The new year is here, and with it comes the cleanup from Riot's preseason on League of Legends. There's been a number of high power champions coming out of the preseason, so this patch will be a bit more nerf heavy than normal.
The champions that got hit were Anivia, Camille, Draven, Kalista, Karma, Kennen, Lee Sin, Lucian, Poppy, Ryze, Shyvana, and Talon.
Additionally, the experience of jungle camps has been reworked - meaning you might have to optimize those paths again if you're playing in the jungle.
Lastly, Riot's added a feature they're calling "toaster detect" - which will detect if you are playing on a low-end PC and ask if you'd like to lower your graphics setting.
Here's the full 7.1 patch notes, courtesy of Riot.
R flashes when it finishes expanding. Fixed a bug with R’s expansion time.
Anivia’s changes in 6.23 greatly increased the importance of Glacial Storm’s expansion mechanic. We’re adding a visual cue to signal when the storm’s fully formed.
R - Glacial Storm
[NEW] CLARITY:: Glacial Storm visually flashes when it becomes fully formed
BUGFIX:: Glacial Storm now always takes 1.5 seconds to expand, rather than randomly between 1.5 and 1.75 seconds
Health per level down. Passive shield duration down. R stun duration decreased.
Let’s face it - Camille is pretty darn strong. As a diver, she needs the mobility to isolate a priority target and the dueling potential to kill them when she does. We think she’s hitting that mark pretty well. However, every champion needs room to fail, and for divers, that means being killable when they dive the backline and lower on teamfight utility when they play it safer.
Camille needs to give opposing teams a chance to cut her legs out from under her before she cuts them up. With her legs. At the moment, she’s too durable for that to be a reliable response, so we’re dialing that back a bit. Camille’s teamfight utility is providing her too safe of a fallback, meaning she doesn’t need to do that much diving for a diver. With a little less utility, we hope to require Camille to play a bit more aggressively, opening her up to focused fire (which should be easier against the new, less tanky Camille).
NOT A NINJA:: Slightly increased radius where Camille will reveal herself if Hookshotting near enemies while she is in FoW
R - The Hextech Ultimatum
KNOCKAWAY SPEED :: 600 >>> 1000
GET UP:: Knockaway stun now only lasts until the target lands, rather than a 1-second fixed duration
Q now has base damage and scales off bonus, not total, attack damage. W mana cost down at higher ranks.
Draven is the cocky showoff for the marksman who wants to beat his opponent into the ground and keep them there through the midgame. Ever since Youmuu’s Ghostblade’s changes, Draven has been struggling to stay ahead when he’s off to a good start. We want to restore that go-hard feeling, so we’re giving Draven some extra power where (when?) his victims will feel it most.
Q - Spinning Axe
[NEW] BASE DAMAGE:: 30/35/40/45/50
RATIO :: 45/55/65/75/85% total attack damage >>> 65/75/85/95/105% bonus attack damage
W - Blood Rush
COST:: 40 mana at all ranks >>> 40/35/30/25/20 mana
Rend keeps stacking while it’s on cooldown and only requires one unit kill for its mana refund.
Kalista’s a difficult champion to learn - on top of her mechanical requirements (ever hopped into the enemy team by mistake?), her abilities sit on the higher end of the complexity spectrum. The changes here are buffs for any Kalista player, since she’s had a rough pre-season, but are especially meant to ease her learning process by making Rend more straightforward.
E - Rend
STACKS ON STACKS:: Basic attacks and Q - Pierce add a spear to enemies ||| while Rend is off cooldown >>> at all times
MANA REFUND:: 2 units killed >>> 1 unit killed (matching the cooldown refund requirement)
BUGFIX:: Fixed an issue where Rend’s cooldown sometimes didn't reset when Rend killed a unit
Mantra’d W damage only ticks twice. Mantra’d E shield lowered.
For almost a year, Karma’s enjoyed a slow build-up into becoming the go-to generalist support among League’s top players. This stems from a change made all the way back in 6.6, where we aimed to give her scaling a little more ‘oomph’ so Karma could feel appropriately rewarded for a strong performance. We’re happy with her scaling, but amping up Karma’s base shield in the very same patch led to a massive performance bump that few of her peers could step to. In light of her dominant laning strengths, we’re reverting Karma’s base shield to its previous effectiveness while keeping her growth throughout the game intact.
Quickly addressing the change to Focused Resolve, Karma’s tether actually ticked for damage more often than similar spells. This meant that your natural counterplay (running away) was less effective than it should have been since Karma would usually get most of the damage before breaking anyways. It’s important to note that while the overall damage of Focused Resolve is staying the same, losing one tick does interfere with her passive’s interaction with Mantra’s cooldown. We still think it’s an appropriate power-down for the Enlightened One paired with the hit to her shield, but we’ll be watching to make sure she doesn’t drop too far as a result.
W - Focused Resolve
DAMAGE TICKS: Three at 0, 1, and 2 seconds >>> Two at 0 and 2 seconds (total damage unchanged)
CONSISTENCY: Also applies to Mantra W - Renewal
Mantra E - Defiance
BONUS SHIELD :: 30/100/170/240 >>> 30/90/150/210
Kennen's ultimate damage now weighted towards the end, not the beginning.
Kennen excels at destroying a whole team with area of effect damage when they have no way to escape, and that’s a cool niche for him to fill. Right now, he’s pumping out most of his damage before anybody has even had time to run the other way. We’re weighing his ultimate damage toward its later ticks so that Kennen shines when he manages to keep opponents in the storm even after the stun wears off.
It doesn’t take an experienced analyst to understand that junglers are a little out of line in 7.1. While we’re seeking to address their strength and gank uptime (more on that below), Lee Sin has unsurprisingly found himself at the top of the list when it comes to effectiveness. Lee’s R-Q-Q combo is a death sentence to all but the most durable of champions, and while it’s been around for a while, the Blind Monk wasn’t enough of a problem for us to take action. Now that he’s back on top, we’re taking the opportunity to reduce the strength of the interaction - maintaining Dragon’s Rage as a powerful displacement tool, but cutting its raw effectiveness as a pure finisher.
E - Tempest
THE BLIND MONK :: No longer reveals invisible targets.
ONLY YOU:: Now only reveals targets damaged by Tempest (no longer reveals nearby allies of damaged targets)
R - Dragon's Rage
DAMAGE :: 200/400/600 >>> 150/300/450
Passive damage up at early levels. Q damage scaling increased.
Like Draven, Lucian has historically had a strong mid-game, out-dueling and out-skirmishing more traditional marksman. However, the Fervor changes and the armor penetration rework have left him feeling pretty underwhelming. We’re raising Lucian’s power earlier in the game so he can hit his mid-game stride (and actually do something with it).
Passive - Lightslinger
DAMAGE :: 30/40/50/60% total attack damage (at levels 1/6/11/16) >>> 40/50/60% total attack damage (at levels 1/7/13)
Q - Piercing Light
BASE DAMAGE :: 80/110/140/170/200 >>> 80/115/150/185/220
Tanks should excel when locking up multiple targets in a teamfights, not when smashing laners 1-on-1. Poppy has been doing both recently, and that’s not cool. Duelists need to be able to slowly win trades against tanks and eventually go for the kill. Poppy tends to win trades, as she consistently has a shield available between her passive and Courage of the Colossus. On the other hard, her snapcast ultimate brings enough base damage to create kill pressure of her own and make it dangerous to go all in. We’re hitting her power in both places to give more champions an opportunity to fight her.
One of the goals of Ryze’s 2016 update was to diversify his strengths beyond raw offensive threat. Adding defense- and utility-oriented tuning levers meant we’d have the means to balance around his damage, not just the damage itself. That brings us to today. Ryze has retained his historic late-game potential, but he’s not struggling nearly enough to get there. Overload’s shield and speed boost are too effective a safety net, especially early on while Ryze is still scaling up. Making him more vulnerable to unfavorable matchups gives opponents a window to hinder his progression toward late-game carry status, but if Ryze can navigate the added risk, his payoff is the same as it’s always been.
Q - Overload
OLD SHIELD :: 60~200 at levels 1-18 (50 + 10 per level from levels 1-12, + 5 per level from levels 13-18)
NEW SHIELD :: 65~150 at levels 1-18 (60 + 5 per level)
BONUS MOVEMENT SPEED :: 25/30/35/40/45/50% >>> 25/28/31/34/37/40%
W no longer deals extra damage to monsters.
We’re happy to say Shyvana’s recent ability update has improved the gameplay issues we were targeting, though she’s been somewhat overbearing since then. To bring her back in line, we’re targeting less-interesting strengths that accumulated on her kit over time. In this case, that’s the jungling crutch we added to Burnout a few seasons back.
W - Burnout
[REMOVED] FOREST FIRES:: Burnout no longer deals 20% bonus damage to monsters
W damage and ratio down. Passive W bonus changed. R cooldown up at early ranks.
As a burst mage, Syndra should always be able to threaten high-priority targets with lethal damage at the requirement of some optimization and set-up to realize her murderous desires. If you’ve played League of Legends recently, you can probably see that’s not exactly the case these days. This is large part due to the changes that came with Syndra’s mage update last year - namely, the consistency of which she’s able to be effective, not the effectiveness itself.
The largest bump to Syndra’s consistency lies in Force of Will’s ability to grab (and refresh) multiple Dark Spheres. Where Syndra players previously had to carefully time and optimize their spellcasts to get the maximum damage from Unleashed Power, they’re instead getting 7-sphere ults without much effort. Rather than cut the ceiling of Syndra’s damage (what’s a burst mage without burst?), we’re killing Force of Will’s multi-sphere action to restore the skill requirement for huge damage ults. She’ll still be able to hurl massive damage onto a single target when she gets rolling, but Syndra going off is once again a thing teams can stop rather than a foregone conclusion.
W - Force of Will
TRANSCENDENT BONUS :: Grabs up to 3 spheres >>> Deals 20% bonus true damage
Now that Talon’s update has given opponents the opportunity to fight back against his kill pattern, it’s safe for us to give Talon better fallback opportunities to recover from an unfavorable matchup. We’re giving League’s free-runner more room to interact safely with minions in situations where he’s relegated to farming under turret.
MANA REGENERATION GROWTH STAT :: .5 >>> .75
Passive - Blade's End
FLASHIER MOVES:: Slightly bumped up brightness of passive particles
Q - Noxian Diplomacy
HEAL ON KILL :: 15 + 2/lvl >>> 17 + 3/lvl
Elementalist Lux VFX
We've heard feedback around the clarity of Elementalist Lux's visuals, and have a few changes to address those concerns.
● Warning indicator on R - Final Spark adjusted to be immediately visible on-cast, rather than brightening over the duration
● Adjusted W - Prismatic Barrier’s shield visuals on several forms to maintain similar levels of brightness and noise
● Adjusted E - Lucent Singularity’s missile to better distinguish it from Elementalist Lux’s other effects. It’s now primarily swirling ribbons of light.
Portal cooldown and duration reduced. Voidspawn health scaling down and decay rate up. Voidspawn structure damage up.
VOID GATE DURATION :: 150 seconds >>> 120 seconds
COOLDOWN :: 150 seconds >>> 120 seconds
VOIDSPAWN STRUCTURE DAMAGE :: 5 per level (max 90) >>> 20 per level (max 360)
[REM] VOIDSPAWN HEALTH SCALING:: Voidspawn no longer gain 50 health per level
VOIDSPAWN HEALTH DECAY :: 10% current health every 0.25 seconds >>> 20% current health every 0.25 seconds
CREEPY, NOT CREEPS:: Killing a voidspawn no longer increases your creep score
New mechanics come with some growing pains, so we’re still clearing up a few odd interactions with plants. Right now we see some room to add clarity and consistency by introducing a few quality of life changes that make the effects of plants easier to predict and read.
FLOWING IN THE BREEZE:: Once scouted, plants continue emitting idle VFX through fog of war
VEGETARIAN:: Attacking plants no longer puts Kha'Zix in combat, preventing Evolved R - Void Assault's out-of-combat invisibility effect from activating upon entering brush
WHO PINGED THAT? :: Auto-pings on revealed champions have been toned down to be distinguishable from player-issued pings
[NEW] WARD PING:: Revealed wards now trigger a small auto-ping
FRUIT NEEDS PICKING:: Pickup radius of fruits slightly reduced
HELPING:: Malzahar and Rengar can now be affected by allied Blast Cone triggers during their spell immunity effects
First clear experience reduced. Some overall clear experience funneled into Raptors.
With camps spawning less frequently but granting higher rewards, pre-season buffed early jungling four-fold. Junglers leave clears with more health, experience, and gold - and a longer stretch of time to flex those advantages before camps respawn. We made these changes to reduce the tradeoffs of ganking, with the flip side being a reduction in late clear payouts. Junglers have to make an impact on the game with their early power, else that power dissipates over time. That said, many junglers end up so far ahead of laners for so long that they’re dictating the early game.
In order to curb this dominance, we reduced Smite’s sustain partway through 6.24 and are following up by reducing first-clear experience. First buff + two small camps will still net junglers level 3, but it’ll take six camps to hit level 4, rather than five. With sustain and experience toned down, jungler gold pools may naturally fall in line as well. We’ll continue monitoring as the first few patches of the year progress.
(Side-note: while Crimson Raptor grants less experience than a little Raptor on paper, it’s a large monster so jungle items add another 50. Math!)
Monster experience rewards
FIRST CLEAR:: Murkwolf, Raptor, Krug, and Gromp camps grant 25% less experience on first clear (stacks additively with Ancient Krug’s 50% reduced experience on first clear)
BLUE SENTINEL :: 210 >>> 200
RED BRAMBLEBACK :: 210 >>> 200
GROMP :: 210 >>> 200
KRUGS :: 45 >>> 35
LESSER KRUGS :: 15 >>> 7
CRIMSON RAPTOR :: 15 >>> 20
RAPTORS :: 15 >>> 35
Most of Treeline’s map-specific champion balancing has, over time, been overwritten by assorted buffs, nerfs, and updates. We’re removing the last two cases (Syndra and Wukong) this patch.
That may sound odd, considering we ended the year by giving Shyvana a Treeline-specific way to stack her passive by killing Vilemaw. The difference: Shyvana’s passive was literally un-stackable on a map without Elemental Drakes. We expect champions to be stronger or weaker from one map to the next - hence the two changes below - but we don’t want abilities to be crippled entirely outside of Summoner’s Rift. Moving forward, we’ll continue to evaluate changes in this vein as champs are added and updated, but the days of map-specific balancing for strength alone are behind us.
Passive scaling increased to match Summoner’s Rift.
Passive - Stone Skin
BONUS RESISTANCES:: 2/4/6 armor and magic resist per nearby enemy champion >>> 4/6/8 armor and magic resist per nearby enemy champion
League Client Update
We’re continuing work on performance and bugs while continuing to rebuild legacy client features. More details below! Champion select animations have been given a big performance pass, with many more things being affected by the Low-spec mode available through options. We strongly recommend trying Low-spec mode if you’re having performance issues.
If you’re having technical issues preventing you from enjoying the game experience, know that you still have access to your legacy client. Just click “Launch legacy client” before logging in.
Below are the major features added to the League client update this patch.
[NEW] BOTS IN CUSTOM:: Players are now able to add bots to custom games in the updated client
[NEW] MOAR SETTINGS:: We’ve added more settings to the client under Sound, Interface, and Game
[NEW] ASCENSION:: We’re continuing to add more rotating game modes with this patch. The Ascension rotating game mode is now supported in the updated client.
[NEW] BATTLE BOOSTS:: Players can now purchase Battle Boosts in ARAM in the updated client
[NEW] TOASTER DETECTION:: Players on low-spec machines will see a dialog asking them if they’d like to enable low-spec mode
For those of you who haven’t yet opted into the open beta, we’re releasing another chunk of files (~500 MB) later with this patch. This download (and similar downloads with our normal patches going forward) will split the updated client into smaller chunks, reducing the final download size when it’s time to deprecate the legacy client. If you’ve opted into open beta, you’ve already downloaded these files, so you’ll be pretty much unaffected.
● We believe we fixed an issue that sometimes prevented players from editing their masteries in champ select. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on this issue.
● Fixed an issue with the champ select grid not loading upon entering champion select
● Fixed an issue that sometimes caused flickering during champ select
● Champ select animations have been given a big performance pass, with many more things being affected by activation of Low-spec mode. SERIOUSLY, TRY LOW-SPEC MODE IF YOU'RE HAVING PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS.
● Fixed an issue that sometimes caused a crash if a player failed to pick a champ during champ select
● Fixed an issue that prevented players from reconnecting to their game after getting disconnected while transitioning from champ select
● Sounds in the client and in-game now respect your audio settings levels
● Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented players from accepting a ready check timer and causing the ACCEPT button to appear grayed out
● We believe we fixed an issue that was preventing players from getting a ready check when friends in their party get it
● Fixed an issue that caused the PLAY button to be grayed out after finishing the tutorial
● Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the summoner icon of a player to appear incorrectly in the game lobby
● Fixed an issue that was causing the friends list to jitter when drag and dropping friends between folders
● Fixed an issue that caused mastery pages created in the legacy client to appear incorrectly in the updated client
● Fixed an issue that prevented players from seeing a queue dodge notification when someone dodges from champ select for the second time
● You will no longer get gifting notifications for gifts you’ve already received
● Fixed an issue that prevented players from viewing champion skins on champion detail pages
● Made some changes to improve legibility of the IP/RP text on the home screen
● Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented players from spectating a friend’s game
● Fixed several cases where abilities that create objects (ex. Jarvan’s E - Demacian Standard) caused their casters to no longer be considered Isolated for the purposes of Kha'Zix's Passive - Unseen Threat
● Fixed a bug causing LeBlanc's W - Distortion cooldown to reset if she cast it, allowed it to go on cooldown without re-casting it, then copied it with R - Mimic
● Shaco's W - Jack in the Boxes now re-stealth after being revealed once the revealing effect (ex. Sweeping Lens) expires
● Fixed a bug causing Bard's Q - Cosmic Binding stun to last slightly longer than intended
● The nearby enemy knockback effect of Fizz's R - Chum the Waters no longer knocks back spell shielded targets while still consuming the spell shield
● Fixed a bug where, briefly after hitting a target with Darius’s E - Apprehend, Darius automatically tried to attack the target, overriding any commands issued after Apprehend was cast
● Hecarim's E - Devastating Charge can no longer critically strike structures
● Fixed a bug causing enemies revealed by Frost Queen's Claim ghosts to also reveal stealthed enemy units they walked over
● Fixed a bug causing Duskblade of Draktharr's ward detection radius VFX pulses to queue up while dead, then play all at once upon respawning
● Karma's base Mantra W - Renewal tether visuals are no longer a funky color
● Surprise Party Fiddlesticks's E - Dark Wind on-hit particles now properly appear when Dark Wind kills a unit
● Program Camille's R - The Hextech Ultimatum border no longer disappears under elevated terrain
● The green triangle patterning on the ground during Program Camille's R - The Hextech Ultimatum no longer fails to appear if the camera moved away during the cast time
● Mecha Malphite's chromas now properly put spikes on his fists for the duration of W - Brutal Strikes
● Added missing effects for PROJECT: Ekko's W - Parallel Convergence bonus damage versus low-health champions
● River Spirit Nami's right tail fin no longer disappears in several of her animations
● Koi Nami's chromas now properly use her skin-specific water particles during her walk animation
● Super Galaxy Shyvana's Dragon Form E - Flame Breath explosion no longer permanently leaves behind subtle flame effects on the map
● Fixed a few cases where the snowflake ground decoration on Snow Day Bard's Q - Cosmic Binding stun appeared in weird places on certain champions
● Fixed an issue where the tails of Fire form Elementalist Lux's dress disappeared during some animations
● Star Guardian Lux's wand no longer gets briefly stuck at the max range of W - Prismatic Barrier
● Fixed a bug causing certain buff visuals (ex. Banshee's Veil) to bounce upward during Mecha Zero Sion's R - Unstoppable Onslaught animation
● Realigned Mecha Zero Sion's jet thruster particles with his model during his homeguard animation
● Shockblade Zed's shadow no longer loses its smoky visuals during Zed's dance animation
● The flower Ivern creates during his taunt animation (candy for his Candy King skin) no longer vanishes if the camera moves away and back again
● The face of the poro in Santa Braum's joke animation no longer mutates during the animation
Upcoming Skins & Chromas
The following skins will be released during patch 7.1:
● Dreadnova Gangplank
● Warring Kingdoms Azir
● Warring Kingdoms Garen
● Warring Kingdoms Vi
Snowdown Crafting Material Expiration
As a reminder, Snowdown Crafting materials (Snowdown Sweets and Poro King's Treasure Chest Fragments) will disappear on January 16th at 23:59 PT. Winter Chests, Snowdown Chests, Legacy Chests, and Poro King's Treasure Chests will remain usable but will no longer drop expired materials after that date. Make sure to finish your crafting before then!
Dustin Steiner has seen esports from nearly every angle, from tournament administration to live event coverage. He has worked in the space for over six years for outlets such as the Capcom Pro Tour, eSportsMax, ESFI World, Evil Geniuses and GameZone.