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Lucian The Purifier

At a glance:


    MYMU - Understanding the upcoming changes to Mage Itemization

    Alongside the rework to multiple mage champions in the upcoming ‘Mid Year Mage Update’, there have been a ton of changes to itemization that are currently up on the PBE and will roll out within the next two weeks in patch 6.9.


    We also recently took a look at the new Hextech Items, that you can check out here.


    Today we'll be looking at the rest of the Itemization paths for Mages.


    Chalice Items


    Chalice of Harmony Cost: 900 +25 Magic Resist
    +50% Base Mana Regen

    UNIQUE Passive: Increases Base Health Regeneration by 100% if current Health % is lower than current Mana %.
      Increases Base Mana Regeneration by 100% if current Mana % is lower than current Health %.  


    Chalice of Harmony is now slightly different. You no longer have the Mana Font passive for mana sustain, instead you’ll gain health or mana regen depending on which of your ‘bars’ is lower. This change means you will no longer get so much mana sustain freely when throwing out spells, but, provided you don't get hit by abilities too often, you'll have 100% more base mana regeneration most of the time.



    Athene's Unholy Grail Cost: 2100
    +40 Ability Power
    +25 Magic Resist

    +20% Cooldown Reduction
    +75% Base Mana Regen

    UNIQUE Passive: Gain 20% of the premitigation damage dealt to champions ad Blood Charges, up to 100 - 250 max. Healing or shielding another ally consumes charges to heal them, up to the original effect amount

    UNIQUE Passive: Increases Base Health regeneration by 100% if current Health % is lower than current Mana %.
    Increases Base Mana Regeneration by 100% if current Mana % is lower than current Health %.    



    Mikael's Crucible Cost: 2300
    +35 Magic Resist
    +10% Cooldown Reduction
    +150% Base Mana Regen

      UNIQUE Active:  Removes all stuns, roots, taunts, fears, silences and slows on an allied champion and heals for 150 + (10% of the target's maximum health). (180 second cooldown)   UNIQUE Passive: Increases Base Health regeneration by 100% if current Health % is lower than current Mana %.
    Increases Base Mana Regeneration by 100% if current Mana % is lower than current Health %.    



    While Athene’s Unholy Grail’s build path is still the same, the item has changed quite significantly.


    Grail used to be the go-to item for most AP mid laners that wanted Cooldown Reduction, AP and close to infinite mana. With these changes, it seems that Grail will be suited towards some mage type supports and even some supportive mid laners. What Riot now calls Controller Enchanters if you will.

    Riot Xypherous:

    “Athene's Unholy Grail has been remade to convert Mage / Support hybrid play patterns into specializing towards helping their team more.”


    The new passive that can grant healing via shielding or healing an ally is perfect for the likes of Karma, Morgana and Lulu, whether they’re being played in the mid lane or in the support role.


    Other than those Janna, Nami and maybe even Orianna seem to be the prime candidates for this item. The idea is simple. Poke your opponents, gain charges and use them to heal allies.

    This item allows these champions to “spec into an item that grants them additional permanent sustain that is supported by their offensive combat patterns.”

    For supports there is now a clear choice to make when itemizing for peel and sustain.

    Athene’s Unholy Grail is the superior item if you’re looking to bolster your Ability Power, have lower Cooldowns and to be able to provide more healing.

    On the other hand, Mikael’s Crucible is still a powerful item. Base Mana Regeneration is double compared to Athene’s and the active to remove crowd control from an ally is extremely strong and clutch in certain situations.


    Fiendish Codex Items


    Riot Xypherous:

    “One of the most prevalent concerns we've had in the Mage space is that they are having a great deal of trouble finding sufficient itemization to push them to maximum CDR. This has a wide range of negative effects on the Mage space - from either restricting their pre-game rune setup - to barring sustained damage and kite patterns from working”

    With that said, Riot is adding CDR to more mage items, making it easier to reach the cap without a specific pre game setup. The two items that now have 10% Cooldown Reduction are Abyssal Scepter and Zhonya’s Hourglass.



    Abyssal Scepter Cost: 2750
    +60 Ability Power
    +60 Magic Resist

    +10% Cooldown Reduction

    UNIQUE Aura: Reduces the Magic Resist of nearby enemy champions by 10-25.    



    Zhonya's Hourglass Cost: 2900
    +70 Ability Power
    +45 Armor
    +10% Cooldown Reduction

      UNIQUE Active - Stasis:  Champion becomes invulnerable and untargetable for 2.5 seconds, but is unable to move, attack, cast spells or use items during this time (120 second cooldown).    



    These changes will smoothen out the build paths for some mages and still allow them to get to high percentages of cooldown reduction, even when not itemizing for Morellonomicon.


    Mid laners that use Archangel's Staff and Rod of Ages as their core mana items will now be able to grab these items and still get some Cooldown Reduction. A good example of this is Swain, who often itemizes for Abyssal and Zhonya’s with Rod of Ages as his first item. Now he’ll have access to Cooldown Reduction that he wouldn’t have before.


    Other examples include Kennen, Mordekaiser and Rumble. Manaless casters had limited ways of itemizing for cooldown reduction as those items were usually either mana items OR tank items.


    Overall, Abyssal is a less impactful early game purchase now. The magic resistance reduction scales up to a higher number, but admittedly, getting 20 reduction early on was absolutely devastating and allowed champions like Ahri or LeBlanc to completely dominate matchups while still having a ton of magic resistance. With this change, Abyssal will be more slot efficient come late game, but not as strong when rushed as a first item.


    As for Zhonya’s, the change makes the item more utility centric with the combination of Cooldown Reduction and Stasis active. Overall the changes make it easier for champions who really need it, such as Twisted Fate or Swain and as a bonus they get some extra Cooldown Reduction. However, do note that the active cooldown has gone up from 90 to 120 seconds!


    Morellonomicon Cost: 2900 +100 Ability Power
    +400 Mana
    +20% Cooldown Reduction

    UNIQUE Passive: Dealing magic damage to champions below 35% Health inflicts Grievous Wounds for 8 seconds.
      UNIQUE Passive: Kills and Assists restore 20% of your maximum Mana.  


    Morellonomicon is now a heavy Ability Power item and has flat mana instead of Mana Regeneration. This puts it on par with items such as Archangel's Staff and Rod of Ages.


    It seems like the idea is to have items with flat mana for aggressive play patterns and items with % base mana regeneration for a more supportive, team oriented play style.


    While 400 flat mana might seem underwhelming, Morellonomicon has inherited an old Athene’s passive and will restore 20% of max mana for any kill or assist!


    Morellonomicon will still be the go to CDR item for most mages, such as Ziggs, Lux, Ahri and LeBlanc and will still be an option for the likes of Morgana, Karma and Orianna if they’re looking to play more aggressively.



    Other Mage Items




    Tear of The Goddess Cost: 750
    +250 Mana

    UNIQUE Passive - Awe: Refunds 15% of Mana spent.

    UNIQUE Passive - Mana Charge: Grants 4 maximum Mana on spell cast or Mana expenditure (up to 2 times per 8 seconds).
    Caps at +750 Mana.    



    Archangel's Staff Cost: 3100
    +80 Ability Power
    +250 Mana

      UNIQUE Passive - Awe: Grants Ability Power equal to 3% of maximum Mana. Refunds 25% of Mana spent.   UNIQUE Passive - Mana Charge: Grants +8 maximum Mana (max +750 Mana) for each spell cast or Mana expenditure (occurs up to 2 times every 8 seconds).   Transforms into Seraph's Embrace at +750 Mana.    



    Riot Xypherous:

    "Tear of the Goddess has always been the go to spot for a ludicrous mana pool. However, paradoxically - it also favors very low cost spells in order to stack it up. This iteration swaps out the minor regeneration for a very powerful effective mana cost reduction for truly painful spells.

    The Awe passive is kept on every Tear of the Goddess upgrade. Because the mana is refunded - Catalyst's passive will still act at full power."

    Not much to add here. The new Awe passive will make it easier for Tear users that use high mana cost abilities to stack it up with more ease.

    On champions that go for both Tear of the Goddess and Rod of Ages, such as Karthus or Ryze, you will still fully benefit from having both passives as the Awe passive is a refund.



    Rod of Ages Cost: 2500 +300 Health
    +300 Mana
    +60 Ability Power

    Passive: Grants +20 Health, +10 Mana and +4 Ability Power per stack (max +200 Health, +100 Mana and +40 Ability Power). Grants 1 stack per minute (max 10 stacks)  UNIQUE Passive - Eternity: 15% of damage taken from champions is gained as Mana. Spending Mana restores 25% of the cost as Health, up to 25 per spell cast.  


    The new Rod of Ages has much less mana and slightly less Ability Power. But it's now a cheaper item so it's all about rushing it so you can stack it up as fast as possible!


    The Eternity Passive makes champions that pick this up extremely durable in prolonged trades. Getting damaged means gaining mana, and then that mana you get back you can spend to generate health, in a never ending cycle of health and mana sustain.


    This new passive is perfect for low range mages and AP tanks that need to get in the thick of it and will be constantly taking damage and using mana, such as Ryze, Singed, Anivia or Karthus.


    Hextech Items - First Impressions

    Alongside the rework to multiple mage champions in the upcoming ‘Mid Year Mage Update’, there have been a ton of changes to itemization that are currently up on the PBE and will roll out within the next two weeks in patch 6.9.


    Today we look into a subset of the item changes, the Hextech Items.


    Alongside changes to Hextech Gunblade, two Hextech Items were added to the game: Hextech GLP-800 and Hextech Protobelt-01.


    Hextech Gunblade


    Traditionally, Gunblade is seen as this niche item tailored towards hybrid champions that deal a mix of physical and magic damage and have abilities that scale off of both AD and AP. It’s also seen as an item that gives good sustain.


    While Spellvamp is gone, this last part is still true. The item will heal for 15% of the damage you deal, with 1/3 effectiveness for AoE damage.



    Hextech Gunblade Cost: 3400 +40 Attack Damage
    +80 Ability Power

    UNIQUE Passive: Heal for 15% of damage dealt. This is 33% as effective for Area of Effect Damage

    UNIQUE Active - Lightining Bolt: Deals 250 (+30% AP) magic damage and slows the target champion's Movement Speed by 40% for 2 seconds.  


    The identity of the item remains the same, but tweaks to its’ active will make it more attractive.

    • It’s no longer a projectile. It will instantly slow an enemy for 40%.
    • The base damage and ratio were tweaked. Base damage went up and ratio went down. This is essentially a buff, unless you have over 1000 AP, which should be very rare, especially on hybrid champions.


    Who wants this?


    Not much has changed in this regard. It’s still an extremely niche item that will only be built in specific situations.


    That said, Akali will still be building it. All the healing the item provides is imperative for her as she needs to dive the backline and be able to continously jump around target after target and still being healthy as she rips through the backline

    Other than Akali, other two candidates are Jax and Kayle. Hybrid champions that benefit from every single stat on the item, but expect to see it much less from them.


    Hextech GLP-800


    The GLP-800 is probably the item that will see more play out of the three Hextech Devices. The active on it gives mages an extra tool to catch up to someone with a potent 60% slow or simply disengage from the enemy by throwing a spray of icy bolts around you.


    With a bunch of health and mana while still having a decent amount of AP, this item is best suited towards some of the tankier mages, that want to be more durable in fights so they don’t get bursted or just so they can simply go in.



    Hextech GLP-800 Cost: 3000 +300 Health
    +400 Mana
    +80 Ability Power

    UNIQUE Passive - Eternity: 15% of damage taken from champions is gained as Mana. Spending Mana restores 25% of the cost as Health, up to 25 per spell cast.

    UNIQUE Active - Frost Bolt: Fires a spray of icy bolts that explode, dealing 100-200 (+35% AP) magice damage to all enemies hit, slowing them briefly for 60%  


    The Eternity Passive makes these champions extremely durable in prolonged trades. Getting damaged means gaining mana, and then that mana you get back you can spend to generate health, in a never ending cycle of health and mana sustain.


    The GLP-800 is also extremely similar to Rod of Ages (stat wise). Let's compare the two:





    Hextech GLP-800 Cost: 3000
    +300 Health
    +400 Mana

    +80 Ability Power

    300 Health = 801 gold
    400 Mana = 560 gold
    80 AP = 1740 gold

    Total Gold Value = 3100 gold
    Gold Efficiency = 103.33%  



    Rod of Ages (Fully Stacked) Cost: 2500
    +500 Health
    +400 Mana
    +100 Ability Power

    500 Health = 1335 gold
    400 Mana = 560 gold
    100 AP = 2175 gold

    Total Gold Value = 4068 gold
    Gold Efficiency = 162.73%  



    Rod of Ages is, statistically the better item. While it starts off with less AP and Mana, by 5 minutes the AP breaks even, and when fully stacked it has the same mana and more AP than the GLP. Rod of Ages is also 500 gold cheaper.


    So the trade off is simply better stats vs GLP active.


    Who wants this?


    Essentially, any mage that already builds Rod of Ages will now be able to make the choice between that item and the Hextech GLP-800.


    Champions like Lissandra, Swain and Anivia can now decide between better stats and an active for disengage or just extra burst to add to the spell rotation.


    Hextech Protobelt-01


    If you’ve been paying any attention to social media recently you’ve heard about all the hype behind this item. It has a dash as an active.


    That said, the item’s stats are nothing amazing (and neither is the dash). It ends up being very niche as well. Let’s have a look.




    Hextech Protobelt-01 Cost: 2500 +300 Health
    +60 Ability Power
    +10% Cooldown Reduction

    UNIQUE Active - Fire Bolt: Dash forward and unleash a nova of fire bolts that deal 75-150 (+35% AP) as magic damage.   Champions and Monsters hurt by multiple fire bolts take 20% damage per additional bolt.   (This dash cannot pass through terrain.)  


    While the Protobelt-01 is a cheap item that offers a decent chunk of Ability Power and Cooldown Reduction, it ends up being somewhat lackluster for mages as they’re looking for bigger ticket items that have more Ability Power.


    Who wants this?


    This will probably be more tailored towards AP bruisers, rather than mages. The extra dash can help close the gap and surprise opponents, Cooldown Reduction and Health are also amongst the stats that these types of champions want.


    Bruisers like Galio and Mordekaiser seem to be the main champions interested in this item.


    Others such as Amumu, Sejuani, Gragas, Zac, Vladimir and Swain might be good with it as well, but it seems like overall, there are other core items that these champions need, making it hard to fit the Protobelt in their builds.


    Theoretically, the item can be great for a champion such as Annie who is immobile and could use a dash to get into range for a tibbers stun, that said, the distance is quite short and the stats are not attractive to a bust mage such as Annie.

    Patch 6.9 Mid Year Mage Update - Champion Previews

    The PBE updated yesterday with updates to dragon as an objective as well as tons of champion changes for the mid season patch. This year's update focuses on mages, reworking many champions from Zyra to Malzahar!

    We went on the PBE and made several preview videos for the biggest changes. Check them out below to see how these six midlaners will be altered for the next patch.





    Abilities Preview

    Passive: Crimson Pact

    Every 25 points of Bonus Health gives Vladimir 1 Ability Power and every 1 point of Ability Power gives Vladimir 1 bonus Health (does not stack with itself)


    What's New:
    • Bonus HP to AP ratio increased to 4% from 2.5%
    • Bonus AP to HP factor reduced to 100% from 140%


    Q: Transfusion

    Vladimir drains the lifeforce of his target, dealing 80 (+45% AP) magic damage and healing himself for 20 (+15% AP) health. After casting Transfusion twice, Vladimir Gains Crimson Rush the next time it becomes available to cast.


    What's New:
    Crimson Rush:
    Vladimir is briefly hasted and for the next 2.5 seconds Transfusion deals 100% increased damage and heals for an additional 40 (+15 per level) plus 5%(+0.025 AP %) of his missing health (healing halved against minions).


    W: Sanguine Pool

    Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood for 2 seconds, becoming untargetable and slowing enemies above him by 40%. Vladimir deals 80/135/190/245/300 (+15% of bonus Health) magic damage over the duration and heals himself for 15% of that amount.


    E: Tides of Blood

    This ability was completely reworked.


    What's New:

    Vladimir charges up a reservoir of blood, paying up to 10% of his max Health over 1 second to increase Tides of Blood's damage by the same amount.  

    On release or after 1.5 seconds, Vladimir unleashes a nova of blood, dealing between 30/40/50/60/70 (+0.025 HP) (+35% AP) and 60/80/100/150/140 (+.1 HP) (+70% AP) magic damage to enemies hit. 

    At full charge, Tides of Blood slows Vladimir while he holds it, but will briefly slow targets by 40/45/50/55/60% when he releases it.


    R: Hemoplague

    Vladimir infects the target area with a virulent plague, causing 10% increased damage for 4 seconds. After 4 seconds, infected enemies take 150/250/350 (+70% AP) magic damage.


    What's New:
    After 4 seconds Vladimir also heals for half of the tooltip damage for each Champion hit (this heal is based on the total damage of the skill BEFORE resistances).







    Abilities Preview

    Passive: Serpentine Grace

    This ability was completely reworked.


    What's New:
    Cassiopeia gains 4 Movement Speed (4 per level). Cassiopeia cannot purchase Boots items.


    Q: Noxious Blast

    Cassiopeia blasts an area with Poison after a brief delay, granting her increased Movement Speed if she hits an enemy champion.

    Cassiopeia blasts an area after a brief delay. Enemies in the area are Poisoned, taking 75/120/165/210/255 (+70% AP) magic damage over 3 seconds. If Noxious Blast hits an enemy champion, Cassiopeia gains 20/22.5/25/27.5/30% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.



    What's New:
    Movement Speed scales with Rank now but is down to 2 seconds from 3



    W: Miasma

    This ability was completely reworked.     What's New:
    Cassiopeia spews venom in an arc in front of her, leaving toxic clouds for 4 seconds at max range or at terrain hit.

    Enemies in the clouds are continually afflicted with Debilitating Poison, slowing them by 35% and grounding them, prohibiting the use of Movement abilities. They also take 20/35/50/65/80 (+15% AP) magic damage per second.


    E: Twin Fang

    Deal 52-120 (damage based on level) (+10% AP) magic damage to a target. If the target is killed by Twin Fang, or is killed during its flight, Cassiopeia gains 60/65/70/75/80 Mana.  

    If the victim is Poisoned when Twin Fang hits, it takes 10/40/70/100/130 (+35% AP) additional magic damage and Cassiopeia heals for 5/10/15/20/25 (+10% AP).


    What's New:
    Flat 0.9 Cooldown. Targets don't need to be poisoned for lower cooldown any more


    R: Petrifying Gaze

    Cassiopeia deals 150/250/350 (+50% AP) magic damage to all enemies in front of her. Enemies facing her are stunned for 2 seconds while enemies facing away are slowed by 40%.






    Abilities Preview

    Passive: Void Shift

    This ability was completely reworked.


    What's New:

    When he hasn't recently taken damage or been crowd controlled in the last 24 (goes down per level) seconds, Malzahar gains 90% damage reduction and crowd control immunity, lingering for 1 second after taking damage or blocking a crowd control effect.  

    Damage from lane minions is not mitigated by this effect, but it does not trigger or reset its cooldown either.


    Q: Call of The Void

    Malzahar opens two portals to the Void. After a short delay, they fire projectiles that deal 70/115/160/205/250 (+60% AP) Magic Damage and silence champions for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds.


    W: Void Swarm

    This ability was completely reworked.


    What's New:

    Summon a Voidling lasting 12 seconds to fight nearby enemies. The first time a Voidling attacks a champion, large monster, or epic monster, or assists in killing a unit, Malzahar spawns a new Voidling with the same remaining duration. When 3 or more Voidlings are active, they all gain 100% Attack Speed.

    Voidling Details:

    • Attacks deal (0.4 AD) physical damage plus 8/11/14/17/20 (+5% AP) magic damage
    • Deals triple damage to lane minions below 25% Health
    • Will not spawn from a Voidling with less than 4 seconds left
    • Prefers to attack targets with Nether Grasp or Malefic Visions and has 100% increased Movement Speed when seeking these targets
    • Otherwise attacks the enemy nearest it


    E: Malefic Visions

    Deal 80/120/160/200/240 (+60% AP) Magic Damage over 4 seconds.

    If the victim is killed, gains X mana (2% of max Mana) and the visions spread to the nearest enemy.


    What's New:
    Applying Call of the Void (Q) or Nether Grasp (R) to the victim during this time refreshes the visions.


    R: Nether Grasp

    Malzahar suppresses a target champion for 2.5 seconds and creates a zone of negative energy around that deals 6% (+1% per 100 AP) of nearby enemies max Health as magic damage per second for 5 seconds.


    What's New:
    Now creates a zone around the suppressed enemy (like Null Zone, Malzahar's old W).






    Abilities Preview

    Passive: Organic Deconstruction

    Vel'Koz's basic abilities apply Organic Deconstruction to enemies on hit for 7 seconds. Basic Attacks will refresh Deconstruction but will not add stacks. The third hit on an enemy Deconstructs it, dealing 25 (+10 per level) (+40% AP).


    What's New:
    Ultimate no longer applies Deconstruction. Now scales with Ability Power


    Q: Plasma Fission

    Vel'Koz shoots a plasma bolt that deals 80/120/160/200/240 (+60% AP) Magic Damage and applies a slow of 70% that decays over 1 second(s).

    Upon reactivation or upon hitting an enemy, the bolt splits at a 90 degree angle.


    What's New:
    Killing a unit with this refunds 50% of the Mana Cost and opponents can no longer see the Target indicator


    W: Void Rift

    Vel'Koz opens a rift to the void that deals 30/50/70/90/110 (+15% AP) Magic Damage. After a delay, it deals an additional 45/75/105/135/165 (+25% AP) Magic Damage. Both hits add a stack of Organic Deconstruction.


    E: Tectonic Disruption

    Vel'Koz disrupts a nearby area which, after a delay, deals 70/100/130/160/190 (+30% AP) Magic Damage and knocks up enemies hit for 0.75 seconds. Any enemies hit that are close to Vel'Koz will be pushed slightly in the direction the ability was cast.


    R: Life Form Disintegration Ray

    Active: Vel'Koz channels a ray of energy that follows the cursor for 2.5 seconds, dealing Magic Damage up to a total of 550/800/1050 + (1.0 AP) and slowing units hit by 20%


    What's New:
    Passive: Deconstructing enemy Champions Researches them for 7 seconds. Basic attacks and all abilities refresh Research. Now deals true damage vs researched targets instead of magic damage.






    Abilities Preview

    Passive: Blaze

    Brand's spells light his targets ablaze, dealing 2% of their maximum Health in magic damage over 4 seconds, and empowering his abilities against them. Blaze stacks up to three times.


    What's New:
    When Blaze reaches max stacks on a Champion or large monster, the Blaze becomes unstable. It detonates in 2 seconds, dealing 12% (+0.5% per level) (1% per 60 AP) of each nearby enemy's maximum Health in magic damage. That champion cannot stack Blaze again within 4 seconds


    Q: Sear

    Brand launches a ball of fire forward that deals 80/110/140/170/200 (+55% AP) magic damage.

    Blaze: If the target is ablaze, Sear will stun the target for 1.5 seconds.


    W: Pillar of Flame

    After a short delay, Brand creates a pillar of flame at a target area, dealing 75/120/165/210/255 (+60% AP) magic damage to enemy units within the area.

    Blaze: Units that are ablaze take an additional 25% damage from Pillar of Flame.


    E: Conflagration

    Brand conjures a powerful blast at his target, dealing 70/90/110/130/150 (+35% AP) magic damage.

    Blaze: If the target is ablaze, Conflagration spreads to nearby enemies.

    R: Pyroclasm

    Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire, dealing 150/250/350 (+25% AP) magic damage each time it bounces up to 5 bounces.


    What's New:
    • Blaze: If the target is ablaze, Pyroclasm will briefly slow the target by 30/45/60%
    • Bounces prioritize stacking Blaze to max on Champions







    Abilities Preview



    Passive: Garden of Thorns

    This ability was completely reworked.


    What's New:
    Seeds spawn around Zyra periodically, becoming faster with level and lasting 45 seconds (Max: 8 seeds planted). If an enemy Champion steps on a seed, it dies.

    Cast Deadly Spines or Grasping roots near seeds to grow plants. Extra plants striking the same target deal 50% less damage


    Q: Deadly Spines

    Thick vines spread through the ground and explode into spines, dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (55% AP) magic damage to enemies within the area.

    Garden of Thorns: If Deadly Spines is cast near a seed, a Thorn Spitter grows, dealing 24 (+5 per level) (+15% AP)


    What's New:
    AoE is much larger, now has a rectangular shape.



    W: Rampant Growth

    Plants a seed, lasting 45 seconds. Zyra stores a seed every 17 seconds (Max: 8 seeds planted).


    What's New:
    • No longer gives 2-10% Cooldown Reduction.
    • Ranks in W increase plant maximum health by 10/20/30/40/50%
    • Seeds no longer grant vision


    E: Grasping Roots

    Sends forward vines dealing 60/95/130/165/200 (+50% AP) magic damage and rooting enemies for 0.75/1/1.25/1.5/1.75 second(s).

    Garden of Thorns: If Grasping Roots hits a seed, a Vine Lasher grows dealing 24 (+5 per level) (+15% AP) magic damage and slowing enemies by 30% for 2 seconds.


    R: Stranglethorns

    Summons the fury of nature, growing a twisted thicket at target location deals 180/265/350 (+70% AP) magic damage to all enemies in the area as it expands. After 2 seconds, the vines snap upward knocking enemies into the air for 1 second.


    What's New:

    Garden of Thorns: Plants within the thicket are enraged, attacking in a flurry for 150% total damage. (Used to increase plant attack speed by 50%).


    New Skins Preview: Iron Inquisitor Kayle, Cursed Revenant Nocturne, and Black Scourge Singed

    Today was a huge PBE update, including a mage rework that had both champion redesigns as well as items and a new look at dragon as an objective. Not to be out done, of course, the Riot skins team had three awesome skins as well. Black Scourge Singed, Iron Inquisitor Kayle, and Cursed Revenant Nocturne  are the latest three skins to hit League of Legends.  These skins will be 775 RP.




    A New Look at Dragon

    The state of dragon in season 6 has been fairly frustrating--it's simply an objective that isn't very rewarding to take, especially early game. Its cost vs risk is too differential. 

    Riot's decided to change that: there will now be four types of dragons. They will spawn at random in each game and each has their own buff:

    After 35 minutes, a fifth dragon called Elder Dragon will spawn and he will give a burn effect similar to fifth dragon in the current meta. We've recently added several neutral monsters models to our 3D modelviewer, so here's a preview of these new dragons:



    A Look Into The Current Top Lane Meta

    After the dominance of Darius, Gangplank and Fiora, the current top lane meta is composed of Super Tanks like Rammus, Poppy or Malphite that itemize heavily for resistances and cooldown reduction and rely mainly on base damage to do the brunt of their damage.


    Today we’ll be looking into why the Top Lane meta is mainly composed of these champions and what needs to change for the current champion pool to change as well.


    Why are Tanks so prevalent right now?


    The reason behind tanks being so popular and dominant right now isn't due to any specific reason but rather a multiple number of factors that together make them unbearable to deal with. Let's break them down.


    1. Grasp of the Undying and Corrupting Potion


    Together, this mastery and this starting item give some top laners the sustain they otherwise would not have and didn't have in other seasons. Grasp of the Undying is easy to apply, as you can just enter combat with minions and then hit your opponent to gain health back.


    It also has no internal cooldown like Thunderlord's, making it extremely easy to proc it multiple times in a trade. The health given from Grasp of the Undying is also based off of a percentage of the champion's maximum HP, so it ends up being stronger for tanks too, as they will heavily optimize for health.


    Corrupting Potion is another problem. Not only does this refillable potion give both health and mana but whenever a charge is active, targets you hit get debuffed with a burn that deals damage over 3 seconds, making these tanks especially good at trading


    These two factors together give top laners a ton of sustain and allow champions such as Rammus, who has a poor laning phase, to completely bypass this part of the game as he can just sustain and trade with them.


    2.  Sunfire Cape


    Out of all the factors, possibly the least problematic one but still an issue. While not every tank builds Sunfire Cape, the ones that do get access to pushing power they otherwise wouldn't have. While it isn't comparable to the waveclear of a carry, it's still more than enough to push out lanes and ensure that you're not losing pressure and getting shoved into a turret.


    3. Iceborn Gauntlet and Spirit Visage




    Iceborn Gauntlet Cost: 2700
    +65 Armor
    +500 mana

    +20% Cooldown Reduction

    UNIQUE Passive - Spellblade: After using an ability, the next basic attack deals bonus physical damage equal to 125% of base Attack Damage in an area and creates an icy zone for 2 seconds that slows Movement Speed by 30% (1.5 second cooldown).

    Size of zone increases with bonus armor.  



    Spirit Visage Cost: 2800
    +500 Health
    +70 Magic Resist
    +150% Base Health Regen
    +10% Cooldown Reduction

    UNIQUE Passive: Increases all healing received by 20%.  



    Iceborn Gauntlet has gone from a rather underrated and underused item to one of the most popular and broken items in the game.


    First off, the Cooldown Reduction on it was buffed to 20%, putting it in line with Frozen Heart. After the nerfs to the latter, there is little incentive to buy it, unless said tank is facing double AD Carry comps or heavy attack speed based champions such as Azir or Kayle.


    Despite granting less Armor, Iceborn Gauntlet has a damage component with Sheen and besides being able to proc it for 125% of the champion's Base AD, you also place an AoE slow on the ground. The size of said slow also increases with Bonus Armor and guess what tanks itemize for? Exactly, more armor items such as Sunfire Cape, Randuin's Omen and/or Thornmail.

    Then there's Spirit Visage. Another 10% CDR to add to tank itemization on an item that has 70 MR and 500 Health. The item is 119% efficient on its own, and this is excluding the passive that increases all your healing by 20%. This includes Health Regeneration and Grasp of the Undying.


    So, the combination of factors mentioned above is what's making Tank Top Laners extremely obnoxious to deal with.



    Incoming Nerfs?


    Thankfully, it seems that there are already some nerfs underway to tone down this class. First off, Grasp of the Undying will be lowered from 3% of your HP to 2.5%. This will pull back on the power of the lane trades a bit, but the sustain should still be quite high.

    Iceborn Gauntlet is also getting a nerf, with the spellblade proc being reduced from 125% of base AD to 100% meaning those Sheen procs won't hurt as much.

    What do these nerfs mean?

    Honestly, I'm of the opinion that these nerfs will be rather meaningless.


    First off, the nerf to Grasp of the Undying will be mostly negligible and even if they nerf it further those champions can likely just default to Strength of Ages and stack up to 300 health rather freely. Every cannon minion gives 20 health so stacking it up takes very little time, it could take as little as 22 minutes assuming you kill every cannon minion in your lane and don't kill any jungle monsters.


    Secondly, the Iceborn Gauntlet nerfs won't solve the problem. As mentioned before, there is little incentive to go for Frozen Heart over Gauntlet unless presented with very specific situations, mainly because Iceborn still grants a good amount of armor, damage in the from of sheen procs and still retains 20% Cooldown Reduction. Unless it gets nerfed back to 10%, it's very unlikely that it will ever stop being a part of tank itemization.



    Going with the flow or swimming against the tide?


    Using and abusing these extremely strong champions is an excellent way of making sure you have the edge and even climbing the ladder. Playing the Flavour of the Month champions has always been a solid way of winning ranked games.


    That said, countering said FotM champions is also an option.


    Let's look into both sides of the coin.


    Best Tanks on Patch 6.7



    Initially used as a Cinderhulk jungler in season 5, the boy who shattered time is back, now as a top laner as he can use all of those factors I mentioned above. I won't elongate too much on the matter, if you want to read a detailed post on Ekko you can find it here.


    The Armordillo just negates all damage in most AD matchups and is
    excellent at picking off a target and locking him down.
    While his laning phase isn’t amazing,
    a gank can easily result in kills and his base damage
    on tremors is extremely high.


    Maokai had not seen much play this season. There was little to no
    reason to pick him over other tanks. However, with Poppy and
    Nautilus getting nerfs and with him gaining MR per level again,
    Maokai is finally worth picking again. His W, Twisted Advance also
    does 13% of a target’s maximum health.



    Sion is pretty under the radar right now, but he’s dominating top lane with a winrate over 53%. Why? Mainly because he’s an early game bully and does really well into these tanks. He’s also incredibly difficult to itemize against as he does a mix of physical and magic damage.



    One of the OG Tank Top Laners, Malphite does especially well
    versus AD Matchups where he can just stack armor and
    increase damage from both Q and W. Unstoppable Force
    is to this day one of the best and scariest engage tools.



    Best Tank Busters for Top Lane




    Kayle can absolutely demolish most, if not all the tanks in the top lane.
    Not only is she ranged, but her passive, Holy Fervor shreds up to
    15% magic resistance and armor from a target. The resistance
    reduction also applies to your whole team!
    We featured her a few weeks ago, you can read about it here!



    While Darius isn’t the same champion that was destroying in the end
    of season 5, he’s just perfect into tanks. His Apprehend passively gives
    him % armor penetration and his ultimate does true damage, not
    to mention Darius excels in melee vs melee matchups in general.



    The original tank buster.

    Trundle’s Ultimate, Subjugate steals resistances from the opponent
    making them squishy and himself tanky. He often also itemizes
    early for a Titanic Hydra an item that does % maximum health
    damage on its passive and active



    Bruiser/Tank Fizz has been making a reappearance. Seastone Trident deals a percentage of the enemy's missing health and he has a very versatile build path that allows him to choose between more damage or more tankiness, after getting Sunfire and Iceborn Gauntlet of course.



    Another champion that has been flying under the radar, Volibear
    has a potent execute on his W, Frenzy, that can completely mow
    down tanks. Similarly to Sion he also deals a lot of mixed damage
    and the best part about his kit is that he deals more damage
    the more Health he has.

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