LoL: Patch day (Garen)

Red Riding Annie and Grandma Warwick.The Garen patch is finally upon us and with it comes a load of changes to both the client and the game system. On the whole, I think this will be one of the better patches for the game, even if Garen is a bit underwhelming.

For starters, we obviously need to cover the new champion, Garen. He’s going to run you 3150 IP or 585 RP so I hope you saved up. It’s a long, slow crawl to 3k for most people. His skill list remains essentially unchanged, which leaves him in a weird sort of melee DPS/hybrid role with very low utility. He’s still highly susceptible to hard CC (stuns/snares) but he does have a slow immunity, which will be nice for chasing. Unfortunately, chasing is usually a bad thing, unless you’re running cleanup after a teamfight, in which case its usually best to just push.

Healing got some massive nerfs this patch. Alistar now has greater self healing by 20 percent at all levels, but his allies will now only receive half the heal value. Ouch. Taric got cooldown and value buffs to his heal, but radiance no longer heals allies. Radiance also costs more mana for both startup and upkeep so you’ll probably have to break out that mana regen rune page if you still want to play him. Rally also got its ally heal removed, though the cooldown came down a full 90 seconds.

Katarina caught a big rework, giving her more base health and some survivability in the form of new Killer Instincts mechanics. The active Shunpo effect now reduces incoming damage by scaling percentage per level, giving her the durability to jump into a fight and ult when it’s actually useful instead of waiting until it’s over like she’s basically had to recently. Killer Instincts now adds a persistent damage buff and the damage ratio on her ultimate got a 10 percent buff. Overall, she should be decent now, though I doubt she’ll be great.

Morgana got some nice cooldown and mana efficiency buffs for her skills as well as the addition of a stacking MR debuff from Tormented Soil. Having played as her and also against her on the TR I can tell you she is truly horrifying. Just pray she doesn’t ever catch you alone.

Shen got reworked a bit, which will hopefully bring him out of the godlike tier on TT. The feint damage block will be excellent, but I think the cooldown increase, duration nerf, and nerf to damage blocked (now 180 at max rank) will be enough to keep him in line. AP Shen may be a bit more viable though. I’ll have to check on his AP ratios and relay what I can after some testing. Stand United also caught a nerf, bringing down the shield value, duration, and removing the refund if the ult is cancelled for some reason.

Other than that most of the changes were fairly small. Nunu got some buffs. Mordekaiser received some shield tweaks. Fiddlesticks got a long overdue nerf. Sion and Rammus got some small efficiency buffs. Tryndamere got a bit of a buff and Jax caught another small nerf (which still isn’t enough).

As for the game on the whole, there are two new items – one for tanks, one for physical damage dealers – and the assist system got a rework for debuffs on the target and buffs to the attacker. It should give support some much needed love. Matchmaking also received some changes to make things a little more smooth. Players should now be matched more appropriately by both level and ELO (it scares me that this wasn’t always the case) and full premades should be facing other premades more often (again, why wasn’t this happening or being discussed?).

Last but not least we got some skins. Garen gets the typical duo treatment, while we have yet another silly skin for Warwick (Grandma), a corresponding Annie skin (Red Riding Hood), and a skin for Sivir. I have to say, I hate Sivir – I think she is one of the most poorly designed toons in the entire game – but the Warrior Princess skin makes her look hotter (yeah, bangs are hot) and the extra armor makes her look kinda badass. If it didn’t cost 975 RP I would totally buy it and potentially right click my way to a huge winning streak with her.


LoL: Patch day 04/08 (Kennen)

Deadly Kennen.Another patch day is upon us, bringing another ninja to your summoner’s pane in the form of Kennen, the Heart of the Tempest. As with every patch, there’s a host of balance changes and tweaks along with the usual skin release and random audio updates.

First, let’s talk Kennen. I’m pretty excited about him, though he probably won’t hit his stride for a couple weeks. There was more active discussion on the test realm forums about his AP ratios and skillset than I’ve seen for any of the other recent heroes so I’ll be curious to see where he ends up. For now it seems he’s somewhere in the middle of the pack with regard to viability. His ult needs some considerable work to be truly powerful (personally I say drop the CD down to Ryze levels and he’s good).

Jax is finally catching a nerf, though not to his obscene survivability. His AP ratios have been lowered across the board, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, Ninja Tabi got a small buff to both armor and dodge and Phantom Dancer caught a dodge/movespeed buff as well. I see more scary AD Jax players in my immediate future.

Other than that things mostly remained the same. Anivia got a small movespeed buff, Ryze got a little nerf, and Janna caught some much-needed love with a slightly tweaked ult to include a slow for targets who reenter the heal and some mana efficiency improvements. The Item Shop UI has been tweaked and several items have been changed, perhaps the most significant of which is Haunting Guise, which now gives lifesteal on spell damage.

Overall I think this should be a pretty sweet patch. I’ve got 7300 IP banked for the Kennen purchase and 3900 RP to spend on some new skins. Hello, Swamp Master Yod…err…Kennen.


LoL: The latest Test Realm patch has me scared

Twisted Fate.Patch notes are up on the Test Realm forum for the Ezreal rollout and I’ll say it, I’m scared. I was mostly excited for the last patch, but the XP system blew chunks and that queue dodge penalty is the worst thing to happen to the game since Nidalee. There are a few diamonds in the rough, though, and I’m hoping they will be enough to carry me through.

First, Shaco is getting a massive nerf. Deceive damage is down 10% at all levels, Jack in the Box damage scales more slowly and has its AP ratio decreased, and, the whopper, throwing Two-Shiv while stealthed breaks you out. It’s not clear whether that removes your crit damage bonus – my hope is that it doesn’t – but it’s possible. You might notice that none of this makes him any more viable for the late game, which is most players’ complaint.

Then there’s Nidalee. I’m personally of the opinion that she needs the kind of nerf Shaco received. Unfortunately, Riot didn’t contact me regarding the matter, so she’s getting a tiny nerf and a little buff. Primal Surge now has its mana cost increased by 5 per level instead of the flat 50. Can I just say that this is in no way a nerf. By the time you reach the max rank, most players have more than enough mana to cover the difference, particularly if they’re going AP build. Which reminds me, AP Nidalee just got a fat buff. Javelin Toss AP ratio is up to 55% from 40%. The other change is reducing her passive to 15% move speed from 25%. Really, though, that’s not the issue with Nidalee’s escapability. It’s the fact that you can spam Pounce, which, when coupled with the brush bonus, makes her extremely difficult to kill. They could take it down to 8% and she would still probably get out of most situations.

Twisted Fate got enough changes to make him a lot less frustrating to play against and probably more overall fun. His new passive, Loaded Dice, grants TF’s team an extra 2 gold per kill. It’s actually worse than Second Sight in my mind, but not such a problem. Gate is gone. In its place is Stacked Deck, which is basically a built in Sword of the Divine. Every fourth attack deals magic damage that scales by level, affected by ability power. It also increases his attack speed and reduces cooldowns. He’s another in the latest string of toons that will benefit in big ways from Guinsoo’s. The new skill is obviously severely overpowered, but a slight nerf should bring it in line. Gate is now built into Destiny, allowing you to teleport anywhere on the map though it no longer slows. Overall, I think it’s a good change, and will actually make him a lot more fun.

There are some other minor changes, including a slight buff to the XP system (50% of a level’s XP for same level champion kills instead of 40%) , but most of them shouldn’t change the game much. The XP system will still likely too heavily prioritize farming, but it just might be enough to discourage a lot of 5-man while encouraging some push. Honestly, though, ganking is what makes the game fun. Almost no amount of XP nerfing will make me want to stop.


LoL: Udyr nerf is on the way

Udyr.You had to know this was coming. Since the most recent patch, Udyr has become hugely popular, despite his relatively good position before the buff. Well, he’s getting nerfed, as confirmed by a red post on the forums.

I don’t disagree. He is obviously overpowered, mostly because of the change to stance cooldown. I know, a lot of players have been bitching about the phoenix form buff, but phoenix wouldn’t make as much a difference if his attack speed didn’t get unmanageable in the early game. It’s the attack speed that lets him kill golem with such ease, which translates to dragon solos and a ridiculous early game farm.

The nerf, though, will likely be to phoenix form. Riot has stated that it wants Udyr to have better feel, which means a three stance rotation instead of two. It’s a change I’m mostly happy with, though it puts Riot in a position to give him some nerfs that could heavily affect his late or early game, and no one likes a hero that can only really shine mid-game if he gets a safe, defensive early farm. It’s just not a fun way to play.


Related Posts