Riot Pwyff here with the first update of 2014! Since this is the beginning of a new year, we’re rolling over our patch numbering from 3.x to 4.x. Aside from getting that +1, our general design philosophy for the new season isn’t changing. We’re still closely watching the state of the game as it evolves with the preseason, and this update is just another step down that path.
The general theme of patch 4.1 is more refinement and tuning. We’re in the process of de-fogging more of those outliers like Shyvana, Riven and Annie. That said, now that the dust has settled we can also take another look at modernizing certain items (the Spirit line of jungle items, for example) and systems (2v1 lane swaps).
Quick note, any text in red will be myself guiding you through some of our changes and our thought process behind them. On with the patch notes!
The 2014 ranked season reset will take place within the next few days. We’ll have a full list of changes in the patch notes when it happens.
While these changes won’t be immediately noticeable at first, you should see some positive differences over time with vision becoming more dynamic and responsive. These changes let us do more with vision while tackling larger issues in 2014. No promises for now as to what timelines we’ll be hitting with our updates, but hopefully you’ll be able to see the difference.
Summary: We’ve increased the speed of Anivia’s basic attack projectile and brought down the mana cost of Flash Frost and Crystallize. Additionally, Anivia’s ult will now have a warning effect when she is almost out of Glacial Storm’s range.
We call these kinds of changes “modernizations,” where we bring a champion up-to-date with the current state of the game. Usually this means mana cost changes (typically reductions), but it also extends to playability improvements, like range indicators or gameplay improvements.
Q - Flash Frost
W – Crystalize
R - Glacial Storm
Summary: Pyromania’s stun duration is now shorter at earlier levels but Summon: Tibbers’ cooldown has been reduced at later levels to compensate.
Annie’s a terrifying kid to play against in the early phases of the game – even before Tibbers joins the party– mostly due to her long duration stun at level 1. With these changes, we want to give Annie’s lane opponents some more room to breathe against her early threat, but we’ve given Tibbers more late game playtime to compensate. This should lessen a bit of Annie’s power without incinerating her overall strengths.
Passive - Pyromania
R - Summon Tibbers
Summary: We’ve slowed down Hate Spike’s missile speed, changed Ravage’s damage from magical to physical and Agony’s Embrace now grants its shield instantly.
Evelynn’s newfound strength in the preseason is partially a result of our changes to the vision system, but she’s also been blowing up enemy champions during the mid-game when she can stack Magic Penetration. Changing Ravage’s damage to physical will reduce some of Evelynn’s burst, but our core focus is on the Hate Spike change. By reducing its missile speed, Evelynn’s victims should feel more rewarded for keeping her at a distance, especially if they have some speed boosts to outrange her spikes. We also cleaned up the response time of Agony’s Embrace – it feels pretty bad for Evelynn to die before the shield but after the cast.
Q - Hate Spike
E - Ravage
R - Agony's Embrace
Summary: Monsoon now channels immediately on activation and the channel duration has been reduced. Additionally, we’re increasing Monsoon’s heal per second and total heal amount.
Since we removed a lot of Janna’s invisible power, we can now buff up some of the cooler parts of her kit. Since Monsoon is one of Janna’s big moments in the spotlight, we decided to throw caution to the wind and buff her up with more healing potential and immediate gains.
R - Monsoon
Summary: We’ve lowered Jinx’s base health but increased her health per level. We’re also standardizing Flame Chompers! arm time, reduced its damage at earlier levels and fixing a slight bug.
Given all of Jinx’s other core strengths; we’re looking to reduce some of her early game laning power.
Despite Flame Chompers! taking a little longer to arm – and doing less damage at early levels – Jinx can at least get excited about their increased reliability against champions who could use movement-based abilities to get over them (Vi, Lee Sin, etc).
E - Flame Chompers!
Summary: We’re reducing Wither’s range and removing the increased Wither and Spirit Fire range granted through Fury of the Sands.
We want to keep Nasus’ core strengths where they are while toning down some of his power. Reducing the cast range of Wither and removing Wither’s bonus cast range from Fury of the Sands means that Nasus must position better and make better decisions about which target to Wither, rather than “sniping” fragile opponents with long-range Withers before eating them.
W - Wither
R - Fury of the Sands
Summary: We fixed a bunch of bugs in Savagery and tweaked Empowered Battle Roar.
Rengar’s overall sustain with Empowered Battle Roar is incredibly high, especially because he can transition from a tank in the mid-game to an unseen predator in the late-game. While this is definitely a nerf to Rengar’s overall sustain, we wanted to maintain his ability to survive in a fight, so the scaling heal will remain a good choice when Rengar’s low on health. The Savagery change means that Rengar now has two seconds to pull off his empowered basic attack instead of six seconds.
Q – Savagery
W - Battle Roar
Summary: We lowered Riven’s base attack damage but increased her attack damage per level to compensate. Additionally, Broken Wings’ damage has been decreased and Valor’s shield duration was shortened.
Riven’s burst damage is just too high at early levels, so we’re dulling her blade. Broken Wings scaling off total AD from bonus AD means that Riven will do better when she’s behind (because she won’t be able to buy so much raw AD), but worse when she’s far ahead. We’re reducing the duration of Valor to hit some of Riven’s flexibility in lane – if she’s going to rely on Valor’s shield to trade damage, she’ll need to commit quickly or risk losing the shield.
Q - Broken Wings
E - Valor
Summary: We’re lowering Burnout’s overall damage and Flame Breath’s damage at earlier levels. Dragon’s Descent also received a bug fix and the damage now matches the tooltip.
Shyvana’s doing a lot of damage in the early to mid-game, even when she builds tanky. It turns out that when Shyvana can push, wave clear and out-trade opponents all at once, things can get a little frustrating. We’re cooling some of that dragon blood down to make her early bullying more manageable.
W - Burnout
E - Flame Breath
R - Dragon's Descent
Summary: We made it more obvious that Dark Passage is a clickable item and gave it a small collision radius. We’re also slightly increasing the time it takes for The Box to form.
Giving Thresh’s lantern a small collision radius means that he can’t cover things like minions or wards to prevent enemies from clicking them. Similarly, this also means that minions can’t accidentally cover up a lantern, and that enemies can’t block Thresh’s lantern with a bunch of wards. Instead, Thresh’s lantern will now slightly push units out of the way when it’s thrown on top of them – or if the unit can’t be moved (ie: wards or champions), Thresh’s lantern will land beside them and champions won’t be able to walk directly on top of it. Click that lantern!
The increased delay on The Box’s wall formation is to clarify its use as a trapping ability when Thresh has the right position. Sometimes Thresh will just throw out The Box when walking behind a fleeing opponent to “clip” them on the edge, but Thresh should fail in those situations because he didn’t bother to have the proper positioning.
W - Dark Passage
R - The Box
Summary: We’ve smoothed out Yasuo’s gameplay overall and made Steel Tempest auto-smartcast. Additionally, Last Breath now gives maximum Flow when cast and has a slightly shortened animation.
While we’re still keeping an eye on how Yasuo is performing at all levels, we wanted to smooth out his gameplay and give Last Breath more use to turn around a fight when he’s behind.
Q – Steel Tempest
W – Wind Wall
R – Last Breath
R – Ace in the Hole
R – Noxian Guillotine
This is a change we’re planning to make with more testing, but it went out accidentally and we’re reverting it for now.
Q - Terrify
R – Blade Waltz
W – Spirit of Dread
Passive – Martial Cadence
R – Final Spark
R – Nether Grasp
R – Tidal Wave
W - Bushwhack
Q – Undertow
E – Cutthroat
Q – Wild Cards
The cooldown reduction for Spirit Visage is to reduce its high gold efficiency for almost all tanky champions, especially since many were just buying Spirit Visage as part of their “core” tank build, regardless of the enemy team composition.
This change is to reduce the overwhelming power of early Sunfire Capes.
We really like Spirit of the Spectral Wraith’s healing passive, so we decided to make it a staple passive on every Spirit item.
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
Spirit of the Elder Lizard
These changes are for Summoner’s Rift only
With these changes, we want to tackle the 2v1 lane swaps that many competitive teams have adopted in order to shut down enemy laners while also taking quick objectives. Initiating a 2v1 lane swap to shut down an opponent should have inherent risks, like leaving your bottom tower vulnerable to early pushes.
These changes are for Crystal Scar and Twisted Treeline only
Much like when we removed Needlessly Large Rod from Twisted Treeline and Crystal Scar (due to its high cost in a faster game mode), we’re doing the same with B.F. Sword while reintroducing items with alternative build paths. Lord Van Damm’s Pillager has the exact same stats and total cost as Infinity Edge, but is easier to build up over time.
Lord Van Damm's Pillager
These changes are for Crystal Scar and Howling Abyss only
These changes are for Crystal Scar, Howling Abyss and Twisted Treeline only
Grez's Spectral Lantern
We’ve introduced a stable roster of free champions for new players to play. Our goal is to improve the way players learn to play League of Legends when they’re first starting out. These champions were picked because of how easy they can be learned and how enjoyable most new players find them.
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