Patch 9.3 notes

By Aether

Welcome to 9.3, the patch that's like milk because we're alleviating a lot of spice. On the champion front, we're wrapping up mechanics cleanup on Aatrox, Akali, and Irelia to ensure they've got meaningful weaknesses opponents can capitalize on. Item-wise, we're taking a deep pass on marksman items to solve the build satisfaction issues marksmen have been frustrated by since midseason. We're also changing farm bounties so players who farm their way back from a deficit aren't treated the same as champs who ran away with huge CS leads to begin with.

Grab a glass (of milk, remember?) and read on.
Paul "Aether" Perscheid

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Patch Highlights

Mid-Patch Updates

12/2/2019 Balance Update

Recent days have ushered in the "Frostmancy" strategy, where solo laners take Kleptomancy and Spellthief's Edge to harass their opponent with Tribute procs and maintain their income with Kleptomancy while ignoring last hitting. This strategy throws several laning skills out the window, erases the gold tradeoffs for missing last hits, and gives opponents no means of interfering with your plan.

Similar to gold funneling last season, we're taking a heavy-handed approach to remove Frostmancy now while we work on a more refined long-term solution. Since this change hits some legitimate support decisions (ex. staying in lane while your carry recalls) we're increasing Tribute gold a bit to avoid big nerfs to Spellthief's' intended users. We're applying the same philosophy to Ancient Coin as well to avoid the risk that Frostmancy users simply rotate off Spellthief's onto Coin.

Spellthief's Edge Line

newBUDDY SYSTEM Tribute procs now require an allied champion within 2000 range to grant gold, otherwise they only deal extra damage
TRIBUTE GOLD 10/20/20 gold (Spellthief's Edge/Frostfang/Remnant of the Watchers) 11/22/22 gold (Spellthief's Edge/Frostfang/Remnant of the Watchers)

Ancient Coin Line

newBUDDY SYSTEM Favor procs now require an allied champion within 2000 range to drop gold coins, otherwise they only drop mana coins
FAVOR GOLD 25/45/45 gold (Ancient Coin/Nomad's Medallion/Remnant of the Ascended) 28/50/50 gold (Ancient Coin/Nomad's Medallion/Remnant of the Ascended)

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Champions

Aatrox

Health regen increased. Aatrox no longer heals off damage to non-champions. E no longer stores charges but cools down faster than it previously charged.

Where last patch focused on dropping Aatrox's raw power, this patch focuses on exposing more weaknesses for the Darkin Blade. We're trading his ability to sustain off minions for higher baseline regen so he can't fall back as effectively on passive farming to recover from enemy aggression. Removing Umbral Dash's second charge makes Aatrox's skill check for landing all three Q hits steeper and means if enemies can bait his dash, he won't have a second one to use as an escape.

Base Stats

HEALTH REGEN 5 8
HEALTH REGEN GROWTH 0.25 0.75

E - Umbral Dash

removedHEALING VS NON-CHAMPIONS Aatrox no longer heals for 3/3.34/3.75/4.13/4.5% of the damage he deals to non-champions
removedCHARGES Aatrox no longer stores a charge of Umbral Dash every 26/22/18/14/10 seconds
COOLDOWN 3/2.5/2/1.5/1 seconds 9/8/7/6/5 seconds, now reduced by cooldown reduction (CDR previously affected charge rate rather than cooldown)

Akali

Health regen increased. Q no longer heals. Turrets reveal Akali through Shroud. W cooldown increased late.

First thing's first: We're removing Akali's ability to hide from turrets, which has been the most contentious part of her update. Many of you are asking why it took us half a year to get here, and the answer is that Akali depended on turret stealth to dive as effectively as other assassins. Ultimately, though, Akali has so many strengths (the ability to switch targets mid-fight without giving up kill pressure, and four forms of mobility, among others) that she doesn't need to also be a reliable turret diver. Given Akali finds better success in longer fights than other assassins, the short duration of turret dives make sense as a weakness, which they now are. The cooldown nerf is simpler: We're reducing Akali's late-game access to Shroud's defenses.

With that out of the way... Five Point Strike nerf. Akali's become blind-pickable in higher echelons of play and Q's heal is a huge part of that: PvE sustain lets Akali survive matchups where she should be getting shoved out of lane if not outright dying to aggression. We're giving her more health regen to soften the blow, but are well aware it's a power-down overall.

We'll be keeping a close eye on how Akali lands in both pro and regular play (did the W change reduce frustration? Did the Q change open up meaningful counters?) then decide on how to bring her back up. In the meantime, you can probably stop permabanning her.

Base Stats

HEALTH REGEN 3.5 6

Q - Five Point Strike

removedHEAL Akali no longer heals for 5/10/15/20/25 (+0.2/0.25/0.3/0.35/0.4 total attack damage) (+0.2/0.25/0.3/0.35/0.4 ability power) if Five Point Strike hits at least one enemy when cast at 180 or more energy

W - Twilight Shroud

removedSTEALTH FROM TURRETS Twilight Shroud no longer prevents turrets from revealing Akali
COOLDOWN 21/18.5/16/13.5/11 seconds 21/19/17/15/13 seconds

Camille

E no longer stuns minions or monsters.

Camille's S-tier jungle status has gotten to the point where we can't easily balance her there without causing her top lane to suffer. We're making the call to prioritize Camille top going forward, though this likely makes Camille jungle a niche pick at best.

E - Hookshot

removedNON-CHAMPION STUN Hookshot no longer stuns minions and monsters

Cassiopeia

Q base damage decreased late; ratio increased. W damage reduced late, cost increased late.

Next verse, same as the first (well, we've actually been here twice in recent history). Cassiopeia is still too strong when fighting from extremely safe distances.

Q - Noxious Blast

BASE DAMAGE 75/120/165/210/255 75/110/145/180/215
RATIO 0.8 ability power 0.9 ability power

W - Miasma

COST 70 mana at all ranks 70/80/90/100/110 mana
DAMAGE PER SECOND 20/30/40/50/60 20/25/30/35/40
MAX DAMAGE 100/150/200/250/300 100/125/150/175/200

Irelia

Health growth and armor increased. Passive stack cap increased; stacks grant attack speed instead of damage; max stack bonus grants damage instead of attack speed. Q bonus minion damage increased. W reduces more physical damage but no longer reduces magic damage.

This is a companion patch to 9.2 which removed extraneous mechanics from Irelia's kit and reduced her late-game waveclear. Our goal was to give her more pronounced weaknesses and make her less broadly powerful, which we're carrying forward to 9.3. Between the two patches, enemies should feel like they have better ways to deal with Irelia, from champ select to lane to teamfights. So what are we doing this patch?

We're swapping Ionian Fervor's bonuses—now attack speed per stack, on-hit damage when fully stacked—to reduce the burstiness of her initiation combos and give enemies a wider window before her damage is fully online. (Bladesurge's minion damage is going up to offset the impact on her already-nerfed waveclear.) We're also changing Defiant Dance to a stronger anti-physical defense with no protection against magic damage to open a weakness to mages and AP assassins while strengthening her ability to counter AD threats.

Base Stats

HEALTH GROWTH 85 95
ARMOR 34 36

Passive - Ionian Fervor

PER-STACK 4-17 (levels 1-18) (+0.04 bonus attack damage) on-hit damage 8/10/12% (levels 1/7/13) attack speed
STACK CAP 4 5
MAX STACKS 16-68 (levels 1-18) (+0.16 bonus attack damage) on-hit damage 40%/50/60% (levels 1/7/13) attack speed
MAX STACK BONUS 30/40/50% (levels 1/7/13) attack speed 15-66 (levels 1-18) (+0.25 bonus attack damage) on-hit damage

Q - Bladesurge

BONUS DAMAGE TO MINIONS 45/60/75/90/105 55/75/95/115/135

W - Defiant Dance

DAMAGE REDUCTION 40% reduced physical and magic damage 50% reduced physical damage, 0% reduced magic damage

E - Flawless Duet

VISUALS Hitbox visuals are easier to see

Champion First Encounter VO

CHECK THE NAMETAG Champions with faction- or champion-specific taunt VO now play those lines the first time they encounter a corresponding champion

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Marksman Items

A Quick Preamble

We've got per-item discussion in the sections below, but want to share some broader thoughts for those interested. Last midseason, we made a bunch of marksman item changes to broaden the range of champions and playstyles that could succeed in bot lane beyond late-game crit spam. While non-marksman carries do occasionally show up in bot lane now, crit marksmen were left frustrated by their builds due to things like crit overcapping, anti-synergy between Infinity Edge and Last Whisper, and higher damage tradeoffs than ever for defensive items due to a weaker two-item spike.

This patch, we're revisiting marksman items with the following goals:
  • Crit users are excited about their core build again
  • Crit builds are generally more satisfying in normal play (fix the problems mentioned above) without becoming problematic in pro play
  • Crit users can fit defense into their core builds if they need it
Once the initial learning curve shakes out, crit users shouldn't be left remarkably stronger or weaker than before, though they'll once again spike at two items (Infinity Edge + Zeal item, with Phantom Dancer updated to be an appealing defensive Zeal upgrade) instead of three so their games will feel better. From here, we'll be following up on significant power shifts on a champ-by-champ basis rather than continuing to adjust the item system (barring any items that end up way out of line).
new

Cloak of Agility

This is only first because it'd be weird to see it in Infinity Edge and Essence Reaver otherwise. Welcome back, crit cloak.
COST 800 gold
CRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 20%
updated

Infinity Edge

Increases critical strike damage instead of partially converting crits to true damage. Grants critical strike chance instead of doubling crit chance from other sources.

We're restoring Infinity Edge's synergy with itself to make it a more immediately gratifying pickup. Removing its true damage conversion means it no longer anti-synergizes with Last Whisper, while setting its crit damage bonus to 25% rather than the historic 50% lets us maintain our original goal of mitigating the late-game squishy melting marksmen used to achieve.
TOTAL COST 3400 gold (unchanged)
BUILD PATH B.F. Sword + Pickaxe + 1225 gold B.F. Sword + Pickaxe + Cloak of Agility + 425 gold
ATTACK DAMAGE 70 80
newCRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 25%
removedCRIT CHANCE DOUBLER No longer doubles critical strike chance
newCRIT DAMAGE INCREASE Now increases critical strike damage by 25%
removedTRUE DAMAGE CONVERSION No longer converts 10% of critical strike damage to true damage

Molten Edge

(Ornn's Masterwork upgrade)

ATTACK DAMAGE 100 110
EVERYTHING ELSE Molten Edge inherits the rest of Infinity Edge's changes above with no differences
updated

Essence Reaver

Now grants critical strike chance. No longer grants mana or Essence Flare.

While the Essence Flare version of Essence Reaver unlocked a few new marksman playstyles (mainly looking at you Lucian), it disenfranchised a bunch of others like Ashe and Xayah and ultimately ended up being a better fit for fighters like Renekton and Riven. Essence Reaver is going back to being a crit+CDR item.
TOTAL COST 3000 gold 3200 gold
BUILD PATH B.F. Sword + Caulfield's Warhammer + Sapphire Crystal + 250 gold Pickaxe + Caulfield's Warhammer + Cloak of Agility + 425 gold
ATTACK DAMAGE 75 60
COOLDOWN REDUCTION 20% (unchanged)
newCRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 25%
removedMANA No longer grants 300 mana
MANA REFUND Basic attacks refund 1% 1.5% missing mana
removedESSENCE FLARE Your next basic attack after casting your ultimate no longer grants Essence Flare for 6 seconds, granting 50% attack speed and 20% basic ability cooldown refund on basic attack
new

Spear of Shojin

Grants attack damage, health, cooldown reduction, and Awakened Dragon (renamed Essence Flare).

Per the Essence Reaver context, several champions make good use of Essence Flare. It's just that they're mostly not marksmen. We made a new item for them. (To those of you who saw the previous Spear of Shojin on Nexus Blitz, it ended up overlapping enough with Sterak's Gage that we decided not to move it forward.)
TOTAL COST 3400 gold
BUILD PATH B.F. Sword + Kindlegem + Long Sword + 950 gold
ATTACK DAMAGE 60
HEALTH 250
COOLDOWN REDUCTION 20%
AWAKENED DRAGON Your next basic attack after casting your ultimate grants Awakened Dragon for 6 seconds, granting 50% attack speed and 20% basic ability cooldown refund on basic attack
updated

Stormrazor

Now amplifies your Energized effects and causes them to slow the target. No longer grants a guaranteed critical strike after not basic attacking for a few seconds.

Stormrazor was created to support marksman playstyles that focus more on kiting around a fight than attacking at full uptime, but ended up becoming the predominant first item in crit builds due to its combination of early impact and crit scaling. We're keeping the idea of "occasionally super-powerful attacks" but moving it from the crit system into the Energized system so it's not just a bumper on the front of Infinity Edge builds.
TOTAL COST 2800 gold 3100 gold
BUILD PATH B.F. Sword + Long Sword + Long Sword + Dagger + 550 gold B.F. Sword + Long Sword + Kircheis Shard + 850 gold
ATTACK DAMAGE 60 55
ATTACK SPEED 35% 25%
newENERGIZED Movement and basic attacks generate Energized stacks. At 100 stacks, your next basic attack deals 65 bonus magic damage on-hit and slow the target by 40% decaying over 1 second
newSTORM Your other Energized effects are 30% more effective and also slow their targets by 40% decaying over 1 second
removedSTORM'S EDGE No longer causes your next basic attack to critically strike for 140-200% (at 0-30% critical strike chance) and grant 20% bonus movement speed for 0.75 seconds after not basic attacking for a few seconds.
updated

Phantom Dancer

Now grants a shield at low health but no longer decreases damage from the last champion you hit. Spectral Waltz now triggers on attack rather than proximity to an enemy champion.

Existing defensive options for crit marksmen (Maw of Malmortius, Guardian Angel, Mercurial Scimitar) set users far enough behind on core damage builds that they can't contribute carry-level damage in fights even though they're living longer. We're making Phantom Dancer a defensive option that fits more smoothly into crit builds.
TOTAL COST 2700 gold 2600 gold
BUILD PATH Dagger + Zeal + Dagger + 800 gold Dagger + Brawler's Gloves + Zeal + 700 gold (Zeal's cost has decreased by 100 gold)
ATTACK SPEED 45% 30%
CRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 30% 25%
newLIFELINE If you would take damage that would reduce your health below 30%, gain a shield that absorbs up to 240-600 (scaling starts at level 9, ends at level 18) damage for 2 seconds (90 second cooldown)
removedLAMENT No longer decreases damage taken from the last champion you basic attacked by 12%
SPECTRAL WALTZ Grants unit passthrough and 7% movement speed while within 550 range of a visible enemy champion for 2 seconds after basic attacking a champion

Kircheis Shard

TOTAL COST 800 gold 600 gold

Zeal

TOTAL COST 1300 gold 1200 gold

Rapid Firecannon

TOTAL COST 2800 gold 2600 gold
CRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 30% 25%

Runaan's Hurricane

TOTAL COST 2800 gold 2600 gold
CRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 30% 25%

Statikk Shiv

Shiv needed a little extra buff to bring it up to the level of the other Zeal upgrades.
TOTAL COST 2800 gold 2600 gold
ATTACK SPEED 35% 40%
CRITICAL STRIKE CHANCE 30% 25%

Last Whisper

Cost increased. Attack damage and armor penetration increased.

Making Last Whisper more effective as a component item while building into Lord Dominik's Regards or Mortal Reminder.
COST 1300 gold 1450 gold
ATTACK DAMAGE 10 20
ARMOR PENETRATION 10% total armor penetration 20% total armor penetration

Lord Dominik's Regards

ATTACK DAMAGE 40 45

Mortal Reminder

ATTACK DAMAGE 40 45

Build Suggestions

We're changing a lot of marksman items this patch, which means marksman builds may look a bit different. We're sharing a few build archetypes you can expect to see this patch, though actual builds will look different from one champion to the next (unique builds aren't covered here—how's it going, Ezreal?). The best thing to do is, as always, think critically about which items fit your champion's playstyle and strengths. That said, here are a couple common builds you'll see this patch:
INFINITY EDGE Infinity EdgeBerserker's GreavesZeal UpgradeZeal upgrade or Last Whisper upgrade
ESSENCE REAVER Essence ReaverBerserker's GreavesZeal upgradeInfinity Edge
BLADE OF THE RUINED KING (CRIT) Blade of the Ruined KingBerserker's GreavesRunaan's HurricaneInfinity Edge
BLADE OF THE RUINED KING (ON-HIT) Blade of the Ruined KingBerserker's GreavesGuinsoo's RagebladeRapid Firecannon
STORMRAZOR Stormrazor's no longer the must-rush marksman item. You'll mostly see it as a third or fourth pickup in other builds.
RECOMMENDED ITEMS Marksman recommended items have been updated based on this patch's changes to provide in-game advice on a champ-by-champ basis

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Simple Buffs & Nerfs

This is a new section of the patch notes where we're gonna stick simple, straightforward changes—generally small handfuls of number tunings rather than mechanical adjustments or comprehensive balance passes. They still impact matchups and place in the meta, so this isn't a free pass to skip reading 'em!

Lissandra

Q cost increased late. E damage decreased late.

Much of Lissandra's status as a dominant midlaner comes from her ability to push into the enemy turret quickly and at relatively low cost, letting her consistently roam with plenty of mana to fight with. A higher cost on Ice Shard and lower damage on Glacial Path mean she'll have to invest more time and resources in mid before she can pressure other lanes.

Separate from the waveclear changes, Glacial Path's endpoint indicator is now always visible if you're close to it. This is mainly targeted at cases where Liss players could hide their endpoint inside terrain, but we're addressing the brush and line-of-sight cases as well.

Q - Ice Shard

COST 60/63/66/69/72 mana 60/65/70/75/80 mana

E - Glacial Path

DAMAGE 70/115/160/205/250 70/105/140/175/210
CLARITY Glacial Path's endpoint now shows through terrain, fog of war, and brush to enemies within 600 range of it

Sion

Q damage decreased. W cooldown increased early.

Weakening Sion's early lane to make bad matchups more punshing for him.

Q - Decimating Smash

MINIMUM DAMAGE 30/50/70/90/110 20/40/60/80/100
FULL-CHARGE DAMAGE 90/150/210/270/330 60/120/180/240/300

W - Soul Furnace

COOLDOWN 11 seconds at all ranks 15/14/13/12/11 seconds

Zyra

Plant damage decreased.

We took a light touch with last patch's mana regen nerf which asked Zyra to be a little more careful with her cooldowns. This patch swings harder by targeting her harass from plants which lets her keep opponents at bay even when she misses her abilities.

General

PLANT DAMAGE 24-109 (levels 1-18) 20-100 (levels 1-18)

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Minion and Monster Gold Bounties

Dying while behind in farm delays how quickly you accrue a minion and monster gold bounty after respawning.

One of the unintended side effects of preseason's minion and monster gold bounties is that farming back up from an early deficit puts a target on your back. We're making that not happen anymore.
FARMING SUBSIDIES If you die with less minion and monster gold than the enemy team's average, you'll respawn with a buffer equal to the difference. You won't start accruing a minion and monster gold bounty until you've used up the buffer.
WHAT? Say you die with 200 less minion and monster gold than the enemy team's average, then go back to lane and power farm 700 gold while the enemy team only averages 300 gold. Previously, you'd have a 100 gold bounty for having 400 more minion and monster gold than the enemy team's average. Now you won't have a bounty at all because your first 200 gold was erased by the buffer.
REMINDER The enemy team's average is their total minion and monster gold divided by four, not five (top, mid, and bot lane, plus the jungle)

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Loading Screen Update

The loading screen's getting a visual refresh this patch to bring its look and feel in line with current League aesthetics and to lay the groundwork for new features down the road. Here are a few functional changes coming with the update
  • Ranked borders now dynamically update to reflect your current rank
  • Load-in progress is now tracked via a single bar at the bottom of the screen
  • Clicking a player's card in the loading screen now flips it to show additional info:
    • Teammates: Champion mastery, honor, and ranked armor or level border depending on which they've chosen to display
    • Opponents: Champion mastery and honor

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Bugfixes

  • LeBlanc's Q - Sigil of Malice and Mimic'd Q - Sigil of Malice mark is no longer consumed when E - Ethereal Chains, Mimic'd E - Ethereal Chains, or Mimic'd Q - Sigil of Malice would proc the mark but are blocked by a spell shield
  • Relic Shield no longer reports twice the amount of gold generated from Spoils of War in the post-game screen
  • Base Aatrox can once again toggle his banner wings
  • Firecracker Vayne Prestige Edition's E - Condemn projectile color has been slightly changed to disambiguate it from her R - Final Hour basic attacks
  • Nightbringer Yasuo's R - Last Breath voiceover has been restored
  • Choosing a new background for your profile once again immediately updates it rather than requiring you to tab out and tab back into your profile

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Upcoming Skins & Chromas

The following skins will be released this patch. Grab the League Displays app for full-res splash art!

The following chromas will be released this patch:

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2 weeks ago

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