League of Legends patch 9.20 brings nerfs for Qiyana, Blitzcrank, and Pantheon, as well as buffs for Shaco, Garen, Victor, and more.
Patch 9.20 is scheduled to go live on October 9. League lead gameplay designer Mark “Scruffy” Yetter revealed that the patch will introduce minor balance changes to a few champions as well as larger updates to others that haven’t received significant attention from Riot Games in a long while.
Patch 9.20 introduces nerfs to Qiyana, Blitzcrank, and Pantheon
Both Qiyana and Pantheon will see their Q abilities’ damage lowered. Qiyana’s Edge of Ixtal base damage will be lowered at its lower levels to 60-160, and Pantheon’s Comet Spear at higher levels to 75-215. Lowering their damage should make for more balanced lane matchups since both of these champions have been quite strong in lane of late..
With the grab range extension Blitzcrank received in the patch 9.19, his potential catch and kill pressure proved to be overwhelming. Bot lane duos should have an easier time dealing with Blitz after his base armor and armor per level get lowered in the upcoming patch, making the support champion less durable while he retains his newly extended hook range.
Buffs for Shaco, Viktor, and Garen in latest update
Shaco’s Backstab passive, which critically strikes an enemy when attacking from behind, will now give additional damage to his basic attacks and Two-Shiv Poison, with this damage scaling with his levels.
To give further incentive for leveling Deceive, its cooldown is getting lowered to 12/11.5/10.5/10 seconds, but will not be reduced when the ability’s bonus damage activates. It’s also receiving an increase in damage that is guaranteed to hit for 130% when an enemy is struck from behind.
To improve Shaco’s jungling, Jack in the Box will fire at all nearby targets, and will also apply fear to minions and monsters.
Two-Shiv Poison will see an increase in its early damage and will see its damage changed from physical to magic to open Shaco more towards AP builds. For the same reason, Shaco’s Hallucinate will now immediately trigger boxes at the clone’s death location, fearing for one second, and increasing the reliability of boxes. To keep the boxes balanced after these upgrades, their damage and ratios will be lowered.
Despite receiving an overall buff, Garen is still receiving plenty of adjustments. Perseverance’s health regeneration won’t be doubling when Garen is low on health anymore, and will stop for seven seconds when interrupted by an enemy ability. But it will now heal for more of Garen’s health over time.
Decisive Strike will feel closer to a basic attack as it will scale with attack speed. Courage will grant less resistance per hit, but will now give a short-lasting shield for 10% of Garen’s maximum health with a 60% tenacity boost. Judgment will always spin seven times while dealing less damage, however it will grant stacks from the Conqueror keystone for more true damage.
Demacian Justice is losing the Villain mark that allowed Garen to deal true damage to a single targeted unit, but the ability will now always deal true damage, albeit with smaller scaling. While these changes won’t affect Garen’s gameplay, playing him should feel more natural in the current meta.
To dig Viktor out of his extremely low play rate, his Chaos Storm will continue chasing enemies even after Viktor dies, dealing damage every second up to six times and giving more movement speed. Its damage has been lowered to compensate for these changes.
The strength of Siphon Power’s shield won’t depend on Viktor’s maximum mana anymore. Augmented Gravity Field will slow enemies on a direct hit.
Locket of the Iron Solari gets a buff
Ivern’s auto attack range is getting changed to reflect a consistent ranged attack, as many players felt having him be both melee and ranged felt weird and inconsistent.
Damage for Lissandra’s Iceborn Subjugation will scale up to from 50%-70% AP, in contrast to the current 30-50%, but it’s debatable if this buff is enough to make her a favorable pick again.
Varus will have a little bit more damage and mana regen for an easier laning phase.
The only item on the list of upcoming changes is Locket of the Iron Solari. Locket’s shield will now be a lot stronger at lower champion levels, making it a possible pick for earlier defensive needs.
Although the patch is going live during the 2019 World Championship, it won’t affect the meta or strategy for participating teams. That is because Worlds will be played in its entirety on patch 9.19 regardless of the updates that come on the way.