Welcome to 7.19, the one where Worlds patch is finally in the rearview mirror and we can introduce some of the bigger changes we’ve been working on. There’s a lot this time around, so let’s dive right in!
First, we’ve got Ardent Censer and Janna, both of which have been warping the bot game landscape for awhile. We’re looking to put a clearer strength profile on both of them, and – in Janna’s case – making sure she has more punishable weaknesses as a tradeoff for her late game strength.
We’re also taking this opportunity to give Azir an ability update at this point, trimming a lot of his extraneous strengths (range), but also upgrading his damage. With clearer weaknesses to exploit, we’ll be able to leave Azir in a healthier place than in previous patches.
Finally, Xin Zhao hasn’t been touched since we removed Devourer a year and a half ago. We’re looking into his kit to give him a clearer identity.
There’s a lot of updated champions this patch, so brush up on the changes before you hop onto the Rift!
Ability update; check out the below context and prior dev blog for more information.
Azir has been a League balance problem for awhile. Rather than tweak him patch after patch, we sidelined Shurima’s Emperor for a little while, choosing instead to focus on his eventual mini-update. This is that mini-update. For a deep dive into his changes, check out our dev blog.
Here’s the TL;DR, though. Azir—unlike most long-ranged champions—is hard to kill even when you do manage to get on him, and if you get tooclose, he can even counter-initiate with a timely Shurima Shuffle. As a result, experienced Azir players were really hard to punish. Azir’s mobility, and playmaking potential are super cool, but to keep those and allow players to fight back, we needed to bring his range down to not-artillery levels and focus on his identity as a mobile, sustained damage dealer.
Q – Conquering Sands
Range down on soldier repositioning. Balance tweaks.
W – Arise!
Attack range decreased (summoning range increased slightly). Soldier attack damage increased
E – Shifting Sands
R – Emperor’s Divide
Ability update; check out the below context and prior dev blog for more information.
Xin Zhao finds himself a character without an identity at a times, and we wanted to give him something specific to excel at. We eventually settled on the idea of Xin Zhao as a duelist, but we wanted to differentiate him from the controlled dueling of Fiora or the hunt and isolate dueling of Kha’Zix. Xin Zhao, a former gladiator, excels in creating duels amidst a teamfight, and we wanted his kit to reflect that.
Passive – Determination
Q – Three Talon Strike
NEW W – Wind Becomes Lightning
Xin Zhao performs a quick slash in a cone front of him, then thrusts his spear forward in a line. All enemies hit by the thrust are slowed by 50% for 1.5 seconds.
E – Audacious Charge
NEW R – Crescent Guard
Now unstoppable during Q’s descent. R bonus attack range increased.
Aatrox is struggling to impose himself in teamfights these days. We’re focusing on improving his access to priority targets: Dark Flight is now a more reliable tool for diving the backline, while Massacre’s increased additional attack range will boost his reach as he’s wailing on his foes.
Q – Dark Flight
R – Massacre
Previous attack speed changes reverted. Reduced trap uptime and vision, but procs deal more damage later. Less health early. Headshot can proc on turrets.
Caitlyn’s received several rounds of changes targeted at the late-game effectiveness of her basic attacks. These passes succeeded in knocking Caitlyn out of must-pick status, but netted more cost than benefit since her basic attack feels far worse to use as a result. This isn’t to say all marksman basics should feel the same, or that it’s impossible for a marksman to succeed at lower attack speed thresholds… just that Caitlyn in particular has fallen below the bar of where she should be.
So, we’re restoring most of what we took from Caitlyn earlier in the season and carving out a more exploitable early-game weakness instead. She still has plenty of tools to bully enemies in lane, but her reduced base health gives opponents a more realistic chance of beating her if they can force favorable trades and all-ins. At the same time, Cait needs to secure early leads more than ever. Her damage is more item-dependent than before, and her general utility of creating excessive safety by blocking off lanes and gank paths has been brought down to far more reasonable levels. All in all, the Sheriff of Piltover’s back to being a late-game demon, but she’ll have to play more carefully as she walks the path to get there.
Passive – Headshot
Q – Piltover Peacemaker
W – Yordle Snap Trap
E cooldown increased at early ranks. Janna’s basic attacks are stronger. Q base range increased; moves faster when charged.
This is a big set of changes which, combined with the Ardent Censer changes below, add up to say “Janna isn’t a shield bot in lane anymore.” Most directly, eight extra seconds on Eye of the Storm’s rank 1 cooldown makes choosing when to shield a decision with real consequences if Janna chooses wrong. From there, we’re teasing out a more aggressive, risk-taking playstyle from the rest of her kit. Many of these changes read oddly in a vacuum, so go through ‘em with this in mind: a Janna who’s hitting you with attacks and abilities is a Janna who’s standing in threat range with her defensive tools on cooldown.
Putting all the pieces together, 7.19 is a net power-down for Janna (and we’re prepared to take further action to ensure that’s the case). Die-hard veterans will find success as they navigate her new risks and rewards, but bandwagoners will be staring at significantly grayer screens.
Passive – Tailwind
Q – Howling Gale
W – Zephyr
E – Eye Of The Storm
W passive bonus armor is now tripled when Granite Shield is active.
Malphite is falling a tad short in his role as an anti-physical tank, so we want to give him the opportunity to play his strengths in a way that’s tied to his identity. Now, there’s an opportunity for Malphite to play around his passive more often, as items like Thornmail and Iceborn Gauntlet get even more powerful when his passive is up. This will also give his opponents something to pay attention to when playing against him. #Counterplay
W – Brutal Strikes
Q ball travelling speed increased. W and R will fire only when the ball stops moving.
We’re happy with Orianna’s reliability and skill timings, but we want to make it more clear and understandable to her enemies when her skills will happen. It’s important to note that if W and R are buffered during the ball’s travel time, only the last cast will occur when the ball arrives its destination.
Q – Command: Attack
W – Command: Dissonance
R – Command: Shockwave
Mana increased. Q and E mana costs decreased.
Ornn’s mana costs were tuned upwards on release to compensate for his ability to purchase items in lane, but it looks like we were too aggressive.
Q – Volcanic Rupture
E – Searing Charge
Q bonus damage increased, but no longer benefits from critical strike. R now extends duration when a target Vayne has damage in the last 3 seconds dies.
Vayne is at a pretty decent place for most players: she has clearly defined weaknesses – her weak laning phase – but if she makes it out unscathed, her high damage output and slippery nature can take over games. But at the highest levels of play, she is more consistently punished for her weaknesses, and never really gets to shine. We think intense high moments and notable low moments is also a part of Vayne’s outplay fantasy, however, so we want to make sure we preserve that feeling, even as we’re making her laning phase more survivable. As a result, let’s break this changelist down into two separate points.
Primarily, we’re shifting some of Vayne’s power back into her laning phase, at the expense of some of her late-game crit scaling. To make sure her potential for high moments is still there, we’re adding a new mechanic to Final Hour to let her snowball a teamfight when she starts off on the right foot.
Q – Tumble
W – Silver Bolts
R – Final Hour
Base health, health regen, and health regen growth increased. W cooldown reduced.
Veigar’s infinitely-scaling mage fantasy is exciting in theory, but he currently has too many pronounced weaknesses hampering him from reaching his immense power. On the one hand, his weak laning phase prevents him from getting there, and on the other hand, his late game power is coming up a bit…well, short.
In lane, the unreliability of Dark Matter without Event Horizon makes trading pretty rough unless Veigar is willing to burn a ton of mana. Coupled with his low health and health regen, pushing him out of lane was a pretty trivial task. His trading still won’t be great after these changes, but he should be less free to bully around.
In the late game, the Tiny Master of Evil’s unlimited power fantasy is heavily countered by Banshee’s Veil and Quicksilver Sash. Since Dark Matter is already hard to land, we want to give him more chances to land it, especially when he’s scaling hard.
W – Dark Matter
Ardent Censer’s buff no longer restores health. The buff’s attack speed and damage scale with level again. Censer’s owner now also gets buffed when its user heals or shields an ally.
What we like about Ardent Censer: it gives Enchanters a way to spec into offense, versus defensive builds around Locket, . What we don’t like: it’s relegating supports to heal/shield batteries and acting as a lifesteal item for carries, meaning they aren’t forced to make itemization tradeoffs between sustain and damage. Crit builds just get to have both. More than “Censer OP”, this is a problem with the item’s design. Solving that problem means significant shifts in the support landscape, so in order to keep things stable for Worlds, we’ve avoided tackling that challenge until now.
To wit, we’re replacing Ardent Censer’s on-hit heal with a duplicate buff for its wielder. This gives supports a way to participate in Censer’s offensive game plan while removing its function as a proxy sustain item for carries. Aggressive enchanters will still find success with the item, but those who prefer more defensive playstyles should look for greener pastures.
Cost increased. Damage reflected decreased.
Bramble Vest was a much needed item for tanks who desired a way to deal with auto-attackers with heavy lifesteal/healing. Right now, however, it’s overtuned to the point that it’s good against all basic attackers, so we’re bringing its cost up and effectiveness down a bit.
Thanks to Bramble Vest’s efficiency, Thornmail had an amazing build path. With that build path getting weakened, we want to put more stats into Thornmail to ensure it remains a worthwhile upgrade.
Spellshield duration increased. Cooldown decreased.
When compared to other lethality items, or even other defensive AD options (Guardian Angel, Maw of Malmortius), Edge of Night is lagging behind. We want it to be an item that’s at least considered alongside the others, so we’re amping up its unique strengths to be a bit easier to use on a more frequent basis.
Combine and total cost increased.
Historically, it’s been a concern whenever an initiation item is cost-effective as a rush item, because it allows a team which is ahead to force fights and get more ahead. Righteous Glory is starting to hit that point, so we’re bringing its price point up slightly to make it less efficient and come slightly later in the game.
Burn damage more frontloaded. Frostfire Covenant now procs when the passive slow is applied.
Zeke’s is both undertuned compared to its competition, and its unique buddy-system playstyle is difficult to optimize. For many of the tanky champions we’d like to see pick up Zeke’s, the basic attack procs of Frostfire Covenant are difficult to execute due to its positioning demands. We’re making the trigger more approachable by simply requiring supports to be in slowing range of their bonded ally’s target, rather than nearly on top of them. We’re also further frontloading the burn damage on ally basic attacks, which will increase the damage dealt by frequent application.
Ally burn damage
This one’s been a long time coming. Ever since League was created, spell shields have been set up to block every ability that hits within an instant of the shield popping. This was due to a code limitation that prevented spell shields from properly ‘talking to’ enemy abilities.
They now work as advertised: only one spell gets blocked, even if the shielded champion is hit near-simultaneously by multiple abilities at once. This won’t come up as often as you might think (the window of protection was seriously tiny), but the more you know… or something.
Attack. Defend. Repeat. Nexus Siege blasts back into rotation from 9/29/17 at 12:00 p.m. PT – 10/3/17 at 4:00 a.m. PT and 10/6/17 at 12:00 p.m. PT – 10/10/17 at 4:00 a.m. PT.
We also updated the game mode with new features and some bug fixes.
- Xayah, Rakan, Kayn, and Ornn now playable in Nexus Siege
- Kayn tip: You can Shadow Step through walls into the back of the enemy spawn pad, but we don’t recommend it because laz0rz.
- Ornn tip: You can forge deployables from anywhere on the map.
- Warwick’s Bloodscent (W) VFX no longer persists through round swap.
- Team-specific events (e.g., destroying turrets, killing champions) now reflect the correct team in Replays.
- Nasus and Sion now give the proper amount of stacks for killing deployables.
- Take turns charging and protecting the Nexus with a crazy arsenal of unique and mega powerful siege weapons.
- Earn the fastest base destruction (in attack mode) and victory is yours.
- Average game length: 25 minutes.
Seem simple enough? Let the mayhem begin.
You can now ping everything on the scoreboard, so knock yourself out.
Account transfers will be temporarily disabled from October 10 to November 20 as we get ready for preseason.
We’re making some quality-of-life upgrades to champ select over the next few patches. Check out the full timeline and feature breakdown here!
- Fixed a bug where casting Face of the Mountain’s active on an ally out of range caused the player to walk in range, then cast it on the closest ally instead of the selected one.
- Twitch’s Q – Ambush visual effects no longer stay visible indefinitely if Tahm Kench uses W – Devour on Twitch as he enters stealth.
- Ahri’s E – Charm now correctly affects bots on Twisted Treeline
- Jarvan IV’s weapon no longer appears beside him when he uses his E – Demacian StandardQ – Dragon Strike combo
- Rumble can now correctly cast his E – Electro Harpoon if overheated.
- Aurelion Sol E – Comet of Legend no longer goes on cooldown if his Banshee’s Veil is broken during flight.
- Star Guardian Syndra’s pink overlay has been restored during her recall animation.
- Omega Squad Twitch and Omega Squad Tristana once again have their helicopter shadows during their recall animations.
- Dragon Fist Lee Sin no longer loses Gargoyle Stoneplate’s active overlay VFX when (R) – Dragon’s Rage is in use.
- God Fist Lee Sin’s death shadow no longer persists.
- Snow Day Ziggs passive VFX have been restored.
- Malzahar’s Void Swarm W – Voidlings are no longer missing attack on-hit VFX.
- River Spirit Nami no longer has misplaced VFX on her staff.
- Placeholder VFX are no longer present on the New Horizon Ward.
- High Noon Jhin’s model no longer stretches when shooting during R – Curtain Call.
- Shields on Blood Moon Jhin now follow the model during his recall animation.
- Riot Kayle’s drone lights no longer disappear upon moving the camera away and back during her recall animation.
- During Riven’s joke animation, her fingers no longer clip through her sword.
- Battlecast Cho’Gath’s W – Feral Scream is now of higher fidelity on very low settings.
- Pulsefire Ezreal’s homeguard animation has been restored.
- Bad Santa Veigar no longer has visible seams on very low settings.
- Corporate Mundo’s impact VFX have been restored when W – Infected Cleaversuccessfully hits an enemy target.
- Definitely Not Vel’Koz’s tentacles no longer abruptly transition during animations.
- Hired Gun Graves no longer has an empty gap on his gun – VFX have been restored.
- Snow Day Singed’s Q – Poison Trail is now more gameplay friendly, regardless of if Colorblind Mode is activated or not.
- Candy King Ivern no longer hums over all of his VO lines.
- Dark Star Varus’ blue tendrils no longer flicker during several graphics settings.
- We fixed a grammar error in the copy when more than one key fragment drops
The following chromas will be released in patch 7.19: