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Greetings, Summoners.Chris "Pwyff" Tom & Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
Welcome to patch 5.12 - the one where we bring back AP junglers in pursuit of the ideal that is champion diversity (we are now imagining these patch note openers as very long episode titles). If you've gotten tired of us talking about diversity, a different way of putting it is that it all comes down to choice. Player perception is obviously huge when it comes to assessing what's ‘viable' in a game of League of Legends and, hopefully, through our efforts that viability choice comes down to personal preference and style, rather than straight up power. You'll see this most epitomized in our introduction of the new Runeglaive jungle enchantment - an item that hopes to ‘unlock' many AP junglers that, before, many felt were subpar for the position.
Second up, we've got some defensive tree mastery changes rolling out to provide you all with just a little more meaning to your mastery choices. While these aren't revolutionary in terms of how you should allocate your mastery points, we felt it was worth at least highlighting the changes to say that there are, flatly, more choices and better decisions to make. We'd love to get masteries to a place where you can feel like you're making real decisions and optimizing just right for your own style, so hopefully these changes go along with that philosophy.
And that's about it for this patch! Be sure to check out our four new visual effects updates (and dev blog!) on the way out, and take a gander at our behind-the-scenes work on line missiles / skillshots. Ciao, friends!
Like we mentioned in our Visual Effects developer blog, League is an evolving game and, with each day, we're constantly pushing our own expectations forward. Ultimately this means we can always find opportunities to improve and iterate when we don't think we're hitting today's Clarity Bar(™). Much like our earlier texture work, we decided to do a VFX-modernization pass on a few older champions to tone down their visual noise, particularly in teamfights where they can drown out everything else that's happening. We've got four updates in 5.12, with a few more to come in later patches - at that point we'll take a step back to see how they've been doing and if y'all want more down the way!
The following champions have received updates to their ability visual effects:
Most line projectile skillshots have been recoded to detect collision in a clearer, more consistent way. There's some nuance here we'll explain below.
Long, technical story: we've been cleaning up our behind-the-scenes code for some time now, and our latest target is a group of abilities called "line missiles." Think of line missiles as projectile skillshots. For example, Ezreal's Q / W / R are all line missiles - his basic attacks are not. Before we explain that in a little more detail, let's talk the changes; this recode should fix two key issues: one, we're confident we fixed the bug where projectile skillshots would occasionally pass right through a unit and two, collision detection on skillshots should work based on a unit's hitbox rather than the center of their model.
That said, there's a very big difference between being 'called' a skillshot, and being coded as one. Not all line projectile skillshots are created equal, and this is definitely the case here.
Because we've been targeting code specifically, this change will fix many things but not everything. Sometimes what seems to be a skillshot is really just a projectile minion (hi, Syndra). In other words, this is our first step toward cleaning up projectile skillshot coding, not the final solution. You should see more consistency with skillshot collision and hitbox detection such as skillshots no longer going through targets (that's mostly what we're focused on), but there will be outliers. Be sure to let us know if you see any issues, and we'll have to parse carefully for what was impacted and what wasn't (also accounting for that delightful placebo effect).
Final note: because we want to roll this out in a safe way, this change will be turned on at a later point in time and in specific regions first so that we can monitor its impact. If all goes well, we'll turn it on across all regions and let you know in the next patch.
It's the little things, man.
Let's be real: people will still die if they're caught recalling with the shop open. The more important change here is that normalized recall window - a different way of putting is now all players should know precisely when they can stop an enemy recall and when it won't work. Previously it was a bit randomized (although the window was very short), but now it should be the same timing. Every time.
Ranger's Focus gains only one stack from W and R.
Ranger's Focus is intended to provide a big payoff in spikes of damage for investment in the form of time spent building up Focus stacks. Currently this isn't actually the case, with would-be divers of the Frost Archer finding themselves gunned down by a flurry before the fight even starts (often thanks to tossing Volley into a minion wave or horde of enemy champions) and gaining access to her steroid instantly. Removing her immediate access to its powerful damage boost evens the playing field for her predators, requiring her to stay frosty in order to focus them down.
Q's damage increased and mana cost lowered.
If you're a long-time Braum player (and deep down, who isn't) these changes probably look familiar to you - they're partial reverts of changes we made to lower his lane harassment and all-in potential almost a year ago. What's changed?
For one, the landscape of what supports are played in a duo lane is much different, meaning what was relatively ‘too strong' an offense for such a defensive champion has changed contextually as activating Concussive Blows isn't the lane-winning power swing it once was. With less instant-killing happening within Braum's passive windows, we're giving him some of his Winter's Bite back and making it less of a risk - and more of a reward - to poke at his opponents in hopes of turning the battle in his favor.
Mana per level up, overall Attack Speed down. Passive base damage and Q ratio lowered. R has a mana cost and has a smaller area-of-effect.
Ekko's changelist has a lot of moving parts, so we'll try and break down all the different things that are going on. From a conceptual level, Ekko's raw damage output is just too high for many to keep up with, often leaving his enemies little time to react to his three-hit-punch before he continues cleaning up or chrono-breaking back to the start. The specifics of which numbers are changing are targeted at his up-front burst rather than damage that's harder to set up, like Timewinder's second hit or Chronobreak's 4-second timesplosion. This has the extra benefit of cutting the effectiveness of his Tank builds that rely on base damage alone to get the biggest benefit out of Parallel Convergence and Chronobreak's delayed effects.
Lastly, we're preserving the long-standing tradition of ‘if a champion is out of mana, they're probably weaker' by making sure Chronobreak's mana cost exists. Maybe in another timeline, buddy.
Spider Form's W loses healing, but regains it on R. Rappel now grants a damage and healing bonus from R's attacks after landing.
Former Queen-of-the-Jungle, Elise is a champion whose baseline mechanics mean she's never too far from viability. Form swapping, crowd-control and a deadly mix of mobility, damage and sustain (among other things) mean she's definitely got a lot going on underneath the surface. What this means for us is that we have a very large set of levers or ‘raw number of things to tune on the kit' (be they ranges, numbers, or mechanics) such that we can make surgical changes to achieve a very direct result.
So what result are we looking for on Elise this time around? Juggling around her sustain mechanic and making it always-on keeps her topped off in the jungle and adds decisions about spider-tanking (something we think is a neat differentiation point between novice and veteran Elise players). On the flipside, her late-game has always left players feeling like she's a ‘cocoon-bot', thanks to her kit's natural lack of damage after her other abilities are maxed out. Rappel's changes in tandem with Spider Form's healing should create for an Elise that has an easier time in the very beginning and very end of a game where it feels like she needs to most help.
R's base damage slightly lowered, but has a significantly higher maximum damage.
Once on-par with Crowstorm and Curse of the Sad Mummy in terms of teamfighting terrors, Idol of Durand is a pretty big ask in the landscape of today's game. Fully channeling one through the enemy team's disruption (and onto the right targets, no less) is no simple task, so we're upping the reward for pulling it off.
Health Regen down. Q slows less, but scales with duration as well.
Graggy's been sitting on top of the competition for quite a while now due to his slow-yet-inevitable chain of locking his targets down and excessive sustain combining to make a grinding experience that's difficult to interact with. Cutting regeneration and the effectiveness of his quick-cast Barrel serve to break up his repeated CC/Gank cycles and offer opportunities for his opponents to fight back.
E's cooldown lowered.
Though still fresh in the minds of players as a dominant pick in professional play, Jarmander's been in a bit of a slump. While not in the worst shape, the last changes we made to him took him from being an ‘all-around good pick', providing tons of agnostic utility to any team composition, to being focused into more of a diver - one that's at home flagging-and-dragging his way into the backline and dunking on priority targets. While an even lower cooldown may have let him dive even better by having two flags up at once, giving him enough power to be another generalist pick would've been a Double Standard.
R's Armor and Magic Resist up.
Jax's stickiness and dueling capability in the mid and late-game are as strong as they've ever been, but in a world of death-ball comps and tanky moshpits the Grandmaster's feeling more like a novice and exploding a little too quickly when he steps into the ring. Slight tuning to his windowed durability shouldn't affect his 1v1 too greatly while making it easier to hop into skirmishes and give ‘em a piece of the champ.
W shields immediately. E gains a bunch of feel improvements.
Lux's changes this patch are more on the 'feel improvement' side of the spectrum than raw numbers tuning. Abilities that require a second cast to detonate have historically been more difficult to use for players that aren't in low-ping environments, so we're adding a 'pre-detonate' option (similar to Gragas' Barrel Roll and Ziggs' Satchel Charge) to Lucent Singularity, as well making Prismatic Barrier shield her instantly to pull off the same quick self-block plays that other champions with shields can.
W's base damage is less, but scales with Armor and hits a larger area-of-effect.
Like we said in our 5.11 notes, Malphite's changes to Brutal Strikes were all about getting the it to occupy a better space in his overall pattern. Now that he's successfully rock-slapping folks, we're briefly revisiting the ability's tuning to get it just right - specifically, reinforcing his Armor purchases and making you feel better about clobberin' minion waves and teamfights alike.
Ryze has a lot of changes beneath, but to help parse them we have to break down exactly what the issues with his ‘perma-root' case are, aside from all of the keyboards you've broken in the last week or two.
Let's nail down the first issue: counterplay. This one gets said a lot but to clarify - counterplay doesn't always mean ‘let's turn it into a skillshot!' - counterplay can exist on targeted abilities with levers like duration or cooldowns. In Ryze's case, getting supercharged violates pretty much all of these and leaving all but the most CC-Immune targets unable to do much else.
Next is the speed at which he's able to reach that power spike - Ryze has historically been a late-game champion, with much of his matches feeling like a ‘race against time' ala Nasus or Kog'Maw. When he's able to access that level of output as early as level 3 or 5, there's no time to mount an offense (or anything, really) to bring to the fight.
So how do we get to fixing those? Our start is lowering the maximum potential of his Rune Prison chaining (thus increasing his windows of ‘not-rooting you') and necessitating Overload as a first-max pushes back the point in the game that he's able to Ryze out on people significantly while making sure he isn't just the best once he does reach that state.
R steals more health.
Trundle's gone from one of our more untouched champions to a regular in the patch notes, so let's talk about that for a sec. Trundle's a champion that's both simplistic and satisfying - you hulk out, bash things with your club and block entrances with your pillar (freezing the ground around it to boot). It's a pretty sweet deal. So why the changes?
Simply put, Trundle's highly dependent on his opposing composition; moreso than most fighters in the league. While your Olaf's and Shyvana's would prefer your opponents not have many ways to escape their head-bashing antics, Trundle also demands his opponents have stats worth stealing. Chomping Malzahar's a lot less valuable than biting an AD-focused champion like Riven, and subjugating a team full of assassins and mages is far less exciting than a Nunu or Nasus with lots of health and resistances.
So what does this mean for Trundle? As with patch 5.9's changes to Frozen Pillar, we're leaning towards making it so when his abilities are good, they're really good. Subjugating a Cinderhulk user was always good - but boosting his royal ransacking should cement Trundle as the super-effective anti-tank he was always born to be. Hail to the King.
Tryndamere's crits now align with his basic attacks.
As one of the more terrifying threats in the League, Tryndamere occupies a very peculiar spot among the rest of the champions in terms of power level. When ahead, he's one of the few capable of taking on an entire base (including those foolish enough to defend it) - but when behind can fall flat, constantly diving into fights and being CC'd into oblivion. While this delicate balance between two extremes is one we've been cautious to tamper with in the past, even the barbarian king of split-pushing isn't beyond a feel improvement.
I'll give it to you straight - Trynd's critical strike animation ran a little longer than his basic attack, making it a frustrating occurrence when you'd accidentally cancel one just because the timing was off. Fixing this should make it slightly easier to execute your enemies as you climb their corpse-ladder towards Challenger. (To everyone else reading this: Just pick Nasus, man.)
Not much to see here. We noticed this interaction was sluggish, so a quick tune-up was in order to get Zil's combo back up to speed.
The Magus jungle enchantment has been replaced by the Runeglaive enchantment. We will now commence typing an essay on why this is important.
Up front: we want to broaden (you might say diversify) the number of champions that can tap into an AP jungle item. The main problem with Magus was that it didn't make champions functionally better at jungling (like say, Cinderhulk); instead, it gave champions who already jungled well a pretty large stat infusion in the midgame. What you end up with is the same effect observed with Luden's Echo or top lane Challenging Smite - a narrowed champion pool defined by who can, or cannot, use the item well.
At this point we might as well talk about Fiddlesticks, because he's both the prototypical example of a champion who uses Magus well (because strong base kit + stats = happy) while also being the least excited about this item change. First, we believe that Fiddlesticks has been an extremely strong jungler for some time now and don't think this item change will significantly hamper him, particularly since many Fiddle mains have been skipping their Magus upgrade to get Zhonya's early. That ends up sounding like a weird excuse though, so we'd prefer to talk about this in our second lens: outliers.
With each item, there are a broad group of champions that can ‘tap into' that item, with some being more effective than others. When that group becomes too broad, you end up trying to either balance the item for both ends of the spectrum (and make it mediocre for everyone), or you narrow it down to a very specific group (and risk tying that group's balance directly to the item). Our changes to the old Black Cleaver were driven very much by the former challenge, and our changes to Magus now are focused on the latter. In short, much like the changes from Juggernaut to Cinderhulk, there will be a few cases where champions are sadder with a less optimized purchase, but there should also be significantly more that feel viable with the new item. We'll be keeping a close eye as we see who picks it up.
No longer turns ‘on' until you deliberately enter combat.
We implemented a version of this change with the original Cinderhulk, where it would only start dealing aura damage to jungle monsters when you entered combat. With all other units (minions, champions, etc), Cinderhulk was just perpetually dealing damage. This change now toggles all of that off - unless the Cinderhulk wearer enters combat (by being attacked or attacking something), they won't deal fire aura damage. So now you can pass by a clashing minion wave without de-toggling your Boots of Mobility, unless a minion happens to whomp you in the face.
Lots of moving parts here, so let's talk about them!
Up front, we wanted to give more rewards for investing deeply into defensive masteries. That said, we know that introducing too much disruption via the mastery system in the middle of a season is probably not the best for anyone, but we felt we could make iterative improvements (more choice! more expression!) where we can.
So let's get to some of the smaller contextual changes. Some of you might be puzzled at the shift from Oppression to a Tier 5 mastery (along with a nerf) - it was actually one of the most statistically powerful masteries to take in the game because it also worked with perpetual aura machines like Frozen Heart (yes, attacking slower is considered “impaired movement,” let's not argue semantics). Other changes to highlight include the shift of Swiftness down to Tier 1 to see if it could potentially compete as a choice against slow-heavy teams (particularly on Marksmen going 9 points in). Finally, the introduction of Adaptive Armor allows champions to itemize heavily in armor or magic resistances to survive their lane matchups, even if the overall composition of the opposing team is loaded up on magic or attack damage, respectively. We suggest you check out some of these new masteries, and see how they can work in your games!
Base lasers no longer slow or reduce damage dealt by the targets they are lasering.
Right now, League has evolved pretty heavily toward teamfight style compositions being the go-to strategy - especially in pro level play. In trying to offer more diversity in strategic choices (one might say strategic diversity), we've identified turret death lasers as being the ones inhibiting alternative paths to victory (like split-pushing). We realize that, at the start of the season, we put these mechanics on to curb split pushing, but we're going deliberately hard to see if we can actually push meaningful shifts in strategy. This may also up the ante for turret-diving teams when trying to finish games off (which isn't a bad thing), but we're more aiming to enable split pushing here.
Your community rewards earned during Team Up Week will be rolling out during 5.12! Head to the event hub for details.
Chroma Packs re-imagine champs and skins in themed color variations so you can personalize your look on the battlefield! Slingshot your way here for a refresher on the details.
Wave 2 will be coming out later during patch 5.12 with the following new Chroma Packs: