League of Legends patch 8.24 was released on December 4. It might seem minor at first glance, however, it brings some much-needed nerfs to the runes, items, and champions that dominate the current meta. With that in mind, here are the top changes of LoL patch 8.24!

Champions

KDA Akali Prestige Splash

New Champion: Neeko!

The newest addition to the League of Legends lineup—Neeko—is going be released on this patch! Most of her abilities seem perfect for a mid lane mage, as she has a spammable source of damage on her Q, a long-range root on E, and an AOE spell on her R. Where Neeko really deviates from the norm, though, is her passive. True to her title of the Curious Chameleon, Neeko can disguise herself as an allied champion, which opens up countless playmaking possibilities. Moreover, her W lets Neeko go invisible while sending a disguised clone in a chosen direction.

It’s worth noting that Neeko doesn’t seem to be a mechanically intensive champion. Many recent releases like Akali, Irelia, and Aatrox turned into balancing nightmares because they could simply do too much in the hands of an agile player. In Neeko’s case, the skill expression comes from using your disguises to deceive your enemies. And that’s a very promising direction for the game to take.

Akali Shroud Nerfs

Let’s face it, Akali is overtuned. A highly mobile assassin with insane amounts of burst damage is already a huge pain to deal with, but the most frustrating part of her kit is the Twilight Shroud [W]. Not only does this spell raise her outplay potential through the roof, but it also prevents enemies from hitting her back during all-ins.

Riot seem to have recognized this issues, so they’re reducing the duration of Twilight Shroud by 1 second at all ranks. On top of that, they’re bumping down the duration extension from 3 seconds to 2 seconds, which should make Akali players much more conscious of their playmaking windows.

Galio Changes

Riot don’t seem content with Galio being a pick that’s only viable in pro play. With that, his Winds of War [Q] now cost less mana and deal 20 more damage with the initial blast at all ranks. This comes at the cost of the flat damage on the lingering tornado, however, it now deals damage equal to 6% + (4% per 100 AP) of target’s max health as opposed to 0% + (3% per 100 AP). Additionally, Justice Punch [E] has a slightly smaller windup and a 20% faster dash speed, although it only deals half of its damage to creeps.

Last but not least, Hero’s Entrance no longer provides damage reduction to allies and applies an empowered knockup to enemies in its center. All of these changes seem to be geared at making Galio a stronger force in 1v1s. However, we can’t help thinking that this goes against Galio’s design of a team-oriented champion, so raising his damage will only lead to balance issues.

Illaoi Cooldowns Reduced

Illaoi finally got some love! Patch 8.24 reduced her Test of Spirit [E] cooldown from 20/18/16/14/12 seconds to 16/15/14/13/12 seconds, which should make for stronger (and more frequent) trades in the early game. On top of that, Leap of Faith [R] had its cooldown reduced from 120/105/90 seconds to 120/105/70, so the Kraken Priestess will always have her ultimate in mid/late game brawls.

Irelia W Nerf

Irelia can be incredibly oppressive when she gets ahead. Not only does she have insane amounts of firepower and mobility, but she can practically negate all incoming damage with a well-timed Defiant Dance [W]. To solve this, Riot is increasing the Defiant Dance cooldown from 16/15/14/13/12 to 20/18/16/14/12. If that wasn’t enough, the ability will only block 40% of damage instead of 50% and casting it will no longer grant a stack of the Ionian Fervor passive. This does make Irelia a bit squishier in teamfights, but it doesn’t change the fact that she has an incredibly overloaded kit. And as long as that’s true, the Blade Dancer will stay in the meta.

Viktor Top Nerfs

Few top laners have been as dominant as tank Viktor. This champion combines ridiculous durability with reliable point-and-click harass, turning into the definition of a one-man army. Things are about to change, though, because the cooldown on Siphon Power [Q] was increased by 1 second at all ranks and the base damage was reduced from 60/80/100/120/140 to 50/65/80/95/110. Riot somewhat made up for this change by reducing the cooldown on Death Ray [E] from 13/12/11/10/9 to 12/11/10/9/8 seconds and bumping up its AP scaling, but rest assured, this is a huge hit to Viktor top.

Items & Game Mechanics

Hextech Renekton Splash

Death’s Dance Gets a Stronger Heal

The passive of Death’s Dance was changed to heal for 15% of all damage instead of 15% of physical damage. This change is a godsend to AD champions that happen to have AP spells in their kits. And while we don’t necessarily expect Death’s Dance to become a staple item, it can definitely be a viable option on picks like Varus, Kai’Sa, or Kog’Maw.

Poacher’s Dirk Removal

That’s right, Poacher’s Dirk is officially out of the game. The concept of a counterjungling item is great on paper, but in practice, it simply didn’t hold a candle to other jungling options. Combine that with the fact that pretty much no one built Poacher’s Dirk, and the decision to remove it seems appropriate.

Dark Harvest Tweaks

The most oppressive keystone rune of the preseason keeps getting changes! This time, Dark Harvest had its base damage reduced from 40-80 to 20-60 (scales with levels). On top of that, Dark Harvest no longer procs from other procs, so you won’t be able to activate it with things like Scorch and Liandry’s Torment. Luden’s Echo is an exception to the rule, though, so keep that in mind when going against Dark Harvest mages in the mid lane.

That’s it for the top changes of the League of Legends patch 8.24! You can check the complete patch notes here, and we’ll see you on the Summoner’s Rift!