8.9 Patch Notes Rundown

A link to the Official 8.9 Patch Notes can be found here!

What I would like to see:

    • Nerfs to Champions Who Counter Aggressive Plays – I think everything in League should have a counter, but Janna and Morgana have been a bit too good at what they do and could use some tuning
    • More Variety in Botlane – Janna and Morgana are included in this, but it’s mainly about the ADCs. AD has been a very strong role in patch 8.8, but it would be nice to see games be less focused and oriented around the role, and nerfs to champions like Caitlyn, who are very oppressive to most shorter range ADCs.

We will be ignoring most bug fixes in this rundown, as they were not intended to be part of the game in the first place. Furthermore, some other irrelevant details might be skipped.

TL;DR Changes This Patch:

Buffs: Amumu, Mundo, Garen, Irelia, Ivern, Kassadin, Kennen, Leona, Lux, Rammus, Shyvana, Sona, Syndra, Talon, Ziggs

Nerfs: Caitlyn, Kai’Sa, Poppy, Warwick

Champion Changes:

Amumu is very restricted by mana, and he usually loses a lot of it while clearing the jungle. This buff is a nice little change, that should make Amumu a bit more playable. He probably won’t be all that strong, but nice buff nonetheless.

So this change basically makes it so you can’t crit a headshot on non-champions, harming her sustain a little bit. It’s not much of a nerf, but it’s good that she is getting one.

This is a huge buff. 100% Health with Spirit Visage will basically make ulting while under the effect of grievous wounds feel like the old Mundo ult with no grievous wounds. I don’t think this will make Mundo overpowered, but this should put him in a better spot. Nice buff.

These are some nice buffs, Garen has been super weak in higher elo for a very long time now, and will probably stay that way, but this will definitely help him out in lower elo.

Basically Irelia jungle will work now. I guess this is a buff to Irelia in the pro scene, since she is a possible flex pick. I imagine she will be played at MSI this year.

Nice buffs all around, this should really help his lategame, especially the 1 second cooldown on his passive at level 15. However, he probably won’t see much play even after these buffs, which is possibly a good thing because Ivern is super oppressive when he is strong, and can counter-jungle way too effectively.

These nerfs basically nerf the build that people are currently going on her. The fact that her Q is flagged as AoE in all cases is a nerf to Death’s Dance, which was the standard first item on her, and her E obviously nerfs synergy with Runaan’s. I like the angle Riot has taken with these nerfs.

Kassadin has been viable as a counter-pick to a few Champions, so I’m surprised he’s getting buffed, but these buffs are nice and should help his early laning, without making Kassadin too strong.

I like the idea of addressing both AD and AP builds for Kennen, however, the AD on-hit type builds were super oppressive since Kennen had really good split-push potential, and was very strong in 1v1’s essentially guaranteeing a won lane in certain match-ups, so I would’ve liked to see the AP build getting the better buffs. It seems to me like on the AP build, W max is the way to go, and you’d max E like before on the AD build, but it requires a bit more caution since Kennen no longer gains those defensive bonuses when his E runs out. Hopefully this pushes either or both builds into viability again.

Leona hasn’t been seeing much play, so nice buffs. 50% extra damage as soon as you get the ability is quite strong, but probably won’t help Leona as much as she needs.

Some buffs, and some small nerfs to make up for the buffs. Overall a buff for sure though. The main buff is her Q, since static cooldown means you don’t need to continue putting points into Q, allowing you to max other abilities first. Her W buff is nice, and even though her E might be slightly harder to hit, the mana cost goes down and it is probably worth maxing first.

Nice buffs, probably still weak.

More range on her passive isn’t a huge deal, her W loses a ton of stats, and the trade-off is higher range on her E and combo potential on her ult. I don’t think the buffs help her out enough to justify the W nerfs, she loses a lot of tanky stats when she was already in a terrible spot, and this might just put her in an even worse position. Things aren’t going well when weak Champions are being nerfed.

AP Shyvana hasn’t been good, you wouldn’t really build any AP before, and you probably won’t build any now. These changes might open up some niche items or possibly a new build but I’d be very surprised. This probably won’t change much, the only things I can think off are possibly a Luden’s item slipping into her build, or some janky build that includes Hextech Gunblade, but I don’t think either will be that good.

Small buff, but Sona hasn’t been that weak, she has just been easy to abuse in certain match-ups that she shouldn’t be picked in. I don’t mind seeing her early game buffed, but I would like the trade-off to be a slightly weaker lategame for her.

Interesting change, that probably won’t make much of a different at the moment, since she is rather weak, but when she gets buffed by some other things and starts seeing play again, her ult might not 1-shot as much, and skilled players will be rewarded for playing her. I am happy with this change, even if it is a nerf for less skilled players.

Bugfix resulting in a buff.

Small nerf, but glad to see this Champion getting nerfs, since he’s currently too impactful for how easy he is to play. Still strong early, slightly weaker late, but probably still a strong jungle pick.

Nice buff, this champion needed some love.

Item Changes:

Interesting change, but I’m not sure if it’s better for the game this way. It certainly helps with waveclear though, thanks to the on-hit damage.

This explains the Doran’s Ring change. This was the go-to mana item for most mages, and pushing the cost up by 200 gold means that you probably can’t afford it on your first or second back, drastically harming the waveclear of most midlane mages. I am interested to see where this goes, as I can’t help but think it indirectly helps champions that don’t use mana, like Zed and Kat, who will now have less of a hard time pushing in the wave and roaming against people who have lost a lot of waveclear.

This just means that Tear is more of a long-term investment and less of a reliable mana item. With the previous changes to Archangel’s, this makes a lot of sense. You will simply get less mana from the passive making it more of a passive stacking item for lategame, than an actual useful item as soon as you buy it. Nice change.

Some big buffs coming in for the Hextech GLP, which might actually be a good item now, on Champions other than the few that previously bought it. I can’t imagine it being the go-to mana item for most mages, but more Champions will have an argument to buy it now.

Small buff, but nice, and in line with the changes to Lost Chapter.

Twin Shadows has been a weak item, and even though this buff is nice, it will probably remain that way, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, since it could easily be too strong, and it’s a fun item either way.

This item just got super cost efficient. A definite pickup into flat pen assassins like Zed and Talon for any AP champion.

Spellbinder is a strange item since it helps out burst champions with the active, but the only Champions that can effectively stack it are champions who spam spells for DPS rather than the burst champions this item was intended for. Moving the ability power around touches on that nicely, but this item will probably still remain situational on most Champions.

Nice buff I guess.

Nice change, rewarding for people who get dark seal stacks and preserve them.

I don’t think this item needed to be buffed, since it was already the go-to item for most mages, and it is probably the strongest mana item behind Seraph’s. Strange buff, but probably won’t make Luden’s too powerful, so still nice.

Rune Changes:

This looks really interesting to me, certainly better than what it was before, which was either way too abusable, or pretty useless. It incentivises using as many summoner spells as possible, without hampering the one you actually have equipped, so it might be fun to use, and to play against.

Other Changes:

So mages will take turrets faster, and the ones that can already kill turrets fast are probably gonna be crazy strong at taking them out.

Basically Baron will be a lot harder to kill with a squishy team-comp, meaning you will probably need someone to tank. Furthermore it should take longer to actually kill Baron, so it’ll be harder to Baron-dance, and harder to rush a secret Baron. It seems like me like 50/50 Baron scenarios are being discouraged here, plus fighting around Baron will be more dangerous, and dodging Baron’s abilities becomes quite important. Oh, and Champions with uncapped Max Health Damage are going to have a great time with the new health-pool Baron has. I quite like this change, and would like to see how it impacts the game.

A sizeable buff to the Rift Herald, giving it lots of potential to take multiple towers if nobody tries to stop it, however it also makes it a lot easier for a single person to stop it even if they have a low damage kit, since after it charges into tower it will die in two hits. I guess Rift Herald will be a lot more punishing if you don’t defend against it, and it rewards players with clever placement of the orb. Nice change.

Final Verdict:

I am happy to keep seeing lots of small buffs to weaker champions, but I strongly dislike the Poppy changes. I could turn out to be wrong in the end, if the changes to actually help her, but I am fairly sure that they will make her weaker. I like the Tower, Baron, and Rift Herald changes, and will enjoy finding out how they impact the game. Surprisingly, lots of changes end up favouring Diana in the end. She could make good use of the Hex Tech GLP, and was already good at killing towers, plus she might have an easier time laning against most mana champions because of the changes to lost chapter, so perhaps she got the most out of this patch indirectly. Overall, I guess I am OK with this patch, even if it didn’t really touch on the changes that I would like to see.

New Skins:

Beemo

Blood Moon Evelynn

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