Hello everyone! Time for another PBE Roundup, Patch 4.15! This cycle has been a bit sparse in terms of balance changes, to tell you the truth.
While only Gnar and Urgot have received substantial changes this Patch, there are three new skins on the horizon – One we have seen hinted at in the recent teaser.
Remember that these are PBE changes and must be taken as tentative. For this patch specifically, I have a feeling that either some stuff will show up on the live patch that wasn’t in the PBE notes, or that the live patch won’t come this week and the cycle will last a bit longer.
- Boomerang Throw (Mini Q):
- Missile Speed increased to 1400 from 1000
- Width increased to 60 from 45
- Returning Q width increased to 75 from 70
- Returning Q missile speed increased to 2600 from 2400
- Boulder Toss (Mega Q):
- Missile Speed increased to 2100 from 2000
- Width increased to 90 from 80
- GNAR! (R): now has AP scaling of .5 up from 0
Gnar hasn’t made as much of a wallop on live servers as Riot had hoped. He’s unfortunately, a little too inconsistent to be a great champion, at least at higher levels, and has a number of weaknesses in both forms that makes it difficult to be effective in fights. His laning phase is complicated and his team fighting is inconsistent due to his uncontrollable transformation.
Now, the above changes are just what we’ve seen on the PBE this cycle. However, Gypsylord has posted on the forums indicating that Gnar, will in fact, be getting more buffs than the ones I have listed here. Included, but not in the PBE notes, are an increase to HP5 per level, several quality-of-life changes to his Boomerang Toss and Boulder Throw to make them easier to land and retrieve, and a few bug fixes.
I think Gnar is a little weak, but not quite as weak as he seems. He only came out two weeks ago and it will take time for people to get the hang of him. As Gypsylord points out, his win-rate is still trending upwards as people learn him better. He just needs a little help right now, and these changes provide exactly that. He may end up getting overbuffed and become way too powerful, but Riot is prepared for that scenario and is keeping the nerf bat poised and ready for any Yordle catastrophes.
- Boomerang Blade (Q) range increased to 1250 from 1175
It’s uncertain whether this is actually a buff or simply an update to match hitboxes properly, since some of her visuals might be getting tinkered with. If it is a buff, it’s a pretty small one. The extended range will help Sivir with long-range poke and wave clear, but at 1250 units, you see that blade coming from a long way away and it’s not too hard to dodge.
- Basic attack missile speed increased to 1600 from 1300
- Acid Hunter (Q): Now refunds half it’s mana cost if it is used to kill a unit
- Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser (R): Cooldown lowered to 120/110/100 from 120 at all ranks
- Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser (R): Mana cost lowered to 100 at all ranks from 120 at all ranks
Urgot buffs? The promised day has arrived! Urgot has been under-the-radar for a while now.
Very few people play him, and those who do are perennially disappointed in the lack of love for the Headsman’s Pride. The recent addition of Essence Reaver to the game has been a nice buff to him, and this patch is giving him some TLC. Giving his Q a half mana-cost refund is going to make his CS-ing in lane much easier. With a buff to his Ultimate bringing a lower cooldown at later ranks and a lower mana cost across the board, it brings some much-needed improvement to his late game.
Urgot is, I believe, may be somewhere on the list for champion reworks (don’t quote me on that, it’s very inconsistent). That’s a long way off, however, as Soraka, Sion and Viktor all have higher priority.
These changes look like part of an effort to tide Urgot over until the balance team is able to devote some serious time to him. I think this will definitely make him more viable, but whether he’ll be able to contest with the likes of Tristana and Kog’Maw is dubious at best.
- Price reduced to 3200g from 3400g
Essence Reaver still isn’t really being bought much, as most marksmen players tend to ignore mana costs, especially at higher levels, because they’re so good at using their spells at the right time. It’s still good on mana-gated AD Casters like Ezreal and Urgot, but is largely outclassed by Infinity Edge and Ghostblade. The more gold-efficient the item becomes, the more likely it’ll start being built more. Though, with Infinity Edge as competition, I doubt anyone will be rushing Essence Reaver as a first item.
Ichor of Illumination
- Cooldown Reduction lowered to 10% from 15%
Ichors have received a nerf every other patch for the last several months. Ichor of Rage is safe for this cycle, but Illumination is being taken down a peg with its CDR. I’m guessing that this might have something to do with the fact that every item besides Ionian Boots of Lucidity gives CDR in multiples of 10, so it’s being brought in line with other items.
Master Tier: Testing on PBE
The new Master Tier system is being tested on the PBE! For those of you who don’t know, Master Tier is a new tier being placed between Diamond 1 and Challenger. Challenger and Master share a ladder, and every 24 hours the top 200 players on that ladder get promoted to Challenger. This means that Challenger will be constantly in flux, but Master will stay mostly consistent.
Check out this post by Socrates for more information.
The Headhunter Caitlyn skin, which has been on the PBE for a while, is finally looking like it’s coming to live soon. It’s got a splash art now and it’s looking pretty awesome. Check out S@20 for more images.
Yasuo is getting a new teched-up skin called PROJECT: Yasuo. For those of you who’ve been playing Yasuo and thought, “This is great, but I could use a little more lazor,” this is a good day for you. Check it out!
Final Boss Veigar
The new legendary skin is here, and he’s ready to TPK you! Final Boss Veigar looks like a caster minion from hell and has some really awesome 8-bit-inspired casting animations to match the rest of the Arcade line. It’s still unconfirmed whether or not killing him will cause you to beat League of Legends, but we remain hopeful.
Vayne and Shyvana: New Splashes
Vayne and Shyvana are both receiving updated splash arts and they’re both looking pretty damn awesome:
Urgot: Acid Hunter (Q) VFX
The Urgot love isn’t over yet! Not only is he getting buffed, but his Q, Acid Hunter, is also receiving some nice VFX updates:
That’s all for now, everyone. Thanks as always to you and to Surrender@20. See you next time!