It’s patch day once again folks, this time heralding the release of Vladimir, the League’s first true vampire champion (sorry, Eve, kicking people with spiked high heels makes you ridiculous, not vampiric). This patch is also highly anticipated because of the Xin Zhao nerf.
First things first, let’s talk about Vladimir. I am nervous as hell about his position in the game. Any time you give a toon the ability to increase multiple stats by buying one item, I’m concerned. That was (and to some extent continues to be) the problem with Jax, and it will almost definitely be a problem with Vladimir. If you haven’t seen his Champion Spotlight yet, you should. It’s a little unnerving to see how early he can ignore towers and just how much damage he can deal with literally zero ability power.
The other big news is the Xin Zhao nerf. His attack speed scaling is getting a serious reduction, the AOE on his slow has been significantly reduced as has the magnitude of the effect, and his ult got a 20 percent reduction in percent-based damage and a slight nerf to base damage. He’ll still be disgustingly strong, mostly because his mana costs are so low and the fact that his ult is always up from the Battle Cry synergy.
The rest of the champion changes are either bug fixes or very minor. Kog’Maw, of all champs, got a small range nerf to his Bio-Arcane Barrage and a bit of a buff to Caustic Spittle. Comparing him to someone like Xin Zhao it seems ridiculous that his mana costs are still so high. Heimer got a little grenade nerf and Shaco took a small Deceive CD nerf. I don’t think either change will be enough to bring them off the permaban list, but with Vladimir almost undoubtedly filling one of those spots we might see a little more variety.
Other than that this patch is pretty unremarkable. My guess is Riot wants to wait out Season One a little longer to see which champions need a shift.