Howdy, everyone. It's been two weeks since preseason launched and our immediate focus is to knock down the highest risers. This gives us a better sense of how our changes are settling across the field, which in turn lets us know whether we should help underperformers on a champ-by-champ basis, or whether opting for systemic buffs will bring several up at once. Depending on how 8.24 goes, you may see some of those buffs in an end-of-year "8.24b" balance patch (a patch with no skins or features). There'll be a separate set of patch notes for that, so keep an eye out!
Returning to the present, the last real patch of the year means it's time for Snowdown. Grab your cocoa and your keyboard, and get ready for League's holiday festivities!
Q no longer deals bonus damage to monsters.
This mechanic was originally added to let players explore the possibility of jungle Aatrox, which never really took off. Mid Aatrox is now using it in tandem with Smite to create a lead his opponents have no real way to punish, so we're removing it as an unintended lane strength.
Q - The Darkin Blade
W duration decreased.
We're exploring deeper changes to Akali to address the frustration she causes for opponents independent of whether she's strong or weak. In the meantime, we're reducing Twilight Shroud's duration to be more appropriate for the zoning power it offers when used aggressively.
W - Twilight Shroud
Attack speed decreased.
Camille's ability to dodge vision and gank from unusual angles has led to dominance in the jungle. Rather than cut down on her unique strength as a jungler, we're hitting her camp clearing to slow her down a bit in the early game.
Q cost decreased, windblast damage increased, tornado flat damage removed but max health damage increased. E is faster but deals less damage to non-champions. R no longer grants damage reduction or longer knock-up vs enemies in the center.
Galio has consistently seen greater results in coordinated play than anywhere else, due in large part to his ult. We're taking out the team-reliant strengths of Hero's Entrance (plus some waveclear off Justice Punch) and adding strength back into brawlier parts of Galio's kit that solo players can more confidently rely on.
Q - Winds of War
E - Justice Punch
R - Hero's Entrance
Slight buff bugfixes and tooltip fixes.
Turns out Heimerdinger keeps a messy lab. We did some rescripting to the Revered Inventor this patch and found some... imprecisions... in his code. These issues have been resolved—in cases where we had to choose between power-up or power-down, we leaned toward buffs.
Q - H-28G Evolution Turret
W - Hextech Micro-Rockets
UPGRADE!!!'d W - Hextech Rocket Swarm
E cooldown decreased early. R cooldown decreased late.
The addition of rune stats gave Illaoi the freedom to spec into Conqueror without eating the inefficiency of attack speed as her path bonus. We're accompanying that stat optimization with some cooldown buffs, bringing Illaoi's ability uptime in line with other top lane fighters. These changes combined will help Illaoi stay in motion and on the offensive.
E - Test of Spirit
R - Leap of Faith
W cooldown increased early, damage reduction reduced, no longer grants passive stack on cast.
We're reducing Irelia's ability to withstand enemy damage so opponents have wider windows to best her in lane, particularly mid mages whose spell rotations tend to fit cleanly inside Defiant Dance's channel time. The last line slows the rate at which Ionian Fervor comes online during skirmishes, reducing the number of trades Irelia wins when responding to enemy aggression rather than prepping her passive and initiating the fight herself.
W - Defiant Dance
R on-hit base damage reduced late.
When jungling, Jax falls into the power farming camp with champs like Graves and Shyvana, but boasts much better rank-up scaling than his peers. We're toning down his ult's base damage at ranks 2 and 3 so Jax doesn't diverge as hard from the rest of his pack. He'll still have best-in-class throughput come late game, but not by such a significant margin. This also helps even out Jax's performance across skill levels, as higher-tier matches (where Jax isn't as out of line) end faster than lower-tier matches.
R - Grandmaster's Might
W cooldown increased early.
Preseason's introduction of Dark Harvest was a significant buff to LeBlanc, meaning her preseason strength didn't fall in line the way we had hoped. While this patch's Dark Harvest nerf affects LeBlanc, we're also issuing a direct nerf to push toward a net power-down for the new season. A higher cooldown on Distortion in lane means LeBlanc will have longer windows of vulnerability and ganks will have to be better coordinated with her jungler.
W - Distortion
Q base damage decreased, cooldown increased. E ratio increased, cooldown decreased.
We're nerfing top Viktor's harass (which relies on base damage due to lack of AP) and giving power back to his mage build in mid.
Q - Siphon Power
E - Death Ray
Skillshot Targeting with Flash
Updated several skillshot targeting interactions when Flash is used mid-cast.
Recent under-the-hood code work has led to a few skillshots not interacting with Flash the way they were intended to.
Skillshot fires toward target position (direction changes)
- Ezreal's Q - Mystic Shot (same as pre-update behavior)
- Ezreal's W - Essence Flux
- Kai'Sa's W - Void Seeker
Skillshot fires in target direction (position changes)
- Irelia's R - Vanguard's Edge
- Aatrox's W - Infernal Chains
More of these updates in patches to come!
Clone Debuff Visuals
We finally got to doing this while working on Neeko.
Anivia's attacks and abilities need some audio and visual love to get to current League quality and readability standards.
Dr. Mundo's attacks and abilities need some audio and visual love to get to current League quality and readability standards.
Gragas' attacks and abilities need some visual love to get to current League quality and readability standards. (He got some SFX updates a few patches ago!)
Renekton's attacks and abilities need some audio and visual love to get to current League quality and readability standards. The visual changes are here with 8.24; audio changes are still in the works.
Teemo's attacks and abilities need some visual love to get to current League quality and readability standards.
Healing now works on all damage.
Many AD fighters have sources of magic damage on their kit, such as Jax. This change makes Death's Dance a more attractive option for them to consider without letting it run wild for pure physical damage champs like Riven who already pick it up.
Can no longer be activated during combat with non-minions.
This is a quality-of-life improvement to stem cases where players reflexively try to use their trinkets (ward-hopping, maintaining vision on an enemy that ran into brush) while they've got Eye of the Herald.
Effects like the ones on Poacher's Dirk, Mejai's Soulstealer, and Cull are interesting because there's a clear mini-objective you're trying to achieve and opponents can change up their decision-making to deny you the payoff. In this case, unfortunately, both the mini-objective and the payoff are too specific for Poacher's Dirk to be considered in a reasonable number of games. Leaving it in the shop might not harm junglers who know it's not a great option, but it's a trap for newer players who haven't yet learned to skip over it. So, we're saying goodbye to Poacher's Dirk.
Base damage decreased. Can't proc off other procs.
We followed up 8.23 with a few quick nerfs to Dark Harvest's damage, and 8.24 brings another. We're shaving off baseline strength, particularly in the early game, to ensure Dark Harvest's performance relies on how effectively its users can stack it up. On that note, we're also making it harder to stack by removing its proc-off-proc cases, which actually makes the premise a bit more clear: If your target's below the threshold before you hit them, you'll get a stack.
Mid-Patch 8.23 Balance Updates
These changes shipped partway through last patch and are already live!
This patch's work on Heimerdinger introduced new bugs. We're fixing some particularly big ones.
12/13/2018 Nexus Blitz Balance Update
Let's start with the buffs!
Nunu & Willump
Doran's Lost Shield
Stat-Stick of Stoicism
And now for the nerfs!
Finally, a few other things.
We've been fixing these bugs over the course of Nexus Blitz's time on live. Now seems like a good time to recap!
Murkwolf & Raptor Spawn Time
Murkwolves and raptors initially spawn later.
The header says "jungle" but this is really a mid-lane change. Bumping Murkwolf and Raptor spawn up by a few seconds means midlaners who poach a camp will be a little more vulnerable to interference before they get to lane.
Nexus Blitz is back for another test run this Snowdown! Stay tuned for more information on when this experimental mode will be available to play.
The new bounty system broke the old bounty system on maps that didn't switch over (i.e. maps that weren't Summoner's Rift). It's fixed now!
Extra Champion Interactions
New hotkeys added for champs with additional buttons.
Sometimes you wanna interact with these mini-menus without losing a beat.
A swath of Ranked 2019 changes land for preseason testing. Splits, position ranks, and positional matchmaking will come at season start.
See your rank after just one game.
Placements suck: Deposit ten games into the anxiety box and hope for the best. We fixed that.
Tiers & Divisions
Iron slots in below Bronze, and Grandmaster snuggles in between Master and Challenger. Division V is removed from all tiers.
New tiers make for a smoother climb over the course of the season, and fewer divisions mean fewer promo series.
Ranked armor, a new reward, now reflects your current rank across your profile, hovercard, and game lobby.
Ranked armor will upgrade as you rack up wins and promote across next year. Your past rank will be reflected in a banner draped off the back of your armor. Details here.
A clarity pass across the end-of-game screen and the Ranked dashboard includes a variety of changes.
- Fixed a bug causing Alistar's W - Headbutt to stun his target without displacing them if he cast recall in the middle of his W+Q combo to cancel the combo
- Master Yi's basic attack no longer cancels if Passive - Double Strike's stack counter expires mid-attack
- Fixed a bug that allowed Varus' allies to detonate W - Blighted Quiver
- Fixed a bug causing the audio on Jayce's basic attacks to sometimes be missing
- Dark Star Thresh's Q - Death Sentence no longer has classic particles when breaking the chain
- Guardian of the Sands Rammus recall SFX are no longer heard globally if Rammus is in vision
- Nightbringer and PROJECT: Yasuo's Q - Steel Tempest audio cues have been restored
- PROJECT: Vi's recall particles are now timed properly with the animation
- K/DA Akali's transition into her slowed animation has been restored
- K/DA Akali's R - Perfect Execution SFX volume no longer stacks when hitting multiple targets
- Minimized clipping during Praetorian Graves' run animation
- Urfwick's empowered recall no longer ignores forced facing/orientation
- Pool Party Rek'Sai's recall ground water VFX no longer clip through elevated terrain
- Infernal Amumu Ruby Chroma's head flame VFX are now much more visible on all graphics settings
- Sad Robot Amumu's W - Despair particles no longer separate and clip through elevated terrain
- Restored Pug'Maw E - Void Ooze's self and ally view bubble VFX and enemy view bubbles are now more red
- Dragon Trainer Tristana's champion-specific taunt and joke VO lines are now properly synchronized with her animations
- Blood Moon Evelynn's left lasher no longer shrinks at the end of her death animation
- Shadowfire and Super Galaxy Kindred's models no longer use classic skin textures upon death
- Mecha Kha'Zix's W - Void Spike's on-hit VFX are no longer significantly louder than base
- Beemo now properly plays his channel animation (ex. when activating Eye of the Herald)
- Dragon Master Swain's skin-specific VO has been restored
- Pulsefire Ezreal's recall VO has been restored
- Tahm Kench's W - Devour SFX have fully been restored