Riot Games might have accidentally leaked the patch notes for the next League of Legends update.
The next major update isn’t expected to hit the live servers until the start of the new season in January, but preliminary patch notes were accidentally published early by Riot Games.
Though it’s worth noting that the update could still be subject to change, the notes give an idea of the areas Riot are currently focusing on and the direction certain champions will be taking.
Patch 9.1 will be the first update of the new season. While the current pre-season patch has already implemented some of the more major changes, 9.1 will address any big changes Riot still wish to make heading into 2019 and the start of the new ranked season.
The most significant changes come to Kalista, Ornn, and Sejuani, all of whom Riot have identified as historically having been more powerful in professional play than they are in the less coordinated realm of the online ranked queues.
Several other heroes have received more minor balance adjustments, however, as have Runes and Jungle items.
The hero changes can be seen below.
Base AD, AD growth, attack speed growth increased; W Oathsworn AD bonus removed. Q damage increased. E deals less damage to epic monsters.
When we say "Kalista", League vets immediately think "nerfed because of pro play". It's been a minute since we've tried to shift her strength toward less team-coordination-dependent power, but we're taking a fresh stab at it here. Kalista's offensive strength is no longer tied to being near her Oathsworn and her ability to turn Rend into a better Smite is greatly diminished. In return, she's gaining a bunch of personal power she can use in any situation.
BASE ATTACK DAMAGE: 62 ⇒ 67
ATTACK DAMAGE GROWTH: 3.6 ⇒ 4
ATTACK SPEED GROWTH: 3.5% ⇒ 4%
Q - Pierce
BASE DAMAGE: 10/70/130/190/250 ⇒ 20/85/150/215/280
W - Sentinel
REMOVED: OATHSWORN EMPOWERMENT - Kalista no longer gains 5/10/15/20/25 attack damage while her Oathsworn is nearby
E - Rend
NEW: WEAK GRIP - Rend now deals 50% damage to epic monsters
Base durability increased. Ornn's items upgrade at lv13 (2 max); he can upgrade one ally's item per lv at lv14+. More upgrades added. Q cost, damage, slow decreased. W doesn't shield but makes Ornn unstoppable. R slow, knockup decreased.
While Ornn doesn't have as lengthy a track record of competitive problems as Kalista, he's similarly shown much stronger results in pro play. He wins basically every top lane matchup, making him a safe choice in any comp, and his ult locks enemies down from a distance so allies can clean up the kill without Ornn actually having to do his job as a tank. We're reducing these strengths and investing that power into Ornn's passive. Switching to a free upgrade system gives Ornn a unique ability to jump-start the item scaling of both himself and his team: rather than delaying progress toward full builds, upgrading an item is now pure upside.
Passive - Living Forge
Q - Volcanic Rupture
W - Bellows' Breath
E - Searing Charge
R - Call of the Forge God
Base durability increased. Passive grants less stats but lasts longer. Q damage increased. W2 damage increased but slow falls off immediately. E deals more damage but range and stun decreased.
Third in our "powerful in pro, weak in regular" lineup is Sejuani. The broad angle of approach for these changes is 'reduce crowd control and increase damage' to make Sejuani's success less dependent on ally follow-up (or set-up in the case of melee allies priming E). We're also reducing Frost Armor's massive spike of defenses to extend its duration and give Sejuani more baseline durability. This ties Sejuani's responsibility of soaking damage less to perfectly-coordinated teamfight initiation, enabling her to better tank for her team throughout extended (and perhaps messier) combat.
Passive - Frost
Q - Arctic Assault
W - Winter's Wrath
E - Permafrost
E grants assists if enemies were previously unseen.
We're adding some personal reward for Hawkshots that enable Ashe's team to lock down a kill. (The Q change is a quality of life improvement.)
Q - Ranger's Focus
E - Hawkshot
Q can be recast earlier.
When we made Aurelion squishier toward the end of last year, he was tearing up the top of the ladder while having little impact in regular levels of play. Now that the Starforger has room for a survivability buff, we want to flatten that skill discrepancy a bit. This change is powerful across the board, but it'll disproportionately help new and average Aurelion players who haven't yet mastered his ranges or matchups.
Q - Starsurge
W cast time now scales with attack speed.
Helping Zap!'s cast time keep up with Jinx so casting it mid- or late-game doesn't feel like as much of a standstill. (Even though it still definitionally is.)
W - Zap!
Q+E combo can now be buffered.
E - Acceleration Gate
E teleports immediately; cast time now entirely post-teleport. Hextech Gunblade's active can be buffered.
These changes make Katarina feel more responsive to play without stripping away her opponents' ability to react to her decisions.
E - Shunpo
Q stacks from large kills increased.
We're increasing the reward good Nasus players earn for prioritizing last-hits on big stuff. This doesn't affect stacks from smaller units, so the big dog's gotta land those cannons to make use of this buff.
Q - Siphoning Strike
Champion hits don't reduce Q's damage.
Buffing the dream Q that hits all five enemy champions in a teamfight.
Q - Boomerang Blade
Q cooldown reduced while R is active.
R - Final Hour
E root duration increased.
We're upping Xayah's ability to keep enemies where she wants them.
E - Bladecaller
Q+W and E+W combos can now be buffered.
W - Rampant Growth
The full patch notes can be read here.
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