FeralPony and Roku Discuss Preseason Mastery and Summoner Spell changes

Posted on at 2:31 PM by Moobeat
Let's continue to work down Morello's list of preseason changes by taking a look at the newly posted Mastery and Summoner Spell changes.
Continue reading to catch up on what FeralPony has to say about the preseason mastery changes, including shifting around and removing old masteries, and see what Roku has in store for summoner spells, including the removal of promote and surge.

Mastery Changes
Here is FeralPony's update on what's to expect from the preseason mastery changes and what he hopes to accomplish with them.
"FeralPony here with an update on the mastery changes coming this preseason. We had a lot of goals for the coming rework, so I wanted to take a moment to explain a few of them to you. Mostly they’re aimed at providing you with more options, greater build diversity, and upgrade paths with fewer “wasted” points to get to the masteries you want. We started this process with our first mastery redesign at the start of Season Two, but since then the game has continued to evolve and we’ve identified a some areas we can continue to improve. Here’s an in-depth look:

Increase diversity within builds

In the preseason you’ll find a number of new options in each tree to allow for more diversity in your builds. There are now more choices within each tree so you can spec out and optimize your champion however you choose. This includes new, more focused options at each level of the tree so that you have more options to select bonuses that specifically benefit your individual playstyle.

Make each tree more useful to more champions

In Season two, masteries were a bit too targeted toward specific roles. AP and AD carries took Offense, tanks took Defense, and supports took Utility. While these straightforward options will still be good in the preseason, we want you to have additional incentives to dive deep into trees that might not be the obvious choice for your role. For example, a jungler interested in applying a lot of early game pressure might find the bonus starting gold from the Utility tree useful for picking up early Boots of Speed. Likewise, an AD carry with limited escape skills might find the bonus tenacity available in the Defense tree allows him to refocus his early itemization. In short, we want you to have more options.

Move or replace out-of-place masteries

There were a number of Season Two masteries that didn’t really fit well into their trees. Masteries like Siege Commander (which reduced the armor of nearby enemy turrets) didn’t really belong in the Defense tree, so we replaced it with a more appropriate mastery called Tower Shield that reduces incoming damage from turrets.

Indomitable is gone and Tough Skin has been updated

You’ll notice the absence of a few of the previous masteries, most notably Indomitable. We also changed Tough Skin so that it no longer grants reduced damage from lane minions. These two masteries trivialized early game minion damage when combined, allowing players to easily “freeze” lanes. Freezing lanes contributes heavily to snowballing and limits the viability of certain champions, so we wanted to make it a more risky proposition.

Reduce “wasted” points

There are a number of popular builds where you might find you have to waste points on masteries that don’t really benefit you to reach the masteries you want. We’ve changed up the dependencies so you can now reach the end of each tree without wasting any points.

Improve the Utility Tree

In Season Two, the Utility Tree wasn’t all that appealing to the majority of champions. We’ve made adjustments to ensure this tree has more useful options for champions in all roles. Champions like manaless casters who currently have to waste a lot of points to get to the bottom of the tree can now make it down 21 or more points in Utility and be rewarded for doing so."
FeralPony continued on to mention that life steal and spell vamp have been moved into the utility tree, saying:
"You are correct Lifesteal didn't really belong in the offense tree. Lifesteal and Spellvamp are now bundled into the same mastery inside Utility. While it may not be popular among AD carry players to lose the LS from the offense tree, Utility as a whole has been made a more attractive choice for all character types."

Summoner Spell changes
...and here is what Roku had to say about the preseason updates to Summoner spells, including the removal of Promote and Surge, addition of Barrier, and increasing the cool downs of Flash and Ignite.
"Hey summoners,

I’m Roku, Game QA Analyst at Riot Games, and I’m here today to fill you in on some of the upcoming summoner spell changes we have planned this preseason. Overall, we want to offer you more viable summoner spells, so that you have plenty of options to tailor your selections to suit your individual playstyle and strategic needs. We hope to accomplish this by equalizing power levels and solidifying unique roles for each spell choice.

For starters, we plan to make Barrier available across all maps rather than just the Proving Grounds. To ensure it’s balanced it we’ll be increasing its cooldown and reducing its duration. Barrier will require faster reaction time in its new form, but will remain the go-to defensive option against burst damage. To reinforce this change, we’re also reducing the overall effect of Heal, but modifying it to heal allies for the same amount as it heals the caster. This will solidify Heal into a support role, while making it less useful for baiting opponents.

Next, we’re making some subtle tweaks to many of the summoner spells. Flash and Ignite will each have their cooldowns increased slightly in order to bring them more in line with other spells. Clarity, Clairvoyance, and Exhaust are set for small changes that will make them more visible during gameplay and emphasize their specific roles.

Finally, we’ll be removing both Promote and Surge. We’re creating an item with an effect like Promote since it makes sense as a strategic option, and having it as a buy-in strategy means we’ll be able to better balance the effect in relation to its gold cost. Surge is being removed because it isn’t always clear when to use it or which champions benefit from it. In the end, Surge is a competing spell in a niche we’d like Ignite to fill.

In the preseason we want summoner spells to be another way to customize your champion to suit your playstyle instead of being dominated by a few, extremely strong choices. We’re confident that these modifications will free you up to experiment with different combinations and tailored to your favorite champions."
When questioned about the addition of any new summoner spells this season, Roku responded with:
"For Preseason 3, there will not be any additional Summoner Spells available other than Barrier. We would like to nail down the existing choices first, while cleaning up some of the false choices / unclear use cases.

As for the future, we'll continue to watch how Summoner Spells are doing and make adjustments as necessary - whether it be addition or modification."

As with the other posts, I'll be sure to edit in pertinent information.


  1. barrier gonna be scary for some of my fav champs like talon 0.0 go in for the burst barrier comes up and hope i have time to run away lol

    1. No different to heal as it is now. You dive, burst combo, they heal, your combo doesn't kill them and they probably get a good bit of damage on your squishy self.

      It'll now come down to which is better, healing x amount, or shielding y amount. Unless the cooldowns and effective health is vastly in favour of barrier, expect heal to still be used due to its AoE heal.

  2. this looks awesome, cant wait to get my hands on these.

  3. So bot lane gonna be:
    AD carry: flash barrier
    Support: flash heal

    Kinda curious about the Promote item, top lane might rush it to freeze the lane for drake fight :-ss

    1. Imo, it would be better:
      ADC: Flash - Ignite
      Supp: Flash - Heal

      - OR -

      ADC: Flash - Barrier
      Supp: Flash - Exhaust.

      Or your set for a very defensive option.

    2. It is still gonna stay the same flash ginite / flash exhaust, don't speculate too much boys

  4. No more Promote + Surge to troll?
    I'd better go Teleport + Revive Karthus now

  5. Thanks Moobeat... please continue to keep us informed. ^_^

  6. surge was extremely good on teemo, or for taking down turrets as anyone. I hope they remove flash entirely, half of you people rely on it like a crutch for getting kills or escaping.

  7. Will these changes take place with the end of season 2 patch?

  8. The Server is now up Moo, you can update this post with this info if you desire. However, infinite login queue o_O.