PBE Roundup: Mid-March 2014

Hello everyone! It’s Hyjacked with another PBE roundup, this time taking a look at some of the changes on PBE in the few weeks after patch 4.3 hit live servers. There’s some interesting stuff in this cycle, most notably the Kassadin rework and new Feral Flare item, so let’s take a look.

Remember that everything listed here is PBE content, and therefore isn’t permanent. Take these changes with a grain of salt, as they’re not always set in stone.

Balance Changes

Champion Balance


  • Disintegrate ( Q )
    • Damage changed to 80/115/150/185/220 ( + .8 AP ) from 85/125/165/205/245 ( +.7 AP )
    • Mana cost and half the cooldown are refunded if Disintegrate kills the target
  • Incinerate ( W ) damage changed to 70/115/160/205/250 ( + .85 AP ) from 80/130/180/230/280 ( + .75 AP )
  • Summon Tibbers ( R ) damage changed to 175/300/425 ( +.8 AP ) from 200/325/450 ( + .7 AP )

Annie’s numbers are being shifted around. Her Q, W and Ult are all taking hits to base damage, but having their scaling increased. I feel as if this change is aimed at nerfing some of her early-game trading, particularly in the support role, but then give her better incentive to build AP. This could make her a bit more viable as a mid-laner.


  • Moonsilver Blade ( Passive ) AP ratio increased to .8 from .6

This is a pretty small change, and just gives Diana a little bit more scaling into late-game. Diana’s passive requires three auto-attacks to proc, so this isn’t really a burst-oriented change, but will give her more damage in a longer fight. This could make her a more efficient jungler, as well, as it helps with clearing speed.


  • Neurotoxin ( Human form Q )
    • Damage reduced to 40/75/110/145/180 from 40/80/120/160/200
    • Max damage to monsters reduced to 50/75/100/125/150 from 60/120/180/240/300
  • Venomous Bite ( Spider form Q )
    • Damage lowered to  60/100/140/180/220 from  60/110/160/210/260
    • Max damage to monsters lowered to 50/75/100/125/150 from 60/120/180/240/300
  • Cocoon ( Human form E ) stun duration now 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 from 1.5 at all ranks
  • Rappel ( Spider form E ) cooldown lowered to 26/23/20/17/14 from 26/24/22/20/18

Elise is getting hit pretty hard in her late-game damage. Her stun and her rappel are being more evenly distributed to scale in duration with levels to give her a bit of utility in return for her lost damage. This change is very likely aimed at Riot’s recent trend of nerfing champions who are able to build mostly for tanky stats and still have plenty of damage throughout the game. Elise can be pretty hard to deal with, and the nerf to the early stun and later damage will help with this, but is not so harsh as to remove her from the game completely.


  • Mystic Shot ( Q ) ability power ratio increased to .4 from .2

This change is most likely to compensate for a recent nerf to Lich Bane.


  • Seastone Trident ( W ) Active AP ratio increased to .25 AP from .15 AP

Once again, this seems to be compensation for the Lich Bane nerf.


  • Movement speed increased to 340 from 335
  • H-28G Evolution Turret ( Q )
    • Turret Health now lists an AP ratio that seems to scale up per champion level, starting at very low ending at .5 AP at level 18
    • Cannon now generates 1/2/3/4/5% beam charge per auto-attack
  • Hextech Micro-rockets ( W ) range reduced to 1325 from 1525
  • UPGRADE!!! ( R ): H-28Q Apex Turret now charges its beam twice as quickly as a standard turret.

This cycle features a small buff to Heimerdinger’s turrets, giving them quicker beam charging, which encourages maxing out this ability.


  • Void Stone ( Passive )
    • Kassadin takes 15% reduced magic damage and ignores unit collision (no more bonus attack speed)
  • Null Sphere (Q)
    • 70/75/80/85/90 Mana
    • 9 sec Cooldown
    • Base damage lowered to 80/105/130/155/180 ( +.7 AP ) from  80/110/140/170/200 ( +.7 AP )
    • No longer silences target, but interrupts enemy channels. Now grants a shield that absorbs  40/70/100/130/160  (+.3 AP)  magic damage for 1.5 seconds
  • Nether Blade (W)
    • No longer restores mana on hit, active effect has been changed
    • 6 sec Cooldown
    • Passive: Auto-attacks now deal 20 ( + .1 AP ) bonus magic damage
    • Active: Active is now an auto-attack reset that deals 40/65/90/115/140 ( + .6AP) extra magic damage and restores 4/5/6/7/8% of missing mana. Mana restoration is 20/25/30/35/40% against champions.
  • Force Pulse  (E) damage lowered to 80/105/130/155/180 (+.7 AP ) from 80/120/160/200/240 (+.7 AP)
  • Riftwalk (R)
    • Cooldown lowered to 7/5/3 from 7/6/5
    • 75 Mana
    • 7/5/3 sec Cooldown
    • Damage changed to 80/100/120 (+2% total mana ) from 80/100/120 ( +80% AP )
    • Each subsequent Riftwalk within the next 12 seconds doubles the mana cost (75/150/300/600/1200) and deals an additional 40/50/60 (+1% total mana) damage per stack, stacks up to 4 times.

The Harbinger of the Void is getting a pretty substantial rebalance. For those of you who don’t want to parse through the numbers, here’s a tl;dr: His Q is being nerfed in late-game slightly and turned from a silence to an interrupt, but he gets a magic-damage shield from it now. His W is now a passive auto-attack buff and an active auto-attack reset that deals hefty magic damage and gives him mana. His E is unchanged but for a nerf on late-game damage. His R now scales off mana instead of AP, but functions much the same as it used to with minor number tweaks. His passive no longer gives him bonus attack speed, but allows him to ignore movement speed.

This is the culmination (so far) of a recent effort to give Kassadin a serious rebalance to help him be a more consistent champion but also get him away from always being banned in solo queue and competitive play. Overall, the changes give him less AP scaling (which will make him less snowbally) but more mana scaling, which will encourage building a bit differently. A lot of his damage is being shifted onto his new W, which he needs to be in close quarters to use but is a much better move than the old one. In general, these changes look like they’ll make him a little bit easier to keep under control, but still keep him a strong pick in the mid lane.


  • Caustic Spittle ( Q ) is now a skill shot instead of a targeted ability
    • Base Damage increased to  80/130/180/230/280 from 60/110/160/210/260
    • AP Ratio decreased to  .5 AP from .7 AP
    • Armor and Magic resist shred changed to 20/22/24/26/28% from flat 5/10/15/20/25
    • Range increased to 975 from 625
  • Bio-Arcane Barrage ( W ) mana cost reduced to 0 from 50
  • Living Artillery ( R ) tooltip now clarifies “deals 125% bonus BASE damage to Champions”

Malzahar’s puppy is getting a few buffs in this coming patch. His Q, Caustic Spittle, is now a long-range skillshot, which means that it can pack a much bigger punch and still be relatively balanced. The AP ratio has gone down, but the damage and range have both gone up. The Armour and MR shred has been shifted from a flat amount to a percentage, making it a little bit less effective against foes that have no defenses such as other AD carries, but much more effective against tanks and bruisers. What’s more, his W has had its mana cost removed.

Hopefully, these changes will help him come into the spotlight a little bit more, while still keeping him from being unbalanced. His kit has the potential to be quite overpowered, given his percentage health damage, his resistance shredding, and his absurdly long range. Making the Q a skillshot, however, will make him unable to obliterate the back line as easily, and cause him to have to worry about the enemy’s tanks like other Marksmen.


  • Vengeful Maelstrom ( R ) mana cost changed to 75 Mana + 30 Mana per second from 75 mana + 35 mana per second

Riot shifted around some of Maokai’s mana costs in this cycle, including those on his Q, but ended up landing just on this very small change to his mana per second cost on his ultimate. It seems as if they want him to be a bit more of a viable pick, but aren’t sure what to do with him yet, and are starting small.


  • Titan’s Wrath ( W ) cooldown lowered to 18 at all ranks from 22/21/20/19/18
  • Titan’s Wrath ( W ) shield increased to 15% of his bonus health from 10% of his bonus health

Nautilus is very heavily dependent on his W, Titan’s Wrath, so this buff to its early cooldown and its eventual scaling will hopefully make him a bit of a stronger pick. The way Nautilus’ shield works, he has fairly strong damage with the shield up, but as soon as the shield is broken, he loses most of his ability to punish opponents. The buff to the shield’s scaling will not only buff his tankiness, but also the length of the window he has in which to deal damage.


  • Boomerang Blade ( Q ) reduced damage for subsequent targets at 15% from 10%
  • Ricochet ( W ) mana cost increased to 60 at all ranks from 40 at all ranks
  • Spell Shield ( E ) mana restoration increased to 80/95/110/125/140 from 60/75/90/105/120

Sivir is in a reasonably good place right now, but she’s still a little bit stronger than some of her counterparts. Her Q is being nerfed a bit to do less damage to multiple targets, and her mana costs and recovery are being shifted to make absorbing spells even more important to keep her going in lane.


  • Rapid Fire ( Q ) mana cost reduced to 0 from 50

This seems more like a quality-of-life change than anything. This will simply enable Tristana to worry less about mana in fights and keep her considerable attack speed steroid up without consequence.

Twisted Fate

  • Pick A Card ( W ) ability power ratio increased to .5 AP from .4 AP
  • Stacked Deck ( E ) passive damage AP ratio increased to .5 AP from .4 AP

Similar to the buffs to Ezreal and Fizz, these changes are likely to compensate for the nerf to Lich Bane.


  • Bear Stance (E) stun’s unit-specifc stun cooldown has been lowered to 5 seconds from 6

This is a small buff aimed at giving Udyr stronger crowd control potential.


  • Vault Breaker ( Q ) minimum damage decreased to 50/75/100/125/150 ( +.8 bonus AD ) from 50/80/110/140/170 ( +.7 bonus AD )
  • Vault Breaker ( Q ) maximum damage lowered to 100/150/200/250/300 ( +1.60 Bonus AD ) from 100/160/220/280/340 ( + 1.40 bonus AD )
  • Assault and Battery ( R ) cooldown increased to 150/115/80 from 130/105/80

Vi has been a dominant pick in both competitive play and solo queue for a while now. This change is much in the same vein as the recent changes to Shyvana and Elise, reducing the base damage on Vi’s abilities so that she’s less capable of getting large amounts of damage while still building mostly tank items. Hopefully this will reduce the dominance of Vi in the jungle and make her a bit less of a pain to play against.

Item Balance

Lich Bane

  • Passive: Spellblade changed to 75% base attack damage  + 50% of ability power from 50 damage +75% of ability power

This is a pretty direct nerf to Lich Bane on most champions that are going to build the item. Most casters and mages have somewhere between 40 and 60 base attack damage, with scaling ranging usually between 2 and 4 AD per level. This means that the change from 50 extra damage to 75% of base attack damage is a nerf to everyone at earlier levels. While some champions pull ahead a little bit from this change, the nerf from 75% to 50% of AP on Lich Bane’s effect is pretty huge. This change is likely to reduce some of the crazy late-game scaling that some champions manage to get from Lich Bane. However, some champions have had their spell values buffed slightly to compensate for this nerf.


  • All trinkets cannot be used for the first 120 seconds ( up from 90 ) and selling a trinket disables trinket use for 120 seconds ( down from 180 )

Trinkets have been changed a little bit to further dampen early-game vision wars, but to make it a little bit easier to switch them out in the later game.

Madred’s Razors / Wriggle’s Lantern / Feral Flare (removed 3/6)

Madred’s Razors and Wriggle’s Lantern were changed around, and a new item called Feral Flare was introduced as a third item in this chain. Feral Flare was removed from the game, so most likely Riot are still working on it and aren’t ready to release it for the next patch. I’ll still go into it, though, because I think it’s a really cool item and worth having a look at.

Madred’s Razors

  • Build Path now Dagger ( 400g ) + Hunter’s Machete ( 300g ) + 50g
  • Total Cost up to 750 from 700
  • No longer grants 20 armor
  • Now grants 15% attack speed

Madred’s is mostly the same item, but instead of having armour, it now has attack speed. This change makes the item worse for fighting other champions, but undeniably better for clearing the jungle out, as it synergises with its own passive Maim much more nicely. Building Madred’s into Wriggle’s only takes 900 gold, however, so you won’t be stuck with it for too long.

Wriggle’s Lantern

  • Now builds out of Madred’s Razors ( 750g ) + Long Sword ( 360g ) + Dagger ( 400 ) + 140 gold
  • Total cost remains at 1650
  • Attack speed increased to 30% from 25%
  • Unique Passive – Maim: heal increased to 12 from 10
  • Unique Passive increased gold from monsters decreased to 30% from 40%
  • Armor reduced to 0
  • Now Grants 12 AD
  • Now transforms into Feral Flare at 25 large monsters killed with Maim (This includes monsters killed with Hunter’s Machete and Madred’s Razors)

Wriggle’s has changed a little bit. The passive extra gold has been reduced by 10%. The Maim passive now heals for an extra 2 hp on auto-attacks against monsters (recall, monsters means jungle minions, including buff monsters, dragon and baron). Wriggle’s has lost the 20 armour that it used to have, but now has 12 AD and 5% more attack speed. Its jungle farming speed is much better now, and the extra heal on Maim makes it so that the armour is not missed. It’s hard to gauge just from the numbers, but it feels stronger in terms of fighting champions as well. There’s some defense lost, but the damage buff is noticable, and 12 AD is worth more gold than 20 Armour. The item still has the 3-minute ward that it has on live. The coolest thing about the new Wriggle’s, however, is the fact that it transforms into a new item, Feral Flare, after you’ve killed a total of 25 large jungle monsters since buying Hunter’s Machete.

Feral Flare (New Item)

  • Transforms from Wriggle’s Lantern after 25 large monsters killed with Maim.
  • +15 Attack Damage
  • +35% Attack Speed
  • UNIQUE Passive – Maim: Basic attacks deal 100 ( + 3 per kill/assist/large monster kill ) magic damage (33% against champions) and heal 12 ( + 1 per kill/assist/large monster kill ) on hit. This damage and heal is increased by kills, assists and large monster kills.
  • UNIQUE Passive: Gain 30% increased Gold from monsters.
  • UNIQUE Active: Places a Stealth Ward that reveals the surrounding area for 180 seconds (180 second cooldown)

Feral Flare has a few new things about it, so let me take them one at a time. First of all, the flat stats on it are actually gold-efficient, which is something that Wriggle’s Lantern certainly can’t claim. Ignoring Feral Flare’s passive Maim, the item is worth about 55 gold more than its cost of 1650. Flare keeps Wriggle’s Lantern’s gold generation passive, so farming jungle creeps is still rewarding. The ward on Feral Flare is the same as the ward on Wriggle’s Lantern, but has a range that looks to be about twice as long, so you can scout at greater distance.

Feral Flare’s Maim Passive is, in my opinion, the best thing about it. Here’s how it works. When Wriggle’s first transforms into Flare, the Maim passive’s values are at 100 magic damage and 12 health given back on hit. However, this effect now procs on champions as well as monsters, at 1/3 of the damage and the full heal effect. This makes Feral Flare into a great item for attack speed champions, with an on-hit effect similar to Wit’s End or Nashor’s Tooth. What’s more, if you kill a large monster or score a kill or an assist on an enemy champion, the damage on maim goes up by 3 (and therefore against champions by 1), and the heal goes up by 1. Essentially, Feral Flare is the item that finally delivers on Wriggle’s Lantern’s promise of an early-game sacrifice for a big late-game payoff that scales from your farm.

As I said before, Feral Flare has been removed from the PBE for now, so we won’t see it on Live in the next patch. Maybe a patch or two later we’ll get to give it a try.

Other Balance


  • Attacks no longer reduce attack speed.
  • Attacks now apply a debuff that reduces healing

The Dragon is a potent objective at all stages of the game, and we often see early fighting center around control of the Dragon pit. The changes make it so that whoever’s tanking the dragon doesn’t get a nerf to their damage, but does have less sustain. I feel like this change will make it so that the dragons will go down quicker but will definitely require team support to kill without being killed.


  • Channel time changed to 3.5 sec from 4 sec
  • Teleporting to an allied turret puts Teleport on a 200 second cooldown instead of the usual 300 second cooldown

Teleport has received a bit of a buff, making it easier to actually get off and get down to a teamfight more quickly. It also rewards players with a lower cooldown if they teleport to a tower rather than a minion or a ward, which seems to encourage defensive use of the spell.

Cosmetic Changes

Heimerdinger Visual Update

Everybody’s favourite Yordle Genius has received a visual update! The Donger comes equipped with better-looking hair, bigger goggles, better animations and a cool new lab coat. All of his skins have been reworked, and I personally love the Revered Inventor’s new look. Check out this article over on [email protected] for more details.



Arctic Ops Varus

Varus has received a cool new skin for colder climates. Being shirtless is fine in Ionia, but now he’s better equipped for harsher environments. Check out Arctic Ops Varus.



Kassadin VFX

Kassadin has received a few VFX updates to match his new kit. They look a lot better in action than in a still picture, so here’s a video.


Vel’Koz Texture Update

Vel’koz’s textures have been sharpened up a little on higher graphics settings. Not much has changed, but he looks a lot crisper.

Minion Aggro Indicator

There is now a new indicator above minions’ heads to indicate aggro that has replaced the old coloured border.

Jungle Heal VFX

The heal animation from jungle creeps looks a bit nicer now.

Summoner Spell VFX

Barrier, Heal, Ignite and Teleport have all received new visual and sound effects.


That’s all for now, everyone. Check back in a few weeks for more PBE coverage! As always, thanks very much to Moobeat over at [email protected] for his excellent patch notes, images and video footage from the PBE.





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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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