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

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