Neeko-Buffs-Patch-9.6

The League of Legends patch 9.6 came out on March 19. This balance update will set the stage for the first playoffs matches in the LCS and LEC, so even discreet buffs and nerfs can reshape the competitive meta. With that in mind, here are some top changes of patch 9.6 that you need to know about!

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LoL Champions Patch 9.6

Kayle Tweaks

Despite her shaky early game, the reworked Kayle proved much stronger than expected. Some of her abilities felt sluggish to use, though, so Riot removed the cast time on Celestial Blessing [W] and Starfire Spellblade [E]. Moreover, Kayle’s W no longer disarms her for 1 second, although it doesn’t scale as well into the late game. Riot also tuned down Kayle’s attack damage growth (from 3 to 2.5) and attack speed growth (from 2 to 1.5) and changed her default adaptive force type from AP to AD. Scaling nerfs won’t be that noticeable on a hypercarry like Kayle, and the angelic warrior will benefit a lot from the patch 9.6 changes.

Neeko buffs?

The on-hit Neeko came out of nowhere and quickly turned into a power pick. Riot initially overreacted to this by gutting her Shapesplitter [W] on-hit damage as well as her attack damage and attack speed growth stats with a quick hotfix update. However, they decided to bring back some power into her kit by bumping up Neeko’s attack speed growth from 1.5% to 2.5%. That said, they also fixed a bug where her W proceed twice in a row at high attack speed, so it remains to be seen whether on-hit Neeko will make her comeback.

Urgot Becomes an AD Bruiser

Urgot saw so many changes on patch 9.6 that he might as well be a brand new champion! For starters, his mana pool was increased from 300 to 340 and his mana regen growth was bumped up from 0.6 to 0.8. Moreover, his passive no longer deals reduced damage to enemies hit in the last 5 seconds, making it much better for trading and bursting down priority targets.
Purge [W] has a much lower cooldown (from 17/15/13/11/9 to 12/9/6/3/0), mana cost (from 60 to 40/30/20/10/0), and damage reduction (from 66% to 50%). Additionally, its shield was moved to Disdain [E]. Urgot’s E also had its damage increased from 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.5 total AD scaling) to 90/120/150/180/210 (+1.0 bonus AD scaling), but its mana cost went up from 50 to 50/60/70/80/90. Last but not least, Fear Beyond Death [R] now has 900 more range and deals 75 more damage at max rank.
That’s a lot of numbers, but the gist of it is that Urgot went from a tank to an AD bruiser. Stacking defensive items will no longer be optimal on him, and we might see Urgot mains incorporating more AD purchases into their builds other than a single Black Cleaver.

Mega Gnar Gets More CC

The cooldown on Mega Gnar’s Wallop [W] was decreased from 15/13/11/9/7 seconds to 7 seconds at all ranks! This is a fairly simple buff compared to the changes above, but considering Gnar already received some love in the previous patches, it might be the final push that turns the prehistoric yordle into a new top laner power pick.

Jayce Base Stats Nerfs

Few champions take over the laning phase as well as Jayce. Riot is looking to decrease his lane presence by nerfing his durability. With that, they hit Jayce’s health (down from 576 to 560), health growth (down from 95 to 90), health regen (down from 7.5 to 6), and health regen growth (down from 0.8 to 0.6). None of these nerfs are severe on their own, but together they make the Piltover’s inventor more fragile at all stages of the game.

Tank Nautilus Buffs

Riot keeps trying to bring Nautilus back! The Titan of the Depths had his base armor increased from 35.5 to 39, making him even tankier in the laning phase. Meanwhile, the cooldown on his passive was reduced from 9/8/7/6 seconds to 6 seconds at all levels, so the champion will have even more reliable CC at his disposal. These patch 9.6 changes won’t help Nautilus regain his footing in the top lane, but they will make him more viable in the support position.

Rek’Sai Ult Nerf

Rek’Sai went from a complete non-factor to one of the best junglers in the game—and her undodgeable ultimate was a huge reason behind it. With that, Riot increased the cooldown on Void Rush [R] from 100/80/60 seconds to 100/90/80 seconds. They also bumped down the AD ratio on the spell from 2.0 bonus attack damage to 1.75 bonus attack damage, but it’s clear Rek’Sai will still hit like a truck after the changes.

Sylas Healing Nerfs

Sylas might’ve had a rough start in pro play, but now it’s clear that this champion can be downright overwhelming in the right hands. One of his greatest assets is the Kingslayer [W] healing that makes him deceptively tanky in teamfights and skirmish. Riot is addressing this by decreasing its healing from 200% to 175% when below 40% health. They’ve also reduced the W ability power ratio from 0.45 to 0.40. These are decent nerfs to Sylas’s survivability, but they’re not nearly enough to push him out of the meta.

Xayah Gains Attack Speed

Xayah received some love from the balance team, as Deadly Plumage [W] now increases her attack speed by 40/50/60/70/80% instead of 30/35/40/45/50%. This is a sizeable buff to Xayah’s late game, but we can’t help wondering whether she even needed such a strong attack speed boost in the first place. After all, plenty of other marksmen are in a much rouger spot balance-wise.

Zoe E Nerfs

The bane of the mid lane—Zoe—was hit with another nerf! Sleepy Trouble Bubble [E] had its cooldown increased from 16/15/14/13/12 seconds to 20/18.5/17/15.5/14 seconds. Moreover, Zoe’s E will only slow you by 30% at max rank, which is 20% less than before. Zoe’s kit is too powerful to get completely pushed out of the meta, but this patch 9.6 change will make her harder to execute on a high level.

Items, Runes, and Gameplay Changes

Tear of the Goddess Items Are Unique
You can no longer purchase more than one Tear of the Goddess item! That’s right, it’s now impossible to carry a Manamune and an Archangel’s Staff in your inventory at the same time, which is a huge hit to the most common Ezreal build. This will likely push Ezreal mains towards the Trinity Force and Blade of the Ruined King build path, making them more effective against tanks and less effective against squishies.

Minion Dematerializer Gets Gutted

It’s no secret that Minion Dematerializer was one of the strongest runes in pro play. After all, it’s hard to pass up on the ability to manipulate waves and get faster recall timings in a competitive setting. Things are about to change, as Minion Dematerializer now holds 3 charges instead of 6! Granted, the cooldown between charges is 60 seconds lower and every charge gives 2% more base and additional damage bonus to your chosen minion type, but that doesn’t even begin to make up for the lost charges.

Bounty Changes

One of the biggest patch 9.6 changes has to do with the bounties. Minion and monster gold bounties will now increase by 50 per every 200 (as opposed to 150) minion and monster gold you have over the enemy team’s gold average. If that wasn’t enough, minion and monster bounties will now fall off if you lose your initial advantage. Keep in mind that the support item gold now contributes to minion and monster gold averages, so the bounty formula is a bit different. Finally, the way bounties are displayed on the scoreboard was changed from “kill + bounty” to “bounty only”, so don’t be surprised if the values appear much lower after this balance update.

That’s it for the top changes of the League of Legends patch 9.6! You can check the complete patch notes here and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!