Check out the newest patch notes! This set includes relatively few champion changes, but instead has exciting new developments in the jungle by way of Devourer. Check out this quick summary and details below!
Buffs: Ekko, Kayle, Singed, Thresh;
Nerfs: Jayce, Nautilus, Rek’Sai, Xin Zhao;
Patch 5.13 notes
Welcome to patch 5.13, the super mega large one that has a lot of AP item changes and the new Devourer enchantment. Now, you might be thinking, “Huh, that’s a very functional title and not at all very sleek,” but we’re here to communicate, not sell. Also, these changes are pretty exciting to the point where we think they don’t need to be wrapped up in shiny titles. Just functional ones.
Laziness in patch titling aside, 5.13 is all about offering new choices for a broad swathe of players and champions alike. We’ve got a pretty large overhaul of AP items so that they’re all offering real competition for purchase (rather than just the top 3 things that build out of Needlessly Large Rod), in addition to a brand new Devourer jungle enchantment, featuring Ghost Dog (you’ll understand when you buy one).
Upon re-reading our introduction, it can seem like there are “only” two groups of changes, but once you get into the trenches you’ll understand why this is a Pretty Big Patch(™). Hopefully this will also lead to a lot of cool experimentation in your games of League of Legends, and we genuinely apologise for anyone who runs into jungle Kayle with Devourer, because it’s kind of gross.
Chris “Pwyff” Tom & Patrick “Scarizard” Scarborough
We’ve done a pretty significant pass on the death recap feature so that it’s at least a little more consistent in relaying the right information to you. There was a whole lot of manual, technical work that had to go into this – and our focus was on champion abilities more than anything else – but the short of is that you should be able to get a decent read on why you died in that teamfight rather than learning a teammate’s Flash summoner spell dealt 8 true damage. Of course, the best League of Legends players have never seen a death recap. Because they’ve never died.
Recoded Line Projectile Skillshots
In this thrilling conclusion to our Recoded Line Projectile Skillshots duology, we are excited to inform you that this is now a thing that is on. Check out our initial round of context for the full info-dump on the behind-the-scenes code cleanup. This note is basically us closing the loop on that whole “if all goes well, we’ll turn it on across all regions and let you know in the next patch.”
Well, all has gone well.
The story here is that the way slows interact with each other can get a little obtuse. First, it’s difficult to quantify the impact that Tenacity (or the Swiftness defensive mastery) has on a champion if slows can simply dogpile on top of each other. Second, when an enemy team has multiple ways to apply slows (particularly in large areas of effect), most immobile melee champions end up eating healthy portions of struggle salad without recourse.
This change should make “The Slowing Game” a little cleaner for both parties while also introducing more skill (chain those slows together, don’t just pile them up!) when it comes to keeping your Udyrs (Udii?) at bay. Final point – this also opens up a lot more design space for us to do cool things with slows. This new Rylai’s, for example, now seems like a Pretty Cool Thing, but was probably not something we could do if slows could just get layered on like a delicious lasagne. We have now referred to salads and lasagnes in this context.
Tahm Kench, the River King will be released a bit later during patch 5.13! To learn more about League’s next champion, check the following links:
- The River King
- Champion Reveal: Tahm Kench, the River King
- Champion Insights: Tahm Kench
- Tahm Kench Q&A
Nothing major this patch – just some tweaks to offset 5.12’s changes and to better reflect all the different ways people are playing their Ekko.
Jayce was actually getting his bonuses a level earlier than intended. He’ll still get them, but has to wait for his opponents to have access to their Ultimates before Power-slamming the competition.
R – Mercury Cannon/Hammer
Full disclosure: we’re trying something new here. Kalista’s basic attacks are already different from other champions in unique ways; they can miss, they can’t be cancelled, and they grant her mobility for as long as she has a target. Embracing her distinct conditions around basic attacking but limiting their effectiveness allows us to preserve her play around stacking spears and Rending for primary dps (unlike standard crit-based carries) rather than making it flatly worse. This is something we’ll be monitoring closely and are comfortable pulling back on if we need to, but for now we’re trying an option that reinforces her focus on attack speed over more traditional builds.
Q – Pierce
Before we dive in to the specifics, it’s important to get a better understanding of how Kayle fits in the grand scheme of things. Those that remember her as a power pick in professional play might see Kayle changes as a bit of a head-scratcher, but when talking about her it’s important to ask a simple question: What does the metagame look like?
For Kayle, her ability to change the game with a well-timed Intervention means that despite her other strengths, she thrives best in an environment rife with burst and high-damage pick-focused compositions intent on knocking her allies from 100% to dead in a few seconds. This means that as one of our more meta-dependent champions, when fights are drawn out and taking place at longer ranges her stock falls considerably.
Having said that, what does that mean for her this patch? While Kayle isn’t ‘in-season’ right now, her early-to-mid transition is a tougher than we’d like even if she were. A light touch to her laning (where she’s most constrained by E’s cooldown) should spread her wings against compositions where she’s intended to succeed. TL;DR: Kayle’s not great right now. And that’s okay! But we’d like to make playing Kayle feel better. So we are. Boom, context.
E – Righteous Fury
Simply fixing a bug that should actually impact Kennen’s teamfighting a fair bit. He’s historically had a lot of issues feeling unresponsive, so we’re seeking to clear that up before taking a deeper look into what changes Kennen may or may not need.
Passive – Mark of the Storm
W – Electrical Surge
Nautilus is the type of champion that’s situationally incredible; pitted against teams with very few threats, Depth Charge creates the most consistent lock-down money can buy, but a lack of high damage follow-up means his targets aren’t dead-on-arrival. Against multiple threats however, Nautilus’s single-target crowd control is far less effective at protecting his less-titanic teammates.
While no longer lost and forgotten with his new buddies in the bottom lane, ol’ Nauty (by nature of having gobs of disables) indexes on the higher end of both trading and all-inning leaving few of his peers able to compete. We don’t want to ship Nautilus back to the deep end, but trimming back some of his raw ability to win trades by himself should keep him from feeling too OP. Possibly.
E – Riptide
For a jungler that’s meant to be an map-wide menace in the early phases of the game, Rek’Sai’s found resilience transitioning into a knock-up machine once teamfights begin, often catching multiple enemies off guard. Interrupting crucial targets with a well-timed Un-burrow is the kind of high moment we want the queen to have in her games, but its generous range often catches people it appears it would otherwise miss. She’ll still have all the elements of a dominant jungle-beast, but will need to demonstrate higher precision to get the same results.
W – Un-burrow
5.13’s changes to Singed are all about calling attention to a mechanic that’s been under-utilised by a majority of players – namely, his Fling + Mega Adhesive combo. Upping the reward for execution this tricky play (and giving him some added defense to help pull it off) should make the veteran Singed players out there feel like they’ve got another powerful tool to show off their mixologist mastery on the rift.
Don’t let us undersell these changes, though. Better defenses and payoff sound great, but laughing while flinging is the biggest buff we’ve given a champion in the history of League of Legends. Shake well, my friends.
E – Fling
In some really weird cases, Skarner could stun towers. You’re not an Ohmwrecker, Skarner. You’re a scorpion. Get it together.
Passive – Crystallizing Sting
When last we changed Syndra, our changes to Scatter the Weak ended up exposing a bug around the consistency of her stuns (namely, the collision detection around Dark Spheres). Imprisoned by bugs no longer, we took a deep dive into the spell’s coding and refactored it, eliminating all bugs we found in the process.
E – Scatter the Weak
R – Unleashed Power
Just a small change to help Thresh and his allies more consistently combine their efforts for MadLife moments. Teamwork OP.
Passive – Damnation
W – Dark Passage
For how much damage Primordial Burst does (read: your entire health bar) it ends up looking pretty tame, making it harder to appreciate for Tiny Masters of Evil everywhere. This change is purely visual and won’t affect gameplay, but should help Veigar get some of the respect he deserves.
R – Primordial Burst
Xin’s exactly the kind of guy we want to see picking up Sated Devourer (more on this below!); or so we thought until someone stacked Ability Power with the Phantom Hit and managed to out-heal Dr. Mundo. Let that sink in.
This ratio was always a little goofy, so we’re toning it down to make sure Xin Zhao players can strike with all the force of a raging fire without becoming unkillable in the process.
W – Battle Cry
Grandpa Zilean’s wandered back into the patch notes in 5.13 for another quality-of-life change – this time centred around accidentally using Rewind when it would have no effect. You’d think someone that’s been time traveling for centuries would have mastered this by now, but here we are.
W – Rewind
Thanks to many player reports of Pulsefire Ezreal feeling slow or ‘sluggish’ compared to the original, we dove in and tweaked some of his behind-the-scenes framework to improve his responsiveness.
Q – Mystic Shot
Enchantment – Devourer
Ah, Devourer. A remnant of that one time we did the fastest design u-turn in the history of League of Legends development (a trophy potentially shared with Season 3’s Black Cleaver).
It appears we have returned to the fight.
Let’s start with the current Devourer and its infinite stacking. Initially, our assumption was that y’all were really invested in the concept of infinite stacking (and infinite power!!!), but as we’ve tried to iterate around this ‘must have’ mechanic, we’ve come to realise it just doesn’t jive well in a PvP game. Either you’re stuck in that Always Be Farming mentality, or you’re so far behind the enemy jungler that you regret many of the decisions that brought you there in the first place. Nobody likes lagging behind in the stack marathon.
So some goals: first, since this enchantment has always been the “I want to farm the jungle” pickup, we decided to keep the transformation-via-blood-of-my-enemies while taming that Always Be Farming mentality. A hard cap means if you’re behind in the Devourer race, you’re not just perpetually behind the curve – you can double down your farming efforts to catch up. Additionally, once that transformation does take place, you’re not just daydreaming about your next meal – you’re sated and ready to rumble.
Second, we’ve also updated the way this thing builds stacks in the first place. A simple change is that Devourer builds on monster takedowns(assists or kills), rather than just kills, so you don’t feel bad when you give away that blue buff, or when Kallista secures the Dragon with a mega-Rend. Also, speaking of Dragon, we’re really trying to incentivise Devourer junglers to focus on contested jungle objectives, like the Rift Scuttler or Dragon, as it gets them out into the sunlight (can’t be playing League all day) while also giving enemies clear ways to slow your Devouring roll.
Third: for that Sated Devourer on-hit buff, we were going for some natural synergy with Devourer’s on-hit damage, but are very aware of the potential craziness that can come from it. Things like Blade of the Ruined King’s passive proc, or Master Yi’s Wuju Style come to mind, but we’re hoping you can exercise some real creativity in this space.
Enchantment – Runeglaive
On that bugfix: the short of it is that Luden’s Echo triggers on ‘spell damage,’ but not ‘proc damage’ (ie: Sunfire Cape, Iceborn Gauntlet, etc), and Runeglaive was intended to be the latter. On a more fundamental level, basic attacks occupy a different space than spells, and our intended goal with Luden’s Echo was that its power was specifically accessible by spell casts (or specific items treated as spell casts, like Gunblade). Ezreal Q toes that line, but it’s fundamentally treated as a basic attack (also for triggering on-hit effects), which is why things got a little fuzzy.
Other context for the buffs: short form is that the power spike when completing a Runeglaive (particularly as a first item) is a little underwhelming, outside of a few edge cases. We’re adjusting here as we keep an eye on AP junglers.
Way back in patch 5.5 we bumped the cost efficiency of Righteous Glory up because we wanted to get this item in more games so players could witness its strategic effectiveness. In the process, however, we made Righteous Glory just a little too efficient for pro games that could take full advantage of its core strengths.
For our ambitions (because saying goals every time gets tiring): we still think this item is an effective buy when your team lacks hard engage, but we don’t want it to be a default “buy-me-every-day” kind of purchase as it’s skewing everything to hard engage.
Just pushing that healer synergy a little harder. When picking up a Spirit Visage, your thought process can now be “Do I have a great healer?” in addition to, “Do I have great self-healing!?” We’re not sure why the second question has an exclamation point.
Also, this is just a net buff. There are no negative changes here.
Super high level challenge: right now, AP mages bring a mix of damage and utility in their kits, but standard item builds have pretty much centred on more damage instead of getting more utility or reacting to the situation. This issue gets double reinforced when mages are typically constrained to a fixed set of 120 AP items (Zhonya’s, Ludens, Deathcap) that both greatly synergise with each other and are more gold efficient than most because of that Needlessly Large Rod investment.
A sad side-effect of the above trend is that mages who want items outside of the NLR family (Ryai’s, Liandry’s, etc) usually find themselves at a disadvantage, and therefore out of favour. Ultimately we want to offer more choices for more mages throughout the game, and we’re doing this by bringing a little parity to the ability power board.
Needlessly Large Rod
With NLR being at such a high price + AP point, it means that any item that builds from it needs to have greater than 100 AP (when combined with any other AP item) or just be functionally weird (can you imagine upgrading an NLR to a full item and getting no additional AP?). Reducing NLR’s cost and total AP means we have a little more design space to balance AP items, although this does have larger implications for mid lane purchase timings.
We wanted to preserve the total AP on a full offensive mage build, hence the ramped up amplification. Additionally, since Deathcap is nowthe “I want lots of AP” item, we figured we could push it a little harder.
Zhonya’s has always had a solid identity in the game, so it’s just coming along for the AP adjustment ride.
Remember back in patch 5.11 when we talked about Luden’s Echo and how we wanted to continue pushing it in a unique direction? Well, that hasn’t changed. Still going down that whole “mobility plus spell casts” identity, rather than just focusing on just one.
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
It’s important to note that we’re doing these Rylai’s changes in conjunction with our slow stacking change above. We’ll wait as you read that first.
Alright. So Rylai’s.
Truth be told, this thing’s going to be pretty strong. We’re really opening up the space for slow applications, so mages who enjoy playing zone-control will have a field day with this. Here’s to hoping some cool experimentation comes forward.
P.S. If a spell fits in more than one category, chances are high it’ll use the weaker slow.
When we were looking for more items to build out of NLR (more high-tier AP opportunities!), Archangel’s Staff was the first in line with its general growth pattern and ‘unlock’ potential. So… we did it.
Because we can.
Rod of Ages
We want to tune up more of Rod of Ages’ offensive AP / mana capabilities so it’s an appealing buy for mages who want to tap into it without having to give up on so much offensive power.
While Liandry’s was initially marketed as a high-health / low magic resistance shredder, its low ability power frequently held back a lot of mages. Pushing the power of Liandry’s to be a more competitive purchase might see a resurgence in proc-focused mages. Excitement!
Void Staff is still a fairly efficient item as far as damage goes. We’re just tuning it so that you’ll end up with roughly the same amount of AP you did pre-patch while still buying into the same(ish) efficiency as other items.
In addition to pushing a number of items into the 100 AP tier, we’re doing the same for the 80 AP tier below. For Nashor’s Tooth specifically, while it’s always been a great pickup for auto-attacking mages, that attack speed to ability power ratio meant you had to be pretty invested in your on-hit procs to even consider the Tooth. We’re hoping this change will make it a little more enticing as a niche pickup for people not… Kayle.
Will of the Ancients
You need a lot of things to make spell vamp work and we’re trying to remove those dependencies while also making spell vamp as a thing less binary (either you’re outhealing everything or just dying in <2 as=”” ball=”” base=”” basic=”” be=”” blockquote=”” but=”” calculations=”” damage=”” etc=”” for=”” get=”” heal=”” high=”” in=”” less=”” ll=”” math=”” means=”” much=”” need=”” of=”” penetration=”” resistance=”” rolling.=”” seconds=”” spell=”” t=”” terms=”” this=”” to=”” vamping=”” won=”” you=”” your=””>SPELL VAMP20% ⇒ 0%NEWTRUE BLOODYour abilities heal you for 15% of the damage dealt, calculated before your opponent’s resistances. (33% effect for AoE)
We’re trying something out here where picking up a Codex + Book on your first back can be about comparable to going for that 1200 gold NLR. ARE THESE CHOICES MEANINGFUL? You tell us.
Athene’s Unholy Grail
See above for our thought process, including the all-capital question.
Game length has gone up with the addition of this new turret, but it’s a little higher than what we’re happy with. We’re going to quote the designer on this other context: “The nexus turret however, remains unchanged – a last bastion of hope braces against the inevitability of Winter eternal.”
Needlessly Large Rod
Before, we removed NLR because at 1600 gold, it was just too expensive for the pacing of the game. Now that NLR is cheaper, well, it’s back.
And now it is here.
Also a thing!
ROUND 2, fight! Going back – once again – to our Visual Effects developer blog, League is an ever-evolving game and it’s our mission to support this philosophy in all things. This is our second wave of VFX-modernisations; after this, we’re going to be examining how our VFX updates have gone, and we’ll see what else we can do.
The following champions have received updates to their ability visual effects:
Brand (again! Just his W – Pillar of Flame)
This is a basic clarity change: when the patcher pauses its download to actually install new files, it now tells you it’s “Applying patches” instead of showing a 0 KBps download speed.
- Rapid-fire chat messages now always appear in the same order for everyone in a lobby or chat room
- Decreased chat message latency. This isn’t really a bug but it’s related to our last point!
- Restored the grey-out effect on active item cooldown sweep indicators
- Jarvan IV’s E – Demacian Standard once again checks for the nearest valid spot to place itself, rather than dropping inside of walls
- Fixed a rare bug where Elise’s W – Volatile Spiderling would appear to get stuck on cast, but invisibly chase and explode on targets as usual
- Fixed a bug where certain items were disabling the fire pulse VFX of Sunfire Cape and Cinderhulk
- Soraka no longer turns a funky blue colour when using Zhonya’s Hourglass or Wooglet’s Witchcap
- Fixed a “Quick cast with range indicators” bug that disabled left clicking when a stance-switching ability was used while another ability’s range indicator was active
Master Chef Tahm Kench