League of Legends

Riot add super-powerful ‘Level 4’ champions on Teamfight Tactics PBE

Published: 10/Jul/2019 11:36 Updated: 10/Jul/2019 11:58

by Joe O'Brien


Riot Games have added an incredibly powerful fourth level for Teamfight Tactics champions as a result of a change to the Guardian Angel.

In the current live version of the game, the maximum level a champion can reach is level 3. Champions are levelled up by collecting three of the same unit, which combine to form a level 2 version, and three level 2 champions are required to reach level 3.

On the PBE, however, there’s now a fourth level, but this can only be unlocked with the use of the Guardian Angel item.

The updated GA now includes an extra effect – not only does the champion wearing it respawn after dying, they also come back a level higher than they were before. This holds true even if the champion is already level 3, unlocking a new, even more powerful fourth level.

Riot GamesTeamfight Tactics is Riot Games’ take on the autobattler genre.

Level four champions have significantly improved stats, including doubling their health pool. While they won’t respawn with that health pool fully restored, combining the item with health-replenishing effects like Redemption or Warmog’s Armor could make a level-four champion incredibly hard for enemies to get rid of.

It also appears that there might be some hidden changes to the amount of health Guardian Angel can give a respawning champion, and what happens if you stack more than one of the item on a single unit – although it’s not entirely clear whether all the differences are intentional or PBE bugs.

In theory, the Guardian Angel returns champions to life with 500 health, but TFT player u/Aquamort did some testing and discovered that this number seemed to increase for champions that also got boosted to level 4.

In another instance, a level two champion with two Guardian Angels came back first at level three, and then died again and returned still at level three, but with full health. The effects don’t seem entirely consistent, however, so it’s hard to tell exactly what changes Riot intends to eventually push to the live servers.

In addition to adding a level four, Riot have also expanded the tiers on the opposite end, also introducing a new ‘level 0’. The Cursed Blade has a chance to reduce the target’s level by one, but this effect is currently made redundant if the target is only level one.

With the introduction of a ‘level 0’, even low-level targets can be effected by the item, becoming even more vulnerable than they already are.

Riot GamesRiot Games look to be adding new champion levels at the highest and lowest tier.

This isn’t the only change benefitting the Cursed Blade – the items effect now also stacks, meaning that if you’re lucky enough for the effect to occur multiple times, you could reduce high-level targets all the way down to level 0 within the round.

As this is the PBE, there’s no guarantee that these changes will remain in this state by the time they reach the live servers, but they do give an indication of the direction Riot is thinking of going in. The changes should arrive with the next major update, Patch 9.14, which is also set to introduce ranked play.

League of Legends

Rell nerfs on League patch 11.3 makes Iron Maiden less tanky

Published: 24/Jan/2021 7:02

by Andrew Amos


Rell is getting a hefty set of nerfs in League of Legends patch 11.3 to make the Iron Maiden less tanky. However, they could have a knock-on effect, where full AP Rell takes over the meta.

Rell has been a rather interesting addition to the League of Legends roster. The first champion in preseason 11 struggled to find her way into the meta at the start, but then has exploded as a power pick in recent patches.

Now, Riot are toning her back. Her utility is just a little bit too strong to justify some of her damage values ⁠— at least in her base kit.

Battle Queen Rell in League of Legends
Riot Games
Rell is getting some nerfs in League patch 11.3.

The current changes on the League of Legends PBE include nerfs to her W shield, while buffing its damage ratio. Her E is getting nerfed all around ⁠— damage and resistances. Her R, on the other hand, is getting an AP ratio buff.

The changes have led to a mixed response from the community. While Rell mains feel like Riot are trying to streamline her into just maxing Q, Riot are trying to just nerf the rest of her kit to be more in line with her Q, rather than risk increasing her already high win-rate before.

“The goal of the change-list is to very slightly nerf her, and also skew her slightly back towards Q max being correct by weakening the durability gained with each W point. The AP ratios are mostly just extra and aren’t much power at all unless going Shurelya’s,” developer Ray Yonggi said.

“It’s not because we want them to specifically have more damage, it’s because we want all 4 abilities to feel like they are pulling their weight, and unfortunately Q doesn’t feel like it when it’s not maxed.”

However, the increase of AP ratios ⁠— including an extra 40% AP on her ultimate ⁠— have players weary of the potential of full AP Rell. With 110% AP on her ultimate, as well as 60% AP on her Q, she could nuke enemies with a full AP build.


Riot are still tinkering with the buffs, but they’re trying to make sure Rell stays true to her tank identity ⁠— just with a little bit less power right off the bat.

“Basic idea around the Q thing was that Q feels really wimpy if not maxed, but W feels effective no matter what, so the character can feel more punchy if Q max was what people did more often, as it increases the damage and healing per point,” Yonggi added.

The Rell changes are expected to go through with League patch 11.3, penned in for February 3.