Most likely the last patch of this season, the amount of consequential changes coming to League of Legends this time around is minimal. Saving the big stuff for post/pre-season, there is still some unfinished business to contend with in the modern versions of some characters. Let's get into it.
1. Nidalee, Nerfed
I cannot, in my near six years with League of Legends, remember a time when Nidalee was not considered a premier jungler. This is mostly because of how efficient she is. You don't really "trade" with a jungler like you would a traditional lane opponent - by denying farm, poking, dueling, etc. Junglers have to be stopped by removing as many of their options as possible. That means taking their jungle camps, stuffing their gank attempts, keeping their health low enough that they can't continue clearing mobs, etc. Most junglers are set back by any combination of these things. Nidalee not so much.
Her slipper mobility thanks to Pounce and Prowl, her heavy sustain from Primal Surge, and her super quick camp clears make her generally immune to counter-play. Even when making mistakes, Nidalee has the tools to keep her safe and on the level. This is why she's routinely banned in pro play. Even when doing everything right against her, she's always going to have a flawless feeling early game.
It's almost a surprise to see that particular portion of her gameplay get nerfed. It's been this way so long that we've just come to accept that this is just what she does. The nerf comes in two places. First, the cooldowns on all of her cougar abilities are going up to 6 seconds from 5 seconds, so the window of counter opportunity is just a little bigger. Second, the healing from Primal Surge is going down, from 45/85/125/165/205 to 25-50/45-90/65-130/85-170/105-210. The variance between the later sets of numbers is based on her missing health.
2. Ivern, Reloaded
Poor Ivern has had quite the nefarious debut. Debuting during patch 6.20, he had the lowest win rate I'd personally ever seen, according to Champion.gg. Even now, he's still the losingest champion in his specialized positions, Support and Jungle. The tap dancing treeman was hotfixed during last patch cycle, increasing his base attack speed and magic resist stats, as well as raising the growth stats of his health and attack speed. The idea being these stats would help him take better advantage of his attack buffs from being in bushes, as well as help him scale into late game more easily.
This patch lowers the starting amount of health required to make groves via Friend of the Forest from 30% to 25%. Daisy, The Green Father's golem accomplice and Tibbers analog, will now hit minions when there's no champions to hit (due to her killing them). She can also attack enemies that can't see her. What will this do for Ivern, long term? Who really knows? Part of the reason for his low performance may be the stats, but it's also the absolutely strange way of playing that he demands. People still don't really know what they're doing, and until high level pros take legit cracks at him, he'll probably remain a puzzle.
3. Yi, Debugged
As with Cho'Gath last patch and Syndra in 6.13, Riot is looking to clean up the excess code clutter that is causing bugs that stand in the way of a particular character's gameplay. This sort of treatment is mostly why Syndra has emerged as a top tier mid lane pick this season, and maybe, just maybe, it can pull Master Yi out of the malaise he's in.
Most of the heavy reworking has been focused around Alpha Strike. There is now a minimum untargetability period of .25 seconds. This is a big deal because sometimes Alpha Strike always made you untargetable, but how long was never specified. You could easily find yourself sniped mid-animation for no particular reason. But now, with more predictability comes more intelligent play, both by Yi's and his opponents. You'll now also know where Yi's next target will be after the previous one, so you have a more progressive idea as to where he'll end up at the end of the spell. Alpha Striking Baron won't leave you on top of him anymore, either.
Other bugs went splat as well. Double Strike no longer triggers a bug that prevents criting on monsters depending on attack speed. Wuju Style's passive effect no longer applies to its active effect no matter how quickly it was activated. Cleaning Yi's code hopefully will clean his play style up a bit, and thus make your choices with him feel more impactful and consistent.
4. The Teemoing
Every year around Halloween, the Rift falls under the shadow of The Harrowing, a holiday-themed event that includes spooky new skins, a haunted new Summoner's Rift, and a new game mode. This year's Harrowing has taken a backseat to The Teemoing, which is all of the above, but with a special focus on everyone's favorite little devil, Teemo.
Often referred to in message boards and social media as Satan, because of how sinister and obnoxious he can be with so little effort, Riot has decided to put tongue fully in cheek and create a new skin for the yordle, depicting him as a little red devil. Of course, they couldn't stop there. The entire holiday event is themed around the rise of this mini-beast, including a new version of the returning Doom Bots of Doom game mode.
Doom Bots is a Co-op vs. AI mode where the computer controlled versions of popular champions are all amped up to incredible lengths. Not only are they stronger and smarter, but their abilities have new properties as well. Cho'Gath's Rupture now erupts in a straight line of circle templates, allowing him to poke you with it. They are near indomitable already, but now they get extra help from the dark lord, Teemo. Curses now occur on the Rift, which can do a number of things like teleport players to random places or make every enemy look like a wandering Teemo. If you can survive through the onslaught for 15 minutes, you'll earn yourself a Little Devil Teemo icon.
5. The Teemoing Skins
If you want more information, hit up the blog page on Riot's website. Also, stay up to date on the latest World Championship happenings at our Leaguepedia. And let us know what you think about the changes on Facebook and Twitter.
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.