The League of Legends World Championship 2015 begins in less than two months. The game’s professional players have less than 60 days to train for the biggest event of their eSports season, which doesn’t give them a lot of time to master new mechanics, strategies and team comps. It also means that Riot Games has to think very carefully about upcoming League of Legends patches.
Riot realises that there are only a few patches between now and Worlds, though, which is why they’re introducing so many huge changes with League of Legends patch 5.16; it will give them long enough to tweak things before the end of year event. But patch 5.16 isn’t all gameplay changes, as it also includes several brilliant new skins. Find out more after the break.
League of Legends Patch 5.16: New Skins
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the juggernaut gameplay update, let’s keep it light with these new skins. As you can see in the splash screen at the top of this post, the Battle Boss Blitzcrank and the Arcade Riven skins look incredible. We’ve also included Arcade Riven’s skin spotlight above just to show off what a great job Riot has done with her (watch Blitz’s spotlight here).
Both the Battle Boss Blitzcrank and Arcade Riven skins include new models, textures, sound effects and recall animations. Those who play Blitz a lot may also notice that the robotic support champ has a new run animation too. These skins will cost 1350 RP each.
Did your wallet wince at ‘1350 RP’? Ours too, but thankfully, Riot has included four new Academy skins which are less flashy but they’re also much cheaper as well. In the above screenshot, there’s: Academy Ekko, Academy Ahri, Academy Darius, and Academy Vladimir. These skins will cost 750 RP each.
We should also note that these skins are currently in testing on the League of Legends PBE (Public Beta Environment), so their colours may change slightly before patch 5.16 is released on the live servers.
League of Legends Patch 5.16: Juggernaut Gameplay Update
League of Legends has over 100 champions and it’s Riot’s duty to ensure that all of them, no matter how fancy their mechanics are, are fun to play. It’s also their duty to make sure that the champions are worth spending our RP and IP on, which is why the juggernaut gameplay update in patch 5.16 aims to make champions feel “distinct” and “meaningfully different”.
It’s a pretty significant set of changes, that will completely change the way we play these champions, but it could also make them overpowered. Riot has posted the super-wordy version here, or you can keep reading for the bullet point cheat sheet.
- Darius: Originally envisioned as a ‘cleanup’ fighter who finishes people off, Riot doesn’t feel like he lives up to that. So, in patch 5.16, Darius will get a new skill called ‘Bloodrage’. Bloodrage is activated after he executes someone with Noxian Guillotine or if he stacks Hemorrhage (his passive) on an enemy five times. Bloodrage allows Darius to deal “greatly increased” physical damage for a few seconds, and he applies max Hemorrhage stacks to the enemies he hits.
- Garen: Riot sees Garen as Darius’ opposite; Darius is all about justice while Garen just wants to protect the weak. In patch 5.16 Garen will go from just being the ‘spin to win’ champion to the champion that can stop the enemy from snowballing. Garen now has a passive where he identifies a Villain (the enemy champ with the most recent kills) and “Judgment ticks and basic attacks on the Villain deal an additional 1% of their max Health as true damage”. The patch also makes it so that Garen’s ulti, Demacian Justice, deals true damage to the enemy ‘Villain’.
- Skarner: In patch 5.16, Skarner basically gets his own Bard’s chime-esque mini-game. On Summoner’s Rift, six crystal spires will appear by the red buffs, blue buffs, Baron and the dragon. If someone on Skarner’s team (or Skarner) captures them, then it produces a zone that gives Skarner (and only Skarner) a movement and attack speed buff (within the zone only). The enemy team can also capture these though they get gold, vision and they temporarily lock Skarner out of activating crystal spires.
- Moderkaiser: Patch 5.16’s biggest change of all, however, is Mordekaiser, who has been tweaked so that he’s no longer a solo lane champion but is actually better suited to being in a duo. A variety of changes make this possible including Creeping Death which “now only deals damage if Morde and his targeted ally stay near each other” and it also allows him to earn full XP from any minions that he last hits (support will still get half of the XP, though) meaning that he’ll always level up faster than his lane opponents. And finally, when Mordekaiser attacks the dragon, he curses it and if his team is able to kill it, the dragon will follow Mordekaiser around and fight for him. Riot says that you can even get the dragon and Baron to fight one another.
Once again, it’s important to note that these details may be subject to change. Riot may alter these juggernaut changes before League of Legends patch 5.16 is released on the live servers, so be aware of that before you rush to the store to buy these champs.
[UPDATE – The League of Legends patch 5.16 release date has been announced! Click that link to find out more.]