The League of Legends patch 9.13 was released on June 25. This might be one of the biggest balance updates yet, as it comes with game-changing buffs, impactful nerfs, a champion release, and even a brand new game mode! So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into the top changes of League of Legends patch 9.13!
New Game Mode: Teamfight Tactics!
That’s right, Riot Games has finally released a new game mode! Teamfight Tactics reuses a number of League of Legends assets like items, champions, and certain abilities, but the gameplay is fundamentally different. We’ve already covered Teamfight Tactics basics in a separate article, but the gist of it is that you will need to draft a team comp, position your champions on the battlefield and watch the action unfold in exciting AI-controlled battles. In short, it’s the League of Legends take on Dota 2’s Auto Chess!
New Champion: Qiyana
Qiyana, the Empress of the Elements might be one of the most low-key releases in the game’s history. However, that doesn’t make it less exciting! Qiyana will hit the Rift on June 29, introducing an entirely new mechanic of element manipulation. That is, the Empress of the Elements will be able to interact with Summoner Rift’s rivers, walls, and brushes to imbue her spells with special effects. And while her abilities are fairly straightforward on their own, it’s the way you manipulate various elements to suit the in-game situation that will decide whether you’re a good Qiyana player or a great one. You can find out more about the Empress of the Element in Qiyana’s champion trailer.
Massive Illaoi Buffs
Brace yourselves because Illaoi buffs are coming! The Kraken Priestess received significant patch 9.13 changes to just about every part of her kit. Her passive gained a 0.4 AP ratio, although the tentacles will now disappear 30 seconds faster if Illaoi leaves the area. Harsh Lesson [W] now deals a minimum of extra 20/30/40/50/60 damage, which also applies to turrets. Meanwhile, Test of Spirit [E] duration no longer goes down each time Illaoi gets damaged by her target, but the duration of both Spirit and Vessel was reduced by 30% and 16% respectively.
Also, tentacles will now hit Illaoi’s target more—roughly 3 times as often at level 13. Last but not least, Leap of Faith [R] will be capable of summoning one extra tentacle, adding more outplay potential to Illaoi’s skirmishing. These are massive buffs to The Kraken Priestess, and we can’t help worrying that League of Legends patch 9.13 might make her too oppressive against melee top laners.
Karma Loses E Move Speed
It seems that recent Karma buffs were a bit too much. Riot Games is toning her down by decreasing the movement speed on Inspire [E] from 2.5 seconds to 1.5 seconds. Granted, the empowered E will still apply 2.5 seconds of movement speed duration, so this nerf won’t affect Karma’s teamfighting presence. But it will definitely make her less oppressive in the early stages of the game.
Pyke Solo Lane Nerfs
It’s clear that Riot doesn’t want solo lane Pyke to be a thing. Bone Skewer [Q] lost its AoE effect, so a quick Q cast will only hit a single nearest unit. To make matters worse, it no longer deals 15% bonus stab damage, and while the cooldown was bumped down at early ranks, this is still a huge nerf to Pyke’s laning phase. If that wasn’t enough, Phantom Undertow [E] no longer deals damage to minions and monsters, so Pyke players will have a hard time manipulating minion waves. Riot tried to soften the blow by adding extra movement speed to Ghostwater Dive [W] (up from 40% to 40/45/50/55/60%), but it’s hard to look at these patch 9.13 changes as anything other than major nerfs.
Sona Scaling Nerfs
It’s no secret that Sona is one of the strongest bot lane picks in pro play. Riot is looking to change that by bumping down Hymn of Valor [Q] AP scaling from 0.3 to 0.2. Song of Celerity [E] also received a hit, as it will grant 50% less movement speed per 100 AP than it used to. These are some much-needed nerfs to an unexpected power pick, as Sona was single-handedly setting the competitive bot lane meta.
The recent nerfs hit Sylas way harder than expected, so Riot Games are adding more power into his kit. For starters, he received slight boosts to base attack damage (up from 58 to 61) and base health growth (up from 85 to 95), which will certainly make him a bit stronger throughout the game. Kingslayer [W] also had its base damage increased by roughly 13% at max rank, and while this won’t turn Sylas into an overwhelming power pick, it will make him more competitive in the solo lanes.
Udyr Gets Ability Management
Udyr gained a new passive effect that allows him to invest one more point into each of his abilities! That’s right, all of his stances can now be leveled up 6 times. With that, Udyr players will get an opportunity to add more power into their preferred stance in the late game, which is great for a champion that used to fall off so hard in teamfights. Keep in mind, though, that this patch 9.13 change only kicks in at level 16, so the general Udyr gameplay will remain unchanged.
Items, Runes, and Gameplay Changes
Essence Reaver Cost and Build Path Nerfs
Essence Reaver once again builds from a B.F. Sword, Caulfield’s Warhammer, and a Cloak of Agility! The total item cost was also increased from 3200 gold to 3300 gold, so marksman players will have a harder time hitting their power spikes ER. These nerfs seek to level the playing field between Essence Reaver and Infinity Edge, as the former was much easier to build than the latter.
Randuin’s Omen Gains Armor
Randuin’s Omen gained 10 extra armor! It’s no secret that this item fell behind some of the other defensive options in the League of Legends shop, so it’s good to see its return. Of course, there’s still a problem of tanks not being playable in the solo lanes, but that’s a matter for a different patch to solve.
Rod of Ages Cost Decrease
Rod of Ages now costs 2600 gold instead of 2700 gold! This might not seem like that big of a deal at first glance, however, this change turns Rod of Ages into one of the most cost-effective items in the game. And if that’s not enough to bring it back into the mid lane meta, we don’t know what is!
That’s it for the top changes of the League of Legends patch 9.13! You can check the complete balance changes in the official patch notes, and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!