League of Legends' Patch 9.14 is on the horizon with some pretty big changes. The patch targets mostly champions and should be a relief for many frustrated by the likes of Lux and Tahm Kench. Other more problematic champions will be altered in the hopes of balancing their gameplay. In addition, champions that have suffered for a while are getting some much-needed buffs too. Overall the patch is hitting a lot of things it needs to and should be well-received.
The first major buff comes to the Noxian Grand General himself. Swain was hit with some heavy nerfs back in season eight due to his strength in the bottom lane after the ADC apocalypse, but once they were fixed he was never buffed to compensate. As a result, he was in a dire spot for a while. The proposed buffs in 9.14 will do him wonders. First of all, the Soul Fragments from his passive give him max health and mana now instead of counting towards his Demonflare (R). As such, his ultimate will now deal damage equal to the amount of health Swain has drained, up to a cap.
But that's not all. His ultimate is going to drain all units inside of his radius, even those that are invisible. Considering that the current version can only hit three targets and not invisible ones, this buff is massive. Finally, his Death's Hand (Q) lightning bolts will now go through all units and only be stopped by champions. Right now his wave clear is quite lackluster and this should put him up to par with other laners. All in all, these buff are huge for Swain. It's likely he can become a top tier pick again, but at the very least he'll definitely be a viable champion.
Lux has risen to fame in solo queue and pro play recently. She has nasty poke in lane and great damage, which is fine, but many players are finding her survivability too good considering her damage is decent. This is due to Aftershock and the shield from her Prismatic Barrier (W). To address this Riot is changing how the shield works. It will no longer shield for double the amount on its return and will last for half a second less. Its AP ratio and base shielding will be slightly be lowered too. So far Riot hasn't decided to touch Aftershock, but as Guardian works for her too, this should make her less annoying.
That's not all though. Riot is hitting her Final Spark (R) too. First, the AP ratio is being lowered from 80% to 75%. But the major change is that it will no longer give cooldown resets on takedowns. Unfortunately for Lux players, the days of Lux shooting off multiple ultimates in one fight are numbered. They are compensating that with a small cooldown buff on the ultimate, but it definitely won't feel the same. Altogether, Lux should be less of an annoyance to play against, but she will likely be knocked out of the meta completely. Lux's mid lane performance will suffer the most though, and these changes may hurt her more than Riot expects.
The last major change hits the River King Tahm Kench. He's no stranger to nerfs; there has been quite a number to him in his recent history, but they've mostly been aimed at his support capabilities. Lately, though, he has been a king of the top lane due to his insane damage and tankiness. He's been the focus of a lot of Reddit hate for a while now and Riot is finally taking him down a few notches. The passive is the first thing that took hits. The damage on his attacks increased to 2.5% of his max health, but the damage no longer increases based on the number of stacks he had. This was where a lot of his damage came from, so it should be quite impactful.
On top of this, his Tongue Lash (Q) will be less frustrating. The cooldown is being increased and being stunned by it at three stacks will consume all the stacks. This will make it so Tahm has to choose whether to stun or to Devour (W) the target, instead of doing both. The slow and stun durations were buffed to compensate but its more than worth it to see that synergy gone. Next, when Tahm spits his target out from his Devour it will no longer stun for .25 seconds as it currently does. Finally, the gray health on his Thick Skin (E) is being reduced and will have a much longer cast time, hurting his survivability too. Such a problematic champion warrants this long list.
There are a good number of champion changes, but a total lack of rune or item changes. That's probably for the better, as there are two other cool additions coming in patch 9.14. The first is the retro-styled Demacia Vice skins for Garen and Lucian! These stylish skins will be the talk of the town and a great addition to any collection. Next up is the long-awaited death recap update. Riot Scruffy outlined the changes to the death recap in a Dev Corner post, but in short the death recap should be much more helpful for players to identify who killed them, how much damage they took and what kinds. The current version is rather inconvenient for that, so it will be nice to have this added in.
All of these changes are subject to change. There are many other buffs and nerfs not covered here, including mini-reworks to Akali, Malphite and Galio. Check the full change list and latest updates to the PBE cycle at Surrender at 20. Stay tuned here at ESTNN and follow us on Twitter for more League of Legends news, articles, opinions and more.
Featured image via Riot Games.