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PBE Roundup: Patch 4.11


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Hello everyone! Hyjacked back once again for another PBE round-up. This is a really exciting PBE cycle, as we’ve seen some buffs to tanky-support junglers, including a new mid-tier jungle item and the long-awaited Summoner’s Rift visual update! As always, keep in mind that PBE content is never set in stone, and sometimes takes more than one patch to hit live. Don’t go expecting the Summoner’s Rift VU immediately.

By the way, Riot has taken to explaining a lot of their motivations behind changes in the form of Patch Forecasts. Here’s the forecast for 4.11, I’d recommend checking it out.

Balance Changes

Champion Balance

Braum

  • Concussive Blows (Passive) stack duration lowered to 4 seconds from 5 seconds.
  • Concussive Blows (Passive) damage upon reaching four stacks changed to 38+12 per level from 60+ 10 per level.
  • Concussive Blows (Passive) bonus magic damage on auto attack changed to ~[7.5 + 2.4] per level from 12 + 2 per level

Patch 4.9 saw some nerfs to the Jolly Freljordian Giant’s utility and defences. In 4.11, Braum’s passive is being tweaked a little to be a bit harder to land (due to the lower stack duration), and to do less damage during early-game, but then to scale better than it used to. This should make Braum less of an early-laning terror but a bit more relevant later on in team-fights.

Either way, I’m sure Braum himself will be as jolly as always.

Jax

  • HP per level reduced to 85 from 98
  • Armour per level reduced to 3 from 3.5
  • Base HP reduced to 450 from 463

As mentioned in the forecast, Jax’s weakness seems to be the fairly non-existent late-game. These changes should make him less naturally tanky and make him able to be focused down and killed in the later stages of the game. The reduction in base HP will also hit his laning phase a bit as well, although it’s not a big change.

Kayle

  • Attack speed per level reduced to 2.2 from 2.5
  • Righteous Fury (E) both AP ratios (hit and splash)  reduced to .2 from .4
  • Intervention (R) cooldown increased to 110/95/80 from 90/75/60

Kayle has always been either useless or too good. She’s one of those champions that’s just fundamentally hard to balance due to her long-range attack patterns and her tremendously powerful ultimate.

These changes will hopefully push her just enough without making her unplayable. Her attack speed per level is going down, as well as the AP ratio on her E, so hopefully she’ll be less able to punish opponents with long-range impunity. Her ultimate is also going on a longer cooldown, which will curb her ability to commit to fights.

Maokai

  • Arcane Smash (Q)
    • Mana cost lowered to 45 at all ranks from 55 at all ranks
    • Slow reduced to 1.5 seconds from 2 seconds
  • Twisted Advance (W)
    • No longer has a cast time
    • Mana cost lowered to 75 at all ranks from 75/80/85/90/95
    • Cooldown lowered to 13/12/11/10/9 from 13 at all ranks
    • Now deals 9/10.5/12/13.5/15 (+0.04 AP) % of target’s maximum health as magic damage (max of 300 to minions and monsters) from 80/115/150/185/220 (+.8 AP)
    • Cast range reduced to 525 from 650
  • Sapling Toss (E)
    • Mana cost reduced to 60/70/80/90/100 from 70/80/90/100/110
    • Landing damage lowered to 40/60/80/100/120 from 40/75/110/145/180
    • Explosion damage lowered to 80/120/160/200/240 from 80/130/180/230/280
    • Explosion now also slows enemies hit by 50% for 1 second
    • Sapling movement speed lowered to 450 from 475
    • Sapling’s movement speed now scales with Maokai’s
  • Vengeful Maelstrom (R)
    • Now attached to Maokai. Instead of being cast on a targeted area, it now follows him as he moves.
    • Base mana cost lowered to 40 from 75 at all ranks
    • Cast radius reduced to 475 from 575

Wow! SmashGizmo must have read a book on global warming, because he’s decided to show the trees some love. Specifically, Maokai, everyone’s favourite grumpy treant, is receiving a host of changes.

According to this reddit comment by Mr. Gizmo, the changes to Maokai were centred around making his ultimate more useful. The idea to center the ult on Maokai himself was great, but conflicted with his W, which felt like it was best used initiating on the enemy back line. As such, his kit had to be retuned to make him equally able to dive in on any member of the enemy team to position himself.

His Q, Arcane Smash, is a little bit less mana-hungry, but slows for less time. The slow has been made up for, though, on his saplings. His E, Sapling Toss, does less damage but now has a 50% slow on it, making the Saplings a better tool for engagement as opposed to just damage. Also, the saplings move slower early-game (which will hopefully prevent annoying support Maokai cheesing), but they get faster as Maokai gets faster.

His W, Twisted Advance, has had its range shortened to encourage diving on front-line enemies rather than back-line enemies (to go better with the new ultimate). However, its mana cost and cooldown have been reduced, and the cast time has been sliced completely from it, so it’s a lot more responsive now. Also, it now does magic damage based on enemies’ maximum HP, which again makes attacking tanks feel better. His ultimate not only sticks to him, but costs less base mana to cost. However, it also affects a smaller area.

As a huge fan of Maokai from back in the days when tanky junglers dominated, these changes excite me. Along with the itemisation updates to tanky junglers (read below!), this soft rework really looks to me like it’ll put Maokai back on the map as an initiator-tank jungler rivalling the likes of Amumu and Nautilus. His picking power is a bit lower, but his overall utility due to the slowing saplings and the moving ultimate far make up for it.

Nautilus

  • Staggering Blow (Passive) now has an indicator to show the cooldown of the root.
  • Staggering Blow (Passive) can now trigger once every 8 seconds at level 6, once every 7 seconds at 11, and once every 6 seconds at 16, down from 9 seconds at all levels.

Nautilus is in a pretty good spot at the moment as far as his actual numbers go (current meta notwithstanding). His utility and CC are fantastic, and he even does a fair amount of damage when his shield’s up. This patch will see a slight buff to his passive, making its personal cooldown lower with each level.

It shouldn’t affect the early game much, as an early gank will rarely last 8 seconds, but late-game team-fights will certainly feel the change. Also, he’s receiving a quality-of-life change in the form of a handy cooldown-ring similar to Yasuo and Udyr to help him keep better track of who he’s snared and when.

Nidalee

  • General
    • Base Health increased to 390 from 370
    • Base Armour increased to 17 from 15
  • Prowl
    • Nidalee now receives 10% Movement Speed in all directions while Hunting, increased to 30% toward Hunted targets. (Note: at any one time, Nidalee can never receive more than a total of 30% Movement Speed from the Hunt and Brush Movement Speed sources)
  • Javelin Toss
    • Missile width increased to 40 from 30
  • Bushwhack
    • Cooldown reduced to 13/12/11/10/9 from 17/16/15/14/13
    • Damage reduced to 10/12/14/16/18% from 12/14/16/18/20%
  • Pounce
    • Hunted Pounce activation range increased to 750 from 700
    • Hunted Pounce will now jump 75 units in front of where the target is facing at the time of jump rather than 150 units to the side of the target opposite Nidalee
  • Primal Surge
    • Mana Cost reduced to 60/75/90/105/120 from 60/80/100/120/140
  • Aspect of the Cougar
    • Triggering a Hunt resets the cooldown of Aspect of the Cougar when Nidalee is in human form

Nidalee’s rework was last patch, as I’m sure you’re all aware, and as far as reworks go, I think Riot’s done a pretty good job on this one. Nidalee’s win rate went down by about 6% with the patch, but a lot of that is likely to do with the rework giving Nidalee a much higher skill cap than she had before. However, she’s still not quite where she needs to be, and needs a little help getting there. I must confess, I am a tiny bit worried that she might be getting over-buffed as Kassadin was, but only time will tell.

You can read the full change list above, but I think the most notable changes are the extra movement speed from hunting, the widening of her javelins, the better landing patterns on Pounce and the fact that tagging a target with a human-form spell resets the cooldown on her ultimate. these changes will make it a bit easier to achieve that tag-and-dive game-play that her kit goes for. I just hope she doesn’t get too much stronger from these changes. The world doesn’t need another overpowered Nidalee. If you’re curious, here’s Riot Repertoir’s ongoing thread on the status of the Feral Huntress.

Skarner

  • Crystal Slash (Q) damage lowered  to 18/28/38/48/58 from 20/32/44/56/68
  • Crystal Slash (Q) movement speed lowered to 2/3/4/5/6% from 3/4/5/6/7%

Skarner’s second rework has gone a lot better than his first one! So much better, in fact, that the Crystal Vanguard is now a little bit too powerful. The damage and move-speed on his Q have both been lowered, making him a bit less formidable. The rest of his kit is untouched, though, and I think fairly. Don’t worry, fellow Skarner players, we’ll have a balanced scorpion someday.

Yasuo

  • Sweeping Blade (E): each cast’s dash base damage increase cap lowered to 50% from 100% max.

Yasuo is a bit of a bully nowadays. This change should hopefully decrease a bit of the damage he gets from his built-in slipperiness and making him a bit more manageable.

Zac

  • Unstable Matter (W) cooldown increased to 5 at all ranks from 4 at all ranks
  • Unstable Matter (W) now also includes : “When Zac reabsorbs a piece of himself, Unstable Matter’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second.”

Zac should see an increase in overall fight damage and clear speed from this change. If he only casts his W, then he needs to pick up the blob to equal the old cooldown. However, if he hits with multiple spells, it could get down to very small cool-downs indeed. This will go quite nicely with the fact that Unstable Matter is cast-able during Zac’s ultimate.

Ziggs

  • Base movement speed reduced to 325 from 330

In the patch forecast, it was mentioned that Ziggs is too safe in lane and needs a bit more risk in his kit. While this change does in fact accomplish that goal, something is telling me that we’ll see something a bit more substantial in coming weeks. Keep an eye out.

Item Balance

New Item: Quill Coat

  • Total Cost : 700g
  • Recipe: Hunter’s Machete  (325) + Cloth Armor (300) + 75g
  • Builds into the updated Spirit of the Ancient Golem
  • +20 Armor
  • UNIQUE Passive – Sapping Barbs: +40 Health Regen per 5 and +30 Mana Regen per 5 upon taking damage from monsters. Attacking monsters lose 5% of their maximum Health over 3 seconds (up to 150).
  • UNIQUE Active – Hunter’s Ward: Places a Stealth Ward that reveals the surrounding area for 180 seconds (180 second cooldown) (Unique Passives or Actives with the same name don’t stack)

Ladies and Gentlemen, open the bottom drawer and dust off your tanks. Hunter’s Machete now has a third upgrade in addition to Madred’s Razors and Spirit Stone in the form of Quill Coat. This awesome item gives a bit of armour and has a really nice effect wherein being attacked by monsters gives you back health and mana, as well as doing damage to the attacking monster. What’s more, it’s got a ward on it like Wriggle’s Lantern, making it the cheapest item (other than trinkets) to have a reusable ward. This is great news for tank-support junglers, who often need to ward aggressively to get the job done, and will probably want to buy a red trinket at some point during the game. Quill Coat is the replacement to Spirit Stone in the build path to Ancient Golem, which has changed as well. Take a look below.

The Bloodthirster

The Bloodthirster isn’t actually changed at all on the PBE, but it’s worth mentioning that mid-cycle, it got a new passive +10% bonus AD which has since been reverted. This is an interesting idea, and clearly one that Riot has considered but ultimately rethought. They might bring it back. It seems like their objective is to turn BT into a sort of AD version of Rabadon’s Deathcap. This seems like an odd choice, though, as BT’s new changes have made it a defensive item. I personally don’t think it’s a great idea to give it the 10% bonus AD, as that’ll make it a great defensive item and also a great offensive item, and defeat the purpose of re-theming it. We’ll see what happens.

Essence Reaver

  • Attack damage increased to 60 from 50

Essence Reaver has made its début, and has seen a bit of play on some of the more cast-oriented marksmen. However, not enough people are building it, so this patch will see it be a bit more desirable.

Hunter’s Machete

  • Price increased to 325 from 300
  • Now grants +10 attack damage vs Monsters
  • Now grants +5 damage reduction vs Monsters
  • Unique Passive: Maim REMOVED
  • Unique Passive: Butcher REMOVED

This is an interesting change. This is a definite nerf to the offensive capabilities of Machete, as the 10% bonus damage to monsters has been taken from it, and the 10 magic damage on-hit has become 10 AD, which gets reduced more by monsters’ higher armour. However, the 5 damage reduction will make early clears less punishing; live machete restores 5hp on every auto-attack, but the monsters attack you much more often that you attack them. However, the price increase makes it so that you can only afford 4 potions at the start of the game, not 5. Hopefully you won’t need the last one, though.

Madred’s Razors

  • Price increased to 775 from 750

This is just to reflect the increase on machete I think, as Razors have the on-hit effect that machete used to.

Spirit of the Ancient Golem

  • Total Cost: 2000 gold
  • Recipe: Quill Coat (700g) + Kindle Gem (850g) + 450g
  • +25% Bonus Health
  • +200 Health (down from 350 HP)
  • +10% Cooldown Reduction
  • +20 Armor
  • UNIQUE Passive – Sapping Barbs: +60 Health Regen per 5 and +45 Mana Regen per 5 upon taking damage from monsters. Attacking monsters lose 5% of their maximum Health over 3 seconds (up to 195).
  • UNIQUE Passive – Conservation: Store 1 stack of Gold per 1.5 seconds (Max 80 stacks). Kill a large or epic monster to cash in up to 40 stacks.
  • UNIQUE Active – Hunter’s Ward: Places a Stealth Ward that reveals the surrounding area for 180 seconds (180 second cooldown).
  • Both Tenacity and Butcher HAVE BEEN REMOVED. 

Spirit of the Ancient Golem has been retuned into a really impressive tank item. It now builds out of Quill Coat and Kindle-gem at its old price. It gives 20 armour now, in addition to the HP and CDR. Its total HP has been reduced by 150, but it now has a passive that gives +25% bonus HP. This is awesome for a few reasons. Firstly, it means that the item itself gives 250HP, not 200. Secondly, it’s good news for tanky junglers; since tanks usually get less gold than fighters and assassins, this passive will help them get more gold value out of any HP they happen to buy. It’s also got a more powerful version of the Sapping Barbs passive from Quill Coat, the old Conservation passive as normal, and the Ward from Quill Coat.

The cost for these awesome buffs, however, is that the Tenacity and Butcher passives have both been dropped. Butcher is no huge loss, as the extra damage done to jungle monsters is being made up for by the Sapping Barbs damage-over-time effect. However, the loss of tenacity is a bit of a blow, as it no longer gives tanky junglers freedom from buying Merc treads, so against heavy AP or high-CC teams, they’ll still be a must.

One more thing I like about these changes is that they only really benefit tanks. Spirit of the Ancient Golem used to be a dangerous item, as anyone would build it for the tenacity and stats regardless of what they were planning on doing late-game. However, the loss of butcher and the fact that a lot of its value comes from other HP items means that characters intent on building damage later would be wasting their money, so I don’t think it’ll edge out the competition in Lizard and Feral Flare.

Cosmetic Changes

Summoner’s Rift VU

The long-awaited Summoner’s Rift visual update has finally hit the PBE in its early stages! It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait till it comes out. Sadly, it probably won’t be out for another few patches, but we can live in hope at least. [email protected] has a really nice recap done, and Riot has made their own page to showcase some of the changes. Go and check them out and get excited.

Jungle Timers

The PBE has seen a bit of a demonstration of the new in-game jungle timers. For screenshots and a discussion by Riot, check out this article.

Hazmat Heimerdinger

Raise your Dongers! Everyone’s favourite super-genius is getting a new skin to help him handle heavier radiation and toxic substances.

hazdonger_splash

Soulstealer Vladimir

I think Vladimir has been hanging out with Thresh a bit too much, he’s starting to dress like him! He wears it well, though.

soulstealer_vlad

Headhunter Caitlyn

Caitlyn joins Nidalee, Rengar and Master Yi in their club of awesome tech-enhanced hunter skins. No splash yet for Headhunter Caitlyn, but here’s a nice-looking screenshot.

headhuntercait

Caitlyn and Urgot Splashes

Caitlyn and Urgot have both received updates to their basic splash arts. They both look pretty awesome. I wish Urgot was played more so that I’d be able to see it.

new_cait_splash

new_urgot_splash

 

That’s it for patch 4.11! Thanks for reading, and as always – thanks to [email protected] for their stellar documentation.


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Hyjacked

I'm Hyjacked! I'm a jungle main in League of Legends. I'm an English-born US resident and I write patch coverage articles here at Cloth5. I'm currently in my final year of university, getting a Bachelor's in mathematics.

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