Patch Day is here once again, strangely enough the day after a national holiday, and with it comes the newest hero, Malzahar. As with many of the recent patches, this one also includes a load of tweaks for a number of heroes, the most significant of which is Teemo, but lacks any major reworks for the toons who most need it. This patch also added several new items to the game to help with the hybridization of many of the new heroes.
First up, let’s talk Malzahar. As mentioned in some previous, unsanctioned posts, Malzahar is a very strong caster, particularly in 1v1 situations. If your target doesn’t have cleanse, you can pretty much burn them down with a combination of your E skill, your Ultimate, and Ignite. You will find, though, that his damage output can be a little inconsistent if your targets aren’t under some sort of crowd control. Null Zone does great damage, but you need to pin your target on the spell to really maximize its potential. Even his silence can be a bit tough to land if your target knows it might be coming. That said, it’s probably a bit to earlier to judge his overall effectiveness for team situations. The fact that he has AOE silence makes him a great addition to a team, and being able to effectively shut down an enemy champion is pretty nice.
I’ll be covering the Teemo changes in a separate post, so let’s talk items. I was surprised to see the spell vamp removed from Haunting Guise, but the new item, Will of the Ancients, seems like a pretty nice (albeit expensive) replacement. I think it’s important to note, though, that Guise doesn’t make a lot of sense in most builds. Now you purchase it mainly for the spell penetration, which potentially opens up your boot selection. In most cases, though, you’d probably be better off going for a Void Staff. It’s no secret Riot wants to rethink the penetration system, particularly flat penetration, so discouraging flat pen items does make some sense.
As for the HexTech Gunblade, I think it’ll work well with quite a few heroes. I’m going to be giving it a shot on Shaco and Kennen this week as well as the obvious choice, Akali. Among the others that could benefit from a hybrid item, though, are Jax, Nidalee, Ezreal, Eve, TF, and Teemo. You might even start to see it on someone like Yi to improve his lanestay a bit.
All in all, I like this patch. No sweeping changes to the game, but some solid improvements and a cool new hero to add to the mix. Stay tuned for more impressions.