So, remember how last time I said that Riot was taking it easy with the buffs? Well they must have heard me, because wow did they throw everything at us this week. Some changes are minor, like adjustments to cooldowns, but others are pretty big, such whole passives being altered. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s not waste any more time.
A couple of supports got some extra love this patch, starting with everyone’s favorite cow, Alistar. With the dominance of long range mage supports like Zyra, Malzahar and Karma, Alistar has struggled to maintain a foothold in the current bottom lane meta. To compensate for this, Riot have changed his heal to affect all nearby allies, instead of just the closest one. Honestly I think this was a necessary change, ever since his heal was moved from being an activatable skill to his passive. Without being able to cast the heal on command, Alistar players weren’t able to support their teammates as much, especially in the wild teamfights that the untamed minotaur thrives in. With this change, and a slight increase to the base damage of the auto attack portion of Alistar’s Trample, and hopefully the cow will be able to live up to his image as a rampaging bull, and not a well-done steak.
The other support to get a bit of attention was Bard. Now, Bard’s changes are interesting, but then again Bard has always been a rather odd support. Difficult to learn, even tougher to master, the Wandering Caretaker is often considered a pocket pick, only brought out by a handful of players. To combat this, Riot changed his chime collecting rewards to give him more utility. Currently, the only crowd control outside of his ultimate that Bard has is the slow and potential stun of Cosmic binding. There has always been a slow on his meep empowered auto attacks, but it takes too long to collect enough chimes to make it noticeable. So, Riot restructured Bard’s chime collecting rewards. Now, Bard won’t gain any extra damage on his passive early on, but will instead get faster meep respawn, a stronger slow sooner and a higher meep cap. Bard can now have a staggering nine meeps following him at once, more than double what his old maximum was. I wouldn’t expect Bard to suddenly become a top pick support from these changes, but good Bard players who know how to maximize their chime collecting will definitely appreciate this boost to their utility.
We’ve arrived at what I think are the two biggest changes to this patch. Both are changes to the passives of some of the oldest champions in League of Legends, Nunu and Amumu. Let’s start with Nunu. His old passive was pretty dull, just giving him a free spell cast after every fifth auto attack. The new one isn’t particularly flashy, but it does require more thought put into. Now, after every fifth auto attack, Nunu can cast one of his spells at a higher rank than he currently has it leveled. If a spell is already at rank five, then Nunu will cast a rank six version of the spell (rank four in the case of his ultimate). The rank six bonuses aren’t massive, but they can make a difference. The most notable ones to me are the extra two hundred and fifty damage on his ultimate and one hundred and sixty damage on his Consume. Nunu’s ultimate already hurts quite a bit when fully charged, and now you can give it an even bigger punch. The increase to Consume is also big, because now Nunu can beat out a max rank Smite without any ability power investment. Nunu has always been a notorious counter jungler and objective thief, but now he’s downright terrifying. 1140 damage on his rank six Consume is just a tad insane, and it can go even higher if he builds even a little ability power. Now, Nunu players actually have to think about how and when they use their passive and will need to weave auto attacks between abilities to maximize their damage and utility.
Ah, and here we go. I admit, as an Amumu player, I’m very excited about these changes. Much like Nunu, Amumu’s passive was always kind of ignored. Sure, if you headbutted someone a few times your team’s magic abilities might do a little more damage, but it was never really noticeable. Now, whenever Amumu auto attacks a target he applies Cursed Touch, which lasts for three seconds and is refreshed by auto attacks. While Cursed Touch is active, fifteen percent of all magic dealt to the target is dealt again as true damage. This is massive for Amumu, as it’s a huge boost to the damage that both he and his teammates can dish out, especially during hectic teamfights, with area of effect spells being flung all over the place. Riot also made it pretty easy to keep Cursed Touch active, with Despair refreshing the mark and his ultimate Curse of the Sad Mummy applying the passive after damage is dealt. Slap a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter onto the little mummy, and Cursed Touch will most likely persist until the target is dead. While he’s always been a powerful team fighter with a lot of crowd control, Amumu hasn’t really been in favor recently as he falls behind early against strong early game junglers like Rengar, Lee Sin and Graves. With this new passive, Amumu will be able to clear his camps faster, and be less susceptible to aggressive invades from enemy junglers. In fact, Amumu might even be a little on the over powered side, but that may just be me being optimistic. It remains to be seen how players adapt to his new strengths.
I covered most of the big changes from this patch, but it was a fairly large one overall. There were a lot of smaller adjustments to cooldowns and damage for a variety of champions such as Katarina, Kassadin and Galio that players should probably look over. The full patch notes can be found here on Riot’s official website. As always, comments and feedback are always welcome. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.