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League of Legends 2017 Midseason update: Preview of changes to Rift Herald, tanks

Maokai, Sejuani and Zac get the spotlight this time!

Riot has been teasing us about the 2017 Midseason update with small notes on Sejuani, Zac and Maokai, but we didn’t really know much else aside from the fact that they were looking at tanks. The gameplay team posted an update on the site briefing us on what to look for on Friday.

Rift Herald

The Rift Herald will be seeing a (much deserved) buff that turns her into a monster you can command to take down towers. The Herald will still drop an eye that gets added to your inventory. When you hold it, you can get an empowered recall and the item wil disappear after a set amount of time.

Using the item will let you summon the Herald to do your bidding. She’ll smash down buildings until they’re gone and then move onto the next. She’ll ignore champs and fighting her will be the same as taking her on in the pit, throw your best stuff at her and poke her eye to take her down. You can also use crowdcontrol on her now!

Also, if you haven’t noticed already, the Rift Herald was described with feminine pronouns! We love her!

Champions

As we discussed before, Sejuani, Zac and Maokai are the champions that will receive the biggest changes. Notably, Riot has stated that other tank champions will not get mini-updates, similarly to how they’ve done with other class reworks in the past. They’ll be focusing on the three main champions.

Sejuani will have a similar stacking passive to Braum, that allows her to stun her enemies, and a special ability that gives her a slow immunity and resistances. Maokai’s saplings will deal a bit more damage and his ultimate has been completely reworked into a large wave-like ability (like Nami’s) that snares the first champion each root hits.

Zac has more of a combo idea added to his kit and he can now charge up his ultimate for even more bounce!

See the skills in action in the teaser below!

Midseason 2017 Preview. More details on the website.

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Itemization

As usual, Riot will be reworking and adding items relevant to the class they’re updating! This means we’ll be getting new tank items and some changes to some old favorites.

Adaptive Helm is a new go-to magic resist item that reduces the amount of damage that you take from the same spell over a short amount of time. It helps you adapt to high damage spell-casters like Cassiopeia.

Gargoyle Stoneplate is an item that will give you insane resistances in team fights against three or more people - but in return, your dueling capability is heavily nerfed. This’ll be great for the team-helping Maokai, but not so much for the dueling Fiora.

The amount of health that Spirit Visage, Sunfire Cape, Randuin’s Omen and Deadman’s Plate gives will be converted into resistances so champions like Fizz and Ekko will stop getting such huge bonuses off of those items. That being said, armor penetration items will be also looked in to and adjusted.

Team Balance and Contribution

Supports have been under Riot’s microscope for a while, since it’s been so hard to give them gold or try to make sure they don’t fall behind. The support items will enable them to complete “quests” to gain a new active if enough passive gold as been obtained.

Ancient Coin line*: Gain an elixir that instantly grants a skill point when consumed (you still have a max of 18 skill points per game, meaning you’ll finish leveling your abilities at level 17). Takedowns on enemy champions grant gold and restore mana.

Relic Shield line: Gain a shield that regenerates out of combat

Spellthief’s Edge line: Tribute procs grant a burst of movement speed

For visual clarity, Riot will be adding an effect around people who use their aggressive summoner spells or items like Mikael’s Crucible, so people can tell who is contributing to the fight. There will also be an addition of post-game stats, such as how long you’ve CC’d the enemies, how well you warded and more!