Season 4 is in full swing, patch 3.15 is live, and Yasuo the Unforgiven is slicing his way through the fields of justice. Patch 3.16 is in construction on the PBE, so let’s take a look at some of the changes that Riot is going for in this next update. Keep in mind that everything listed in this article is PBE content, and should be taken with a grain of salt. PBE content fluctuates constantly, so I’m going to put more of a focus on what I think Riot’s overall goals are, rather than specific stat changes.
No huge content updates have happened since patch 3.14. Riot seems to be holding on to the promised rune reworks and minion spawn time changes for a little while longer while the community adjusts to trinkets and gold items, but hopefully we can expect to see some fresh new things sometime within the next few patches. The air client has received a tiny cosmetic update to the information ticker at the top-left corner, so we will be able to see when Yorick gets disabled due to a bug with a little more clarity now.
- Basic attack missile speed increased to 1400 from 1100.
- Crystallize ( W ) mana cost reduced to 70 at all ranks from 70/90/110/130/150
- Flash Frost ( Q ) mana cost reduced to 80/90/100/110/120 from 80/120/140/160
Anivia has received a slight buff to her lane presence. The champion’s damage (which is already considerable) hasn’t been changed, but her dependence on blue buff has been slightly toned down. Hopefully, this will let the Cryophoenix see a bit more play, especially now that she’s received a shiny new visual update.
- Pyromania ( Passive ) is now 1.25/1.5/1.75s (increasing at levels 1/6/11) instead of 1.75 sec stun duration
These numbers are still being played with, but it’s a good start to decreasing some of Annie’s overwhelming early-game presence as a support.
- Hatespike ( Q ) missile speed reduced to 1250 from 2000
- Ravage ( E ) damage changed to 70/110/150/190/230 TOTAL from 35/55/75/95/115 EACH STRIKE.
- Ravage ( E ) now deals physical damage instead of magic damage.
Evelynn is extremely powerful at the moment due to the recent vision changes, so these nerfs seem to be gunning at reducing a bit of her snowballing power. Her damage from Ravage was nerfed slightly earlier in the week, but then buffed back up to its previous values, so overall is unchanged. It now does physical damage instead of magic damage, however, so this might help reduce some of her snowballing (and potentially open her up to more hybrid or full AD builds).
- Monsoon ( R) healing increased to 100/150/200 ( +.6 AP ) every second for 4 from 70/110/150 ( 0.35 AP ) every second for 4 seconds.
Janna has fallen out of favour in the recent support rework, so this seems like a continuation of an effort to give her stronger scaling with AP items.
Kassadin (12/16, 12/19)
- Null Sphere ( Q ) damage lowered to 60/80/100/120/140 from 80/115/150/185/220
- Nether Blade ( W ) – reworked:
- Passive now deals 20/35/50/65/80 ( +.5 AP ) magic damage.
- Active now reads “Kassadin charges his Nether Blade for his next attack, doubling its passive damage to 40/70/100/130/160 ( +1 AP ) and restoring 5% of maximum mana. Mana restored doubles to 10% against champions.”
- Mana cost reduced to 0 from 25 at all ranks.
- Cooldown reduced to 9/8/7/6/5 from 12 at all ranks
- Force Pulse damage lowered to 80/110/140/170/200 from 80/130/180/230/280
Kassadin is in for some pretty drastic changes in the next patch. These numbers are still being worked on and changed twice last week, but in general, the devs seem to be shifting a lot of the emphasis on his kit from Force Pulse into Nether Blade. Null Sphere and Force Pulse have been nerfed, but Nether Blade has been reworked to do much more damage. It now passively enhances Kassadin’s autoattacks with magic damage. The mana regeneration has been shifted to the active effect (which now costs no mana and is on a vastly shorter cooldown), which is now a heavy damage autoattack reset. It looks like Kassadin will now want to put a lot more points into his W than previously.
Whether this change will be good for the Void Walker or not remains to be seen. It will make him much less powerful from a long range, but much more powerful as a close-range assassin. He still has considerable poke, but his strength is now limited to melee range. However, nerfing his poke which, at present, is quite scary, will enable Riot to buff his close-range power, so we’ll see how it goes.
- Wither ( W ) range reduced to 600 from 700
- Fury of the Sands (R) no longer increases cast ranges.
Nasus has been a bit too dominant lately, so it seems like these changes are aimed at giving him a bit more counterplay in lane by making him more kiteable.
- Undertow (Q ) slow reduced to 29/33/37/41/45 from 35/40/45/50/55
Olaf looks to be getting the same sort of treatment as Nasus; a slight nerf to his long-range engagement power and chasing.
- Broken Wings ( Q ) – 1st, 2nd, 3rd use damage lowered to 10/30/50/70/90 ( +.4/.45/.5/.55/.6 total AD ) from 30/55/80/105/130 ( +.7 bonus AD )
- Base damage decreased to 51 from 54
- Damage per level increased to 3 from 2.75
It’s no secret that Riven has suddenly come into the spotlight on the rift. She is a very powerful duelist and an easily snowballed fighter despite her often full-damage builds, so her early game base AD is being hit slightly, with a buff to her AD scaling to compensate for the reduction in base power. Broken Wings is being flat-out nerfed to reduce the free damage Riven gains from her mobility.
- Burnout ( W ) damage lowered to 20/35/50/65/80 from 25/40/55/70/85
- Flame Breath ( E ) damage reduced to 60/100/140/180/220 from 80/115/150/185/220
Shyvana has also been a top pick for a little while due to her tremendous base damage and natural tankiness. This patch looks to be giving her a slight nerf to her base damage on two of her spells to reduce the overwhelming damage she gets for free.
Skarner’s rework has, once again, been reverted. Having played the Crystal Vanguard’s new kit in several games, I’m excited for the day that my favourite scorpion finally gets his kit update, but until then, we must be patient.
Diana, Elise, Jinx, Kog’maw, Quinn, Warwick and the Orb trinkets have all had the tooltips on their vision-granting skills updated to clarify that the skills do not detect stealthed champions. This is not a balance change, simply a tooltip update, as none of these champions’ moves revealed stealthed champions anyway.
Spirit Stone and its three upgrades have received new regeneration passives instead of the hp5 and mp5 that the items currently give on live. This change was implemented before patch 3.15 debuted, but was taken back before the patch hit the live server, so it seems like Riot still isn’t quite satisfied with the numbers. Currently, Spirit Stone itself no longer has hp5 or mp5; instead, the Butcher passive now has “restore 8% of damage dealt to monsters as health and 4% as mana,” in addition to its previous 20% increased damage to monsters. The three upgraded items have the same 8% health and 4% mana regeneration and 30% damage to monsters. This change will enable junglers of all kinds to sustain much better within the jungle, and will reward building more damage by giving back more HP and Mana.
In addition to this change, Spirit of the Spectral Wraith now has a new unique passive called Spirit Drain, which Grants 2 Ability Power per large or epic monster kill (max 30 AP). This is a clear buff to the item which will hopefully help AP junglers get further into the spotlight, as they still aren’t played very much.
The regeneration passives will likely stick and just need value tuning. The stacking AP on Wraith may stay, or may get replaced by something else. Over the last few PBE cycles, SotSW has received a number of constantly changing passives. Riot obviously thinks it needs a little extra something to match the true damage burn on SotEL, but can’t quite nail down exactly what they want to give it.
- Cooldown reduction lowered to 10% from 20%
Spirit Visage is purchased a lot more than its other MR counterparts such as Banshee’s Veil, so this nerf to the item might be aimed at making it a less almost-necessary pick. Self-healing champions will still want to build this item because of its extremely helpful passive, but champions without healing now pretty much have only Banshee’s Veil to turn to, as most of the other heavy MR items (such as Abyssal Scepter or Maw of Malmortius) have more offense than defense on them. I like the change to Spirit Visage, but I would like to see maybe one more magic resistance item come to the rift to match the number of armour items present.
- Damage changed to 25 + ( Character Level ) from flat 40
This is a direct nerf to Sunfire Cape until champion level 15. My guess is that this is aiming at reducing the power of buying Sunfire early and getting free damage with your tankiness, but making up for it by increasing the damage from 40 to 43 at level 18. Or maybe it’s just a nerf to Shyvana and Dr. Mundo, who can tell.
Several items on Twisted Treeline have received small balance shifts, and Infinity Edge has been replaced with Lord Van Damm’s Pillager.
- Movement speed lowered to 5% from 10%
Mobility is very useful on TT, so this nerf makes sense as a reduction to the power of certain AP champions.
- Total cost lowered to 2700 from 3475
- Build Path now Phage + Pickaxe from Phage + BF sword
- Attack damage lowered to 55 from 70
Entropy was a weird item; it was a distant cousin of Frozen Mallet but with more AD than any other item save Infinity Edge in the Twisted Treeline shop (since Bloodthirster does not exist on TT and Howling Abyss). This rebalance makes it fill the same sort of role, but cost a lot less and have a lot less damage to make it more consistent with other bruiser items, and look less like a poorly-designed item for an AD carry to pick up.
Grez’s Spectral Lantern
- Total cost now 1350 from 1450g
This change makes no sense to me; Grez’ Lantern was already one of the most gold-efficient items in Twisted Treeline, and now it’s even more so. Perhaps this change is aimed at encouraging more jungle play, or to make it easier to work towards lightbringer. It’s also possible that Riot felt that the trinket changes hitting SR weren’t reflected in Twisted Treeline, so the items on Twisted Treeline that grant vision (Grez and Hextech Sweeper) are now easier to buy.
- Total cost now 2000 from 2200g
Same deal as above; the goal really does seem to be making vision more easily accessible.
- Infinity Edge has been removed from Twisted Treeline and replaced with Lord Van Damm’s Pillager. See below.
- Total cost reduced to 2200 from 2500
- Total cost now 1200
- +20 AD
- +10% Crit
- Unique Passive: Crit Strikes cause your target to bleed for an additional 60% of your bonus AD for 3 seconds.
Wicked Hatchet, an item that was introduced in early Season 3 but then pulled out of Twisted Treeline for balance reasons, has been reintroduced. It’s a pretty strong buy on anyone who’s planning on building a crit build, especially as it builds into LVDP, which is TT’s Infinity Edge.
Lord Van Damm’s Pillager
- Identical stats to Infinity Edge, but Wicked Hatched replaces BF sword in the build path.
The outer turrets in Summoner’s Rift have had their armour reduced by 60, but now have an item that reduces the damage they take from champion basic attacks by 20. This seems to be another change continuing Riot’s goal of making the first-tier towers a little bit harder to simply rush down.
Skins and Art
The new skins for the Lunar Revel have been put up on the PBE! We’ll be ringing in the Chinese New Year this year with Dragonblade Riven, Warring Kingdoms Tryndamere and Lunar Goddess Diana, all of which are awesome new skins with awesome new animations. Check over here at [email protected] for more detailed pictures and videos of the new skins. Get excited.
There are also two new ward skins coming in with the Lunar Revel: the Gong ward skin and the Banner of the Horse ward skin.
Flash has received a new visual effect.
In addition, some of the newer Summoner Spell icons have been edited slightly, and Entropy and Health and Mana potions now have new icons.
That’s all for 3.16 so far. Check back in a few weeks for more!
-All PBE patch notes and preview images are taken from Surrenderat20.net.