As we witness the best teams in the world duke it out for international fame and fortune, the mid-season intermission that follows is about all of us taking a deep breath and reflecting on how far we've come and how far we have to go. This mid-season, significant updates will be rolled out to our most magical roster of champions, sorcerous new items will be introduced, and the elemental dragons are taking flight. How do my enemies want to win, and how do I stop it? Now, more than ever, League is about playing your opponent as you play the game.
It's Mid-season Magic!
Mages are one of League’s most established classes but, over the years, their strategic identities have become muddied and their gameplay hasn’t kept up with evolving standards. Much like our work on the juggernauts and marksmen, we saw the opportunity to update a ‘roster’ of champions to ensure the class as a whole is relevant and satisfying to play. Ultimately our goal is to bring distinction, cohesion and, yes, game health to the mages, giving them a unique reason to be picked.
This mid-season, the mages are taking center-stage!
Hand-in-hand with the mage update, their sorcerous apparatus are undergoing a bewitching transformation. Before, mages would turn to items just for the stats they need, with minor changes in their build path as a game unfolds. Now mage items are focused on their tactical impact, with each enabling or augmenting how a mage contributes to a fight. Choose how your power manifests and watch what your opponents do in kind.
We saw that early to mid objectives (aside from turrets) were struggling to stay relevant in many games, and so began investigating ways to augment those decisions during mid-season. When we came to Dragon, we realized that most individual buffs would simply shift its balance back and forth between “nice to have” and “mandatory,” so we instead set out to create a unique ecosystem of adaptation that augments a variety of team compositions and strategies.
The elemental dragons are taking flight!
For the first 35 minutes of the game, one of four elemental dragons will spawn. The moment you take that one down, the minimap will indicate the elemental type of the next.
Both sides will always know which dragon spawns next, and multiple elemental buffs will stack on each other, making you even stronger in that aspect. In this way, you may want to think twice about giving up those two Earth Dragons—that might just cost you all of your base turrets!
Increases champion killing power. Augments your dueling and team fighting abilities.
Increases turret and epic monster damage. Augments your ability to take objectives.
Increases health and mana regeneration. Augments your ability to siege and poke.
Increases out of combat movement speed. Augments your ability to outmaneuver opponents on the map.
After 35 minutes into the game, all future dragon spawns become Elder Dragon spawns. The Elder Dragon is far more difficult to kill than his elemental counterparts, but taking him out grants a powerful burn-over-time on spells and attacks and a buff that is stronger for each elemental stack you have.
Malzahar is still a low-mobility lockdown mage, but now he's got more friends from the void to protect him. The Prophet's also amping up his ability to get close during teamfights thanks to his new passive, Void Shift.
Malzahar enters Void Shift when he hasn't taken direct damage over a period of time. During Void Shift, Malzahar takes massively reduced damage and is immune to crowd control effects, remaining in Void Shift for a small period of time after taking damage.
Malzahar opens two portals to the Void that fire projectiles inward, dealing magic damage and silencing enemies.
Malzahar summons a Voidling that lasts for a set period of time. The first time a Voidling attacks a champion, large monster, epic monster, or assists in killing a unit, Malzahar spawns a new Voidling with the same remaining duration. When three or more Voidlings are active, they all gain bonus attack speed.
Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and Malzahar gains Mana. Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units.
Malzahar suppresses a target champion over time, creating a zone of negative energy around them. All enemies (and the suppressed target) in the zone are dealt a percentage of their maximum health as magic damage per second.
Brand's mid-season changes are about lighting the whole world on fire. He'll have a harder time nuking lone targets, but when enemies huddle together for safety, it's time for the Burning Vengeance to blow them up.
Brand's spells light his targets ablaze, dealing a percentage of their maximum health as magic damage over time. On the third stack, the Blaze becomes unstable over a few seconds and detonates, dealing a large percentage of the target's maximum health in an area-of-effect.
Brand launches a ball of fire forward that deals magic damage. If the target is ablaze, Sear will stun the target.
After a short delay, Brand creates a pillar of flame at a target location, dealing magic damage to enemy units within the area. Units that are ablaze take an additional 25% damage.
Brand conjures a powerful blast at his target, dealing magic damage to them. If the target is ablaze, Conflagration spreads to nearby enemies.
Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire, dealing magic damage each time it bounces. If a target is ablaze, Pyroclasm will prioritize champions for the next bounce. Blaze now briefly slows enemies it hits.
Vladimir's still the sustain-focused blood mage, but we're dialing up his ability to tap into health to wreak havoc.
Every point of bonus Health gives Vladimir Ability Power, and every point of Ability Power gives Vladimir bonus Health (does not stack with itself).
Vladimir drains life from his target. After casting Transfusion twice, Vladimir gains Crimson Rush for a few seconds the next time Transfusion is available to cast, granting him bonus movement speed and bonus damage.
Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood, becoming untargetable for a couple seconds. Additionally, enemies in the pool are slowed and Vladimir siphons life from them.
Vladimir charges up a reservoir of blood, paying a large portion of his maximum health over a period of time to increase Tides of Blood's damage. On release, or after a couple seconds, Vladimir unleashes a sphere of blood, dealing magic damage. At full charge, Tides of Blood slows Vladimir while he holds it, and will briefly slow targets by when he releases it.
Vladimir infects an area with a virulent plague. Affected enemies take increased damage for the duration. Hemoplague deals additional magic damage after a few seconds to infected enemies and heals Vladimir for each enemy hit.
Zyra is the control mage with the greenest thumb in League, and her new passive lets her spread even more flora across the Rift. Give Zyra a little time to tend to her thorny forest, and she'll have abundant opportunities to counter-engage on attackers.
Seeds spawn around Zyra periodically, becoming faster with level and lasting a long period of time (with a maximum number of seeds planted). If an enemy Champion steps on a seed, the seed dies. If Zyra casts Deadly Spines or Grasping Roots near seeds, she grows plants. Extra plants striking the same target deal less damage.
Zyra grows a bed of spines at the target location. After a brief delay, it explodes, launching damaging thorns at all nearby enemies. If cast upon a seed, Deadly Spines grows a Thorn Spitter plant, which fires at enemies from afar.
Zyra plants a seed. Other spells cast on seeds will turn them into plants, which fight for Zyra. Rampant Growth passively increases plant maximum health.
Zyra sends forth vines through the ground to ensnare her target, dealing magic damage and rooting enemies they come across. If cast upon a seed, Grasping Roots grows a Vine Lasher, whose short range attacks reduce enemy movement speed.
Zyra summons a twisted thicket at her target location, dealing damage to enemies as it expands and knocking them airborne as it contracts. Plants within the thicket are enraged, dealing bonus damage.
Vel'Koz is the monster of choice when you need long-range poke damage or... a true-damage laser beam! Melt their frontline, then obliterate their backline.
Vel'Koz's spells build Organic Deconstruction stacks on enemies. The third spell hit consumes the stacks and deals bonus true damage. This true damage scales with level and ability power.
Vel'Koz shoots a bolt of plasma that splits in two on reactivation or upon hitting an enemy. The bolt slows and deals magic damage on hit. Plasma Fission refunds half its mana cost if it kills a unit, and the target indicator now only displays for Vel'Koz.
Vel'Koz opens a rift to the void that deals an initial burst of magic damage, then explodes for a second burst of damage after a delay.
Vel'Koz causes an area to explode, knocking up enemies, and knocking close enemies slightly away.
Vel'Koz unleashes a channelled beam that follows the cursor for 2.5 seconds that deals damage and slows enemies. All enemies that are deconstructed become researched. Lifeform Disintegration Ray deals true damage to researched champions, but no longer deconstructs enemies.
When the enemy team is fleet of foot, Cassiopeia is the serpent to call. With Cass, we're introducing an entirely new type of debilitation—"Grounded"—that negates an enemy's ability to flash, dash, or even take a friendly Thresh lantern to safety for the duration of the debuff.
Cassiopeia gains movement speed per level. This does not stack with movement speed from Boots items.
Cassiopeia blasts an area with Poison after a brief delay, granting her increased Movement Speed if she hits an enemy champion.
Cassiopeia spews venom in an arc in front of her, leaving toxic clouds on the ground. Enemies in the clouds are continually afflicted with debilitating poison, slowing them and grounding them, prohibiting the use of movement abilities. They also take damage per second.
Cassiopeia lets loose a damaging attack at her target, healing her in the process. If poisoned, the target takes additional damage. If the target dies, Cassiopeia regains mana.
Cassiopeia releases a swirl of magical energy from her eyes, stunning any enemies in front of her if they're facing her and slowing those with their backs turned.