Red Post Collection: Nexus Siege details, info on Ryze Update, Meddler with context on PBE changes, Sona + Leona PBE changes, LCU Updates, Syndra bugfixes, & more!

Posted on at 11:42 AM by Moobeat
This afternoon's red post collection includes a look at the upcoming NEXUS SIEGE game mode, Reav3 with details on the future Ryze champion update, Meddler with context on several recent PBE changes, Wingfield on Soulstealer Vayne and gemstones, the latest on the LCU Alpha including new feature testing and upcoming Q&A, and more!
Continue reading for more information!

Table of Contents

New "Nexus Siege" game mode coming soon to PBE for the RGM queue 

Here's L4T3NCY with full details on the upcoming NEXUS SIEGE game mode! Be on the look out for this new game mode to hit the PBE for testing in the near future!
"Heya everyone, it's been a lo~ong time since we've dropped a brand new mode, as we were busy building the RGM queue! To top it off, Nexus Siege is probably one of the biggest modes we've ever attempted making. 
You came here to get details. ^_^ Let's go. 
Nexus Siege 
Nexus Siege is a round based attack & defense game mode, where teams take turns at sieging the enemy's Nexus using an arsenal of deadly new Siege Weapons. The team who destroys the enemy's Nexus in the fastest time wins! 
Players: 5v5
Map: Modified Summoner's Rift
Mode type: Blind Draft pick type with Attack + Defend rounds. 
General mechanics:
Round based:
Each team will take turns at sieging the enemy team's base. Team 1 will set a time for destroying the enemy Nexus, then teams will swap sides. The longer Team 2 can hold out and defend, the more time they give themselves to push when its their turn to attack! If they can destroy the enemy nexus faster than Team 1 did, they win! 
Siege Warp trinket and teleporting:
Both team have a variety of teleport pads to warp out to from fountain. Use the Siege Warp trinket to get into battle faster! 
Crystal Shards:
This currency is the fuel for your siege Attack or Defense. All new Siege Weapons are purchased using Crystal Shards. Earn them by: 
Attack side:
-- Kill enemy champions
-- Passively earned over time 
Defense side:
--Kill enemy champions
--When the 1st tower in each lane is destroyed
--For each minion escorted and pushed into the enemy fountain
--Passively earned over time 
Normalised EXP & Gold:
Gold & EXP are normalised for Nexus Siege across both teams. This means don't worry about last-hitting, just push those minions as fast as you can! 
Obliterator (Defense team only):
The Defense team is rewarded everytime they manage to safely escort and push a minion into one of the Attacking team's fountains. If they can push 15 total minions up there, they trigger the Obliterator laser. 
The Obliterator will kill all enemies in all lanes. All of them. Dead.
Very dead.
No seriously, get out of the lane if you're not on the Defense team. :3
This is also a great lane reset for the Defending team, buying them precious extra minutes to stall. 
Siege Weapons:
Both the Attack and Defense teams have 4 unique Siege Weapons they can purchase using Crystal Shards they earn during the game. All Siege Weapons use the Summoner Spell slot and are cast or deployed similar to Summoner Spells. You can carry up to 2 different Siege Weapons at once, and they do not stack in your Summoner Spell inventory (1 at a time). As you might have guessed, this also means there are NO Summoner Spells in Siege Mode. :) 
Siege Ballista
A long ranged siege engine that will hammer away at enemy towers. These are excellent for applying pressure on defending teams who continually turtle and never come out from under their towers.
Vanguard Banner
Gives nearby allied minion significant combat stats for extra pushing power.
Shield Totem
Nearby allied Siege Weapons gain a recharging shield making them tougher to destroy.
Port Pad
Deploy additional teleport locations for your team, moving your forward point closer to the enemy base.
Tower Surge: Beam of Ruination
Attach to a nearby tower giving you control of 3 beam blasts from the tower. This does SERIOUS damage to enemy champions. 'Ruinate' your enemies. Do it. :)
Tower Surge: Firestorm Bulwark
An emergency Zhonya style shield for your tower that makes it invulnerable for a few seconds, then WRECKS all enemies that were around it in a rain of missiles. Great for clutch saves on a tower about to go down, buying you precious extra time.

Entropy Field
Freezes all enemy minions and slows all enemy champs within it's zone. Can completely change the balance of a team fight.
Flash Zone
Throw down a large area that gives all allied champions inside the zone unlimited Flash on a 1sec cooldown. Great for team engages or reaching hidden nests of Siege Ballistae.

We won't be immediately turning this mode on for PBE, but it will be coming soon. As you guys can see, there's A LOT we need to get through for testing, so once we flip it on all help is appreciated. <3 
Let the siege begin. :)
-- L4T3NCY"
Check out our PBE coverage for more information!

When asked about timing for this mode, L4T3NCY noted:
"Yes there is. 20mins per side. It's extremely rare to hold out that long though. 
We're seeing average game times about 25mins total."

When asked if the Obliterator ignores ability effects like Kayle R or Zhonya's, L4T3NCY commented:
"No it won't. Things like Fizz troll pole, Vlad pool, Zhonya, etc will still save you. 
Just don't mess up your timing. :)))"

As for when we can expect this new mode to hit the PBE for testing, L4T3NCY   noted:
"Most likely wont be this week. We'd like to get it up next week, though I don't have an exact time/day."

Champion Updates - Why Update Ryze Again? 

With Ryze's champion update due out sometime before patch 6.18, Reav3 has jumped on the boards to explain what to expect from the update and why they are updating him again after a gameplay rework in 2015:
"Hey guys, Reav3 here, Product Lead of Champion Updates. Ever since the Ryze visual and gameplay update (VGU) was announced we have been seeing a lot of questions regarding Ryze and why we're working on him. I thought it might be good to outline some of the reasons we chose to do a bigger Ryze update so soon after the last one. 
Why another Ryze Update? 
The decision to prioritize a Ryze VGU was actually due to many small reasons that came together to justify an update. I'll list out some of the thinking below. 
A few years back, Riot put together a team called "Foundations" with the goal of developing the look, feel, history, and character of the various parts of the world and its inhabitants. This is the team doing many of the new character bios and the big narrative events you have seen recently (like Shadows of Fortune and the recent Shurima Stories/Bios). We were talking a lot with the foundations team about Ryze and we all wanted to further establish his importance in Runeterra, something we’d never fully solidified previously, and reflect that importance in-game. Since we recently changed our strategy on Champion Update to focus mainly on champions that need Gameplay, this alone wasn't enough to work on Ryze, but we did talk about it. That's reason number one. 
The second reason is that honestly the last gameplay iteration of Ryze just didn't hit the mark we wanted. He is either WAY too strong in an experienced player's hands or struggles significantly in a inexperienced players hands. We have tried multiple iterations of "Machine-gun Mage" that “does tons of damage,” and we felt it might be time to try something a little different. While we still want to preserve the iconic feeling of a "Machine-Gun Mage" we thought we could take this opportunity to add something more unique Ryze’s kit. By giving him something more unique we could tone down the “does tons of damage” bit. We also wanted to make a Ryze that had more interesting decisions in his kit and was less reliant on how fast you can push all his buttons in the correct order. On the surface Ryze’s kit can look very simple but he was deceptively hiding one of the highest mastery curve kits in the game. The advantage of dedicating a huge art team to a champion update is that design is free to change and alter whatever they need to. Which brings me to my third reason. 
Back when we were doing the last gameplay update to Ryze we actually were also doing a visual update for him. We had a model close to completion but lacked a strong narrative direction and Voice Over to tie his thematic together, so we chose to simply release the gameplay with a texture update. Having a near-complete model/rig meant that we could have an accelerated production process on Ryze should we ever revisit him. 
The fact that we felt we needed to go in a different design direction with Ryze's kit, coupled with the fact that we wanted to reinforce Ryze as a key figure made Ryze a prime candidate for a full VGU. That we also had a 80% complete model and could do the update in much less time than a typical VGU was just icing on the cake for what was already looking like a promising rework. 
Is Ryze going to delay Yorick, our big VGU planned for release after Ryze? 
The answer to this is no. Ryze has not delayed the Yorick Update. We currently have three separate groups on the Champion Update team. Two of the groups work on our big updates (Sion/Taric level) and the third works on the Roster projects, like the recent Marksmen & Mage class changes. The group that worked on Poppy rolled onto Yorick shortly after Poppy released. The group that worked on Taric rolled onto Ryze shortly after Taric released. Ryze's scope is smaller than Yorick's and due to the reason I mentioned above (Having a near complete model/rig,) Ryze will most likely come out before Yorick. 
I'll be monitoring this post over the next week or so, so feel free to ask any questions you have and I'll try to answer as many as I can. 
Following the initial post, Reav3 popped in to answer player questions!

When asked about the goals of the gameplay changes, Reav3 noted:
"The goal is for Ryze to maintain his high mastery curve. We do want to pull a bit out of the mechanical skill and add a bit more to his decision making though."
He continued:
"We will not be increasing his IP costs. 
As for his difficulty we are aiming for Ryze to be easier to play at a baseline while still retaining his high mastery curve."
Reav3 continued:
"One of our goals is to make him much healthier at high level play for sure."

When asked about skins for champions who recently got an update and if Ryze or Yorick will have a new skin released alongside their updates, Reav3 noted:
"Well SKT Ryze will come, not sure about after that though, it would be up to the skins team. We won't have a new skin on launch for Yorick, but the goal is to have new skins out quicker for our champions that get VGUs. Hopefully it won't be too long until you see new Poppy & Taric skins."
He continued, answering several questions on the Warwick rework:
Hey Reav3, 
I wanted to ask about the Warwick rework (rewick, warwork). The first question being for far along the pipeline (pupline) is he?
Who's working on him?
What do you think works and doesn't work on his kit?
What needs to be played up or removed?
How do you feel about him being a drain tank currently?
Will he have decent pre 6 ganking capabilities?
And finally what direction are you currently thinking of taking him?
Can't answer all of this but I'll answer some. 
Warwick is through ideation phase and will go into full production soon after Ryze finishes. 
CertainlyT did the design and Bravo Ray did the concept, but once he goes into production a majority of the team that did Taric and is doing Ryze right now will work on him. 
Goal is to make him more capable of ganking pre-6. 
High level goal is to retain his core identity but modernize his kit (Similar to Taric)"

As for additional details on the next class update, Reav3 noted:
"We aren't ready to talk about that just yet, but we are getting close to locking down what the next class we will work on will be. Once we decide on which class we will work on Statikk will make a post going over the class and the high level goals for the class"
Of potential options, he did mention:
"Vanguards, Assassins and Divers"

Reav3 also replied to someone inquiring about Mordekaiser's juggernaut update and the Shen update from earlier this year, noting:
"I'll answer this the best I can.

First of all I don't personally feel that Shen or Morde are worse then before, but I also don't think we hit the mark we wanted on those updates. While I don't want to go into a big retrospective here (there are other threads with those) I can go over some of the changes we have made to try to get more successful reworks.

Shen and Morde are 2 different problems with 2 different solution's so I will discuss both.


After Shen we went back and evaluated the entire history of our Medium scope reworks. Looking back our medium scope projects have been pretty hit and miss. Our conclusion was that by limiting our scope we make compromises are various things. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't. We have recently changed our strategy to focus on either class updates or full VGU's. While the scope of a VGU will change depending on projects, the idea is that we don't limit ourselves on scope and are willing to change anything we need on the champion. If Shen had been a full VGU we could have done bigger changes to his thematic/lore to match the new gameplay (like make him look more like a spirit warrior, or something more tanky looking) or we could have done bigger kit changes and made him feel more like a ninja. Going forward we want all the major updates to be the scope of Sion, Taric, GP & Poppy.


With Morde it was more about doing a small gameplay update to a champion that needed a bigger update. We found that changing 1-2 abilities on a champion that probably needs a entire new kit wasn't the best strategy. Going forward we have been more careful in our class update selection and have avoided champions that really need a full VGU. This is why we skipped doing a bigger update to Swain for the Mage update (I know he got smaller changes, but not the size/scope of the bigger Mage updates). Urgot also got a small change but was passed on for a larger update for the same reason during the marksmen update.

While I know our process is still far from perfect, we will keep evaluating what is working and not working and keep making adjustments when necessary.

Hope this kind of answers what you are asking!"

[LCU Live Alpha] Prepare to Test: Collection and Profiles

Here's Cactopus with a heads up that the live LCU Alpha will soon be updated with the Collection and Profile page changes previously seen on the PBE!
"In the last round of testing, we shared our design values and let you loose on the Summoner's Rift and ARAM play loops. We'll continue tuning those features, but with this latest patch we want to switch our focus to something different: the Collection and Profile sections. 
We mentioned in our previous devblog about Collection and Profiles that we're adding features (Champion Info pages, Match History, the Leagues page) to these sections over the next few patches. As these features roll in and you prep your feedback, be sure to keep some questions in mind: 
  • What looks good? What could look better?
  • Is on-screen information clearly presented and easily understood?
  • Does the organization of information between Collection and Profiles make intuitive sense?
  • What information should we do a better job of highlighting? 
Don't forget: alpha testers can use the tools found at the bottom of the alpha homepage in the client to give feedback, report bugs, and more. 
Also check out more client update news here:
As mentioned in the post, look for the addition of match history (currently on PBE), champion pages, and league pages in the near future! Check out the LCU Alpha hub for more info and signups!

[LCU] Alpha client patch .03 changelog 

The live LCU Alpha changelog has  been updated to reflect the new .03 patch, which adds the previously mentioned  profile and collection changes, as well as  a slew of bug fixes and known issues. 

LCU Q&A: Profile and Collection [Thursday, June 16 @ 1PM PDT] 

Speaking of the LCU, the team will be on the boards to host another Q&A on June 16th at 1 PM PDT!
"Hey, summoners! 
The client update team is back at it again. Some of the crew is busting down the doors of the Dev Corner board for a brief Q&A tomorrow, Thursday, June 16th at 1pm PDT. Meet them then in this thread to hit them with your Q's about the current focus area (Profile and Collection) and get some fresh A's. 
Join the alpha construction crew and learn more about the League client update alpha here: 

[LCU] Your Feedback in Action: SR and ARAM

With the testing focus switching to collection and profile pages, here's Cactopus with a look at how player feedback on the LCU SR & ARAM play loop is being taken into consideration!
"Our big reason for running the League client update alpha is to bring players into our dev process. We're letting you loose in the construction zone, then giving you the tools to guide our iteration on the client. Although we can't act on every request our testers have—especially if it doesn't jive with our design values—we make tons of changes based on your feedback. Your help is vital to the success of the alpha, so today we want to highlight the most common and significant bits of feedback we've gotten from testers so far. Changelogs show you what we've done, and Feedback Breakdowns tell you what we're doing next. 
Testers generally felt pretty good about what we're doing with Champ Select, but many called out bugs that slowed down the experience. 
IN PROGRESS UI elements in Champ Select are laggy/slow to respond to inputs We're changing the way we pre-load certain assets in Champ Select, so this should be solved within a few patches. 
IN PROGRESS Sometimes your own chat messages aren't visible (even when your team can see them) This one appears to be rare. We're figuring out how to solve it. 
IN PROGRESS When editing masteries, it's hard to tell how many points you have in each Our visual designers are making some tweaks to address this. 
IN PROGRESS Loading into champ select is often laggy and can cause the client to crash This one is a tough one, and might take multiple patches for us to resolve it. Regardless, it's top-priority for us. 
NOT YET Players want to be able to sort their champions list by mastery or with a "favorites" feature in Champ Select We don't have plans to add additional sorting options yet, but there are good ideas here that we will evaluate down the line. 
UNRESOLVED It's difficult to quickly edit masteries in Champ Select Our goal right now is to get masteries in the client update alpha working just as well as they do in the legacy client, so we're not prioritizing this. 
The biggest issues with the map selection and game lobby had to do with navigation. In general, we're going to reorganize some of the flow to make it less confusing. 
IN PROGRESS The process for choosing map and mode is confusing and difficult We're shuffling around the map/mode selection process to address this. 
IN PROGRESS There's lag when changing map/mode This one may take some time to solve, but obviously nobody likes lag. We're working on it. 
IN PROGRESS Lobby chat isn't visually distinct from PMs We strongly agree with this feedback. Lobby chat is currently not in the right place and we're working on smoothing that out. 
NOT YET Lobby background animations aren't animated enough. Specifically, the flags should be more wavy/patriotically flappy It'll take a few patches, but we're committing now to making those flags more breezy. In general, you should expect to see additional animations and sparkly prettiness to continue sprinkling into the client throughout the alpha. 
UNRESOLVED It's unclear when and where you can use drag-and-drop This could perhaps be solved with tooltips or hover-text, but we're not working on it right now. 
The people want more stats, and they want the stats to be easier to read. We're on it. 
IN PROGRESS You can't tell how much IP you earned in the most recent game This one's easy. We're fixing it as soon as possible, 
IN PROGRESS It's difficult to find team gold stats This is a text coloration problem. We're on it. 
IN PROGRESS Advanced stats should be viewable without having to go to the web We agree, they should. We're integrating this fix sooner rather than later, 
IN PROGRESS The end-of-game screen is lackluster and would benefit from more animations Totally. Our animators are cooking up some dank new moving pictures, 
Almost all the issues with the friends list are related to visual prominence of important material. We hear ya, and we're working on it. 
FIXED It's difficult to notice a game invite if you're already in a lobby We hotfixed this one by adding a big, sexy visual cue during the first ten seconds after an invite is received. Let us know if our change adequately solves this! 
IN PROGRESS You can't see messages or invites when the client is minimized This one's no good. We're working on it, and we're going to try to make these notifications feel more modern than they do in the legacy client. Stay tuned. 
IN PROGRESS New friend requests aren't prominent enough We're working on a new visual cue for these. Expect it in a few patches. 
UNRESOLVED You can't minimize the Friends List This is by design—we want to keep your friends list available (almost) all the time. There is nothing hiding behind the Friends List, so there’s nothing to minimize. This is an obvious change from legacy, so we're giving this some time to sink in before making changes here. We’ll also work to figure out some ways to make it look less like something that should be minimized.  
It's early days for the alpha client, and some features (client resizing, sound settings, a new player experience) aren't included yet. But they will be! 
FIXED It's hard to see summoner names in embedded team chat We've already fixed this one by ditching the gray font color we were using for summoner names. Other gray fonts will also soon get the axe. 
NOT YET Chat in Champ Select and the end-of-game lobby is too small This one is definitely an issue. We're working out some ways to restructure these screens with a bigger focus on chat, but it might take us a little time. 
NOT YET You can't resize the client This is a pretty standard feature that's already in the legacy client, and we expect to integrate it before the end of the alpha. 
NOT YET Some players want to be able to turn off the client's background animations for performance reasons We heard this one a lot, and it's something we're seriously thinking about—we're working to optimize performance throughout the alpha, and we never want animations to get in the way of that goal. For now this option isn't a top priority for us, but we're looking into it. 
NOT YET You can't adjust sound and music volumes separately In the legacy client, you can currently toggle sound and music off separately, but we want to go a little further than that. Expect this to come later. 
NOT YET There's no "new player experience" to guide noobs This is on our schedule, but it'll likely come after the alpha. 
Thanks so much for all your feedback so far! Please keep it coming, and make sure to watch out for future changelogs to see all of the iteration we’re making based off your feedback. We'll be back with another Feedback Breakdown after the next major release."
CapnBranFlakes also comment briefly on the request for a Show Offline option, saying:
"It’s not a feature that’s currently planned to be added, but we do recognize that this is a feature that’s requested quite often. What we’re committing to is to conduct research on it to understand more of why players want an offline/invisible mode and what activity they expect to take while in that state. We usually conduct research via in-person player labs, surveys, and collecting data from players around the world. So, we are not going to say “yes” or “no” to the request at the moment, but we’re committed to learning more about it so the best decision that would affect all players globally can be made."
He continued:
"Hey all, I see there's a concern around why we would need to research something when we can go here to see what you all think. I totally get that, but we need to be able to fully understand the impact a feature like this would make on a global level. 
I stopped by this thread for a few reasons. I wanted to provide transparency around the request and make it known that it's not currently planned to be added (as in, it's not in the feature sets we're working on), but because we've seen it brought up, the team that works on chat features is committing to doing more investigation on it (via research) -- I also wanted to share some context around how we do research ("in-person player labs, surveys, and collecting data from players around the world") for those that may be unfamiliar with the efforts we take to understand what players like and don't like. There was meant to be more emphasis on "globally" in my reply, as a decision like this would affect all players around the world, so it's not a decision that can be made without knowing as much as we can around the request."

Meddler on Irelia, Swain, and Blitzcrank PBE Changes 

The 6.13 PBE cycle kicked off with the 6/14 PBE update and included several changes, including nerfs for IreliaSwain, and Blitzcrank!

When asked about Swain and Irelia's changes on the boards, Meddler explained:
"Irelia - doesn't have sufficient downtime on her ult early game especially, resulting in lack of windows to fight her, particular after returning to lane. That's been a long time problem, now that she's strong and we need to take a bit of power off her it seemed like a good time to address it. 
Swain - We're interested in a model for Swain ult where when he turns it on during a fight is a significant thing for enemies to play around. At a 10s CD, especially with a decent amount of CDR (which he'll get) there's just not sufficient downtime there for it to matter enough. Testing significantly longer CDs as a result, looking at an approach where he gets one ult activation in an average fight, two in particularly long fights. 
For both champs both the concept and the specific numbers are still being tested. It's early in the patch cycle right now, so hard to give a useful answer as to whether they'll go through without more testing. We do like both changes directionally so far though."
Meddler continued, noting the Swain PBE nerfs may change based on  how the 6.12 Catalyst and Rod of Ages changes work out:
"Yeah, Swain one could change depending on the impact of the Catalyst/ROA stuff in 6.12. Will assess once 6.12's been out for a bit, doubt it's going to hit him that hard though and he's extremely strong right now."

As for Blitzcrank's R cooldown PBE nerfs, he noted:
"Yeah, similar issue on Blitz, he's too strong and can lack windows early game. Changes are targeted again at laning in particular (R shouldn't be up quite as often when you land a Q, putting the R on CD early should involve a bit more of a trade off when losing the passive)."
SmashGizmo also implied there may be more Blitzcrank changes on the PBE.

Sona and Leona Changes on PBE

As you may have seen in the 6/14 PBE update, Sona currently has a set of experimental changes testing on the PBE!

Here's a change list from ricklessabandon:
"for the sanity of anyone trying to check out the sona changes on the pbe, here's a list of what's in today's version"

Following this tweet, ricklessabandon also noted these changes are rough and WIP -
[1] "and yes, those are super rough work-in-progress changes. started with dramatic numbers to get a read on how some of this would play out~"

[2] "ah, for anyone asking, the cooldown effect on sona's ult -does- stack with cdr. so with those numbers she could effectively cap at 78% cdr"

[3] "so yeah, like always, i tend to start at extremes and work from there :3"

[4] "iterating quickly with sona this week. will have an updated changelist in the next pbe update."

SmashGizmo has also shared a tentative Leona changelist that should hit the PBE in the 6/15 PBE update:
[1] "Have a bunch of Leona changes that'll hit the PBE tomorrow, interested in how they'll play out."

[2] "Ok, so this is what v 1.0 looks like on my Leona list, stuff's likely to change a lot over the next couple days:"

Syndra Bug Fixes, potentially in 6.13

Meddler has also posted about upcoming Syndra bug fixes, potentially as early as patch 6.13
"We've also got some additional Syndra changes coming, potentially in 6.13, with a focus on bug fixes instead as follows:
  1. W not grabbing 3 spheres sometimes when it should (only grabbing 1 if a sphere isn't directly clicked on)
  2. Syndra's ult historically checked for available ammo at the start of the cast and after firing off all its shots. That got broken a number of patches back (sometime earlier this year I believe, not certain as to the exact patch) so it only checked for ammo at the start, making timing more punishing than intended and breaking some combos.
  3. Spheres on the ground sometimes becoming non interactive if the target of Syndra's ult died mid cast.
  4. W going on CD when Syndra gets CC'd, preventing her from throwing the sphere afterwards when she should still be able to. Things one's a tentative fix, we're not certain we've necessarily nailed it yet. 
    We've also got some investigation being done again into the stuttering after ulting issue that's been a long running pain point for some players. That one's proving hard to track down a cause of so far though.

    Soulstealer Vayne and Hextech Crafting

    As you may already know, the upcoming Soulstealer Vayne skin (now on pbe!) will be a Hextech crafting exclusive similar to Hextech Annie - while you can still randomly reroll into the skin unlock or get a shard out of a chest, the primary way to obtain this skin will be to combine 10 rare gemstones!

    Here's Riot Wingfield with more information, including mention of future promotions to offer guaranteed ways to get these gemstones:
    "Hey All! 
    Just wanted to give some extra context here. Soul Stealer Vayne is a new Hextech Crafting exclusive skin. You can obtain her as a rare shard drop from a mastery chest or by forging 10 gemstones. When you "forge" gemstones you get to choose the exclusive item you want to unlock. So if you have 10 gemstones, you can choose Hextech Annie or Soul Stealer Vayne. 
    We plan on adding new rare content a few times a year and these items won't always be in the Hextech theme (as with Vayne, duh ;) 
    We also know that as we add more of these rare items, it can be challenging to obtain them. In future Hextech Crafting promotions we will sometimes offer guaranteed pathways to a limited number of gemstones. We want to carefully balance not making these items too rare while also not invalidating rarity as a valuable content feature within League. 
    Hope that context helps a bit :)

    For those curious about the Hextech Ward we saw added to the PBE earlier this year, Wingifeld also commented that it would be released alongside Soulstealer Vayne:
    "The Hextech Ward Skin will be coming out along side Soul Stealer Vayne. It will be less than 10 gemstones :)"
    As ofr the 6/14 PBE update, the Hextech Ward is currently priced at 5 gemstones.

    Buying Skins in Champion Select

    When asked about re-implementing being able to purchase skins during champion select after it being removed when the new champion select experience went live earlier this year, RainbowPi explained it would return in the LCU:
    "So I have a little bit of insight into this that might be helpful. 
    This started because, when the new team builder was being developed, the store was constantly having problems with load; remember the project skins launch? DJ Sona? So when the team working on the new team builder came to us saying that they wanted to integrate with the store, we knew that the store would just fall over with the load. Since then, we have spent the first few months of this year making some major improvements to the store so that it can actually handle that load. Hextech crafting was released and the store stayed up. 
    However, at this point, we have gotten so close to the League Client Update that we decided that, rather than doing the work twice to get that all implemented in, it would make more sense to just get it updated for the client update. So hopefully if nothing goes wrong, we should be able to get this into new client. I just don't know the time frames of when this will appear, but I will keep an eye on this and do what I can to get this feature back. 
    I definitely understand the pain here, and I am super sorry that we weren't able to get this feature in. This has always been the primary way that I purchased skins too, so I definitely feel the pain."

    SKT Skins still in the works!

    As you may remember, a set of skins to celebrate SKT as our 2015 World Champions hit the PBE a few months ago then were pulled off for improvements and the addition of a new SKT Azir skin to the line up.

    Here's KateyKhaos with a little reminder that they are still in the works!
    "We haven't announced an official ETA for these skins yet - we're still adding some changes to them (while working on the regularly scheduled content for the upcoming patches). They are still a priority, and not something we've swept under the rug. 
    I'm not able to drop any details on what we've changed, you'll have to wait and see once they're back up on PBE. :)"

    Patch Chat 6.12 - Keystones and Catalyst and Marksman Items, Oh My! 

    With patch 6.12 out to live, the playtest team is back on the boards to discuss the latest changes!
    "Hey all, 
    Welcome back to Patch Chat! We’re Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things (lane tests, competitive testing, etc) and give actionable objective feedback to designers. 
    Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on the state of balance on the current patch. Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game. 
    It’s been a few weeks of Patch Chat, and we’re still iterating on the format. With three new members starting in the last few weeks, we welcome any feedback about the format of Patch Chat. What do you like about Patch Chat or want to see in the future? What do you hate? 
    Patch 6.12 is being called the ARAM Patch, but it also sees changes to ADC itemization, Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Catalyst items, and Grasp of the Undying. 
    With sustain for tanks (as well as Catalyst mages like Swain) lower on this patch, and marksman damage upped somewhat, tell us how see the meta shifting! 
    Curious what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? Have any questions about the patch as a whole? As usual, feel free to ask any questions about balance or what exactly our job is. We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible. 
    Playtest Team
    • Adam "Afic" Cohen
    • Preston “Hinder” Bunker
    • Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
    • Shawn “I Am The IRS” Currie
    • Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
    • Miles “Daydreamin” Hoard
    • Bao “Bao” Lam
    • Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman
    • Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
    • Blake “S0be” Soberanis
    • Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"
    Be sure to check out the boards thread for more discussion!

    2016 Mid-Season Invitational By the Numbers 

    With the summer leagues starting up, Riot has posted an article looking at the viewership of the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational!
    "As we rocket into summer split and begin the countdown towards the 2016 World Championship, we’re looking back on our 2016 Mid-Season Invitational - and how many fans tuned into the springtime clash of champions. 
    This year’s tournament was more ambitious than ever - spanning 8 days of gameplay and more hours of play than ever before - while on the Rift, twists and turns kept things interesting
    Fans from all over the world tuned in for 119 million hours of live broadcast content (not counting rebroadcast viewership) - with over 202 million unique daily impressions. As with our Worlds 2015 numbers, this is calculated by taking the unique viewers every day and adding those numbers. 
    At its peak, MSI had over 6 million viewers tuned in concurrently to take in the live action with an average of 2.3 million viewers tuned in simultaneously across the 8 days. 
    We loved trying new things this year - from an extended format to an exciting opening ceremony to a glowing LED stage. Hearing crowds cheer live in our awesome host city of Shanghai and seeing the competitive narratives unfold - RNG winning the group stage in front of a home crowd, CLG carrying the NA banner, SuperMassive earning respect for Turkey, SKT re-establishing its global dominance (just to name a few) - MSI has been the highlight of our competitive year to-date. Massive thanks to all fans who supported their region and helped make it an event to remember."

    Ask a Shaco Main - Chinese Jester

    Last up we have RiotJaws with a community spotlight on Chinese Jester, a S5 master Shaco main!
    "We’re excited to welcome Chinese Jester to kick off June’s “Ask a Champion Main!” This Shaco main’s been playing League of Legends since Season 2 with over 5000 Shaco games.

    He’s brought with him a wealth of info on juking, flanking, and dominating the jungle as the Demon Jester.

    How did you get into League of Legends?

    I was in my junior year of high school and discovered it just before Summer break began. I had just begun watching Justin TV and saw incarnati0n’s Fizz (Jensen). Originally, friends in my physics class introduced me to the game and I thoroughly enjoyed how competitive each game was.

    Where do your Summoner names come from?

    My Summoner name “Chinese Jester” comes from the fact that I am Chinese and Shaco is a Jester. However, originally when I began playing League it was “BDMeta”, because of how much Shaco would backdoor in the old days. My second name change was YouMatter, as I got more into charities.

    What got you hooked on playing Shaco?

    Since season 2, Shaco has been a champion that would solo carry games and have high snowball ability. This resonated with me, because I have always been very critical of myself to play properly. If I mess up I deserve to lose, if I don’t play a perfect early game, I don’t deserve to win.

    Additionally, Shaco was streamed a lot by EUW junglers at the time, so it was quite popular.

    Who is your go-to champion if Shaco gets banned?

    Elise is currently my go-to champion if Shaco gets banned. Originally in season 4-5 I would get banned out in 80%+ of my games so I would play Elise or dodge. However, Thresh is pretty fun.

    If you could describe Shaco’s playstyle in a sentence, what would it be?

    Shaco must read and understand every enemy and ally to create logical aggression.

    What runes and masteries do you run on him?

    For runes, the standard page is AD quints, AD marks, Armor seals, and AP blues.

    For masteries I run 12/18/0, picking up Sorcery, Double-Edged Sword, Natural Talent, Oppressor, Savagery, Assassin, Merciless, Dangerous Game, Precision, and Thunderlord’s decree.

    What is Shaco’s core item build?

    Shaco’s core items are Youmuu’s, Mobility boots, Duskblade, and Infinity Edge (IE). Youmuu’s and Mobi’s give you what you need to pick and flank throughout the game, while Duskblade and IE give you the damage to burst.

    What are Shaco’s easiest matchups? What are his toughest?

    It’s hard to name specific easy matchups for Shaco without taking into account team composition:
    • Immobile enemies of any sort are good for Shaco. AD’s such as Twitch, Jhin, Ashe, Jinx are simpler to play against. Personally, I like playing against early game junglers such as Elise and Lee Sin, because Shaco has tools to outplay these champions. For example, a 0 ping Shaco should always be able to Q or W Lee Sin Q, Q Lee Sin’s E, and R Lee Sin’s R.
    • Shaco’s toughest matchups are Twisted Fate, Reksai, Lulu, Janna, Kayle and Kindred. Twisted Fate and Reksai essentially stop Shaco from moving as freely as he would want to. You’re not allowed to move deep into dangerous territory against these champions that can spot you and trail you in invisibility.
    • Lulu, Janna, Kayle, and pretty much anyone that stops you from one-shotting essential backliners are hard matchups, because you have to wait for them to expend their important defensive skills before you enter for a pick.
    • Kindred is a ranged AD jungler so she’ll always have the range advantage in 1v1ing you in the jungle as well as an ultimate that stops you from bursting an individual. 
    What is Shaco’s main job in laning phase? What about Teamfights? 
    Shaco’s job in the laning phase can consist of two different approaches:

    • Snowball a particular, or all lane matchups. This allows for early first tier turrets, into map control, into objectives. From this point you just start stealing jungle camps, and out gold them until the game is over.
    • Neutralize the enemy jungler. If I am stopping the enemy jungler from visiting lanes that should win naturally then it’s a net win.Teamfighting scenarios with Shaco are very unique. Step 1 is to check if they have hard engage. If the enemy has hard engage you must either trust your team to play around that engage or play with your team, meaning no split pushing. Things such as peel skills, waveclear, and items such as Zhonyas make this decision simpler. If you decide to split you must be aware of objective rushes such as Baron. Never go bot side split pushing if they can rush baron leaving your team in a 5v4.  
    If you decide to group and teamfight you need to check for the following:

    • Press Tab and see all pink wards. You can never enter the fight if they have someone holding a pink ward, if you Q in, they put it down, you get turned on and die.
    • Have an angle of some sort. From the left, right, behind, somewhere creative that is clear of enemy vision using sweepers/pinks. Ideally, you also take into account enemy camera control to avoid getting your smoke seen. 
    If these conditions are met, you should wait for your team to engage, then you will move into the backline, backstab, Tiamat/Hydra (if you have it), E then auto for thunderlords. This will kill backliners TYPICALLY.
    If you believe there are enemies in transition to the teamfight location, you must read the map, and figure out if you can pick them off at red, blue, a camp, as they’re walking down the lane.

    Shaco’s “teamfight” starts before a teamfight even begins.

    If someone is playing Shaco for the first time, what is the most important thing to bear in mind?

    You will get flamed. If you have even an average early game, other players will think you’re “behind,” because you’re playing Shaco. If you have a perfect early game you can still lose and get flamed, because Shaco isn’t a late game champion. Shaco’s late game isn’t HORRIBLE, it’s just not great.

    Even then, if you go 4/0/3 in the lane phase by killing laners and the enemy Graves jungle sweeps up the cs when you push it to the turret and that results in them having 4x your cs, you will get flamed mid game, because the Graves is more useful. However, through all of this, you have to be level headed and make the most proper play you can.

    What are your favorite ways to juke opponents with Shaco?
    1. Walk one way and Q the other way. Pretty simple.
    2. Walk one way, turn to a direction, then Q a different direction. The enemy may think you turned and Q’d late, so you may have“revealed” the direction of your Q.
    3. R and auto the enemy or stand still, move your clone away.
    4. R to go over a wall (about 40% of the time using Directional Input.)
    How do you make the most out of Shaco’s Jack-in-the-Boxes? 
    You can use Shaco’s Jack-in-the-Boxes for a lot of things: 
    1. Initial clear speed
    2. Vision defense/offense. Defending your laners from jungle ganks by leaving boxes in tri-brushes, river brushes or offensively leaving them in the enemy jungle for vision
    3. Placing them behind in ganks to block off escape routes
    4. Placing boxes to peel for your backline (I believe 2 boxes near each other still stop things like Malphite ult, credits to Pink Ward).
    AD Shaco or AP Shaco?

    I play exclusively AD assassin Shaco. Even though I believe bruiser Shaco has a higher win rate, I don’t play it, because you’re essentially a worse Lee Sin imo.

    AP Shaco is fun, but you need an early game transition item such as Tiamat or Youmuu’s. It’s not my playstyle, but it works.

    Have you played Shaco in other roles outside of Jungle? How did that go?

    I’ve played Shaco Top, Mid and Support. Shaco Top is actually not bad, your split is almost the best in the game, you just need to get through lane phase.

    Shaco Mid sucks and Shaco Support also sucks. If you wanna use 20% of your mana every time to Q E someone or put a bunch of boxes down and hope your cheese works, feel free.

    What’s your favorite Shaco skin?
    Asylum, he’s upside down and as crazy as a jester should be. But, we all use Masked Shaco due to the white Q smoke.

    What’s the best Shaco play you have ever pulled off?

    I don’t have a clip, but it was in Season 4 I believe. A Syndra player (maybe Mancloud? Not sure) is chasing me through bottom river, because I have 20% HP so I run towards my first- tier bot turret. Their AD Draven flash auto’s me as their Syndra flash R’s me. I R to dodge the damage as well as steal Draven’s axe (if you ult Draven axes they disappear). I proceed to Q back, kill the Syndra, and my team grabs the Draven.

    Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! If readers want to reach out, where can they find you?

    You can find me at any of the links below:
    Hang out in the comments and ask Chinese Jester any questions you may have!" 

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