The first patch after the pre-season changes mainly brought us tweaks to assassins, items, and the jungle, but it also gave us a new kind of champion update that Riot is referring to as an “opportunistic update.” The patch notes describe this as a change that is smaller than a big update or rework, but still yields “big improvements.”
In the case of Shyvana — the champion being updated — this means a more focused and unique character fantasy and a better defined role within the game.
Shyvana’s champion identity has always been dragon-oriented, but before now that hasn’t really meant much in the way she interacted with the game. After the update, however, Shyvana’s passive grants her unique interactions with the Dragon and Drake cousins on Summoner’s Rift. The first of these is 10% increased damage to all elemental drakes and the Elder Dragon. This will also help Shyvana with the second part of that passive which now grants her 5 bonus armor and magic resist for every elemental drake she kills rather than the scaling bonuses she received with her old passive.
Along with her passive, Shyvana’s Flame Breath (E) also received some significant changes, specifically in dragon form. The old version of the ability allowed Shyvana to cast a cone of fire in-front of herself. Instead of this, the new version will be castable anywhere within it’s max range, and when it reaches it’s target, or hits a champion it will explode leaving behind a “flame zone.” The flame zone will scale in size and damage with Shyvana’s level and wil last for four seconds dealing damage each second an enemy champion stands within it. The flame zone will also serve to mark targets for Flame Breath’s bonus auto attack damage component.
The other two big changes to Shyvana effect her ability to get into her enemy’s back line. The first is that she can no longer be knocked out of Dragon’s Descent — the movement portion of her ultimate. This means that once Shyvana decides to dive in there’s absolutely no stopping her. The other change is to her Burnout (W) ability, which will no longer leave a trail of flames behind Shyvana in Dragon Form. So when she does decide to dive she is going to do a little less collateral damage on the way.
These ability changes, along with some number and ratio tweaking also coming to these abilities, should help to make Shyvana a more interesting champion with a better toolkit for impacting the game and coming from behind. The patch notes refer to these changes as “one of League’s first opportunistic updates,” which likely means more small but highly significant updates in the near future.
Players will have the chance to check out the Shyvana update for themselves when Patch 6.22 goes live on November 22.