Update, 10/14: Hey, we know more about plants now, go check it out!
One of the bigger additions to League of Legends in the upcoming Season 7 will be the addition of “plants” in the jungle, a thing we first heard about Wednesday. Later Wednesday, Rioter Fearless posted a longer explanation on the League boards of what plants are and what they will do, with examples provided.
Plants are small, single use neutral objects that activate when attacked by a champion. They spawn in semi-random locations in the jungle (similar to Bard’s chimes), and respawn after a window of regrowth.
So basically, they are little objects that spawn in the jungle, and when you hit them, things happen. An important thing to know: plants show up as seedlings 30 seconds before they can be used, so both teams know which plant is going to spawn where. The spawn locations will also be restricted in the early game.
Fearless previewed three kinds of plants in the post.
Blast Cone, which throws nearby units away:
Honeyfruit, which heals (and provides yet another frustration for Karthus player):
And Scryer’s Bloom, which provides vision:
As can be expected, a large portion of the reaction to this news was concern about the RNG (random number generation) involved in the spawning of the plants. Riot Xypherous clarified some details about the spawning in a comment on Fearless’s post:
Currently, the first set of plants spawn relatively late in the game - and initial spawn positions are more or less fixed - so the first set of plant locations are more or less deterministic - which makes the initial wave contestable to a point.
The respawn time between plant waves varies a bit between contests - but the second wave of plants happens towards the tail end of laning phase and the seeded river locations are fairly 'deep' in the river in the early parts of the game so if they do this tactic, you'll also have time to head them off - unless you're not in the area at all - in which case it's similar to an uncontested champion using minions or scuttle to heal back via a type of drain.
Agreed that curation of plant location is pretty important - satchels, for example, are kind of pointless if there aren't interesting jumps - so there's a handful of optimal seeded locations where plants can spawn.
So, yeah. That’s plants, coming to your League of Legends in the coming months. As usual with big changes like this, there’s a whole lot about this system and how it will work that we don’t know yet, so we’ll be sure to update you as we found out more. I encourage you to read Fearless’s post for more context on the changes and how they impact Smite.