Now that things are settling down after Midseason, we come bearing the meatiest part of this patch: a jungle update! There’s a big section you can scroll on down to, but the gist of it is that we’re making improvements to help the jungle experience feel less like a grind of swatting down camps of birds and wolves. We’re talking more lenient camp timers, a helping hand for junglers who are significantly behind in the game, and specific adjustments to jungle camps.
Zooming back to balance changes, a certain axe man and a blade babe have been crossing the line, so we’re taking them down a notch. On the other end, we’re giving some love to a luminous lady and a wingwoman who haven’t been feeling their best. Phase Rush, a safe bet for ranged and melee users, gets a nerf, whereas Abyssal Mask gets a buff to secure it as a more potent MR option.
Last but not least, Kog’Maw gets a VFX update, so prepare to be open-mouthed for a brushed up Mouth of the Abyss! (But not for too long— I hear he spits.)
And that's it! See ya in the next one.
Take this portal to the TFT patch notes to see what's in the cards for the first patch of TFT: Reckoning!
Passive base damage decreased.
Bard's been overperforming at higher tiers of play due to his roaming capabilities. Obviously, it's Bard. Bard roams. So to preserve his unique strength as a roaming support, we're toning down his early lane damage instead.
E cooldown increased.
Darius has been chopping up his foes left, right, and across levels of play. With high win rates in Elite and high ban rates in Average tiers, we're looking to make Apprehend less oppressive by giving his opponents more opportunities to farm or mount a counter-attack.
W cooldown now flat; magic damage shield decreased.
Galio's been soaring high as a mid laner and support in Elite play. His shield is where a large part of the problem lies. With an early max, Galio’s durability remains strong throughout the course of the game, so we're giving his shield appropriate downtime and scaling to match.
Base armor decreased. R damage now capped against epic monsters.
Despite Jinx's bugfix-nerf in 11.9, she’s still at the top of the marksmen heap. In addition to her big ol' deadly rocket to snipe objectives, she’s a safe pick to handle most scenarios. We’re making her more vulnerable to enemies who want to shut her down early on, then pulling back on a super mega frustrating point of her ult.
Base movement speed decreased.
Katarina’s been terrorizing Skilled play, so we're adjusting her roaming prowess due to the impact it can have on higher-leveled matches.
Passive AP damage ratio and bonus attack range increased; Muramana bugfix.
Kayle is a little weak across all levels of play, so we’re strengthening her moment of transformative ascension at level 16 so she can rain down damage from above.
W max stacks bonus damage increased.
This ninja’s lost his spark. We’re charging up the current in top lane.
E damage increased.
Our laser lady has been underperforming in mid and support, so we're putting more zap in her waveclear to help Lux players in the mid lane, as well as the support Lux players who tend to play more aggressively in the bot lane.
E targeting updated.
We’re updating Sejuani’s targeting so that she knows which
boarbullseye to strike.
Q bonus AD damage ratio decreased.
Talon’s been raking it in as the premier mid lane roamer in Elite play. He’s able to pack a punch in lane, then dash and slash his enemies in the next lane over. We’re slowing down his roll by lowering some of his upfront burst and dialing down how much he spikes for each successful gank.
Base health decreased; health growth increased.
We tried to chain down Thresh in patch 11.8, but the Warden’s still keeping his enemies prisoner in Elite play. We’re lowering his early durability so that he’ll be more susceptible to all-ins.
Q base damage and empowered damage increased. W ally icon bugfix.
It appears that the bot lane is full of dog people because Yuumi’s been a less ideal partner for marksman champions due to her more passive presence. To coax her back as a more active participant in lane, we’re giving her some damage from the outset so that her Q feels more like poke than a pat.
Passive Vine Lasher slow increased. W cooldown decreased.
Feeding Zyra’s plants more power and uptime so she gets more bang for her... bud.
At all phases of the game, Abyssal Mask is getting overlooked in favor of more powerful defensive options. It could use some raw power to compete against its peers.
Goredrinker has been on the weaker end of things for a while now and has been phasing out of fighter builds. Giving it a fighting chance by bumping up its healing.
Guinsoo’s has been in a rough spot, so we’re making it a more affordable option for on-hit champions to ramp up their damage earlier on in the game.
We're speeding up Riftmaker's stacking time and broadening the ways to trigger the stacking for a more satisfying and expected feel during combat.
Phase Rush dominates high-level play with its ability to provide safety both in lane and in extended fights. We're pumping the brakes for users across the board. We know a few champions are very tied to Phase Rush, and we'll be monitoring them closely over the patch and follow up as needed.
Throughout patch notes history, the jungle has been changed in ways that have pushed PvE prowess to the highest levels of importance, where the priority is to farm fast to get ahead of the experience curve. This is even more pronounced in higher levels of play, where the champion pool has narrowed down to those with competitive clearing capabilities, making the jungle a solved system and a scary place when you fall behind.
To address this, we’re relaxing camp timers to allow for more leniency on pathing through the jungle. We’re also reinstituting an improved version of the comeback experience which only kicks in when a jungler is significantly behind the game— now, if that’s the case, it shouldn't feel impossible to win. The intent isn’t so that a strategy is born out of the comeback mechanism, but instead to limit the number of games that feel truly out of hand due to a struggling jungler with no path to recover.
Even the fastest clearing junglers have little to no downtime between finishing one camp from the next. Our original intent for this aggressive respawn timing was that there’s always an opportunity cost to taking any other action on the map, and this pacing reduced jungler presence in lanes at the very early game. The problem it brings in hand is twofold: Junglers never feel like they’ve finished farming, almost like the game was telling them they were failing at optimizing their clears, and windows to set up exciting ganks were far few in between. As a result, we’re partially walking back camp timer respawns from last year’s preseason. In addition, we’re also matching camp indicators to how players intuitively play around them so that you aren’t constantly stressed about being everywhere at once.
Setting a jungler behind is usually a concerted team effort of countering ganks, blocking off access to buffs, and controlling vision—not just the enemy jungler clearing faster or counter-jungling. This combined with the unforgiving pathing optimization due to aggressive 2:00 respawn timers leads to cases where junglers who fall behind, stay behind, and it’s far less likely they have the ability to stabilize in comparison to other roles.
In lane, losing a turret means you’re farming closer to the safety of your base and enemies have to extend into your half of the map to fight you. But the jungle works counter to that, since a turret going down makes its neighboring section of the jungle drastically less safe for the rest of the game, since you have to extend past your inner turrets to farm it.
All this being said, we don’t expect most players to run into this comeback experience, except in the most dire of circumstances. And ultimately, although this catchup boost is a helping hand, it won’t make struggling junglers as strong as they would have been, had they never fallen behind.
A jungler’s nothing without his Summoner Spell, so we’re slapping on some quality of life buffs to Smite. No longer do you have to check your Smite tooltip or buff bar when approaching an epic monster, and now you should be more equipped to secure objectives.
Putting Omnivamp on jungle items in preseason improved clarity by eliminating a wordy jungle-specific regen mechanic. But it also skewed towards benefiting champions who could clear fast (i.e. take less damage) and use the bonus as a health battery as the game went on. We’re pulling power out of Omnivamp while increasing the flat restore you get from Smite, and reducing jungle camp damage across the board, especially small AoE camps. This way, junglers are less punished when they aren’t able to instantly clear them.
And to top it all off, we adjusted specific jungle camps based on our overarching goals: 1. Reduce incoming damage from jungle camps to offset the reduced healing from omnivamp, 2. change jungle monsters' health to offset the higher Smite damage, and 3. change gold values to offset income lost by spawn timers.
We‘re back at it again with another set of VFX updates, this time for everyone's favorite void pupper, Kog'Maw!
Once again, our goals for these sorts of smaller updates is to improve the overall gameplay clarity of VFX (here’s a whole article about it) while bringing them up to modern League of Legends standards. This means that our efforts are primarily aimed at abilities which do not clearly communicate their hitbox.