On 13 March 2018, starting from 02:30 AM (GMT +8), ranked queues will be disabled in preparation for patch 8.5. At 04:00 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 8.5, the one that's the "small patch" to 8.4's "big patch". This patch is actually a large download, because we're updating some of our in-game assets. More on that here!
But back to gameplay! This patch we're taking a look at professional outliers, some of whom have been problem children for awhile now (Azir, Galio, Ryze). We're also revisiting Zoe after heavy nerfs last patch, giving her power back in places we think should be healthier in the long run.
Then, we've given a couple of juggernauts (Skarner/Volibear) more utility since preseason, but those changes have left them overly dominant. We're dialing back to a middle ground in between their old state and their current state.
Finally, League of Legends newest marksman, Kai'Sa, is setting foot on the Rift. Bring an umbrella: the forecast calls for Icathian Rain.
Q damage decreased.
Azir has a strong laning phase and a strong late game. Lowering the base damage of Conquering Sands gives enemies more time to deal with the Emperor before his late-game AP scaling kicks in.
Q - Conquering Sands
Q cooldown and mana cost increased at later ranks.
Galio's ability to roam with Hero's Entrance is tied to how efficiently he can clear waves with Winds of War. A higher mana cost ties that waveclear (and the ensuing roams) more tightly to blue buff.
Q - Winds of War
Passive bonus attack damage increased. Q damage ratio increased. W can now root off all of Jhin's damage.
Jhin is still a bit behind the curve for marksmen, and needs a bit more damage to scale into the late game.
Passive - Whisper
Q - Dancing Grenade
W - Deadly Flourish
Passive healing increased. Passive cooldown refresh on champion hit increased. Q missile speed increased.
Nocturne may need some deeper-level changes in the future, but for now, some feel-good buffs should help him out given how weak he is at the moment.
Passive - Umbra Blades
Q - Duskbringer
W - Shroud of Darkness
R - Paranoia
E cooldown decreased. E total attack damage ratio increased. R flat bonus attack damage decreased. R bonus attack damage now scales with total attack damage.
Olaf falls pretty flat as matches drag on. We're upping his scaling to help aggro Olaf players keep their blood pumping in later stages of the game.
E - Reckless Swing
R - Ragnarok
Ferocity falls off more slowly. Q base damage increased. Q damage ratio decreased at early ranks, increased at later ranks.
Our changes to Rengar last patch were focused on reintroducing Savagery's attack reset paradigm and adjusting some of the interactions between Rengar and his prey during Thrill of the Hunt. With those deeper behavioral changes locked in, we're taking 8.5 to assess some of the power concerns and feels-based oddities that emerged as a result.
Passive - Unseen Predator
Q - Savagery
E - Bola Strike
R - Thrill of the Hunt
E damage increased at early ranks. E spread damage decreased. R cooldown increased.
Compared to other mages with good waveclear, Ryze's method (spread Spell Flux, then pop with Overload) is one of the more difficult to get right. Mistiming Spell Flux against a low-health minion often means you lose out on both the spread and the last hit, making the gap between high- and low-tier Ryzes particularly stark. Given that Ryze has been popping off in pro again (despite questionable performances on live servers), we're making Ryze's waveclear easier to access in the early game while reducing its overall potency. Realm Warp's cooldown is also targeted at pro play, given how much harder it is to coordinate in solo queue.
E - Spell Flux
R - Realm Warp
Attack damage per level increased.
Last patch, we toned down Shyvana's scaling attack damage and Q - Twin Bite to compensate for the additional power Press the Attack was bringing. It turns out, those were too much combined, so we're reverting the scaling attack damage changes.
E stun duration decreased.
So few people play Skarner that it took a while for us to notice how strong the patch 8.1 changes to Skarner had made him. Now that it's on our radar, we're splitting the difference between Fracture's pre- and post-8.1 stun duration to put him in a less oppressive spot.
E - Fracture
Q cooldown decreased at early ranks. W radius increased. E radius increased. Champions no longer block Demon Flare missiles.
Still focusing on usability for now, as Swain isn't that far off from being balanced.
Q - Death's Hand
W - Vision of Empire
E - Nevermove
R - Demonic Ascension
Attack range decreased, especially at early ranks. W base damage increased.
Tristana's early game strength allows her to coast too easily into the late game, so we're giving her a notable lane weakness (lower range) while still giving her a success case (all-ins).
W - Rocket Jump
E base damage increased.
We went a bit too hard on Twitch last patch and are half-reverting Contaminate's nerf.
E - Contaminate
E knockback duration decreased.
The changes to Volibear were meant to give him the ability to disrupt mobility, allowing him a better chance to stick to targets who would otherwise dash away. However, the long duration is also just making it too consistent as a primary initiation or disengage tool.
E - Majestic Roar
Lots of changes. Primarily, Q does less AoE damage, and instead of applying More Sparkles!, does bonus base damage by level. Basic attack and W ranges increased.
Now that we've taken away Zoe's oppressive strengths, we're looking to put power back in her kit where it's appropriate. We're decoupling Q - Paddle Star from Passive - More Sparkles!, but buffing its base damage and ratio and giving it its own per-level scaling. We're also upping Zoe's basic attack range and Spell Thief's damage to incentivize her to stick around after landing Paddle Star. This pushes Zoe to stay in threat range for a bit longer to hit her full damage output, giving opponents more of a chance to fire back in return.
Q - Paddle Star
W - Spell Thief
E - Roar of the Slayer
Siege minion bonus damage to turret effects from Banner of Command and Hand of Baron no longer stack.
We knew going into last patch that we'd need to watch our changes to Hand of Baron closely—particularly when combined with Banner of Command on siege minions. Baroned+Bannered siege minions still deal more damage to turrets than they did in 8.3 (due to the bonus attack damage bugfix), but to a lesser extent than in 8.4.
Bonus health multiplier decreased.
As the meta has grown more favorable to tanks—especially jungle tanks—Cinderhulk has gained in popularity. , to the point where non-tanks like Jax are picking it up.
Active damage and slow increased.
We brought the damage on GLP's active down when we updated it last patch since its component Lost Chapter is more appealing to bursty champs than Catalyst of Aeons, and we didn't want to turn GLP into a must-buy. While we did sidestep that risk, GLP is unappealing to everyone right now. We're upping its damage nerfs to make GLP a more enticing option.
(...Upon further inspection, said damage nerfs missed the patch 8.4 notes. Sorry about that.)
Health threshold for Warmog's Heart increased.
The ability to poke, trade, and harass champions before forcing a fight is critical to many champions' play patterns, not to mention the whole laning phase. When poke doesn't stick, champions who rely on whittling down opponents are unable to set up favorable fights or even just force the enemy out of lane. On the whole, this discourages them from interacting with the enemy altogether. The Warmog's Heart passive is currently forcing this passivity too early in the game, and specifically at too low of an investment. We want champions to be able to opt into resisting poke patterns, but it should take more of a durability investment than just Warmog's Armor to do so.
Damage to melee minions increased.
The removal of bonus damage to minions has left some champions struggling to last-hit under tower.
Cloud Drake Buff
Rather than only granting out-of-combat movement speed, now grants movement speed at all times that increases while out of combat.
Cloud Drake has always been good for pick-based compositions who want to catch opponents out of position, but not as appealing for other comps. We're shifting the movement speed to have both in and out of combat applications so more teams find it rewarding to take.
Precision-Domination Stat Bonus
Bonus attack damage/ability power increased.
Domination gives fewer stats than Sorcery because the keystones have more raw power. Somebody taking Domination secondary isn't getting a Domination keystone, so they should get the full stat bonus.
Press the Attack
Damage amplification increased at early levels.
Last patch, we sought to reduce a bit of the power Press the Attack had in the laning phase—particularly in duo lanes where two champions could take advantage of it. We went overboard, so we're returning to a midpoint.
Ranged penalty on minion heal increased.
A number of marksmen are using Fleet Footwork like old Warlord's Bloodlust: to coast through the laning phase by using minions as health batteries. The counter to sustain should be an aggressive lane which can overcome it and all-in, but at the moment the main counter to Fleet Footwork is... Fleet Footwork, which means it's too strong. We're weakening that sustain so that opponents have a better shot at getting a meaningful laning advantage through poke and trades.
When Aftershock activates, you can't kill its user. Then it explodes, and they damage you. In theory, you should now fight them in their window of weakness, but that window isn't meaningfully long (less than a minion wave!).
Now has a cooldown indicator!
Later this patch, it’s getting easier for friends and friends of friends to hop into your party ahead of game.
Sending a bunch of game invites is a pain in the ass. Open parties now make your game appear on your friends’ um, friends lists. They can see what queue you’re in, your current party size, and join your team with one click. No invite required.
- Alistar can now correctly queue up orders other than Q - Pulverize during W - Headbutt
- The Bone Plating rune no longer goes on cooldown without doing anything when Yasuo's Passive - Way of the Wanderer activates
- Fixed a tooltip bug where selling Spellbinder then undoing the sell would restore the stacks you had before selling, but cause the counter on the buff bar to visually restart
- The Madness passive on Haunting Guise and Liandry's Torment no longer modifies true damage, matching rules around other damage-amplifying effects (ex. Vladimir's R - Hemoplague)
- Completing the quest line for Timeworn Targon's Brace and Timeworn Face of the Mountain no longer causes the Spoils of War passive to heal for an incorrect amount
- Lux's Q - Light Binding projectile now visually disappears after it hits a second target, since it doesn't actually do anything after that point
- Battlecast Cho'Gath's E - Vorpal Spikes no longer use classic SFX when Cho'Gath has 10+ stacks of R - Feast
- Dark Star Jarvan IV's recall VFX no longer appear underground when he uses Zhonya's Hourglass
- Forecast Janna’s “I'm live at the scene and it's just... cats and dogs here” VO line once again plays at the beginning of the match if conditions are met
The following chromas will be released in patch 8.5: