Jax remake retains some of the dodge flavor


With the removal of the dodge stat, Riot inevitably had to remake Jax in some capacity. I was really curious what it would mean for the Grandmaster at Arms, but it looks like he won’t be changing much. In place of the old Counter-Strike, which trigged an active stun ability when Jax dodged an auto attack, Jax now “charges” the ability, allowing him to dodge all incoming attacks for a short duration, followed by an AoE stun and damage effect. Think of it like Sion’s shield, just on a much shorter fuse.

Obviously this has some pretty serious implications for the late game. A 100 percent physical damage mitigation, even for a couple seconds, is a pretty big deal. You will notice that Counter-Strike is now on a pretty long cooldown – more than 20 seconds at rank one – though it does scale down as rank improves.

Jax also lost his old passive, presumably to account for the increased survivability granted by his new skill. In its place, Jax now has the stacking bonus attack speed component of his ultimate on a passive. This allows him to jungle easily from level one, which I think is the scarier part of his remake. If you watch the Champion Spotlight Phreak posted, he takes down dragon at level 7 without losing much health at all.

If you hated Jax prior to this remake, I’d imagine you will learn to hate him all over again. The changes will be going live with the next champion patch.


Dodge rune refunds should be complete


As 2011 drew to an end, Riot completed the dodge rune refund that began earlier this December. In case you aren’t aware, dodge runes are still available from the store. Riot is planning to remake the champions that rely on dodge (honestly, only Jax comes to mind for me), but until that’s done you will still be able to use dodge runes in game.

I’m definitely curious to see what the Jax remake will look like. Jax has been a hot topic of discussion since his initial remake back in the Twisted Treeline era of League’s development. At the time he was as hyper a carry as a hyper-carry could be. He’s since been toned down, but he will always be one of the champions that has had his day in the sun, while characters like Katarina and Twitch haven’t seen serious play in more than a year.

Personally, I’m not sad to see dodge go. It just doesn’t seem to have a place in League of Legends. My obvious point of comparison is DotA, where evasion can’t be had early in the game. In that game, evasion works well as a late-game mechanic for carries, who can still be shut down by teams with hard CC. In LoL, dodge is only acquired early, and tends to unreliably augment a character’s survivability.

How do you feel about the removal of dodge? Are you looking forward to a Jax remake? What will you be doing with your IP?


Dodge refunds are starting to roll out


It seems I was one of the earlier accounts to be refunded the IP cost of dodge runes. For me, the total came out to a whopping 14,000+ IP. I’m honestly not sure how I was refunded that amount of IP. When I added things up, the total cost was just over 7k, so I’m not exactly sure where the extra 7k came from.

I will say, I’m pretty pumped to have over 15k floating around again. I haven’t been playing League quite as often lately, so having a little buffer for the next few champion releases could be really handy.

I think it’s strange that Riot is still letting us purchase dodge runes. I understand that they don’t want to totally screw Jax players with the refunds, but why do them now? It’s a little odd. In any case, I’m glad to get a nice fat IP boost before the holidays. Have you received your refund yet?


Patch Day 10/19 – Eve is still Eve


Today’s patch is big. Huge. Big McLarge Huge. Seriously though, there are a metric ton of changes this patch, including a big mechanics change to the stealth system. I’m going to leave it to you to read the patch notes in their entirety, but I’ll cover the big stuff here. To the disappointment of many, we also didn’t get the Eve rework originally scheduled for this patch.

Let’s start with the champions, shall we?

Jax is the first champion, alphabetically speaking, to get significant changes. Leap Strike now casts faster and moves Jax faster. His Empower has been reworked so that it resets the auto attack timer and only affects one unit. It caught a small damage buff and a significant increase on the AP ratio as well. His ultimate also has an active that grants additional Magic Resist based on his dodge value. I really think it’s an underwhelming change. As it stands, Jax has one cool skill – Leap Strike – and three skills that either do nothing or have no “fun factor” on use. This doesn’t change that.

Katarina got a decent buff in that her Death Lotus now slings three knives at every level. I don’t play Kat often, but when I did, I hated that I felt gimped until level 16. This should help her quite a bit, though she still suffers against all the stuns/silences now available in the game.

Miss Fortune is finally catching a nerf, though it is a small one. Bullet Time has reduced range and damage scaling, Strut got a small speed nerf, and Double Up now has shorter bounce range. It doesn’t change the fact that she wrecks the laning metagame but it’s a start.

Morgana is also getting a small set of nerfs. Dark Binding has a smaller hitbox, Black Shield has a slightly lower AP ratio, as does Soul Shackles. Soul Shackles also got a small base damage at the max rank, though I couldn’t tell you why. Does 25 damage at level 16 really matter?

Rammus is getting a set of buffs across the board. Most of his cooldowns were reduced, the mana cost on his taunt was lowered, and Defensive Ball Curl now scales with his armor. It’s not a perfect situation, considering he still gets no benefit from MR, but it’s pretty nice.

Singed, of all toons, is also getting buffed. He’ll have more base health, gain more health per level (though this may be making up for a slight reduction in base MR), and has his cooldowns slightly reduced for Fling, Mega Adhesive, and his ult. His ult lost its cast animation, so you won’t be interrupted while running.

Sivir got a strange set of buffs that almost definitely won’t return her to playability. Her ult got an attack speed buff and Spell Shield now has a shorter cooldown and returns slightly more mana. Yay?

Swain got ability power buffs across the board, a tiny increase to Torment base damage, and a buff to the mana regen from Carrion Renewal. Again, probably not enough to make him the caster you always wanted, but he should at least be better.

Teemo got some serious attention this patch, though I wonder if it’s actually enough to make him worthwhile. Here’s the rundown:

-Base movespeed increased to 305 from 300
-Base damage reduced to 47.5 from 51.3
-Damage per level reduced to 3.0 from 3.3

-Fade time reduced to 2.0 seconds from 3.0
-Being invulnerable will now prevent Teemo from Camouflaging. Specifically, Zhonya’s Ring and Guardian Angel’s effects will block Camouflage while they are active.
-Recalling and Teleporting will now prevent Teemo from Camouflaging

Blinding Dart
-Duration reduced to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 from 1.5/2.0/2.5/3.0/3.5
-Cooldown reduced to 8 seconds from 10
-Blinding Dart will now cancel autoattacks in progress when the blind is applied

-Move Quick’s tooltip will now update to display the effects of cooldown reduction
-Toxic Shot per tick damage reduced to 6/12/18/24/30 from 8/14/21/28/35
-Toxic Shot on-hit damage increased to 9/18/27/36/45 from 8/14/21/28/35

Noxious Trap
-Teemo now gains a “stored mushroom” charge every 30/26/22 seconds. Maximum three charges
-Each cast requires and consumes a charge
-Time to gain a charge is reduced by cooldown reduction effects
-Time to gain next charge does not progress while you are at maximum charges
-Teemo always has two charges stored upon reviving at base
-Cooldown on placing a trap reduced to 1 second from 20
-Damage changed to 250/475/700 from 350/500/650

Obviously some big changes there, but it seems to favor an AP build for the Noxious Trap buff, which still has the problem of non-stacking damage as his primary damage source. Sure, he can get out more mushrooms, but it might not translate to a better playstyle. We’ll see.

That’s pretty much it for the big changes. There are a lot of significant tweaks in this patch that I would highly encourage you to read over. I’m also only going to mention one item below, Malady, because the others aren’t necessarily game changing and I’m sure you can sort them out.

Malady was remade to be the following:

Malady (remake)
-Recipe changed to: Dagger + Dagger + Amplifying Tome + 550 gold = 1825 total cost
-Base stats changed to +50% attack speed, +25 ability power
-Unique Passive changed to: Your physical attacks shred your target doing 20 magic damage and reducing their magic resistance by 6.
-Magic resistance reduction stacks up to 4 times.

Am I allowed to say I don’t get it? Seems like this was built specifically with Teemo in mind, maybe Twitch, Maybe Kog’Maw. Other than that, though, there aren’t many toons that benefit from the MR reduction and the attack speed. Kayle, I guess. It’s a strange item, sort of like a mini Nashor’s Tooth. I’ll be interested to see who makes the most use of this.

Remember that post I made about armor penetration? It has finally been changed! Don’t get excited, though. It’s not much. The runes were all nerfed by 15 percent, which still leaves them ridiculous at the early levels. In their place, the damage runes have been significantly buffed. Personally, I don’t see a bunch of people rushing out to get damage, but it could be good for a few toons.

That pretty much does it for this patch. Obviously there will be more to say once we get to play with the changes. Stay tuned.


More patch impressions

Spooky Gangplank.

This patch included a lot of changes, so I’ve been taking my time playing through the various champion tweaks and remakes to get a good sense of where everyone stands.

Outside Kog’Maw, I’ve spent most of my post-patch game time on Ashe, getting a feel for just how much Hawkshot would change the game. It will. A lot. I can’t believe she gets a free CV on a 60 second cooldown. Just unbelievable.

I’ve also been playing a bit of Morgana to test out the Dark Binding changes. I really like having the damage upfront. It doesn’t change the fact that her ult is totally cleansable, which sucks, but it’s nice to have a bit of burst for a last hit and some lane damage.

I played one game as Gangplank and remembered right away what I don’t like about a lot of melee toons – they have no way to close the gap. Toons like Jax and Pantheon have leaps to get on top of the target. Hell, even Yi has Alpha Strike. Without a similar skill, melee just takes an eternity to farm to the point that they can be useful. Even with the Raise Morale changes I found it extremely difficult to contribute against Kog’Maw, Ezreal, Pantheon, Kaiser, and Shaco.

Pantheon is still crazy strong, as I mentioned in a post about Shurelia’s Q&A. Heartseeker damage is so high and so hard to avoid that it’s easy to get him rolling early. From there you just need to pick your battles wisely and it’s pretty easy to get a win. He still struggles against tanky teams because his DPS won’t outscale their health in the late game, but if you get a good enough farm in the first 20 minutes or so, the game won’t be lasting much longer.

The only major rework I haven’t messed with is Veigar. He’s still ultra-squishy with low mobility, putting him about the bottom of my barrel.


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