Character art for Jhin

The big mid-season changes coming to League of Legends

© Riot Games

With the mid-season break in full effect, there’s a ton of exciting changes on the Public Beta Environment that are sure to change up the meta when the Summer Split returns.

It’s that time of year again. After the conclusion of the first competitive split of the year in every region, Riot is free to experiment with some pretty big balance changes without offering too much disruption to the top level teams. The mid-season break is when we get the biggest changes of the year outside of each new season, and usually they totally overhaul certain areas.

While the mid-season break is still in its infancy, we do already know a lot of the big changes that will be implemented over the next month or so before the season starts up again. Most are still being tested on the PBE, but are offering up a lot of very interesting changes, from new item additions, to fundamental changes of how champions play.

As you would expect with any decent League patch, there are more changes than anyone can reasonably count, and learning every single change will take hours for even the fastest learners – but we decided to take a look at some of the bigger changes that will certainly have a massive impact on the pro scene in the coming months.

Mages and mana

If there is one change that will impact some players in almost every game they play it will be the change to Doran’s Ring. In an attempt to rebalance how mages use their spells in the early game, the item has been changed so that it no longer gives base mana regen, and will no longer return mana when you kill a minion. What it will do, is offer up a flat five mana regen per five seconds and offers a nice +5 on hit damage to minions.

This change will certainly impact almost every mage out there, which is why a load of them have also been given a nice boost to mana regen and mana pools, which should allow for a nicer early game flow. A ton of items that mages typically pick up have also been adjusted. A lot of them have seen their AP power increased, such as Lost Chapter and Rylai's Crystal Scepter, while others have recieved cost changes or slight buffs in other areas.

The general idea for all of this, is that mages can afford to send out a few more spells on their first trip to lane, but to slightly reduce how much they can do once they have picked up that all important first item. This should mean less of a power spike from that first trip back home, and a more natural progression curve.

Character art for Azir
Azir is one of the mages impacted by these changes

Unsealed Spellbook isn’t just for more flashes

Unsealed Spellbook has the potential to be the coolest rune in the game by a long way, but its former iteration basically reduced it to being used as a way of getting a lower flash cooldown. Riot has now decided to try and fix that issue, by allowing you to swap anywhere out of combat to a new summoner spell, and then return to your original one once that new spell has been used.

This should mean that players are more likely to make use of the cool options presented to them with Unsealed Spellbook, especially as your original summoner spells will remain on cooldown even when swapped out. That means if your flash is still on a long cooldown, there’s no reason not to swap it out if you feel a fight coming.

Marksmen move out of the meta – but not just yet

It’s not just the mages getting some interesting changes during the mid-season: there’s also a ton of changes for marksmen coming, however these will have a longer testing period on the PBE, so we aren’t entirely sure when these will hit. The general idea of this set of changes is to reduce the effectiveness of marksmen generally, especially when it comes to the hyperscaling carries.

There’s a lot of smaller changes at play here to try and make this happen, with a full explanation of it and plenty of insight all coming from a developer post on the League of Legends forums. The highlights are that Riot are changing and introducing new items to make marksman progression a little different to the rush Infinity Edge and Zeal upgrade that everyone always goes for, no matter what.

The Infinity Edge itself has had a pretty big change: its buildup is now B.F. Sword + B.F. Sword + 1,100 gold, totalling 3,700 gold. Its attack damage has gone up from 70 to 80, but its old critical strike chance and increased crit damage has been removed in favor of doubling your crit chance and converting 20 percent of crit damage to true damage. That last point should mean that it’s still a solid item against tanks, but reduces the chance of two-shotting a squishy support as was previously the case.

There’s also changes to most marksmen’s stats, with lower armor and HP regen, but with increased HP and HP per level. These are mostly designed to make sure that hitting a crit in the lane can be a big deal, but item changes mean that lane crits will be rare and less of a factor generally. There’s lots to detail here, but take a look at the dev blog for a full rundown of everything that’s changing here.

Character art for Tristana
Tristana will play a little different with these changes

Two Scuttlecrabs!

It’s almost impossible not to love the Rift Scuttler, but its usefulness, especially in the early game is certainly debatable as a lot of it comes down to an RNG spawn. Fortunately, that’s being changed, with not one, but two scuttlecrabs being spawned at the start of the game: one in the top river and one in the bottom. Once both have been killed, it will return to just being one on the map.

Its gold and experience payouts have also been tweaked to scale between levels one to nine instead of just having a flat payout. It now pays out 70 gold to start with, increasing to 140 at the most. The previous payout was 100. Experience now starts at 115 scaling to 230, with its previous payout being 170 – not bad, right?

New Runes

Finally, we have a couple of new runes to play with. Hail of Blades is up first, and offers an increase of 50-100 percent attack speed for the first three attacks made to champions when entering combat. This allows you to temporarily break the max attack speed limit, but it will end if more than 1.5 seconds elapses between the attacks. You also have to have been out of combat for five seconds for it to trigger in the first place. This should give some champions some crazy burst potential, especially if they can break the max attack speed barrier.

Then there is the Nimbus Cloak that resides in the sorcery tree. This will give you a decaying movement speed boost for two seconds, offering 100 movement speed to start. This is on a 25 second cooldown and is activated after casting your ult, meaning it offers great escape for anyone that wants to run in, ult, and then run out.

All of these changes are sure to have a massive impact when the pros finally get round to using them, whether that be the additional Rift Scuttler to make jungling a little more consistent, or the changes to marksmen that could result in a totally different bottom lane meta. Hopefully this is setting up for one of the best splits of all time.