Welcome to patch 4.16! We've got a sizeable Gameplay Update to everyone's favorite snake lady Cassiopeia, but aside from that we're going pretty light on the balance side. Similar to 4.15, a lot of the changes you'll see below are focused on smoothing out some champion interactions, or just plain ol' bugfixin' goodness (Check out the context below for what's happening with Wall-Slams!)
For all things non-balance though, we've got a little more meat for you. First up, in addition to her Gameplay Update we mentioned earlier, Cassiopeia is joined by Renekton for updates to their visuals! Follow that up with new base splash arts for the desert-dwelling duo and Akali and Orianna, and this patch is set to delight all the art fans out there.
As we mentioned last patch, we've started patching some finished pieces of Summoner's Rift to the live environment in order to minimize the size (and download times) of the eventual Summoner's Rift launch patch. These pieces aren't usable and we don't have an official release date - for now these pieces will just be preemptively sitting on your hard drives.
That's it for me! Check out the full breakdown in the notes below, and be careful out on the Rift - there's been a lot of sandstorms recently...
Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
Cassi's received a gameplay update! Focusing on her new passive Aspect of the Serpent, she's now more about stacking up poisons for massive end-game scaling than being a dominant laning force. Mana costs, cooldowns, base damage and ratios have all been mixed up to compensate - read below for the numbers!
Cassiopeia's high DPS has always sat alongside her poison as defining characteristics of the serpent lady. Historically however, these traits have led to oppressive gameplay that's as challenging for the opponent to deal with as it is to understand (THANKS DAMAGE OVER TIME). To preserve both sides of what makes Cassi unique, we realized we had to modify the relationship between the two.
In this update, the key to Cassiopeia's heavy-hitting damage potential lies within her new passive, Aspect of the Serpent. Cassi builds power throughout the game as she poisons enemy champions, unlocking stat bonuses to fuel her (now more powerful) Twin Fang. This new aspect (heh) of growing her end-game scaling allows us to solidly push her into the 'completely-absurd-damage-potential' space she's currently hanging around. This comes at the cost of some early game power, but make no mistake - you can expect to see a late-game Cassiopeia as one of the most potent damage threats in the League.
Cassiopeia permanently gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent for each second that she has poisoned an enemy champion, for each poisoned unit that she kills, and every time she hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang. Caps at 400 stacks.
Gnar's ultimate and similar skills work with player-made terrain (this time, Jarvan's actually helping). Part one of three.
Continuing to clean up GNAR! with some consistency work across all wall-slams. As with the changes to Poppy and Vayne you'll see below, we'll be watching to see the effects of these changes play out and ready to adjust accordingly.
Tried to make a joke, but Poppy doesn't know any. Part two of three.
Full disclosure - we're not 100% on what the impact of changing this will be as it's hard to know how much random Energy this was giving Shen in teamfights. If Shen needs love as a result we're happy to give it, but he shouldn't have to rely on a bug for power.
In 4.13 we introduced a line indicator (similar to Xerath) over his previous circular one, hoping it would increase accuracy and satisfaction for Varus players - as it turns out, neither of those things happened (OOPS) so we're taking it back to the original. Thanks for the feedback, y'all!
As if Vayne players needed any more highlight reel material. Part three of three.
Tides of Blood is now doing what everyone thought it was doing already.
The decision to fix this wasn't for power reasons, but rather to fulfill player expectations on how Tides of Blood should work. We'll be monitoring to make sure he doesn't go crazy, but for now Vlad players are a little less thirsty.
With the Chronokeeper back in the spotlight, we figured it's as good a time as any to help players realize when he's got their back.
As we've mentioned previously, the splash art team is engaged in a long-term effort to update our oldest base splashes. We've got a few more fresh updates for this patch. Yes, this is the same context we used in 4.15.
Ascension, our next Featured Game Mode, is coming shortly after the release of patch 4.16! More information soon - keep an eye out for all the details!