League of Legends’ latest patch has arrived and it’s bringing with it a long-promised rework for ADC items. Outside of a few balance changes to the furthest outlying champions, this patch is pretty light on other changes as Riot seems content to see how things shake out with all the item changes that are on the way.
One of the bigger features of this patch, that isn’t directly related to game balance, are the visual effects updates that are included for Kennen, Olaf, Wukong, and Riven. Kennen’s old electricity effects are getting a cleaner and more clear update, which should help make them a little more readable for opponents. Meanwhile, the other champions getting updates — Olaf, Wukong, and Riven — were extremely light on effects before and are now getting better visuals for all of their abilities.
For a full look at all the changes coming in League of Legends patch 9.3 you can check out the full patch notes.
Crit items are back for ADCs
Ever since ADCs were reworked last year, crit items haven’t exactly been the most popular choices for builds. Sure, it’s still present, but it didn’t really feel like the core stat for most ADCs the way it used to. Well, it seems that we’re going back to the way things were — at least somewhat. Cloak of Agility is back in the game and Infinity Edge gives critical strike chance stats again. Alongside that, Zeal has had its cost reduced by 100 gold. While there has been a small reduction in critical strike chance on attack speed items, the extra 25 percent on Infinity Edge should still leave ADCs critting way more often than they’re used to right now.
Balance changes for Aatrox and Irelia
The only notable balance changes this time around — that don’t have to do with ADCs — are coming to Aatrox and Irelia who have both remained consistently strong since they were reworked last year. This time around Aatrox is having the healing from his Umbral Dash nerfed, but he’s getting a little bit of base health regen in return. Irelia is getting a few more changes, as Riot has reworked the way her passive works as well as limiting her shield, Defiant Dance, to block physical damage only.
There are a few new defensive AD items
Defensive options for ADCs have always been extremely limited. After all, basic attacks are really just a math problem, so there’s always a solution to which items will help you do the most damage. Now, with critical strike chance playing a more prominent role, Riot is also hoping to increase the defensive option of some of League’s squishiest champions by introducing some new defensive AD items. There’s Phantom Dancer, which now has a shield that’s similar to Hexdrinker, but more burst focused.
There’s also a new offensive AD item
Also helping to increase ADC survivability is the new item, Spear of Shojin. This is a B.F. Sword item that increases health — thanks to the Kindle Gem in its build — and increases attack speed for 6 seconds after you use your ultimate. But, there’s another small twist to how it works. With every basic attack you cast during that six seconds, it will refund 20 percent of your remaining basic ability cooldowns. Technically this is an item for ADCs, but it seems like it might make champions like Tryndamere, Master Yi, and Jax a nightmare too, o it could end up killing more ADCs than it saves.
Valentine’s Day skins are here
This year’s celebratory skins for Valentine’s Day are Heartpiercer Fiora and Heartbreaker Vi. Sure, they don’t the most cheery names, but they do look amazing. Both skins sport the traditional red and gold of League’s other Valentine’s Day skins. Fiora has pink accents across her quilted coat while Vi is wearing a purple jacket, both of which help give these skins a little extra color and distinguish themselves from the other Heartseeker skins that have come before.