Patch Three Point Ten

AKA The Master Yi Patch.

No, you won’t find anything about Master Yi in the above video, but this is the patch where the Master Yi changes I’ve been talking about for the last long-ass-time will go live. There is more in-depth (and official) information on the specific changes to Yi in this post here. If you are too lazy to click that link, or perhaps you just like to watch pretty pictures, you can get the skinny in this video:

With that said, I’m not going to write anything else about Master Yi, until I try him or see how he’s been affected in ARAMs and such. However, there are some points I’d like to touch on dealing with the patch notes. Outside of Master Yi, there are some changes to Elise, Ryze, Thresh, and Twisted Fate worth talking about.

Elise

Summary: Spiderlings are now less tanky overall, particularly against champions who build armor penetration. Spiderlings will also descend from Rappel after Elise, meaning if she Rappels with tower aggro and no friendly minions around, she’ll be targeted first once she lands (towers used to target Spiderlings first because they would descend first). Rappel also no longer allows Elise to travel outside of the indicated range.

Context: Elise has been a high-value pick in competitive play for some time thanks to the overall strength of her kit. We considered reducing the damage of some of her abilities, but felt like we should target her more frustrating aspects first. Specifically, we wanted to reduce the tankiness of Elise’s spiderlings and lower their utility as damage sponges. With these changes we can add a little more counterplay for her opponents, meaning Elise players will need to think more carefully about her Spider Swarm passive.

The other ability we targeted was the deceptively long range of Rappel. We initially designed Elise’s Rappel to allow for some extra travel space outside of her indicated range, but in retrospect this made the skill extremely frustrating to play against. These changes mean the circular visual indicator will more accurately show who Elise is able to descend upon.

Spiderlings

  • Health reduced to 90-260 from 125-550
  • Armor increased to 30/50/70/90 from 30 (based on Spider Form rank)
  • Magic Resist increased to 50/70/90/110 from 50 (based on Spider Form rank)
  • Multi-target damage reduction adjusted to 25% from 10/20/30/40%
  • Spiderlings no longer continue taking actions before vanishing once Elise shifts into Human Form
  • Spiderlings now group closer together while moving

Volatile Spiderling

  • Movement Speed has been reduced

Rappel

  • Elise can no longer descend outside of the indicated area
  • Fixed a bug where Elise could begin casting spells and attacking as soon as she began her descent while she was still untargetable
  • Spiderlings will now descend from Rappel slightly after Elise instead of descending at the same time

Elise has had some ups and downs (mostly ups, but this isn’t the first nerf/adjustment to her kit) since her release, and I ended up buying her sometime after she first came out. I’ve always liked her, but have preferred to use her in the jungle, because her ganks are just too good. I have had excellent games with her, and some not so hot ones, though leaning towards 2/3 wins while using her. Though I haven’t played her much recently, I know that she seems over powered almost all of the time you see her in game, particularly with skilled players. The changes to her spiders will help enemy teams cope with her bursty damage, though I don’t see where her having to change back and forth between human and spider form as a hinderance, as most people do this regularly anyway. I do like the fact that they are making her a priority target over her spiderlings by turrets, as this will limit her diving potential.

Ryze

Summary: The ranges of Ryze’s spells are being reduced this patch, but his Desperate Power movement speed buff has been increased to compensate.

Context: With his spell range and high late game damage, Ryze could effectively nuke back line squishies from distance while still playing the role of “tanky beast” (when built in that way). We wanted to refocus on Ryze’s core identity as a mid-range mage, meaning his positioning and proximity to the enemy team is more important than before, while his increased speed should allow him to get up close to priority targets to melt their delicate little faces.

Overload

  • Cast range reduced to 600 from 650

RunePrison

  • Cast range reduced to 600 from 625
  • Mana cost reduced to 60/70/80/90/100 from 80/90/100/110/120

SpellFlux

  • Cast range reduced to 600 from 675

DesperatePower

  • Movement Speed increased to 60/70/80 from 35/45/55

I find Ryze to be a bit overpowered, though most of this has been experienced in ARAM. His nuke/AOE capabilities are unmatched (unless you throw a fed Veigar into the mix), particularly because of his tankiness. Reducing his range requires him to build tanky, which can sometimes come at the cost of extra AP (though his kit allows mana to help out his AP) and makes him easier to target if he happens to be one of the squishier targets. I think Riot did a good job of balancing this out with his Ultimate, and this makes him a more manageable opponent.

Thresh

Summary: Thresh’s reduced base health and armor make him more vulnerable at early levels, but collected souls now grant a flat bonus with no diminishing returns.

Context: We wanted to make trading in lanes a little riskier for Thresh as he had a lot of crowd control through Death Sentence and Flay. Additionally, collecting souls, while a vital part of early game Thresh play, had the tendency to become negligible late game due to their diminishing returns. Giving souls a flat bonus means Thresh’s passive stays relevant throughout the game.

General

  • Base Health reduced to 500 from 541
  • Base Armor reduced to 12 from 18

Damnation

  • Souls now always grant 0.75 Armor and Ability Power instead of starting at 1.0 and granting diminishing returns per soul collected

Thresh is a champion that I haven’t really played. When he’s been free I’ve tried him out, but I really don’t care for him. I love having a well played thresh on my team, and despise playing against a good one, but I just can’t pull it off. I like the change to his soul passive, in that he won’t be quite so scary early on, but also that the diminishing returns are gone, so he can theoretically bulk up even more than before. Really, this isn’t much of a change but a notable one.

Twisted Fate

Summary: Loaded Dice no longer grants global bonus gold, but instead gives Twisted Fate between 1-6 gold per kill. Pick a Card has been changed, too, giving TF players a smaller window to throw the card after locking it instead of one long window to both lock and throw the card.

Context: Loaded Dice was giving Twisted Fate and his team a lot of hidden power without feeling individually impactful. The change fits more thematically with his kit and allows his passive to feel more noticeable by giving TF more gold on average over the course of the match.

The Pick a Card changes are intended to introduce more counterplay to the ability, as many players were locking their card within a second or two of shuffling, then sitting on the locked card for the rest of the duration to intimidate opponents. While these changes mean TF players have more time to utilize Pick a Card, they’ll have a smaller window to act once they lock in their card.

Loaded Dice (Remade)

  • Upon killing a unit, Twisted Fate rolls his dice, gaining anywhere from 1 to 6 bonus Gold. Naturally, Twisted Fate has a higher chance to receive a larger bonus

Pick a Card

  • Now has 8 seconds to lock the card and 4 seconds to throw it instead of 10 seconds to do both

I used to believe that Twisted Fate’s global gold-generating passive was pretty lame. But when put in the context of the pros, it makes a huge difference (and is probably why he is such a staple in professional games). That bonus gold can affect all lanes simultaneously, and can add to a fed lane’s lead, effectively ending games sooner. I thing this change is good for the balance of the games TF is in, because he will still end up feeding himself that extra gold, but the other lanes will have to pull their own weight. Also, because his own gold gain is randomized, it isn’t really overpowered at all. The Pick a Card changes are nice as well, because he won’t be able to sit on his card choices as long, which can be really annoying when you’re being ganked. A good TF player will be able to compensate for these changes, but it scales up his difficulty a bit. I really hate champs that are “hit R to win”, and I hope one day they are all taken care of (Darius re-work anyone?).

Lastly, I want to touch on some of the item changes in this patch.

New Item: Spectre’s Cowl

  • Recipe: Ruby Crystal + Negatron Cloak + 205 Gold = 1400 total Gold
  • +200 Health
  • +45 Magic Resist
  • UNIQUE Passive: Grants +15 Health Regen per 5 seconds for up to 10 seconds after taking damage from an enemy champion

I really like this item. It’s a bit like the Orb of Winter item that was added recently to The Howling Abyss, but also builds into two items that are commonly used in Summoner’s Rift. Those items are the Spirit Visage, and Banshee’s Veil. Both are only slightly modified, but it’s worth noting that BV no longer requires a catalyst, which I think it’s a smart move. Most players who build Banshees are doing so for the MR and the passive (I usually only build it when I’m playing carries), and typically later in the game. The passive from Catalyst the Protector gives a small heal/mana boost upon leveling. This passive loses it’s charm late game, and if you’re building a BV late game, it’s almost instantly lost. So without that requirement, BVs make even more sense to purchase mid-late game, without loss of uniques.

Runic Bulwark and Locket of the Iron Solari

Summary: Runic Bulwark has been removed from the game. Aegis of the Legion now builds into Locket of the Iron Solari.

Context: We wanted to reduce the burden of buying an Aegis/Bulwark every game. By combining Aegis and Locket, we can more clearly push them into their strategic niche of team fight area-effect damage reduction items.

Aegis of the Legion

  • Combine cost reduced to 375 Gold from 625 (total cost reduced to 1900 Gold from 2150)
  • Health reduced to 200 from 250
  • No longer grants self-only Magic Resist
  • UNIQUE Aura – Legion
    • No longer grants Armor
    • Magic Resist increased to 20 from 15
    • No longer grants additional bonuses to minions

Runic Bulwark

  • Removed from the game

Locket of the Iron Solari

  • New build path: Aegis of the Legion + 600 Gold = 2500 Gold
  • +300 Health
  • +20 Armor
  • +10% Cooldown Reduction
  • UNIQUE Active retained
  • Now grants UNIQUE Aura – Legion

I really like seeing Runic Bulwarks heading the way of the Dodo. I think RB would have made more sense if you were to just have an extra combine cost, rather than having to buy the additional MR item. But, the item is just being reworked to combine with other items. I don’t like the removal of Armor from Aegis though, because I rarely buy Lockets. I suppose now the new meta will be to always upgrade to a Locket, and I suppose that’s fine as far as opening up another slot for something else that’s useful, but I always forget to use the damn active. Perhaps I’m just retarded.

That’s it for this round of patch notes. Until next time.