League of Legends patch 8.23 came out on November 20. This is the first patch of the preseason, so expect massive buffs and nerfs that will set the foundation for the 2019 meta. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top changes of patch 8.23!
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Ezreal W and R Changes
Ezreal hasn’t been doing too hot since his rework. Fortunately, things are about to get a bit better for all the Prodigal Explorer fans out there, as he’s gotten 25 more base damage at the max rank of Essence Flux [W]. Moreover, his W now scales better with ability power, so you can expect a couple of off-meta Ezreal builds to come up during this patch.
What’s more interesting is the change to Trueshot Barrage [R]. Now, Ezreal’s ultimate deals 50% damage to monsters and minions, however, its damage doesn’t fall off per every enemy hit. This means that sniping champions with ultimates will be a bit easier, although the same doesn’t apply to clearing minion waves. And while these buffs won’t redefine the Prodigal Explorer as a champion, they should bump up his win rate in Solo Queue.
Lissandra Gets New Passive And Lower Mana Costs
Lissandra finally got a new passive! Now, anytime an enemy dies next to her, she will summon a Frozen Thrall that will seek out nearby opponents and slow their movement speed by 25%. Once a few seconds pass, a Frozen Thrall explodes, dealing 120-520 magic damage (depending on level) in a small area.
Keep in mind that the old passive is gone, and while it wasn’t very useful, its removal will make Lissandra a more mana-hungry champion. To make up for the change, Riot slightly decreased Ice Witch’s mana costs on Ice Shard [Q] and Ring of Frost [W]. Also, Lissandra’s Glacial Path [E] claw will be a bit faster after the initial cast, although the projectile speed will deteriorate with time, and Frozen Tomb [R] lost 0.1 points of ability scaling. These changes sound great on paper, but the big question is how reliable is Lissandra’s passive in teamfights. After all, a late-game skirmish rarely—if ever—involves monsters and minions, so Lissandra will have to get her Frozen Thralls from the dead bodies of enemy champions.
Taliyah Gets Rapid-Fire Qs
The cooldown of Threaded Volley [Q] was reduced from 11/9/7/5/3 seconds to 7/6/5/4/3 seconds! Additionally, the mana cost is now 10 points lower, and Worked Ground disappears after 45 seconds, so Taliyah players will have more room to cast their spells in the laning phase.
This change does come with a nerf, though, and multi-hits from Threaded Volleys will deal 50% less damage to all targets as opposed to champions only. At first glance, this seems to incentivize playing Taliyah in the mid lane. The problem with that, though, is that her wave clear will be even worse than it was prior to patch 8.23, so the Stoneweaver will likely remain in the jungle.
Doran’s Shield Nerf
Let’s face it, Doran’s Shield became way too reliable in the early game. Riot is addressing this issue by changing the item’ passive from regeneration a flat amount of 20 health points regeneration every time you get hit by an enemy champion to a scaling value. Now, Doran’s Shield can regenerate you up to 30 health points per proc, but the actual number will depend on your missing health. The regeneration cap is at 25% missing health, though, which might be a bit on the lower end.
Guinsoo’s Ragebalde Changes
Guinsoo’s Rageblade had its cost reduced from 3300 gold to 3100 gold. Additionally, its on-hit damage was tripled, but the procs lost all types of scaling. Guinsoo’s Rageblade also grants 6.5-15% total armor and magic penetration, although that came at the cost of bonus attack damage and ability power from passive stacks. With that, Rageblade becomes a perfect purchase on champions that want attack speed, but don’t really care about how hard their attacks hit. So, for instance, Kai’sa might no longer want this item in her arsenal, but Kayle will love it even more.
Gold Funnels Are Back?
Jungle items no longer come with a passive that reduces your income from lane minions if you have the highest CS on your team. With that, it’s once again possible to run gold funnels in competitive play. Keep in mind, though, that patch 8.23 introduced other changes that might make this tactic suboptimal.
Riot seem intent on enabling more skirmishes, so they’re nerfing vision even more. Now, a single player can only carry a total of 2 Control Wards, and wards from the Warding Totem last 90-120 seconds instead of 90-180 seconds. Our biggest worry is that these nerfs give too much power to junglers, which will be especially noticeable in Solo Queue, however, if you’re a fan of chaotic games, this change should be right up your alley.
Say Hello to Turret Plating
Riot is prolonging the laning phase by introducing turret plating! The gist of this mechanic is that each outer turret starts the game with 5 plates that grant it extra armor and magic resist. Dealing 1000 damage to an outer turret will break one of the plates, providing 160 gold to nearby champions and further increasing the turret’s resistances. Also, the moment a plate is destroyed, a turret will get a 20-second Bulwark effect that gives it 25 armor and magic resist for each nearby enemy champion. Turret plates automatically fall off at the 14-minute mark, and the game continues as usual.
Furthermore, the First Brick gold bonus was cut in half to make up for the influx of gold from turret plates. Turrets also received a bunch of stats buffs that will make them deal more damage as the game progresses, so tower diving will be a bit harder than it used to be.
The best thing about this change is that it simultaneously promotes aggressive laning and preserves passive playstyles. Most players will be eager to tear off turret plates and get extra gold into their pockets. However, weak laners won’t feel as bad for dying in the early game since a single death won’t cost them their turret. It remains to be seen how turret plating affects pro play, but we’re already excited for this change.
It’s no secret that ending a game of League of Legends is pretty challenging without a Baron buff. Well, Riot’s about to make it a whole lot easier because all minions will have 8-30% health more depending on their type. Moreover, cannon waves will spawn more frequently in the later stages of the game. This should make it easier to siege enemy structures without Baron, but it can also enable scaling comps to set up easy freezes thanks to the extra cannon minions.
Epic Monster Changes
The respawn timers on epic monsters were reduced! Now, Elemental Drakes spawn every 5 minutes, and Baron and Elder dragon spawn every 6 minutes. This already creates more incentives for teams to fight for objectives—but wait, there’s more!
Early Elemental Drakes now bring more value to the table. For instance, Infernal Drakes provide 10/17/24% extra AD and AP instead of 8/16/24%, Mountain Drakes grant 16/23/30% extra damage to structures and epic monsters instead of 10/20/30%, Ocean Drakes regenerate 6/9/12% missing health out of combat instead of 4/8/12%, and Cloud Drakes grant 3/4.5/6% extra movement speed (tripled out of combat) instead of 2/4/6%. It’s worth mentioning that the first drake now spawns at the 5-minute mark, so junglers will have a harder time sneaking the objective in the early game.
Jungle Experience Nerfs
Jungle monsters grant roughly 10% less experience in the later stages of the game! This seems to be Riot’s way of decreasing jungler agency to make up for a longer laning phase and the rising value of objectives. However, this isn’t likely to affect the initial clear, which is exactly where junglers are at their strongest.
Gold bounties just keep getting larger and larger! The reward for killing someone on a 4+ kill streak has gotten even bigger, so teams will have more reasons to skirmish. Moreover, players that CS well will have extra gold bounties on their head if they outfarm their opponents by a sizeable margin. We can’t help thinking this bounty inflation is getting a bit out of hand, as it genuinely feels bad to get punished for doing well. It’s also worth noting that the minimum kill gold was increased to 100, so losing players will be more detrimental to their teams.
Teleport Can’t Be Canceled
Yeap, you heard it right. The teleport summoner spell can no longer be canceled, so every time you cast it, you’ll be committed to a one-way trip to the opposite part of the map. The channel duration was reduced from 4.5 seconds to 4 seconds, so at least you will get to your destination faster, but this is still a massive nerf to all teleport users.
You Can Pick Your Stats
Stats bonuses are no longer tied to your rune path. The way it works is that three rows have been added to the runes path pages, and you will be able to pick one stat bonus from each row. The bonuses include:
1. 6 AD/10 AP, 9% attack speed, or 1-10% cooldown reduction (scales with levels).
2. 6 AD/10 AP, 5 armor, or 6 magic resist.
3. 15-90 health (scales with level0, 5 armor, or 6 magic resist.
Expect a lot of chaos in the short-term since this is basically the return of the old rune system. Still, anything that lets players customize their gameplay is a good thing in our book, so this change is definitely a welcome one.
Dark Harvest Rework
Dark Harvest now only procs against champions below 50% health. However, you don’t need to collect a soul to activate the keystone, and the rune will now proc on any source of damage instead of just auto attacks. Luckily, monsters and minions no longer grant souls, so Dark Harvest will be somewhat kept in check, but this is still a great option for bruisers and assassins.
New Rune: Shield Bash
Shield Bash is a new minor rune in the Resolve tree. The way it works is that self-shielding champions will gain 1-10 bonus armor and magic resist (scales with levels) and deal 4-21 + 8.5% of the shield’s strength + 1.5% bonus health extra damage on their next auto attack. This rune seems ridiculously good for certain tanks, and we can already see champions like Nautilus abusing the hell out of it.
Overgrowth, Bone Plating, and Chrysalis Changes
Overgrowth was changed to grant +3 health (instead of +0.2% max health) per 8 nearby minion or monster death. Also, you will gain an extra 2.5% max health at 120 minion and monster deaths. Bone Plating now lasts for 1.5 seconds instead of 3 seconds, and it also blocks 10 more damage at all stages of the game. Most importantly, it was moved from row 1 to row 2, so tanks will be able to take it together with the new Shield Bash rune. Finally, Chrysalis was removed from the game, so aggressive champions have fewer incentives to take the Resolve path.
Kleptomancy received a massive buff that makes it viable on champions other than Ezreal! Now, every time you cast an ability, the keystone procs on the next two auto attacks rather than one. This has huge implications for unorthodox champions like Vayne top, and it’s definitely a good way to make the rune more popular. Keep in mind that Kleptomancy will no longer grant wards after the 20-minute mark to keep it in tune with overall vision changes.
That’s it for the top changes of the League of Legends patch 8.23! You can check the complete patch notes here, and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!