After each League of Legends season ends, Riot Games change or rewamp some part of the game in a major way. This upcoming preseason promises to be more change-heavy that some of the ones before, with changes being made to Assassin’s, the Jungle (yes, once again), some items, and most importantly, the begging-for-an-update old Client. We will finally get official Replays and a Sandbox mode as well! Let’s get into that in order, however, starting with the Assassin Update.
The first one to get changed is the nightmare of low elo players everywhere, Katarina. Now, a somewhat trained bonobo shouldn’t be able to get a penta by rolling its face on the Q W E R keys in a fit of anger because Wukong ate its last banana. Why? The champion was made more difficult.
Previously, you were able to spam your stuff on cooldown due to the resourceless nature of the champion, culminating in spinning with your ult to get a reset on someone, at which point you would Shunpo all over the place, killing everyone who’s still standing. Now, you will have to manage Daggers. Katarina’s old W, Sinister Steel, is replaced by Preparation, which throws a Dagger into the air and gives you decaying movement speed. Now, you can only Shunpo to enemies, allies, or DAGGERS, not wards. After it hits the target, your Q bounches to two more targets and drops a Dagger behind the target. The ult is more or less the same, you start spinning, dealing damage to three closest enemies. If you Shunpo to a Dagger, you will deal some a significant amount of AoE damage around you and it’s cooldown will be mostly reset.
How is the new Katarina supposed to be played? Where before you just spammed stuff and hoped for the best (that nobody has or uses a hard CC ability on you before you get a reset), you are now supposed to carefully set up the field of battle with Preparation and Bouncing Blades Daggers, before using Shunpo to ambush your enemies and bursting them down. It seems as if you will actually need a brain as well as a face to play Katarina now. We certainly hope so.
DISCLAIMER: the numerous implications of Katarina players being no better than trained bonobos, while true, are made purely for comedic effect. No insult is meant by them. And bonobos have no feelings anyway.
LeBlanc’s changes are geared towards making the player choose between damage and safety of blinking in and out of the fight, while emphasizing her identity as the Trickster. Some of her abilities got shuffled around, all to make it so that LeBlanc’s opponents have time to respond when she goes in. No more almost instant harass with no time to respond, hopefully.
Reworked LeBlanc’s Passive is Sigil of Malice. It’s inflicted with each of LeBlanc’s spells and lasts 4 seconds. After 1.5, LeBlanc’s next spell shatters the Sigil to deal extra damage to the target. Sigil can only be applied every 5 seconds on the same target. Shatter Orb, LeBlanc’s Q, straight up deals magic damage. When it’s empowered by Sigil of Malice, it bounces to the nearest Sigil. Her W is the same as it always was, Distortion. LeBlanc dashes to a target location, deals damage to anyone nearby and can be reactivated within 4 seconds to return to her starting location. Leblanc’s E,Ethereal Chains, shackles the first unit hit to LB and deals damage. IF you don’t break the chain somehow, you will get rooted for 1.5 seconds and take damage.
Finally, LeBlanc’s Ultimate, Mimic, is a toggled ability, which copies one of her spells and creates a Mimic decoy to cast the ability with her, which lasts 2.5 seconds. Copying Q, W, or E just increases damage, but if you double tap R, you will invoke Shadow of the Rose, which makes a Mimic appear at a target location and approach the closest visible enemy and cast a fake version of LB’s most recent basic ability. Shadow of the Rose has a separate cooldown from the one on Mimic. This Mimic lasts much longer than 2.5 seconds, but it can’t be controlled.
The biggest foe of Marksmen all over the world, the angry kitteh is supposed to be stopped, assuming proper counterplay steps are taken by the opponent to do it, while keeping his flavor as the ultimate hunter.
For this purpose, most of Rengar’s stuff got tweaked. His passive, Unseen Predator, will give the kitty 1 Ferocity when he jumps out of a bush. Once you have 4 Ferocity, your next ability will be empowered. Using an empowered ability will increase your movement speed for 1.5 seconds. Finally, killing enemy champions will award you trophies on Rengar’s Bonetooth Necklace, which permanently increases his AD when a UNIQUE champion is killed within 1.5 seconds of taking damage from Rengar.
Rengar’s Q, Savagery, is now a skillshot, which slashes enemies in an arc and then pierces everyone in a line. If you cast it outside max range, Rango will lunge forward to extend the range. If you use it in mid air, it will be postponed until you land. If you have 4 Ferocity, Savagery will just deal way more damage. Pussy cat’s W, Battle Roar, now deals damage to nearby enemies and heals Rango for 50% of all damage he took during the last 1.5 seconds. If you use the empowered version, it will cleanse all CC, prevent incoming CC for 1.5 seconds and heal, just as before. Bola Strike, Rengar’s E, works the same as it always did, with some tweaked numbers.
Finally, Rengar’s Ultimate, Thrill of the Hunt, gives the kitty 40% Movement Speed and vision of the nearest enemy champion within 2000 range for 14 seconds. After the first 2 seconds, Rengar will become Camouflaged and will be able to leap at enemies without being in a bush. When you leap on the nearest enemy, you WILL crit him. If you attack something while Camouflaged, it will end. For those who are wondering how Camouflage works… think Evelynn.
The final Assassin to get a major rework is probably the scariest. Talon is stronk. Some people recommend permabanning it.
His passive stacks Wounds on champions and epic monsters for 6 seconds, stacking up 3 times when you hit them with spells. Once you auto a fully Wounded target, he starts bleeding heavily. Talon’s Q, Noxian Diplomacy, makes Talon leap to a target and deal damage. If you’re in melee range, the ability crits for 150% damage. If you kill a unit with Q, it refunds some of your health and 50% of its cooldown. Could it be a decent way to sustain in lane? Talon’s W, Rake, works similarly to Ahri and Sivir’s Q, only in a wider arc and shorter range. He throws out blades. They deal damage to anything they hit. When they come back, they deal even more damage and slow anything they hit.
Talon’s E, Assassin’s Path, is the most unique thing about the reworked Talon. Coming straight out of Assassin’s Creed, Talon will now be able to vault over structures and terrain in a target direction, up to 800 range. To not make it a bonobo ability, you won’t be able to vault the same structure more than once every 160 seconds. Finally, Talon’s Ult works similarly to how it always worked, however, different from Rengar, you will turn Invisible, meaning that only turrets will be able to reveal you.
Together with the aforementioned champions, Akali, Ekko, Fizz, Kha’Zix, Shaco, Twitch, and Zed received some love (or hate), however, those will have to be discussed in another article, because this is getting waaaaay too long. See you tomorrow!