Considering League as a game is an ongoing project that requires maintenance, the preseason offers the best period for drastic changes. Balance changes in the form of patches do a great job of making small changes that can change the landscape. But for bigger changes, a lot of testing needs to be done over the course of a longer period.
That’s why the preseason exists. And some years the League team implements major changes like last year with the item update. This year, however, they are targeting specific issues in the form of item diversity, rune viability and objective updates. All of these changes are already available on the PBE server and will soon arrive on live servers.
New Mythic items for mages and tanks
While most of the champions have many options in regards to their build paths depending on their situation, some are still struggling to find mythic and legendary items that fit their needs. So Riot decided to add two new mythic items, one of which is for mages and the other is for tank supports.
The new mythic item for mages is called Crown of the Shattered Queen, and it serves as a defensive mythic that Everfrost failed to be. The smaller range and faster cast time on Everfrost as opposed to its ancestor Hextech GLP made it more suitable for combo mages and found more use to lock down enemies rather than to keep them off you.
But Riot doesn’t want a “the best defense is more offense” approach, especially for long-range mages. Last year they greatly struggled for the simple reason that the mobility and sustain creep the new items brought, made them more vulnerable and less effective.
So this new mythic that also builds out of a Lost Chapter, will protect mages by reducing incoming damage by 50% over 1,5 seconds after they were first attacked. While this protection is active, the item also gives combat stats in the form of a 10-40 ability haste increase depending on the level that fades away after the protection ends.
This is done to ensure the item doesn’t get abused by other classes and that it fits perfectly the style of long range mages. If you haven’t taken damage in a span of 40 seconds, you regain the item’s passive, which is called Safeguard. The mythic passive this item gives for each legendary item purchased is a 1% movement speed increase and 50 bonus health.
Tank supports will also receive a new mythic item called Evenshroud. Since the items rework, last season ranged supports received 3 mythic items as options, while tank supports were confined to Locket of the Iron Solari and the defensive utility it provided. Outside of that they were forced to dip in the usual tank items, which inherently cost more due to them being designed for solo laners.
Evenshroud offers a more offensive option for tank supports whose playstyle revolves around making crucial engages. When the user immobilizes an enemy champion, all nearby enemies receive increased damage from your teammates. This passive is an enhanced version of the season 11 Abyssal Mask, so that’s why this item is also getting changed. Evenshroud gives 200 health, 20 ability haste, 30 armor, and 30 magic resist. On top of that, the mythic passive gives 5 armor and magic resist for each legendary item.
New Legendary items for tanks mages and assassins
Since the item rework a lot of champions classes have faced issues that weren’t present before. Tanks have generally felt underwhelming this season, apart from the start of the season when the numbers on their mythic items were overloaded. One constant issue they have dealt with is the lack of mana options since Abyssal Mask doesn’t have mana items in its build path anymore. And the only other mana option which is Frozen Heart despite being buffed several times, is still a situational item vs AD-heavy teams.
Mages in general, but especially those who rely on burst have also felt underwhelming this year with the added sustain and defensive options Goredrinker and Shieldbow have provided. The resurgence of Wits End and the introduction of Galeforce have also limited how much impact mages can provide.
AD assassins however, faced the issue of not having enough items that give ability haste outside of the mythic items. The buffs Ghostblade received later into the season were a good step forward, but the issue still persisted. That’s why Riot is adding three new legendary items and updating some of the already existing ones.
Winter’s Approach is the new legendary tank item that’s meant to solve the mana issues tanks face because it has Tear as one of its components. The item gives 400 health, 500 mana, 15 ability haste, and has a passive that gives bonus health equal to 8% of the mana pool.
After the Tear component is fully stacked, the item transforms into Fimbulwinter that gives 360 more mana and gets another passive that consumes 3% of the current mana pool and converts it into a shield every time you immobilize an enemy. The shield is increased by 80% if the user immobilizes more than one enemy.
Shadowflame is the new legendary item for AP champions that serves a similar purpose to Serpent’s Fang for AD champions. The item gives 80 ability power, 250 health, and 10-20 bonus flat magic penetration based on the target’s current health. The item gives 10 magic penetration if the target has more than 2500 health and it goes up to 20 magic penetration if the target has less than 1000 health.
The user also gets the maximum amount of penetration if the target was recently shielded. Expect a lot more Evelynn, Fizz and LeBlanc presence in Solo Queue now that the AP champions have an answer for the Shieldbow and Wits End combo.
The new legendary item for AD assassins is called Axiom Arc and it gives 55 attack damage, 10 lethality, and 25 ability haste. The item gives more ability haste than any mythic item for assassins. The exciting part is the passive that refunds 25% of the Ultimate cooldown upon the death of a target you’ve damaged within their last three seconds.
Existing items that are being updated
Apart from these, many of the existing items will also receive changes.Frostfire Gauntlet will now do damage in a wider area and slow all champions in that area, not just the target they’re damaging. Turbo Chemtank doesn’t have a burn passive anymore like the other tank mythic items but now has a passive that fills up the Chemtank while moving and dealing damage, and at 100 stacks your next basic attack deals magic damage to all nearby enemies.
The mythic passive also gives 50 health and 5 ability haste for each legendary item, as opposed to the only 5 ability haste it gave before. Cosmic Drive now has 20 less ability power, 10 more ability haste, 50 more health, and 5% movement speed. The passive is also changed to give 30% movement speed(decaying to 15%) and 40 ability power after you damage an enemy with three separate attacks or spells.
You lose these bonuses when you leave combat. Horizon Focus now also gives 150 health and the passive is applied to slows(Rylai’s Crystal Scepter included), not just immobilization.
Demonic Embrace lost 10 ability power but got 100 health more and the passive is completely changed. Now it burns enemies for 1,2 to 2% of your maximum health per second for four seconds and converts 2% of your bonus health to ability power. Seraph’s Embrace now gives 15 more ability power and 250 health, while the passive has been reworked to give ability haste equal to 1,3% of bonus mana and restore health equal to 40% of mana spent, capped at 25-50 +10%ability power per cast.
Force of Nature now has 10 more magic resist and the passive is changed. At six stacks of Steadfast, you take 20% reduced damage and gain a 10% movement speed increase. Also, by taking magic damage you get one stack of Steadfast and being immobilized grants you an additional two stacks.
Knight’s Vow now has a lower base health regen by 150% and the passive is changed so that when you are near your designated ally, 10% of the damage they take is redirected to you, you heal for 8% of the damage your ally does, and if they have less than 30% health the damage reduction is increased to 20%.
Abyssal Mask will now give 30 less magic resist but get 10 ability haste and the passive is changed to curse nearby enemies and reduce their magic resist. For each cursed enemy, the user gains an additional seven magic resist. While most of these changes are promising and resolve a lot of issues, some underused items like Stormrazor, Mercurial Scimitar, and Silvermere Dawn could be next to receive changes.