LoL Patch Updates – Our Rundown on Patch 9.23

Patch 9.23 marks the start of the pre-season for 2020 and the arrival of the Rise of the Elements update for Summoner’s Rift. Which changes or additions are worth checking out? Here’s our rundown on the latest changes to the game!

Elemental Rifts

This patch introduces the concept of elemental rifts. Over time, the map will change depending on the third drake’s element:

Infernal Drake – Some parts of the terrain are destroyed, creating new pathways. Certain bushes are removed. Dragon pit entrance widens.

Oceanic Drake – New bushes grow around the map and existing ones expand. Honeyfruit plants spawn on each jungle quadrant.

Cloud Drake – Air currents form in the jungle and dragon pit. Walking into the current provides a movement speed boost.

Mountain Drake – Rocks appear in certain jungle spots and the dragon pit, creating narrow chokepoints.

In addition, the first three drakes will always have a unique element. The fourth and succeeding drakes will match the element of the third drake that spawned.

Last but not least, alcoves were also added to the side lanes, and brushes were added in areas opposite to dragon and baron pits to provide more opportunities for counterplay.

Dragon Buff Changes

While the buffs provided by elemental and oceanic drakes remain mostly similar, cloud and mountain drake buffs have been completely changed.

  • Cloud drake stacks (Cloudbringer’s Grace) now add a cooldown reduction bonus to ultimate abilities.
  • Mountain drake stacks (Mountainous Vigor) now add bonus scaling armor and magic resistance.

If a team already has three drake stacks, their fourth drake kill will no longer add an extra stack. Instead, it will grant a Dragon Soul that matches the team’s biggest elemental stack.

  • Infernal Dragon Soul – Creates an AoE explosion that deals adaptive damage where the last basic attack or damaging ability landed. This effect can happen once every 3 seconds.
  • Ocean Dragon Soul – Dealing damage drastically increases HP and resource regeneration for 3 seconds. Damage to regular minions will provide weaker regeneration.
  • Cloud Dragon Soul – Hitting enemies (even with non-damaging abilities) lowers the cooldown of basic abilities.
  • Mountain Dragon Soul – Gain a shield that scales with AD, AP, and bonus health after not taking damage for 5 seconds. The shield lasts until depleted.

Only one team can claim a Dragon Soul; once a team gets one, the Elemental Drakes will be permanently replaced by the Elder Dragon. Dragon Soul applies to the entire team and persists even after death.

Killing an Elder Dragon will no longer double the effect of a team’s elemental stack. Instead, the team that got the kill receives a buff called Elder Immolation. Damaging an enemy applies a visible health threshold. A short time after the target’s HP drops below that threshold, Elder Immolation activates, dealing lethal damage to the target.

Objective, Minion, and Jungle EXP Changes

Patch 9.23 also brings changes to how experience works in the game. These changes aim to shift some of the game’s focus to the top and jungle, with Rift Herald getting general tweaks.

  • Rift Herald spawn time reduced from 10:00 to 8:00 and can now respawn 6 minutes after being killed.
  • Health adjusted from 10,000-16,000 (level 6-12) to 8,250-16,500 (level 6-12)
  • Attack speed reduced from 0.5 to 0.4

These changes give the team a bigger incentive to focus some of their efforts controlling the top part of the map while also making the herald easier to deal with. The lower attack speed will give players enough time to flank the Rift Herald and attack her weak spot.

Changes to how picking and summoning the herald were also implemented to encourage a more active approach to taking the objective.

  • Powerup pickup window reduced from 40 seconds to 20 seconds
  • Eye of the Herald channeling time reduced from 4 seconds to 1 second
  • Herald Level is now calculated at the time the Rift Herald is summoned instead of when it was picked up
  • Summoned Herald health reduced from 4,000-6,400 (level 6-12) to 3,180-6,360 (level 6-12)
  • Heabutt damage against towers reduced from 1,600-2,560 to 1500-2,500
  • Headbutt self-damage increased from 25% current health to 66% current health

Minions also got a minor tweak to allow top laners to catch up to their bottom lane teammates, who tend to get more experience due to more frequent skirmishes.

  • Melee minion experience reward adjusted from 58.8 (solo) / 76.8 (shared) to 60.5 (solo) / 75.4 (shared)
  • Caster minion experience reward adjusted from 29.4 (solo) / 38.4 (shared) to 29.76 (solo) / 37.12 (shared)

Jungle changes were also implemented to encourage players to actively farm spawns instead of being “filler” exp source between ganks or major objectives.

  • Jungle Items no longer provide catch up experience on monster kill
  • First camp bonus experience increased from 120 to 165
  • Small camp respawn time reduced from 150 to 120 seconds
  • Krug base XP reduced from 247 to 160, gold reduced from 125 to 120
  • Murkwolves base XP reduced from 115 to 95, gold reduced from 84 to 70
  • Gromp base health increased from 1800-2000, base XP increased from 115 to 135, and gold increased from 86 to 105
  • Raptors base XP reduced from 115 to 95, gold reduced from 112 to 85

Item Changes

This patch also introduced major reworks to the items, most of which focus on support, lethality, and energized/crit items. Several items were also removed, which would also enable another major shift in the meta for certain characters.

Support Items

Support items have been reworked into four distinct item lines depending on whether they offer magic/physical or offensive/defensive bonuses. Furthermore, all support items upgrade to the next tier automatically if the conditions are met (500 gold earned through Tribute/Spoils of War). Last but not least, the Tribute/Spoils of war passives for all item lines disappear once a support item reaches tier 3.

Both passives also received major reworks:

  • Tribute no longer adds bonus damage, but gold gain is adjusted from 11 (22 on tier 2 upgrade) to 15 at both tiers
  • Spoils of War no longer heals, but the execute property can now also be triggered by ranged attacks if the minion is below 30% health (melee remains unchanged). Max charges adjusted from 2/3/4 (per tier) to 3 at all tiers and recharge time adjusted from 40/30/20 (per tier) to 45 at all tiers.

In order to discourage non-support champions from using support items, farming more than 20 CS for 5 minutes will now reduce gold gained from minions by 50%. Further minion kills will increase the penalty by up to 80%/

Magic/Offense: Spellthief’s Edge Line

Spellthief’s Edge

  • Ability power reduced from 10 to 8
  • Now adds 10 health
  • Mana regeneration removed

Frostfang

  • Ability power reduced from 20 to 15
  • Now adds 70 health
  • Gold per 10 seconds increased from 2 to 3
  • Mana regeneration removed
  • Cooldown reduction removed

Remnant of the Watchers Shard of True Ice

  • Item name changed
  • Ability power increased from 35 to 60
  • Health reduced from 200 to 150
  • Mana regeneration removed
  • Cooldown reduction removed
  • Tribute passive removed

Physical/Offense: Spectral Sickle Line [NEW!]

Spectral Sickle (400 gold)

  • Attack damage: 5
  • Health: 10
  • Gold per 10 seconds: 2
  • Unique passive: Tribute

Harrowing Crescent

  • Attack damage: 10
  • Health: 70
  • Gold per 10 seconds: 3
  • Unique passive: Tribute
  • Unique active: Warding (3 charges)

Black Mist Scythe

  • Attack damage: 35
  • Health: 150
  • Gold per 10 seconds: 3
  • Unique active: Warding (4 charges)

Magical/Defense: Relic Shield Line

Relic Shield

  • Health reduced from 50 to 30
  • Now adds 5 ability power
  • Now generates 2 gold per 10 seconds

Targon’s Brace Targon’s Buckler

  • Item name changed
  • Health reduced from 125 to 100
  • Now adds 10 ability power
  • Health regeneration removed
  • Now generates 3 gold per 10 seconds

Remnant of the Aspect Bulwark of the Mountain

  • Item name changed
  • Health reduced from 350 to 300
  • Now adds 40 ability power
  • Now generates 3 gold per 10 seconds

Physical/Defense: Steel Shoulderguards Line [NEW!]

Steel Shoulderguards (400 gold)

  • Health: 30
  • Attack damage: 3
  • Gold per 10 seconds: 2
  • Unique passive: Spoils of War

Runesteel Spaulders

  • Health: 100
  • Attack damage: 6
  • Gold per 10 seconds: 3
  • Unique passive: Spoils of War
  • Unique active: Warding (3 charges)

Pauldrons of Whiterock

  • Health: 300
  • Attack damage: 24
  • Gold per 10 seconds: 3
  • Unique active: Warding (4 charges)

With these four support item lines, the Ancient Coin line has been removed from the game.

Shurelya’s Reverie

  • Total cost reduced from 2250 gold to 2050 gold
  • New build path: Forbidden Idol + Crystalline Bracer + 600 gold
  • Health increased from 200 to 300
  • Now adds 10% heal and shield power
  • Now adds 100% health regen
  • Ability power removed
  • Movement speed removed
  • Unique active bonus range increased from 700 to 1000

Lethality Items

Lethality items got several tweaks and a couple of new additions in order to provide players more options other than Duskblade of Draktharr and Youmuu’s Ghostblade.

Duskblade of Draktharr

  • Attack damage increased from 55 to 60
  • Blackout passive removed

Youmuu’s Ghostblade

  • Active ability now allows users to ignore unit collision

Edge of Night

  • Total cost reduced from 3,000 gold to 2,900 gold
  • Attack damage reduced from 55 to 50
  • Lethality reduced from 18 to 10
  • Health increased from 250 to 325
  • New unique passive: Spell Shield – Grants a spell shield that blocks the next enemy ability. The shield refreshes after not taking damage from enemy champions for 40 seconds.
  • Night’s Veil active removed

Sanguine Blade (3,000 gold) [NEW!]

  • Builds from Serrated Dirk + Vampiric Scepter + 1000 gold
  • Attack damage: 50
  • Lethality: 10
  • Lifesteal: 15%
  • Unique passive: Bloodlust – Gain 8 lethality and 40-100% attack speed (based on level) when near 1 or fewer visible enemy champions are nearby. Effect decays over 3 seconds if other enemy champs get too close.

Umbral Glaive (2400 gold) [New!]

  • Builds from Serrated Dirk + Long Sword + Long Sword + 600 gold
  • Attack damage: 50
  • Lethality: 12
  • Cooldown Reduction: 10%
  • Unique passive: Blackout (old passive from Duskblade of Draktharr)

Serrated Dirk

  • Headhunter passive removed

Energized and Crit Items

Before, energized builds were barely any different from traditional crit builds because Statikk Shiv and Rapid Firecannon were always part of a crit-oriented loadout. With these changes, Riot aims to fully integrate energized items into crit builds as a way to increase burst damage, rather than a flat-out DPS increase. The energize mechanic has also received a major overhaul.

Energize

  • Damage from all Energized effects now stacks instead of applying only the highest-damage source.
  • Energize charge rate from moving increased by 20%
  • Energize charge rate from attacking reduced by 50%
  • Energized effects will now always work on turrets

Stormrazor

  • Total cost increased from 3,100 gold to 3,200 gold
  • Recipe cost reduced from 850 gold to 400 gold
  • Long Sword in build path changed to Cloak of Agility
  • Now adds 25% critical strike chance
  • Attack speed reduced from 30% to 15%
  • Energized damage increased from 50 to 120
  • Energized slow increased from 40% (decaying over 1.5 seconds) to 75% for 0.5 seconds
  • No longer amplifies other Energized effects

Rapid Firecannon

  • Energized damage adjusted from 60-140 (based on level) to 120
  • Bonus Energized charge rate removed

Statikk Shiv

  • Energized damage adjusted from 60-140 (based on level) to 120
  • Shiv Lightning bounces increased from 5 to 7
  • Shiv Lightning no longer critically strikes

Kirchei’s Shard

  • Total cost increased from 600 gold to 700 gold
  • Energized damage increased from 50 to 80

Cloak of Agility

  • Critical strike chance increased from 20% to 25%

Zeal

  • Total cost increased from 1,200 gold to 1,400 gold
  • Recipe cost reduced from 500 gold to 300 gold
  • Brawler’s Gloves in build path replaced with Cloak of Agility
  • Critical strike chance increased from 15% to 25%
  • Attack speed reduced from 15% to 12%

Phantom Dancer

  • Recipe cost increased from 700 gold to 900 gold
  • Brawler’s Gloves in build path removed

Removed Items

The following items have been removed from the game, either as a result of the changes mentioned above or to encourage more active playstyles.

  • Ancient Coin
  • Nomad’s Medallion
  • Nomad’s Eye
  • Remnant of the Ascended
  • Eye of Ascension
  • Brawler’s Gloves
  • Spear of Shojin (still available in ARAM)
  • Zz’rot Portal
  • Ohmwrecker
  • Raptor Cloak

Rune Changes

Patch 9.23 also included major changes to certain Keystone runes, with the biggest change being the removal of Kleptomancy. As a replacement, Riot added the new Prototype: Omnistone keystone.

Prototype: Omnistone [New!]

  • Periodically grants the use of another keystone. The active keystone is displayed next to your champ’s health bar and is visible to all players.
  • Active keystone is changed every 8-4 seconds (based on level) for melee champs and every 12-8 seconds (based on level) for ranged champs after triggering the last active keystone.
  • Keystone is rerolled when out of combat and if not used for 40 seconds.
  • Stack bonuses from Grasp of the Undying and Dark Harvest persist even if the active keystone has changed. Additionally, Dark Harvest’s stacks amplify the effect of other keystones.
  • Prototype: Omnistone cycles through the following keystones
    • Press the Attack
    • Lethal Tempo
    • Fleet Footwork
    • Conqueror
    • Summon Aery
    • Arcane Comet
    • Phase Rush
    • Electrocute
    • Predator (only if you have boots)
    • Dark Harvest
    • Hail of Blades
    • Grasp of the Undying
    • Aftershock (only if you can trigger it on a basic ability)
    • Glacial Augment
  • You cannot get the same keystone until only three possible keystones are left in a cycle, at which point the keystone selection resets

Conqueror

  • No longer adds true damage
  • Heal changed from 8% of pre-mitigation damage against champions to 15% post-mitigation damage against champions
  • Maximum stacks increased from 5 to 10
  • Stack gain from melee basic attacks or abilities increased from 1 to 2
  • Stack gain from ranged attacks remain at 1
  • Stack duration for ranged champions increased from 3 seconds to 8 seconds
  • Adaptive force per stack reduced from 2-6 (based on level) to 2-5 (based on level)
  • Max adaptive force increased from 10-30 (based on level) to 20-50 (based on level)

Aftershock

  • Resistances adjusted from 70% (+50% bonus resists) to 35% (+80% bonus resists)
  • Damage increased from 10-120 (based on level) + 8% bonus health to 25-120 (based on level) + 8% bonus health

Presence of Mind

  • Ultimate cooldown reduction removed
  • Now restores energy (instead of just mana)
  • Now increases mana by 100 (up to 500) or energy by 10 (up to 50)

Nimbus Cloak

  • Now triggered by a Summoner Spell
  • Speed boost changed to a percentage of movement speed based on Summoner Spell’s cooldown
    • 35% for Flash and Teleport
    • 25% for Heal, Ignite, Cleanse, Exhaust, Ghost, and Barrier
    • 15% for Hexflash, Smite, Mark, and Spell Thief (Zoey’s W)

Champion Changes

This patch only brought a couple of changes to the game’s newest champion, Senna.

Senna

  • Absolution (W) no longer converts AP from Spellthief’s Edge into adaptive force
  • Mist stack gain in ARAM, URF, and other alternate game modes are no longer doubled.

Twisted Treeline

Twisted Treeline has finally been removed from the game. However, players that have played enough games in this mode will not be left empty-handed. Depending on the number of Twisted Treeline games you played before, you will receive exclusive cosmetic rewards.

More than 10 games – player icon

More than 50 games – emote

More than 100 games – second player icon

New Skins

Patch 9.23 ends the season with new skins for Aatrox and Thresh! Pulsefire Thresh also has a Prestige Edition variant which can be unlocked with tokens.

Victorious Aatrox – 2019 Ranked Reward (Reach Gold Division or higher in Summoner’s Rift Solo/Flex queue, or Twisted Treeline)

  • New model and textures
  • New VFX
  • New SFX
  • New recall animation

Players who reached Gold Division or higher in more than one queue will also receive a Chroma)

Pulsefire Thresh – 1350 RP

  • New model and textures
  • New VFX
  • New SFX
  • New recall animation

Pulsefire Thresh Prestige Edition

  • New model and textures
  • New VFX
  • New SFX
  • New recall animation

Patch 9.23 Rundown – Conclusion

That’s quite a lot of stuff we covered, but we managed to pull through to the end! The only thing left is to enjoy the preseason and look forward to the start of season 11. What are your thoughts about the preseason patch? Let us know in the comments section below!