Mid-Season Magic - Mage updates, itemization changes, Elemental Dragons, and much more!

Posted on at 11:31 AM by Moobeat
[WIP - lots of information still coming out! Check back soon for updates]
[UPDATE - Added in additional Dragon discussion plus individual threads for Annie, Veigar, Fiddle, and Anivia!]

A massive set of Mid-Season changes are hitting the PBE, including several mage updates, mage item changes, the introduction of Elemental and Elder Dragons, Rift Herald and Turret changes, and much more!
Continue reading for more information, including additional context on Dragon & objective changes, discussion threads for each of the larger mage updates, and more!

Table of Contents

Mid- Season Magic

First up we have the Mid-Season Magic page, complete with an overview of the mage changes, mage oriented itemization changes, and introduction to the new Elemental and Elder dragons!

"As we witness the best teams in the world duke it out for international fame and fortune, the mid-season intermission that follows is about all of us taking a deep breath and reflecting on how far we've come and how far we have to go. This mid-season, significant updates will be rolled out to our most magical roster of champions, sorcerous new items will be introduced, and the elemental dragons are taking flight. How do my enemies want to win, and how do I stop it? Now, more than ever, League is about playing your opponent as you play the game. 
It's Mid-season Magic! 
Mages are one of League’s most established classes but, over the years, their strategic identities have become muddied and their gameplay hasn’t kept up with evolving standards. Much like our work on the juggernauts and marksmen, we saw the opportunity to update a ‘roster’ of champions to ensure the class as a whole is relevant and satisfying to play. Ultimately our goal is to bring distinction, cohesion and, yes, game health to the mages, giving them a unique reason to be picked. 
This mid-season, the mages are taking center-stage!
Malzahar is still a low-mobility lockdown mage, but now he's got more friends from the void to protect him. The Prophet's also amping up his ability to get close during teamfights thanks to his new passive, Void Shift. 
  • Passive - Void Shift [Video]
    • Malzahar enters Void Shift when he hasn't taken direct damage over a period of time. During Void Shift, Malzahar takes massively reduced damage and is immune to crowd control effects, remaining in Void Shift for a small period of time after taking damage. 
  • Call of the Void [Video]
    • Malzahar opens two portals to the Void that fire projectiles inward, dealing magic damage and silencing enemies. 
  • Void Swarm [Video]
    • Malzahar summons a Voidling that lasts for a set period of time. The first time a Voidling attacks a champion, large monster, epic monster, or assists in killing a unit, Malzahar spawns a new Voidling with the same remaining duration. When three or more Voidlings are active, they all gain bonus attack speed. 
  • Malefic Visions [Video]
    • Malzahar infects his target's mind with cruel visions of their demise, dealing damage each second. If the target dies while afflicted by the visions, they pass on to a nearby enemy unit and Malzahar gains Mana. Malzahar's Voidlings are attracted to affected units. 
  • Nether Grasp [Video]
    • Malzahar suppresses a target champion over time, creating a zone of negative energy around them. All enemies (and the suppressed target) in the zone are dealt a percentage of their maximum health as magic damage per second.

Brand's mid-season changes are about lighting the whole world on fire. He'll have a harder time nuking lone targets, but when enemies huddle together for safety, it's time for the Burning Vengeance to blow them up.
  • Passive - Blaze [Video]
    • Brand's spells light his targets ablaze, dealing a percentage of their maximum health as magic damage over time. On the third stack, the Blaze becomes unstable over a few seconds and detonates, dealing a large percentage of the target's maximum health in an area-of-effect. 
  • Sear [Video]
    • Brand launches a ball of fire forward that deals magic damage. If the target is ablaze, Sear will stun the target. 
  • Pillar of Flame [Video]
    • After a short delay, Brand creates a pillar of flame at a target location, dealing magic damage to enemy units within the area. Units that are ablaze take an additional 25% damage. 
  • Conflagration [Video]
    • Brand conjures a powerful blast at his target, dealing magic damage to them. If the target is ablaze, Conflagration spreads to nearby enemies. 
  • Pyroclasm [Video]
    • Brand unleashes a devastating torrent of fire, dealing magic damage each time it bounces. If a target is ablaze, Pyroclasm will prioritize champions for the next bounce. Blaze now briefly slows enemies it hits. 

Vladimir's still the sustain-focused blood mage, but we're dialing up his ability to tap into health to wreak havoc.
  • Passive - Crimson Pact [Video]
    • Every point of bonus Health gives Vladimir Ability Power, and every point of Ability Power gives Vladimir bonus Health (does not stack with itself). 
  • Transfusion [Video]
    • Vladimir drains life from his target. After casting Transfusion twice, Vladimir gains Crimson Rush for a few seconds the next time Transfusion is available to cast, granting him bonus movement speed and bonus damage. 
  • Sanguine Pool [Video]
    • Vladimir sinks into a pool of blood, becoming untargetable for a couple seconds. Additionally, enemies in the pool are slowed and Vladimir siphons life from them. 
  • Tides of Blood [Video]
    • Vladimir charges up a reservoir of blood, paying a large portion of his maximum health over a period of time to increase Tides of Blood's damage. On release, or after a couple seconds, Vladimir unleashes a sphere of blood, dealing magic damage. At full charge, Tides of Blood slows Vladimir while he holds it, and will briefly slow targets by when he releases it. 
  • Hemoplague [Video]
    • Vladimir infects an area with a virulent plague. Affected enemies take increased damage for the duration. Hemoplague deals additional magic damage after a few seconds to infected enemies and heals Vladimir for each enemy hit.

Zyra is the control mage with the greenest thumb in League, and her new passive lets her spread even more flora across the Rift. Give Zyra a little time to tend to her thorny forest, and she'll have abundant opportunities to counter-engage on attackers. 
  • Passive - Garden of Thorns [Video]
    • Seeds spawn around Zyra periodically, becoming faster with level and lasting a long period of time (with a maximum number of seeds planted). If an enemy Champion steps on a seed, the seed dies. If Zyra casts Deadly Spines or Grasping Roots near seeds, she grows plants. Extra plants striking the same target deal less damage. 
  • Deadly Spines [Video]
    • Zyra grows a bed of spines at the target location. After a brief delay, it explodes, launching damaging thorns at all nearby enemies. If cast upon a seed, Deadly Spines grows a Thorn Spitter plant, which fires at enemies from afar. 
  • Rampant Growth [Video]
    • Zyra plants a seed. Other spells cast on seeds will turn them into plants, which fight for Zyra. Rampant Growth passively increases plant maximum health. 
  • Grasping Roots [Video]
    • Zyra sends forth vines through the ground to ensnare her target, dealing magic damage and rooting enemies they come across. If cast upon a seed, Grasping Roots grows a Vine Lasher, whose short range attacks reduce enemy movement speed. 
  • Stranglethorns [Video]
    • Zyra summons a twisted thicket at her target location, dealing damage to enemies as it expands and knocking them airborne as it contracts. Plants within the thicket are enraged, dealing bonus damage.

Vel'Koz is the monster of choice when you need long-range poke damage or... a true-damage laser beam! Melt their frontline, then obliterate their backline. 
  • Passive - Organic Deconstruction [Video]
    • Vel'Koz's spells build Organic Deconstruction stacks on enemies. The third spell hit consumes the stacks and deals bonus true damage. This true damage scales with level and ability power. 
  • Plasma Fission [Video]
    • Vel'Koz shoots a bolt of plasma that splits in two on reactivation or upon hitting an enemy. The bolt slows and deals magic damage on hit. Plasma Fission refunds half its mana cost if it kills a unit, and the target indicator now only displays for Vel'Koz. 
  • Void Rift [Video]
    • Vel'Koz opens a rift to the void that deals an initial burst of magic damage, then explodes for a second burst of damage after a delay. 
  • Tectonic Disruption [Video]
    • Vel'Koz causes an area to explode, knocking up enemies, and knocking close enemies slightly away.
  • Lifeform Disintegration Ray [Video]
    • Vel'Koz unleashes a channelled beam that follows the cursor for 2.5 seconds that deals damage and slows enemies. All enemies that are deconstructed become researched. Lifeform Disintegration Ray deals true damage to researched champions, but no longer deconstructs enemies. 

When the enemy team is fleet of foot, Cassiopeia is the serpent to call. With Cass, we're introducing an entirely new type of debilitation—"Grounded"—that negates an enemy's ability to flash, dash, or even take a friendly Thresh lantern to safety for the duration of the debuff. 
  • Passive - Snakes Don't Need Boots [Video]
    • Cassiopeia gains movement speed per level. This does not stack with movement speed from Boots items. 
  • Noxious Blast [Video]
    • Cassiopeia blasts an area with Poison after a brief delay, granting her increased Movement Speed if she hits an enemy champion. 
  • Miasma [Video]
    • Cassiopeia spews venom in an arc in front of her, leaving toxic clouds on the ground. Enemies in the clouds are continually afflicted with debilitating poison, slowing them and grounding them, prohibiting the use of movement abilities. They also take damage per second. 
  • Twin Fang [Video]
    • Cassiopeia lets loose a damaging attack at her target, healing her in the process. If poisoned, the target takes additional damage. If the target dies, Cassiopeia regains mana. 
  • Petrifying Gaze [Video]
    • Cassiopeia releases a swirl of magical energy from her eyes, stunning any enemies in front of her if they're facing her and slowing those with their backs turned.
  • Tibbers now viciously mauls Annie's stunned targets.
  • Decrepify now sends Beatrice to a targeted location to cripple enemies.
  • A new passive means if Fiddlesticks stands still for a moment, he'll gain a movement speed boost.
  • Satchel Charge will execute turrets when they're under a certain amount of health.
  • An updated passive allows Syndra to spawn—and pick up—more Dark Spheres!
  • Barrages that successfully hit enemy champions grant an extra barrage, up to a maximum. Gains more barrages as he ranks up Rite of the Arcane.
  • Glacial Storm now expands over time and deals bonus damage at maximum size.
  • A new passive grants Veigar Extreme Evil (Ability Power) for hitting enemy champions with spells, killing minions, and takedowns.

Hand-in-hand with the mage update, their sorcerous apparatus are undergoing a bewitching transformation. Before, mages would turn to items just for the stats they need, with minor changes in their build path as a game unfolds. Now mage items are focused on their tactical impact, with each enabling or augmenting how a mage contributes to a fight. Choose how your power manifests and watch what your opponents do in kind. 




We saw that early to mid objectives (aside from turrets) were struggling to stay relevant in many games, and so began investigating ways to augment those decisions during mid-season. When we came to Dragon, we realized that most individual buffs would simply shift its balance back and forth between “nice to have” and “mandatory,” so we instead set out to create a unique ecosystem of adaptation that augments a variety of team compositions and strategies. 
The elemental dragons are taking flight! 
For the first 35 minutes of the game, one of four elemental dragons will spawn. The moment you take that one down, the minimap will indicate the elemental type of the next. 
Both sides will always know which dragon spawns next, and multiple elemental buffs will stack on each other, making you even stronger in that aspect. In this way, you may want to think twice about giving up those two Earth Dragons—that might just cost you all of your base turrets!

Fire Dragon

Increases champion killing power. Augments your dueling and team fighting abilities.
Earth Dragon

Increases turret and epic monster damage. Augments your ability to take objectives.

Water Dragon

Increases health and mana regeneration. Augments your ability to siege and poke.

Air Dragon

Increases out of combat movement speed. Augments your ability to outmaneuver opponents on the map.


After 35 minutes into the game, all future dragon spawns become Elder Dragon spawns. The Elder Dragon far more difficult to kill than his elemental counterparts, but taking him out grants a powerful burn-over-time on spells and attacks and a buff that is stronger for each elemental stack you have.

General Changes to Objectives for Mid-season 

Here's Riot GMang with a rundown of objective changes coming in mid season, including Rift Herald, Blue and Red Buff, Turrets, and more!
"Hey everybody, 
Hopefully you’ve had the chance to check out our Dragon and Mage changes for mid-season. We’ve got a bunch of other objective changes to Summoner’s Rift going in the patch, and I wanted to share those + context with ya’ll and take your questions and feedback! 
Everything is subject to tuning and future iteration, of course. 
Rift Herald 
We’re pushing to make Rift Herald a more unique and meaningful objective for those looking to dominate the top half of the map. This new Rift Herald should be a more contestable objective with a clearer purpose: long-term selfish power for one team member - especially a lone-wolf or split push character. 
  • Rift Herald now spawns at 6 minutes and never respawns
  • Rift Herald’s stats significantly increased (should be much harder to solo)
  • Doom’s Eve removed and replaced with a unique Superbuff:
    • Lasts 20 minutes and persists through death
    • While alone, you gain some damage reduced vs. champions and build Corruption stacks
    • At 100 stacks, your next attack discharges all Corruption to deal bonus magic damage (works on almost anything, including minions and towers; damage is reduced for ranged attacks)
    • Corruption stack rate and discharge damage scale with champion level
Hopefully this excites top laners, junglers, and some mids. We’re keeping an eye on it to ensure it’s powerful, but also contestable and not too game-ending. 
Red and Blue Buffs 
Late-game, Red and Blue buff have been somewhat ignorable these days. We’re buffing and compressing their power in the mid-late game to make them more appreciable objectives to leverage or steal, especially in games that are in a standstill and need things to fight over and create power windows. 
  • Red Buff
    • Burn now applies a damage tick immediately on apply or reapply (stronger attack-speed scaling); damage-per-tick reduced to compensate
    • Health regen now scales steeply with champ level but turns off when in combat with champions or epic monsters (currently triples at level 6 and again at level 11!)
  • Blue Buff
    • AP per level replaced with +15% total Ability Power (like Rabadon’s Deathcap effect)
    • Mana regen based on max Mana doubled (flat regen unchanged)
  • Buff Durations
    • Red and Blue will last the same duration on your first clear, but all Red and Blue buffs after that will have a 90-second duration instead of 120
When you’re looking to make a play in mid-late game, buff camps should be juicier targets now, especially if you can steal them from the enemy’s side of the map! 
Camp Respawn Timers 
In order to facilitate more coordinated and contested objective play at all skill levels, we’re making a some UI changes. This also has the benefit of reducing timekeeping and chat-typing work. 
  • When a camp that has a timer (Red, Blue, Dragon, Baron, Rift Herald) has less than 60 seconds to spawn, its timer is revealed to both teams (regardless of their vision of the camp), and an “about to spawn” icon appears in the minimap (will replace regular camp icon if you still haven’t seen the cleared camp)
  • The respawn icon starts dull at 60 seconds to spawn and becomes bright at 20 seconds
We generally like seeing more fights around objectives, and promoting objective awareness like this can help a lot. After getting used to the new UI, rallying your team around a Dragon spawn or even a buff steal can often be done with a simple ping instead of having to type things out in chat. 
Turrets have several changes in store. Overall, we want them to be more defendable places to stand your ground, reduce their takedown reward compared to other objectives, clean up some of their mechanics, and rebudget their defenses so things other than marksmen basic attacks can contribute more to turret takedowns.
  • Turret Damage Ramp
    • Inner and Outer turrets more quickly ramp up their damage when attacking champions, and they maintain full damage when switching targets.
    • Inner and Outer turrets only take 4 shots to ramp up to full damage (instead of 5).
  • Turret Takedown Rewards
    • Outer turret total gold reward reduced, though local gold reward is increased (local gold 220 -> 300, global gold 125 -> 100)
    • Inner turret gold rewards reduced (local gold 250 -> 175, global gold 150 -> 125) and XP reward removed
    • Inhibitor turret local gold reward increased (0 -> 50)
  • AP Damage Conversion
    • When your attacks trigger AP damage conversion (occurs when attacking a turret while your AP is more than double your bonus AD), the converted damage is now magic instead of physical
  • Turret Stats
    • Base Armor/MR increased (from 0 to 40), Base Health decreased (from 4000 to 3300)
    • Turrets are now subject to penetration (generally tankier than Live unless you have about 20 penetration or have a true damage proc; overall a small nerf to marksmen damage, but a buff to some mages and assassins)
    • Reinforced Armor converted from 200 Armor/MR to 66.67% damage reduction
Overall, diving and taking turrets should be less of a freebie than what we’ve seen recently. 
Let’s hear your thoughts!"

Elemental Dragons: What we're doing and why 

Here's Meddler with additional context on the dragon changes, including the introduction of the elemental dragons and the fearsome Elder dragon!
"Hey folks, 
Our mid season initial rundown’s just gone out (http://na.leagueoflegends.com/en/featured/mid-season-magic ) and the changes should start hitting the PBE in the next couple of days. One thing we wanted to talk about in more detail was the elemental dragons. One of the skills we believe is important to LoL is responding to varied situations (e.g. enemy team comp, unexpected jungler appearances etc). Our intent is to use different dragon buffs, and to a lesser extent, dragon encounters, to also create situations each team can adapt to and take advantage of. If that’s not happening, in particular if it feels like which dragons spawn is too decisive by itself, then we’ll look to fix that. 
What are elemental dragons? 
Instead of the current 5-buff dragon system, we’re changing it to 4 different types of elemental dragons, each of which gives a different buff. The types and order of elemental dragon spawn are randomized (with some restrictions) and it’s possible to get multiple stacks of one element (e.g. 2 air dragon kills gives more movement speed than 1 air dragon kill). After 35 minutes, the dragons are replaced by an elder dragon, who gives a consistent buff of his own and amplifies existing buffs when killed. 
Why change dragon? 
We had multiple goals when updating dragon.
  • Increase the average value of dragon so it's more appealing to contest it (drives early conflict in particular) without making it a must do as soon as possible every game.
  • Introduce more game-to-game variation. We want to create different situations to respond to, with the feeling that games are more meaningfully different from each other. There should be different strategic situations to understand and respond to and handling that well is we believe a core skill in LoL.
  • Create additional opportunities to play around dragon as an objective in interesting ways.
Why different buffs/dragons? 
Different buffs giving different types of power should lead to teams making somewhat different decisions on a game-to-game basis, depending on which dragons they want, which they get, what their opponents have, etc. With a single line of buffs as a reward (or gold), we’re seeing that game states can become very linear, with both teams generally vying for the same objectives again and again. Having a more diverse set of buffs means teams can also mix up their approach to each game. 
Air supports split push/rotation play or gives defense against it, water supports poking and gives defense against it, fire adds direct combat power, earth enables easier objective taking. A game where your team has two air buffs and the enemy has two fire buffs, for example, should sometimes feel noticeably different. 
The dragon encounter itself being slightly different per dragon should sometimes create situations where you approach the fight differently, in particular when it is, or could be, a contested dragon. The water dragon, for example, has attacks that slow movement speed, making it harder to disengage from a dragon attempt, while the earth dragon’s tougher than the others, so will be a longer fight. 
Potential issues 
While developing these changes there were some other issues we worked to avoid/will continue to avoid or fix in future development. 
The first of those was that we didn’t want randomness (which dragons spawn and in which order) to feel like it was deciding the outcome of the game. What we’re after is game-to-game variation, but how you respond to that variation must be what decides the outcome of the game. In order to maintain, that we looked a number of things, in particular:
  • The buffs are designed to be appealing to both teams, even if the two are running really different comps. Water, for example, gives poke comps mana to poke harder, or their opponents health regen to resist poke. The exact value of a buff will vary team to team, like blue buff or baron, but it should never feel like dragons spawn are extremely appealing to one team and not worth taking for the other. The Elder Dragon buff also offers universally valued power, both from itself and prior buffs collected, regardless of element.
  • Differences in the dragon fight don't fundamentally change your ability to do the fight in the first place. You won't end up unable to do dragon because you didn't pick the right type of jungler in champ select, for example. Instead, the different dragon combat patterns may influence how you tactically approach a fight, mainly in cases of a contested dragon.
We also wanted to ensure that the dragon system felt fairly intuitive and strongly wanted to avoid it getting highly complex. To do that we looked at a couple of things.
  • Elemental theming of the buffs and the dragons themselves should feel natural (e.g. fire dragon increases damage, air dragon gives speed and itself moves faster, etc).
  • Many of the dragon effects are carried directly over from the previous dragon buffs, which should help with quickly picking up the changes (e.g. %AP/AD, damage to structures, true damage DoT, late game dragon buffing the power of previously acquired stacks, etc)
Finally we also wanted to make the power dragon offers a bit more appreciable.
  • Power’s therefore shown in more visible ways (e.g. true damage against towers/epic monsters from earth to make it easier to track damage added, versus the prior % amp that got rolled in with all other damage).
  • The way the stacking model results in bonuses sometimes being doubled or tripled down on also concentrates power, making it much more noticeable in some games at least.
Hopefully this gives some useful context on what we’re trying to do and while. If you’d like to discuss further please do throw questions in here, would love to talk about this stuff whenever time permits, particularly during the next couple of days as stuff hits the PBE."

Meddler   continued, explaining each dragon has slightly different stats and abilities:
Will these elemental dragons have unique abilities?
Some variations per dragon yeah. We're keeping them fairly constrained because we don't want to create cases where you feel you can't take dragon because of which one spawned. Our goal is to find effects that can be optimized around, or taken advantage of, but have only moderate sized impact. Current mechanics are:
  • Fire - AOE damage (just like current dragon). Impacts positioning when taking dragon primarily, some impact on pet users.
  • Water - Auto attacks slow. Mainly relevant if it's a potentially contested dragon, since the slow will limit your ability to disengage quickly. Some optimizations around getting it to attack an enemy for the slow situationally.
  • Earth - Slow hard hitting auto attacks that also AOE. More health, armor and MR than other dragons. Slower to take, giving longer windows in which to contest it.
  • Air - Fast moving and fast auto attacking. Highest single target damage, chases better than other dragons."

As for the different buffs appealing to different teams, Riot Axes commented:
"We're looking to avoid teams being randomly favored/disfavored with the design of the buffs. 
Your Air Dragon example is actually a really good one for this. You haven't necessarily hit the lottery if Air Dragon spawns and your comp relies on movement speed initiation. You've hit the lottery if you have that comp and you successfully control Air Dragon - if you claim the buff. Out of combat movement speed is great for a team that relies on movement speed initiation, but it's also great for avoiding getting initiated on by that kind of team - if the Air Dragon spawns and the other team gets it, that could be a disaster for you. By picking a movement speed initiation team, you've increased the value of Air Dragon for both teams, not just your own team. 
The other example that we've tossed around a lot is Water Dragon being great for poke comps. That's true; it is, if you can get it. It's also great for fighting against poke comps because of the health regen. By picking a poke comp, you make Water Dragon more valuable to both teams, not just your own team. "

When asked if the new buffs stacked or replace  each other, Meddler noted:
I wanna know if the dragon buffs will stack, like they did before, or will one buff replace another?
Stacking. So you could have one fire, one water and one earth buff. Or two fire. Or three air. 
In any given game only three of the elemental types will ever spawn as well, both to create more cases of multiple stacks of a buff and to give some degree of predictability to the system (once you've seen three types you know the fourth isn't coming)."
Riot Fearless added:
"They stack up to three times, getting more powerful at higher stacks, and they can spawn back to back (to back)."

As for when the glowing signs to show which dragon is up will start, Riot Axes shared:
And this is the problem. Given a certain team comp, a certain element may be highly valuable to both teams, and if that particular dragon spawns at a time convenient for one team, then that team just got lucky. Even if the other team got all other dragons, the valuable dragon could spawn when the other team is set up for it. Hence the RNG concerns.
We communicate the next Dragon to spawn in game from the moment the previous Dragon dies, so you'll always have 6 minutes to prepare."

When asked about how Elder Dragon spawns and if it will replace an existing elemental dragon at the 35 minute point, Meddler noted:
will the elemental dragon despawn at 34:45 like rift herald? will it remain on the field longer if it is currently being attempted?
Elder Dragon won't replace an existing elemental dragon. It'll instead be the next thing to spawn once a dragon's been killed after 35 minutes. Expectation isn't that Elder Dragon will be an every game thing, in the same way that Dragon 5 isn't an every game thing at present. If it's too rare though we'll look at pulling that spawn time forwards a bit."

Meddler also noted the Elder Dragon has a respawn time of 10 minutes.

Mid-season stuff that may be harder to spot on the PBE

While a few are mentioned above, Meddler also shared a few more subtle changes that are hitting the PBE with the mid-season update:
"Hi all, 
Most of the mid-season stuff should be on the PBE within the next day or two. As usual it should be pretty easy to identify most of the changes, there are a few things I wanted to call out though since they may not be as easy to spot as the more standard stuff like champion adjustments. Some of this stuff will also be discussed in more detail over the next few days by the developers working specifically on it too. 
  • Jungling XP's getting adjusted. In particular Machete now gives more XP, including the catch up XP if you're lower level than the monsters themselves. That's a change targeted primarily at how safe and effective buddy jungling is in organized play. 
  • Tower damage will now ramp up quicker against champions and will maintain it's ramped state when swapping between multiple champions. Agro juggling during a dive should still be a good play some of the time, but riskier at low levels in particular. 
  • Death timers will be getting reduced somewhat, probably between the 20-30 minute marks primarily. This is a follow up to the 6.7 changes that targeted 30 minute+ death timers, similarly aimed at reducing how punishing one fight can be and keeping a bit less gray screen time. 
  • Boot enchants are getting removed. After making Homeguard a universal effect post 20 minutes we wanted to see how the boot enchant system played out. One of the main consequences has been Alacrity on a lot of champions, which as lead to noticeably higher average movement speeds. That throws off balance on a number of things, skillshots and ground targeted AOEs in particular, so we'd like to get average speeds back to a more appropriate spot. Removing boot enchants, now that the most impactful and significant is always provided, was one of the best ways we identified to do that. 
  • Baron buff duration's going up a bit, in part to draw clear distinctions between it and the Elder Dragon buff (Elder dragon's around half the length, and on a longer respawn timer than normal dragons, so there shouldn't be too many cases of each team taking one of the two and then the game stalling until both are gone)."

Individual Mage Update Discussions

Below are individual PBE boards discussion thread for each of the larger mage updates! While not complete change lists, these offer an overview of the specific change changes!


[PBE boards discussion thread]
"Hello everyone! The new Brand stuff is out on PBE, here's a thread to talk about the changes. I'll try to answer any questions you may have. Exact numbers are subject to balance change still, naturally. Here's the rough changelist: 
  • Blaze 
    • Now stacks up to three times, but does less damage per stack. When it reaches max stacks, it becomes unstable, detonating after 2 seconds in a massive AE. The blast deals big % max health damage and applies blaze to anything caught inside.
      • Blaze gets really scary as the game goes on. Split up against Brand!
      • The blast damage scales with Brand's level, maxing at level 9. It also scales with AP.
      • After the blast, the detonating unit can't stack blaze again for 4 seconds.
  • Sear
    • Stun duration to 1.5s from 2s, rankup damage down a bit per level.
  • Pillar of Flame
    • Cooldown now improves with level, costs less mana.
  • Conflagration
    • Rankup damage reduced, cooldown improved.
  • Pyroclasm
    • Prioritizes stacking blaze on champions -- so always prioritizes champions, and specifically tries to make as many bombs as possible.
    • Less damage per bounce.
    • Blaze bonus is now a brief slow.
He's playable now on PBE. I'll try to answer any questions you may have, good hunting out there!"


[PBE boards discussion thread]
"Hello all, 
Here's a thread where we can talk about what's going on with Cassiopeia in the 6.9 changes. I'll get right into the main changes. Do keep in mind that there may be small details missing, but I wanted to keep the thread about the primary changes. That said, I'm happy to answer any more detailed questions you may have in the comments! 
  • Passive - Serpentine Grace
    • Cassiopeia gains MS per level, but she cannot buy Boots items from the shop.
    • As of now, she has 328 base MS and gains 4 per level (including at level 1, so she starts the game at 332 MS without any other modifiers).
  • Q - Noxious Blast
    • Numbers retuned, but generally deals more damage than the Live version.
    • Now gives a bit more Movement Speed at later ranks when hitting champions, but for less duration.
  • W - Miasma
    • Cassiopeia fires an arc of poison in front of her, landing at their max range or first terrain hit, and leaving poisonous clouds where they land. These clouds:
      • Lightly damage enemies standing in them.
      • Moderately slow enemies standing in them.
      • Afflict Grounded (a new crowd control effect) on enemies standing in them.
    • Miasma's slow is now a fixed amount (currently 35%) at all ranks.
    • The Grounded debuff prevents enemies from using Movement abilities while in it. As a rule of thumb, if a root would prevent you from using an ability (or clickable like Bard E), then Grounded prevents it as well.
    • Miasma casts at a FIXED DISTANCE (~800 range) from Cassiopeia; if the enemy has already closed on you, it's not going to do much unless you can position yourself near a wall to get a cloud or two to be placed there.
  • E - Twin Fang
    • Cooldown reduced to 0.9 seconds, and can go lower with CDR.
    • Damage paradigm is as follows:
      • Deals a small flat amount of damage based on Cassiopeia's level (think of it like AD or AD/lvl) plus a small AP ratio (~10%)
      • If the target is poisoned when Twin Fang hits, Twin Fang deals additional base damage based on Twin Fang's Rank plus a medium sized AP ratio (~35%).
    • Now heals Cassiopeia for a flat amount based on Twin Fang's spell rank plus a small AP ratio (~10%) only when damaging an enemy that is poisoned.
  • R - Petrifying Gaze
    • Should be identical to Live Petrifying Gaze
Feel free to speak up if you have questions. I'll check in and answer anything that was unclear in the coming hours/days. 


[PBE boards discussion thread]
"Hi all, 
Here's a thread where we can discuss the Malzahar changes coming in 6.9. I'll start by just giving an overview of the changes, with probably a bit more depth on the bigger changes.
  • Passive - Void Shift
    • When he hasn't been recently damaged or crowd controlled, Malzahar gains massive damage reduction and CC immunity, lingering for 1 second after taking damage or blocking a crowd control effect.
  • Q - Call of the Void
    • Damage and silence duration reduced, but cooldown reduced by several seconds as well.
  • W - Void Swarm
    • On cast, summon a Voidling. If that Voidling kills a unit, or attacks a champion, large monster, or epic monster, another Voidling is spawned with the same remaining duration as the one that spawned it. New Voidlings are not summoned from existing ones with less than a few seconds remaining in their duration.
    • When 3 or more Voidlings exist at the same time, they all gain 100% Attack Speed.
    • Voidlings' attacks deal a percentage of Malzahar's Total AD as physical damage plus magic damage equal to a percentage of Malzahar's AP plus a base amount based on spell rank.
    • Voidlings prefer to attack enemies affected by Nether Grasp, followed by champions affected by Malefic Visions, followed by other units affected by Malefic Visions, followed by the nearest visible enemy to them.
      • Note: Voidlings no longer react to Malzahar's auto attacks. I know some of you will be upset by this, but I cannot make them strong if they are simply always attacking exactly what you want them to without opponent play available. You can, of course, get around this by using Nether Grasp or Malefic Visions on priority enemies, or also by positioning yourself such that the Voidling is closest to the enemy you want it to attack.
      • Note: Voidlings no longer have a leash/returnTP range. Historically, Voidlings would leash back to Malzahar if they ventured too far from him, and they would teleport to him if he teleported. This is no longer the case.
    • Voidlings gain 100% Movement Speed when chasing enemies affected by Nether Grasp or Malefic Visions.
    • Voidlings gain Health per Malzahar's level, not Void Swarm (W)'s spell rank.
  • E - Malefic Visions
    • Deals less damage than Live, but also has less of a cost and restores a percentage of your maximum Mana rather than a flat amount.
    • Now additionally is refreshed on the target if Malzahar applies Call of the Void (Q) or Nether Grasp (R) to the target during the visions' duration.
  • R - Nether Grasp
    • Old Null Zone has been moved here, so now Malzahar locks an enemy down and creates the Void pool beneath them, which deals damage to enemies standing on top of it.
    • Per old Null Zone, this ability now deals percent Health damage. Walking up to someone and E>R-ing them is not going to be big burst on squishies anymore.
That should do for now. This certainly isn't a list of every exact detail, but that's mostly available in game on PBE or with data scraping. I'll check on this thread later to answer any questions you guys might have. 


[PBE boards discussion thread]
"Hi PBErs, 
Please post any relevant Vel'Koz discussions here! I'll be frequently monitor the thread and try to respond when applicable. We want Vel'koz to come out of this as a uniquely target agnostic mage who is happy to shred through tanks and squishes alike - but gated by his reliance on hitting multiple spells and the fact he is quite vulnerable himself and needs to channel his ultimate. We also want more aggressive Vel'koz laning with Q max rather than W spam (thought W spam is okay if you are getting mercilessly shoved in or otherwise cannot interact with the opponent). We are happy to support both Mid and Support playstyles, but the focus is primarily on Mid. 
This is a fairly light set of changes, but we're pretty confident it will open up a unique space for Vel'koz in team compositions, especially allowing him to succeed in games against extremely tanky opponents where other mages would not. 
Full current changelist: 
P: Organic Deconstruction
  • Basic Spell’s (QWE) Deconstruct units on hit (7s). R no longer applies Deconstruction. 3rd spell hit consumes the Deconstruction, dealing (25 + 10*Lvl +40% AP) bonus true damage.
Q - Plasma Fission
  • Refunds 50% of it’s Mana cost if it kills a unit
  • Target Indicator now only displays for Vel’koz
W - Void Rift
  • AP Ratios reduced: 25%/37.5% >>> 15%/25%
E - Tectonic Disruption
  • AP Ratio reduced: 50% >>> 30%
R - Lifeform Disintegration Ray
  • Passive: 3 Hit proccing Deconstruction on Champions become Researched for the next 7s.
  • R Deals True Damage vs Researched units instead of Magic.
  • R No longer applies stacks of Organic Deconstruction
  • Damage: 500 / 700 / 900 + 60% AP >>> 550 / 800 / 1050 + 100% AP
  • Cooldown: 130 / 110 / 90 >>> 120 / 100 / 80
Beluga Whale"


[PBE boards discussion thread]
"Hey Vladimir fans (and other concerned parties)! 
Here’s the thread to discuss all things vladimir - bugs, feedback, opinions, etc! To get us started, here’s a rundown of the full kit changes (bigger changes to Q, E, and R, so I put those first!): 
Q - Transfusion 
Vladimir’s Q has always been his bread and butter ability, and we wanted to keep it that way, so we did! The main difference: as Vladimir siphons his opponent’s life force, his craving for blood grows until it hit’s critical mass, frenzying him for a short while. Beware the Crimson Rush, if you approach Vladimir in that window, he’ll find himself with more of your blood than you yourself have. 
  • CD from 10/8.5/7/5.5/4 to 9/8/7/6/5
  • Damage from 90/125/160/195/230 (+0.6) to 80/100/120/140/160 (+0.45)
  • Heal from 15/25/35/45/55 (+0.25) >> 20/25/30/35/40 (+0.15)
  • NEW:
    • After casting Transfusion twice, Vladimir gains Crimson Rush the next time it becomes available to cast
    • Crimson Rush:
      • Vladimir gains a burst of speed and for the next 2.5 seconds Transfusion deals 100% increased damage and heals for an additional 50+15/lvl plus (0.025)AP % of his missing health.
E - [The new] Tides of Blood 
Tides of blood is thematically interesting, but the ability has never really lived up to it’s promise, always feeling a bit soft and unsatisfying. Now, at a significant health cost, Vladimir can truly make his presence felt in a fight, unleashing explosive novas of blood (if he can manage to pay for them!). 
  • Range: 600
  • Cooldown: 9/8/7/6/5
  • 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)(+0.35 AP) and 60/80/100/120/130 (+0.1 HP)(+0.7 AP).
  • 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 
A strategically interesting ability that had the same pitfalls as tides of blood -- it’s cool in theory, but could be pushed further. Now, Hemoplague’s detonation will heal Vlad for each champion hit. If Vladimir can survive the initial chaos of a team fight and tag several champions with his ult, he’ll rise gloriously from his Sanguine Pool, revitalized with a second wind and ready to drain whatever life is left from his opponents.
  • Duration 5 >>> 4s
  • Damage amp 12% >>> 10%
  • NEW:
    • At the end of the duration, Hemoplague now heals Vladimir for 50% of its damage amount (75/125/175 +0.35 AP) for each enemy champion hit
P: Crimson Pact 
One of Vladimir’s unique aspects is his ability to build health and AP items. In recent times, it’s been optimal to build heavy AP and skate by on the ‘free’ HP from his passive. We’re looking to get some more decision making and diversity in his builds by hitting that problem:
  • Bonus HP to AP factor changed from 0.025 >>>0.04
  • AP to Bonus HP factor changed from 1.4 >>> 1.0
W: Sanguine Pool 
An iconic ability, considerably well costed given its power, and a good fit for the rest of the kit, so:
  • No changes!
    • Hint: W can be cast during E.
Base Stats
Vladmir’s laning phase is more interactive now, so he doesn’t need the artificially low combat stats he’s been cursed with early on.
  • Base Health 543 >> 550
  • Health growth factor 85 >> 84
  • Attack damage 48 >> 52
  • Base armor 21.9 >> 23
  • Armor growth factor 3.5 >> 3.3
And I’ll leave it at that for now! I hope you enjoy our changes to Vlad, and either way I look forward to hearing your feedback. 


[PBE boards discussion thread]
"Hello all! This is the rough Zyra changelist for the next patch. She's currently playable on PBE, though her Wildfire and Haunted skins' Q graphics are currently bugged (should be fixed soon!). Exact numbers being subject to balance change etc, but feel free to ask about anything you'd like more info on. Here's the rough changelist: 
  • P - Garden of Thorns
    • 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.
      • Spells show Zyra which plants they will grow at time of cast.
      • Periodically spawns two seeds at the same time, though it won't place them close together.
      • Individual plant damage down some, plant health down to two ticks (W now has a passive to improve it).
  • Q - Deadly Spines
    • As live Q, but updated VFX and a rectangular shape.
    • Grows plants outside the damage area like Grasping Roots does.
    • Mana cost reduced, damage reduced slightly.
  • W - Rampant Growth
    • Cooldown reduction passive removed.
    • New passive: Increases plant max Health%
    • Constant vision / vision on squish removed.
  • R - Stranglethorns
    • Enraged plants gain a flurry attack for 150% damage instead of +50% attack speed.
Let me know if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them!"

Annie, Fiddle, Veigar

"Hi PBErs, 
Please post any relevant Annie, Fiddle, or Veigar discussions here! I'll be frequently monitor the thread and try to respond when applicable. And as a reminder, please post bugs in the Bug Mega Thread
Annie Full current changelist:  
Goal here is to help with both her execution on fantasy (the bear isn't just for show) as well as game health (we don't want to hide information vital to counter play).
  • Pyromania (P) 
    • Now displays stack count using a secondary resource bar (similar to Jhin)
  • Incinerate (W) 
    • This is mostly just a design paradigm shift
    • No longer cheats - ie: if you flash out of it before the cast finishes, it won't hit you anymore
    • Range 560 >>> 600 
  • Molten Shield (E)
    • We want Molten Shield to have a bit more of an impact by itself as a spell cast
    • Armor and MR replaced by Damage Resist (16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40%)
    • Duration 5s >>> 3s
    • No longer speeds up Tibbers (moved to R Passive) 
  • Summon Tibbers (R)
    • Pushing power from the initial AoE Burst towards Tibber's persistent power on the battle field. Hopefully we've done significant improvements to his usability as well. This is probably the most valuable point of feedback here - let me know if there's anything you think Tibbers should be doing/isn't currently doing correctly in response to your commands as a player!
    • AoE Damage 175 / 300 / 425 (+80% AP) >>> 150 / 275 / 400 (+65% AP)
    • Tibbers Burning Aura Lowered 20 / 30 / 40 (+20% AP) >>> 10 / 15 / 20 (+10% AP)
    • Tibbers gains +275% attack speed and +100% move speed decaying over 3 seconds: on summon, when Annie dies, and when she stuns a champion with Pyromania.
    • AA Damage 80 / 105 / 130 >>> 50 / 75 / 100 (+15% AP)
    • Ignores unit collision while Enraged
      • Attack speed decays as Tibbers attacks, and move speed decays over time
    • AI Improvements (attack commands, attack-move commands, etc)
      • Re-acquire target after CC
      • Better target prioritization
      • Longer leash range to Annie
      • Can target at Annie when no other enemies to order him to follow her
    • Tibbers attacks Annie’s killer if hes within a reasonable distance (1200u). Otherwise he prioritizes low hp champs, then any enemy within 1200u of Annie's body.
      • Tibbers gains back 50% Missing Health when Annie dies
    • Tibbers regens 10% Max HP per second when out of combat for atleast 5 seconds
    • AA range 125 >>> 150
    • Has Larger Healthbar (does a shocking amount towards making him feel more epic!)  
Fiddlesticks Full current changelist:  
Looking to create some cool gameplay within his passive space, which previously was (essentially) just hidden power. 
  • Dread (P) 
    • New passive: Fiddle gains Dread after not moving for 1.5s. Immobilizing CC resets this timer. Dread lasts for 1.5s after he starts moving, and grants him 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% movespeed.(Levels 1/6/11/16). 
  • Terrify (Q) 
    • Range 575 >>> 525 
  • Drain (W) 
    • Looking for some improvments towards "I don't have a cc so he is just going to back to back drain me forever"
    • Cooldown now starts at end of channel. Cooldown 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6s at start of cast >>> 4 / 3.75 / 3.5 / 3.25 / 3s at end of channel 
  • Dark Wind (E) 
    • Strikes up to 5x >>> 7x
    • Now prioritizes Drain Targets > New Targets > Any Target 
  • Crowstorm (R) 
    • Casts at max range if cast out of range
    • Pings "On My Way" to allies
Veigar Full current changelist:  
Like Fiddle, also looking for a more interactive passive, and clarification/game health adjustments on the ultimate. No, we don't think you should feel terrible for building AP on an AP champion when you are playing against a Veigar... Nor do we think Veigar should be happy with just flash Ulting you from full health. 
  • Phenomental Evil Power (P)
    • New passive: Hitting Enemy Champions with a spell grants Veigar +1 stacks of Extreme Evil. Takedowns grant +3 stacks. Each stack grants +1 AP. 
  • Baleful Strike (Q)
    • Passive AP gain on Takedown removed
    • Instead, grants +1 Extreme Evil on kill, increased to +2 vs Large Monsters/Large Minions. (Now only grants +1 on Champion kill - though bear in mind it also counts for +4 from the passive, so an actual total of +5)
    • Mana Cost lowered by 20 
  • Dark Matter (W)
    • Mana Cost lowered by 10
    • Shadow on cast emphasized to show AoE Radius (it's shockingly large) 
  • Event Horizon (E)
    • Mana Cost lowered by 10 
  • Primordial Burst (R)
    • Enemy AP Ratio removed
    • Damage rescaled from 250 / 375 / 500 (+100% AP) >>> 175 / 275 / 375 (+75% AP) to 350 / 550 / 750 (+150% AP), increasing based on target's Missing Health Percentage. This scaling caps out against targets below 33% Health.
    • Mana Cost lowered by 25
Beluga Whale"


[Reddit discussion thread]
"Hey guys, 
I did all the Anivia changes :) Glad you're enjoying them so far. Here's a full list of everything from particles to mechanics:
  • Basic Attack
    • -Particle cleanup (mostly just smaller, less noisy)
    • -Missile speed:: 1400 >>> 1500
    • -Cast bone updated! (This only affects her second attack animation. Should come out of her wing now instead of center of body)
  • Q
    • -AP ratio reduced:: 0.5 >>> 0.4
    • -Base damage reduced:: 60/90/120/150/180 >>> 60/85/110/135/160
    • -Stun duration scales:: 1 >>> 1.1/1.2/1.3/1.4/1.5
    • -Slow increased:: 20% >>> 20/30/40% But scales with R rank
    • -Improved damage display type on Q2 to better differentiate it from the pass through damage. Impact damage display type.
    • -Q stun particle now visible to everyone (power hidden behind low clarity is bad)
  • E
    • -Missile speed:: 1200 >>> 1600
    • -Particle has been improved (better "hitbox," slightly smaller, twirls so it's pretty)
    • -Cast range increased:: 650 >>> 600 but edge to edge (matches AA - Roughly 35 range increase)
  • R
    • -Now has a cast animation
    • -Now expands from 150-400 radius over 3 seconds
    • -MS slow increased:: 20% >>> 20/30/40%
    • -Cast range increased:: 625 >>> 685 (matches AA)
    • -AS slow removed
    • -At max size, damages and slows by an additional 50% and Chills for 2 seconds"


While not explicitly part of the mage updates or system changes mentioned in the mid-season post, check out these context threads for additional information on upcoming changes:
With removal of Devourer, big changes to Guinsoo's rageblade!

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