PBE Roundup: Patch 4.18

Hello everyone, it’s Hyjacked back once again for another PBE Roundup! This patch brings a few balance changes, several Harrowing skins, and updated splash arts. Darius is receiving a legendary skin, Dunkmaster Darius, and the long-awaited rerelease of Sion, the Undead Juggernaut has also arrived for testing.

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

Balance Changes

New Game Mode: Twisted Treeline Hexakill

The Hexakill game mode is coming to the Twisted Treeline! I haven’t personally played this new mode, but it sounds absolutely hectic! The Hexakill mode on Summoner’s Rift wasn’t too different from normal modes. However, the Twisted Treeline is a much smaller map, and cramming in double the normal amount of champions is going to be interesting, to say the least. Check out TT Hexakill sometime this next patch cycle!


Champion Balances

Sion, The Undead Juggernaut – Re-Release

It’s been a long, long road, but the much-awaited Sion rework has finally arrived. Sion has been an awful champion for quite some time now, because of the extremely toxic kit of AP Sion having to be nerfed into obscurity to keep him balanced.

Sion’s new kit has turned him into a tanky fighter with heaps of CC and some HP damage scaling to boot, and he’s received a brand-new appearance. He’s geared towards being either a top laner or a jungler and, from what I can see, he’s pretty capable of doing both effectively. Let’s take a closer look at what the new Sion has to offer.

Sion_SquareBase Stats

      • HP: 420 (+70 per level)
      • HP Regen Per Second: 1.7 (+.2 per level)
      • Mana: 200 (+45 per level)
      • Mana Regen Per Second: 1.4 (+0.12 per level)
      • Attack Range: 150
      • Damage: 53 (+4 per level)
      • Armor: 18 (+3 per level)
      • Magic Resist: 30 (+1.25 per level)
      • Movement Speed: 345

Sion’s base stats are actually a bit low, in particular his defensive stats. His HP, HP per level, armor and HP regen are all definitely on the low side of the spectrum. However, he gets free HP from killing minions like he used to, so honestly this is much less of a deal than it seems. His AD is pretty good though, and his AD scaling per level is only lower than two other champions.

He does have mana and relatively low mana costs with his attacks. As long as you don’t spam his abilities on cooldown, the mana-gating isn’t too badly felt. In the jungle Sion can use Q and often W on most camps with a Spirit Stone or a Quill Coat, but in the top lane he needs to be more conscious about using his spells at the right time.

sio-passivePassive: Glory in Death

After being killed Sion will reanimate himself, but his Health rapidly decays while he is reanimated. 

He can move and attack during this time. He gains 100% Lifesteal, attacks extremely fast and will deal an additional 10% of his target’s maximum Health on hit. Max 75 bonus damage against monsters. 

All of his abilities are replaced with Death Surge, which grants him a burst of Movement Speed.

Sion’s new passive is pretty damn awesome. Upon dying he turns into an enraged version of himself that doesn’t have any of his old spells, but gains a huge amount of bonus damage and lifesteal. His health decays very quickly so, unless he attacks someone, he won’t stick around for too long. It does enable him to have a pretty good chance at getting revenge kills on opponents that manage to take him down.

The craziest thing about this new passive is the lack of a cooldown; Sion can use this every time he dies. However, unlike the passives of Zac and Aatrox, Sion can’t save himself. Like Karthus, if you kill him, he’s dead, but he can make you pay for it if you stick around.

sio-qQ: Decimating Smash

50/55/60/65/70 Mana
10/9/8/7/6 Second CD 

Sion charges up a heavy blow for up to 2 seconds. When released, he deals 20/40/60/80/100 (+.6 total AD) to 60/120/180/240/300 (+1.8 total AD) physical damage to enemies in the area (60% damage to minions). Enemies hit are briefly slowed. 

If Sion charges for at least 1 second, enemies are knocked up and stunned for 1.25 to 2.25 seconds. 

Sion’s Q is a charge-and-release AoE nuke with great range and CC applications. Not only does it pack a wallop if charged, but it knocks up and stuns enemies caught in its considerable area if he charges it for at least half of the charge time.

Decimating Smash is a useful clearing tool if you decide to jungle, as well as a great way to catch opponents to follow up on poor positioning. The downside is that it isn’t as great at extremely close range, since your opponent can walk behind you to dodge it (Katarina especially causes problems here). If you can land the knockup, though, it makes a fantastic trade tool in top lane and a great ganking setup tool for junglers.


sio-wW: Soul Furnace

70/75/80/85/90 Mana
13 Second CD 

Passive: Sion gains 2 maximum health whenever he kills a unit (8 for large monster and champion kill or assist). 

Active: Sion shields himself for 30/55/80/95/110 (+.4 AP) (10% of maximum Health) for 6 seconds. After 2 seconds, while the shield holds Sion can reactivate to deal 40/65/90/105/120 (+.4 AP) plus 10/11/12/13/14/15% of the target’s maximum health as magic damage to enemies around himself. Max 400 bonus damage against minions and monsters. 

Soul Furnace is the least changed aspect of Sion’s kit. Its passive aspect gives him free health for farming up. Normally this kind of mechanic would prevent a champion from jungling too effectively, as they wouldn’t be able to keep up stats. However, every large jungle monster counts for four smaller minions, so it balances out pretty nicely. This passive makes Spirit of the Ancient Golem a pretty powerful item on Sion, due to the 25% bonus health it gives.

The active effect is familiar to any old Sion players. It places a shield on Sion for six seconds that he can detonate after two seconds to deal damage in an AoE around him. The shield is much weaker at base values than it used to be and doesn’t scale nearly as much off AP anymore. However, it does scale off Sion’s maximum health, which is great news since he gets health for free. It also deals less damage than it used to but now scales with a percentage of the enemy’s health.


sio-eE: Roar of the Slayer

25 Mana
12/11/10/9/8 Second CD 

Sion fires a short range shockwave, dealing 70/105/140/175/210 (+.4 AP) magic damage to the first target hit, slowing it by 40/45/50/55/60%, and reducing its armor by 20% for 2.5 seconds. 

If the target is not a champion, they will be knocked back. All enemies that the knocked back unit passes through will take 50% bonus damage and be slowed by  40/45/50/55/60%.

Roar of the Slayer is a missile that puts both a slow and an armor shred on the first unit it hits. It’s pretty useful for long-range harass to slow someone down so that you can hit them with your Q.

It also has really interesting interaction with minions. If the missile hits a minion, the minion is knocked back pretty far, as well as any other units it passes through. This can be used for wave clearing or for knocking away the creeps in top lane so that you can harass without taking as much minion damage.


Ultimate: Unstoppable Onsaught

100 Mana
140/100/60 Second CD 

Sion charges in a direction for 8 seconds and can steer slowly towards the mouse cursor. While charging, Sion is immune to all Crowd Control. Reactivating will cancel Sion’s charge early.  

When Sion collides with an enemy champion or wall, he deals 150/300/450 (+.4 bonus AD) physical damage and knocks up and stuns enemies in a small area for 0.75 seconds. Enemies in a larger area take the same damage and have their Movement Speed slowed by 40/45/50% for 3 seconds.  

The damage increases to 300/600/900 (+.8 bonus AD) and the stun duration increases to 1.75 seconds as Sion charges further. 

Sion’s new ultimate is, in my opinion, the most fun part of his new kit. Unstoppable Onslaught (or as I like to call it, the Pain Train) causes Sion to charge in the direction of your cursor until he hits a champion or a wall. When he makes his collision, he does damage in an AoE, knocks up and stuns everything in a small area, and slows everything in a slightly larger area. The damage and stun duration increase the further Sion travels.

This ability has potentially devastating engage potential. It doesn’t take too long for Sion to ramp up speed so, if he begins his charge in the fog of war, he’ll come in like a wrecking ball and smash into the enemy. He can then follow up with his Q for a stun lock on anyone that the ultimate made contact with. It’s great for starting teamfights or for ganking unsuspecting laners.

The only problem with this ultimate is that, while it does steer towards your cursor, it does so very, very slowly. This can lead to some pretty bad misses if your opponent reacts fast enough to dodge you. Practice this before you go into a ranked queue, everybody.



      • Twilight Shroud (W): No longer grants 10/20/30/40/50 armor or magic resistance.
      • Twilight Shroud (W): Now grants 20/40/60/80/100% burst of movement speed which decays over 1 second while in shroud.

Akali has become a little bit more dominant in recent weeks. Her W, Twilight Shroud, enables her to attack and then vanish back into stealth if she’s fighting on it, but it also makes her tankier. This leads to her being extremely hard to kill when combined with her natural sustain.

To fix this problem, the resistances are no longer granted by Twilight Shroud. Instead, Akali is now faster inside it. The speed bonus is fairly negligible at first but gets pretty high later in the game. This is an interesting change because it should make Akali better at killing but easier to kill.


      • Base damage: Increased to 47 from 43

Emperor Azir is getting a tiny balance change. There were some tweaks to his armor and mana regen earlier in the cycle, but they ended up getting reverted. Azir has shown promise but has a bit too much early-game weakness that can cripple him if exploited. This change, while small, should hopefully make his level 1-3 a bit smoother.


      • Rising Spell Force (Passive): Increases Ezreal’s attack speed by 6 seconds, up from 5 seconds
      • Mystic Shot (Q): AD ratio increased to 1.1 from 1.0

Ezreal has been pretty marginalised as a marksmen for a while now, since he gets outclassed by higher-damage opponents. These buffs should make his kill potential a bit higher without making him too annoying to fight.


      • Cannon Barrage (R): Now deals equal damage over the entire area in waves instead of random spots with cannon balls.
      • Cannon Barrage (R): Duration now 7 seconds from 6
      • Cannon Barrage (R): Cooldown now 125/110/95 from 120/115/110
      • Cannon Barrage (R): Now listed as damage per second instead of flat damage per cannon ball.

Yar, har, fiddle dee dee. Gangplank is, in my opinion, a really fun champion that’s unfortunately crippled by a few glaring problems. One of these problems is the lack of consistency in his ultimate, Cannon Barrage. It’s a great long-range zone tool that can really swing a fight if used properly. However, the damage is done at random points within the circle, so sometimes an enemy can just walk out without taking a single hit.

These changes should make Cannon Barrage much more reliable in terms of damage with the damage being done across the whole circle at once. This attack is going to have really high teamfight-swinging potential, which is great news for the Saltwater Scourge.


      • Void Spike (W): Damage decreased to 80/110/140/170/200 from 75/115/155/195/235

I’m always conflicted when Kha’Zix gets nerfed. On one hand, he can really dominate the meta when he’s strong and bully out other champions from being picked. On the other hand, I just love playing him so damn much.

Unfortunately, even I need to agree that he gets a bit too much free poke right now, especially when leveling W first. This change will hopefully tone down that long-range harass a bit without making him unusable.


      • Relentless Pursuit (E): Mana cost increased to 40/30/20/10/0 from 0

Lucian is almost balanced, but he’s still a bit too strong. This patch will limit his free escape and mobility by putting an early mana cap on it. Engaging on Lucian when he’s out of mana will actually be a much more reliable way to secure a kill.


      • Attack speed per level: Lowered to 2.5% from 4%
      • Rapid Fire (Q): Duration lowered to 5 seconds from 7 seconds
      • Rapid Fire (Q): Attack speed bonus increased to 30/50/70/90/110 from 30/45/60/75/90

Finally! Tristana has been far too strong for far too long, to the point of having win rates over 70% in competitive play and being consistently banned in solo queue. She’s been nerfed little by little in a few patches over the last few months, but none of the nerfs have really impacted her dominance in any real way.

This time, though, it should stick. Her attack speed per level is being smacked with the nerf bat and the duration on her steroid Q lowered by 2 seconds. Her Q is more effective at later levels to compensate but these changes will go a long way to bringing Tristana down to the levels of the mortal marksmen.


      • Base HP: Lowered to 380 from 430
      • Base movement speed: Lowered to 340 from 350

Yasuo has also been pretty strong for a while and is being nerfed over the course of several patches. He’s not quite where he should be, so this patch is making him squishier at level 1 and slower by 10 points. These changes should make his level 1 less devastating and make him easier to nail down as he zips around the battlefield.

Item Balances

Randuin’s Omen

  • Passive: Cold Steel attack speed slow increased to 15% from 10%

Patch 4.10 nerfed Randuin’s Omen by removing the movement speed slow on hit and taking the attack speed slow down from 15% to 10%. Randuin’s was pretty dominant in its day, but the emergence of attack-speed hypercarries like Tristana has made the nerf pretty sorely felt.

The cold steel effect is being brought back up to previous levels but the movement-speed slow is staying off, which should keep Randuin’s from being at its old state.

Cosmetic Changes

Dunkmaster Darius

Darius is receiving a legendary skin that’s been in the works for quite some time. Many of you may have heard rumours of Dunkmaster Darius, and he’s finally becoming a reality. Wielding a basketball hoop instead of an axe and trash-talking his opponents at every opportunity, Dunkmaster Darius is a slam dunk. Come on and slam!


Ravenborn LeBlanc

LeBlanc’s new Harrowing skin makes me think that she’s dressing up as Swain for trick or treating! Caw caw indeed. She’s got some ghostly animations to go along with it too.


Underworld Wukong

Wukong is looking pretty terrifying in a Shadow Isles colour scheme. He could totally fit in with Thresh and the gang in this skin. With some spooky scary animations sending shivers down my spine, Underworld Wukong is looking great.


Championship Shyvana

Shyvana is the recipient of this year’s Worlds skin. Celebrate the end of the 2014 Season with Championship Shyvana.


Cho’Gath Splash Art

Cho’Gath has got some new splash art that makes him look more terrifying and quite a bit less goofy. They really captured the 6-stacks-of-feast size of him, too. Maybe we’ll see a texture update sometime in the future that looks more like this. We can hope at least!


Kog’Maw Splash Art

I’m not sure how, but they managed to make Kog’Maw look almost cute. The Void Puppy has a much nicer-looking splash art coming in this patch.


Lee Sin Splash Art

Lee Sin is also getting a splash update. It’s a pity he can’t see how awesome he looks.


Texture Rebalancing

The Texture Rebalancing initiative continues! Blitzcrank, Brand, Evelynn, Graves’ Hired Gun skin, Nocturne, and Olaf are receiving new textures in this patch. The Blitzcrank and Nocturne ones look especially awesome.

texupnoct texupblitz

Anivia’s Flash Frost VFX

Anivia’s Q has received a better animation as well as a ring indicator to show its range as the missile flies.


Ping and Ambience Volume

Two new volume options have been added to the menu. We can now turn down ambient sounds (which there are a few more of in the new Summoner’s Rift), and turn down the volume of pings.

Character Inking Option

A new graphical option has been added to draw a dark line around character borders. This might make it a little easier to keep track of champions during teamfights.

That’s all for now, folks! Thanks again to [email protected] for their notes and pictures and thanks to you for reading. See you next time!

 Edited by GreenMtMan, Valkyrie, Tahalden, & Fridgecake 

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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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