It’s happening, it’s finally here. After what has seemed like eons (OK, it’s been like three weeks), the patchless tundra is over. It’s time for season 8, everybody get excited. A new season means new champions, new items, new changes, new balance and a new ranked season. It may just be the start of the year, but we already have so much to look forward to.
But before we can look forward, we have to take a second and look back. The first patch of 2018 fixes some of the sins of 2017. Zoe is too strong you say? She’s gettin’ nerfed. Honor was cool but underwhelming? It’s getting fixed. The game is too buggy now? They have fixed so many bugs this patch! And finally, you feel that Jax has been treated unfairly and never been given a fair shot because he uses a lamp instead of a real weapon? Well, have we got news for you.
Here are five quick things you need to know about Patch 8.1. For a full list of changes, you can check out our patch note post here.
1. Ranked Season starts with this patch
It’s that time of year again. The ranked season is finally, almost, upon us. The 2018 ranked season will begin on Jan. 16. This year’s ranked season doesn’t bring with it many changes, except that Challenger players can now duo queue together. Other than that, it’s the same ranked system you know and love back for 2018.
2. Zoe is getting a few more nerfs
Zoe’s changes in Patch 7.24 may have nerfed her slightly, but they didn’t make her much less frustrating to play against. In fact, she still has the highest ban rate of any champion on the patch. Thankfully, Riot heard our solo queue cries and is taking another pass at some of Zoe’s more annoying traits.
The biggest change is that her Sleepy Trouble Bubble will now take a little longer to turn into a trap once it hits the ground. Meanwhile, her Paddle Star, Portal Jump combo is also getting a little easier for enemies to see and predict. These changes should help make Zoe’s abilities easier to dodge as a whole and hopefully make her a little less frustrating to face in-game.
3. The Honor system is getting a slight rework
The honor system was ... not great when it launched. It’s still not great if we’re being totally honest. Well, Riot agrees and the developers are making some big changes to the system in 2018. There is now a checkpoint system, which will tell you how close you are to your next honor level. Even better, you get guaranteed rewards the further in you go. All of this should work together to make honor feel meaningful and tangible, rather than just random. Check out this post to learn more.
4. Bugs are getting cleaned up to start the season
This preseason has been pretty buggy, and with all the changes that were made, who’s surprised? With that in mind, Riot is taking a look at the bugs they know about and taking care of a huge list of them to kick off 2018. Patch 8.1 addresses not only a bunch of the bugs from champions, but also runes and skins giving everyone a clean, or mostly clean, path forward to start their 2018 ranked journeys.
5. Jax is finally getting a real weapon
Jax has some of the most fun lore in League ... stay with me here, this’ll get relevant. Basically, Jax is so good that he would just kill everybody instantly if he had a real weapon. So he uses a lamp instead, to give himself a challenge. If you’ve seen One Punch Man, you’ve got it. Anyway, Jax’s newest skin, God Staff Jax, follows closely in the design footsteps of its cousin, God Fist Lee Sin. Basically, it returns Jax to his full power. With his staff, he has ascended and can now do some serious smashing. This skin looks great and should be hitting very shortly after 8.1’s launch.