Welcome to patch 5.23, the one after preseason. Unlike some of our pre-preseason patches before this, we're being more bold when it comes to balance - surgical tuning works once we have a deep understanding of the game ecosystem, but since preseason has introduced so much change, we want to make broad, impactful changes to get a firm grasp on what’s going on. What this means is that you can expect the next few patches to have a higher density of changes overall, as much more tuning is required to get everything in line. Let's talk about some of those parts, shall we?
First is game pacing. Many folks out there are experiencing faster games on 5.22, and we're seeing that reflected in about a minute off the average game-time. We've got some changes to address that (namely turret health and %xp from kills), along with some revised minion pushing changes. That said, it's helpful to clarify our stance: this isn't about faster games. Some games will be faster and some will be slower, but the goal is to reward being decisive. If you have a massive lead over your opponents, capitalize! Waiting around or being indecisive will see that advantage slip, opening the window for comebacks. TL;DR: finish your plate, or your food'll bite back.
Next is what you might call our regular balance changes for champions, but we want to stress that even during the post-preseason apocalypse, we're looking out for both ends of the spectrum. Lowered monster magic resist and increased damage on Hunter's Talisman should ease some of the pains of mage junglers out there, while injecting power to some of our bursty attack damage champions (Kha'Zix + Zed, with more on the way!) should help a class feeling under the weather There's lots more below but, like we mentioned earlier, we're very much in 'broad strokes' mode rather than fine tuning, and you'll see much more of that philosophy i n 5.24.
And that's it for us! While we head back to the lab to work on our next round of changes (hint: soraka), you guys keep experimenting. Did you know you can build Rapid Firecannon on Hecarim? How about Stormraider's Surge on Gangplank? These are just a few of the things that we've lost to so far and, after we (somewhat) got over being salty about it, we realized this is what's most exciting about the preseason (experimentation, that is. Not being salty).
Shine on, you crazy Diamonds (Or Golds, or Silvers. We're not judging).
Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
Q crits on individual arrows and works with Hurricane.
Just doing a little cleanup. A big part of the marksman itemization changes were to help reinforce critical strike as a key stat for the class, and Ashe's main spell wasn't playing nice with it. Now it does!
Q - Ranger's Focus
Attack-Move now works with Azir's soldiers and cleaned up some of his spell-buffer combos.
Not in the shop for bugfixes this time, our year-long war against Azir's code continues with some new tech to smooth his ability buffering. What this means is Azir should be able to Shurima Shuffle (or whatever the preferred combo name is) much easier, as well as playing better with attack-move inputs.
W - Arise!
As the cosmic binding force known as 'The Game' now starts 15 seconds earlier, so does Bard.
Passive - Traveler's Call
Q falls off less.
Piltover Peacemaker's intended to be a mixture of strong harass tool with moderate waveclear but currently underperforms at both. We're not changing how strong it is when you land a direct hit, but this helps Caitlyn's efficiency in her never-ending quest to mercilessly kill all of your turrets.
NOTE: This change is currently bugged and hasn't yet been implemented. If possible, we'll look to get it out in a patch update. At the latest, expect to see it in patch 5.24!
Passive - Headshot
Q - Piltover Peacemaker
Armor up. Q cost down.
One of the lessons the new season's taught us: attack-damage assassin's ain't so hot right now. This is mostly due to much of their itemization being skewed to synergize with the crit-based damage output of marksmen, meaning that old standbys (like Last Whisper) are less effective as a core-item for murderbugs and ninjas alike. That's a long-term problem that will require a long-term solution. While we noodle on that, we're shipping Kay-Z a much-needed care package targeted at pushing his jungle-sustain up to 'passable' from 'constantly in fear of death'. Ironic.
Q - Taste Their Fear
Attack damage down. R's scaling shifted to be less early, more late.
Up to a patch or two ago, Lucian was a mid-tier marksman whose identity heavily overlapped with bursty, dash-y dudes like Graves. In this new preseason, Lucian's no longer got that problem but now that he's got a shiny new Essence Reaver to play with, he's back in the challenge space of being a high-skill marksman with a lot of broad strengths. The extra attack damage and rank 1 Culling damage proved to be a little too potent at shutting down the early game, so we're pulling back just a tad (but keeping The Culling relevant throughout the game). Ultimately, Lucian's a cool champion to have around, just as long as he's not the only champion you pick.
R - The Culling
Health down. W's attack speed lowered.
Just a light tuning for Miss Fortune. We feel like her profile of strengths and weaknesses are playing out nicely (great in trades and aoe fights, poor sustained single target damage), but her ability to brute-force trades without much thought was too overbearing for most to compete with.
W - Strut
Q damage's paradigm changed. W damage up. E grants more shield regen. R's Dragon now scales with rank.
Oh Mordekaiser. Perhaps one of the more contentious champions in League, we're taking another pass at him to make his combat pattern more aligned with a Juggernaut and a less spiky, snowbally experience overall.
We've talked about it before, but here's the recap: as a Juggernaut, you trade mobility for high sustained damage, becoming a walking battering ram. If you (or your team) figure out how to get you into position, you'll wreck faces. Fail to do that and you'll flail around without accomplishing much. For the most part, Mordekaiser actually holds up - it's the 'sustained damage' bit that isn't as smooth as we'd like it to be, leading to those flash Q one-shots that don't leave much to the imagination.
Another part of these changes is making Mordekaiser someone we can support long-term, which is where the dragon and E changes come in. He doesn't seem to be running rampant in preseason, but doing these changes now can help push Morde to a healthier spot, where he becomes a strategic pick for specific purposes, rather than a 100% pick/ban at some world tournament (sorry about that).
Q - Mace of Spades
First hit increase, second hit the same, third reduced. Essentially x3/x3/x6 instead of x1/x3/x9
W - Harvesters of Sorrow
E - Siphon of Destruction
R - Children of the Grave
Once we were blind, but now we can see.
After her update, Quinn's in a powerful yet binary state. Her two main outputs are: one, executing people with high bursts of damage, and two, insane map mobility. These two strengths work fabulously if Quinn's ahead, but when behind, she has access to neither.
In 5.23, we're smoothing out Quinn's damage curve to be less punishing when she gets ahead. We're also also adding a 'pseudo-blind' back to
Aerial Blinding Assault, infusing some tactical utility when she can't scrap it out. Fighting a melee combatant? 'Blind' them and vault away to juke, or toss Valor into a teamfight to disrupt their attempts to save their allies. We want dueling as Quinn to have more moments than just, 'vault on them and hope they die before I do.
Passive - Harrier
Q - Blinding Assault
R - Behind Enemy Lines
Crystals spawn earlier.
Passive - Crystal Spires
W cast range and missile speed increased. R's early damage increased.
Similar to Kha'Zix, Zed's gotten the short end of the stick from a variety of preseason changes. We're still committed to solving these problems on a systems-level, but passing out some more early playmaking power for Zed never hurt anybody (except his victims. It'll hurt them a lot).
W - Living Shadow
R - Death Mark
Passive can no longer give a sarcastically small amount of experience.
To keep it simple, Zilean's new time bottle only ever finishing levels was nice - but more often than not, the necessary experience needed to complete someone's level was so small you only felt useful for using it a handful of times. Now Zil's a little less stingy with his wisdom and hands out a bit of overflow so you can reap more benefit from his time-traveling antics.
Passive - Time in a Bottle
Attack Range Changes
A few champions are getting increased range. Except Nunu and Tahm Kench. You know what you did.
With preseason being the time to dig deep and reevaluate assumptions, we finally started looking at attack ranges as a stat for tuning rather than just something we did simply because characters have polearms. This is only a first pass as we start to think of melee attack ranges as in 'tiers', first of 125 and 175, but possibly even up to 225! This means a few bonuses to range for some champions that have trouble movin' around in combat or just needed the love. We'll be back relatively soon for a follow-up, but at least now Trundle won't look so goofy as he punches you with his enormous iceclub.
- MEGA GNAR ATTACK RANGE :  ⇒ 175
- CONSUME SIZE BUFF ATTACK RANGE : [137.5] ⇒ 125
- DRAGON FORM ATTACK RANGE :  ⇒ 175
- ATTACK RANGE :  ⇒ 175
- ATTACK RANGE :  ⇒ 175
- ATTACK RANGE :  ⇒ 175
- ATTACK RANGE :  ⇒ 175
For the times where you thought you switched to Fishbones but Leona was still smacking you in the face with a shield.
- Aatrox's W - Blood Thirst/Blood Price
- Cho'Gath's E - Vorpal Spikes
- Jinx's Q - Switcheroo!
As many have noticed, champion sizes are pretty inconsistent. Hulking rock-monster Malphite is small, certain yordles are human-sized, the list goes on. While we're not going to make these characters the size they are in-universe (You almost couldn't click on yordles and Malphite would be the size of the map), nudging them up or down helps add to their feel. While not everything follows these rules, there are a few patterns you can see - are you a tank? you should feel big and sturdy. Assassins and marksmen should feel lean and agile, not boisterous.
That's not all of our criteria though - in some cases, certain skins were just larger than the normal champion (savvy players caught on that Final Boss Veigar was massive, for instance), so there have been resizes as well. As a final note, none of these affect champion hitbox - if anything, these should alleviate concerns around hitboxes not being reliable (why did my small body get hit by something / how did I miss that huge thing?) but nothing too drastic.
So there it is. A large amount of words for small changes to things getting larger or smaller.
The following champions are approximately 10% larger:
- Dr. Mundo
- Xin Zhao
- The Mighty Jax
- Aetherwing Kayle
- Marquis Vladimir
- Nosferatu Vladimir
- Vandal Vladimir
- Elise (Spider Form)
- Master Yi
- Tahm Kench
- Twisted Fate
- Infernal Alistar
- Dragonwing Corki
- Battlecast Kog'Maw
- Cottontail Fizz
- Final Boss Veigar
Primarily for ranged champions that like to kite (or spellcasters of any variety), Talisman just wasn't cutting it against larger monsters, so we're giving it a bump.
Continued from Talisman, we're improving the healing to address early-jungle sustain. Refillable Potion is so far behind 3 health potions that it's a huge risk to take, punishing you for investing in more buys down the line.
Combine cost increased.
Rageblade is currently the go-to for champions wanting to crank their damage up to the absurd. That said, before we just start really reducing power, we want to make sure we understand what Rageblade's doing for the game (well, and to it as well) before taking decisive action. So this might not be the end of the Rageblade changes, but this one will give us a cleaner picture over the next patch - particularly if it's not being picked up quite so early.
Damage vs champions decreased.
One half of the potent Shiv + Firecannon powercouple, we're toning down Shiv's overall damage against champions to keep it strong when pushing, but less of a power-spike when compared to Zeal's other upgrades.
Enchantment - Homeguard
Not in my house.
You can't buy the enchantment anymore, but Homeguard still exists! See below.
R. Harold deals less damage.
Herald's doing cool things to the top lane dynamic, but hits too hard for teams to consider an option in any game but the one where you're massively ahead. Lowering damage should mean less deaths to Rift Herald, as well as more ability to use the buff once you get it (instead of recalling immediately).
Death timers are longer in the early phases, but shorter late-game.
Changes to death timers might look odd with all the talk of snowballing, but let's break it down: after 10 minutes your death timers are higher on average, and then after 43 minutes or so they're less, up until you reach the maximum. Combined with other pacing changes we're making this patch, this is intended to make games with excessive fighting/snowballing feel like they take a 'normal' amount of time to resolve compared to post-preseason.
Now everyone can guard the home!
Homeguard is a fun mechanic, but crowded out the decision space on boot enchantments pretty heavily. That said, we didn't want to say goodbye to Homeguard forever. The defender’s advantage that Homeguard provided teams stuck in their base has become an integral part of the game’s flow, providing a healthy way to ease the pain of being forced to recall late-game and tightening the window oppressors have to push their advantage diligently. Rather than shake-up how defenders have played the game for years, we've integrated it as a specific event in Summoner's Rift. It loses some of its stalling power now that it’s free, but now you can enchant your boots for the situation and defend the home.
Outer/Inner health increased.
It should take more than one mistake in lane to cost you your turret early on, but at their current strength, turrets often fall before the defending champions even have ultimates.
Magic resist lowered across the board.
Another bump to mage junglers who were hit pretty hard with Preseason, the bigger monsters in the jungle now take more damage if you're trying to spellcast 'em down.
- Large Krug
- Blue Sentinel
- Red Brambleback
Smite charges 5 seconds faster. Pretty massive.
Ambient gold begins later.
This change actually went out in 5.22, but we're documenting it here. With the increase in both the cost of health potions (and the starting gold you get!) we want to disincentivize waiting around for an extra potion and get folks into lanes faster.
Killing an even-leveled champion provides less experience.
Another accidentally undocumented change from 5.22's patch notes, the total experience you get from a kill was 60% of your level rather than 50%. This was done to ensure that people are properly rewarded for aggressive actions and making kills 'worth it' alongside bounties, but together with all of the other preseason changes just put snowballing on kills way out of control. So, we're switching it back to before 5.22. This won't singlehandedly reverse the tide of a losing game, but should mean you see less 'I'm level 13 and they're level 18' situations on average.
Running through walls of minions is now possible.
To break this down, units in our game clump together (sort of like LEGOs) when they get too close. Last patch, we made a bunch of changes to how minion pathing works in an attempt to make it more predictable when you would and wouldn't get creep blocked. As a result, many of our melee champions found themselves on spiritual journeys just to traverse a small wave of minions, let alone a blockade. With the changes below, minions will create smaller gaps when they band together, and champions can now slip through those gaps more easily.
it's here for real
We covered this in 5.22's notes (even though the change didn't actually go in), so let's reiterate what we said in the foreword: this change is about decisiveness. Use your advantage and push in for the win, or give your opponents the means to come back. It's a fairly simple concept, but it does fundamentally change how lane dynamics work. Especially at higher tiers, wave manipulation (and what form it takes in league) is changing entirely. We're not doing this lightly, and we ask that you give it a shot and let us know what you think. We've got our eyes on it - if this isn't accomplishing our goal of getting the winning team to press their advantage (and instead, destroys the fabric of League of Legends as we know it), we'll quickly iterate and respond rather than letting it languish.
IMPORTANT NOTE: these changes won't be turned on immediately as 5.23 ships live. We're looking to get data from how games play before and after, so we'll be messaging out when it's turned on so you know.
Also, sorry this looks like math homework.
- If you're ahead by 1 level and are up by 2 turrets in a lane, the minions in that lane get (5% + (5% x 2 turrets)) x 1 level = 15% bonus damage
- If you're ahead by 2.5 levels and are up by 1 turrets in a lane, minions in that lane get (5% + (5% x 1 turrets)) x 2.5 levels = 25% bonus damage
- If you're ahead by 1 level and are up by 2 turrets in a lane, the minions in that lane get (1 + (2 turrets x 1 level)) = 3 reduced damage
- If you're ahead by 2.5 levels and are up by 1 turrets in a lane, minions in that lane get (1 + (1 turrets x 2.5 levels)) = 3.5 reduced damage)
Bond of Stone gives less damage reduction. Thunderlord's cooldown lowered.
Bond of Stone's purpose is to reward defenders for sticking with their buddies, but was giving too much damage reduction solo to just make it the default choice for people who wanted to take less damage in all situations. As for Thunderlords, it was on too high of a cooldown to really facilitate the 'in-and-out' burst pattern it's meant for, especially when compared to Deathfire Touch's efficiency as a damage multiplier.
Promo series play an important role in the Leagues system as the thresholds between divisions and tiers. In some cases, they can feel more like revolving doors when players toeing the skill border between ranks fall into a cycle of entering, failing, and reentering the same promo series. This is, to some extent, part and parcel with participation in a highly competitive system, but last season's learnings from ranked decay show that the balance between competitiveness and frustration isn't equal across the entire ladder.
Enter Promo Helper. From Bronze through Gold 2, failing a series will get you a win credit that'll apply toward your next attempt at that series, provided you can get back in. If you're ever demoted, Promo Helper will automatically grant you max credits until you've passed as many series as necessary to get back to your season-high division.
Promo Helper is rolling out now during the off-season for testing so we can ensure everything's tuned accordingly before the 2016 ranked season starts early next year.
what were we talking about?
As announced in the 2016 Season Update, new ways for players to connect with friends are coming next year. As a precursor to this season's plans, we're activating chat history about a week after the patch so you can maintain conversations across play sessions.
At launch, chat history will support one-on-one conversations. Over time, we'll expand it to support chat rooms and the upcoming suite of 2016 social features as well.
Server-Side Item Sets
Like server-side game settings. But for item sets.
Logistics on this one are a tad confusing, so let's explain. When you log in to 5.23 for the first time, the servers will copy your account's list of custom item sets on your computer. Every time you log in after that, the computer you're on will download that list from the server. It's worth mentioning that 'No item sets' counts as a list! Make sure your first login to 5.23 is from your primary computer so your item sets don't get erased (maybe write them down or back them up now, just to be safe).
Saving item sets works exactly the same as it does now: play around in the client and hit 'save'. The servers will automatically grab your changes. So, if you lose any sets in this transition, redoing them once should get you back on your feet.
HUD Icon Bug
Heads up: We're aware of a visual bug with the HUD in 5.23 where the Options, Camera Settings, Mute and DJ Sona's music toggle icons will show up as black squares. This doesn't impact their functionality and all except DJ Sona’s toggle will still tell you what they are when hovered over . We'll get this fixed by 5.24 at the latest. Sorry!
- Fixed a number of broken interactions between the Summoner Spell cooldown reduction effects from Boots of Lucidity, Enchantment: Distortion and the Insight mastery
- Sivir's W - Ricochet now continues bouncing to new targets after Sivir dies
- Restored on-hit particles for Zac's W - Unstable Matter
- Flashing forward immediately after casting Syndra's E - Scatter the Weak no longer changes the cone's area of effect
- Fiora's W - Riposte now properly blocks vision-granting effects of abilities she successfully parries
- Thresh can once again purchase Runaan's Hurricane
- Valor can no longer purchase Tiamat or its upgrades. Sorry, Quinn.