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Welcome to 6.20! For our twentieth patch this season, we got you a tree. The Green Father is around so make sure to see the forest for the trees, enjoy the brush all around the map, and don’t forget to hug Daisy!
Actually, scrap that last one.
Today, we’re revisiting some champions you probably won’t be surprised to see in the patch notes: Ashe, Vladimir, and Taliyah. They’ve had a rough couple of patches, so we’re looking to make some changes that make it easier to balance them in the future. Add in a few balance tweaks and a new champion, and we’re one patch closer to the pre-season.
On a clerical note, we’re continuing to use the top of the Champions list to ‘feature’ large or more contentious changes. Ashe starts with A, so she’d have been there anyway... Coincidence? We’ll let you decide.
Good luck, have fun.
The Green Father hasn't been out for long, but it's clear that would-be Ivern mains are having a tough time finding success on the Rift. We're targeting two specific issues for now: letting him take better advantage of Brushmaker's basic attack buff, and helping him scale better into the late-game. (The magic resist line is more of a 'buff fix' to make Ivern's stats consistent with most other champs.)
Passive crit slow is stronger but decays to normal faster. Q no longer fully resets Ashe’s attack timer.
With the last few tweaks to Ashe, we’ve delved pretty deep into the idea of what she should and shouldn’t be doing. Ashe should win fights by keeping opponents in the sweet spot between the range of her basic attacks and Volley, but not close enough to retaliate. When she can win stat-checks against opponents who get in range to fight back, much of that gameplay falls away.
Currently, Ashe’s opponents have few real options to deal with her. They can run (and be slowed until they die) or they can fight (and lose to her high dps). We’re upping Ashe's ability to keep opponents at a distance, but decreasing her damage so opponents have a little more time to close the gap and a fairer chance of winning the fight when they do.
We’ve been on a slow crusade to fix League’s cone spells, and this patch we arrive at Cho’Gath. Up until now, Cho’Gath’s Feral Scream decided who to hit based on when W was pressed - not when Feral Scream actually fired. Fixing this bug means opponents can now Flash, dash, or blink away from Feral Scream, which is a pretty sizable hit to its reliability. Our goal isn’t to make Cho’Gath weaker, so we’re giving him more opportunities to yell at people, plus a little more range to offset the “walking away in a straight line” case. That said, more screams = more silence, so we’re giving Cho’s enemies their speaking rights back a bit sooner.
E mana cost up and damage down.
We’ve toned down many of Jinx’s strongest lane opponents over the past few patches, leaving her with room to rocket back into botlane prominence. Unlike more complex projects (*cough* Kog’Maw *cough*), Jinx is simply scaling up a bit too quickly. Though the patch note here says “Flame Chompers,” it’s actually more about Jinx’s rockets. If she wants to keep feeding mana to Fishbones, she’ll need to be more careful about how often she drops her traps.
Q gives a stacking buff instead of a unique buff for eating certain monsters. R slow increases over time.
Nunu’s always been an oddball, but over time he hasn’t been able to successfully fulfil his niche - a supportive counter-jungler - without being outshined by other options. While Nunu’s objective control is almost without parallel, his ‘mini-game’ of consuming specific camps left him in a state where many of the stats he needed to compete sometimes simply weren’t available to him. We still want Nunu to feel rewarded for feeding his Yeti, so we’re altering the buffs to align them more towards what Nunu actually wants. Add in changes to the impact and usability of Absolute Zero and you’ve got an update to keep League’s original duo from feeling left out in the cold.
Base health regen up. Q cooldown and Worked Ground duration reduced.
A few patches ago, we saw Taliyah roaming too often and with too little setup. Since then, we’ve upped the cooldown on Taliyah’s ultimate and weakened her waveclear, forcing her to work harder to leave lane. With less time spent roaming she’s scrapping more often, and her trading is somewhat below the curve for mid lane. Her overall damage isn’t too far off from where it needs to be, but she has to pick her trades a bit too carefully right now.
Q and E AP ratios up. Q minion healing down. E health scaling down.
Vladimir is in quite the pickle right now. In competitive play, he’s seen several nerfs in a row and still remains a pretty dominant pick. And yet for the vast majority of players, Vladimir is struggling to keep up with other champions. Safety is much more abusable in organized play, and so we’re continuing to trim safety from Vladimir’s kit, but using that leeway to give him power in return.
Vladimir puts himself at risk of being bursted the more he uses his abilities ` but can pull himself back from the brink of death (high sustain). Building tanky nullifies a lot of that gameplay by making Vladimir too hard to burst, resulting in an extremely safe champion. We want to continue to highlight the risk in Vladimir’s kit, and that means incentivizing him to build more damage, rather than relying on tank builds.
Ghouls follow Yorick through Teleport. E no longer marks minions.
With two patches on the Rift, we’re happy to continue to watch players learn how to play as and against him before making any balance changes. In the meantime, we’re hitting a few usability pain points to ease occasional frustrations of Yorick players.
W animation improved to match updated effect.
Getting this out of the way: we don’t have buffs for Kog this patch, and that’s why he’s at the bottom (your winrate joke goes here). Reverting an update after it’s settled is really a new update in itself, so we expected Kog’Maw’s performance to drop while players re-adjust to the attack speed cap. We’re holding off on the (im)balanced call until he stabilizes, since hasty changes now will just incur more adjustments down the road.
That aside, Bio-Arcane Barrage’s visuals felt pretty out of place with the changed functionality. We’ve fixed them up!
Q animation visually sped up.
A while back, we adjusted Twin Bite’s animation for her base skin. While the actual timing of Shyvana’s damage didn’t change, her swings felt a bit slower. We’ve sped the animation up a bit to give back some of Twin Bite’s snappy feeling (though again, no impact on actual damage timing).
Knockback when dashing over Baron reduced.
Let’s go back in time to the Summoner’s Rift update. In that update, we made Baron Nashor much, much bigger to make the encounter feel appropriately epic. As a result, crafty playtesters could ‘hide’ inside Baron through positioning tricks. We gave Baron a knockback to avoid these scenarios before we shipped the update.
Cut to today. We took a look at Baron’s mechanics and felt the full second is a bit overkill for what the knockback is trying to do. While not the largest problem in the world, it does make a few champs feel bad about using their full suite of abilities to fight the Rift’s biggest bad. That doesn’t explain why some of you feel the need to dash right on top of a giant void worm, but hey, more power to you.
Outer turret vision range decreased to match attack range.
It’s been quite a while since we added outer turrets to Twisted Treeline with the goal of moving players further into lane (and fighting distance of one another). Outer turrets did what we wanted, but had the side effect of making the early game a bit too safe via the added vision. Given Treeline’s smaller size, we’re narrowing outer turret vision range to match their attack range. (This is how Howling Abyss turrets work, by the way!)
Basic attack canceling is now more consistent.
At higher levels of play, canceling the backend of basic attack animations is crucial to everything from trading to kiting. Currently, playing around basic attack animations is a bit too suspect to situational variations like a slight spike in lag or the outer edge of Frozen Heart’s aura. We want the behavior around animation cancelling to be a smidgen (about .06 seconds) more consistent, so that more players can learn and master this mechanic.
This last one’s not really a bug so much as us getting ahead of something that might feel like a bug down the road: