The League of Legends patch 9.14 was released on July 16—and it’s a big one! This balance update is stacked with buffs, nerfs, and brand new mechanics that will affect both Solo Queue and competitive meta. With that in mind, here are the top LoL patch 9.14 changes you need to be aware of!

Blitzcrank and Renekton Can Destroy Shields

Blitzcrank and Renekton have gained the ability to destroy enemy shields! The steam-powered golem will now remove any shields on enemies affected by Static Field [R] before dealing damage and applying silence. Meanwhile, Renekton can break through enemy defenses by using Ruthless Predator [W]. Once again, the shield will be negated first, so Ruthless Predator will still deal full damage and stun its intended target.

Kled And Katarina Healing Reduction Buffs

Riot is adding more ways to combat the recent influx of healing in League of Legends. With that, Katarina’s Death Lotus [R] had its healing reduction increased from 40% to 60% healing, making it that much harder to negate her burst in teamfights and skirmishes. More importantly, Kled’s Bear Trap on a Rope [Q] will now reduce healing by 60%, which turns him into a strong counter pick to sustain-heavy top laners like Vladimir and Aatrox.

Fizz And Leona Get Flat Damage Reduction

Fizz and Leona gained flat damage reduction! The Tidal Trickster had his passive—Nimble Fighter—changed to reduce all incoming damage by 4 points. Surprisingly, this might actually be a nerf since his previous passive used to reduce auto-attack damage by up to 14 (scales with levels), so even though Nimble Fighter now affects spells, it’s still a net loss for all the Fizz players out there.

Things aren’t as clear with Leona. Her Eclipse [W] gained flat damage reduction of 8-24 points. However, the W resistances were decreased by 25 at max rank, making Leona a bit less durable in the late game. Overall, this would still be a buff to the radiant initiator if it weren’t for the ultimate change. Solar Flare [R] no longer grants empowered auto attacks, and while that might seem minor, it’s definitely a hit to her all-ins.

Karma, LeBlanc, and Morgana Gain True Sight

Successful tether effects now grant true sight of their target! With that, Karma’s Focused Resolve/Renewal [W], LeBlanc’s Ethereal Chains [E], and Morgana’s Soul Shackles [R] will all reveal their targets as soon as they apply crowd control effects. This is a clear buff, and you can expect Karma, LeBlanc, and Morgana to become potent counter picks to stealthy assassins like Akali and Qiyana.

Anti-Mobility Buffs to Ahri, Cassiopeia, and Poppy

Ahri

Ahri, Cassiopeia, and Poppy have all received buffs of varying degrees that should make them great answers to mobile champions. Ahri’s patch 9.14 change is the most straightforward one, as the Nine-Tailed Fox will now cancel any dashes with Charm [E]. You still need to land the spell, however, which isn’t as easy as it sounds when you’re dealing with a highly mobile assassin or bruiser. On top of that, Charm’s bonus damage duration was reduced by 3 seconds, so Ahri will be less effective in prolonged trades.

Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia received a string of changes to her kit. For starters, she can now buffer her abilities, making her much more responsive to player input. She also saw a number of changes to base stats like health (up from 537 to 575), health growth (up from 87 to 90), mana (down from 418 to 350), mana growth ( up from 31.5 to 40), and armor (down from 25 to 20).

The biggest change, though, is the fact that Miasma [W] no longer has a minimum cast range. And while the maximum cast range was lowered by 100 and the cooldown was changed from 18-16 seconds to 24-12 seconds, it’s still a huge buff to the League’s snake lady. Riot tried to keep Cassiopeia in check by setting the Twin Fangs [E] mana cost at 50, decreasing the E healing by 75% whenever she poisons minions and small monsters, and changing the healing effect from a flat value of 5-22 to 13-25% of her ability power. In the end, though, it’s hard to look at these changes as anything other than buffs.

Poppy

Poppy didn’t see nearly as many buffs as Cassiopeia, but that doesn’t make them any less impactful. Her Steadfast Presence [W] now grounds and slows enemy champions by 25% whenever it cancels a dash or a mobility spell. Moreover, W now applies a 35% movement speed buff (up from 30%), although it only lasts for 2 seconds (down from 2.5 seconds). Overall, we can’t help feeling that this League of Legends patch 9.14 buff will make the hammer-wielding yordle incredibly oppressive against agile champions like Jax and Riven.

Aatrox Lose Ult Revive

Aatrox was once again hit with the nerf bat! His health regen growth was bumped down from 1 to 0.75, making him even less durable in the side lane. Most notably, World Ender [R] no longer grants a Revive effect on takedowns. The revival is, in fact, gone altogether, and the only things Aatrox gets in return are amplified self-healing (up from 40-70% to 50-70%) and lowered R cooldown (down from 140-100 seconds to 120-80 seconds). Aatrox still has the benefit of being a huge teamfighting menace that can sweep through several champions at once, but his players will now have to be more cautious on when to get involved in close-quarters combat.

Akali Kit Changes

The League of Legends patch 9.14 tweaked and changed the entirety of Akali’s kit! Her base magic resist was increased from 32.1 to 37, and her base health growth was bumped up from 85 to 95. Meanwhile, Five Point Strike [Q] gained an extra 0.1 of AP scaling, and Shuriken Flip [E] received a whopping 0.5 of additional AP scaling. Not only that, but the damage numbers on Akali’s E were changed from 70-210 (+0.7 bonus AD) to 40-160 (+0.35 total AD), which should still be a net gain for the Rogue Assassin.

This all comes at the cost of Twilight Shroud [W] and Perfect Execution [R] nerfs. Akali’s W will now grant invisibility instead of obscurity, meaning that she will be revealed by true sight effects. On top of that, the W cooldown and energy restore were set at 20 and 80 respectively, and while the latter value is great for the laning phase, the former number will make it more difficult to navigate late-game teamfights. The R nerfs aren’t as damning. Perfect Execution had its cooldown increased from 100-70 seconds to 120-100 seconds, which shouldn’t be too noticeable overall. Still, Akali players will have a harder time pulling off the stunts they’ve seen in pro play.

Bard Support Buffs

Bard might be one of the most complex, yet least rewarding supports in the game. Things are likely to change, though, as the Wandering Caretaker had his base health increased from 535 to 575. Granted, his health regen was reduced from 7.5 to 5.5 to make up for the change, but it’s still a decent boost to Bard’s laning. Another thing to note is that Magical Journey [E] had its travel speed increased from 800 to 900. Moreover, Bard’s E casts will now provide 33% ally bonus travel speed at all ranks, making it much easier to set up ganks and rotations.

Galio Support Nerfs

Galio has long since become a staple of competitive meta. The LoL patch 9.14 might very well challenge that idea. For starters, Galio lost the cooldown reduction on his passive, and while Riot tried to make up for that by doubling its damage in the late game, this nerf will still prevent the marble gargoyle from spamming its abilities in teamfights.

Moreover, Winds of War [Q] had its cooldown increased from 10-8 seconds to 14-10 seconds. Once again, Riot attempted to soften the blow by adding 10 extra points of base damage at all ranks and decreasing the mana cost from 80-120 to 80-100, and—once again—it’s a nerf to Galio’s damage output.

But the biggest change has to do with Shield of Durand [W]. Galio can no longer use Flash while channeling his W, making his initiations way less reliable than they used to be. To make matters worse, Shield of Durand can now be interrupted by hard crowd control spells. The only upside is that W will now slow its user for 15% instead of 30%, but that’s cold comfort for all the Galio mains out there.

Lux Support Nerfs

It’s no secret that Lux support became one of the most dominant picks in pro play. That’s likely to change, though, as League of Legends patch 9.14 increased the Light Binding [Q] cooldown from 10 seconds at all ranks to 13-9 seconds. Meanwhile, the Q mana cost was set at a flat value of 50 as opposed to 40-60.

Another thing to note is that Prismatic Barrier [W] no longer doubles the outgoing shield on return. The W will also shield for less (down from 150-330 to 100-220) and expire faster (duration down from 3 seconds to 2.5 seconds).

Last but not least, Final Spark [R] no longer refunds a portion of its cooldown whenever it hits a dying enemy champion. And while the R cooldown was decreased by 10 seconds at max rank and the AP ratio was increased by 0.25, it’s still a huge hit to Lux support player. This isn’t a death sentence to Lux altogether, though, as mid lane mains will definitely appreciate some of these changes.

Battle Academia Yuumi Splash

Pyke Gets Some Power Back

The nerfs that were aimed at top lane Pyke have also influenced his performance in the support position. So much so that Riot wants to give the Bloodharbor Ripper some love. With that, Phantom Undertow [E] will once again stun minions and monsters, although it won’t deal any damage to them.

On top of that, Death From Below [R] will now grant Pyke one piece of “Your Cut” whenever he kills the target and two pieces of “Your Cut” whenever the deed is done by one of his teammates. It’s worth noting that Pyke’s R will deal 50% less damage to surviving enemies, so it’s much more important to time your executions.

Swain Playstyle Changes

Swain received a lot of changes in League of Legends patch 9.14. First, the Noxian Grand General no longer lives and dies by his Ravenous Flock passive! Gathering Soul Fragments no longer affects Demonflare [R2], but it increases Swain’s maximum health by 5 and restores 4/5.5/7% of Swain’s mana per Soul Fragment collected.

This has also facilitated changes to the rest of his kit. For example, killing a foe with Death’s Hand [Q] no longer restores 3% of Swain’s maximum mana. However, Swain’s Q casts now go through minions and only stop whenever they hit enemy champions. Death’s Hand also has a longer cooldown (up from 7.5-2.5 seconds to 10-4 seconds) and lower range (down from 725 to 625).

The ultimate saw a number of changes too. For starters, Demonic Ascension [R1] now costs 100 mana, grants 125-275 health (+5 per Soul Fragment), and drains all enemy units within its range. Demonflare [R2] can be cast immediately regardless of how much health Swain restores. The R2 was also changed to deal a minimum of 100-200 damage and a maximum of 200-400 damage (based on 75% of health Swain drained during R1).

Sylas… Buffs?

You’ve heard it right, Sylas has received some buffs to his kit. His passive—Petricite Burstnow deals 50% of damage to minions instead of 30% like it used to. Additionally, Chain Lash [Q] deals 45-145 damage (+0.6 AP) instead of 40-120 damage (+0.4 AP). If that wasn’t enough, Abscond/Abduct [E] once again grants Sylas a shield on first cast, although it only protects him from magic damage. The E cooldown was also set at 14 seconds at all ranks, and while the stun duration was lowered from 0.5 seconds to 0.35 seconds, it’s still a good change for all the Sylas players out there.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Hijack [R] saw a number of nerfs to its cast range (down from 1050 to 950), ultimate hold duration (down from 120 seconds to 90 seconds), and cooldown (up from 85-15 seconds to 100-60 seconds), which is a huge hit to Sylas’s teamfighting. And while the scaling was increased slightly, this nerf will still sting in the late game.

Tahm Kench Gets Gutted

Looks like League of Legends patch 9.14 is the end of the line for everyone’s favorite tadpole! Tahm Kench’s passive—Acquired Taste—no longer deals bonus damage based on stacks or interacts with his abilities. That’s right, Tahm can not apply stacks with spells! If that wasn’t enough, Tongue Lash [Q] comes with a longer cooldown (up from 8-4 seconds to 8-6 seconds), weaker slow (down from 50-70% to 30-50%), and a brand new interaction that consumes all the passive stacks whenever Tahm stuns his target. Granted, the slow and stun duration were increased by 1 second and 0.5 seconds respectively, but this is still a huge blow to Tahm Kench’s crowd control.

Devour/Regurgitate [W] also received a hit. First, opposing champions are no longer nearsighted while Devoured by Tahm Kench. Second, enemies won’t get stunned whenever Tahm Regurgitates them out of his belly. Finally, the maximum monster damage is now set at 500 (changed from 400-600), and while Tahm Kench can now W blue buff and red buff camps, these changes are a significant hit to his damage output.

The final nerf concerns Thick Skin [E]. Now, Tahm Kench will only convert 45-65% of damage taken into grey health (down from 80-100%). The good news is that he will heal 75% of grey health at all ranks (up from 20-40%). He will also be able to re-cast the ability twice as fast once the Thick Skin shield is broken, but in the end, a weaker shield doesn’t bode well for Tahm Kench’s survivability in teamfights.

Yuumi Nerfs

There are finally ways to punish Yuumi players! Her passive—Bop ‘n’ Block—now applies a weaker shield in the early game (down from 80-300 to 50-300). It also no longer restores mana whenever she hits a champion with an empowered auto attack, so Yuumi players will have a harder time navigating the laning phase. Moreover, Prowling Projectile [Q[ lost 10 base damage, but gained 15 extra mana cost at all ranks.

There is some light at the end of this tunnel, though. Zoomies! [E] will now restore up to 130% health based on target’s missing health. The spell will also cost 30-70 mana instead of 60-100 mana, so Yuumi players will be a bit better at protecting their allies. Even so, the early game often revolves around damage, meaning that this is still a nerf to the magical cat.

That’s it for the top changes of the League of Legends patch 9.14! You can check the complete patch notes here, and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!