We know some of you are still trying to finish the last set of patch notes, but our first set of pre-season follow-up changes is ready to roll out. Keep up!
League vets may notice we’ve got fewer immediate pre-season follow-up changes than in previous updates. We haven’t turned a blind eye to things - on the contrary, we’re keeping a close watch on how balance on the Rift is unfolding. That said, this year’s updates look to have made it out of the gate without anything as off as past exceptions, and the majority of changes (both in and out of game) are still settling in.
Follow-up commentary aside, we’ve got some sweet changes for Shyvana. This is a different type of update than our class updates (Assassins) or large reworks (Yorick). Shyvana didn’t have big problems for us to solve; we wanted to make her better. Jump down for the details, which we won’t summarize here.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention League’s next Ultimate skin, Elementalist Lux! She’ll be launching some time later this patch, so keep an eye out for Lux’s new look. Looks. There are ten of them!
Good luck, have fun!
Dragon’s Descent can’t be interrupted. E is now an exploding fireball in Dragon Form. Passive resistances down.
Shyvana’s one of League’s first opportunistic updates, where a smaller amount of work (compared to big updates) can still yield big improvements. Shyvana’s already a pretty cool champion - we wanted to make her better. We wrote a nifty article about Shyvana’s changes - this context is a simplified summary of it, so if you’ve still got questions, click that link!
Shyvana’s unique strength is that she periodically gets to ignore one of the juggernaut class’s core weaknesses: reliably getting to their targets. Ignoring weaknesses doesn’t help when you’re too behind to flex your strengths, which is why Shyvana has such a hard time clawing her way back from a disadvantage. Broadly speaking, we aimed to give Shyvana more flexibility and help her make better use of juggernaut items. In Dragon Form, Flame Breath’s been redesigned away from a basic damage cone toward something she has more options around using. Dragon Form now gives health instead of resistances, letting her leverage health-scaling items like Titanic Hydra and Sterak’s Gage.
In exchange, we shaved off some mechanics she should still be able to function without. Burnout’s flame trail in Dragon Form asked Shyvana to stay in front of enemies she otherwise wanted in front of her, so we nixed it. We also had to shrink Dragonborn’s resistances based on playtest results, though rather than pure nerfs, we added in a way for her to gain back some resistances if she and her team play the objective game well.
Passive AP ratios up. W cost down. E ratios up.
Akali’s update was focused around shifting her damage pattern into repeated, telegraphed spikes. We’re happy with how that pattern’s shaken out, but after a little time in the wild it’s clear that those ‘spikes’ of damage aren’t as sharp as they need to be. For Akali to do her job she’s gotta have the potential for lethal damage, so we’re administering a booster-shot to her scalings to keep her damage threatening.
W cooldown lowered. E no longer deals increased damage against targets in R until the storm is fully formed. R forms faster.
Anivia’s R-E combo has been a staple of her play for years, but the instant, unavoidable burst and lane pressure it provides overshadows the success Anivia sees from trapping foes in Glacial Storm with well-placed walls and Q stuns. That said, burst damage does seem like a fair reward when Anivia makes use of all the tools available to her. We’re helping her earn her damage payoffs by hastening Glacial Storm’s “cook” time and letting her drop more walls, but giving her less instant gratification.
This was getting a little obnoxious.
Stop walking away from your target, Katarina.
Concerns around color-blind readability prompted us to look into Final Spark’s indicator, and we realized it could stand to be easier to read in general.
Voidlings deal more damage but don’t multiply as frequently. Malzahar can now store 2 charges of Void Swarm.
Love him or hate him, Malzahar’s damage output can be downright confusing. When standing against his Void Swarm, the lack of clarity surrounding how the voidlings operate (and what you should do to fight them) can be more than a little overwhelming. In light of this, we’re adjusting how the mechanic functions to keep things understandable. With a heavier focus on chaining Malefic Visions for voidling success, Malzahar will have to set up minion waves to keep his swarm going - but opponents will have a far easier time stemming the tide by simply killing them.
We’re reverting a bug we introduced that allowed Orianna to chain her abilities in a way that was too hard to react to. While this is a power-down for Orianna’s maximum overall potential, she’s powerful enough that we’re not looking to compensate right now. (It also helps avoid confusing Orianna players!)
Armor and health growth increased.
Shen brings a lot of unique tools that other tanks lack (global teleport, anybody?) but at the moment his base stats are pretty low for the job. His dueling power spikes pretty hard at level 9, thanks to the power of Twilight Assault, but we want to make sure he scales past that into the late game as well.
We originally changed Dark Procession’s cast behavior in 6.20 to give Yorick players snappier, more reactive W casts. We knew accuracy would take a small hit, but that tradeoff ended up more problematic than expected. So, we’re reverting the change.
On-hit damage increased.
Blade of the Ruined King has been out of the spotlight for a while, even for champions we expect should like it. Blade of the Ruined King should be the go-to item for basic-attacking champions who want dueling power out of their first item. To accomplish that, it should be doing a bit more at the start of fights.
No longer loses attack speed on combine.
Technically speaking, Rageblade still counts as an attack speed item because of its stacking buff. That said, the loss of the flat value feels like (and often is) a step backward, given that attack speed is necessary to stack Rageblade quickly. As a result, it only feels good to purchase Guinsoo’s if you can supplement it with other attack speed items. We want the Rageblade to feel unconditionally better when you complete it, even if you don’t have other attack speed items.
Sterak’s Gage serves acceptably as a defensive item for fighters who want to start a fight and live to finish it. It’s a smidge weak for its price tag, though, so we’re making it a little easier to pick up.
Reminder: Lord Van Damm’s Pillager only exists on Twisted Treeline!
Like Mejai’s Soulstealer, Pillager is meant to be a risky purchase that doesn’t always pan out. Unlike Mejai’s, Pillager is an end-game item that requires a ton of investment to build. Losing control of Treeline’s altars is still a big hit to Pillager’s effectiveness, but its cost is now more appropriate for its baseline strength.
One patch later, everyone’s still feeling out how the new plants fit into their matches. We’re waiting until players have time to integrate plants into their understanding of the Rift before making big changes, but in the meantime, have some bugfixes!
More XP on mini Krugs, less XP on big Raptor.
The time investment we ask of junglers to take the Krugs wasn’t paying off as much as we’d like. As a result, we’re shifting some of the jungle experience from the Raptors to Lesser Krugs. Overall, the amount of experience in the jungle is about the same, but it’s slightly more concentrated in the Krugs.
For all those times you get a little caught up in the action off-screen.
Alpha is officially over and open beta is in full swing!
Check out the open beta FAQ for more details.
Performance is our #1 priority. We’re continuing to optimize for performance to ensure a smooth experience for all players while continuing our work to add the remainder of the client’s missing features (like spectator mode, bots in custom games, rotating game modes) over the next few patches.
If you’re having technical issues or bugs are preventing you from enjoying the game experience, know that you still have access to your legacy client. Just click “Launch legacy client” before logging in. You can find solutions to most common issues in the Known Issues section of our support site.
Below are the major updates for the League client update this patch. Bear in mind that this is not a complete list of everything that was added or changed.
Finally, we haven’t forgotten about the alpha summoner icons. If you logged into the updated client prior to Nov 15th, you’ll be receiving your summoner icon by Nov 29th.
Autofill has been enabled in all queues with position preference. There is a low chance that you will receive one of the positions you did not select as primary or secondary (usually support), but queue times will be considerably reduced.
As before, you are guaranteed to get your primary or secondary position if you’ve recently been autofilled, you recently queued for support or fill, or are in a promo series.
We have concluded testing position exclusion in LAN and LAS and saw it was negatively impacting queue times, so will not be continuing development on this feature. We’re continuing to experiment with improvements to the whole champion select process.