League of Legends’ latest patch is here and it’s taking aim at a few of the game’s strongest champions and runes and hoping to bring them in line.
Since we’re nearing the middle of the season, a huge patch was never really in the cards for 9.7. Instead, this patch is focused on making smaller changes to help correct those things that were way out of line. That means nerfs to champions like Kayle and Urgot, who were having a pretty great time in solo queue over the last couple weeks.
Also getting an update are a few items like The Dark Seal, which is going to be a lot less powerful, and Cinderhulk, which is getting a little stronger. Runes are changing too as a the entire vision oriented line of wards is getting an update that ties them into Eyeball Collector. These changes should help make decisions more important and force players to pick where they want their strengths to be.
As always, you can check out all of the changes that are coming to League of Legends in patch 9.7 in our full patch notes.
Kayle is getting nerfed ... again
Kayle may have come out a little too strong. This is the second patch in a row that Riot has had to make some big changes to Kayle in hopes of taking her power down, but hopefully this time around they’ll actually stick. This time around Riot is nerfing her scaling, mostly, and giving her ratios a bit of a boost in response. This should help ensure that Kayle actually has to get items to be strong, rather than simply rolling through the game off of a level advantage alone.
Urgot was good for one patch (a little too good, apparently)
Last patch, Urgot got a few good health buffs. This patch, Riot is walking that back a little bit. As it turns out the buffs were a little too good, so Urgot is getting some damage shaved off elsewhere. His passive damage is going down, mostly in the late game, his ultimate damage is going down throughout the game and his E cooldown is increasing. These probably aren’t enough to kill Urgot completely, but they certainly aren’t doing him any favors.
The Dark Seal is moving to a situational item
For quite a few patches now The Dark Seal has been a perfect early game item on almost any mage. It gave you great scaling damage for a low cost, and its sell value was good enough that if things were going poorly you could turn it into gold without losing too much. Instead of targeting one of these advantages about the item, Riot is targeting both of them. The sell value of the item is going down, and the damage is going down, too. In effect, this means that The Dark Seal is going back to the situational item it was designed as. If you’re ahead or in a good match up, it’s a great buy that you could maybe upgrade to a Soulstealer. But, you certainly aren’t going to be taking in every game anymore.
Tracking runes are getting reworked
Tracking runes, which are under the Domination tree, are now going to feel a little more like a family. All three runes, Zombie Ward, Ghost Poro, and Eyeball Collection will now have a 30 adaptive force cap that they can grant their users. Eyeball Collection is staying pretty similar, though it’s max stacks are going down. Ghost Poro will now spawn a poro when a ward you’ve placed expires. Each poro you spawn will grant two stacks of adaptive force. Zombie Ward will grant you two adaptive force for each enemy ward you clear. This tier of runes is now all about gaining damage, but how you get that extra damage is up to you.
Dunkmaster Ivern is here
This patch has a couple of different skins, but the easiest to get is Dunkmaster Ivern. Despite some controversy surrounding this skin when it was first revealed, Riot has worked to make sure that players are happy with it. Adding another Dunkmaster skins to the game is always great and it’s good to see Ivern get his first new skin after release. Joining the new Dunkmaster skin this patch is Jarvan IV’s new Hextech skin, which will be a crafting exclusive, so best of luck if you’re trying to get that one.