It’s no secret that the 2016 assassin update didn’t do its target champions any favors. Just about every champion involved has seen a major overhaul since their rework. In a few cases, like Rengar, Riot has simply done a full revert and decided that the whole experiment was a failure and reverted the champion’s kit all the way back to what it was before the update. LeBlanc received the latest of these kit reversions thanks to Patch 8.8.
But, if you never played the old LeBlanc, or simply don’t remember what she was like, don’t worry, we’ve got everything you need to know about her kit before heading into Patch 8.8.
Which abilities haven’t changed?
This may sound strange, but that’s a much easier first explanation than what has changed. LeBlanc’s main three abilities are, more or less, the same as they were last patch. Her Q does direct damage to enemies, her W launches her forward dealing AOE damage where she lands and allows her to jump back to a set location, and her E links her to an enemy with a chain that will apply a root after 1.5 seconds. Other than their numbers, these abilities function just like they did. But that’s where the similarities end between the reworked kit, and the reverted kit.
First and foremost the ultimate is different. It no longer requires you to activate it, then choose an ability to mimic, instead, pressing R simply mimics the last ability LeBlanc used. That means if you’re playing LeBlanc, you always have to keep in mind which spell you used last, to know exactly what your ultimate ability will do.
The other big change is LeBlanc’s passive. Her old, reworked, passive used to mark all targets she hit with a damage marker that could be detonated after a brief application time. Now, that mark is only applied by her Q, but can be detonated instantly.
LeBlanc’s new passive is, well, her old one: Mirror Image. This passive means that anytime LeBlanc drops below 40 percent health, she will go invisible for one second and spawn a controllable clone for up to eight seconds.
What does any of this change in-game?
The first thing it does is make LeBlanc more fun to play. The LeBlanc rework wasn’t terrible, but the additional time it took for her passive to arm made bursting targets way harder than it needed to be and gated her damage behind a countdown clock which was a constant source of frustration.
Now that the damage can be done instantly, that means LeBlanc’s enemies are going to die a lot faster. If you’re playing against her Q flying toward you, get ready for a lot of damage to happen really fast. The good news is, this version of LeBlanc is a lot more predictable when you’re playing against her. You always know that a Q could be followed up on instantly and you know that her ultimate will always be the last ability she cast.
Chances are, this LeBlanc revert won’t be perfect out of the game — they already had to disable her for a little while — but once Riot has had a bit of time to balance her, these changes should leave LeBlanc in a much better spot, both for avid players, and the people they’re playing against.