Another week and another list of changes have been checked into the PBE for league of legends. While there are not an abundance of changes to be discussed at this point, there are several important changes to talk about! Today I will be discussing the latest PBE changes and the effects these changes will have on the current meta from my point of view. For those of you who have not had a chance to peruse the new patch notes, you can find them here.
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** NOTE: Colors are reflective of my opinion on the changes proposed. [Negative Change] [Minimal Impact Change] [Positive Change]
Kassadin [Reworking day and night]: I think that we can all agree, Kassadin has been a juggernaut at drawing picks/bans for the better part of the past 2 seasons. He is the only champion to be consistently banned out for the majority of his lifespan due to his incredibly strong kit for assassination, which allows for quick movement across the map and huge amounts of spike damage. Since the Kassadin rework is highly volatile, I am going to refrain from going into specifics until the changes are more concrete.
The general Idea behind the proposed changes is to remove some of Kassadin's scaling from AP and make him benefit from having a sizable mana pool. I think this idea is a good move for kassadin as it better defines his role within the current meta without losing his "uniqueness". By having kassadin scale off of a combination of AP and mana ratio, it places kassadin in a position similar to Ryze. Kassadin will be able to forego some of the typical AP items for more tank centric items without losing significant late game strength. In my opinion, I believe that the current changes to Kassadin's kit will make him a very strong AP Bruiser-Assassin for Top/Middle/Jungle.
Annie [bye bye bot lane, Hello Mid!]: Okay so Annie has been a flavor of season 4 since the get go. Annie is not intended to play the support role and it appears that Riot is taking steps to enforce that. Riot has nerfed annie's base damage on her abilities but buffed the scaling AP ratio on her abilities to reward players who build annie as a mage. Annie was also given a generous boost to her Disintegrate (Q) which will now half the CD timer upon killing a unit with Disintegrate. All in all, I think these changes will accomplish what Riot is trying to accomplish with Annie. These changes will severely hamstring Annie's strength as a support due to her damage and harass being much weaker, however, it will increase Annie's sustain, wave clear and late game potential.
- New Effect: Killing a unit with Disintegrate now reduces the cool down of Disintegrate by 50%
- Current Damage: 85/125/165/205/245 + 0.7*AP
- PBE Damage: 80/115/150/185/220 + 0.8*AP
- Around 300 AP is when the new Disintegrate out powers the old
- Current Damage: 80/130/180/230/280 + 0.75*AP
- PBE Damage: 70/115/160/205/250 + 0.85*AP
- Around 300 AP is when the new Incinerate out powers the old
- Current Damage: 200/325/450 + 0.7*AP
- PBE Damage: 175/300/425 + 0.8*AP
- Around 300 AP is when the new TIbbers out powers the old
Maokai [Rotting Away]: I am and always will be a big fan of Maokai as he was my first jungler I ever became proficient at. That being said, Maokai has had some problems fitting into the meta as he stands. Maokai's biggest issue is that he does not generate enough pressure in the jungle or on the map to create openings. Yes, maokai is a decent ganker but he moves so slowly through the jungle that ganking is detrimental unless perfectly timed and executed. Riot has made a good step in improving maokai's sustainability by reducing the mana cost to both Arcane Smash and Vengeful Maelstrom, however, I do not think it is enough for this tree to spread it's roots. Maokai is just missing that "umph" factor to bring him.
- Current Mana Cost: 55
- PBE Mana Cost: 45
- Current Mana Cost: 75 mana, 30 mana per second
- PBE Mana Cost: 75 mana, 20 mana per second
Nautilus [Have Shield, Will Tank]: In season 3, Nautilus was my favorite jungler. As I main support and love champions with "hooks", nautilus was a fantastic transition champion into the jungle. Nautilus suffers from the same issues as Maokai as that he is ultra tanky. Ultra tanky junglers who have decent ganks but weak damage and high cooldowns are not fitting into this meta. These ultra tanks can not utilize all of the extra gold introduced into season 4 as they do not need a lot of items to preform their job and they do not scale extremely well with damage attributes. He is meant to be a big ol' tank who initiates and controls the "front line" which is why i think the changes made to Titan's Wrath is a step towards the right direction. By increasing the strength of the shield gained and reducing the cooldown, nautilus will be more sustainable in the jungle and he will get a nice spike in damage with a lower CD on Titan's Wrath. I would say that this change is a step in the right direction but I think there is more to be done. Maybe if the buff to Naut's damage from Titan's Wrath had a fixed duration outside of "when the shield is active" he would be a more reliable pick. What I mean by this is that If Naut casts Titan's wrath to "soak damage" and the damage eats the shield, the damage buff should remain active for a fixed amount of time.
- Current Absorb bonus: 10% bonus Health
- PBE Absorb Bonus: 15% bonus Health
- Current Cooldown: 22/21/20/19/18
- PBE Cooldown: 18 at all ranks
Sivir [Let me see you Tweak gurl]: I'll admit I don't play the ADC/Marksman role fairly often, however, I do have insight from a support standpoint. Sivir is losing strength on the "subsequent target damage" to her boomerang blade by 5%. This isn't game breaking but it is a slight reduction in damage output that I believe was justified. Ricochet costs a bit more to cast now but this is balanced out with the buff to the mana regeneration from spell shield. I believe these changes are small tweaks to balance sivir and reward good sivir players without punishing bad ones too harshly. If these changes were to go live, I'd think sivir would still be a solid pick behind lucian or jinx but more in line with the other "tier 1" adc's.
- Current Subsequent Damage Reduction: 10%
- PBE Subsequent Damage Reduction: 15%
- Current Mana Cost: 40
- PBE Mana Cost: 60
- Current Mana Return : 60/75/90/105/120 mana returned upon blocking enemy spell
- PBE Mana Return : 80/95/110/125/140 mana returned upon blocking enemy spell
----- ITEM CHANGES --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*NEW* Feral Flare [Very Nice, How much?] : I'm not quite sure why Riot has an attachment to Wriggles lantern when none of us do, however, I like what they've done here with Feral Flare. Basically, your wriggle's lantern gets a free upgrade when 25 BIG monsters are slain. This upgrade gives the wielder a free 5% attack speed boost and +5 Attack damage. There was some concern as to what is considered a "big" monster but those concerns were squashed when Rioters explained that the Largest monster in each jungle camp will be counted towards the 25 needed. With this free 5% attack speed, I can see Wriggles being picked up on certain champions or teams looking to push early dragons/barons. I will probably pick this item up if you plan to do more counter jungling than ganking