League of Legends patch 8.8 was released on April 17. We take a look at the most impactful changes that are going to reshape the current meta!
LeBlanc gets her old kit back
LeBlanc returns to her identity of a swift combo-based assassin! First, she reclaimed her previous passive, so LeBlanc once again goes invisible and clones herself when she falls below 40% health. Next, her Q was changed back to Sigil of Malice. Its damage is roughly the same, but each cast applies a mark that can be detonated with other spells for extra damage.
Abilities like Distortion [W] and Ethereal Chains [E] had their numbers bumped up to make up for the damage loss from the passive change. Finally, Mimic [R] once again casts an empowered version of her previously used basic ability. With that, it will be easier to punish LeBlanc’s mistakes, but she’ll be much deadlier in return.
Ahri also received a new passive. It grants her 20% movement speed every time the nine-tailed fox scores 2 spell hits in quick succession against an enemy champion. Her old spell vamp effect was moved to Orb of Deception [Q], which no longer gives additional movement speed. Fox-Fire [W] priority was also changed to target champions that Ahri tagged with an auto attack or a Charm [E].
Speaking of Charm, Ahri’s E now applies a 20% damage boosts when it damages an enemy champion, which will be great for assassinations. Spirit Rush [R] hits a bit weaker in the early game, though, but it did get more scaling to make for the nerf. These are decent changes, but they don’t give Ahri a clear sense of identity. The nine-tailed fox is still stuck somewhere between a mage and an assassin, and she can’t fulfill either of these roles as well as meta champions.
Irelia got 3 extra points of base armor as well as a minor wave clear buff to Bladesurge [Q]. However, Vanguard’s Edge [R] cooldown was increased, and its damage was reduced by roughly 30%. Theoretically, this should make Irelia more durable in the laning phase at the cost of her late game dominance, but we can’t help thinking that the nerfs to her ult are a bit too much.
There’s no denying that Kai’sa is too strong once she ramps up. Riot addressed this by reducing her health regen and health regen growth to make her even more exploitable in lane. Meanwhile, Icathian Rain [Q] lost around a tenth of its damage on isolated targets. With that, Kai’sa remains a dominant duelist, but her enemies might actually have a chance to escape.
Ryze loses wave clear
Ryze will take a step back from the meta because the mana cost of his Spell Flux [E] was increased by a whopping 50%! At first glance, this doesn’t seem like much. However, wave clear is the main thing high-elo mid laners look for, and Ryze might have a hard time keeping up with the competition.
Sion has less damage
Sion’s Decimating Smash [Q] was changed to deal less damage at early ranks. Now, investing points into Roar of the Slayer [E] will come at the cost of wave clear and all-in power. Sion players will have to give more thought to how which abilities they want to prioritize.
Varus new interaction
The blighted marksman is about to switch up his playstyle! Varus loses a good chunk of attack speed on his passive, and his Blighted Quiver [W] deals less on-hit damage at all ranks. However, the W can now be activated to make the next Piercing Arrow [Q] deal bonus damage equal to a portion of target’s missing health. This is very useful in all-ins. Still, the current 40-second cooldown might be too much to make up for the DPS loss.
Items, Runes & Game Mechanics
Lethal Temp buff
One of the least popular keystone runes—Lethal Tempo—received another buff! Its attack speed went up from 30-80% to 40-110%. Regardless, this won’t be enough to push the rune into the meta until Riot makes it more fluid in combat.
Sweeping Lens removal
Say goodbye to the Sweeping Lens because it’s been completely replaced by Oracle Alteration! That’s right, you can now get the trinket at level 1 for vision control and invade antics. Also, you’ll no longer reset your trinket cooldown to 120 seconds every time you acquire a different trinket, which is a welcome change for most roles.
In case you didn’t know, Homestart is the speed buff you get at the beginning of the game. And it’s about to be very different. First, you can get the effect for 55 seconds while sitting at your fountain, so AFK players won’t be punished as much. More importantly, the buff will fall off once you pass your outer turret, so it’s no longer possible to run into the river at supersonic speed or to use it against invades.
That’s it for top changes of patch 8.8! You can check the complete patch notes here, and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!