Riot's biggest patch of the year changes many popular champions

Olivia R. May 1, 2019

Riot has announced that patch 9.9 will be League of Legend's "biggest patch of the year." 

The patch notes reveal major changes to many of the game's champions. 

"Get ready for one of the longest reads of your week," Paul "Aether" Perscheid and Hanna "shio shoujo" Woo warned players.

Aatrox is getting a major rework in 9.9. Mechanic changes have transformed Aarox's into a "diving, one-shot playstyle that's protected by guaranteed safety of a revive." 

This will make Aatrox players less reliant on revives from his World Ender ultimate and buff the champion's Q when it comes to damage and cooldown time. In exchange, Aatrox's ultimate will be less reliable when he isn't on the offensive.

While Tahm Kench is seeing a lot of balance change with the 9.9 patch, Devour is getting quite a nerf. His W ability now comes a few downsides. When Tahm Kench uses Devour on an ally after the pach, he will be slowed down by a whopping 95 percent. 

Tahm Kench has been critisized by many fans of professional play for slowing down games by so ably providing safety to teammates who might otherwise be left vulnerable. This slow will retain Tahm Kench's ability to temporariliy protect his teammates while making that protection less absolute.

Rakan is also finally getting the balance League players have been asking for. Rakan is no longer able to cast Flash immediately after activating his R ability. Now, Rakan mains will have to wait half a second in between. While this could possibly change the way people play Rakan as games progress, he is also getting some base stat buffs to make up for it. 

"Rakan's R > W combo consumes too much of the power budget of his kit," Riot explained. "His zippity-zoppity flying is what makes him unique and fun to play, so we're restricting The Quickness a bit so we can give him some buffs." 

Soraka is another champion seeing some major changes to her kit. Her empowered heal for allies and herself has been increased, but her damage has been decreased. 

Soraka's E will be nerfed in order to make her solo poke damage less impactful relative to her healing output. Her E also represents damage that can't be interacted with or countered by opposing players, which is something Riot has been working to generally alleviate.

With this in mind, Soraka's Q > W has been made more powerful so players can take advantage of her "more supportive nature," instead of playing her so aggressively. 

Many other champions are seeing small changes to their kits. The patch also discusses bug fixes. But players have made it clear that the nerfs and buffs are the focal point. Many League players expressed frustration with incoming Morgana nerfs, and even more frustrated with Darius buffs.