied champion’s movement speed by 15%

Elixir of Ruin (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FOR  +250 health, +15% bonus damage to turrets, and the Siege Commander buff for 3 minutes
SIEGE COMMANDER  Nearby minions gain +15% bonus damage to turrets and gain movement speed based on your movement speed.

Elixir of Sorcery (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FOR  +40 ability power, +15 mana regeneration per 5 seconds, and the Sorcery buff for 3 minutes
SORCERY  Damaging a champion or turret deals 25 bonus true damage. This effect has a 5 second cooldown versus champions but no cooldown versus turrets.

Elixir of Wrath (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FORBLOODLUST!!!! +25 attack damage and the Bloodlust buff for 3 minutes
BLOODLUST  Dealing physical damage to champions heals for +10% of the damage dealt. Scoring a kill or assist extends the duration of this Elixir by 30 seconds.

These are obviously set up for AD/AP and utility builds, but are still all very useful and I can see where they will come in handy during all stages of the game. Early buy for gank power? Late game turret pushing? Yeah, these potions can get it done for you. After this point the notes delve into the nitty gritty of item changes that are mostly irrelevant. Negatron cloak has been removed, and now any item that used to require it builds from the null-magic mantle. This is fine, as it means you no longer have to worry about needing magic resist NOW but needing MOAR GOLD to get the negatron, so it will build into what you want. I like the change. Armor is working similarly, though the chain mail vest is staying, but builds from the cloth armor. As I said in the last post, magic regen is switching from flat to % based, meaning items like Chalice of Harmony are changed to reflect that. I was surprised to see that a few items were removed altogether, but it looks like Riot is planning to implement them in different ways in the future:

We realized in the case of each of these items that ‘supporting’ them or allowing them to continue to exist would simply cause more harm for game health than actual benefits. Either being abusable in edge cases (hello Sword of the Divine Rengar), or being ‘trap’ items that are rarely (if ever) the correct strategic purchase. Some may return at a later date!

Sword of the Divine
Executioner’s Calling
Atma’s Impaler

Atma’s is really the only item on the list that I use semi-regularly, but if they can find a way to get that +AD based on health back into the game, I’m fine with the change. The remainder of the notes deal with general bug fixes and improvements. Overall, the preseason is already looking to be much better than the last, and I’m looking forward to getting some new experiences in game. I will continue on with this series as more information is released, so stay tuned!

#leagueoflegends #preseason #patchnotes

Pre-Season 2015 (Part One)

Season 4 is officially over (actually has been for a week or two) and now the Preseason changes are coming down the pipeline. Recently, Riot opened up the newly updated Summoner’s Rift to a few specific queues, and I have been spending much of my time playing that. All queues have now been opened up, so that means you can’t avoid seeing the beautiful new Rift! I have recommitted to playing more League this season, including trying my hand at ranked play again, after having reached Silver in season 3 and taken season 4 off. Season 5 looks to change up the formula in so many ways, it will be interesting to see the new metas that emerge.

The biggest news in the Preseason is obviously the changes that are heading to the Rift, and there are many of those to talk about. I’ll start you off with a primer before digging deeper:

That video described some of the biggest changes, but there are many more hidden in the patch notes, and more to come. Typically masteries and runes are tweaked ever so slightly, though Riot has said that isn’t a focal point this time around. Perhaps not, but I suspect we will see adjustments nonetheless. If we do, I’ll be sure to cover those at a later date, if not, I will make a new post detailing what I use, as I know that my rune/mastery builds from last season still receive heavy traffic. In the event that you’d rather read the following information from the horse’s mouth as it were, then feel free to follow these links:

Preseason Microsite
Full Patch 4.20 Notes

For those of you still here, I’ll dive more into what I found interesting in the notes. First off, let’s notate that Maokai just received a facelift. This is cool for me because I just purchased him and found out what a badass champ he is in the top lane. This is just a change to his in-game appearance, splash art and skin appearances, his kit is unchanged.


Kalista, a new Marksman has also been added to the game, and she looks like a ton of fun. Definitely a mobile champion in the vein of newer carries, though her dependence on her support is more pronounced. She has the potential to be something great, but don’t mind me… I thought Quinn looked awesome to begin with and look how well she warms the bench these days. Here’s Kalista’s champion spotlight which will describe her playstyle much better than I can:

Alright, so what else is going on in these patch notes? Well, you’ve gotten a taste with those videos above, now let’s dive into some of the particulars. I’m going to start from the top and pull directly from the notes, and add some commentary as well. So let’s do it!

Recommended Items
Helps more than you think: Recommended items for all champions have been updated
We have the technology: Recommended items now detect if you have Smite or not and change accordingly

This is a change I have been wanting for a very long time. Some champions may have been designed to go AD/AP but things change, or they are hybrids and rec items don’t reflect that. The 2nd part of this is amazing because I can’t count how many times I’ve played champs that can be played effectively top lane or in the jungle, and the rec items are set up for jungle when I’m playing top. Or vice versa. A nice change indeed, especially if you haven’t taken the time to make up your item sets out of game. I guess I should get around to doing that?

There’s a bunch of complex math stuff about changes to stat scaling per level, mana regneration changes (going from flat to percentage based, more on this later when we get to items), and then the usual “we changed this stuff on this champion” bit, and nothing there really stands out to me for commentary, except towards the end they list off a big chunk of champions and their skins that were rebalanced to bring them up to the quality level of the new Summoner’s Rift. I love the facelifting they’ve been doing, with the launcher, the maps, the champions, everything is looking really clean and polished.

Objective changes are huge and bring a bunch of different dynamics to the game, but the overall theme of this season is Strategic Diversity, and that sounds about right. As the video above hinted at, there have been changes to turrets, Baron, Dragon, and the Jungle. Let’s start with turrets.

COMPLICATED TURRET MATH   Inhibitor and Nexus turrets are much stronger in comparison to their previous versions. Sorry we can’t be more specific in terms of direct comparisons (lots of complicated math) – we can say the new turrets are roughly 1.5x or 2x stronger.
HEALTH REGENERATION  15 health per 5 seconds ⇒ 5 health per 5 seconds
ATTACK SPEED  0.83 ⇒ 4.0
WHAT ARMOR?  Ignores 82.5% of the target’s armor
DAMAGE REDUCTION  Reduces target’s damage dealt by 15%
MOVEMENT SLOW  Slows target’s movement speed by 10%
HEATING UP  With every hit, the beam gains 6 heat until 120 heat is reached. When the beam switches targets, heat is reset.
I’M FIRING MY LASERS!  Gains +0.0105% damage per point of heat, up to a maximum of +125% extra damage

That’s just the Nexus/Inhib turrets. Inner turrets are also getting some love:

SHIELDS FOR ALL  Inner turrets now have regenerating shields that affect both themselves and nearby allied champions. Additionally, all allied champions within 1100 range gain a growing shield over time, scaling to a maximum of a 200 health shield.
PROTECT THAT TURRET  The turret’s shield stops regenerating shields if it has taken damage within 30 seconds

Wow. Turrets just leveled up. Not only does the inner turret gain a shield but it spreads to allied champs? Nice way to stop that siege and discourage dive comps. Then if they do get by, the freaking lasers on the next set of turrets do crazy damage, damage reduction and slows. Sitting under turrets is going to be a thing of the past, and it looks like split pushing is going to take a hit. I’m sure there will still be people who can push the envelope though. Who knows what the pros will be doing?

So, Dragon. He’s not for gold anymore. He’s for buffs now. That’s not to mention the huge changes to jungle camps and what you gain from using Smite. What kind of buff does Dragon give exactly?

Killing Dragon now gives your team a permanent stacking buff called “Dragon Slayer”:
    • Dragon’s Might (1 stack): +8% total attack damage and ability power
    • Dragon’s Dominance (2 stacks): +15% damage to minions and monsters
    • Dragon’s Flight (3 stacks): +5% movement speed
    • Dragon’s Wrath (4 stacks): +15% damage to turrets and buildings
    • Aspect of the Dragon (5 stacks, repeatable): Doubles all other bonuses and your attacks burn enemies for 150 true damage over 5 seconds. Lasts 180 seconds.

That’s crazy. I mean, for the whole team? Controlling Dragon just became a hell of a lot more important. I am actually ok with the loss of gold, though I can see this being a negative thing if your team can’t secure any kills. That bonus gold sometimes swung things in your favor, if you get 1 out of 5 dragons that +8% AD/AP isn’t going to help as much I don’t think. But we’ll see how it plays out. Baron’s buff has also been redone, so that it gives you 40 AD/AP, a faster recall that gives a movespeed buff and faster healing so that you can recall and get back quickly without wasting as much of the buff’s time. It also empowers minions:

  • All Minions:
    • Now match 90% of average movement speed of nearby champions, up to a limit of 500 movement speed
    • Are resistant to slow effects
    • Non-super minions have 75% damage reduction versus area of effect, damage over time, and persistent effects
  • Melee Minions:
    • Gain +50% movement speed when within 800 units of enemy minions or turrets
    • Size is increased
    • +75 attack range
    • 75% damage reduction versus champions and minions
    • 30% damage reduction versus turrets (similar to cannon minions)
  • Ranged Minions:
    • +20 attack damage
    • +50% missile speed
    • +100 attack range
  • Cannon Minions:
    • +600 Attack Range
    • +50 Attack Damage, but Attack Speed is halved
    • Attacks are now Area of Effect (200 range) and deal 2x damage to Turrets.
  • Super Minions:
    • +25% Attack Speed.
    • Gain +50% Movement Speed when within 800 units of enemy minion or Turret.

That’s pretty cool too, and definitely adds to the philosophy of “get Baron and then end it.”

This is a huge update and being able to go over everything is going to take more than one post I fear. So I am going to stop here, but in my next related post, I’m going to dive into the Jungle changes and Item changes. See you then.

#leagueoflegends #patchnotes #preseason