Welcome to the official 5.2 patch notes! With a lot of our 2015 changes in the process of settling down, we realized we could finally tackle some longer-standing design challenges of the game.
Like Deathfire Grasp (there it is).
We’ll get into the gritty details soon (well, immediately after this foreword), but the short of it is that DFG has always been a tough item to balance around and, like Lich Bane, we finally realized if we wanted to have healthy mage assassins in the game, we needed to tackle the problem at its source. Ultimately we came to the decision to remove DFG completely (remember, read the context for more information!), but this also frees us up to give cool things for champions who’ve been shackled by their reliance on the item (or by our fear of them picking one up).
For the unfortunate news, however, we couldn’t hit as many things as we’d have liked for 5.2, so we’re spreading a lot of this love out over the course of two patches – 5.2 and 5.3. With 5.2, we’ve got Ahri and Annie (no, we didn’t prioritize by alphabetical order), but you can expect some changes for champs like Veigar, Mordekaiser, and Katarina, along with new 120 AP item explorations in the near future (small warning: the item might take additional iteration time, so no promises!).
Some have noted a sort of ‘anti-assassin theme’ for this patch, but we’re trying to broaden the definition of a successful assassin beyond simply blowing up a squishy target. Alternatively, if an assassin is just too reliable at what he or she (or it) does, that’s another challenge for us to tackle. There’s always going to be a fine line we’ll have to walk when it comes to making healthy assassins, but we’d love to live in a world where assassins have their place in the game along with other types of mages. This will be an ongoing process and we’ll keep you abreast as we continue working.
Finally… We hope everyone’s doing well with their ranked placements! We’d like to wish you all success in your matches, but that ends up being paradoxical because someone’s gotta lose for others to win, so rather than showing any favoritism we’d like to wish you a pleasant time. That’s it.
Statistics, right here.
Chris “Pwyff” Tom
View her full update here.
ATTACK SPEED GROWTH STAT
2.5 ⇒ 1.5
24.04 ⇒ 22
552.76 ⇒ 542.76
VISUALS Updated model, textures and VFX for base and all skins
ICONS New ability icons
Draw a Bead (Passive): RANGE PER LEVEL
9 ⇒ 7
Rocket Jump (W): NEW TALK ABOUT EXPLOSIVE LANDING Rocket Jump gains +20% increased damage for each stack of Explosive Charge on the target (this goes up to +100% for the base charge + 4 stacks)
70/115/160/205/250 magic damage ⇒ 80/105/130/155/180 magic damage
0.8 ability power ⇒ 0.5 ability power
Explosive Charge (E):
ACTIVE ABILITY Tristana throws a grenade charge on a target enemy. After 4 seconds, the charge explodes and deals area-of-effect physical damage.
STACKING CHARGES Every basic attack against a target with Explosive Charge adds an additional stack that increases Explosive Charge’s final explosion damage by +25%, stacking up to 4 times (+100% damage). If the target already has 4 stacks and is attacked, the Explosive Charge will detonate immediately.
Using Rocket Jump onto a target with maximum Explosive Charge stacks will detonate the charges immediately.
Explosive Charge is castable on towers and has a larger explosion radius than on a unit.
ACTIVE BASE DAMAGE 60/70/80/90/100 physical damage
ACTIVE RATIO 0.5/0.65/0.8/0.95/1.10 bonus attack damage + 0.5 ability power at all ranks
Buster Shot (R): RATIO
1.4 ability power ⇒ 1.0 ability power
Fantastic Ms. Ahri’s success as a support-killing, pick-making assassin has always been tied very closely with Deathfire Grasp. With the item gone, however, it became obvious that Ahri’s unique role in the game was losing focus, so we set out with the goal of moving her back to her original vision as an ultra-mobile kite mage. Technical improvements and updates to Fox-Fire and Spirit Rush should make her feel smoother to play, while Orb of Deception’s new mobility effect allows her to both outwit opponents in close duels or remain elusive as she repositions in a fight.
Orb of Deception (Q): NEW AERODYNAMIC TAILS Ahri now gains a massive movement speed boost while her orb is traveling that rapidly decays over time.
Fox-Fire (W): NEW FANTASTIC FOX-FIRE Fox-Fire’s targeting system has been improved and will now attempt to acquire a new target if the original target is going to die from other Fox-Fires.
Casting Fox-Fire no longer interferes with Ahri’s basic attack animation.
Slightly reduced the time between spell cast and the missile firing.
Fixed a rare bug where Ahri’s third Fox-Fire wouldn’t deal damage while her passive was active.
BASE DAMAGE PER FOX-FIRE
40/65/90/115/140 magic damage ⇒ 50/80/110/140/170 magic damage.
Charm (E): REMOVED Charmed targets no longer take +20% damage.
60/90/120/150/180 magic damage ⇒ 60/95/130/165/200 magic damage
0.35 ability power ⇒ 0.5 ability power
Spirit Rush (R): Spirit Rush is now more forgiving when dashing through or over terrain.
We’re going to be blunt: Akali is a prime example of an assassin with low counterplay, largely due to her reliability and target selection. While Akali’s ability to blow up highly mobile targets is valuable, it also means that once she gets even slightly ahead, she’s got all the tools to smash her way to a victory. With these changes, Akali will have to be a little more clever with her use of Twilight Shroud to proc Mark of the Assassin, opening up more difficult matchups against melee champions that she previously dominated. Or, as Akali would say, “As balance dictates.”
Crescent Slash (E): REMOVED Crescent Slash no longer detonates Mark of the Assassin.
Shadow Dance (R): RANGE
800 ⇒ 700.
CLARITY! Fixed a bug where Shadow Dance stacks were not visible to other champions.
Though Annie is definitely less powerful in a world without Deathfire Grasp, she’s still one of the strongest burst-initiators in the game and can still one-shot squishies even with different items. Still, we wanted to give some love to the cutest pyromaniac in League (sorry Brand) and Molten Shield felt like the right place (as it’s also her least-interesting ability). Ultimately these changes help push Annie closer to her unique identity as a teddy bear-centric mage (that’s a thing).
Molten Shield (E): ARMOR / MAGIC RESISTANCE BONUS
20/30/40/50/60 ⇒ 10/20/30/40/50
Summon – Tibbers (R): NEW DON’T RUN FROM BEARS When Annie casts Molten Shield, Tibbers gains +300 bonus movement speed, decaying over 0.75 seconds.
NEW MOLTEN TIBBERS Tibbers now also receives the benefits of Molten Shield when Annie casts it while he’s up.
DIET TIBBERS Tibbers’ collision radius has been reduced to let him move past minions easier.
Just a small fix for consistency, but we wanted to really highlight that Q range. Initially it wasn’t actually displaying the full range, so we changed it to do so. This way, when we reduce some power y’all really know what we’ve had to balance with. This bears repeating: that’s a hiiiiiiigh range on Q.
Conquering Sands (Q): Conquering Sands’ targeting indicator has been adjusted to properly display the spell’s actual range of
800 ⇒ 875. No functional changes have been made.
SAND FORMATION When there are 3 soldiers already out, Conquering Sands will always move the nearest soldier to where the player clicks.
As a lane bully, one wrong move against Cassiopeia can lose you a ton of HP and send you ducking for cover beneath your tower (or just packing your bags and going home). While it’s not impossible to fight back, Aspect of the Serpent’s healing just reinforces this non-stop lane bully tactic without much in terms of tradeoffs (thanks to Twin Fang’s mana recovery). Increasing Cass’s mana costs on Q and E should make it more of a calculated decision to harass or sustain, giving savvy opponents more time to formulate a counter-attack (or at least walk back to lane).
Noxus Blast (Q): COST
40/45/50/55/60 mana ⇒ 40/50/60/70/80 mana
Twin Fang (E): COST
35/45/55/65/75 mana ⇒ 50/60/70/80/90 mana.
CLARITY! Twin Fang’s tooltip now always displays the amount of mana it will restore.
When talking about flashy assassins, it’s never long before Fizz comes up. Always a crowd-pleaser, this playful trickster can devastate teams lacking lockdown with a few troll-poles and a well-placed shark. These days however, Urchin Strike + Seastone Trident’s active end up doing most of the work, often leaving Chum the Waters either irrelevant or overkill. Pulling power from Fizz’s basic spells and loading them into his ultimate makes sure skilled Fizz players can still slip in and take out priority targets, but now gives some room to breathe when he doesn’t line up his shark-bait just right.
Second thing: back in 5.1 we made a change to Fizz’s Urchin Strike where if you flashed before he physically hit with his Q, you could dodge the damage completely. A: our bad for not documenting the change. B: this is definitely a power nerf to Fizz, but it’s one we’re intentionally committing to, if just to give a slight amount more ‘reaction potential’ for his fishy victims. Not a whole lot, but it’s something. We may examine other champions with abilities like this in the future – for the sake of consistency – but it’ll definitely be something we weigh on a case by case basis in relation to their entire kit.
Urchin Strike (Q): DAMAGE
10/40/70/100/130 (+0.6 ability power) magic damage ⇒ 10/25/40/55/70 (+0.3 ability power) magic damage.
Fizz no longer deals damage to the target if they move out of range of Urchin Strike before it completes.
Seastone Trident (W): REMOVED SO THEMATICALLY CONFUSED No longer applies Grievous Wounds.
ACTIVE ON-HIT DAMAGE
10/15/20/25/30 (+0.25 ability power) magic damage ⇒ 10/20/30/40/50 (+0.0 ability power) + 4/5/6/7/8% missing health as magic damage.
PASSIVE DAMAGE OVER 3 SECONDS
30/40/50/60/70 (+0.35 ability power) (+4/5/6/7/8% of target’s missing health) over 3 seconds ⇒ 20/30/40/50/60 (+0.45 ability power) over 3 seconds.
Chum the Waters (R): NEW SHARKS MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER Fizz’s damage against the tagged champion is increased by +20% for 6 seconds. Chum the Waters is not affected by this bonus.
Not much to see here – discovered a bug with the bug (heh) where the cooldown for Kha’Zix’s leap was 2 seconds shorter than intended. That said, this thing’s been live for over a year and Kha’Zix is in a decent place, so we’re erring on his side. Actual value unaffected.
Leap/Evolved Wings (E): KHA’ZIX FIX Fixed a tooltip bug to accurately reflect Leap/Evolved Wings’ cooldown of 22/20/18/16/14 ⇒ 20/18/16/14/12 (actual value unchanged)
Allowing Nidalee to Hunt neutral monsters not only opens up a viable fallback pattern and alternate gold stream for cats finding themselves behind in a game, but also supports the interesting options she can bring to teams as a jungler. There’s a new knife-cat in town. Spear-cat? Spearcat. Stabby spearcat.
Prowl (Passive): NEW LITERAL DEFINITION Nidalee can now also Hunt neutral monsters.
The league’s latest addition is still Rek’ing more than she should in the early-game. Lowering her bases should help keep her from tunneling too hard onto your carries, while increasing the number of knock-ups she gets in a fight allows her to aggressively re-engage against fleeing opponents or defensively peel when on the back foot (Claw? Tendril? Whatever the Xer’Sai have as appendages).
Queen’s Wrath (Q): BASE DAMAGE
15/30/45/60/75 physical damage ⇒ 15/25/35/45/55 physical damage.
Unburrow (W): BASE DAMAGE
60/110/160/210/260 physical damage ⇒ 40/80/120/160/200 physical damage.
ENEMY KNOCKUP IMMUNITY
10 seconds at all ranks ⇒ 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds.
We don’t think anyone picked Sejuani for her top-tier structure destruction capabilities, so we’re fixing a bug she had there.
Flail of the Northern Winds (W): Fixed a bug where Flail of the Northern Winds was dealing (a lot of) bonus damage to structures. We won’t tell you how much. It was a lot.
Simple changes here – as a lot of you Syndra mains have noticed, Scattering the Weak felt a little off in 5.1. Attempting to make Syndra’s stun match her visuals worked a little too well, leaving the skill underperforming in a lot of cases. We’ve toned it back to what feels like a ‘happy-medium.’
Scatter the Weak (E): FATTENED Scatter the Weak’s stun collision has been widened slightly to feel less clunky.
In the 5.1 notes, we mentioned Zed as a good example of what we refer to as a “Healthy Assassin” – but that doesn’t come without its own set of balancing woes. To help bring Zed in line with other champions while preserving his power as a competitive option, we’ve looked toward his strengths outside of pure assassination – in this case, attacking his ability to split-push by lowering his attack speed.
Zed’s pattern of poking from a distance and waiting for the moment to strike is layered with counterplay and complexity. That is, up until his AD items remove the need for his spells, allowing just a few auto-attacks to seal your fate. With a base and scaling attack speed rivaling that of Xin Zhao and Tryndamere, Zed’s auto-attacks were as much a menace to champions as they were to towers. He’ll still be effective in a side-lane due to his strengths in 1-v-1 duels, but taking power here allows us to keep his damage output focused in landing spells and using combos effectively.
BASE ATTACK SPEED
0.658 ⇒ 0.644
ATTACK SPEED GROWTH STAT
3.1 ⇒ 2.1
We’re continuing our comprehensive pass at the game’s older character textures. As with previous installments, our goal is to improve parity with newer releases and make sure everybody looks at home on the newly-updated Rift.
The following skins will be released at various times during patch 5.2:
Full view of the new skins here.
Our initial goal with Deathfire Grasp was to make a “tank-busting” item that could do exactly that: bust down tanks when they’re knocking on the front door. After the introduction of Liandry’s Torment, however, tank-busting was replaced with tank-burning and, instead, Deathfire Grasp became the item for assassins to stack another nuke spell on top of their already burst-heavy kits. While we like to keep itemization options available for those who want it, the sheer existence of Deathfire Grasp has given us a few headaches in the past and present:
1.) Adding Deathfire Grasp to a bursty kit really amps up that “woah what happened to me” moment when someone nukes you from orbit. In the past, when we see mages pick up a DFG to double-down on their burst, we’ve had to balance around that champion which, in turn, makes them even more reliant on DFG to blow people up (or they get changed so much they find an alternative playstyle). Vicious cycle.
2.) Deathfire Grasp also adds a lot more reliability to a mage’s assassination attempts, which means they need to commit less for them. If, for example, Ahri only needs to use one charge of Spirit Rush to nuke her target (with DFG + Q + W), she frees herself to use her other two charges to get back to safety. If we accept this will always happen with DFG, Ahri ends up without a lot of extra ‘power budget’ to do other cool mage-y things like sustained damage or kiting.
As we mentioned in the foreword, we’re looking into champions who will be heavily impacted, but some of our larger projects (Veigar, Katarina, Mordekaiser) have to wait until 5.3. There were also a few mages we haven’t given sorry-we-removed-DFG-changes to, specifically because we examined them and realized they either needed the power reduction that comes with losing DFG or they have access to alternative item paths and won’t be as affected.
Final note, we’re also going to be looking into itemization opportunities for late-game mages, so stay tuned for that in 5.3!
All tier 2 jungle items have been increased by 100 gold, all tier 3 jungle item enchantments have been reduced by 100 gold.
Thus far, jungle items have gotten a little snowbally – particularly for those who can snag a few kills on an early invade to get their upgraded Smite before camps have even spawned.
ALL TIER 2 JUNGLE ITEMS
350 gold ⇒ 450 gold
ALL TIER 3 JUNGLE ENCHANTMENTS Costs for all tier 3 jungle enchantments have been reduced by 100 gold.
As a mid-game component pickup, Aether Wisp is doing pretty well but it doesn’t feel very good to buy early in lane. A price drop should help out when you gotta move fast.
950 gold ⇒ 850 gold.
NO STOREWIDE DISCOUNTS The combine costs of Ardent Censer, Lich Bane, and Twin Shadows have been increased by 100 gold to maintain the same overall cost.
REMOVED 2012-2015 Blackfire Torch has been removed from the game.
Elixir of Iron
SORRY IRELIA Tenacity granted by Elixir of Iron stacks
additively ⇒ multiplicatively. In other words, it gives far less Tenacity the more you have of the stat.
As many of you pointed out with the patch 4.20 defensive changes, buying a Ruby Crystal versus a Giant’s Belt still technically ‘locks’ you into pursuing either Magic Resistance or Armor, respectively. As we still want to support reactionary purchases with defense, this change goes right along with that!
NEW Giant’s Belt now builds from Ruby Crystal.
1000 gold ⇒ 600 gold (total cost remains the same).
After losing out on Deathfire Grasp, some champions might be looking for healthier alternatives (speaking from a holistic game perspective), and Gunblade makes sense for a few of them so… here we are. Yep.
45 ⇒ 40
65 ⇒ 80
12% ⇒ 10%
Rod of Ages
That second change is pretty good for all you tragic misclickers out there.
NEW Rod of Ages will now show the number of stacks it has on the item icon.
FAT FINGERS Rod of Ages will no longer lose stacks when you sell the item and then undo the sale.
FIXED IT Fixed a bug where Stealth Wards were staying visible for too long after being placed.
As the designer puts it, “Complex items means complex bugs.” We’ve gone in and shuffled around Zz’Rot’s coding to cement it as a structure in terms of its interactions with the game (and how it’s interacted with). We also made some extra changes to help this thing settle in both its current use and potential counters.
SAND IMMUNITY Azir soldiers can no longer attack Void Gates.
STURDY PORTALS Void Gates can now be collided against for the purpose of spells (like Poppy’s Heroic Charge).
I’M A PORTAL, NOT A GATE, MAN Targeted movement spells (like Katarina’s Shunpo) no longer work with Zz’Rot Portal.
STRUCTURAL IMMUNITY Attack modifiers that don’t affect structures, like Corki’s Hextech Shrapnel Shells passive, no longer affect Void Gates.
LIKE A VOIDSPAWN SPITTING TURRET When attacking Void Gates, you gain the ability power to structure bonus damage. That is, if 40% of your AP equals to higher than your basic attack damage, you instead deal damage equal to 40% of your ability power.
60 ⇒ 115
40 ⇒ 20
50 ⇒ 40
HEALTH PER LEVEL
20 ⇒ 15
BASE DAMAGE TO MINIONS
20 ⇒ 30
DAMAGE PER LEVEL TO MINIONS
3 ⇒ 2
DAMAGE PER LEVEL TO STRUCTURES
20 ⇒ 10
VOIDSPAWN BONUS Voidspawn gain bonus damage from
50% ⇒ 100% of the summoning champion’s armor and magic resistances.
VOIDSPAWN PARTY! The above Voidspawn bonus is applied to every Voidspawn after the
fourth ⇒ the first and every fourth Voidspawn.
We’re just making some small adjustments to Dragon to reduce exploits and improve his feel.
350 ⇒ 500
ATTACK SPEED Increased (base damage has been reduced so that overall damage-per-second remains the same).
Ranked Team Decay
We’re increasing the window of time that Challenger and Master Tier teams can wait to play before they begin decaying: they now share the same 28-day activity requirement as Platinum and Diamond teams (Gold, Silver and Bronze teams never decay). While a stricter requirement makes sense for solo players who set their own schedules, ranked teams are far more susceptible to conflicts. To be clear, we still want teams to stay active in order to maintain their positions; we just don’t want the requirement to be so strict that it discourages them from trying to reach the top of competitive team play.
CHALLENGER/MASTER TEAM DECAY Teams decay after
10 days ⇒ 28 days of inactivity.
CHALLENGER/MASTER SOLO DECAY Players decay after 10 days of inactivity (unchanged).
Assets for our next Featured Game Mode, Nemesis Draft, are included in 5.2 but we won’t be launching it this patch! Hold tight!
In-Game Audio Settings
Prior to this patch a few of our audio sliders were maxed out by default, so the only way to “raise” them was to lower everything else and then increase your computer’s volume. With 5.2 we’re adding functionality to increase these settings properly – the old 100 is now 75 (so default settings won’t sound any different) and the new 100 is louder. For the sake of consistency we’ve pared a bit off the max of our remaining settings which were set to 50 by default, similarly giving them a numerical default of 75 with no difference to actual volume. Master Volume is the only setting which remains completely unchanged at its historic default of 100.
As part of this change we’ll be wiping all custom audio settings with patch 5.2. Make sure to fiddle with them when you log back in!
THESE SLID UP Default audio volumes for Music, Announcer and Voice are unchanged, but reassigned to
50 ⇒ 75. This means max volume at 100 has decreased.
THESE SLID DOWN Default audio volumes for Sound FX, Ambience and Pings are unchanged, but reassigned to
100 ⇒ 75. This means max volume at 100 has increased.
YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO RE-SLIDE All audio settings will be reset to default when patch 5.2 is released. Remember to readjust your settings!
STOP SAYING SLIDE To summarize, default audio settings in patch 5.2 will sound the same as the default settings in earlier patches, but should be more intuitive to adjust. Max levels have changed.
- (Coming a bit after the initial patch) Fixed a bug where your last-used skin for a champion would appear to be selected, but not actually applied in-game.
- Fixed a bug where you couldn’t see other players’ trinkets if you targeted them by left-clicking.
- Fixed a bug where Phantom Dancer’s minion pass-through buff was working inconsistently.
- Tenacity has been restored as a searchable category in the item shop.
- Fixed particle visibility issues for various abilities on Very Low settings.
- Fixed a clipping issue with Annie’s base splash art.
- Restored Infernal Alistar’s custom fire effects on Q – Pulverize.