Patch 3.12 has hit Summoner’s Rift and brought with it a plethora of changes to champions, items, and gameplay. Buffs to Trinity Force in the 3.10 patch saw a huge rise in champions that traditionally built the item. For example, Corki’s pick rate in matchmaking nearly doubled, and he became one of the most contested picks in the Quarterfinals of the World Championship Series, being picked or banned in all but two games. Considering that the Quarterfinals featured 19 games, that’s quite an impressive feat for The Daring Bombardier. Other Trinity Force champions like Jax saw a prominent return to power, so Riot’s first order of business with Patch 3.12 was to bring Trinity Force back in line with other items. The movement speed bonus of Phage and Trinity Force has been cut in half for ranged champions, and the cost of Phage has increased by 100g. This still gives Trinity Force all of its impressive stats and tons of damage from the Spellblade passive, but it makes it a bit easier to escape from strong Marksmen in a duel, and makes it possible for Tanks to stick on enemy Marksmen, instead of just getting kited to death. I’m not sure this will truly fix the problem with Trinity Force, as the significant damage increase will still make Trinity Force Marksmen such as Corki and Ezreal much stronger picks than other Marksmen like Draven and Varus, who don’t benefit as much from the item, but the nerf is a step in the right direction.
The second most significant change in Patch 3.12 was the visual update of one of the most iconic League of Legends champions, Garen, the Might of Demacia. Garen is one of the least expensive champions in the game, and he has a very simplistic playstyle that many people can relate to. He’s also one of three champions players can choose from in the tutorial. Nearly everyone who has ever played League of Legends has played Garen at some point. It is primarily for this reason, according to Rioter IronStylus, that Riot chose to give Garen the visual update. He stated that many people play Garen because he is approachable, so while other champions such as Sivir and Eve are in greater need of a visual update, Garen “was relatively ‘low cost’ for how much value he’ll bring to players.” Like Twisted Fate, Annie, and Soraka, none of Garen’s abilities actually changed in the visual upgrade. Instead, Garen has received new animations on all of his attacks, as well as brushed up visuals on all of his skins except Steel Legion. Additionally, Jamieson Price took to the recording studio to give Garen plenty of new audio. But fear not, fellow Demacians; the Might’s iconic, heroic cry of “DEMACIA” remains unchanged. Garen will still be terrorizing every top-laner foolish enough to face-check the bush; he’ll just look much better doing it.
Of course no patch would be complete without balance changes to the champions. Keeping to their method of slight tweaks over long periods of time, there weren’t many major changes in Patch 3.12. Cassiopeia’s ultimate costs less mana, Shen’s taunt no longer reduces damage from enemy abilities, Ryze can move faster, Tresh’s hook has a longer cooldown that is reduced if the hook lands successfully, and Lucian’s mana regeneration was increased. There was a significant change to Katarina’s ultimate, Death Lotus, aimed at improving the impact Death Lotus has on a fight and rewarding players for channeling it successfully. There is no longer a delay before channeling: as soon as players cast the spell, Katarina starts spinning. The base damage of the spell has been increased by 150 at max level and the ability power and attack damage scaling ratios have been increased as well. The cooldown was slightly shortened so that it will take exactly three kills or assists to reset her ultimate, and the channel time was increased. Overall, Death Lotus will deal more damage over a longer period of time, rewarding players for managing to get the full channel off, but not gimping their damage too much if they are interrupted. The most significant champion tweaks went to Olaf, who was pretty much overhauled completely. Riot sought to keep Olaf’s playstyle more or less the same, while making him more relevant and allowing opponents a few counterplay options. Before his massive nerf, Olaf pretty much became an unstoppable beast. His true damage and immunity to Crowd Control made it so that he could simply walk up and murder an enemy Marksman, and there really wasn’t anything his opponents could do about it. Olaf now has to itemize a bit more specifically to suit the needs of his team, allowing the enemy to capitalize on his weaker stats. Olaf’s Undertow now slows enemies for a larger amount, but it lasts for a shorter amount of time. This allows players to dodge the next throw and have a chance to escape, whereas Olaf’s previous Undertow mechanics essentially made it a permanent slow. Olaf’s Vicious Strikes used to grant him spell vamp and lifesteal, as well as bonus attack damage. This gave Olaf too much sustain and trading potential simply for pressing a button, so he instead now gains attack speed as well as an additional 1% healing for every 2.5% health that he is missing. The spellvamp has been removed. This means that instead of simply throwing Undertows out to get free health from a safe distance, Olaf will actually have to get in close and hit minions to sustain himself. The lower his hp is, the more health he will get, but obviously this will also make it easier for his opponents to punish him for trying to lifesteal. Olaf’s true damage attack, Reckless Swing, has been made into more of a damage tool that must be augmented, rather than simply spammed for free. Previously, its short cooldown and high base damage gave Olaf a remarkable amount of damage considering he usually built pure tank. Now, its cooldown has been increased and its base damage reduced, but it now has attack damage scaling of 40%. Additionally, Olaf’s basic attacks lower the cooldown of Reckless Swin by 1 second. This means that the cooldown could effectively still be the same, if not shorter, should Olaf decide to itemize some attack speed, and the attack will do more damage if Olaf builds some attack damage items. However, this will obviously make him less tanky, as he’ll be forgoing, say, Warmog’s Armor in favor of Ravenous Hydra. Basically, Olaf must choose to be tanky or deal damage based on his build; he can no longer build tank and still deal threatening damage. Finally, Olaf’s ultimate no grants him armor and magic resist passively instead of upon activation, but the armor and magic resistance are removed when the ultimate is activated, instead granting Olaf bonus attack damage. This feeds into the other changes by making Olaf less durable while trying to dive enemy Marksman, while doing more damage. It seems that the new Olaf will have to choose whether to dive or survive.
Finally, a new champion will be joining the League at a later date. Jinx, the Loose Cannon, is all but confirmed to be Vi’s sister. She is a psychotic gun-wielding Marksman who focuses on controlling her opponents movements with slows and snares as she gleefully kites them around. Patch 3.12 is currently live with all of the aforementioned changes implemented, however, Jinx will not be available until a later date. For a full rundown of what Jinx is capable of, you can check out her official reveal page here. Additionally, you can find all of the official patch notes here. That’s all you need to know for Patch 3.12, but keep in mind this is not the Patch that will be played during the World Finals, so expect to see even more Corki and Jax in the Finals match. The World Finals will take place on October 4th at 11 PM Eastern between SK Telecom Team 1 and Royal Club. Be sure to check back with MMOKnight after the finals for a full recap and rundown of how the Season 3 World Champions managed to secure victory over their opponents.