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PBE Roundup: Patch 4.17


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Hello everyone! It’s Hyjacked once again for another PBE Roundup. This patch features a few minor balance changes, a huge texture update initiative, and not one, but two gameplay updates! Viktor and Soraka are both getting reworked, so hop in your ambulance and join the revolution. Let’s take a look at what this patch has to offer!

Keep in mind that all of these changes are tentative. Numbers, especially, are not final.

Hyjacked


Balance Changes


Champion Balances

CassiopeiaSquareCassiopeia

      • Base mana increased to 270 from 250
      • Mana per level increased to 60 from 50
      • Noxious Blast (Q) AP ratio increased to .45 from .35

Cassiopeia got a gameplay update last patch. She’s been doing okay, but she’s still suffering from a few of the same problems. Her base mana, mana per level, and the AP ratio on her Q have all been buffed to give her an extra nudge. This will go a long way to make her better in the mid-game after she’s bought some AP but before she gets her 200th stack on her passive.

GarenSquareGaren

      • Perseverance (Passive): Now also includes the text: “At level 11, damage from non-epic monsters will no longer stop Perseverance. At level 11 and level 16, the power of Perseverance is increased.”
      • At Level 11, cooldown decreased to 6 seconds and health per second increased to .8%
      • At Level 16, cooldown decreases to 4 seconds and health per second increases to 2%

Garen is rarely played nowadays, as he gets outclassed by most other top laners. Garen can be a lane bully, but there are other lane bullies that surpass him. Top laners with range, such as Maokai and Lulu, can outrange and poke Garen. This patch is seeing no buff to his early-game; but at level 11 and 16, his passive health regeneration will enjoy a reduced cooldown and increased effectiveness. Also, past level 11, damage from monsters (other than Baron and Dragon) will not halt Garen’s regen.

This will give Garen a bit more late-game effectiveness and let him recover from damage much, much more quickly. This might bring him back into the game a little bit, though I’m still not sure it’ll help his early-game much.

Leblanc_Square_0LeBlanc

      • Mirror Image (Passive): Tooltip now reads that she becomes invisible for 1 second instead of .5 seconds
      • Distortion (W): Re-activate time increased to 4 seconds from 3 seconds

Since LeBlanc had the silence on her Q removed, she’s very quickly gone from overpowered to never-played. Riot doesn’t want to put the silence back (and for good reason, it was a toxic mechanic that left no room for counterplay); but they realize that LeBlanc needs a bit of help. They’re taking it slowly, with a buff to her passive’s invisibility time and a longer window for reactivation of her W. This utility boost will certainly help her, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough. However, I prefer for the balance team to take this effort pretty slowly, as I don’t want LeBlanc to be back to her infuriating old self.

Maokai_Square_0Maokai

      • Vengeful Maelstrom R: Maximum bonus damage lowered to 150/200/250 from 200/250/300

Maokai is still a strong pick and the balance team is continuing to chip away at his power. This patch is seeing a 50-damage reduction across the board on his eventual bonus damage on the explosion on his ultimate. This should make him slightly less of a devastating force in teamfights at all levels, as well as reducing some of his anti-fight abilities in top lane.

Nidalee_Square_0Nidalee

      • Base AD: Lowered to 44 from 49
      • Base Attack Speed: Lowered to 0.638 from 0.670
      • Takedown (Cougar Q): Attack damage ratio lowered to .8/2.0/2.67 from 1/2.5/3.33 (min/max/maxHunt)
      • Takedown (Cougar Q): Ability power ratio increased to .3/.75/1 from .24/.6/.8 (min/max/maxHunt)
      • Pounce (Cougar W): Cooldown reduction mechanic added to Hunted Pounce (removed from Hunted Swipe)
      • Pounce (Cougar W): Cooldown reduction mechanic baseline effect increased to 1.5 seconds from 1 second.
      • Pounce (Cougar W): Cooldown reduction mechanics on Pounce now affected by Nidalee’s CDR.
      • Swipe (Cougar E): No longer affects the cooldown of Pounce when used on a hunted target.

Nidalee received her rework several patches ago, reducing much of her toxic long-range free-damage gameplay, and helping swap her focus towards cougar form. The rework didn’t have the intended impact that was desired. So Nidalee got a pretty hefty nerf to her mobility and utility in the following patch. Now that people have learned the reworked Nidalee and come closer to that skill cap, Nidalee  has returned to her previous infuriating level. She’s a nightmare in solo queue, and is being banned practically every game in competitive events.

This patch is giving some much-needed nerfs to Nidalee. Her base AD and attack speed are going down.  The AD ratio on Takedown is being reduced to try and put the brakes on the bruiser-style Nidalee that’s become popular in top lane. Also, it has become a bit harder to get that cooldown reduction on her cougar-form pounce (W), as that effect is no longer on swipe (E). Hopefully, this will reduce some of her insane dominance as a bruiser-assassin, and make her a little bit more fightable as her opponent.

Rammus_Square_0Rammus

      • Power Ball (Q): Now specifies, “Activating Defensive Ball Curl will remove this effect after 1 second”
      • Defensive Ball Curl (W): Now specifies, “Activating Powerball will remove this effect after 1 second”

This is basically just a little quality-of-life change that makes Power Ball and DBC overlap by 1 second. With this change, if you cast one ability and change your mind, you have a second to cancel it so that the other one won’t cancel.

Sona_Square_0Sona

      • Hymn of Valor (Q) cast range increased to 850 from 700

This is a bug-fix to a problem with Sona’s rework that caused her Q to have a shorter range than intended. This fix is going to help her slightly, but isn’t anything massive.

Soraka_Square_0Soraka

Soraka has received a gameplay update!

      • Base Stats
        • HP per level increased to 80 from 76
        • Mana increased to 250 from 240
        • Movement speed increased to 345 from 325
        • Magic Resist increased to 32 from 30
        • Armor increased to 18 from 17
        • HP regen per second decreased to .7 from .9
        • HP regen per second per level increased to .16 from .11
        • Mana regen per second increased to 1.56 from 1.36
      • (Passive) Salvation
        • Soraka gains 70% bonus movement speed when running towards allies who are below 40% health (Allies must be within 2500 range of Soraka).
      • (Q) Starcall
        • Mana Cost increased to 70/80/90/100/110 from 30/40/50/60/70
        • Cooldown increased to 7/6.5/6/5.5/5s from 2s
        • Old effect removed: Starcall now calls down a star at a target location. Enemies standing in the explosion radius take 70/110/150/190/230 (+.35 AP) magic damage
        • Enemies standing in the center take 150% damage and are slowed by 20/25/30/35/40% for 2 seconds
        • The star falls quickly if casted at short range and slowly at high range
      • (W) Astral Infusion
        • Cost changed to 10% max health and 20/25/30/35/40 mana from 80/100/120/140/160 mana
        • Cooldown reduced to 4/3.5/3/2.5/2 seconds from 20 seconds
        • Heal changed to 120/150/180/210/240 (+.6 APfrom 70/120/170/220/270 (+.35 AP)
        • No longer gives the target bonus armour
        • Cannot be cast if Soraka is below 5% health
        • New Passive Effect: Each enemy champion hit by Starcall heals Soraka for 25/35/45/55/65 to 50/70/90/110/130 (+.4 AP) (based on Soraka’s % missing HP)
      • (E) Equinox
        • Old E, Infuse, has been removed
        • Mana Cost: 80
        • Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14
        • Creates a zone at target location for 1.5 seconds, dealing 80/100/120/140/180 (+.4 AP) magic damage to enemy champions in the cast radius. Enemies standing in the zone are silenced until they leave.
        • When the zone disappears, all enemy champions still standing in the zone are rooted for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds and are dealt 80/100/120/140/180 (+.4 AP) magic damage
      • (Ultimate) Wish
        • Wish now removes all instances of Grievous Wounds before calculating the heal amount
        • Wish’s power heals 150/250/350 (+.55 AP) health and is now increased by 50% on each champion below 40% health

The Starcaller has long been a problem to balance. Having a dedicated healer in League of Legends is a difficult role to keep from being either too overpowered or totally useless. The balance team tried to make Soraka a bit more tolerable a while ago. They placed her heal on a high cooldown and made it buff armor, but all this really did was put Soraka in a very passive and mediocre spot.

Her new rework is actually focused more on being able to dish out more emergency heals to her teammates, but at the expense of her own health. Soraka’s Starcall has been completely redesigned with her old E, Infuse, completely replaced.


This results in her being more fun to play against, and forces Soraka to move out of her passive spot. These two changes reward smart gameplay over spamming abilities

Let’s take a more detailed look at this new kit:

For starters, her base stats have been changed. Most of them have been increased, including her hp and hp regen per level, as well as her mana. Her movement speed has been increased from before. The extra health regeneration is likely because her heal now costs 10% of her health, which could get pretty punishing if she has nobody to Starcall.

Her new passive is apparently being referred to in interior testing as “Astral Ambulance.” It has a lot less all-around usefulness than her old passive of making healing more powerful based on the target’s missing hp. However, the reworked Salvation will enable Soraka to make some really awesome clutch saves when teammates in need are stuck in a sticky situation.

Her new Starcall is a pretty interesting move. It replaces her old low-cooldown Q, which is pretty great news for balancing reasons. The old Starcall was a pain in the rear and forced other limitations on her kit because it was so terrible to play against. This new Starcall has a similar pattern to Xerath’s W, in that it’s a ground-targeted attack with a ‘sweet spot’ in the middle.

starcall

Soraka is pretty squishy, so she likes to be further away from her enemies.  In the past, she was extremely annoying due to her ranged poke by spamming old Starcall. New Starcall is a lot harder to hit at range because the spell takes longer the further Soraka casts it. Starcall is pretty important to hit because it gives Soraka her much-needed sustain, so that she can keep healing her carry. Soraka’s heal can be cast more often now, at the expense of costing a portion of Soraka’s health. The heal itself scales better with AP now.


A late-game Soraka Ambulance will have a higher impact in teamfights if she lands her Starcalls

Equinox, Soraka’s new E, is more interesting than her old Infuse and packs more of a punch. It’s a ground-targeted skill now, rather than a point-and-click ability. It’s basically a silence zone on the ground, which detonates Swain-style after a short period of time, dealing damage and causes a root to enemies still in the zone. Equinox has the potential to be a devastating zoning tool if used on an enemy who’s unprepared, since the silence prevents enemies from flashing out of it or using any dash moves. Also it looks awesome!  Is that the Big Dipper?

equinox

There’s not much to say about Soraka’s ult, Wish, other than that it has some of the power from Soraka’s old passive built in. It removes the Grievous Wounds debuff, so Tristana won’t be as terrifying to Soraka lanes as she was in the past.

With this new kit, I definitely believe that Soraka has the potential to become a really interesting support with some very cool play patterns. She’s a lot more interactive now, since she has actual skillshots, instead of just three point-and-click spells. However, because of this, she’ll actually be outplayable, and therefore, won’t be as terribly un-fun to play against as she was in the past.

Talon_Square_0Talon

      • Cutthroat (E): No longer silences target for 1 second.
      • Cutthroat (E): Now slows by 99% for .1 second.

Well, Riot’s been threatening Talon for a while now, and they’ve finally made good on their threats. Talon is one of my favorite champions in the game, but even I have to admit that his playstyle doesn’t leave much room for counterplay. He wasn’t quite as bad as LeBlanc or Kassadin, but with both of them losing their silences, Talon’s had a lot less competition lately as a one-shotter. There is something wrong with the design of a champion who can one-shot a squishy target and not let the target do anything about it, so as much as it pains me to say it, the silence had to go.

However, I don’t think a slow (even one that huge) is going to be enough to make Talon playable again. He’ll still be able to do all of his damage instantly, but his opponents will have a much easier time bursting him back at early stages of the game. Talon is actually pretty weak in the early game.  Being a melee champion with mana costs makes it very tough to play as him in mid lane. Unfortunately, because of his lack of natural sustain, mid lane is the only lane Talon can really play in (I’ve tried to jungle on him. It’s not great). The removal of the silence will make him pretty hard-pressed to get snowballing.

Personally, I’d like to see a reduction in Talon’s burst damage in exchange for some sort of reset. Talon is one of few assassins in the game with no reset and no natural escape outside of his ultimate. I think giving him that tool would really help to make him viable again.

Tristana_Square_0Tristana

      • Buster Shot (R): Cooldown increased to 100/85/70 from 60 at all ranks

Tristana is still much too strong in both amateur and competitive games. This patch is giving her a pretty hefty nerf to the cooldown on her ultimate.  This nerf is pretty impactful, as it will give her opponents significantly bigger windows in which they can attack her. However, she still has enormous amounts of damage and a really long-range resetting leap, so I’m not going to be surprised if she stays almost as powerful as pre-nerf.

ViktorSquareViktor

Viktor has also received a gameplay update! Join the glorious revolution!

      • Passive: Hex Core
        • Viktor starts with a Prototype Hex Core that he can upgrade 3 times for 1000 gold each. Each upgrade grants +25 AP, +150 Mana and +1 AP per level, cumulating in +75AP, +6 AP per level, +500 Mana for the Perfect Hex Core.
        • Each upgrade will allow Viktor to augment one of his basic abilities and when Viktor has upgraded all 3, the Chaos Storm will be augmented also.
      • (Q) Siphon Power
        • Cooldown changed to 10/8.5/7/5.5/4
        • Initial damage reduced to 40/60/80/100/120 (+.2 AP) from 80/125/170/215/260 (+.65 AP)
        • Shield changed to 30/50/70/90/110 (+.2 AP) for 2.5 seconds from 32/50/68/86/104 (+.26 AP) for 3 seconds
        • New Effect: Viktor’s next basic attack deals 15~250 (+.5 AP) bonus magic damage. The bonus damage scales with Viktor’s level.
        • Augment- Turbocharge: Viktor gains 30% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds.
        • Shield and Movement Speed now happen immediately on cast rather than when the missile hits Viktor’s opponent.
      • (W) Gravity Field
        • Base range increased to 700 from 540.
        • Augment- Implosion: Enemies stunned by Gravity Field are dragged to the center.
      • (E) Death Ray
        • Base spell unchanged
        • Augment- Aftershock: An explosion follows the Death Ray’s wake, dealing 70/115/160/205/250 (+.7 APmagic damage. Enemies already hit by the Death Ray will take 40% damage.
      • (Ultimate) Chaos Storm
        • Cooldown changed to 120/110/100 from 120
        • Silence effect removed. Chaos Storm now interrupts enemy channels.
        • Damage over time changed to 30/60/90 (+.2 AP) per second from 10/15/20 (+.6 AP) per .25 seconds
        • Augment- Velocity: Chaos Storm moves 20% faster

Viktor, the Machine Herald, is the second champion to receive a gameplay update in this patch. His Q has received some quality-of-life increases, but his W and E haven’t really changed. The main focus of Viktor’s rework is his unique item, the Hex Core.

Viktor starts with an item already in his inventory, the Hex Core. Currently in game, Viktor gets scaling stats from the Core and can upgrade it once into one of three models for 1000 gold.


This leads to some problems, since it basically forces players to pick the best upgrade in every game rather than making actual decisions

The new Hex Core solves that problem by enabling multiple upgrades. The starting Core, the Prototype, simply grants Viktor a passive +3 AP per level. When upgraded the first time, the core scales up to +4 AP per level, as well as giving a flat 20 AP and 150 mana and enabling Viktor to augment one of his spells. The augments function like Kha’Zix’s evolutions, allowing the player choose which of his three spells (not including the ultimate) they want to upgrade.

Siphon Power has been changed to give its shield and speed boost when Viktor casts the spell, rather than when the missile hits the opponent. The necessity of this change cannot be understated, and will make Viktor so much better in lane right off the bat. The old Q had a big problem in that it wouldn’t give Viktor the shield until the missile got back to him, by which point his opponent would most likely have already done their damage while trading.

Siphon Power also empowers Viktor’s next autoattack, which makes it an even stronger trading tool. The extra auto-attack damage scales with Viktor’s level, which means this move probably won’t be the one to max first. The augment to the Q is similar to the current version in game; it makes casting Siphon Power give Viktor a speed boost.

viktor_auto

Gravity Field has had its base range extended significantly, but augmenting it no longer increases its range. Instead, it makes it so that champions stunned by the field are then dragged to its center.  This will be a fantastic teamfight disruption tool and enable Viktor to land his spells on several enemies at once, much more easily.

Death Ray is completely the same at its base level, but its augment is changed a bit. Rather than put a DoT on opponents, it leaves an exploding trail behind which does equivalent damage to the original laser, or 40% damage to champions who were hit by the laser. This will make the laser a lot more useful, as the extra damage will give it some pretty good zoning potential.

viktor_e

Viktor’s Ultimate has been nerfed in its overall damage, but now has an extra effect; when the Hex Core is complete and all three of Viktor’s other spells have been augmented, Chaos Storm will move 20% faster, which will make it a lot easier to chase people down.

I’m optimistic about this rework.  It patches up a lot of the weaknesses and inconsistencies that old Viktor had to deal with.  It also makes his built-in item actually worth the slot it takes up in your inventory. If you want some more context, check out this forum post by Solcrushed.


Cosmetic Changes


Viktor Visual Update

Viktor has received a visual update to go along with his rework. I’m sure he’s very happy to receive another upgrade.

newviktorsplash

Texture Updates

A very sweeping texture update initiative has reached the PBE this cycle. Basically, Riot is updating the textures for some older champions to make them match the aesthetic of the game.

These texture updates will be continued on newer champions throughout the next few patches, but the lucky first wave coming this patch include: Ahri, Akali, Ashe, Corki, Fiora, Galio, Graves, LeBlanc, Leona, Nautilus, Orianna, and Xerath. Most of these updates are fairly minor changes to colours, but they are pretty nice regardless. For a detailed list of pictures, check [email protected]’s report.

Background with LeonaBackground with Akali

New Skin: Order of the Lotus Karma

Karma has a really cool new skin, complete with new animations! Check her out this patch.

lotus_karma

Fnatic Skins

The long-awaited Fnatic skins commemorating the European powerhouse’s victory at Season 1 Worlds have finally been completed! This new line of skins features as skin each for Gragas, Jarvan IV, Janna, Corki and Karthus.

fnatic_skins

That’s all for now, guys. Thanks as always to [email protected] for stellar notes, pictures and videos, and thanks to you for reading. See you next time!


Edited by GreenMtMan & Valkyrie


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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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