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Welcome to Patch 5.15, the small one where we sit back and let the game catch its breath for a sec. What with all the updates recently to jungle items, game balance and burning tides (thanks, Miss Fortune), we figured it best to enjoy a lighter patch where we focus on some pro-play outliers and watch the ever-evolving metagame take shape. So kick your feet up, this one's on the house.
Diving a level deeper, we do have some sizable changes for Teemo to give him more control of his destiny in fights rather than setting up minefields and hoping folks'd walk into it. If you're someone that wishes we'd delete him instead, we suggest you try out Fiora, who’s got a set of updated Demacian duds and slick new moves to help you take out the furry little monster in style. Random aside: did you know Teemo's last buff was 3 years ago? We thought you'd like some trivia dressing with your foreword-salad. We've never really thought of the foreword as food before, but salads are healthy (and so is context).
That's about everything for 5.15. Check out our HUD update post to read up on the juicy feedback-driven changes being made (or head to the patch notes below), as well as our new ward-skin selection tech, and we'll see you next time!
Patrick "Scarizard" Scarborough
8/10/2015: Fiora's update launched in a bit of a weaker state than we had anticipated. We're sharpening her up with a few straightforward buffs.
Gangplank is back. Q auto-acquires at a much smaller radius. Gangplank gets steady Silver Serpents on alternate maps.
During the fiery conclusion of Bilgewater: Burning Tides, Gangplank sustained horrific injuries. Now he returns to the League battlefields with renewed purpose. Learn more about Gangplank here.
Lowering bases and increasing AP Ratios across the board. Passive now slows less, but gives Ekko more speed.
Reaching into the past for our 5.14 notes, we called out Tank Ekko as a thing we'd be evaluating for a future patch and see if it warranted addressing. Well, here we are.
First, let's lay some groundwork. Why's Tank Ekko such a big deal? Isn't it cool to have a diversity of builds? Good questions, but understanding why hinges on a different concept entirely: what trade-offs are being made in a champion's alternative build or playstyle? Let's use Ezreal as an example. Whether you go full AP, standard marksman items or the “Blue build,” you're emphasising Ezreal’s burst, sustained, or poke damage at the expense of others. This lets an otherwise straightforward champion have a diverse set of contextual options for your damage-dealing needs.
Ekko deciding to be a little more risky or durable appears to have these trade-offs, but his play-making CC and escape potential is founded upon the idea that if he messes up, no amount of rewinding will save him from getting killed. Toss in a bunch of tank stats, however, and his 'high risk, high reward' paradigm shifts into 'no risk, some reward'. We're not against Tanky Ekko finding success as a situational or reactive build, but having his primary power come from ability power helps emphasise the skirmish 'hit-and-run' style Ekko's all about.
Q cast time up and damage down. W's vision greatly reduced.
As one of our more unique and polarising champions (due to her ability to run away with a lead) Nidalee's been out of the patch notes for some time. For 5.15, it's the same old song-and-dance - increase the risk she has to take on to succeed with her aggressive assassination patterns. Tossing massive Javelins and stalking the weak is most certainly a hallmark of Nidalee's playstyle, but the number of tools she has to choose her engagements leaves her opponents without much of a say. These changes continue to pressure Nidalee to really commit with cougar-form takedowns, instead of constantly fishing with poke from afar. They also open up more ability to evade Nidalee’s attempts to continue the hunt once she’s got her eyes on you.
R's movement speed starts lower, but scales back up. Allies entering R's radius share Sivir's current speed bonus.
On the last episode of "Sivir Patch Notes" back in 5.11, we talked a lot about Champion diversity as it relates to Sivir and her enabling of hard-engage (and disabling of other strategies). We'll chill for a sec if you want to read that one over again.
So what's changed since then? Though there's slightly less Righteous Glory and a little more poking and split-pushing, the landscape remains mostly the same - that is to say, teams with Sivir become 'hard-engage' simply by picking her and often snowball out of control beyond the first few engagements. Instead of nerfing Sivir just enough to get off the top (which usually only results in the next marksman taking her place), we're trimming some of the more invisible fat around her ultimate and giving opponents a better read on when her team's getting ready to pull the trigger by grouping up.
To clarify on the change below: previously, even walking through On The Hunt as it ended, you'd get 2/3/4 seconds of 60% movement speed. With this change, the buff is shared - If you're with Sivir when she starts things off, you'll get the full 8 seconds. If you join later, you'll get whatever's left of the buff. No excuses for showing up late to a hunt!
Teemo’s trickier in brush, and his passive's attack speed now scales with level. R's traps last a shorter amount of time and take longer to arm, but can now be cast from further away and bounce on pre-existing traps.
We've finally done it. After years of slumber, the dark lord of League of Legends has returned. Despite his notoriety, Teemo's actually been on the less attractive side of viability for quite some time. Often seen as a niche 'anti-melee' top-laner or as an AP-focused map-control mage in the mid-lane, Teemo's always been around but never as powerful as the cries of his victims would have you believe.
No matter how you like to play your Swift Scout, we're focusing on delivering more to Teemo players looking to express their skill in more ways his teammates can appreciate. Teeto's applications in a 5v5 setting have always been questionable; the nature of his power is largely loaded into whether or not his opponents manage to step on a mushroom - something that became even more binary if your team wasn’t willing to utilise your minefields. Adding a couple of neat tricks to Camouflage and accessibility for tossing Noxious Traps while draining some of their more ambient sources of power - like duration - should empower Bandle City's Boogeyman to take a more proactive role in crushing the hopes and dreams of his enemies with a smile (bouncing Cottontail Teemo's eggs is seriously really cute).
Zeke's buff lasts longer, but takes longer to build.
We’re really happy with how this item’s played out since its addition, so we’re only lightly tuning Zeke's this patch - Harbinger's tide-turning buff is definitely the highlight of a fight (assuming you can get it off), but often times it doesn't last long enough to herald any sort of meaningful effect. To make good on our promise of an 'offensive support item' and let you bring pain from the duo lane, Zeke's will last longer at the expense of some stacking speed. This is to really reward those that coordinate their build-up before letting loose a long-lasting friendship-fueled rampage.
That said, AP Jungle Xin Zhao with Zeke’s is a thing you should try at least once in your life. You’re welcome.
We're making our first update pass on the new HUD based off of player feedback and it’ll be heading to ranked queues with this patch. Our major themes are across-the-board readability improvements and quality-of-life tweaks!
As mentioned at launch, the Instant Feedback System was originally tuned conservatively to avoid false positives. Now that it's been in place for a few months we're ready to start taking the training wheels off. In particular, the system is now more likely to punish hate speech after just one incidence.
For real this time.
When Champion Mastery launched a while back, we decided we'd wait and see how the rank 4 and 5 emotes were being used before making them visible to the enemy team. Fast forward a few months and, after adding in a light safeguard to ensure players can opt out of emote spam, we're ready to let you show your achievements off to everyone in your matches!
You can choose your ward skin in champ select.
Maybe your friends will finally start warding now.