The biggest MOBA in the world, Riot's League of Legends, received its latest patch this week. The focus of 6.5 are champs who have fallen by the wayside, the do-it-all generalists who have been left shivering and pawing at the door while Juggernauts and Marksmen warm their hands around the fireplace of meta relevance. Also: Clubs are finally introduced, which have the potential to bring Riot's social suite out of the proverbial stone age, and some popular items have gotten some big changes. Let's get to it.
EDIT: Mistakenly called Nautilus's E Depth Charge. Changed to to the correct name, Riptide.
Find Me in the Club
Its presence in the Public Beta Environment foreshadowed its appearance in the game proper, and now the Clubs feature has descended on the Rift, bringing about a brave new era of in-game socializing. After the patch updates, your chat room button (yes, there was a chat room button) will be replaced by the Clubs tab. Persistent chat rooms with a curated group of like-minded summoners promise to open up new avenues for interaction and organization, which is nice for those with big friends lists with multiple social circles in it. Club leaders can moderate chat options and edit rosters of up to 50 people, and the tags feature allows you to rep your club in or out of game, like a team call sign in any other multiplayer game.
There's been one pretty good criticism of this feature so far:
It's an understandable concern to see the method of social interaction you've enjoyed and made work under the circumstances now be pushed aside for a system that can't meet the needs you've developed over time. That said, I can't imagine Riot is keeping the cap low for any reason besides they can't technically make it work higher than that yet.
Revenge of the Other Guys
There is a special caste of champions whose names were only spoken in whispers in fear of their all-purpose wrath. Things have drastically changed for many of these champions in Season 6, but 6.5 acts as a life preserver to some of the most interesting of them.
Spirit/Devil/Brony Hecarim is getting some stank put back on his Devastating Charge, which gains strength based on the distance he's traveled. The knockback is now variable as well; the longer you move during the ability's activation, the more you will push an opponent on impact. There's also bonus damage based on attack power that rises based on the distance as well. Is this enough to get him out of the strange waters he's been in since the Homeguard Boots were put out to pasture?
There used to be no scarier Demacian in any given match than the Exemplar himself, Jarvan IV. There was nothing Jarvan couldn't do at the height of his viability, but single-target containment and elimination was his jam. Now, he's not much on anything without an uncommonly good start. His Cataclysm looks to shift the sands of time back to those good old days a bit, now that the cooldown is lower and it does damage to everyone trapped in the makeshift Thunderdome, instead of just the intended target. This is clearly a move to make him more active and apparent in a team fight later in the game, and I think it'll work.
Sejuani hasn't necessarily gotten weaker, but with the rise of the top lane tank and the new prevalence of Cinderhulk in the jungle, Sej just isn't so special anymore. Her team fight-ending slow is still devastating, but her early game was always bad. In order to keep up with the Joneses, she is getting a damage buff to her Permafrost's early levels. Now she can keep those early jungle camps icier than Gucci Mane without fear. Her auto attack is quicker now, too, thanks to an animation time truncation.
Another leading lady jungler forgotten through time is Vi. She's a great isolater, one of the most aggressive jungle gankers, and can engage with the best of them. Her problem is she can't ever seem to seal the deal afterwards. This translates to her jungle camp clearing ability, which is middling to say the least, and it makes her a difficult pick in light of other junglers. Riot's response? Lowering the mana cost and greatly increasing the damage of Excessive Force, making the name more fitting.
Nerf Bat Bonanza
The patch isn't all roses and buffs. A couple of notorious assassins (and one perfectly harmless aqua tank) have found their powers to be less... powerful.
Greek-inspired javelineer Pantheon has been running amok in Season 6, partially thanks to new assassin items and buffs to his passive. By mid to late game, engaging him one on one is almost a sure fire way to get yourself killed. Knowing this, Riot took some of the sting out of Heartseeker Strike when hitting champions, while upping its damage to monsters. The cooldown refund that was possible when cancelling his ult has been removed as well. I'm sure his bread baking skills have gone untouched.
Cloaked dervish Talon is getting some of the venom pulled from his kit as well. Shadow Assault, his ultimate, got its cooldowns cranked way up, and its mana cost is now 100 every level. There are few scarier champions in the game then Talon with a kill lead, and that doesn't really change now. Talon just has to be more patient, and he probably won't be able to kill a whole team by himself in the same team fight anymore.
Nautilus always struck me as a champion who has a hard time doing any real damage by himself. Apparently, me and Riot disagree, as they nerfed his only real weapon (outside of his ult), Riptide. Each wave now does reduced damage, which seems like a pretty mean gesture considering the only creatures on the board really worried about its damage were minions.
For more info on the patch, including the greatly reduced XP requirement to get to level 30, check out the patch notes on Riot's website. Let us know how you feel about the changes on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to check out the Leaguepedia, for all of your pro-LoL needs.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.