Greetings, Summoners. Welcome to 6.17, the one with a cavalcade of changes to tune things up for Worlds. We’ve still got one patch after this to make final adjustments, but the conversation now’s basically the same as it’ll be two more weeks from now.
Those of you who haven’t been around the international tournament block before may be wondering: “How is Worlds balance any different than normal?” First, our normal balance target is somewhere in the upper-plat range, but tournament patches skew more toward balance at the highest level of play. Second, the type of changes we make are relatively safe, both in terms of cleaner impact (things shouldn’t change in ways we don’t expect) and unlikelihood to cause disable-worthy bugs.
Moving from theory to application, champion diversity in the pro scene’s a bit more homogenous than we’d like to see, so we’re looking to crack things open. This entails setting our sights on some of the omnipresent picks (Rek’Sai, Gragas, the utility marksmen) and bringing up a few champs we think are on the cusp of Worlds viability. Work here will continue next patch as well - just because you’re in pool doesn’t mean we can’t see you, Vlad.
That’s it for us this patch! Good luck, have fun, and may your matches feature a few more faces than they did before!
Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
Paul "Aether" Perscheid
Mattias "Gentleman Gustaf" Lehman
Tibbers’ enrage wears off faster after Annie dies.
One of our goals for Annie’s mid-season update was to let Tibbers realize the fantasy of infernal guardian. Enraging on Annie’s death is one of the approaches we took, the idea being that giant frothing hellbears are terrifying and you should run away from them. For that to work, however, players should feel like they stand a fair chance of outrunning Tibbers, so we’re toning his enrage down.
R - Summon: Tibbers
Q duration down. R damage down.
For the past few patches, Ashe has pushing the upper limit of what can reasonably be called a ‘utility marksman’. Picking her should signal a priority on utilizing her unique aspects (global engage) at the cost of damage output, but at her current power level that tradeoff simply doesn’t exist. Hitting Ashe’s top-tier DPS opens room for other marksmen to compete while preserving the game-changing global pressure and vision control only she can bring to the bot lane.
Q - Ranger's Focus
R - Enchanted Crystal Arrow
Attacking wards no longer cancels The Package’s speed boost.
Corki’s Package cements his identity as a premiere roaming Marksman, and losing The Package’s movement speed buff to attack a ward just feels counterintuitive. We’re updating Corki to align with our Patch 6.13 change to Boots of Mobility, allowing him to keep his out of combat movement speed if he stops to clear a ward.
Passive - Hextech Munitions
E pull distance increased.
Diana’s gameplay - like that of many divers - consists of finding the right moment to dash onto a priority target and sickle them to death. Where Diana should stand out from other divers is in her ability to pull enemy champions together and set them up for small Area of Effect follow up (Orianna, that’s you). To that end, we’re sharpening Moonfall’s effectiveness when pulling in stragglers so that the right teammates feel good about having Diana, not just any diver.
E - Moonfall
R cooldown and cost reduced.
For someone known as the Glorious Executioner, it’s odd that Draven doesn’t get more opportunities to gloriously execute his opponents. Most of Draven’s high-pressure skirmishing comes from catching and resetting Spinning Axes, killing Draven’s foes or his mana pool rather quickly. We’re upping the availability of Draven’s ultimate to increase the likelihood of him ending his duels with a bang. A whirling, handsome, mustachio’d bang.
R - Whirling Death
R cooldown decreased.
When we think about what we want Evelynn to excel at, it’s taking advantage of her stealth and ultimate to flank from an interesting location, allowing her team to followup. As it stands, Evelynn’s ultimate cooldown is a bit too high - especially in the early-mid game - meaning Evelynn doesn’t actually get to see that many of those moments.
R - Agony's Embrace
Passive attack speed increased.
Primarily picked for his poke damage, Ezreal’s always been known to transition from a dominant early performer into a lategame falloff. At present however, the degree to which Ezreal loses steam makes him a liability for all but the most single-mindedly mid-game focused teams. We’re showing Ez some love by amping his later carry potential when he truly displays his skill via successful spellslinging.
Passive - Rising Spell Force
Base health down. W cost up. R cooldown increased and damage decreased.
Gangplank’s a hypercarry that gets to have his late-game cake and eat it in the early game, too. While most hypercarries have trouble reaching their endgame fantasies (due to soft laning phases or some other vulnerability), GP’s safety, global pressure and enhanced gold generation demand that your team focus all its efforts on answering him. In other words, when you face Gangplank, you win, or you die.
This patch, we’re committing to making Gangplank more closely resemble that traditional ‘hypercarry curve’ by taking a pretty big swing at his safety. While there are a couple changes below, they fall into two distinct buckets. First up, lowering his ability to safely sustain through a tough matchup increases the amount of time he’ll need to get going. Next, reducing his global threat means GP’s less able to scale up when he’s unable to fight his own battles. Gangplank’s still going to be a rewarding and powerful threat when he reaches his late game status, but these changes mean that when you take the Pirate King down, he’s more likely to stay down.
W - Remove Scurvy
E - Powder Keg
R - Cannon Barrage
E cooldown up. R now has a fixed travel time.
Before we get into the specifics of our Gragas changes, we want to call out that our work here is tied closely to work on another champion: Rek’Sai. These champs have a stranglehold on the professional jungle scene due to how early their shared gameplay of ‘durable mobile ganker’ comes online. Specifically, the cooldown of their mobility tools (which double as their initiation tools) is too low at early ranks. Body Slam and Tunnel should present meaningful choices to Gragas and Rek’Sai: “Do I use E to duck past an enemy ward, or do I save it to make a play?” Currently, the answer is “I can do both.” This is fine later on once enemies have access to their own mobility tools, but plays out oppressively in the early game. We’re increasing the cooldown on Body Slam and Tunnel to force Gragas and Rek’Sai to make tougher choices with their skills at the start of a match.
Zooming back in on Gragas, we’re also reining in the reliability of close-quarters ult casts. When Gragas lobs Explosive Cask onto himself, opponents have literally no time to react (the barrel doesn’t even show up) before being sent flying. In terms of ganking, it doesn’t actually matter whether opponents dodge Body Slam or not, since Graggy only needs to close the distance to guarantee his ult’s knockback. Now that Explosive Cask has a fixed travel time, Gragas is going to have to depend on landing his E stun to create the setup plays he’s used to. Which is now slightly easier, because we fixed a bug that was causing Body Slam to miss.
E - Body Slam
R - Explosive Cask
E cost down. R’s ap ratio replaced with an AD ratio.
Ever a crowd pleaser, Piltover’s Defender of Tomorrow has found himself in quite a predicament when it comes to late game relevance. Jayce is already quite potent from range; it’s following up on the shocks he blasts into his enemies that’s the problem. Rather than pushing Jayce’s poke damage to even-higher highs, we’re rewarding him for finding the right moments to shift into melee and put the ‘ham’ in ‘hammer.’
E - Thundering Blow
R - Transform: Mercury Hammer
W’s AD ratio down. R no longer refunds cooldown for unused shots. R’s execute damage up, base damage down.
As a utility marksman, Jhin’s long-ranged abilities allow him to stay at a safe distance, picking off stragglers or lending aid to a fight-in-progress. Currently, the damage on these abilities is outperforming those needs, allowing the Virtuoso to start and clean up fights all on his own. Jhin should have the ability to deal consistent damage throughout a teamfight (he is a marksman, after all), but his longer-ranged contributions should be the right choice in only some situations, not all of them.
W - Deadly Flourish
R - Curtain Call
R ratio increased.
Jinx is an excitable maniac who takes one kill and turns it into more. We want to amp up her ability to start the rampage by picking off a low-health target with Super Mega Death Rocket.
R - Super Mega Death Rocket!
Smoother Kennen basic attacks.
Kennen’s Electrical Surge empowered basic attacks travel at a different speed than his normal basic attacks. We’re bringing the two in line with each other to create a more consistent experience around last-hitting and harassing in lane.
W - Electrical Surge
Can Drakalopses like Skaarl even see color?
W cooldown decreased. W gives more armor, and scales better with armor as well.
One of League’s iconic frontliners, Malphite’s best known for translating his consistent laning into rock-solid teamfighting. In recent patches though, Malphite finds himself being slapped around harder than you’d expect, even against the physical-damage foes he’s meant to excel against. We’re amping the rock man’s ability to fend off would-be oppressors and clap back against cleaver-lovers everywhere.
W - Brutal Strikes
E cast range increased.
Able to play offense and defense, Morgana’s catch potential and Black Shield make her a valuable flex pick for multiple roles and compositions. We’re giving a small boost to Morg’s strategic expression to keep her in the discussion when teams are looking for utility.
E - Black Shield
R cost and cooldown decreased.
As a disruptor, Orianna’s strength lies in her ability to create threat zones that her opponents have to respect. With so much of her disruption tied up in Command: Shockwave, though, Orianna can feel like an entirely different champion while her ult is down. Having meaningful cooldowns is important, but we want to make sure that Orianna spends a little more time disrupting and a little less time waiting.
R - Command: Shockwave
Movement speed up. W’s resistances increased.
Ever since Poppy’s reign of terror months back, we’ve been slowly but surely nudging the tough little yordle’s teamfighting prowess back into shape. For those keeping score, our message is still the same: Poppy’s uniquely equipped to thrive in the middle of fights and knock people around, but shouldn’t be a dominant damage threat to the backline. We’re continuing to Make Poppy Great Again by making it easier to survive fights long enough to bring down the hammer.
W - Steadfast Presence
E and R cooldowns increased.
Rek’Sai is, by design, a champion with great mobility tools. But as we discussed earlier (see: Gragas), the degree to which she’s digging around in the early game is over the top. Rather than carefully calculating whether she needs to use Tunnel to get somewhere or save it to make a play once she arrives, Rek’Sai frequently gets to do both. We’re pulling back on that availability to force Rek’Sai to make meaningful choices with her resources.
Void Rush shares Tunnel’s early-uptime problem, though it leads to different frustrations. Because Rek’Sai can so frequently zoom across the Rift, grouping up early to make map-wide plays against her team can feel like a pointless endeavor. Try to trade turrets? Rek’Sai ults to defend hers. Try to stop her split-push? Rek’Sai ults away to safety. Try to take Dragon or Rift Herald? Rek’Sai ults to contest it. Void Rush should tip the scales in the favor of Rek’Sai’s team wherever she chooses to fly off to, but it should also be a signal to enemies that they’ve got a realistic chance to make a play elsewhere on the map.
E - Tunnel
R - Void Rush
R damage up.
Riven has been struggling against too many top laners for too long, so it’s time to bring out the buff bat. Given how snowbally Riven can get, we understand that’s a scary sentence. When Riven is at her best, she’s picking the right all-in, making a flashy play, and coming out on top. We’re sharpening the tools she needs to shine in those situations.
R - Blade of the Exile
R cast range up at rank 1.
We knew going into Ryze’s update that his new kit has a steep mastery curve. Buffing him while players are still in a learning period can be risky: today’s “balanced” Ryze quickly becomes overpowered once players begin to use him optimally. That said, it’s been long enough for us to be comfortable giving Ryze a bit more to get excited about when he hits 6.
R - Realm Warp
W AD ratio decreased. R passive attack speed decreased.
If you’ve been following along with our nerfs to Ashe and Jhin, you might have an idea of what’s about to come next. Sivir (another utility marksman) specializes in empowering her team to run down the enemy, but this utility isn’t coming at a sufficient cost to her damage. Picking Sivir for best-in-class initiation should come with a cost, something her overly high area of effect damage was masking.
W - Ricochet
R - On The Hunt
R cooldown decreased.
Like a few others on this list, Thresh has less access to his ultimate than we’d like. While it’s true that The Box doesn’t carry as much weight as other ults when identifying Thresh’s ‘high moment’ (Death Sentence is really cool, okay?), it’s still an important part of his teamfight contributions. Upping the Box’s availability late-game should make Thresh feel more complete when making the big plays he’s known for.
R - The Box
E cooldown decreased at early ranks, increased at late ranks.
Trundle forces his opponents between a rock and a hard place with Pillar of Ice, softly restricting their movement. But as Trundle nears max cooldown reduction, Pillar of Ice turns from a temporary disruption to a nearly-100%-uptime wall, forcing opponents between a rock wall and - well, another rock wall. Creating temporary terrain to obstruct his opponents is fine, but Trundle’s opponents should get some breathing room in between Pillars.
E - Pillar of Ice
Q scaling increased at later ranks.
Vayne is the iconic duelist marksman for the player who wants to 1v1 everything, showing off their mechanics by dodging skillshots with Tumble. However, Vayne’s been lagging behind most other marksmen for a number of patches. We’re upping the late-game damage on her bread and butter ability to lean harder into her identity.
Q - Tumble
Passive grants more ability power on kill or assist.
Let’s keep this short and sweet: for an infinitely scaling champion, Veigar simply isn’t taking off like you’d expect after a strong early/midgame. We’re not looking to go overboard, but tuning Tiny’s transition when succeeding in group fights should help take him from trivial to terrifying.
Passive - Phenomenal Evil Power
E - Event Horizon
Passive and Q cooldowns decreased at early levels.
For all the talk about Rek’Sai and Gragas this patch, Vi’s a perfect example of the type of champion that fades into obscurity when consistent early mobility becomes the norm. Known for her love of scrapping and amazing post-6 ganking, Vi’s taken a back seat to most other junglers this season due to how long it takes for her to get going. Smoothing out her early levels should make her willing and able to jump into the fray early & often.
Passive - Blast Shield
Q - Vault Breaker
E - Excessive Force
Sion’s older skin splashes are being updated this patch!
Turrets target champions more consistently.
Turrets are like older brothers. They’re not always around, but when they are, they’ve got your back. They protect their allies... except for the times they don’t. Under normal circumstances, towers focus on opposing champions who damage allies. Due to the way turrets currently acquire targets, however, if their allied champion is too far away, turrets stands idly by while opponents bring the pain, even if those opponents are squarely within firing range. Players have an expectation that towers should protect them, so we’re making sure that they do that.
- Removed custom PROJECT chest animations from Hextech Crafting to mitigate a client memory issue that could lead to crashes. Unopened PROJECT chests will still be in your inventory and will still award the same loot, but will use the Premium (purple) Hextech chest animations.
- Fixed a bug where attempting to use the minimap to select a target for a long-range targeted ability (ex. Teleport) could instead target a unit hidden underneath the minimap if the cursor happened to be hovering over that unit
- Players can no longer get stuck in weird states (ex. every button is a ping) if they switch to a different window at the exact moment they input a command
- Fixed a bug where Kalista’s Passive - Martial Poise dash was overwriting other displacement effects (ex. clicking on Thresh’s W - Dark Passage, being hit by Lee Sin’s R - Dragon’s Rage)
- Kha’Zix no longer loses R - Void Assault’s stealth when activating Youmuu’s Ghostblade
- Fixed a bug where Lee Sin’s Q - Resonating Strike dealt no damage if cast while dashing via W - Safeguard
- Fixed a bug where Leona’s E - Zenith Blade displayed no visuals to enemies if Leona cast it in Fog of War and flashed into vision during the cast time
- Nasus now gains Q - Siphoning Strike stacks when last-hitting Gangplank’s Powder Kegs
- “Snap-casting” Sion’s Q - Decimating Strike now properly deals damage in the minimum area of effect, rather than the larger “fully charged” area
- Fixed a bug where launching a minion with Sion’s E - Roar of the Slayer while it’s knocked up by Q - Decimating Strike sometimes caused the minion to deal no damage to units it passed through
- Tahm Kench’s R - Abyssal Voyage description in Champion Select is no longer blank
- Fixed a bug where Twitch’s E - Expunge sometimes wasn’t dealing damage to enemies acquired at the very edge of its range
- Fixed a bug where Yasuo’s first basic attack after R - Last Breath was delayed if it was a critical strike
- Fixed a bug where Zilean’s Q - Time Bomb wasn’t damaging attached enemies if they were untargetable when the bomb exploded
- Fixed a bunch of bugs where some instant area of effect abilities (ex. Cho’Gath’s W - Feral Scream) were dealing damage to untargetable champions when cast while those units were untargetable
- Fixed a bunch of bugs where some dash abilities would fizzle or act oddly when cast during a knock-back effect
- Fixed a bug where Rift Scuttler’s resistances weren’t weakened by short-duration hard crowd control effects
- Morgana's knees no longer pop through her dress during her run animation
- Syndra's arms are no longer stretchy when she dies
- Runaan's Hurricane bolts on SKT T1 Kalista's basic attacks are now golden, matching her spears (versus spooky green like her base skin)
- Fixed a bug where buff VFX (ex. Banshee's Veil) weren't following SKT T1 Elise's movements during several of her animations
- Improved readability of PROJECT: Ekko's passive indicator rings
- Dark Star Thresh's corpse no longer gets stuck in a T-pose if he dies while casting Q - Death Sentence
- Adjusted Dark Star Thresh's W - Dark Passage toss animation to not look like Syndra's W - Scatter the Weak
- Restored ambient swirly effects around Challenger Ahri's orb
- Sandstorm Katarina's taunt animation is no longer twice as fast as her other skins
The following skins will be released during patch 6.17
Chromas are meant to deepen your experience with a piece of content you already own, love and play the shit out of. New chromas are coming for the following skins, with more details to follow later:
Arcade Miss Fortune
High Noon Yasuo
Warring Kingdoms Xin Zhao