It’s September, which means it’s almost time to start preemptively panicking about all the changes Riot will be making to the game in season 9. But for now, all we can do is enjoy the road up to Worlds. The teams are getting locked in and we’re all ready to stay up very late to watch games on Korea time, it’s only a matter of playing the waiting game. But hold on, League-traveler, might I interest you in a very random space detour? I’m so glad you agreed.
Before we dive headfirst into esports for the rest of the year, we have a patch full of cool space-pirate stuff. The new PvE mode, Odyssey Extraction, is here, and should be pretty familiar to fans of the Star Guardian mode from last year. There are also six new skins and five new chromas to go with the new theme.
But 8.18 isn’t without some other changes as well. Junglers will no longer ruin your game by forgetting to take Smite and like, three things are changing for champion balance. The Nexus Blitz alpha is also ending, which may be very sad for you. Check out everything you need to know before playing 8.18 below.
For a full list of changes, check out our full patch notes post.
1. Odyssey Extraction is the latest new game mode
Explore space and kill some alien baddies to rescue Ziggs from a crash landing site. All of the sweet Odyssey skins will be unlocked for this game mode, so you can play fully decked out. As you get upgrades along the path to rescue Ziggs, you’ll get to keep those permanently, meaning the next time you load into Odyssey Extraction, it should be easier to play. Don’t think it’ll be too easy, though. Much like the last PvE game mode Riot released, this one has varying difficulties, with the hardest labeled as Onslaught. Good luck, guys.
2. Nexus Blitz is going away
Nexus Blitz has been in Alpha for a while now, but the initial testing window is coming to a close with patch 8.18. As a brief reminder, Nexus Blitz is like a faster version of League with random events in the middle and it might just become a permanent game mode soon. For now, it’s just in testing and Riot wants everyone’s feedback. That being said, the window to test Nexus Blitz is closing. Hopefully the game mode will return (and it’ll be more polished) so if you didn’t get a chance to check it out, not all hope is lost.
3. Smite auto selects when you get jungle
How many times have you started a game, just to look at the loading screen and realize you were jungling and didn’t bring Smite? Sure, it’s not something that happens every game, and it sure is possible to come back and win even without it, but it sure does feel bad. Thankfully, Riot is finally doing something about this. As of patch 8.18, you’ll start every game that you are assigned jungle in with smite. That means no more forgetting to select summoners and no more spending the first five minutes of a game fervently apologizing to your teammates and trying to convince them that, no, you weren’t trolling, you just aren’t good at paying attention. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
4. There is a small splatter of balance changes
This is a pretty sparse patch overall and even the balance changes don’t seem like they’ll affect much. There are, however, a few exceptions to that. For instance, Viktor is getting the price of his first Hexcore reduced, which should help his early laning phase quite a bit. Meanwhile, Vayne got a huge buff to her Tumble ability, which got its cooldown reduced at the earliest levels. The final change worth noting in this patch is the nerf to Kai’Sa. Ever since her extremely weak release, Kai’Sa has been a little overbuffed leading to some oppressive damage. That should be significantly reduced this patch, thank to Riot taking the scaling out of her passive, meaning she will only do 15 percent of a target’s missing health when Caustic Wounds is activated.
5. New Odyssey skins are here and they look fantastic
This patch is all about Odyssey, and that includes skins. 8.18 will give us new, space-themed skins for Jinx, Malphite, Ziggs, Sona, Kayn and Yasuo. This scurvy band of space pirates look rad as hell, and are all appropriately weird looking in their own unique way. All of them except for Kayn have their own chromas as well.