League of Legends 5.5

It’s been a while since the last time I really dove into some patch notes for League of Legends, but this time there is much to talk about. Full patch notes are available here, but I’ll be going over the most pertinent bits. First and foremost, Bard, the new champion that I’ve discussed recently is going to be a part of this patch. The new champion spotlight has finally turned up, so you can take a look at that now. I’ll wait.

He looks awesome, and I’m definitely looking forward to getting some play time in with the new champion. Beyond the new champion, there is also news of a visual rework for Kassadin, which is nice to hear, because he’s looked rather ugly for a while compared to newer champions. Take a look:


In the lower half you can see how the changes affect existing skins, and I happen to own the 2nd from the left, which looks much better now. This is just a visual rework though, so there haven’t been changes to his kit save for a tweak (nerf) to his ultimate. It’s nice to see the older champions getting some love, as many of them were starting to look a bit dated. The next wave of texture balances are also included in this patch, updating Cho’Gath, Janna, Taric and Warwick. They’re all in need of some help too, so good news all around.

Remember how Deathfire Grasp was removed a couple of patches ago, but it was said that a new item would be taking its place? Well that’s finally come to fruition. The new item is called Luden’s Echo, and it’s going to be a nice item for many AP carries.

Luden’s Echo


Our new 120 ability power item is here to fill the void left by the passing of Deathfire Grasp (rest in pieces). Goals up front: we want to provide a unique item that helps out movement-focused, spell-slinging mages, like kitey Lux, bursty-train Akali, or even spell-slingy (that’s a word) Karthus. Try it out and let us know what combinations work with you – we’ll be keeping a close eye here as new experiments get brought out. It’s also important to note that this works on spell hits, not basic attacks!

RECIPE: Needlessly Large Rod + Aether Wisp + 650 gold (total cost: 3100 gold)
UNIQUE PASSIVE: Gains charges upon moving or casting. At 100 charges, the next spell hit expends all charges to deal 100 (+0.15 ability power) bonus magic damage to up to 4 targets on hit. Applies spell Effects (e.g., Spell Vamp, Rylai’s, etc).

So basically we’re looking at the Statikk Shiv for AP carries. I like getting the extra movement speed as well, because mages tend to be pretty slow. Another new item is being added as well, which is a new part of the build path for Sunfire Cape, but also part of a new jungler item that replaces the juggernaut item for tanky junglers. Behold, Bami’s Cinder:

Bami’s Cinder

Baby sunfire.

We’ve mentioned this before, but one of our goals with this ‘new’ tanky jungle enchant was to provide an item that not only provides valuable tank stats but also helps junglers with their early to mid game clears. We’ve had to be very careful in balancing champions with this new item (ie: Amumu and Sejuani probably don’t need anything in addition to the new Cinder), but we’re excited to see what possibilities emerge. Want to play a tank jungler? GET FIRED.

RECIPE: Ruby Crystal + 600 gold (1000 gold total)
UNIQUE PASSIVE: Immolate – Deals 5 (+ 1 per champion level) magic damage to nearby enemies. Deals 50% bonus damage to minions and monsters.

Otherwise, there’s mostly balance tweaks and minor changes that you can read about in the full notes if you’re so inclined. Also, the Summoner’s Rift Beta will have officially ended with the new patch, as they feel it is working as intended. Apparently that means we’ll have animated Defeat and Victory screens now. Nothing major, but a nice touch.

That’s about all for the patch notes, but there was one other news story I wanted to talk about briefly. A new part of the “launcher metagame” is coming, called Champion Mastery. I call this part of the “launcher metagame” because this is where it takes place, in the launcher, but also because I would lump runes/masteries and other things of that nature into part of the meta that you “play” when you aren’t in game. Anyway, it’s kind of convoluted at this point, but the gist of it is that you gain “mastery” by playing a particular champion over and over, but you gain more mastery if you play well. Each champion will basically have a individual leveling system that takes place out of the game. This is something done in other MOBAs, at least I know it’s happening in HotS. However, in that game the level means something for your in-game character, whereas this system in League seems more cosmetic. You get some sort of icon/border for maxing out the mastery of a particular champion, and I believe you’ll be able to look these things up on other people’s profiles. So you can tell if someone is really a great Vayne or not based on their mastery level. But since you earn mastery just for playing, you don’t have to perform well to get the mastery maxed out, you’ll just do it slower than a truly good Vayne player. So I’m not sure exactly what Riot is aiming for here, aside for something else to keep your eyes on and maybe encourage your continued play. This is going onto the PBE, so we won’t see it live for a bit, and it will be limited to Normal games on Summoner’s Rift. I’ll talk more about it when it goes live and I know more.

That’s about all I have this time around.

#leagueoflegends #patchnotes #championspotlight

Braum Champion Spotlight

Braum was teased a while back in the “Trials of the Poro” video that popped up. I commented on social media that he was most likely the next champ, and sure enough he was revealed shortly thereafter. We’ve known about his kit for a little while, but seeing it in action is always a better indicator. Finally, Riot gave us another option for support, and this time it’s tanky support. I own most if not all the support classes, including some of the “accepted ones” (read: Annie, Fiddle, etc.). I came to an early conclusion that I played a lot better with true supports, and ranged ones at that. I am only so-so with Taric and Leona, but I enjoy some of the other tanks like Shen, Renekton and Nautilus (though I play the latter in the Jungle rather than solo top). Thresh can be tanky but I haven’t practiced with him enough to be awesome (I have seen ridiculous plays from good Thresh players). So Braum feels right up my alley. His combination of crowd control and crowd control reduction fits right into a support role, and his key stats are defensive so there’s less focus on AD/AP. Feels like he would still be powerful even with a full support build. I am very interested in trying him out. His kit looks to be right at home on Howling Abyss.

Is it just me or does he seem to be the first anti-CC champion?

#leagueoflegends #championspotlight #braum #newchampion

Patch 4.3 (Vel’Koz)

It’s been a while since I’ve made any commentary on League of Legends’ patch notes, but this time around there are some portions that I feel are worth talking about. First up, this is the Vel’Koz patch, but according to the notes “Vel’Koz is somewhere in this patch but will be turned on at a later date.” That’s a bummer, but that does mean that he will turn up soon enough. They were kind enough to share his champion spotlight video though, so we get a little fix. I’m sharing it as well:

He is an interesting champion indeed, and one I am very much looking forward to playing. I’m not usually real big on the mage/mid types, but this is one of the few that appear to be of my playstyle. Poke champs FTW! Another small tidbit of news before I dive into the notes: Bonus RP was announced a few days ago, but has now been made available early, so if you were already planning on buying RP to pick up Vel’Koz (or something else maybe?) now is the time to do it. The breakdown is as follows:

  • $5.00 – 650 RP
  • $10.00 – 1460 RP (1300 + 80 standard bonus RP + 80 extra bonus RP)
  • $20.00 – 3000 RP (2600 + 200 standard bonus RP + 200 extra bonus RP)
  • $35.00 – 5450 RP (4550 + 450 standard bonus RP + 450 extra bonus RP)
  • $50.00 – 7900 RP (6500 + 700 standard bonus RP + 700 extra bonus RP)
  • $100.00 – 17000 RP (13000 + 2000 standard bonus RP + 2000 extra bonus RP)

Now, onto the notes. If you recall the other day I mentioned how I had been playing Hexakill (the new featured game mode if you’re wondering) and that in every game I saw at least one Teemo. The reason for this is simple, Teemo can help in the vision battle with his shrooms, and they are deadly when he builds enough AP. Having the extra slot means you can have that additional utility without losing the viability of the lane you would normally place him in. Teemo can duo with anyone, so he can be thrown anywhere and late game will cause havoc. It seems I am not the only one who thinks Teemo’s shrooms are ridiculous late game, and this nerf proves it:

Teemo’s shrooms are now slightly less annoying.

“Late game, Teemos stacking pure AP could pretty much opt out of fighting by laying deathshrooms everywhere and spamming the laugh button. If you’re ever close to losing it after dying to a shroom, just remember; millions of Teemos die each day .”

R – Noxious Trap

Yasuo is also getting a nerf to his shield, how much this affects his power remains to be seen. Yasuo is scary if he gets fed. I’ve never had him on my team, but every time I’ve faced him I’ve been on the losing end of the game.

We’ve reduced Way of the Wanderer’s shield duration as well as its value at higher levels.

“We want to further emphasize Yasuo’s defensive weaknesses, like triggering his shield with a basic attack and then waiting out the duration, or making him more vulnerable to lots of things hitting him at the same time.”

Passive – Way of the Wanderer

SHIELD DURATION 2 seconds ⇒ 1.5 seconds
SHIELD (ROUGH VALUES) 60~690 ⇒ 60~470
SHIELD (REAL VALUES) 60/65/70/75/85/95/110/125/145/170/200/240/290/350/420/500/590/690 ⇒ 60/65/70/75/80/90/100/110/125/140/160/185/215/250/290/340/400/470

Fear as a mechanic is getting re-worked all the way around. Fiddlesticks has more than one change, but the following changes for his fear also affect Nocturne and Shaco’s boxes.

In addition to the Terrify changes, we’ve increased Drain’s cast range.

Q – Terrify

UTILITY Affected units run around in fear ⇒ Affected units now run away from Fiddlesticks with impaired movement

W – Drain

CAST RANGE 475 ⇒ 575 (tether range remains at 750)

I’m not sure that I like these fear changes. When the enemies ran in random patterns, they still stayed confined to a small area, whereas now they will be running away from the enemy. In a case where you trigger fear on an enemy  near a turret, it will now run into turret range instead of staying out of range where you or your group can kill them before they escape. There are other ways this can also be a hindrance. Now looking at items, first up is TotG:<

Tear of the Goddess

“Not enough tears on the Rift.”

NEW PASSIVE Additionally grants +1 maximum mana per 8 seconds

I like this change as a different way to build your AP carries or other mana dependent champs. Not only do you get the original passive where each spell gives you more mana, but now there is also mana regen, eliminating the need for a different item for regen. Many times I would find myself build this and a chalice in the early game, and that doesn’t provide any AP scaling at all. In this case, you can either focus on more AP with more mana, or less AP with CDR and MR, and don’t necessarily need both items. Build diversity is great.


HEALTH180 ⇒ 150
TOTAL COST 950 gold ⇒ 800 gold

Sightstone is being tweaked slightly, in that the health gained is lowered but also the cost to create. That is affected by the ruby crystal that has been tweaked in the same way. The upgraded Sightstone is also affected this way. I’m not sure that I like the fact that all of the +HP items have had their health reduced, but at the same time it is nice to be able to get them earlier. These three items affected are integral to a support role, and with the gains on gold production of late, perhaps this will help with durability early on, in its own way.

Finally, all of the gold producing items from the recent “Support Love Patch” have all been tweaked, but I’m not going to cover all three. I usually run Sona support, and I usually use Spellthief’s Edge. The Edge’s passive has been made to grant additional attack damage to champions and buildings along with the gold, but the AP portion has been nerfed. I dislike any nerf to AP for supports because its hard enough to come by, but once you build through the line and get to Frost Queen’s Claim, you’re only losing 10 AP overall, so it’s really not that big of a deal. They shifted that over to AD. With the way I have been using Hybrid Penetration Marks, this will actually help me with consistent harass damage. The Active on the final build has also changed in that instead of targeting an ally and giving them an aura of slow, you now shoot a projectile that has the same effect.

Check out the Full Patch Notes for other bits I didn’t cover.

Patch 3.15

The first official Preseason patch, version 3.15 was announced today. Usually I’m pretty excited for new patch notes, because that usually means there’s a bunch of new stuff to go over. This time around I’m not feeling it as much. This is partially due to the fact that I have been focusing my time elsewhere (you’ll notice I haven’t been talking about playing the game much as of late), and partially due to this patch being a little light on “good stuff.” Really, the patch is just a bunch of balance tweaks. This really doesn’t do much in the way of changing strategies or anything else. Supposedly there are reworks in progress. Snowdown should be here soon, and that will probably get me playing some more, as I really liked the concept of the next featured game mode. But changes to Summoner Spells, Runes, Team Builder, and some other features that have been announced have not come into fruition. Until that time, I don’t think I’ll have a lot to write about pertaining to League of Legends. For the full patch notes, click here.

The newest champion to join the league, Yasuo, has been completed and is supposed to be included in this patch. If Yasuo is anything like the last I-don’t-know-how-many champions, he won’t make it in during the patch, and will be released later on. But as news has been slow from Riot, perhaps he really will release with the patch, and I assume Snowdown will also be a part of it. They’ve teased the new Singed and Lulu skins, and the Legacy Vault has been open for some time (though none of the snowdown skins — new or old — have shown up yet). Still, my first impressions of Yasuo left me feeling like he was an uninteresting champion, and not my play style. That opinion has changed, much like I thought it would, after seeing the new Champion Spotlight video:

I can see all sorts of mobility, some CC and spike damage. This is how I like to play champions, and being a fighter you can typically build them tanky and still have good damage output. People fear my tank builds on Bruisers. I can see Yasuo being a lot of fun, and look forward to getting to try him out.


I mean really, who doesn’t like a samurai?


Get Excited!

I’m actually really looking forward to playing Jinx. She seems much more up my alley than Lucian or Quinn were. She has some abilities that are very similar to Ezreal (her ultimate) and Caitlyn (her poke/traps), and then some of her own flair. She seems less gimicky than recent marksmen, and more dedicated to straight up chaos. I still can’t get over the Harley Quinn inspiration. I’m almost willing to bet that if you ask the lead designer that they would admit to the inspiration. I made this statement before, but if you had doubts, just watch this music video:

If you don’t seem the similarities now, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s pretty blatant. This is the steampunk Harley Quinn. The song is pretty catchy too, though isn’t really my style of music. I want a punk rock Twitch music video. Do it, Riot.

Today the Champion Spotlight for Jinx was posted, though I’m not sure if that means that she’s made her way into the game yet or not. I haven’t played any today, so you’ll have to find out for yourself. But if you want to see her in action in-game, here’s the video:

She looks like fun, no?