League of Legends patch 12.18 details have been released by Riot lead designer, Matt ‘Phroxzon’ Leung-Harrison. Hoping not to rock the boat too much before the MOBA’s biggest event of the year, Worlds, the changes appear to be low-key, pulling back on things the team may have ‘overshot’ with the previous patch.
Looking through these patch notes, it’s clear to see just how safe Riot is willing to play – with patches 12.16 and 12.17 not having been played professionally yet. A lot of these changes are base stats, health, and armour growth, with the only real major changes being those to Maokai and Udyr.
- Ranger’s Focus (Q): Attack Speed 20-40% > 25-55%
This certainly isn’t a change that’ll see people flocking back to Ashe ADC, but a full 15% increase in attack speed at the end game with items under your belt should see a decent increase in damage so long as this ability is available.
- HP Growth: 115 > 120
- Flay (E): Damage 65-185 > 75-215
More HP in the long run and more damage to Flay are only good things for the Chain Warden. They’re already a solid choice for support, and being able to tank more damage so your ADC can do bits is never a bad thing.
- HP Growth: 99 > 105
- Safeguard (W): Vamp 5-23% > 5-27%
Sneaking in a buff to Lee Sin just before Worlds has got to be on someone’s conspiracy bingo card somewhere. More HP and more life steal will translate into a tankier Blind Monk – will this be enough to see him played competitively?
- AD Growth: 2.7 > 2.4
- HP Growth: 107 > 103
Slowing the growth of Miss Fortune a little after her recent buffs. This isn’t something that will be noticeable too much in-game, especially the longer a match goes on.
- Base HP: 604 > 574
Less base health for Kalista could mean it’s easier to burst her down during the early game – if you can hit her, that is.
- Base Health: 650 > 625
- Rampage (Q): Bonus AD Ratio 95% > 90%
- Rampage (Q): Ramp Damage 6% per 100 bonus AD > 5% per 100 bonus AD
- Spirit of Dread (W): Healing 25% (+2% per 100 bonus AD) > 25% (+2% per 100 bonus AD)
Lowering the damage and healing of Hecarim will hurt his sustain in team fights, as he won’t be able to heal up as much from groups of enemies, and his new aversion to tank items might see him drop out of viability.
- Reaping Slash (Q): HP% Ratio per 100 bonus AD 5% > 3.5%
Changing percentages on a champion’s damage is often so much more impactful than the base stats. Kayn’s Darkin transformation loses a large chunk of its max health damage on foes – this also means Rhaast loses a fair bit of scaling power in the process.
- Whimsy (W): Move Speed 30% > 25%
- Whimsy (W): Poly Duration 1.25-2.25s > 1.2-2s
- Whimsy (W): Cooldown 17-13s > 17-15s
Polymorph can be an absolute nightmare to go up against; it’s basically much cuter version of silence and is incredibly useful in team fights. These changes lower the time you spend as a harmless critter, while also increasing the cooldown between casts.
- AD Growth: 3.1 > 2.6
Nocturne’s attack damage growth is stunted with this change, which won’t really be evident when they have a few items in their inventory.
- Sap Magic (Passive): Healing 4.8-14% > 4.5-12%
- Bramble Smash (Q): Monster Bonus Damage 40-120 > 80-160
- Sapling Toss (E): AP Ratio 42.5% > 40%
- Sapling Toss (E) Emp AP Ratio 85% > 80%
If the recent Maokai rework didn’t plant the tree firmly as a jungle, this change just might. The bonus damage to monsters should see his clear become a lot quicker, giving him more opportunities to gank lanes earlier in the match.
- Health Per Level: 106 > 98
- Armour Per Level: 5.2 > 4.7
- Wilding Claw (Q): Mana Cost 45-28 > 20
- Wilding Claw (Q): Empowered Lightning Ratio +0.6% per 100 AP > +0.08% per 100 AP
- Wilding Claw (Q): [NEW] First two hits gain 50 attack range
- Wilding Claw (Q): [NEW] Awakened version deals an additional 2-5% (+0.03% bonus AD) max health physical damage on the first two attacks
- Iron Mantle (W): Heal 1.2-1.5% > 1.2%
- Iron Mantle (W): Shield 2-4% > 2-3.5%
- Iron Mantle (W): Life Steal 15% > 15-20%
- Wingborne Storm (R): Magic Damage 20-110 (+0.4% AP) > 20-100 (+35% AP)
- Wingborne Storm (R) Damage to Minions 50-80% > 40-85%
There’s a lot going on here, but what it boils down to is simple: less tank and more damage. The overall power of Iron Mantle is reduced, with a lot of that power being transferred to damage on Udyr’s Q, with max health damage, range, and speed coming into play.
It isn’t clear how the pro-scene is going to look when they get their hands on the latest build; some teams who rely on certain champions or tactics could see their game plan turned on its head.
The list of nerfs is nearly always longer than the buffs when these patch notes roll by, and if you’ve ever wondered how Riot determines which champion is next for the chopping block, this piece on League of Legends Zeri nerfs explains the criteria somewhat. On a lighter, slightly-spookier note, Riot is releasing a set of League of Legends Fright Night skins, to celebrate all things halloween.