Welcome to patch 6.8, the one before mid-season (pre-mid-season?!). We’ll have more than enough time to talk about the specifics of that spicy update, but for the moment let’s ask this question - how do we balance in the face of an impending major update?
As you’d expect, the answer is ‘carefully.’ Knowing that all sorts of changes are coming for mages and their items limits what we can do in the short-term. Why buff a mage item or champion when we’ll be making sweeping changes to the entire class? Alternatively (I’m talking to you, Riven mains), buffing a champion that’s underperforming due to the current landscape is equally difficult, knowing that everything is about to change. Who gets stronger when the update hits? Who’s weaker? Does Zed still kill everyone (probably)? So, instead of talking about what we’re not changing in 6.8, let’s talk about what we are.
If our goal is to be careful, then that means focusing on outliers - either too dominant or too weak - that we don’t think mid-season will impact significantly. We’re toning down some early-game sustain, as well as the main offenders in the ‘Everyone Gets To Be A Tank’ party (Ekko, Iceborn Gauntlet). We’re also showing love to some fan favorites (MF, Rumble) that play particularly well with and against the wizardly warriors to be spruced up next patch.
Mix it all together with a fabulous new Taric and you’ve got yourself a medium-sized patch with just enough excitement to hold you over until a cadre of updated mages waltz up and optic blast you into the next dimension (look out for Malzahar). That’s all for us this patch - we’ll see you around the Rift, playing some new champion named ‘Galio’.
Good luck, have fun.
Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
Taric, the Shield of Valoran, will be updated with the launch of patch 6.8! To learn more, check the following links:
W and E base damage down, but AP scaling increased.
Ekko’s rampage through toplane may be a problem of the present, but this isn’t the first time this has happened. To recap our feelings about Tank Ekko (from way back in 5.15) - it’s about tradeoffs. AP Ekko earns his game-ending skirmish potential by putting himself at constant risk: Chronobreak and Parallel Convergence are unwieldy when Ekko’s fragile enough to die before he can use them optimally. Tank Ekko’s survivability makes these tools much more reliable, but due to a combination of low cooldowns and high base damage, he still brings the beatdown as well. We’re fine with Tank Ekko shining in specific situations, but significantly lowering the build’s damage output (relative to AP-focused builds) ensures Ekko’s risk-reward paradigm is kept in check.
W - Parallel Convergence
E - Phase Dive
E costs less and gives more movement speed.
Galio presents a powerful option for those who like to make a big impact in close quarters, but often runs out of steam before teams start grouping up. We’re tossing him a stone to help smooth his laning interactions (especially when pushed into his tower), as well as enable sweet roaming plays if the situation arises.
E - Righteous Gust
Basic attacks deal less damage, but crits are more valuable.
Graves doesn’t know the first thing about time-travel, but he and Ekko share a lot of similarities this patch - they deal tons of damage, and they’re practically unkillable. While Graves isn’t building pure defense, his unique interactions with lifesteal and basic-attack scaling let him get away with prioritizing efficient hybrid defensive items (Death’s Dance, Maw, Sterak’s) to wreck early and wreck late. We’re retuning New Destiny’s specs so Graves has to make a choice between being critting people’s heads off or being the gritty, sustained cleanup crew.
Passive - New Destiny
Q shred up at early levels. W damage down.
When last we joined Kog’Maw on his adventures through patch notes, we spoke a lot about giving hypercarries a more even power curve than just ‘great late, awful early.’ These changes are furthering that philosophy, letting Kog feel like he gets to have a Q and reining in his insane power spike.
Q - Caustic Spittle
W - Bio-Arcane Barrage
R cooldown up and duration down, but its reset duration increased.
While much of Master Yi’s strength comes from his synergy with two powerful items (Guinsoo’s Rageblade + Sated Devourer), his lack of downtime has always been a frustration. We’re tuning Yeezy’s all-in window to reward using Highlander at the right time, rather than ‘whenever.’
R - Highlander
W duration and cooldown up. Love Tap no longer extends W’s duration, but now reduces its cooldown.
Ever since Miss Fortune’s dominating preseason performance, the Bounty Hunter’s business seems to be anything but booming. Her contributions to clustered fights are still worth a pretty silver serpent, but MF’s ability to compete alongside her marksman siblings outside of that best-case scenario is lacking. Retuning Strut for higher potential uptime should bring Miss Fortune’s baseline a little closer to the expectations of her class, without hindering the unique bullet-hell style of teamfighting she’s known for.
W - Strut
W lifesteal and R’s armor and magic resist increased.
Olaf’s a champion that has all the tools necessary to stick to targets and wreck faces in a big brawl, but there’s one problem: he’s dying too fast. Berserkers thrive in bloody combat, so we’re amping Olaf’s durability to tip the scales in his favor when he picks the right moment to go all-out (instead of falling flat).
W - Vicious Strikes
R - Ragnarok
Q deals full damage to minions. R’s cooldown lowered.
Once a professional staple, Rumble’s struggled to succeed in 2016. This scrappy yordle’s game is one of attrition; nickel-and-diming opponents with persistent damage and forcing them out of lane (or Equalizing them for overstaying their welcome). This season’s premium sustain options - Corrupting Potion and Grasp of the Undying - has left Rumble lacking the ability to get damage to stick. Rather than commit ourselves to an arms-race of upping his damage to compete with early game sustain (which we’re taking a swing at further below), we’re opting to instead give Rumble greater flexibility in lane control.
Q - Flamespitter
R - The Equalizer
11 completely new splashes that’ll be around for a long time.
As mentioned last patch, the Global Splash Unification work is a short-term solution. So, what’s the long-term solution? Comprehensive updates like the eleven splashes here. Splash updates are now baked into our Champion Update process (see: Poppy, Shen, and of course Taric), and we’ll opportunistically release small batches like this one when we can.
Global Splash Unification
Updating old splash arts to be the same in all regions. Part several of several.
Context here’s the same as with last patch. These splash swaps are short term changes to ensure players in all regions see the same splashes. They aren’t taking the place of proper upgrades (like the ones in the section above)!
The following splash arts have been modified or replaced with the Tencent version (apologies for the wall of text):
Modified updates from 6.7
- Crimson Akali, Stinger Akali, Gentleman Cho’Gath
- Frostfire Annie, Goth Annie, Commando Garen, Dragon Fist Lee Sin, Crimson Elite Riven, Rumble in the Jungle, Bilgerat Rumble, Tribal Ryze, Triumphant Ryze, Zombie Ryze
- Mad Hatter Shaco, Royal Shaco, Nutcracko, Workshop Shaco, Asylum Shaco, Boneclaw Shyvana, Hextech Sion, Warmonger Sion, Warrior Princess Sivir, Spectacular Sivir, Huntress Sivir, Bandit Sivir, PAX Sivir, Muse Sona, Divine Soraka, Bilgewater Swain
- Renegade Talon, Recon Teemo, Cottontail Teemo, Highland Tryndamere, King Tryndamere, Musketeer Twisted Fate, Kingpin Twitch, Whistler Village Twitch, Gangster Twitch, Primal Udyr, Giant Enemy Crabgot, Butcher Urgot
- Vindicator Vayne, Veigar Greybeard, Nosferatu Vladimir, Vandal Vladimir, Thunder Lord Volibear, Big Bad Warwick, Feral Warwick, Base Xin Zhao, Commando Xin Zhao, Winged Hussar Xin Zhao, Major Ziggs, Groovy Zilean
Proc damage decreased.
Sheen’s always offered champions with low cooldowns and high base damage a cost-efficient damage option (without having to go too far into full-damage builds). From there, the branching paths tell the story of what you want your Sheen to do. Do I want an extra AP Ratio? Lichbane. Do I want to deal tons of damage? Trinity Force. In-fight utility? Iceborn Gauntlet. The latter has done a fantastic job of holding up its utility promise - but the extra damage it provides is allowing beefier builds to squeeze too much effectiveness out of their kits. Given how much cheaper it is to build than the other Sheen upgrades, we’re taking a stab at sharpening those identities and making Iceborn markedly weaker than its alternatives at winning duels.
Cost and attack damage lowered.
Mercurial Scimitar is really gold efficient. Reaaaaally gold efficient. That’s not a problem by itself, but when tied to an incredibly powerful active in the form of Quicksilver Sash’s omni-cleanse, over-efficiency pushes Scimitar over the edge. Mercurial’s often purchased for its amazing statline alone, and its active is conveniently countering a lot of champions in the process. Scimitar’s still a great choice for a carry under pressure, but shrinking its efficiency means it makes less sense without a clear use for the active.
Gives less health but more mana.
Corrupting Potion was our attempt at allowing champions to declare their intent to fight via its burn effect: compared to the Doran’s items, Corrupting Potion only gets its full value if you take advantage of its burn by trading aggressively with other champions.
Unfortunately, the high sustain on Corrupting Potion also makes it the go-to item for champions who want to passively sit in lane. While the mana enables champions to trade more often, the health is just delaying recalls to base. We’re sharpening the trading aspects of Corrupting Potion while dialing back on the sustain.
Feast has become the poster child for conservative gameplay. Access to this sustain has crowded out the riskier mastery options at that level (namely Double-Edged Sword), making it hard for lane bullies to succeed at forcing weaker laners back to the fountain. Limiting Feast to one proc per wave tones down the impact it has on lane while keeping its heal amount satisfying.
Gives less health but more mana.
You can probably write this patch note on your own. Using abilities more in lane: good. Sustaining effortlessly through lane: bad. Biscuit is another place to drive that home. Corrupting Biscuit.
Grasp of the Undying
Less health and damage.
If you’ve spent some time in top lane during Season 6, you’ve seen Grasp of the Undying again, and again, and again (there’s an Ekko joke somewhere in here). We have nothing against a tank mastery being strong on tanks, but not only is the level of sustain making tanks immovable in lane, the damage turns them from CC bots to killing machines. Who are still CC bots.
This change probably won’t solve Grasp’s problems on its own, but we want to at least tone it down while we continue exploring our options.
It’s well-known that spell shields can block multiple abilities that hit at the exact same time - basically, spell shields protect you for a tiny window of time, regardless of what hits you in that moment. This window is very slightly inconsistent depending on server refresh rates. Combined with the fact that certain spells in our game (like Corki’s R - Missile Barrage) are broken into multiple sections code-side, this means that on rare occasions, some part of these ‘multi-hit’ abilities falls on the wrong side of the refresh and ‘goes through’ spell shields. We’ve refactored the window to be consistent so this shouldn’t happen anymore.
Store Visual Refresh
We’re updating the League store later this patch with a visual refresh, which should help it look more like the rest of the client. The most noticeable change is the navigation bar moving from its old spot on the left side of the store to the top.
New Champ Select
This patch, we've got changes in to address a few straggling concerns, including the return of the See More Stats panel! (Rest in peace, See More Stats graphs.)
Spellcasting defaults to Quick Cast with Range Indicators. Saved settings are unaffected.
As a reminder, Quick Cast with Range Indicators makes it so that on key press, an ability’s range indicator appears, and on key release, it fires. This setup’s proven to be the most intuitive for new players, but required multiple changes in the options menu to get to (which can be overwhelming when you’re trying to learn everything). We removed that roadblock last patch by adjusting settings defaults, anticipating new players would get the desired win while existing players wouldn’t notice since the change doesn’t modify existing account settings.
Turns out we underestimated how frequently “Restore Defaults” is still used, especially in PC cafes, and a lot of you chalked the change up to a settings bug. So, we’re here now to explain our reasoning and confirm that this is indeed intentional.
- The burn auras for Enchantment - Cinderhulk and Sunfire Cape no longer stack
- Zed no longer gains 20 extra attack damage when activating W - Living Shadow
- Karthus's W - Wall of Pain properly grants vision again
- Fixed a bug where Karthus's abilities sometimes failed to apply the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter during Passive - Death Defied
- Ekko's Q - Timewinder on-hit sound effects when returning have been restored
- Chilling Smite properly dismounts Quinn during R - Behind Enemy Lines
- Fixed a bug where Renekton's W - Ruthless Predator sometimes wasn't applying the proper number of Black Cleaver stacks
- Rammus's Q - Powerball self-knockup no longer overrides other knockup/knockback effects (ex. Poppy ult, Alistar Headbutt)
- The Bandit mastery no longer grants gold when enemy pets (ex. Tibbers, Elise spiderlings) die
- Urgot's R - Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser no longer completes its swap if Urgot dies mid-channel
- Oracle's Extract can now properly be purchased while dead on Howling Abyss
- Unmuting the Master Volume slider no longer causes individually muted sounds to play
- Custom R - Feast sound effects for both Battlecast and Gentleman Cho'Gath have been restored
- Increased the volume of Meowkai's E -
SaplingCatling Toss sound effects
- Increased the volume on a few of PROJECT: Yi's movement voiceover lines
- Restored icy wind audio for Blackfrost Anivia's Passive - Rebirth revive channel
- Gravelord Azir no longer sometimes plays Azir's base voiceover lines
- Jhin's Q - Dancing Grenade bounces no longer play Karma's Q - Inner Flame audio when both are in the game. Thief.
- Arcade Hecarim's E - Devastating Charge rainbow trail and arrow effects have been restored
- Pool Party Lulu's W - Polymorph victims now properly identify themselves as Seals in chat, rather than Cupcakes