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First things first, Scarizard has left the patch crew. We aspire to continue to inform and entertain League of Legends players as he always has.
Returning to our regularly scheduled programming, welcome to 7.4, the one where we make our strongest strides yet toward addressing the #adcin2017 situation. In actuality, this is just the latest in a multi-patch campaign, but previous patches targeted the obstacles keeping marksmen down (overly tanky divers or oppressive early ganks), rather than marksmen themselves. This patch, we’re helping them make an earlier impact on the game so laning and early skirmishing feel less like fighting a fire with a squirt gun.
Finally, we’re taking this opportunity to visit Cho’Gath, who has been feeling pretty out of place for some time now. We’re tweaking everybody’s favorite giant Void monster to better fulfill his fantasy of “giant tank of death”, and letting him loose on the Rift.
And that’s it for us! Check out the full details below, and we’ll see you on the Rift!
We mentioned below that we've been working on Edge of Night nerfs for next patch, but it's clear we can't wait another patch to respond. It's entirely possible we'll have more changes in 7.5, but for now we're reverting the cooldown buff from 7.2 and knocking down its AD.
Feast can stack infinitely against champions and epic monsters, and stacks no longer fall off on death. Feast’s ability power ratio down; bonus health ratio added.
Cho’Gath’s been pretty weak for a while now: his last visit to the patch notes back in 6.20 made Feral Scream a fairer ability to play against, but ended up weakening Cho by removing some reliability from his kit. We’re updating Feast to boost the cool aspects of Cho’Gath’s colossal, slobbering Void monster fantasy while removing the frustration of losing stacks when killed (it was a pretty terrible experience to reverse-snowball after a death). This makes Cho less of a gamble, while making tank builds feel like a good choice.
Changes to the rules around Feast stacks.
All the other stuff.
Bonus movement speed when collecting Chimes increased.
Bard’s been away from the Rift for a while now (*sad chimes*). To help the golden boy out, we’re boosting his wandering skills to help Bard do what Bard does best: roaming and playmaking.
Cassiopeia is now slick. Fixed a Flash + Ult bug.
Normal missile damage down. Missile count now tracked on secondary resource bar.
Corki stands out as one of the strongest midlaners at all levels of play. He brings a lot to the fray: strong poke damage, wave clear, and a fantastic moustache. We’re toning down Missile Barrage’s contributions to the first two, but leaving the Big One intact as an impactful moment for Corki and his opponents to play around. To that end, we’re adding a tracker for Corki’s progress toward the Big One so foes can react accordingly.
Normal missile damage numbers:
Big One damage numbers:
R bullets’ slow duration decreased.
Jhin’s been plenty powerful throughout the beginning of the season, giving us a generous number of opportunities to evaluate more nuanced approaches than raw damage nerfs. We’re targeting one of the most frustrating aspects of playing against the Virtuoso: Curtain Call’s slow. Eating a single bullet often makes it near-impossible to dodge the rest. This neither provides sufficient opportunities to outplay Jhin, nor does it let Jhin demonstrate his mastery. The slow on Curtain Call still works as a set-up for his team to dive in, but won’t allow him to single-handedly kill squishies by spoon-feeding him every ult shot.
Minus 2 MR from Slytherin.
Katarina had 2 more base MR than she was supposed to. Whoops.
Q mana cost up. E impact damage removed.
Maokai has been the dominant super-tank in top lane, and not even the hefty Courage of the Colossus changes back in 7.2 felled this tree. Thanks to his seemingly-limitless waveclearing, the Twisted Treant has basically no losing lane matchup. We’re forcing Maokai to commit more resources if he wants to squash enemy minions, allowing opponents to win by attrition if they can sap him of his mana before a fight. Maokai will still be a mighty oak in the late game, but unless he branches into some early mana items, he won’t have the resources to farm and fight if he’s on the losing side.
Q bonus damage on E’d targets reduced.
Despite 7.1’s changes to reduce Ryze’s early game safety, the Rune Mage is still machine-gunning everyone to death once he eventually scales into mid/late game. That said, this is a far larger problem in pro play than normal play, and nerfing base damages would just make that worse. We’re targeting Q’s bonus damage, ensuring power’s pulled more heavily from matches where Ryze players are far more diligent in priming their targets with Spell Flux before tossing out an Overload.
Don’t ask what we did with the fingers we cut off. It’s better for you not to know.
There’s no denying Lethality builds are overtuned, but the solution isn’t as straightforward as “revert the buff from 7.2”. That buff addressed Lethality’s initial problem of being lackluster against squishy targets in the early game, and we want to preserve as much of that correction as possible. The nuanced (rather, lack-of-nuance’d) issue we now face is that Lethality builds are effective against everyone. To address this, we’re putting a damper on how efficiently Lethality builds pull in tank-busting items - washing out those builds’ intended weakness without significantly stalling their anti-squishy gameplan.
We’re digging into three percent-penetration items this patch: Black Cleaver, Last Whisper, and Lord Dominik’s Regards. In each case, generic damage is being shifted into the specific strengths desired by the classes those items are meant for. Enforcing Lethality’s weaknesses by tightening up its alternatives creates space for other builds to shine while leaving Lethality itself effective in cases where it’s supposed to succeed.
The result of this focus on the broader item system is that we’ve only got two direct nerfs to Lethality. One’s to Ghostblade; the other’s to the Precision mastery in the Cunning tree (scroll down a bit). Where we go from here will depend on how this patch shakes out, though there’s one step we know for certain we’ll be taking. Edge of Night’s got so much going on that changing it correctly is a more complex challenge than with most other items. We want to get this one right, so we held off on lumping it in with our initial batch of changes. Expect nerfs in 7.5.
Up until the introduction of Lethality, Ghostblade granted 20 flat armor penetration. We wanted to avoid shrinking that number during the transition away from flat penetration, which was a big enough change to get used to on its own. Now that Lethality’s found its place in the stats system, we’re bringing Ghostblade in line with Dirk’s other upgrades.
Builds out of Kindlegem instead of Caulfield’s Warhammer. Health up, attack damage down.
While The Black Cleaver is meant for fighters like Darius and skirmishers like Fiora, it packs so much offensive power that glass cannon champs are buying into it as well. We’re shaking up Cleaver’s build path and stat offerings to better align with the extended fights its intended users thrive in. Swapping Caulfield’s Warhammer for a Kindlegem works out well for champs who need to live long enough to cycle through several rounds of spellcasts, versus champs who want to down their target in one go.
Fun fact: this is basically the version of Black Cleaver we had between patches 5.8 to 5.22, with a few gold numbers moved around. Though the change to Warhammer made sense in the 2016 pre-season, a lot’s changed about the game since then and the old version’s a better fit for where we are today.
Armor penetration up, attack damage down.
For marksmen, reacting to tanky threats required a 2700-gold investment in the form of Lord Dominik’s Regards or Mortal Reminder. The problem: “build an end-game item” doesn’t pass muster as a ‘reaction’, given how long it takes to bank that much coin. We’re letting Last Whisper serve as that reactive purchase all on its own, at the expense of effectiveness against targets without armor to pierce.
Damage bonus requires enemies to have more health than before.
Lord Dominik’s draws an interesting parallel with The Black Cleaver: one scales with enemy health, the other with enemy armor. There’s no right way to itemize against that combination, so to keep LDR+Cleaver from taking over as the new flavor-of-the-month build, we’re making Lord Dominik’s far less tolerant of Cleaver’s bonus health. Fortunately, this shouldn’t impact champs who are happy to buy Lord Dominik’s on its own.
Carry-over changes keep Giant Slayer and Lord Dominik’s consistent.
Build path simplified.
A support’s inventory quickly fills up with multiple items like Sightstone, gold items, boots, and wards, leaving little room for components. We want supports to feel comfortable building towards Knight’s Vow, so we’re simplifying its build path.
A good trade is the first step towards winning a lane; repeat enough times and you can go for a kill. Hitting minions from range and lifesteal enables marksmen to weather the storm through lost trades far too easily. This is making bot lane pretty noninteractive; if there’s no real gain from risking a trade, why bother? We want to make sure trades feel worth the risk so aggressive bot laners can feel good about creating an advantage.
Stacks last longer.
Reducing damage from masteries. Meditation mana regen down. Fearless base resistances down.
Ultimately, we want a player’s impact to come from the decisions they make and the actions they take in-game. Masteries supplement that power, but over time the amount of power they bring has crept up. We like the gameplay that is created by impactful Keystone masteries, but we’re looking to trim some of the invisible power from masteries which only provide passive stats.
The introduction of control wards has given League of Legends too many trap-disabling effects, leaving trap-reliant champions in the same position stealth champions used to be: countered by a cheap item/trinket. We’re removing trap-disabling from most vision effects, but we want to ensure melee champions can attack the traps they reveal without accidentally stepping on them in the process.
Traps are more easily targetable by melee champions.
Items that reveal traps no longer disable them.
Revealing wards is more rewarding.
Until now, you’d earn half a ward’s worth of gold when your allies destroyed a ward you’d revealed. This caused situations where players would compete for the last hit on wards, rather than getting rid of them ASAP. We’re changing things up so whoever reveals the ward and whoever kills it both get those precious gold coins without having to compete with one another.
Underleveled champions can better catch up to their teammates.
Should they ever fall behind in levels, certain champions - supports, utility junglers, what have you - have an exceedingly difficult time ever catching back up, even if they manage to contribute to their team’s successes in the face of that deficit. (In some cases, contributing to their team is the reason they fell behind in the first place - see: champs who roam between lanes or play into the deep vision game.) We want champions to be fairly rewarded for setting up the plays that lead their teams to victory at the expense of their own leveling.
Sidenote: we're also keeping a lookout for similar changes to stuff like Baron, Dragon and Turret kills.
When you’re lower level than your team.
When you’re lower level than your opponent.
Gold reward down.
There’s a fine line between “working towards first turret is a valuable goal” and “let’s just always 5-man gank bot”. In the name of bot lane feeling less like everyone’s favorite karaoke joint, we’re dialing back the first turret benefit. That won’t mean bot lane won’t be pressured by other lanes, but we don’t want the gains from first turret to snowball the game quite so hard.
Practice Tool is here, and we’ve also made significant upgrades for better performance and stability across a variety of machine specs. Beleaguered owners of potato-PCs may now see a notification about Low-Spec Mode (which we’ve buffed over the last few patches). If you’re still seeing issues with performance, we strongly recommend enabling it from the settings menu top right of the client window.
We’ve released a beta update that talks about our plans for replacing the legacy client and future development of the client. Check it out here.
You can also find solutions to most common issues in the known issues section of our support site.
Practice Tool and a big ol' buff to Low-Spec Mode.
All Random Ultra Rapid Fire (ARURF) is back from 2/24/17 - 2/28/17 and 3/3/17 - 3/6/17. Enjoy superspeed cooldowns, infinite mana, blazing attack speeds, randomized champ select, and the return of Runeterra's most renowned manatee.
Some things to note:
Join in on the insanity and GLHF, URFers.