Kha'Zix After Patch 3.8
Fri 21st Jun 2013 - 6:39pm: League of Legends
Kha'Zix saw his second set of balance changes (the first being in the Preseason Balance Update 2 back in January) that have changed his gameplay drastically. I'm here to analyze these changes and help out those who are curious about the new Kha'Zix.
Taste Their Fear
OLD: Deals 70/100/130/160/190 (+1.5 AD) physical damage. If the target is isolated, the amount is increased to 100/145/190/235/280 (+2 AD).
NEW: Isolation bonus now increases damage by 45% (New damage is 101.5 / 145 / 188.5 / 232 / 275.5 (+ 2.17 AD).
As you can see by the numbers, the damage to isolated targets is buffed at level 1, the same as before at level 2, and nerfed at levels 3, 4, and 5. The AD ratio has gone up by .17 to compensate for these small base damage nerfs.
Evolution adds 8% missing Health damage (Can be further increased by Isolation)
This is both a buff and a nerf. It's a buff because it adds damage based on 8% of the target's missing health on every cast of Taste Their Fear and not just when targets are isolated. When a target is isolated then the 8% of missing health damage is increased by 45% to a total of 11.6% missing health damage (down from the old 12% of missing health when isolated).
Now slows targets hit by 20% for 2 seconds
Mana cost reduced to 55/60/65/70/75 from 60/70/80/90/100
Bonus Attack Damage ratio increased to 1.0 from 0.9
Evolution no longer consumes passive to apply effects--instead triples shot
Can no longer be cast during Leap
The removal of the passive proc on evolved Void Spikes is the biggest nerf here. This means that your evolved Void Spikes will do 55-190 less damage from level 6 to level 18. To compensate, Riot has added the 20% slow and increased the AD ratio from .9 to 1.0 to Void Spikes.
The mana cost buff is nice because it allows you to spam a bit more and charge tear faster.
Removing the ability to cast Void Spikes while Leaping is a significant nerf. Before on Kha'zix you could Leap and cast Void Spikes right before you land to do enough damage for Taste Their Fear to effectively 1 shot someone. Now that this is no longer possible, making Kha'Zix's combo feel less fluid. (NOTE: You can still use Taste Their Fear mid Leap, but this is not efficent because without the Void Spikes damage to lower your targets health, your won't get as much damage form the % of missing health on Taste Their Fear.)
Damage reduction while in stealth increased to 50% from 40%
Before this patch people evolved Void Assault to refresh Unseen Threat for his Void Spikes to maximize his damage in teamfights. Since Void Spikes no longer gains the damage from Unseen Threat, Riot has buffed the damage reduction to help Kha'Zix get in and out of fights without dying.
Evolving Void Spikes vs Evolving Taste Their Fear
After playing a couple games on the new Kha'Zix, I feel that evolving Void Spikes first is really weak compared to evolving Taste their Fear first. Evolving Void Spikes doesn't do anything significant for you like it used to to. It used to proc his passive damage and slow for 25% on top of firing 3 spikes out but now it only fires the 3 spikes out. Compare this to what evolving his taste Their Fear does for you (adds 8% damage based on missing health on every cast and 11.6% damage based on missing health when isolated) and you can see that evolving Taste Their Fear is much more profitable for the player.
Ideal Evolution Path
When evolving Taste Their Fear first you can still go the current common build on Kha'Zix (Muramana, Last Whisper, Black Cleaver) because it will grant you the most effective single target damage.
If you find yourself needing to evolve Void Spikes first then you need to change your build a little. Without the passive damage on the evolve, you will need more AD to clear creep waves. The easiest way to do this is to buy a Bloodthirster after your Tear of the Goddess and Brutalizer. I have found that a Bloodthrister is the most consistent way to clear waves because of the amount of raw AD it gives.
Now that Kha'Zix's Void Spikes have been nerfed (thus nerfing his waveclear and poke) he now fits the true assassin role of going in and cleaning up targets over and over again. He is extremely potent at this new role and is still a viable champion. I would expect his pick rate in competitive play to stay the same or maybe drop a slight amount.
Thank you for reading this article and if you would like to share your imput please leave a comment below and I would be happy to discuss the changes with you.