Welcome to Patch 6.18, the one that Worlds will be played on. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since our last clash of fates, but we’re hard at work putting the finishing touches on the balance state to give teams an ideal environment to rise to the occasion.
Speaking of that balance state - as you can guess, the majority of these changes are aimed at professional play. Given how teams are adapting to the resurgence of standard lanes, we’re committed to tossing love to some old favorites (MF, Lux) and taking down some powerhouses (Vladimir, Gnar) in order to give folks the wiggle room necessary to experiment. While the ‘worlds meta’ usually shakes out over the course of the tournament itself, we feel it’s important to give teams options - and so a lot of our work and goals from 6.17 carry over here.
Pros aren’t the only ones having fun - after years of being forgotten, Yorick Mori’s been remembered in an all-new update looking to spook the flesh right off your bones. Sporting a new entourage of brain-hungry undead minions and a very complicated relationship with the concept of death, Yorick’s ready to shamble his way into a side-lane near you and get to shoveling some fools. When we said pros aren’t the only ones having fun, we meant it - Yorick’s disabled for Worlds on account of being fresh-off-the-press. I’m sure he’ll be okay.
And that’s all for us! Patches are looking to be a bit quieter from here on out as we put the finishing touches on Preseason - but we’ll still be back with a couple more rounds of exciting changes (and exciting bugfixes!) before the insanity of 2017 approaches.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to watch the world’s best beat the living sh*t out of one another to prove who’s the best. We’ll be kicking it with our buddy Yorick (pass the brains).
Good luck, have fun.
Paul "Aether" Perscheid
Yorick, the Shepherd of Lost Souls, will be updated with the launch of patch 6.18! To learn more, check the following links:
W cooldown increased.
Ashe’s Volley cooldown was originally tailored for a world where Marksmen didn’t have much access to cooldown reduction. We’re no longer in that world - Essence Reaver has worked its way into Ashe’s preferred itemization. Volley’s cooldown has become problematically low, even for an ability designed to have a low cooldown in the mid/late-game.
W - Volley
Visual bugfix for Aurelion’s stars.
Passive - Center of the Universe
Base AD down.
While Ekko’s not exactly up to the same ‘pure defense’ shenanigans from earlier this season, the Boy Who Shattered Ranked is just as effective as before when it comes to sticking on targets and training them down. Ekko’s supposed to lean on his mobility to dart in and out of combat while whittling opponents down. However, his raw effectiveness when standing toe-to-toe with opponents means he’s comfy just wailing on his targets and only using his mobility if he needs to escape. In the interest of keeping Ekko’s trading windows short and sweet, we’re hitting his basic attacks and Sheen scaling to enforce the notion that smart spellcasting is how Ekko should get the upper-hand.
W damage down. E cooldown up.
With professional play’s return to standard lanes, we’re upping our vigilance when it comes to dealing with powerful lane bullies. As for the current toplane metagame, that means Gnar. Known for preying on tanks unable to race Hyper’s damage output, Gnar’s a little too effective at shutting down almost all forms of aggression - not just the really durable kind. We’re hitting his baseline effectiveness with respects to trading and gank-avoidance to open up the kinds of aggressive picks and pressure that should be key in punishing Gnar’s temper tantrums.
W - Hyper
E - Hop / Crunch
Health per level down.
Lissandra’s ult is perhaps the strongest defensive ability among any of our burst mages, giving her the ability to make aggressive plays and live to tell the tale. However, her innate tankiness is also outclassing other burst mages, making her choice too easy: ult an enemy because she’s probably going to live anyway. If Lissandra expects to live through dangerous situations, she should need to ult herself or itemize defensively. Either way, we’re reducing the durability she gets just for existing.
Glitterlance slow now lasts the intended duration.
In Patch 6.13, we made a few changes to Lulu, including increasing Glitterlance’s slow at lower levels. That slow increase was not in effect, so we’re updating Glitterlance with our previous intent.
Q - Glitterlance
E’s slow increased.
Compared to her game-ending burst combos, Lux is weakest while charging her lasers early on. While we’re happy with her power curve overall, we’re aiming to toss some love where to help enforce the non-damaging parts of Lux’s identity - namely, her strong kiting. While we’re going light on the changes, the added bit of disruption on her earliest rank-up should see the Lady of Luminosity able to secure more getaways from anyone looking to knock her lights out.
E - Lucent Singularity
Passive does full damage to turrets.
Miss Fortune’s doing great at the things she’s designed to do: bully opponents in lane and melt teamfights with Bullet Time. Unfortunately, she isn’t passing muster on one of the marksman class’s main jobs: damage to turrets. (We addressed the same issue with Vayne a few patches back.) While demolition isn’t meant to be one of MF’s strengths, it’s not meant to be a liability, either. Upping her reward for landing a shot on a turret brings her more in line with the expectations of her class.
Passive - Love Tap
E terrify duration increased.
Nocturne is League’s spookiest diver, slicing up opponents as they flee in literal terror. He’s currently seeing a bit less success than we’d like, particularly in the early-to-mid-game skirmishes he’s meant to thrive in. Upping the payoff on Unspeakable Horror will give the Eternal Nightmare a bit more time to prey upon his victims.
E - Unspeakable Horror
Base armor and armor per level down.
When Rek’Sai was released, we positioned her as a member of the Fighter class: a durable, damage-focused melee champion that wants to hunt down prey and finish it off herself. In the months following release, however, our balance work on Rek’Sai de-emphasized her damage threat in favor of her team utility strengths. Her optimal playstyle settled into the Vanguard (offensive tank) space, and that identity mismatch has caused a lot of player frustration. So, when Rek’Sai’s competitive dominance put her on the balance radar, we resolved not to make the same mistake twice.
Overall, fixing Rek’Sai’s role requires more than being cognizant of where to cut power, and we won’t promise that this’ll be the last time Rek’Sai visits the patch notes. That said, pushing her back toward kill-or-be-killed skirmishes is the first step in the process.
Realm Warp’s rank 1 tooltip and indicator have been fixed.
While we could have documented this with the other bugfixes at the bottom of the patch notes, the truth is that with a busted range indicator, most players probably haven’t been taking advantage of Realm Warp’s increased range. In other words, this bugfix might create more impact than the actual buff last patch. Hence, full-fledged patch notes.
R - Realm Warp
Passive shield and Q damage decreased.
Shen’s global presence should come at a tradeoff: when he teleports to defend his allies, he’s sacrificing his own success. If his presence doesn’t turn the tide of a fight, Shen should return to lane at a disadvantage - after all, his opponent was collecting uncontested gold and experience while Shen was elsewhere. At present, however, it’s almost impossible to put Shen on the back foot due to how much dueling strength is baked into his kit. Shen will still be able to out-trade his opponents if he can purchase the damage to do so, but will no longer be as successful without offensive items.
Passive - Ki Barrier
Q - Twilight Assault
Q no longer deals bonus damage to minions. E damage down.
Taliyah’s ability to impact other lanes has established her as a premiere pick for the player who wants to win by exerting pressure in other lanes. At the moment, she’s able to push waves without much thought, letting her roam to the side lanes on a whim. We want Taliyah’s roaming to require more setup so opponents have a fair chance of forcing her to stay in lane.
Q - Threaded Volley
E - Unraveled Earth
Q’s empowered heal down. E cooldown up, but costs less.
Vladimir’s midseason update focused on creating windows of meaningful interaction between Vlad and his opponents. Higher health costs on his abilities were meant to allow opponents to punish Vladimir for careless trades, but the Crimson Reaper’s gameplay isn’t currently delivering on that promise. Even when Vladimir suffers a bad trade, he gets to waveclear as a fallback while he sustains back up. We’re reducing Vladimir’s options while on the back foot, as well as how easily he recovers from punishment.
Q - Transfusion
E - Tides of Blood
Less attack speed per level, higher base attack speed. R’s bonus penetration only applies to crits.
Yasuo belongs to the class we’ve been calling Slayers, known informally as ‘melee carries.’ These champions (like Riven or Fiora) are nimble yet squishy duelists with the damage to slay anyone, provided they make proper use of their windowed defensive tools (like Wind Wall or Riposte) to survive. By contrast, Fighters (like Vi or Darius) can take a moderate beating as they dish out their own damage, but lack the agility of a Slayer. But what happens if a Slayer gains the tankiness of a Fighter?
Tank Yasuo happens. While lacking the explosive offense of a crit build, Tank Yasuo's damage and mobility remain above average due to his kit, while his items grant him the durability he normally lacks. We’re looking to break up the trifecta and force Yasuo to commit to just a few strengths (instead of all of them). Defensive builds will retain their stickiness, but see a sharp drop in damage. We’re happy when players adapt their styles to the needs of the game, but when Yasuo (like Ekko and Fizz before him) can cover his weaknesses without making tradeoffs, it’s not a fair experience for anyone.
R - Last Breath
Health increased, attack damage decreased. Now builds out of Giant’s Belt instead of Pickaxe.
Frozen Mallet’s the kind of item that often seems less effective than it is, thanks to an odd mix of stats only a select few champions really want. That said, seeing some of those performers come to light (Gnar and Tank Yasuo being at the forefront) has shown how powerful the item can be in the hands of our stickier fighters. As a result, we're shifting its statline to favor more defense than offense to align better with the item’s identity. Mallet should be a strong (if occasional) pickup for when you want to opt-in to more of a disruptive role, rather than when you want to kill your opponents faster.
Spoils of War passive heals for less.
As a group, tank supports have been muscling out their more fragile counterparts. We don’t think they’re too far out of balance (particularly after laning phase ends), but Relic Shield’s heal proc was covering up a bit too much of their intended vulnerability to poke in the early game.
Champion health bars now gain a golden border during invulnerability.
Invulnerability is one of the most impactful effects in League of Legends, but it’s sometimes hard to tell if a champion is invulnerable or not amidst the chaos of a teamfight. Absolute immunity to enemy damage is the kind of thing you should make decisions around, and given that health bars already track status effects (slows, silences, etc), invulnerability deserves to be represented as well.
Spectator VFX Cleanup
Taking the “Worlds patch” narrative in a different direction, we’re cleaning up some of the more distracting visuals in spectator mode. For the most part, we’re not touching primary visual effects; rather, we’re taking out various indicators (such as the team-colored lines that wrap around Braum’s R - Glacial Fissure). These indicators aid in-game decision-making (ex. avoid red things), but we as spectators aren’t making those decisions. Toning these effects down makes it easier to track other information at the same time.
Challenger and Master tier players will need to play more often to defend their standings.
With the existing decay rules some high-skill players were reaching the prized top spots and then sitting on their rank. Without having to continue defending those spots, accounts stagnated - leading to lower participation at the top of the ladder, where competition and stakes should be at their highest. To improve on this, we’re adding a new set of rules for decay in Challenger and Master tier.
- Fixed a bug where Secret Stash wasn’t extending the duration of Refillable Potion, Hunter’s Potion, or Corrupting Potion
- When Lee Sin’s Q - Sonic Wave target dies before Lee Sin can cast Q - Resonating Strike, it now cancels Resonating Strike’s 3-second cast window instantly rather than waiting out the remainder of the duration
- Fixed a bug where Eye of the Equinox’s execute proc was healing nearby allies for less than the intended amount
- Fixed a bug introduced last patch that caused all abilities to use minimap targeting
- Kled’s health bar no longer takes forever to reappear if he dies and is revived by Zilean’s ult at the exact instant he remounts Skaarl
- Fixed a bug where abilities requiring certain conditions to cast (ex. Morgana’s R - Soul Shackles) weren’t HUD-pingable in chat until those conditions were met
- Trundle’s Passive - King’s Tribute heal now properly procs when Rift Herald and Rift Scuttler are killed
- Championship Riven’s R - Wind Slash and third cast of Q - Broken Wings once again use custom blue on-hit particles, rather than the green on-hit particles of her base skin
- PROJECT: Ashe’s R - Enchanted Crystal Arrow no longer explodes slightly earlier than Ashe’s other skins upon hitting an enemy champion
- Smoothed out the transition between PROJECT: Zed’s emotes back to his idle animation
- Blood Moon and SKT T1 Elise’s wispy trail particles on E - Cocoon no longer show through objects they pass behind (ex. turrets)
- SKT T1 Kalista’s clothes no longer turn moldy during her death animation
- Arcade Ahri’s W - Fox-Fire wisps no longer move closer and farther away from Ahri as they orbit in certain weird scenarios
- Arcade Ahri’s tail sparkles no longer vanish when switching between graphics settings
- The heart in Arcade Ahri’s taunt animation no longer sneakily switches back to her orb if you move the camera away and then back to Ahri
- Un-smushed the tip of one of Arcade Ahri’s tails
- Arcade Ahri’s right wrist is no longer of variable thickness during several of her animations
- Sir Kled’s joke animation now loops until canceled (like base Kled), rather than stopping after one runthrough
- Cottontail Teemo’s chromas no longer use Teemo’s base splash in the loading screen
- The floating star on the Game On ward skin now properly shows up when enemies gain vision of a ward
- Centered the Game On ward skin in the ambient ring particles that sit beneath all wards