The new post-season patch notes for League of Legends have been released, and they are legion. With the full notes coming in at over 14,000 words, the game’s update falls solidly into the category of novelette, but short of novella.
At the end of League’s last season, we saw a broad overhaul of the “Marksmen” class, which most ADCs fall into. The goal, according to Riot, was to “give each marksman a specific meta-agnostic identity, a unique bargaining chip that each can bring to the table to either catalyze their team comp or counter the enemy’s.” This year, they’ve targeted the assassin class for the same treatment.
In the new patch, Riot has toned down the burst damage of these assassins in exchange for more utility or survivability
The raison d’etre for League of Legends’ assassins is, as you might expect, eliminating high-priority individual targets before they can do any harm to your team. Since most assassins were fragile and close range, they relied on an all-or-nothing approach that either killed their target instantly or resulted in their own death. In the new patch, Riot has toned down the burst damage of these assassins in exchange for more utility or survivability.
Thanks to a new ability that lets him vault over terrain, Talon‘s roaming paths are going to be a lot harder to predict—it’s not going to be enough to just ward river anymore. It will be harder for Rengar to surprise his targets with the changes to his ultimate, but the increased duration will give him more room to pick good engages, and his W will help him stay alive when he takes more damage than expected. Katarina‘s combo is getting tuned down, but she’s getting a lot more mobile in exchange; now, her abilities leave daggers across the field that she can dash between for almost no cost. While Leblanc‘s damage has been paced out thanks to a new passive, her ultimate can now be cast globally, creating a decoy Leblanc anywhere on the map. While these are the major character changes, there are also minor changes coming to Fizz, Kha’Zix, Akali, Zed, Ekko and Shadow.
This is also the patch where plants will officially go live. This is a major change to League’s jungle, which has been met with, let’s say, mixed reception by the community so far.
The essential trouble most people seem to have with Riot’s addition of plants, beside the inherent human resistance to change, is the random quality they inject into the game. While their spawns are constrained to rough areas, the location of plant spawns are still ultimately decided randomly. A vocal faction of players feel that this detracts from an actual contest of skill, and leaves the ultimate outcome up to chance. The “Honeyfruit,” for example, which spills out healing produce, can save a careless player from death if spawned closer to their side.
While these are the big, holy-shit, meta-changing changes, there are a ton more: new items, new wards, and a handful of changes to non-assassin champions that needed a tune-up. You can read the whole novelette, approximately the same length as “Bartleby the Scrivener,” here.