Like last season’s marksman update and the mid-season mage update, the assassin class of League of Legends champions is scheduled for a facelift. We already know which four champions are getting major reworks, with details already announced on Rengar, Katarina, Talon and LeBlanc, but Tuesday we got a little more information on some of the other impending changes.
For one, how stealth works is going to be changing a lot. We already knew that was happening because of the details of the Rengar update, but now we know a little bit more.
Stealth will be broken into two different types:
Invisibility - shorter-term in-combat Stealths that make champions completely unseen such as Kha’zix’s Void Assault.
Camouflage - longer-term pre-combat Stealths that can be detected through proximity such as Evelynn’s Shadow Walk.
Perhaps the biggest change is that pink wards will no longer detect invisibility. You can expect changes for how invisibility interacts with other abilities as a result.
Simply put, Invisibility being trivially countered by the use of a relatively cheap single consumable item rendered several champions non-functional especially at high levels of play. This will allow us to better balance these champions since they will now be able to more readily utilize their Invisibilities in fights such that they no longer have to solely rely on instantly bursting their target or dying to enemy focus fire.
One example given for a balance change is a shimmer when you hit stealthed enemies with a skillshot.
In addition to the invisibility changes, there will be alterations to the flat armor penetration system and to assassin itemization.
Perhaps most importantly, the list of champions that will be receiving small updates was released. They are all included below, with Statikk’s reasoning and context in the post for each.
Akali is another champion we believe needs a full Visual Gameplay Update to realize her full potential. Despite that, we’re exploring some small scale changes that will give her more ways to outplay her opponents, but are also looking to resolve some of the gameplay health issues that stem from her split identity as both a bursty Assassin and a sustained Fighter. On top of this, Akali will be one of the major beneficiaries of the Pink Ward no longer detecting Invisibility change as it was one of the primary ways to shut her down previously - moving forward Akali and her target should both have a bit more time to breathe in the midst of combat.
Although not strictly an Assassin, we felt this was an opportunity once again to better align Ekko with his intended gameplay and fantasy; we are continuing to push Ekko away from being a pure Tank and instead more towards being an AP damage threat. Even though we’ve been inching him in that direction for a while, we think some minor shifts here will go a long way into solidifying his identity.
We’re looking to retain Fizz’s unique arsenal of evasive tricks but force him to make hard decisions about when and where to use them by giving Fizz more incentive to play with his food before he ultimately feeds them to his Shark. We also want to give Fizz a bit more flexibility in the lane especially when he’s on the back foot and forced to just last hit minions. To top it all off, we’re exploring cool ways of further pushing Fizz’s unique identity as the Assassin with strong initiation potential.
One of Kha’Zix’s core tenets is to evolve and adapt - we want Kha’Zix players to feel like they are constantly re-considering which evolutions to take based on the context of the current game as well as their own playstyle. And although we want to continue to keep Isolation as the way Kha’Zix primarily succeeds, we are taking this opportunity to limit his instant burst damage and empower him to utilize the tools he has to follow-up and finish his victims.
Although we think Shaco is ultimately in need a full VGU-esque update, we wanted to take some time to give him a quick tune up. We want to give him back some of the cool tricks he used to have (as well as some new ones), but at the same time address some of the long-term game health issues he has always presented (overbearing early ganks and relentless split pushing).
Although an already solid part of the roster, Zed can be an overly generalist choice in the Assassin space due to his relatively safe early game and his effective Assassination tools. Outside of some tuning adjustments, we’re looking for some interesting ways to make Zed think more carefully about the opposing team composition and in particular who he chooses to Death Mark throughout the game.
The assassin update will be a part of the preseason, which you can expect shortly after the season ends November 6.