Welcome everyone to the final regular season patch breakdown before the long-awaited Worlds patch is released. On the docket are a few qualities of life changes for a few of the champions who tend to stick in the shadows during patches. Besides these small buffs, many of the current priority champions are receiving selective nerfs to reduce their overall viability in the competitive scene.
What’s New in Patch 9.18?
Passive – Deathbringer Stance:
- Heals for bonus physical damage dealt to anything has been changed to only heal for 25% of the damage dealt when stabbing a minion (note this doesn’t affect healing with champions and monsters).
Q – The Darkin Blade:
- Damage to minions reduced from 50-100% to 40% at all levels.
R – Perfect Execution:
- Akali no longer stuns her enemies for 0.5 seconds on first cast.
- Second cast maximum damage reduced from 255/450/645 (+0.9 ability power) to 195/420/645 (+0.9 ability power).
- Cooldown increased from 120/110/100 to 160/130/100 seconds.
E – Molten Shield
- Now gains 25% +1.5% per level of decaying bonus movement speed over a 1.5 second duration after casting.
- Damage reduction reduced from 16/22/28/34/40% to 10/13/16/19/22%.
- Cooldown increased from 10 seconds at all ranks to 15 seconds at all ranks.
Aurelion Sol (BUFF)
Base Stat Increase:
- Health increased from 510 to 575.
Base Stat Increase:
- Attack damage increased from 60 to 62.
W – Parallel Convergence:
- Cost reduced from 50/55/60/65/70 mana to 30/35/40/45/50 mana.
- Stun duration increased from 1.75 seconds to 2.25 seconds.
R – Last Caress:
- Empowered damage amplifier increased from 100% against enemies below 30% of their maximum health to 140% against enemies below 30% of their maximum health.
- Empowered damage increased from 250/500/750 (+1.5 ability power) to 300/600/900 (+1.8 ability power).
Base Stat Increase:
- Attack damage increased from 57 to 59.
E – Supercharge:
- Bonus attack speed reduced from 40/50/60/70/80% to 40/45/50/55/60%.
E – Starfire Spellblade:
- Base passive damage increased from 10/15/20/25/30 to 15/20/25/30/35.
Lee Sin (BUFF)
Base Stats Increased:
- Health increased from 570.8 to 575.
R – Dragon’s Rage:
- Damage increased from 150/375/600 to 175/400/625.
Miss Fortune (BUFF)
E – Make It Rain:
- Slow increased from 28/36/44/52/60% to 40/45/50/55/60%.
Nunu & Willump (NERF)
Base Stats Increased:
- Health growth reduced from 90 to 82.
- Armor growth reduced from 2.5 to 3.
- Mana reduced from 283.56 to 280.
- Mana regeneration reduced from 7.44 to 7.
E – Snowball Barrage:
- Slow reduced from 50% to 30/35/40/45/50%
Q – Blinding Dart:
- Blinded targets will now see a green light around their screen when they are blind.
W – Move Quick:
- Move Quick’s icon will now have a duration bar upon the ability’s activation.
R – Noxious Trap:
- Mushrooms will now trigger more responsively.
- Rift Scuttler no longer triggers mushrooms out of combat.
- Mushrooms can now bounce infinitely off each other.
- Max charges increased from 3 mushrooms at all ranks to 3/4/5 mushrooms.
W – Blood Hunt:
- Now properly gives bonus attack speed against all Blood Hunted enemies.
Base Stat Reduction:
- Armor reduced from 28 to 25.
R – Featherstorm:
- Cooldown increased from 140/125/110 seconds to 160/145/130 seconds.
Passive – More Sparkles!
- Damage increased from 10/12/16/20/24/28/34/40/46/
- 52/60/68/76/84/94/104/114/124 to 16/20/24/28/32/36/42/48/54/
In summary, the patch had some slight increases and slight decreases across the board. Riot Games is firm on trying not to disturb the meta in an overwhelming matter right before Worlds and so far, they’re on the right track. Some of the more notable nerfs came in the form of Aatrox’s sustain and wave clear reduction and healing reduction against minions and Akali’s ultimate losing some firepower.
Changing Aatrox’s Deathbringer Stance to only heal for 25% of the damage dealt to minions reduces his sustain in lane quite substantially. Now, poking him out of lane is more feasible because his healing is reduced. As a result of this, Aatrox will have to look to use his passive on his opponents more often in lane to maximize his healing. Consequently, by doing so he risks taking even more damage or moving into a dangerous position, susceptible to being ganked. Lastly, the gutting of Aatrox’s Q will make him a lot easier to deal with in the side lanes. By reducing his damage to 40% at all levels, The Darkin Blade will feel a whole lot more like a dull knife than a great sword.
Taking Akali Down a Notch
Akali is another high priority champion that feels the wrath of the nerf hammer as her ultimate ability is losing a lot of its oomph. Removing the micro stun is a much-needed change as it gave Akali too much utility to an otherwise over tuned assassin. Playing around channeled abilities will be a lot more difficult now that Akali simply can’t cancel it with her Perfect Execution. In her case, it’ll be especially difficult in the early game.
Her ultimate also saw an early damage reduction and cooldown increase to mitigate her effectiveness of roaming around the map and finding kills. For the most part, odds are that the changes won’t be enough to suddenly drop her from top-tier in competitive play but they’re a start.
Don't Forget About Teemo!
The buffs are very slight across the board with many champions getting some slight base stat increases to usher an easier laning phase for them. But the champion that sticks out the most is everyone’s favorite champion to hate, Teemo. The Swift Scout only received buffs solely on his ultimate ability. Teemo players can rejoice that the Noxious Traps will now trigger more responsively, not being mitigated (or avoided) by certain movement abilities. Beyond that, Teemo’s ultimate charges now scale by ability level, increasing his mushroom count by one per ability rank… and they can now bounce infinitely.
In conclusion, 9.18 looked to mostly take away power from Aatrox and Akali while also giving some slight power to many champions that have been left untouched for quite a while. There were also some changes made to client settings and many bug fixes as well. For a complete list of those, you can find the official patch notes from Riot Games here: https://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/news/game-updates/patch/patch-918-notes.