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League of Legends Patch 7.5: 5 things to know

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Major Aatrox changes, wide-spread nerfs and a new keystone mastery!

Riot Games

We’re back on schedule for League of Legends patch notes — after an odd Wednesday release two weeks ago, the newest notes for the upcoming Patch 7.5 went live Tuesday. Before you get too excited — no, this isn’t the one with new Galio. That’ll be in about two weeks with the release of Patch 7.6, and yes, we are just as pumped about that as you are.

This patch, we’ve got major changes to Aatrox (yes, really!), pretty big ones for Fizz and Kindred, nerfs to a whole bunch of strong performing champions and a brand new keystone mastery. That’s not even all, either -- it’s a pretty busy patch this time around as the season chugs along. Here are the five things you really need to know before stepping onto the rift on Patch 7.5. For a list of all the changes, click here.

1. Get re-acquainted with Aatrox, Kindred and Fizz

These three champions, to (largely) varying degrees, have been out of style for a bit. Fizz has been the most popular, with a play rate hovering around 4.5 percent, while Kindred (1.27 percent) and Aatrox (0.52 percent) have mostly been on the outside of the meta looking in.

For Aatrox, that’s pretty much been his state of being since his initial release in 2013 — he hasn’t even been touched in a patch since 5.11, back in June 2015. The Darkin Blade has never quite found his way into the meta, but rather than a full-scale rework Riot is attempting to bolster him with a series of changes in this patch.

Part of the difficulty with Aatrox’s kit is how it interacts with health — his abilities cost health, and his self-healing scales with damage, making it difficult for him to survive fights and feel like he’s doing something in the process. As explained in the patch notes:

We want to give Aatrox more to do in the games he’s not running away with a game. That means making it more rewarding for him to invest some gold in durability, as well as making it less punishing for him to use his abilities.

So what’s actually happening? Aatrox’s health costs have been reduced (and outright removed on his Q and W), his W now heals himself for more and his base damages have been toned down. But perhaps his biggest change is to his passive, Blood Well, giving him a large buff when active.

BLOOD WELL :: Aatrox fills his Blood Well through his abilities. When he reaches 100%, Blood Well begins to drain over 4 seconds, giving him Blood Rush for the Duration.

BLOOD RUSH :: Aatrox gains 25% base attack damage and 20-50% attack speed depending on his level. Upon taking fatal damage, Aatrox will revive and recover 30% of his max health.

REVIVE COOLDOWN :: 225/200/175/150 (at levels 1/6/11/16) >>> 180-120 seconds (at levels 1-18)

As for the other two ... Kindred’s jungle marks will now be more frequent, and will always start with the Rift Scuttler (helping smooth her early clear). Fizz’s Q has a higher AP ratio and his W lasts longer, but his ultimate is less sticky and will no longer attach to champions walking over it after it has missed its target.

2. Big implications for ADCs

The AD Carry meta has certainly been the most stagnant of any position in Season 7 — it can often feel like if you’re not playing Varus or Jhin (or, realistically, just Varus), you’re going to lose the game. Options have mostly been limited to utility AD Carries and AD Carries who can build lethality, and even attempts to lessen the impact of those items haven’t done much to change the pecking order at the position.

So for starters ... yes, Varus is getting nerfed! His max range Piercing Arrow does 15% less damage and the ability has a longer cooldown, but the cooldown is reduced by four seconds if it detonates Blight stacks on an enemy champion.

Second ... yes, Miss Fortune is getting nerfed, too! The bounce on her Q now has the same base damage and ratios as the first hit, but if the first hit kills the target, the second will now crit instead of a flat 50% increased damage. Maybe this isn’t necessarily a straight nerf, but it certainly seems like it’s focused on moving her away from the lethality build and more towards a crit-focused one.

Another nerf that will impact Miss Fortune (and also Jhin) -- Deathfire Touch, the favored mastery for a few AD Carries, is getting its bonus AD ratio reduced from 60 percent to 45 percent. That’s not the only keystone mastery change for AD Carries -- Warlord’s Bloodlust is now basically an entirely new mastery. Instead of giving lifesteal based on missing health, Warlord’s is now an energized attack, like Statikk Shiv. Instead of an AOE shock, however, energized attacks will grant lifesteal and movement speed.

Finally, Lucian is getting a small buff in this patch, lowering the cast times on his Q and W and making them generally smoother to cast. With all the other changes going on at the position, don’t be surprised to see Lucian rise in priority.

3. Meet Stoneborn Pact, the new keystone

And we didn’t even have to wait til midseason to do so! Bond of Stone had pretty much been widely rejected by the support tanks it was meant for — most would go for either Grasp of the Undying or Courage of the Colossus instead. With this patch, Bond of Stone is replaced by Stoneborn Pact.

Like Courage of the Colossus, Stoneborn Pact interacts with your crowd control abilities. In addition to giving you an additional 5 percent maximum health, the new mastery marks any enemy champions you’ve hit with movement-impairing abilities. Allies who hit those champions with basic attacks then heal, scaling with your max health.

When Courage of the Colossus was first released, it was extremely strong and used at almost every position. With the maximum health scaling and the dependency on teammates’ auto attacks, this mastery is definitely tuned towards tank supports, but you never know who will end up using it.

4. Exhaust nerfed

Previously just a summoner spell for supports who didn’t want ignite, Exhaust has steeply risen in popularity with the number of assassins roaming wild in the mid lane and the jungle. Even against non-assassin mid laners like Syndra, exhaust can be an excellent choice for a mid laner that would rather not die to her burst damage.

Exhaust still reduces the target’s damage significantly, but two of its extraneous power sources have been removed: it longer reduces the target’s armor and magic resist by 10, and it no longer reduces the target’s attack speed by 30 percent.

5. Ascension returns + new dragon skins!

Ascension, everyone’s very favorite game mode that has a Xerath in the middle of the map, returns this weekend. You should check out our guide.

But I know what you’re really here for: those sweet, sweet new skins. Microtransactions ahoy!

  • Dragon Sorceress Zyra
Riot Games
  • Dragonslayer Xin Zhao

The following chromas will be released in patch 7.5:

  • Dragonslayer Pantheon
  • Dragonslayer Xin Zhao
  • Eye of the Dragon Ward