The League of Legends patch 9.7 was released on April 2. It might seem minor at first glance, but some of the buffs and nerfs to items, runes, and staple meta champions will definitely affect pro play and Solo Queue. Join us as we break down the top changes of patch 9.7!
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LoL Champions Patch 9.7
Despite Riot’s best efforts to put Kayle in a good spot with minor tweaks and changes, the angelic warrior remained a massive threat in the solo lanes. With that, Riot finally decided to bring out the nerf bat. Kayle’s base health regen was decreased from 6 to 5 and her base armor growth was bumped down from 3.5 to 3. On top of that, Radiant Blast [Q] now costs 10 more mana at all ranks. Celestial Blessing [W] also had its mana cost adjusted from 70/75/80/85/90 to 60/70/80/90/100.
If that wasn’t enough, Kayle’s W now applies a slightly weaker movement speed buff (10% lower at max rank) and her E now deals less damage based on target’s missing health (4% lower at max rank). That said, the latter spell did get some AP scaling to make up for the nerf. Overall, these nerfs should keep Kayle in line with other meta solo laners.
It seems Urgot was a little too effective as an AD bruiser. The League of Legends patch 9.7 addresses this by reducing his passive damage from 2/3/4/6/8% to 2/3/4/5/6% of target’s maximum health. Moreover, Disdain [E] had its mana cost bumped up by 10 at all ranks, and its cooldown was increased by a couple of seconds at early ranks, making the dash less reliable in the laning phase. Finally, Fear Beyond Death [R] had 25 damage shaved off at all ranks. None of these nerfs will make Urgot unplayable, but they will make him less oppressive in the early stages of the game.
Dr. Mundo Becomes Dr. Damage
The Mundo buffs just keep coming! This time, the Infected Cleaver [Q] damage was raised by a whopping 5% of target’s current health at all ranks. On top of that, Masochism [E] will grant 10 more minimum AD and 20 more maximum AD at all ranks. Dr. Mundo was already in a decent spot against heavy AP comps, but these buffs will make him downright oppressive against tanks and immobile top laners.
Garen Gets a Permanent W
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Garen’s name in the patch notes! The 9.7 patch fixes that by increasing Courage [W] passive resistances by 0.33 per stack as opposed to 0.25 per stack. The spell’s cooldown was also reduced from 24/23/22/21/20 seconds to 23/21/19/17/15 seconds, and while the duration was lowered by 1 second at max rank, this effectively means that Garen players will be able to keep up a permanent Courage buff if they get 40% CDR in the late game. Of course, there are still many questions regarding Garen’s viability in pro play, but he will be a terror in Solo Queue.
Lissandra Gets Another Hit to Her Wave Clear
The cooldown on Lissandra’s Ice Shard [Q] was increased from 6/5.25/4.5/3.75/3 seconds to 10/8.5/7/5.5/4 seconds. The Ice Witch was already on her way out, but such a huge nerf to her main trading ability might be the final nail in the coffin. It’s not all bad, though. Lissandra’s presence was stifling the mid lane meta, and now that she’s gone, more champions will pop up to take her place.
It’s been a long time since Pyke got some love from the balance team. Patch 9.7 addresses this by decreasing the Bone Skewer [Q] cooldown from 16/14/12/10/8 seconds to 14/12.5/11/9.5/8 seconds. On top of that, Phantom Undertow [E] now stuns for 1.25 seconds instead of 1.10 seconds, and while that doesn’t sound huge even the smallest of margins can be the difference between winning and losing.
Rumble is set to make a triumphant comeback! Scrap Shield [W] was changed to grant him a stronger movement speed buff (10% more at max rank), making him more agile throughout the game. The Equalizer [R] cooldown was also reduced from 110/100/90 seconds to 100/80/70 seconds at all ranks, so Rumble players will be able to look for more ultimates in the later stages of the game.
Sylas Settles Down
It’s no secret that Sylas is one of the most dominant picks in pro play. Riot is finally taking action by reducing his base health regen from 9.5 to 7.5. On top of that, Sylas’s Kingslayer [W] now deals 30 less damage on usual casts and 45 less damage on empowered casts at max rank. Finally, Abscond/Abduct [E] had its cooldown increased from 12/11.5/11/10.5/10 seconds to 18/16/14/12/10 seconds. Sylas’s kit is way too good for these nerfs to push him out of the meta, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Items, Runes, and Gameplay Changes
Cinderhulk Deals More Damage to Creeps
Cinderhulk’s bonus magic damage to minions and monsters was increased from 200% to 300%. This goes in line with the tank empowerment theme of patch 9.7, so expect to see more Zac and Sejuani in your jungle.
Dark Seal Loses Value
For the longest time, Dark Seal was a staple mid lane purchase because of its high sellback value and synergy with the Corrupting Potion. Well, the high sellback value part of the equation went right out the window, as you’ll now get 140 gold instead of 245 gold for selling your Dark Seal. Moreover, the ability power was reduced from 15 to 10, so this item will be less attractive to most mid laners.
Wit’s End Rework
Wit’s End was reworked! The new iteration of this item costs 2900 gold and grants 50% attack speed and 50 magic resists. It also provides 5% movement speed and 15-80 on-hit damage (based on level). Finally, Wit’s End has a new unique passive that heals its user for the amount of on-hit damage dealt by the item (33% effective for ranged champions).
Okay, so who’s going to benefit from this rework? Our first-hand impression is that melee bruisers and carries like Irelia, Jax, and Master Yi will absolutely love the new Wit’s End, but, of course, other champions might also pick up the item as players adjust to the patch.
The League of Legends patch 9.7 introduced a number of impactful rune changes. First, Eyeball Collection had its max stacks reduced from 20 to 10, but you still get 30 adaptive force from it. However, its competing runes—Ghost Poro and Zombie Ward—will grant up to 30 adaptive force for spawned Ghost Poros and cleared wards respectively, so Eyeball Collection will no longer be the best choice in its tier.
Cut Down’s damage was buffed from 5-12% to 5-15% (based on max health difference). A similar thing happened to Demolish, as it will now deal 5% more max health damage to turrets. Meanwhile, Overgrowth will grant a 3.5% health increase (up from 2.5%), and Ultimate Hunter will provide a maximum of 20% ult CDR (up from 15%). These are all decent tweaks to some of the less popular rune choices, so we’re bound to see more rune variety in the coming weeks.
That’s it for the top changes of the League of Legends patch 9.7! You can check the complete patch notes here, and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!