League of Legends

League of Legends: Big changes planned for Aatrox and Zac in post-MSI patches

by Connor Bennett

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Riot Games has revealed some of the major changes coming to League of Legends once the Mid-Season Invitational event is finished, for patches 9.9 and 9.10 - including overhauls to both the Aatrox and Zac champions. 


Post-MSI patches are massive

For fans of LoL, be it solely as a player or a viewer of the competitive scene, the MSI is a pivotal point in the game’s title. Riot regularly puts out updates prior to the huge esports event and also just after, once they’ve had a chance to judge the fallout.

This year is no different. The developers have already given fans regular updates on what is to come in future patches - including the iteration of the game that the MSI will be played on. However, they’ve also given fans an even deeper view of the future.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Royal Never Give Up were crowned MSI champions in 2018 but won't be returning to defend their crown.

What is coming in the post-MSI patches?

In a blog post to the League of Legends board, Lead Gameplay Designer Mark ‘Scruffy’ Yetter has outlined some of the ideas that Riot has for both the 9.9 and 9.10 patches.

While there will be the usual general changes and tweaks, including nerfs to Inspiration and Aftershock, items like Hunter’s Potion will get a buff. Yet, it’s the champion changes that fans are most interested in - with big changes in store for both Aatrox and Zac.

Riot Games
Riot Games
Zac will be receiving at least one huge chance post-MSI


Further Aatrox changes coming soon

The developers had already teased some changes for Aatrox via Twitter, but are seemingly desperate to get the balance of the character right. In the post, Scruffy added: “ He still has been too hard to counter at high level and pro play which really hurts his playability for normal players.”

It was also noted that the current changes only altered his ultimate ability. To compensate for that, Riot will be buffing the baseline stats while “exploring some other spicy additions." However, Scruffy did not expand on these other spicy additions - so it's a case of wait and see as to what they have in store. 

Riot Games
Riot Games
Aatrox has been one of the more difficult champions to balance in LoL.

Zac's ultimate set for changes

As for Zac, Scruffy added that the developers are currently testing a “mostly reverted” version of the character’s ultimate with a “few improvements”

The lead gameplay designer also noted that they’re taking that particular route with the champion in order to give the ultimate ability a “more clear gameplay and understandable impact” instead of its current, seemingly lacking iteration.

When are the post-MSI patches coming?

Riot are yet to announce when players should expect to see Patch 9.9 and 9.10 arrive, but they won’t be around in time for MSI. The event, which takes place between May 1 to May 19, will be played on the 9.8 update - so fans can expect to see further updates following the crowning of an MSI winner.

It remains to be seen just what specific changes Riot will be making but it seems as if they’ve got some pretty clear ideas about what they want to tinker with.