Thoughts and Analysis - Nautilus Patch v188.8.131.52
Wed 15th Feb 2012 - 4:20pm
Today a new patch came out on EU servers which introduce a new champion - Nautilus, the Titan of the Depths. I will analyze the most important changes in this patch which are worth mentioning and how they are going to affect champion picks in solo queue and 5v5 premade matches.
Full patchnotes link:
I will start with overall changes that are not champion related but more about overall client performance:
• Spectator mode - Those changes are quite nice improvements for tournament commentators. It will be easily seen when someone purchases item.
• Premade 5v5 teams - Now it will be easier to track teams and their recent matches. Premade 5v5 match history is a nice feature that will allow you to check other teams' performance and your team's previous games by showing a whole scoreboard.
• Queue Dodges - It's a welcome change that the LoL community has been asking for for a long time. Now when someone in your game "queue dodges", you won't go into a queue instantly but it will wait 8 seconds before doing so. It's a nice improvement that many people asked for, so a good job RIOT.
• Disconnect notification - It will help the team that got a disconnect quite a lot. People may underestimate this change especially in the solo queue. If you get disconnect in your team at start of the game, it won't make enemy team rush to your jungle or later into the game rush for baron or dragon. Great change that I didn't really expect from RIOT.
Now more about changes for each specific champion and how it going to influence gameplay:
• Spirit Rush (Ultimate R)
- Cooldown between casts increased to 1 second from 0.75
- Cooldown increased to 110/95/80 seconds from 90/80/70
Changes are all about nerfs on her ultimate. Before this change she was almost ungankable past level 6, because her cooldown on the ultimate was too short (with the blue buff she had 50 seconds CD on 3 dashes, which was quite insane). Changes were really needed for early game lane safety, thats why the cooldown was increased by 20 at level 1 and 10 at level 16. Her team fights strength is still the same.
• Pulverize (Q) mana cost reduced to 70/80/90/100/110 from 80/90/100/110/120
• Headbutt (W) mana cost reduced to 70/80/90/100/110 from 70/85/100/115/130
• Triumphant Roar (E) mana cost increased at later ranks to 20/35/50/65/80 from 20/30/40/50/60
These changes will allow alistar players to play more aggressive on lanes without mana issues. His sustain will be hurt a little bit, but nothing major compared to the Sona and Soraka changes from this patch.
• Noxious Blast (Q) ability power ratio reduced to 0.8 from 0.9
• Twin Fang (E) damage reduced to 50/85/120/155/190 from 60/95/130/165/200
These nerfs were expected by everyone based on her performance at recent tournaments. She is still one of the strongest AP picks in the game. These nerfs were needed, because she had too high basic damage on her [E] - Twin Fang, which allowed her to not go pure AP and still do huge amounts of damage. I actually think these nerfs are not enough and we will probably see more in the future.
• Parrley (Q) mana cost increased to 50/55/60/65/70 from 40/45/50/55/60
• Raise Morale (E) range reduced to 1200 from 1500
His laning phase was all about spamming [Q] - Parley. RIOT wanted to nerf that passive and reduce 'boring' gameplay to make it more about decision if its worth to parley or not, which is good change. In addition we see a nerf to his [E] - Raise Morale makes ganking his lane a bit harder for his teammates. Gangplank players will now need to manage their mana so they wont go out of mana too quickly.
• Thundering Shuriken (Q) cooldown increased to 8/7/6/5/4 from 7/6/5/4/3
This nerf may hurt actually more than it looks like. 1 second on a spamable skill is quite a huge nerf for players that were able to maintain their energy well. His damage output in late game will be smaller. He is still a safe pick for lane-phase and he is still a great team fight champion.
• Defensive Ball Curl (W) armor and magic resist values reduced to 40/60/80/100/120 from 50/75/100/125/150
This is obviously a nerf to rammus. I personally don't like it at all, because I thought rammus was spot on before this change in the first place. Now Rammus players will need to be more carefull about their actions, because he always did lack HP, now with nerfs to his [W] - Defensive Ball Curl, his "free stats" are getting hit aswell.
• Overload (Q) mana ratio reduced to 7.5% from 8%
This change isn't important at all. Ryze is still great AP bruiser and this change will nerf his endgame damage on Q - Overload by only 20-30 damage for targets without MR. Basicly he is at same spot as before.
• Power Chord (passive) damage adjusted to 10 per level from 14 + 9 per level
• Hymn of Valor (Q) passive attack damage and ability power aura reduced at earlier ranks to 4/8/12/16/20 from 8/11/14/17/20
Aria of Perseverance (W) passive armor and magic resist aura reduced at earlier ranks to 3/6/9/12/15 from 7/9/11/13/15
Song of Celerity (E) passive movement speed aura reduced at earlier ranks to 4/8/12/16/20 from 8/11/14/17/20
This change will make her less wanted than before but not unviable. There will probably be no more first picks or bans in the tournament games. Her burst at level 4 was ridiculous before, so it had to be done. Still a really good pick that offers movement speed, heal, damage and great area of effect CC ability. Now you will be forced to choose between sustain and defense on lane or to go for damage. Her passive with [Q] stacked isn't "OP" anymore.
• Improved Soraka's basic attack to be more responsive
• Starcall (Q) mana cost adjusted to 20/30/40/50/60 from 35/40/45/50/55
• Astral Blessing (W) mana cost adjusted to 80/110/140/170/200 from 90/110/130/150/170
• Infuse (E)
- No longer affects Soraka when cast on allies and cannot be cast on self
- Ally mana restore increased to 40/80/120/160/200 Mana from 25/50/75/100/125
I don't know about these changes. Before it was too easy to survive on a lane with soraka, because of self mana replenishment and heals. After this change Soraka players will actually need to think about their mana management on lane, which will bring something new to soraka lanes.
Both Sona and Soraka changes are good if you look at the whole picture, because thanks to those changes we might see more aggressive / unconventional supports on bottom lane. I wonder if those nerfs are not too much to let her stay viable as bottom lane support. If you look at the mana cost of Heal at max level it will be hard to have enough mana to heal all the time.
• Crimson Pact (passive) will now correctly work with all sources of bonus Health (% health runes, Juggernaut mastery)
• Hemoplague (Ultimate R) damage amplification reduced to 12% from 14%
• Tides of Blood (E) healing bonus adjusted to 4/5/6/7/8% per rank from 8% at all ranks
In my honest opinion those are the weirdest changes from whole patch. This affects his spellvamp at levels 1-12, because at level 13 you most likely will have maxed out [E] anyway. Ultimate nerf is reasonable. Good changes to ridiculus vladimirs AoE spellvamp after he got hextech revolver / will of the acients. It will aswell affect vladimirs stacks on [E] + Summoner Heal ability.
• Eternal Thirst (passive) now deals 3-16 magic damage per stack, and restores an equal amount of health
• Infinite Duress (Ultimate R) damage changed to 250/335/420 (+2.0 bonus attack damage) from 200/300/400 (+1.67 total attack damage)
• Base attack speed increased to 0.679 from 0.644
These are the first real buffs from this patch. It makes warwick jungle much faster. Basically the passive got an additional magic damage per hit, which will go up to a 48 per auto-attack on 3 stacks at level 18 (WW got an additional magic damage to auto-attacks). With a ultimate which hits 5 times it will do a crazy magic damage especially if you build a Wit's End really quickly (with Wit's End and Wriggles at level 18 it will deal 920 magic damage), not to mention that his base attack speed got buffed as well. We might see much more of this guy, which makes me really happy.
• Ki Strike (passive)
- Damage increased to 10-112 (+10% bonus Health) from 10-95 (+8% bonus Health)
- Cooldown is now reduced by 1.5 seconds whenever Shen attacks instead of 2 seconds when being attacked
- Now grants Shen 10/20/30 energy when he Ki Strikes
- Damage now scale correctly with all sources of bonus Health (% health runes, Juggernaut mastery)
- Added a buff timer for Ki Strike's cooldown (like Ziggs' Short Fuse)
• Vorpal Blade (Q)
- Energy cost adjusted to 60 from 70/65/60/55/50
- Damage adjusted to 60/105/150/195/240 (+0.6 ability power) from 70/105/140/175/210 (+0.75 ability power)
- Heal effect changed to 6/10/14/18/22 (+2% of Shen's maximum Health) from 18/26/34/42/50
- If Vorpal Blade deals the killing blow, it will now trigger 33% of the heal effect for Shen
- Allied damaging spells can now trigger the heal effect, in addition to attacks (Vorpal Blade cannot trigger itself)
• Feint (W)
- Feint duration increased to 3 seconds from 2.5
- Energy cost reduced to 40 from 45
- Shield amount adjusted to 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.6 ability power) from 50/100/150/200/250 (+0.75 ability power)
- While Feint is active, Ki Strike’s cooldown reduction on hit is increased to 3 seconds from 1.5
• Shadow Dash (E)
- Cooldown reduced to 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds from 10
- Energy cost increased to 120 from 120/115/110/105/100
- Restores 40 energy per champion affected (rather than a flat 50 energy if you affect one)
- Now deals 50/85/120/155/190 damage (+0.5 ability power) to Champions
- Taunt duration adjusted to 1.5 seconds from 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2
- Shadow Dash now grants Shen 50% physical damage reduction from taunted targets
• Stand United (Ultimate R)
- Channel time increased to 3 seconds from 2.5
- Shield duration reduced to 5 seconds from 7.5
- Shield amount increased to 250/550/850 from 200/475/750
This is the biggest rework this patch. These changes will probably make him completely viable in my opinion and I can even risk saying that he might be the new OP. The damage on his skills received really nice buffs and his new Ki Strike will activate more often. He is as well one of 3 champion (other two are Karthus and Soraka) that have full global ultimate and its only ultimate that can basically teleport you from any spot in the map.
He will offer a lot to the team - he will be a great split pusher due to his teleport, great initiator with good damage output. If you enjoyed Shen in the past then you will even enjoy him more now. If you calculate properly you'll find that his new Ki Strike will deal ridiculus amounts of damage and will be up each 3rd or 4th auto attack. These changes are going to make him a strong champion and I call that in the next patch we will see some tuning down, especially on his passive.
This probably makes him the new "must ban" champion.
• Staggering Blow (Passive) – Nautilus basic attacks deal an additional 2 + (6 × level) physical damage and immobilize his target for 1 second.
This effect cannot trigger on the same target more than once every 12 seconds
• Dredge Line (Q) - Nautilus hurls his anchor forward. If it hits an enemy unit, Nautilus drags himself and the target together dealing magic damage and stunning them briefly. If the anchor hits terrain, Nautilus will drag himself forward and the cooldown is reduced by 50%.
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
Magic Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+0.75 per ability power)
• Titan’s Wrath (W)- Nautilus surrounds himself with dark energies, shielding him from damage for up to 10 seconds. While the shield persists, Nautilus' basic attacks apply a damage over time effect to all units around his target, dealing damage over 2 seconds.
Cost: 80 mana
Cooldown: 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 seconds
Magic Damage: 30 / 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 (+0.4 per ability power)
Shield Amount: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+10% of bonus health)
• Riptide (E)- Nautilus slams the ground, causing the earth to explode around him. Each explosion deals magic damage to units in the area and slows them for 2 seconds. This slow diminishes over time.
A unit can be hit by more than one explosion, but they take 50% less damage from additional explosions.
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana
Cooldown: 10 seconds
Magic Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+0.51 per ability power)
Slow Amount: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50%
• Depth Charge (Ultimate R) – Nautilus launches a depth charge towards a target that picks up speed as it travels. This charge knocks up all enemies it encounters while traveling and explodes on impact, stunning the target and launching them into the air.
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 120 / 100 / 80 seconds
Pass Through Magic Damage: 125 / 175 / 225 (+0.4 per ability power)
Explosion Magic Damage: 250 / 350 / 450 (+0.8 per ability power)
Stun Duration: 1 / 1.5 / 2 seconds
This is the new champion. He got a lot to offer but it's risky to say if he is going to be good or not. His kit is actually really good for jungling. His ganks can be brutal before and after level 6. His passive is basically snare on 12 seconds cooldown, his [Q] is hook that will be a great engage ability, his [W] is shield that will be "free tiamat", his [E] is AoE Slow ability and finally [R] is Stun / Knock-up ability (that is targetable ability) as well great way to initiate fights. In my opinion if his jungle speed will be decent, he will be a really viable pick in competitive play and solo queue.
There were additionally few other important changes in gameplay that involved:
• Hextech Revolver spell vamp reduced to 12% from 15%
This change is the next nerf for champions like Kennen, Vladimir, Ahri, Rumble, Cassiopheia and a few more. This nerf is reasonable and it's still really good item, it still gives decent amount of AP but as well sustain by doing damage to enemy. It's fine change.
• Baron Nashor can no longer critically strike, but his base damage has been increased 10% to compensate
• Updated Baron Nashor's character stats so that his attack damage reflects how much damage he actually deals
Those changes are quite important. Barons critical strike randomness could cause a lot of trouble to a team that tried to baron rush. It will be harder to kill him, but baron damage will be more predictable. Good change, becouse less luck factor is always better.
If I had to write about all those changes in one sentence I would say: "SHEN COMEBACK" :)
Summary of this patch:
- Nerfs - Hextech Revolver, Vladimir, Soraka, Sona, Rammus, Kennen, Gangplank, Cassiopheia, Ahri
- Buffs - Shen, Warwick