League of Legends Season 12 preseason update details: Dragon rework, Challenges - Dexerto
League of Legends

Everything in League’s Season 12 preseason update: Dragon & Rune rework, Challenges

Published: 9/Oct/2021 5:55 Updated: 9/Oct/2021 6:12

by Andrew Amos

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League of Legends Season 11 is wrapping up, and that means it’s time to look forward to the next preseason update. Season 12 is set to include major reworks to the Dragon system, items, runes, and more. Here’s what we know so far.

Preseason is Riot’s time to tinker with everything in League of Legends. In Season 10, it was Dragons in the Rise of the Elements update. In Season 11, the shop was overhauled with new Mythic items.

Season 12 won’t have changes to the same level, but Riot are planning on cleaning up the aftermath of their last few preseasons in the next major update.

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Overall, the goal is to “improve and build upon existing game systems” and “reward progression in a more meaningful way”. Here’s how they’re going to achieve it in League of Legends Season 12’s preseason update.

Akshan is the 157th champion added to League of Legends since early 2009.
Riot Games
Riot is swinging into League of Legends Season 12 with some big changes in preseason.

What’s coming in League of Legends Season 12’s preseason update?

Dragon system gets another rework with two new Hextech & Chemtech drakes

While Riot note that the Season 10 amendments to drakes “largely succeeded in making each game feel more unique than the last,” they add that “there’s room for us to expand the possible unique environments players find themselves in on Summoners Rift.”

So, Riot are adding two very powerful new Drakes to Summoner’s Rift. The Hextech and Chemtech dragons will be added into the rotation, with now six potential Dragon souls up for grabs.

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The Hextech dragon gives players Ability Haste and attack speed, with a soul that gives a Statikk Shiv-style chain slow on auto attacks. It will also spawn portals onto the maps that players can use to teleport to various places.

Chemtech, on the other hand, embraces the Shadow Isles somewhat. It will give players bonus damage based on missing health, with Chemtech soul allowing you to respawn as a “zombie” for a few extra seconds. Camoflague zones will also spawn across the map, hiding enemies within.

The related segment begins at 6:20.

More Mythic and Legendary items for supports & mages

With Season 11 came the Mythic and Legendary Items to provide players with a whole host of strategic itemization pathways.

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While largely a success, Riot have “heard your feedback that having to make a strategic decision about every item in your inventory isn’t always desired or possible, especially in high tension games.”

To fix some of the underlying issues and fill the gaps, Riot are adding more Mythic options for supports beyond the usual Locket of the Iron Solari or Shurelya’s Battlesong rushes. This includes an item for engage supports that increases ally damage to nearby enemies after immobilizing them.

Mages will also be getting a new Mythic item, giving them damage reduction for a short period of time after being hit, as well as Ability Haste.

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“Improved” Legendary options for mages, assassins, and tanks are also expected. Marksmen and bruisers are likely to be left untouched, but expect a couple of tweaks here and there.

Riot Games
Supports will be the big winners of League’s Season 12 item update.

Another Inspiration rune tree rework will shake up keystones

The Inspiration tree has been a nemesis of Riot since the Runes Reforged rework a few seasons ago.

While some of the secondary runes are incredibly strong, from Stopwatch to Cosmic Insight, the keystones are rarely ever taken. Riot wants to fix that by broadening “its keystone use cases”.

Reworked Inspiration keystones — including big changes to Glacial Augment — and secondary rune balance adjustments are expected.

Precision keystone Lethal Tempo will also be reworked to lean into its attack speed “fantasy”.

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LoL Inspiration runes Season 12 rework
Riot Games
The Inspiration rune tree is getting changed in Season 12.

New Objective Bounties to help teams get back into the game

When Champion Bounties were added, they gave losing teams a way to get back into the game by killing fed members of the enemy team.

Now, you’ll be able to destroy towers and other objectives to get more gold from behind. Objective Bounties are meant to “give losing teams more strategic options to get back in the game through taking objectives.”

Objective bounties will be given to everyone on the team, not just those who contribute to the kill, so it can help equalize gold disadvantages across the map.

Riot don’t want to make it so teams can get back into the game easily if there’s a big skill cap. However, with games feeling very snowbally in Season 11, this should alleviate the pressure somewhat.

LoL objective bounties season 12
Riot Games
Fallen behind early? Objective Bounties can help you catch up in Season 12.

Challenges added to give players more progression outside of ranked

Currently, there’s only a couple of ways to show your progression in League of Legends. The most prevalent one is in ranked, flexing your icons and borders at the end of each season.

Eternals also show champion-specific achievements, but they aren’t the easiest to access.

Challenges looks to bridge the gap by giving all players — from the casual weekender to the 10-game-a-day ranked grinder — the chance to flex their best in-game achievements.

The new, free system will track “general mastery and investment in League of Legends” with many different types of challenges to grind for.

Completing these challenges will allow you to equip new titles and tokens on your profile, and even show you a leaderboard of how many players have completed each achievement.

League of Legends Challenges tier system
Riot Games
Tokens like these will be displayed on players’ profiles after completing a certain number of Challenges.

League of Legends Season 12 champion reworks: Udyr, more

While not necessarily coming in preseason, Riot are planning on continuing their run of big VGU upgrades — and smaller mini-reworks — in Season 12.

The massive one on the list is Udyr. After winning the player poll in 2021, the Spirit Walker is getting a full rework in Season 12. Riot are aiming to keep his form-swapping playstyle while adding “high moments” and more “thematic execution”.

A second VGU is expected, but it won’t be for some popular candidates like Shyvana or Quinn.

As for mini-reworks, none have been confirmed for Season 12 specifically. However, the smaller updates, which have been successful for champions like Irelia, Tahm Kench, Sona, and Rengar, will likely continue.

Visual updates are also on the way, with Syndra penned in for the first major one.

Udyr is finally back in the LoL meta after four years on the bench.
Riot Games
Udyr is getting a rework in League of Legends Season 12, but it likely won’t launch in preseason.

When does League of Legends Season 12 start?

League of Legends Season 12 is expected to kick off with the preseason update after the World Championship, typically in late-November or early-December.

The full update will be shipped early in January.

More details on the League of Legends Season 12 preseason update will be dropped in the coming months, so keep tuned to Dexerto (and our Twitter account, @DexertoLeague) for the scoops as they happen.