Welcome to Patch 6.7, the one where we drain some extraneous power from some top-tier picks and buff Irelia. We’d make a joke about buffing / nerfing Irelia, but the cold, hard fact is that as of this month we are net neutral on Irelia changes across four years. Morello would be proud.
Zooming out from our mountain observatory (fun fact: each patch is written in a discrete and exotic locale), the big focus for this seemingly light set of balance changes is extraneous power. Unlike some of the other design terms we may highlight in patch notes, this one’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s power.
Sass aside, the removal of extraneous power speaks to one of our guiding philosophies - that is: where possible we like to preserve a champion’s strengths and open up their weaknesses instead. But what if a champion has too many strengths? Sometimes we have champions that are good at a lot of things - that’s okay! But when, say, Poppy has best-in-class durability, crowd control, damage, and utility for a tank… something’s gotta give.
So as you read through the usual buffs and nerfs below, try to keep in mind that there is such a thing as being too good at too many things (at least in League of Legends. We’ve also got some changes to death timers, just in case you ever find yourself losing to a Korean challenger team while you’re ahead ten thousand gold. That situation might sound incredibly specific, but it happens far more often than you’d think.
And that’s all for this patch! Kick back and enjoy some of those neat rotating game modes, and we’ll see you around the Rift. We’ll be flying across terrain like a celestial dragon, burning your team to death with the beautiful and terrifying energy of newborn stars.
Good luck, have fun.
Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
Q stun duration down. R slow adjusted.
Aurelion’s just begun to take flight above the Rift, yet already we’re seeing him become a destructive force once you’re able to harness his starpower. Sol’s mastery curve is steeper than Mount Targon itself, which is understandable given his unique positioning requirements for a mage. Once you’ve appropriately adjusted though, Aurelion starts pumping out damage bigger than his ego (that is to say, things get pretty crazy). We’re pleased that Aurelion’s worth investing the time it takes to learn - we’re just adjusting the immense reward you get for doing so.
Q - Starsurge
R - Voice of Light
Basic attack ratio down.
The go-to midlane staple in pro play, Corki’s damage output is too much for his peers to keep up with at the moment. Corki makes sense as a ‘caster-carry’ at heart, using his gold to fuel a barrage of high-damage abilities for poking enemies or laying on the burst after a package power-play. What doesn’t make sense is the guy with top-shelf spells (and hextech munitions) having above-average basic attacks. We’re cutting back on some of that extraneous power (there it is) to bring him in line without infringing on his spell-slinging identity.
Passive - Hextech Munitions
Q cost down, attack damage ratio up.
Irelia’s been struggling overall this season, but most notably she’s underperforming in matchups she should feel good about: ranged champions who struggle against her dive. The high sustain available to those champions has made it harder for her to contest enemy farming in lane, while their general tankiness has left her all-in feeling a bit too weak to finish them off. Irelia has the tools to farm at a distance before diving onto those champions, she just needs a bit more consistency as to how often and how efficiently she can do so.
Q - Bladesurge
Q cost increased and damage down. E cost down.
As audiences have grown familiar with Jhin’s obsession for the dramatic (and the number four), it’s clear that we went too far in addressing his laning woes in 6.4. Now that we’ve finally seen a clear picture of Jhin’s fearsome late-game potential, we’re pulling back to a middle ground where both sides feel like they can meaningfully impact the Virtuoso’s murderous performance.
Q - Dancing Grenade
E - Captive Audience
W heal down early but up late. R is now self-cast.
Champion complexity is valuable, but sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. Experienced Kindred players are too able to optimize the value they get around placing and navigating their two zones (Wolf’s Frenzy and Lamb’s Respite). Cutting back on Wolf’s Frenzy’s sustain softens Kindred’s early game dominance in experienced hands, while centering Lamb’s Respite limits their capacity to save mispositioned allies (while benefitting newer Kindreds thanks to solving some of the targeting-wonkiness).
W - Wolf's Frenzy
R - Lamb's Respite
This is a buff to prettiness and sass.
W missile speed up.
We’re pretty happy with how 6.6’s changes to Prismatic Barrier are playing out, but it seems we went a little too far in hampering Lux’s personal safety. This change won’t affect its use on allies all that much, but should make firing your shield and running away from danger feel more responsive.
W - Prismatic Barrier
W damage down early, up later.
We changed Nidalee last patch with the goal of reducing her dominance in the jungle for high-level players, but introduced a compensatory boost to Pounce’s damage in the event that we went too hard. In reality, the opposite occurred - Nidalee actually improved as people adapted to the changes. While we’re happy to hear she’s able to succeed, we’re slightly dialing back on Nid’s clear speed to give other junglers a chance to shine.
W - Pounce
Passive and E range down. Q damage down. Passive doesn’t reset basic attacks.
Reworked to be a disruptive tank that lives in the middle of a battle, Poppy excels at peeling threats and blocking divers and assassins from getting to her precious, precious carries. Poppy currently boasts some of the highest damage, crowd control and overall reliability for a tank in the League, leaving teams hard-pressed to pass her up no matter what the composition demands. When looking at which of these areas to pull power from, we landed on range as the biggest offender contributing to Poppy’s over-the-top strength.
When you combine high base damage and no shortage of tools to lock down a single target, you end up with a tenacious threat that simply ignores what the other team wants to do and dives the highest profile targets over and over. We love Poppy being a sturdy threat to anything within reach, but limiting her access to the back lines of a fight keeps her in the middle of the chaos where she’s meant to thrive - or at the very least, undergo significantly more risk to pull off the same CC chains she’s used to.
Passive - Iron Ambassador
Q - Hammer Shock
E - Heroic Charge
R cooldown up.
Whenever a champion starts seeing play in a different role or building different items than predicted, we have to ask ourselves a few important questions. ‘Is this champion still making appropriate trade-offs?’ While Rammus trades sonic-speed ganks so he can brawl with the best in the top lane, the strength and repeatability of his all-ins make it near-impossible for enemies to come out ahead in any situation. We’re cracking down on the armordillo’s uptime to make fighting Rammus in lane more realistic.
R - Tremors
Q and W’s mana costs increased.
Our hopes with Soraka’s latest changes were twofold - cut down on the frustrations of her being a non-interactive backline healer while keeping her overall performance about the same. We’re confident we accomplished the first objective (Raka’s taking more risks to spread the love), but she came out a bit stronger than we’d hoped for. We were intentionally soft when tuning Soraka’s costs so players could play around the new Starcall paradigm, but now that folks have adapted, we’re making her consistent output more reasonable during longer fights.
Q - Starcall
W - Astral Infusion
Health regen down. R’s damage on-hit and damage over time down.
Udyr’s strong early game dueling combined his high clear speed leaves you with a bit of a catch-22: fight him and lose or leave him alone and let him scale. On top of that, Udyr sustains through most damage taken in the jungle, allowing him to spend most of the game fighting - monsters or other champions - without ever having to base. Much like Shyvana last patch, we don’t want to prevent Udyr from reaching his late game fantasy, we just want to ensure it takes a reasonable amount of time for him to do so. Throttling down the efficiency with which he can bring home the bacon should give opposing teams more time to do something about it.
R - Phoenix Stance
W cooldown increased. W’s bonus attack damage passive decreased.
From laning to late-game, Zed’s dominating every phase of the game. Zed’s a challenging opponent at all skill levels, but key among the frustrations of dealing with him is the safety at which he operates. Be it long-ranged, dual-shuriken action or a clean getaway, the window Zed presents to interact with him is on the shorter side when compared to the duress he places upon his victims. Widening the gaps between Zed’s aggression and taking out some of his back-loaded scaling (now that he’s got access to some sweet items) will bring careful opponents closer to victory and further from being styled on in someone’s highlight reel.
W - Living Shadow
Global Splash Unification
Updating old splash arts to be the same in all regions. Part one of several.
Splash art is one of most important things we have for conveying a champion's fantasy and personality in League. Splashes are used everywhere: from champ select to the loading screen, portrait icons, the store, and more recently Hextech Crafting. Many of our oldest splash arts are different across the world, meaning those champs and skins have vastly divergent representations of their fantasy and feel, depending on which region you play League in.
While the long-term plan has always been for us to create brand new art for these older pieces, we’re doing some short term work over the next few patches to unify the global experience: some of our splashes will be switching to the Chinese version, and vice versa. We know that in some cases, the quality may still be low or the art style may still be off. Like last year’s Mass Texture Rebalances, this is not a replacement for full-scale splash updates down the road, just a short term solution to solve a specific problem.
The following splash arts have been modified, or replaced with the Tencent version (apologies for the wall of text):
Ahri - Blitzcrank
- Dynasty Ahri, Midnight Ahri, Crimson Akali, Silverfang Akali, Stinger Akali, Cowboy Alistar, Almost Prom King Amumu, Emumu, Re-Gifted Amumu, Vancouver Amumu, Annie in Wonderland, Prom Queen Annie, Boom Boom Blitzcrank
- Arctic Warfare Caitlyn, Safari Caitlyn, Gentleman Cho'Gath, Red Baron Corki, Toxic Dr. Mundo, Masquerade Evelynn, Shadow Evelynn, Spectral Fiddlesticks, Hextech Galio, Sanguine Garen, Desert Trooper Garen, Hillbilly Gragas, Base Hecarim
- Base Irelia, Infiltrator Irelia, Hextech Janna, Tempest Janna, Dragonslayer Jarvan IV, Temple Jax, Sakura Karma, Sun Goddess Karma, Base Karthus, Grim Reaper Karthus, Phantom Karthus, Statue of Karthus, Unmasked Kayle, Swamp Master Kennen
- Wicked LeBlanc, Acolyte Lee Sin, Traditional Lee Sin, Ionian Master Yi, Samurai Master Yi, Headhunter Master Yi, Cowgirl Miss Fortune, Road Warrior Miss Fortune, Secret Agent Miss Fortune, Waterloo Miss Fortune, Lord Mordekaiser, Exiled Morgana, Sinful Succulence Morgana
- Frozen Terror Nocturne, Sasquatch Nunu, Workshop Nunu, Nunu Bot, Freljord Rammus, Molten Rammus, General Wukong, Volcanic Wukong
Maw of Malmortius
Magic resist down. Attack speed removed.
Hexdrinker’s always been an effective pick-up for those looking to defend against magic damage spikes, but Maw’s stealing the show in 2016. Warming the bench in previous seasons (often something you upgraded if you ‘had to’), Maw’s raw stat-efficiency combined with the upgraded Lifegrip buff currently makes it a catch-all for any magic damage, rather than a counter to a specific situation. Maw should still feel like an appropriate upgrade against mage-heavy teams, but rushing it suboptimally shouldn’t be as effective as it currently is.
Ranged champions lifesteal less from minions.
Staying in lane is about weighing your rewards vs. what you’re risking to get them. Pushing allows you to apply heavy pressure on the turret, but increases the risk of over-extending and getting ganked. Trading damage increases your chances of getting a kill, but the same is true for getting killed.
By design, Warlord’s Bloodlust sets up a simple risk vs. reward proposition: by opening yourself up to additional lane harassment and gank pressure, you can push the lane aggressively to be rewarded with the sustain to shrug off that damage. Fail to do so (that is, taking too much harassment while you push), and you’re forced to sit back to sustain your health. This is true for melee champions taking Warlord’s Bloodlust. By contrast, ranged champions are able to avoid much of that risk by virtue of getting all of their sustain from a safe distance. We’re tweaking that.
Shorter death timers in mid-game.
Death Timers are but a single piece of the overall game-flow puzzle, but it’s clear they’re just too punishing in the mid-game. We still want teams to be appropriately rewarded for winning teamfights as the game progresses, but this should pull back on the feeling of tense, strategic matches ending abruptly off a single mistake.
Unless you lose a teamfight inside your base. Then you were just asking for it.
points are unchanged).
We’ve all been there. You’re setting up an ambush on the enemy team. You’re waiting for them to just pass the corner so you can jump on them… only to be hit by a skillshot and murdered viciously. “But this wasn’t warded - how did they see me?”, you might ask. Well, thanks to a previous system there were often tons of cases where ‘line-of-sight’ (as we think of it) wasn’t giving both of you a fair deal. We’re changing some vision rules under-the-hood to clean up these interactions to let our sneakier, more devious players run free. Generally speaking, aside from brush / vision reducing effects, if you can see them - they see you. If you don’t see them, they don’t see you. It’s that easy.
We’re aware that changes to major systems like vision can cause a few bugs, so we’ve taken to task fixing some of the biggest offenders surrounding this particular interaction. We’re not claiming all vision problems have been fixed, but you can rest easy knowing that your clever machinations of ‘hiding behind a corner’ won’t be foiled by bugs any time soon.
Wards, though. Those’ll get you every time.
Rotating Game Mode Queue
On weekends, new game modes will be available for play.
Rotating game modes provide unique spins on the classic League formula. We’re introducing a queue that’ll bring the alternative action on weekends with a suite of familiar game modes and maybe a fresh face or two.
Ascension is up first, starting this Friday! Learn more in the release announcement.
Tightening premade skill gap limits at the top of the ranked ladder.
At the top of the ladder the wide skill variance of players makes the existing premade limiter rules less effective at ensuring players are constructing premades the matchmaker can handle fairly. Up until this point we allowed Diamond V players to play with Challengers but we’re tightening the duo queue requirements to ensure fair premades are being composed. This also closes a loophole where players could queue with a Diamond V smurf for easier games at the top of the ladder.
Here’s how premade limiter will work now:
Hextech Crafting and Loot Update
Key fragment drops will be enabled on ARAM and Twisted Treeline during this patch.The top loot tiers now have names for easier identification.
As some of you have experienced, key fragments weren’t dropping after ARAM or Treeline wins. They will be during this patch cycle. Go forth and unlock things.
At launch, Ultimate and Legendary tier loot were marked with gemstones. We’re adding clarity to the system for the two other higher tiers of loot as well (and shuffling around the gem colors, for the same reasons).
- Fixed the Play Again button
- Restored High Noon Jhin's harmonica sound effect when his fourth shot is ready
- Base Syndra's movement animations have been fixed
- Traveling through Bard’s Magical Journey no longer rarely takes you in the wrong direction
- Fixed a bug where Lucian's The Culling would sometimes be interrupted even if he had a spell shield
- Fixed a few cases where Twisted Fate’s blue Pick A Card didn’t refund mana when used on objects like Teemo mushrooms or Illaoi tentacles
- The cast range indicator for Xerath’s Rite of the Arcane has been shrunk to match the ability’s actual range
- Xerath’s Rite of the Arcane no longer fails to deal damage to Baron Nashor at extreme ranges
- Expanded the range indicator of Zz’Rot Portal to better match Voidspawn travel distance
- Item shop tooltips no longer occasionally pop up on their own when opening the shop
- The item shop search bar no longer clears itself at random intervals