Another patch is about ready to hit the Public Beta Environment, so it’s time to take an in-depth look at a few of the potential updates slated to hit the Fields of Justice. We won’t cover everything, and some of this is likely to change based on your feedback, but here’s what you can expect when you log into the PBE.
League of Rengar
After his initial release, we made a series of improvements to help Rengar live up to his reputation as the ultimate predator. They worked – so well, in fact, that even after one round of nerfs Rengar’s still wreaking havoc all over the Fields of Justice.
To dial back some of the extra kick that we gave the Pridestalker, we’ve got a series of upcoming changes. Step one was taking the bonus from a Ferocity-charged Savagery attack down to a more reasonable level. We’re also reducing his base Health Regen to make him less sustainable in lane. Because his base survivability was so high, Rengar players were able to dump a disproportionate amount of their Ferocity into raw damage potential. This made him an incredibly frustrating lane bully. With his Health Regen at a more reasonable level, Rengar will now have to balance his Ferocity between sustaining with Battle Roar and raw ganking potential.
In addition to his laning presence, Rengar was able to abuse his ultimate to escape from sticky situations a little too easily. Since we wanted this ability to be about hunting people down and killing them, rather than split pushing and vanishing into the woods, we decided to reduce total stealth duration on Thrill of the Hunt and increase the cooldown. This should give the decision to go on the hunt a bit more gravitas.
Evelynn Makes Widows
Since the remake, the Widowmaker has really been living up to her name, and Agony’s Embrace has been causing tragic moments for champions all across the Fields of Justice. In an effort to mitigate the number of traumatized players Eve’s been leaving in her wake, we’re going to be dialing back the Ability Power ratio on her ultimate quite a bit. This should help to prevent her from snowballing out of control as the game goes on and she racks up AP.
Evelynn’s ultimate was intended to work as a great initiation tool, slowing enemies and giving Evelynn the shield she needed to stay up through a team fight. In conjunction with a Deathfire Grasp, however, it can brutally spike down an enemy before they can react.
While we’re on the subject, Deathfire Grasp is a particularly challenging item to balance because adding an additional nuke to an already bursty mage (like Evelynn) can be a rather scary proposition. Because the stats it offers are already so desirable, there’s almost no downside to folding the active ability on DFG in with your standard spell combo and simply blowing people up.
Because of the power the active brings to the table, we’ll be scaling back stat bonuses attached to DFG. We’re also scaling back the base damage on the active effect, but increasing the AP ratio to move it more toward the intended function of dealing with big, beefy tanks later in the game when you’ve had time to build up a bunch of Ability Power.
Syndra is getting a ton of quality of life improvements in the upcoming patch that should make her a lot easier to use effectively. While her overall utility placed her in a pretty strong position, getting the most out of the Dark Sovereign could be prohibitively tricky. In the new patch, her abilities should function much more intuitively. We also fixed a couple of nasty bugs that could prevent Force of Will, Scatter the Weak, or even Unleashed Power from functioning as intended, which could really hurt your game if you were relying on one them to keep an enemy at bay, set up a combo, or burst somebody down.
Jayce Gets Hammered
Jayce is proving a bit more formidable than we’d intended. The combination of Acceleration Gate and Shock Blast provides him with too much low cost poke, particularly for how difficult it can be to dodge the combo. To make Jayce players choose their shots a bit more carefully, we’re increasing the Mana cost on Acceleration Gate to make him a bit less frustrating to fight against.
We also removed the flat base damage from Thundering Blow to make early exchanges with the Defender of Tomorrow a bit less heavy hitting. We’d always intended for this skill to be a disengage tool, and having it function as his hardest hitting nuke made it a bit too powerful. Even with just the percentage damage and Attack Damage ratio to carry it, it still hits pretty hard, but should make the idea of exchanging combos with Jayce a little less of an intimidating proposition.
Sona and Blitzcrank are two supports who both bring a lot to the table, but both are actually too durable for the functions their currently serve. To make sure they pay the price for mistakes they might make in lane, we’ll be dialing back the base stats on both of these popular support champions.
For Sona, we really want to preserve the awesome poke gameplay she has with Hymn of Valor and Power Chord, but we still want her to be vulnerable when she overextends. She’s so safe in lane right now that other supports are actually less viable options by comparison. By taking her down a peg, we think we’ll actually open up the playing field in bottom lane to even more support characters.
While Blitz needs to be a great deal more durable than Sona to fill his role, right now he’s so resilient that he’s able to initiate with relatively little risk. While pulling an opponent is still definitely a viable way to initiate, Blitzcrank’s tanky attributes allow him to simply use Overdrive to run in and open with Power Fist, and then yank the opponent back into range with Rocket Grab as they start to run away. We’re pleased to see these balls-out Power Fist charges, but we’d like them to serve as more of a high-risk gambit than they currently are.
Ezreal’s Essence Fluxes
Ezreal’s been a pretty consistently dominant force in the AD carry lineup since his induction into the League, albeit with a significant learning curve. Ezreal was always intended to be a slippery, long-range, high-skill champion who relied on his extreme mobility and long range poke to take down enemies. Unfortunately, right now, the Attack Speed debuff on Essence Flux is so powerful that it allows him to dominate 1 v 1 duels without doing any of that.
In the upcoming patch, we’re removing the Attack Speed debuff on Essence Flux to prevent the Prodigal Explorer from simply casting his W on an adversary and then finishing off his crippled opponent with repeated attacks. This should force Ezreal players to be quicker on their feet and win duels through superior positioning rather than a brutal debuff.
Phage and Trinity Force
On a related note, we’re also bringing the slow effect on both Phage and Trinity Force down a peg. While this isn’t a direct nerf, both Ezreal and Corki (the two prime Trinity Force customers) can snowball pretty heavily through the added chasing potential that these items provide. To give injured opponents a better chance to escape from attackers both in top and bottom lane, we are reducing the slow effect applied by ranged attacks on both items, and reducing the slow duration on Phage.