Steven R. April 4, 2019
The latest League of Legends update brings changes to several runes, a handful of items, a dozen champions, and gives ARAM a big shakeup.
Patch 9.7 has launched in the game and is highlighted by the return of Butcher’s Bridge in place of ARAM. It also brings larger overhauls to champions Kayle and Urgot.
Butcher’s Bridge returns for the third year in a row, surfacing for the first time since 2018’s Curse of the Drowned event. The map tasks the two teams with pressing down the pirate-themed map’s lane to destroy the enemy nexus, with the addition of six side missions.
The missions largely revolve around getting kills, earning gold, and knocking down towers, and can be completed by simply winning games. The rewards include a Hextech Key, Masterwork Chest, and Bilgewater 2019 Icon. The event runs from April 4 to April 15. Full details for the event can be found on the event’s page.
Players that don’t bother with ARAM will still feel the effects of this patch in a big way, with a slew of balance changes arriving.
Kayle is likely the hardest hit by the patch, receiving nerfs to most of her spells for the second patch in a row. Radiant Blast’s mana cost has been increased at all levels while Celestial Blessing’s movement speed bonus was lowered and its mana cost was rescaled from 70/90 to 60/100. Starfire Spellblade’s bonus damage was also reworked with the missing health percentage base being lowered while receiving an extra amp based on ability power.
Alongside Kayle’s nerfs are a reversal of some recent buffs to Urgot. Echoing Flames’ percentage-based damage was dropped at higher levels with the range moving from 2-8% to 2-6%. Disdain’s mana cost was increased and its cooldown was extended at lower levels. Finally, Fear Beyond Death’s damage was dropped by 25 across the board.
Though both of the larger character reworks were nerfs, the “simple changes” category delivered a number of small buffs with Azir, Dr. Mundo, Cho’Gath, Rumble, Pyke, Leona, and Garen all receiving boosts. It wasn’t all positive however, as Lissandra, Morgana, and Sylas took small hits.
Three items also received changes. Cinderhulk provides greater impact for junglers, receiving a 50-percent increase to bonus damage dealt to minions and monsters. The Dark Seal has had its sale value decreased, limiting its viability as a standalone item. Finally, Wit’s End received a major change that increased its cost but gives it better scaling throughout games.
There is plenty more to sift through in this patch. The full list of changes can be found on the official League of Legends website.