On 27 February 2018, starting from 04:30 AM (GMT +8), ranked queues will be disabled in preparation for patch 8.4. At 06:00 AM (GMT +8), the servers will be shut down and all games currently in progress will end in a draw and stats will not be recorded. We estimate the battlegrounds to be prepped and ready by 12:00 PM (GMT +8).
To get yourself caught up with all the buffs and nerfs this round, read up the Patch notes below.
Welcome to patch 8.4, the one that's pretty huge. No, really. We've changed our patch cycle to alternate between larger game updates and shorter balance tweaks. This is probably our first true "big patch," so it's structured differently than normal.
First, we're looking into mage itemization, and there's been a minor overhaul on those items. Mages often have fixed build paths, so we wanted to give them new items—and revamp the old ones—to create more choice overall.
After that, let's go top lane. We've seen a few top laners make the laning phase too consistent with sustain or base damage: Most champions can't fight them, and they can just avoid the ones who can. We want to make a more variant top lane, so we're addressing those outliers and working to make a more satisfying experience overall.
Finally, we're pushing some big changes to a few champions we think require the gameplay changes. There's Zoe, Rengar, and Volibear, plus some smaller changes mixed in.
Dig into the patch notes now so you're prepared to hop onto the Rift when the patch hits live!
Mage itemization follows a pretty simple decision tree. If you need mana, get the only mana/cdr item (Morellonomicon). After that, buy the best general damage items (Void Staff and Liandry's). We want to give mages more options, so we're creating new mage items (and reshaping old ones) to provide more unique and focused outputs and let mages adapt their itemization to game states, matchups, and personal style.
Lost Chapter, with its mana restore, is a nice item for mages who want to sustain in lane, which makes it a good starting point for most mid laners. As such, one of the first choices we want mages to be able to make is what item to build out of Lost Chapter. Lost Chapter builds into three items now: Luden's Echo, Hextech GLP-800, and Archangel's Staff. More on each of those below.
(Catalyst of Aeons and its upgrades remain good items for the laner who wants to sustain in lane, trading cooldown reduction for health).
This one's for poking.
This one's for catching.
Mo' mana, mo' spellcasts.
Liandry's Torment was a bit of a contradiction: The percent health damage made it decent against tanks, while the flat magic penetration made it decent against squishy targets. As a result, it either didn't do either job exceptionally, or it ended up overtuned, and doing both jobs too well. We're shifting Liandry's Torment into being the tank bleeding item, and rewarding champions who want to stay in combat for a while, casting spell after spell on the beefy boys.
It's haunting, guys!
Mana refund passive removed. Flat magic penetration added. Grievous Wounds now applies to targets at all health. Ability power decreased. Mana removed.
Morellonomicon was supposed to be the anti-healing item, but when it was also the best mana and AP item and present in every game, it forced us to make the item more about the stats and less about the unique output it provided.
Because flat magic penetration is cool, just not for the Liandry's Torment line.
The more fighting, the better.
When you're feeling clingy.
These last few changes are efficiency adjustments to items that were a bit too strong or weak for their cost.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
At the moment, too many champions (Gangplank and Ornn are definitely core offenders), are coasting their way through laning phase without needing to interact with their opposing laner. We're toning down the health and mana sustain of some of those picks, as well as weakening their ability to live in top lane from a safe range. We're also giving some love to the champions who tend to beat them so they'll be less safe of picks overall.
There are also changes to Press The Attack, and be sure to check out the Jungle section for a change to Blast Cones which will impact top lane.
W cooldown decreased at early ranks. W damage increased at later ranks. E armor penetration increased.
Darius, as a juggernaut, has damage as his main output. Currently, he could use some more.
W - Crippling Strike
E - Apprehend
Q mana cost increased at early ranks. E barrel duration decreased. Barrels no longer reveal nearby units.
Both Kleptomancy and Grasp of the Undying have given Gangplank powerful sustain options that let him brute-force his way through lane, reaching his late-game scaling without much challenge.
Q - Parrrley
E - Powder Keg
Q cooldown refund decreased (more at higher ranks). E base damage increased.
Gnars who stay back and play safe should be less impactful, while those who get up close with the enemy should have more power, especially early on.
Q - Boomerang Throw
E - Hop
W shield duration increased, cooldown decreased at early ranks, damage increased early and decreased late. Brittle duration decreased. E now deals more damage on average but cannot double-hit.
Ornn has best-in-class dueling, so much so that he's not just one of the top tanks, but that he intrudes on what should be the strength of top lane fighters. Tanks aren't typically bad at dueling, but their cooldown gating and burstier damage outputs tend to give fighters clear chances to fight them and win. Ornn's windows of weakness are too short, whether that's the cooldown on W or the duration of the Brittle debuff. Even when he is fought outside of those windows, the damage from Searing Charge is too much for many champions to handle. In general,
W - Bellows Breath
E - Searing Charge
Passive damage increased at early levels. E damage increased.
Passive - Iron Ambassador
E - Heroic Charge
Q damage increased at later ranks. Empowered Q damage increased.
Q - Cull the Meek
Counter Strike no longer sometimes delays briefly before blocking attacks.
E - Counter Strike
Ranged basic attacks slow for less.
Only a few ranged champions can afford to sacrifice damage to pick up Frozen Mallet, but those champions who can end up being both hard to reach (because of the slow) and hard to kill (because of the health). To make this less of a (can't) Catch-22, we're reducing the ranged slow.
E damage increased.
Last patch's nerfs on Evelynn went too hard.
E - Whiplash
E cooldown decreased at early ranks. E bonus damage to monsters increased; bonus damage to minions removed. R cooldown decreased.
League's original mage jungler isn't doing so well, and could use some love.
E - Dark Wind
R - Crowstorm
Base attack damage and range decreased. Base attack speed and attack speed per level increased. W now grants attack damage instead of attack speed when Kalista is near her Oathsworn.
Kalista has been bullying other marksmen too hard in lane, so we're bringing her mana sustain and attack range down somewhat.
We're also changing the way Sentinel's Oathsworn bonuses work, and this one's a little bit of a deep dive. Gaining or losing attack speed (such as when her Oathsworn enters or leaves range) can make a champion feel choppy, leading to flubbed last-hitting and stutter-stepping. On Kalista, whose attack speed also controls movement, losing or gaining attack speed is even more disruptive. As such, we're changing the bonus she gets from being near her Oathsworn away from attack speed and into attack damage, and changing her base stat profile accordingly.
TL;DR her power will still get a boost when her Oathsworn is nearby, but the feel of her basic attacks will feel more consistent throughout the course of a game.
W - Sentinel
E - Rend
W maximum health damage increased at later ranks.
We went too hard on W last patch, so we're giving some of its strength back.
W - Bio-Arcane Barrage
Q reverted to pre-rework paradigm. Base attack damage scaling increased. R detection range decreased.
We like much of the Rengar update, but the old Q paradigm is one Rengar players enjoyed more (and opponents don't really notice that much). We want to keep—and amplify—the gains of the new ultimate while we're at it, and we're taking a pass at Rengar's stat profile to help Trinity Force be a more reasonable purchase.
Passive - Unseen Predator
updatedQ - Savagery
This is pretty much a revert to Rengar's old Q functionality. Q is now an attack reset plus an attack speed buff for the next two attacks.
W - Battle Roar
R - Thrill of the Hunt
Attack damage per level decreased. Q base damage decreased.
Shyvana is one of the strongest users of Press the Attack. With the power increase PtA is getting (see below), and the half-dragon needs to lose some base power as a result.
Q - Twin Bite
W cost decreased at early ranks. R base heal increased. Health threshold to reactivate R decreased.
With one patch under the belts of Swain players, we're mostly pleased with how players are learning. That being said, we have room for some feel-good changes which should help new players with the flow of his kit.
W - Vision of Empire
R - Demonic Ascension
Base armor decreased. Base magic resistance increased.
As a melee champion who takes a lot spell damage in the laning phase, Talon suffered disproportionately from the loss of magic resist runes in the preseason.
R cooldown increased.
Tristana's ability to peel for herself is too consistently available.
R - Buster Shot
E base damage decreased.
Twitch is one of the strongest users of Press the Attack, despite it not actually being the rune most players take on him. With the power increase PtA is getting (see below), League's dirtiest rat needs to lose some base power.
E - Contaminate
Q movement speed increased. W now halves its cooldown when used on minions. E now knocks back enemies struck, and deals extra damage to dashing or airborne targets.
Volibear has a binary kit that will eventually need some form of rework. In the meantime, we wanted to try our hand at giving him more complex decisions to make in game.
Q - Rolling Thunder
W - Frenzy
E - Majestic Roar
Passive damage decreased. W base cast time decreased.
Xin Zhao is one of the strongest users of Press the Attack. With the power increase PtA is getting (see below), and everybody's favorite Seneschal needs to lose some base power as a result. Also cleaning up some weirdness on short-ranged casts of E - Audacious Charge and making W - Wind Becomes Lightning more fluid.
Also, he got a shiny new splash!
Passive - Determination
W - Wind Becomes Lightning
E - Audacious Charge
R cooldown decreased at later ranks.
Over time, supports and marksman have picked up much better tools to prevent burst deaths (Redemption, Knight's Vow, et al). This makes Zed players feel worse about trying to make plays, knowing that if they fail, they'll be without a key cooldown for so long.
R - Death Mark
A lot of changes. Most notably: Q damage down, minions no longer drop Teleport, E no longer refunds cooldown if it sleeps a champion, cleansing Drowsy now prevents Sleep.
Ok, this one's a pretty big changelist. If you just want a TL;DR, we're nerfing the most frustrating parts of Zoe.
First, Zoe's wave clear is good enough to frequently shove her lane in and roam—punishing the enemy mid laner with heavy poke damage if they try to follow. We're making wave clear one of Zoe's most notable weaknesses, meaning she'll have fewer opportunities to make use of her anti-champion strengths.
Zoe's also getting to Sleep far too many targets, especially in teamfights where she's almost guaranteed to get her E cooldown reduction. Taking that refund away—and giving opponents better ways to remove Sleep—makes Sleep feel less unavoidable and brings her overall damage output down.
Finally... Q - Paddle Star. Landing sleep into a long-ranged Q is Zoe's signature combo (and her largest source of damage), but even unsleeped targets are losing most of their health to one hit once Zoe has a few items. We're moving some damage into More Sparkles! and cutting a bunch more—the net result is about 20% less damage to the primary target at most points in the game.
That's a lot of nerfs, and while Zoe is frustrating to play against, her win rate numbers aren't reassuring. We're bumping up her base health and passive scaling so she still has power, just less of the the "one-shot you with naked Q" levels she was sometimes reaching. This isn't an even swap: we expect Zoe to land on the weak side when 8.4 hits. But we'd rather hit as many frustration points as we can in one go and address power later, rather than continuing to draw the process out.
Passive - More Sparkles!
Q - Paddle Star
W - Spell Thief
E - Sleepy Trouble Bubble
Extra Damage to Minions
We were worried that the removal of old runes and masteries would make last-hitting too hard, so we gave all champion attacks a bonus 5 damage against lane minions. Over time, it's become clear this wasn't necessary, so we're reverting that change.
Ancient Coin Line
Now with extra movement speed!
Ancient Coin and its upgrades aren't doing as well as the other gold income items. In particular, they just don't offer much during the laning phase. Before, their quest reward was pulling some of that weight, but with that gone it needs something to make it worthwhile early on.
By the way, there's currently a bug where the gold gained from Ancient Coin's pickups is not being reflected in the tooltip which tracks how much gold the item has accrued, but you still have the gold.
Remnant of the Ascended
Relic Shield line
Tank supports crowding out other options in pro play, and Relic Shield is a big part of that —and even a few solo laners are picking it up. As a result, we're pulling back somewhat on the base tankiness it grants.
Remnant of the Aspect
Tracker's Knife is almost mandatory in professional play, giving professional teams enough vision to avoid most early-game danger. Bringing it in line would kill it in most games, so for now we're simply removing it.
Cost decreased. On-hit damage increased. Max magic resist drain increased, but magic resist per stack halved on ranged champions.
Wit's End is consistently stronger on ranged champions than melee, and that strength prevents us from making it a viable item on the basic-attacking bruisers who may otherwise pick it up. Splitting those two up should help with balancing this item.
Stat bonuses are now split between attack speed and the stat provided by a secondary damage-oriented rune path (Sorcery or Domination).
Damage increased. Damage amp decreased at early levels.
Press The Attack isn't pulling its weight on melee bruisers. We've been pretty hesitant to buff it, thanks to its laning strength in duo lanes (where the damage amp has two champions worth of damage to apply to). We're pulling back on the amp at early levels so that we can put more raw damage into the keystone.
Press The Attack
The new rune Bone Plating has been added to Resolve. Several runes moved to different rows.
The Resistance row is currently pretty unsatisfying, so we've been looking into creating more dynamic ways to provide its users with durability. This process is not complete, but this is our first stab at it.
Font of Life
There are 4 runes in this row for now.
Second Wind has been moved here from the Vitality Row.
Commencing Stopwatch transforms into Stopwatch later in the game. New rune: Time Warp Tonic.
Perfect Timing is warping aggression (especially "first-cast-of-ultimate" aggression), so we're pushing it later in the game. Also the extended duration of potions is just another piece of hidden power in Inspiration. We think it's cool, but we're moving it to a rune instead of the tree bonus.
newTime Warp Tonic
Outer 4 blast cones spawn later in the game.
The river-accessing blast cones (especially in top lane) put too much pressure on laners to not only win lane, but also control the early blast cone to avoid ganks. That gameplay is cool, but having it show up that early in the game is a bit much.
The red dots are the affected spawns!
This is a legacy from anti-poaching efforts of the past. Not really relevant anymore.
Hand of Baron
Baron buff bonus ability power increased. Baron buff stats increase more later in the game. Baron buff now buffs caster minions' durability.
Late game Baron buffs should be hugely impactful, allowing a team which takes them to successfully siege those tough inhibitor turrets. It doesn't look like it's doing its job well enough, so we're bumping up the damage it provides as the game goes later (especially ability power), and boosting its minion buffs.
Elder Dragon Buff
Elder Dragon respawn time decreased. Elder dragon buff duration increased for buffs beyond the first your team gets. Burn damage increased for elder dragon buffs beyond the first your team gets.
Late game Elder Dragon buffs should be hugely impactful, allowing a team which takes them to successfully siege those tough inhibitor turrets. It doesn't look like it's doing its job well enough, so we're buffing all Elder Dragon buffs your team gets beyond the first, and dialing down the respawn timer. (Edit: To be clear, your team has to take multiple Elder Dragons to get the stronger buff. The second Elder Dragon of the game only gives the basic buff if the team that kills it wasn't also the team who killed the first Elder Dragon!)
We've reverted the scoreboard layout changes from last patch.
- Zoe can now correctly use R - Portal Jump to get out of Swain's R - Demonic Ascension's drain circle
- Fixed a bug where Renekton's abilities failed to grant Renekton the correct amount of Fury when initiating combat
- Remnant of the Ascended now is correctly filtered under health, not armor
- Fixed a bug where Swain could remain in R - Demonic Ascension when affected by Lulu's Whimsy
- Amumu's W - Despair now correctly deactivates when he runs out of mana
- Ryze's E - Spell Flux now correctly spreads to nearby units when it kills units who have any form of life after death
- Fixed a bug where Dragon takedowns would give a 30 second discount on the Magical Footwear timer
- Fixed a bug where a champion's primary ability resource bar remains under the champion portrait after their first death (and only their first death)
- Trading champions now correctly selects the correct skin (last one used)
- Udyr's W - Turtle Stance and Akali's Passive - Twin Disciplines now correctly trigger Overheal
- Activating Gragas' W - Drunken Rage while attacking an inhibitor will no longer cause him to path towards the blue side fountain
- Kalista will no longer path towards the blue side fountain if given a movement command to dash while attacking an enemy inhibitor
- Zoe no longer ignores unit collision for the rest of the game after using R - Portal Jump
- Skarner will now correctly stun targets afflicted by E - Fracture's Crystal Venom if they received the debuff in between when he began and initiated the attack
- Fixed a bug where Corrupting Potion could not be used if a Mana Potion was currently in use
- Thornmail now correctly applies the Cripple debuff to minions and monsters attacking its owner
- Fixed a bug where jungle monster patience meters would not change color as the player lost aggro
- Sweetheart Rakan’s health bar has been adjusted so it no longer obscures several animations
- Mecha Kha’Zix chromas’ Void Assault (R) VFX are now always visible to the enemy when used