Patch 3.13 has arrived, and it brings with it a plethora of changes to balance, gameplay, and even some quality-of-life fixes for the client. This is quite possibly the last patch before the big jump to the Preseason of Season 4, so Riot was undoubtedly looking to take care of what it perceives as the most glaring problems from a balance standpoint, so that the game would be as balanced as possible leading into the new season. As with all patches, some changes are incredibly significant, and other changes are simple tweaks to bring things in line with one another. Compared to many other patches, 3.13 is quite substantial, so I’ll just give you the highlights. Perhaps the biggest mentions in this patch center around two champions: Sivir and Heimerdinger. That’s right, folks, Sivir has finally received a visual update, and the Heimerdinger rework has officially gone live. On top of that, there are a few mechanical changes and some bug fixes, so read on to see what you can expect if you hop into Summoner’s Rift today.
While it’s not a complete rework in the way that Heimerdinger’s changes are, Sivir’s visual update definitely comes with some serious buffs. For quite some time now, Sivir has been one of the least popular champions in the entire game, being picked in only about 2% of all games. By comparison, popular Marksmen such as Caitlyn and Vayne are picked in 37% and 27% of games, respectively. This was due in part to Sivir’s less than stellar appearance, but also largely because she simply wasn’t as strong as her competition. With the visual upgrade, Sivir has received a considerable amount of buffs to try to make her a more viable pick. Sivir’s attack speed per level increase has been nearly halved (down to 1.6 from 3.28), but this lack of attack speed puts a greater emphasis on proper use of Sivir’s abilities and to bring her ultimate into balance. Sivir’s Ricochet (W), which use to be a lackluster move that simply allowed Sivir’s boomerang to deal a reduced amount of damage to other targets, now plays a significant part in her kit. Instead of applying only to the next attack, it applies to the next 3 attacks, and it bounces an unlimited number of times as long as it has new targets to bounce to (it will not hit the same target twice). At max level, it now deals 70% damage to all secondary targets, rather than diminishing returns on each bounce. This will certainly not bring Sivir’s damage up to the level of someone like Vayne or Tristana, but it will allow her to deal a significant amount of group damage relative to most Marksmen. Sivir’s spell shield no longer costs mana, which will likely go a long way in helping her notoriously bad mana problems. Lastly, Sivir’s ultimate no longer has a cast time and no longer grants a flat Attack Speed buff; however, it does grant her a significant amount of attack speed while Ricochet is active. The cooldown has been reduced, and the movement speed bonus from Sivir’s ultimate now begins at 60% and reduces to 20% after 4 seconds. We’ll have to see exactly how these changes pan out for Sivir, but from what I’m seeing, I don’t expect her to be much more popular after the initial novelty of her new look wears off. She’s a very niche pick, which is not ideal for a Marksmen. Oftentimes, teams want their Marksmen to deal high amounts of damage in the late game, and Sivir’s most core mechanic reduces her damage output by 70%. She deals a decent amount of splash damage, but there are other Marksmen who deal splash damage that will likely do much better in lane. Sivir’s low attack range and lack of significant burst damage hinders her laning phase, which will still make her late game less powerful than similar champions like Corki or Graves, who have much more presence in lane and can still deal strong area damage later.
This rework has been a long time coming, and many people are extremely excited for the possibilities. Not only do many of the League players love Heimerdinger as a character, but he has a very unique style of play that, if approached properly, can be extremely entertaining to play and watch. Riot has been working on this rework for quite some time, and they’ve finally allowed us to see the fruits of their labor. Let’s dive into this business and see if we can sort out the mess. First off, Heimerdinger’s passive no longer works on friendly turrets, but it still grants bonus health regen to his allies and his personal turrets. His Turrets still function in much the same way, except they fire a beam every 12 seconds in addition to their normal attack. The beam fires in a straight line and deals a high amount of magic damage with a decent amount of AP scaling (50%), and Heimerdinger can now place three turrets at a time instead of two. His rockets are no longer a spatially sensitive Area of Effect poke, but rather a semi-targeted skill shot capable of unleashing serious damage. Heimerdinger now unleashes five rockets that converge towards the player’s cursor and then fan out past it, dealing significant damage. Enemies hit by more than one rocket take 20% damage for each additional rocket, whereas minions will take 60% damage. Heimerdinger’s stun grenade works in much the same way, but it appears to slow movement speed by 35% now instead of blinding. Targets in the center are still stunned. Heimerdinger’s ultimate has been changed significantly: it used to upgrade his turrets in a meager way, but it now upgrades his next chosen spell and allows him to cast it for free. Upgrading turrets simply increases the amount of damage the turret puts out, but upgrading the rocket swarm fires four waves of rockets that deal incredible amounts of damage. Upgrading the grenade allows the grenade to discharge three times and increases the area of effect for the slow and stun areas. Additionally, the slow is improved to 80%. These changes seem incredibly interesting. It seems that Heimerdinger’s lane phase will not change overmuch, but his greatest weakness was his inability to roam well or influence teamfights. With the increased single target damage on rockets and the Area of Effect slow on his grenade, it seems that Heimerdinger may actually be able to have an impact in games to come. Unfortunately, it’s a bit to earlier to tell, so we’ll have to see what the League of Legends has in store for The Revered Inventor.
Most of the other changes are fairly straightforward buffs and nerfs. Aatrox has been nerfed to make his base damage less overwhelming, and Ahri as been nerfed significantly to reduce the amount of Area of Effect damage she deals. However, her charm now increases her magic damage dealt to affected targets by 20% for 6 seconds. This should facilitate her role as an assassin well, but it does significantly reduce her impact if she misses a charm or charms the wrong target. I’m not sure this nerf was necessary; I thought Ahri was in a pretty good place. Besides, what is this, like, the tenth time they’ve nerfed her? Corki has seen as light nerf to his ultimate, and Fizz has the AP ratio of his Seastone Trident reduced. Jinx’s early game damage has been reduced, and Kassadin has had some changes that will reduce the damage of his Null Sphere (Q), but increase the damage of his Riftwalk (R). Riot’s goal here is to encourage Kassadin players to use Riftwalk as their primary source of damage, thus making him a high-risk, high-reward champion, but I think they’ve kind of missed the mark here: Kassadin’s problem is that he does too much damage. Most Kassadin players already use Riftwalk to deal damage, but the cooldown is so short that they can Riftwalk in, vaporize an enemy target, and still manage to Riftwalk out before they’re in serious danger. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t see this change having much of an impact. Morgana has had slight buffs, but nothing game-changing, and Olaf was buffed again slightly. Zed has received some very odd changes that don’t seem like they’ll affect him overmuch: essentially, his Living Shadow takes longer to reach its destination, and his ultimate, Death Mark, now spawns at his starting position, rather than behind his target, and can be switched to from a longer range for a longer period of time. Perhaps the goal is that Zed will have a harder time sticking to his targets this way, but I fear that he’ll simply have an easier time escaping. Ziggs has received slight buffs, but nothing huge, and Zyra has had some changes that seem to aim at making her a mid-laner again, while hurting her support capabilities. Essentially, her base damages have been reduced, but her AP ratios have been increased. This will allow Zyra to deal comparable, if not more damage as a mid-laner, but stifle her early lane dominance. The final significant change comes to ultimates that have previously ignored crowd control, such as Jarvan IV’s Catacylsm and Vi’s Assault and Battery. These abilities will now see champions receive the crowd control effects, but the ultimates will still finish their movements. So essentially, if you stun Malphite during “Unstoppable Force,” he may still be stunned after he finishes his ultimate, rather than simply ignoring the crowd control completely.
That’s about as watered-down as I can make these dense patch notes. There’s still a number of things I left out, such as bug fixes, map-specific balance changes (things pertaining to the Twisted Treeline, Howling Abyss, or Crystal Scar), and changes to the client that will help with some bugs and errors. Fortunately, if you’re still curious, you can check out the official patch notes here. Rioter Feral Pony has made a rather substantial post on reddit about changes coming in the Preseason, and I’ll be covering that very shortly, so keep your browser opened to MMOKnight.com for all the latest League of Legends news.