Lee Sin finally catching a nerf

They say a watched pot never boils. I say a watched developer never makes overdue changes. Stop watching, people, and Riot just might make a few changes. It looks like Lee Sin is finally going to get a decent nerf in the upcoming patch. It isn’t huge. It’s isn’t tiny. It is a moderately-sized nerf that could actually slow down his jungling and hurt his damage a little bit. I know, I can hardly think of anything to say.

In the patch preview, Morello categorized the Lee Sin nerfs thusly: “We want Lee Sin players to build damage to get damage.” A revolutionary concept. I’m just happy to see one of the longest-standing top-tier junglers finally get a light tap to the genitals. He’ll still be strong, but he won’t be quite so easy.

For the rest of the patch, Jax is getting some new survivability on Counter Strike and Riot is changing the critical chance mastery into attack damage per level. I’m actually really happy about that second change. I’ve had several games in which an opponent — sometimes even an AP carry — gets an early two crits in a row and just screws me out of lane. Nice to see that kind of stuff disappearing.

Patch Preview breakdown

I covered the upcoming rune changes in a post the other day but neglected to provide a breakdown of the champion and mastery changes slated for the Ahri patch.

Twisted Fate is getting a little much-needed love. He’ll have better range in lane and his Pick-a-Card will now require target selection. I have to say, I’m excited to see TF again. I can’t help but miss him around this time of year. This is when I started playing LoL and he was the first champion I really loved. Granted, he was OP as all hell, but still fun.

Tryndamere is also getting a small nerf, though I honestly doubt it will be enough. His healing-per-stack on Bloodlust will be reduced in the coming patch. Really, though, Trynd is just too strong in a solo situation. The fact that he has a heal at all gives him more sustain than just about anyone he faces. With the Cleanse change, I think his kit is just too problematic.

Morello also mentioned bringing back Strength of Spirit for Utility mastery lovers. I’m honestly not sure how putting it deep in the tree will make things any better. The tree is just way too focused on a stat that no one really worries about any more: mana. Because of the way blue buff gets passed around, a mana-focused build is only relevant on Singed and Ryze. Beyond that, we don’t need the mana, and the rest of the utility tree is bad enough that even Ryze and Singed would be better off speccing defense.

I’ll be interested to see how the TF buff plays out, but beyond that, I don’t see this patch having much impact on the game.

Patch Day roundup: Leona

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but since I’m not playing (and neither is anyone else) I might as well provide a little reading material for anyone that needs a fix. Today’s patch brings Leona, the Radiant Dawn into the League along with a decent number of balance changes. I’ll be covering Leona in separate posts, but there’s plenty to discuss with the other champion changes.

I’m pretty surprised to see Alistar catch such a nerf. I like the big cow. I like seeing him in games, whether he’s on my team or my opponent’s. He’s just such a pure toon – all CC and bull testosterone stomping down the lane. He’s a great ganker, but I don’t think he really tips the scales into invincibility since his last AP nerf. I’m sure plenty of people will be upset about this one.

The Ashe nerf is overdue and probably not enough, but maybe that’s just me. Personally, I’d like to see her ult go to a flat 90+ second cooldown at all levels. That, or cut the slow/stun duration by a third.

Despite the hate around Guinsoo’s Irelia nerf, she seems unscathed to me. Bladesurge mana cost went up ten at max rank? Yippee. Transcendent Blade got a minor nerf? Again, yippee. Her issue is that she is always at the advantage in a fight. She’s highly durable, incredibly bursty, high sustained damage, resistant to CC, and packing CC of her own. That’s to say nothing of how hard it is to shut down her early farm, which actually got more forgiving thanks to the mana buff on Bladesurge when it really counts – at the lowest ranks.

I’m happy to see Jarvan get continual tweaks. He still does way too much damage with a straight tank build, and likely still will, but it’s a steady step in the right direction. I’m also happy to see some Kog’Maw animation tweaks. He’s slow enough that he really needs those quick response times. Hopefully we’ll see him a bit more often in the carry position.

Both Warwick and Swain caught some sustainability nerfs in the lane, which is a good thing. I’m really surprised Udyr was left off the list, even more surprised than I was when he got the Phoenix buff. I still maintain that the champ is broken, even if it’s somewhat situational. The problem with balancing him lies in the fact that his skillset is totally unique and he can take several different build paths, all of which are pretty different from typical tank or jungle builds. I’ll be curious to see how Riot handles him in the future.

The Yorick buffs seem like they will definitely help him out, but I think his problem is in the pet design, not the numbers. His power level shifts dramatically from game to game, thanks to the percentages on his ghouls, his farm level, and the farm level of his potential revenants. Finding a “just right” point will be very tough – I’m actually not sure it’s possible.

The biggest surprise for me this patch was the lack of a Malzahar nerf. In fact, he got a bit of a buff with the Nether Grasp bug fix. I know he’s on the list of characters slated for some nerfing, so I’m surprised he didn’t get even a little number tweak. The Rabadon nerf will hurt him a little bit, but I would expect to see more Malzahar nerfs in the near future.

That pretty much does it for this patch. Check back tomorrow for some thoughts and impressions on Leona. I’ll probably play a couple games tonight – add me at “The Wiggin Boy” if you feel like playing.

Apparently the April Fool’s patch includes champion changes

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So…the April Fool’s patch seems to be a way for Riot to buy some extra time on a sizeable content patch. I thought the patch would just be a Lee Sin release, but it seems there’s much more coming tomorrow.

From Tamat:

At 11:30 p.m. PST on Thursday, March 31st, we will be bringing all game servers offline for the highly anticipated April 1st update! During this time, you’ll still be able to visit our website and forums. Downtime should take no longer than four hours making our current ETA for service restoration at 4:00 a.m. PST, on Friday, April 1st. Comprehensive patch notes are coming soon, featuring sweeping changes to many Champions of the League. Get ready to celebrate Urf Day and see what — or who — is coming to League of Legends!

I definitely didn’t expect this. I just figured Tuesday was light on content, we’d get Lee Sin tomorrow and then have a sizable patch next week. It seems that content is actually coming in tomorrow. Could it possibly include the Alistar remake?

No LoL patch today

Little Slugger Trundle.

I woke up this morning excited to get a look at the Trundle spotlight and then wait eagerly for servers to come back online. No such luck. It looks like today isn’t going to be patch day after all, and though I haven’t been able to confirm it personally, I’ve heard we won’t see the update until Thursday. UPDATE: Tamat confirmed the patch is coming tomorrow (Wednesday).

I’m pretty bummed out, if only because I think Trundle could be a bit of a return to sanity in the design department. Irelia was underwhelming, both in her skillset and her playstyle. She just doesn’t have the fun factor that makes some of the other reasonably powered champions a blast to play and she isn’t really strong enough to be fun to dominate games with. Trundle, on the other hand, sounds like he’ll be a lot of fun, even if he doesn’t crush, and I’ve been itching for something new to play outside the tanky dps metagame.

At any rate, we’ll be waiting a couple days to see the nifty new character as well as the next round of patch notes. Exercise that patience, folks.

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