Archive for the ‘Riot News’ Category


Champion Skin Sale September 16 to 19 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until September 19th:


Karma Final Portrait

Varus Final Portrait

Vladimir Final Portrait

Battlecast Xerath – 375 RP


Nemesis Jax – 487 RP



Pool Party Graves – 675 RP

Pool Party Graves Splash


If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at


News 12 09 Banner



Azir has been delayed on the live client because of bugs, Ghostcrawler explains the goals of the Fighter rework and Lyte notes that extending chat restrictions for neutral players is a mistake of the system. Lastly, IronStylus with clarity on texture rebalances and why the end result seems less detailed than the original.

TL;DR in featured comments.


Recent News


Visual-Rebalancing-Banner (1)


PBE Changes 4 17 Banner



Azir Delay Banner



Are you delaying Azir because his Shurima story isn’t over

sixtwo Final PortraitHey guys, not sure where the quote comes from, but Azir isn’t out yet because he’s not done – bug fixes are being checked in around me as I type this. Now carry on!

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Baconhawk Final PortraitI was not clear in stating Azir is not available yet because of “reasons” (he is getting bugfixes). I did not mean to insinuate we are waiting for a lore story part 2… just to give some sort of hope and looking forward. My wording was ****.

I’ll try to be more clear next time. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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He shows up in Champ list but is unavailable for purchase

Baconhawk Final PortraitThis is because he was shipped in the patch but not switched on. This is normal.

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Can’t you give us detail on issues or at least a timeline

Baconhawk Final PortraitI totally understand. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten really burned when trying to give you guys dates on when x will come out (or if it even will at all, RIP Magma Chamber, so say we all), so to save us all the the heartache, its best if we just get him ready and unlock him when he’s finished.


You DO know there’s a champ coming. There was a time before PBE when surrender@20 and other sites wouldn’t be able to do all these great screencaps and preview videos, and set the hype stage for champs, skins, game modes, etc. We have a lot to deliver and we’d like to make sure it’s ready before we say YES IT IS GOING OUT ON THIS DATE and then what happens when we get an Azir and he ends up with some last minute bugs that just absolutely cannot ship? We look bad, you’re upset, we’re upset, and no one wins. The expectation is that we will release everything perfectly, meet everyone’s expectations 100%, release on time AND let you know ahead of time when that is. IN A PERFECT WORLD!

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Fighter Rework Banner



What are the exact goals for the fighter rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitThe goals are to agree on what is the strategic identity – the strengths and weaknesses – of melee champs, as well as figure out how many categories of melee we actually have (e.g. Is a bruiser different from a diver? What is a melee carry?)

The list of champs that we’d want to adjust to meet these goals is beyond the scope of a forum post. Generally those who are largely balls of stats with limited counterplay or those who seem mirror images of other melee are the ones most in need.

We haven’t decided yet on the future of red buff. As a general guideline, I think we do throw around movement speed debuffs too readily.

It’s okay for someone to have good or weak laning, within reason, as long as there are trade-offs elsewhere. Our general concern about melee is they don’t have any trait to offset their lack of range. The two characteristics that we have tried (hard to kill or eats your face if they manage to close) have been problematic. The former erodes a niche for true tanks and the latter makes the counterplay pretty binary, as well as making melee on melee engagements slow slugfests.

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How would you define a “tank” in League

Ghostcrawler New PortraitA common thread we’ve found with tanks is that they are good at initiating. The problem is that the word “tank” also carries a strong connotation from other games that they have a ton of survivability as well. If we renamed the role it would be easier to define, but we’re not sure players would react well to redefining a whole lot of roles in the game (as I mentioned for fighters above).

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Why don’t you name the Fighters you plan to rework

Ghostcrawler New PortraitNot sure I agree with that.  Even stating that we think a champ is overtuned feels like a mic drop without a lot of context. The other challenge is that when we mention we want to work on something (like say a fighter rework) and then it takes a lot longer than expected, players get frustrated and want even more context for the delay. Believe me, my inclination is to be as honest and open as possible. If we can earn enough trust with the community that changes we mention will eventually come to pass, I’d love to be able to talk more about long-term plans.

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Can we have specific information on the Fighter reworks

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt’s just a big project that touches a whole lot of champions. At our current cadence for gameplay updates, it would take a long time to reach them all. In the meantime, if we introduce say counterplay for one fighter and not another, then the second one becomes overpowered in the interim. It’s not just fighters either. If we decide that we offer too many slows, then a lot of ranged champs would need to be touched as well. This is the kind of thing we’d love to be able to hit with some sweeping changes all at once, but we’re still working out how that could be possible.

I’ll talk to Morello and some of the other designers. Maybe we can put together a dev blog that explains our current thoughts so long as we can provide sufficient caveats that we haven’t ironed out all the details yet and would welcome plenty of feedback before those thoughts turned into patch notes.

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Issues with Muting Banner



Chat Restrictions shouldn’t be extended if you’re neutral

Lyte Final PortraitCompletely agree. We recently tuned the system to try to be more accurate up front, but it’s clear we might be up to ~20 games off still in some cases.

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Can you provide an example of toxic gameplay

Lyte Final PortraitAt the end of the day, are you a neutral player, or a negative one? If you’re still negative, your account will continue to get chat restrictions.

Have you actually reformed after going ~50 games in silence? The answer is probably no. Even how you communicate with others here on the forums shows that your behaviors really haven’t changed.

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Lyte Final PortraitThe idea that the system expects toxic players to be “positive” is a misunderstanding. If a player is “neutral,” their account will eventually be clean of any penalties or punishments.

The actual problem with the system is with situations like these, where the system should have probably just given the player 78 chat restrictions right off the bat; however, that’s a tuning problem that we’ll need to continuously work on to get right.

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Single Posts Banner



Why texture rebalances seem less detailed

IronStylus Final PortraitGotta remember that detail frequency often works against us. Excessive detail, especially detail that is highly contrasted against it’s adjacent material leads to “flickering” and “buzzing.”

That a) hurts they eye, b) generally feels low quality, c) doesn’t fit in with our changing style.

While it can be sometimes confused with feature removal, it results in a cleaner asset, it’s for the overall health and quality of the game.

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What are some of the more known Rioters working on

FeralPony Final PortraitSure, no real spoilers here (sorry) but CertainlyT is still working on Champions. From what little I’ve seen the next one he’s working on looks pretty awesome. Xypherous and myself are working on “Systems” which is primarily working on the next pre-season patch change with a number of other folks.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at




News Banner 12 09



Patch 4.17′s forecast is here, detailing a shift in Nidalee‘s balance from AD lane bully to an AP bruiser, possible nerfs to Kha’Zix‘s W, minor buffs to LeBlanc and Rammus, nerfs to Tristana‘s early and mid game and the recent PBE reworks of Viktor and Soraka. Also, all 111 Champions released before 2013 and their skins will be color-fixed to match the visuals of the new Summoner’s Rift. This doesn’t mean particle changes or texture updates, just a rebalancing of the colors.

TL;DR in featured comments.


Recent News





PBE Changes 4 17 Banner



Patch 4 17 Forecast Banner



Live Gameplay: Saludos Invocadores!

Spinning these Patch Forecasts back up as more changes come hurtling to the PBE. In the future we’ll be experimenting with the forecast to see what’s the best way to communicate pre-PBE changes, but for now we’ve got some neat things on the way that we wanted to talk about.

The overarching narrative for this patch is to reduce stagnation in the live environment by targeting highly banned champions and (finally) looking at those champs who make for a low-counterplay game (looking at you Talon). Speaking to the latter (low counter play dudes), it’s worth mentioning they’ve always had low counterplay, but that we’ve traditionally let them be due to their low visibility and (occasionally) lack of current-meta strengths. More below!

There’s also the GLORIOUS EVOLUTION of Viktor with his gameplay update (PBE friends, check that feedback thread) and the still-glorious-but-not-named-glorious evolution of Soraka with a larger gameplay update of her own (PBE friends, once again).

So some forecasting:

There are a few oppressive champions out there who have been climbing the ladders in terms of ban rates, play rates, and win rates, and we’ve finally decided to get into the weeds to make them a bit healthier to play against. Between 4.17 and 4.18 you can expect some small changes to champs like Akali, Talon, Yasuo, and Fiora (oh man Fiora), with most focused on reducing some in their low-counterplay abilities (maybe not eliminating, but reducing at the very least).

Speaking of strong dudes, there’s a few more on our radar that we wanted to address specifically:


Nidalee Final Portrait

Cat lady’s doing pretty well in all levels of play, specifically when she’s thrown into top lane as a low counterplay bruiser-bully. We’re looking for ways to reduce some of Nidalee’s high AD / auto-attack focused strengths while maybe giving some love back to her AP bruiser / AP burst builds.


Tristana Final Portrait

Don’t really need to say much beyond this, but Trist’s pretty good right now. Specifically her early / mid-game tradeoffs just aren’t being made when she’s got such a monster lategame potential. We’re looking for ways to fix this, specifically by adding windows to actually beat her up throughout the game.


Kha'Zix Final Portrait

As an opportunistic assassin, Kha’Zix’s gone back to his missile-bugging days of prioritizing W to poke away at people. Given W’s got tons of utility already piled on top of it (slow, vision, aoe), we’re a little concerned that as missile-bug picks up, Kha’Zix will go back to losing a lot of his counterplay, especially since he can poke for high damage on grouped up individuals. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Kha’Zix as our changes develop, but if he needs help assassinating people, we’re prepared to give him some love in those areas!


Rammus Final Portrait

Not really a nerf or a huge buff, but just in case anyone mining PBE files gets confused, we’re making it so that Powerball and Defensive Ball Curl can now overlap by 1 second, so if you use one to cancel the other you get 1 second to consider your mistake before it actually happens.


LeBlanc Final Portrait

LeBlanc changes! Since we removed the silence from her sigil of… malice, LeBlanc hasn’t been in the best of places. We’re looking for ways to give LB a bit more power in a healthy way, so we’re talking more deception and cleverness rather than more damage.


And that’s it for this forecast! Remember that we’ve got champion update forecasts going on with their own separate contexts here:


As for followup discussions, today we’ll be throwing Riot Jag into the mix to answer any followup questions you may have.

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You’re hitting Kha’Zix’s W just because players use it now

Riot Jag Final PortraitThe direction we’ve always wanted to take Kha’zix is that he has to be an opportunistic assassin. To exert his power on the field, he needs to find the correct windows of vulnerability on the enemy team instead of brute forcing his way. Much like DR on his earlier versions of evolved ultimate, or the damage profile on his old Q, this version of W gives him the ability to force action.

I sympathize with you that continuous nerfs to a champion can be frustrating. That said, we’ve tried to reorient Kha’zix’s power in ways that are healthy for the game while still giving him the opportunity to be picked. We don’t plan on nerfing him to the point where he does not feel viable.

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You can’t force players to isolate themselves as Kha’Zix

Riot Jag Final PortraitYou bring up some good points. The part that is questionable to me is asserting that teams can ensure they literally never will prevent themselves from becoming isolated. I think the natural chaos of teamfights means that positioning is a dynamic state, and opportunities will always present themselves, even against top-level players. Furthermore, certain champions control space or just create disruption and isolation naturally (e.g.: Gragas), so I think teams that play Kha’zix will always have tools to make certain he’ll find his spots.

That said, isolation has often been challenging to tune correctly, both in terms of range of isolation and in terms of payoff to Kha’zix. The clarity issue is made worse by the concept of isolation being difficult to understand. I wonder how you’d feel Guardian of the Sands Kha’zix feels in this regard?

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Why are you nerfing Champions

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitForgot to add this in but we’re prepared give Kha’Zix some compensatory assassin-y buffs if he needs it. Q is important to note with regards to isolation (so Kha’Zix is more of a strategic counterplay than an in-the-moment tactical counterplay, I suppose), but yeah back to that first point.

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What about Cassiopeia, will she receive changes in 4 17

[ Note ] Cassiopeia was reworked in a recent PBE update. Link to changelist.

Riot Jag Final PortraitDefinitely keeping a close eye on her. We get more playtests of a champion in the first hour they’re out on live than we ever did internally, so RiotStashu will have plenty of data to look at and assess what state she’s in. Keep giving him feedback.

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Can we expect the Poppy gutting for this patch

Riot Jag Final PortraitRight after we crush Hecarim.

P.S. Just kidding.

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Morello Final PortraitI’m not sure if we’ll club her or not – I’d prefer to stop abusing her if we can manage or if there’s some team strategy that makes this interesting as opposed to dominant. I need to speak to the Live Gameplay dudes as this develops.

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Are you aiming to nerf Akali or give her counterplay

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitWhile Jag is out, I think we’re exploring lighter changes to give her more directionally-relevant strength while potentially giving her just a bit more opportunity for counterplay. That said, Akali’s a tough gal to strike the right balance. Her effective all-in and reset mechanics are a very big part of her core identity, which gets really weird because that’s pretty anti-counterplay.

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All-ins and Reset mechanics don’t fit Akali’s ninja theme

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitShe collects their essences and becomes stronger. Isn’t that what Ryu Hayabusa does? Ninja stuff.

In all seriousness, I think the shroud/stealth aspects of her kit really do fit with what you’d expect of a ninja (aside from giving resistances, cough) and there may be changes we can make to it to play up that a little bit more. We’re still looking at options.

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How do you plan on giving Talon counterplay

Riot Pwyff Final PortraitI don’t think we have anything concrete to commit to as of yet, more that we are considering both and hashing through proposed changes / playtesting them. Sorry :(

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Visual Rebalancing Banner



Ququroon Final PortraitHey everyone!

As the update to Summoner’s Rift continues to percolate on the PBE, we’re looking to address the fact that many of League’s older champion and skins were created using the Rift’s current look and color palette (or even older ones), which continues to evolve over time. At this point, many champion and skin textures need a bit of rebalancing to ensure they look nice regardless of where they’re standing, or who they’re standing next to.

We’re talking just about every champion and skin released before 2013 (with a few outliers). This may seem scary, but I want to emphasize that these will generally be small tweaks; corrections rather than major changes. Due to the scale of the project, this won’t all be coming at once, so don’t despair if you don’t see your favorite champion in the first batch! Here’s an example of what you’ll eventually see (old on the left, new on the right):

This then ties back to the update to SR, as one of our primary goals with the update is fleshing out LoL’s visual hierarchy. Put simply, this means that particles should have the highest visibility, followed by characters, then finally the environment and map. Rebalancing characters’ colors and textures gives us the chance to also better execute within that visual hierarchy.

We also aim for hierarchy on the characters themselves, drawing attention to key areas like heads and weapons through highlights, while dropping the values on less visible or important areas so it doesn’t distract from characters’ focal points. At the highest level, we want to ensure that everything looks consistent, and that the art always adds to, rather than detracts, from gameplay.

With these goals in mind, we’ve locked several character artists in a room (no, they’re really in there – they’ve got classic rock playing on a loop, and we’re occasionally throwing them some food or something), and they’re cranking away in order to finish things up by the time the update to SR hits Live. We’ll be rolling these out over time, and you’ll see the first batch of ~10 tomorrow on the PBE (barring any hitches!).

Please let us know any feedback and questions that you have on this. IronStylus and I will be hanging out and chatting!




Q: Could you explain a little more of the technical details of this?

While making these changes, we’re reassessing the finer details and making calls to emphasize certain areas of characters with the goal of increasing overall visual fidelity. Because we have a very zoomed out isometric camera angle, we want to communicate the important parts of a character without detracting from them as a whole. In other mediums (minigames, Udyr comic, cinematics like ‘A New Dawn,’ etc.) characters will also show a level of detail suitable for the angle in question.

This is something we’ve already been doing with new champions and skins to increase readability and clarity, while minimizing pixel flicker and excess noise. Our goal is never to take something away from our characters. We continue to develop and iterate on all our characters so they look like they fit inside of the same world, and in this case so they’ll have visual consistency on the Rift.

Q: Are you updating skins as well?

Absolutely. We always consider skins when working on champions, although in this case most recent skins already reach the quality standard that we’re shooting for on this project.

However, there will be a few instances where we’ll deliver some changes to a character that will only affect their default appearance. An example of this is a metal shader that we’re adding to Orianna’s base texture, which will not be applied to the skins at this time. This is being done opportunely where we see a chance to do justice to the character’s core identity.

Q: Will this affect the releases of Champion Updates?

Nope! This isn’t a project done by ChampUp, so it won’t affect any of the upcoming projects in the slightest.

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What’s the difference between this and texture updates

Ququroon Final PortraitThis isn’t the best example, but this might help.

A TU would be repainting your car. You might even add a spoiler during the process. Man, what a cool car!
A Rebalance would be more like… repairing any sun damage, or filling in any chips in the paint.

Does that make sense?

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Will there be any particle changes to the updated skins

Ququroon Final PortraitNot at this time. This is just texture rebalancing, not particles and not really any model work. Sorry! 

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Can we also expect updated Splash arts

Ququroon Final PortraitThat is apart from this, but the Splash team is working super hard.

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How many of the 111 pre-2013 champions are you adjusting

Ququroon Final PortraitMost of them? :D

And Legacy skins are included in this.

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Will all these updates be live before the new SR visuals

FQuquroon Final Portraitor the most part, yes. We might miss a couple by a patch or two, but it should be at least very close.

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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at




Azir QA Banner

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 AMAs that were hosted on Riot’s site about the League’s newest addition – Azir!


Azir Q&A Breakdown


Recent News






Azir Gameplay



What are some abilities you tried on Azir and scrapped

Zenonthestoic New PortraitOne of the earliest kits that Colt “Ezreal” Hallam worked on had an ultimate we called “sand hands”. Two giant hands of sand would rise from the ground and after a delay move together, pushing everyone in between together and squishing them in. The TL;DR here is that vacuum skills are insanely powerful. The kit had other issues as well, but everyone remembers sand hands. THE HORROR.

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What’re some other abilities you considered using

Zenonthestoic New PortraitI had a super complicated Ritual of Ascension ultimate on him once. He spawned three obelisks of light in an equilateral triangle, lasers spawned to link them together, and all enemies inside the triangle who took damage from Azir were also zapped by the obelisks. Crossing the lasers damaged you, and Azir received a shield based on the additional zap damage. If the shield hit a certain number, Azir ascended, gaining a massive chunk of spell vamp, AP, a doubled shield, and crazy move speed.

This is probably the most disgustingly overloaded and overcomplicated skill I ever designed. On the plus side, I learned the formula for quickly detecting whether or not a point on a 2D plane is inside a triangle, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

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When will he be released

Zenonthestoic New PortraitBirds will not be rushed.

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Will Yasuo's Wind Wall W block Azir’s turret shots

Zenonthestoic New PortraitNope. It will however stop soldiers in their tracks.

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Will Azir transition into a Support mage late-game

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s late game sustained damage is incredibly high. His allies might find it beneficial to protect him late game as if he were an AD carry.

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How did you make Azir’s gameplay match his theme

Zenonthestoic New PortraitIt’s… messy.

In Azir’s case, we had a bunch of old kits that were basically straight-forward mage kits (AOE spell, utility spell, CC spell) that we knew we didn’t want to ship. We have more than 120 champions in the game now, many of whom fulfill the “I want to be a midlane mage and burst/aoe people down” fantasy perfectly well. We don’t need another one of those.

So for Azir, we sat down in the beginning of this current kit’s lifetime with champion team and split into 4-5 smaller teams, sometimes just two dudes, jamming on different takes on Azir. The kit I worked on had a sand resource that you had to gather, made a triangle of obelisks for the ultimate fight arena, and spammed sand missiles from sources of sand, for instance. GypsyLord made a kit with a sandstorm ultimate that literally covered the entire map and slowed all enemies in the game. We’re talking that level of crazy prototyping.

One thing that all the kits had in common were soldiers; the kit I worked on had a skill that summoned three targetable guards that moved in formation in front of you, blocking skill shots, until you reactivated the ability to send all surviving soldiers forward as skill shots. Another kit summoned two walls of soldiers that immediately charged forward, knocking enemies back (sound familiar?) Squad5 made that ability and it obviously strongly inspired my ultimate. CertainlyT’s kit had a spawn soldier mechanic where you could order soldiers to turn into skill shots by attacking enemies: all soldiers in range of an auto attack target would charge toward that target. This clearly turned into my Q (and the idea of ordering soldiers with your basic attack).

This was a really, really cool exercise (we called it AZIRDOME — THE SHURIMARING, named after the THUNDERDOME code jam we do two-three times a year here at Riot) and it quickly taught us a lot of things that were cool about Azir, first and foremost being soldiers and controlling them. I don’t think I could have come up with a kit this unique without the help of the entire team. Champion design is a huge team effort!

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What would happen if I click on a Champion outside Azir’s AA range but inside one of his soldiers’

Squad5 New PortraitIf the enemy is within the soldier’s range, Azir will stand still and the soldier will attack.

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Why can’t both Azir and his soldiers AA at once

Zenonthestoic New Portrait The emperor doesn’t get his hands dirty! As a matter of fact, he USED to attack alongside his soldiers, but it was only when Roku played him and said “you know wouldn’t it be cooler if your soldiers attacked INSTEAD OF you” that we had our “oh shit” moment of “this is something entirely new and exciting”. This allowed us to decouple the soldier attacks from Azir’s attack range, for instance, and it’s just COOL to point at dudes and have your sand army stab them.

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How long does Azir have to proc his passive on a tower after it’s destroyed

RickVanPrim New PortraitWhen Azir’s passive isn’t on cooldown, dead towers will have a clicker as soon as they die that he can use to summon the Sun Disc. There isn’t a limited window of opportunity and he can summon a Sun Disc on the same dead turret multiple times (cooldown providing).

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How is Azir’s ultimate used in teamfights

Squad5 New PortraitI’ve seen Azir’s ult used in a number of ways effectively. I think the most common use case is to peel for either himself or other carries on his team, throwing back people who would dive into the backline. However, uses of the ultimate to wall of an area to split the team or halt their approach without even hitting an enemy with the initial cast are really cool to pull off in the jungle, and the aggressive “move behind the enemy team and wall off their escape” play is sometimes incredible (though it will often get you killed).

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Does the damage of Azir’s Sun Disk Passive scale

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s Sun Disc’s damage scales a bit with game time, but also with Azir’s AP.

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Does the Sun Disk focus targets like a turret

Squad5 New PortraitThey should behave in the exact way a regular turret would.

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Do Azir’s Soldiers push Champions aside when placed

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s soldiers will move slightly if placed on another object.

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Can Azir’s Soldiers be stacked on top of each other

Squad5 New PortraitYes, but you would limit your area of control, so unless you are trying to ambush someone this is not the optimal strategy.

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Do the Soldiers apply Q’s slow if they’re walked through

Squad5 New PortraitThey do not slow if they are not being directed by the Q, so if they are idle they will not slow you.

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What’s the maximum number of Soldiers you can have up

Squad5 New PortraitMax CDR and constant casting of abilities can get you up to 4 soldiers at times. 3 is much more common though.

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How do Azir’s Soldiers interact with Azir’s Auto Attacks

Squad5 New PortraitAzir’s soldiers become his auto attack.

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Can the Soldiers attack one target and Azir another

Squad5 New PortraitNo, Azir must direct his soldiers to attack each time.

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Is there a damage reduction for multiple Soldiers’ attacks

Squad5 New PortraitYes, every soldier after the first will deal reduced damage.

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Can Azir’s ult go over short walls, blocking two paths

Squad5 New PortraitDepends on how you cast it…

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Can Azir knock up multiple enemy champions with one E

Squad5 New PortraitHe could, but they would need to be very close together.

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Why DON'T Azir's soldiers proc on-hit effects

Squad5 New PortraitOne thing that was an issue brought up early was determining whether the soldier’s attacks were actual attacks or spells. We felt in general that encouraging Azir to build as a mage was the appropriate direction, and so the stab uses spell effects from items as if it were an AOE spell. Since the soldiers use the spell archetype, for clarity they should not use on hits. The primary reason really is that we want Azir to build mage items though. (Nashor’s is still pretty good on him though…)

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Can Azir’s Soldiers proc the Support

Zenonthestoic New PortraitThey do not proc anything that procs on auto attacks. Sorry.

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Were there concerns during design about distinguishing him from other champions that use clones

Zenonthestoic New PortraitYeah absolutely! We started out from the very beginning with a many page long document where we broke down what a zone control mage can / should do in league, what current kits do, which aspects of this we like and which aspects we don’t and so on.

We quickly identified that dropping zones and forgetting about them leads to super defensive kits that often make not engaging with the champion the correct choice. This is why you have to right click to access the soldiers’ power (this and it feels super cool to point at someone and have your minions skewer them).

Yeah absolutely! We started out from the very beginning with a many page long document where we broke down what a zone control mage can / should do in league, what current kits do, which aspects of this we like and which aspects we don’t and so on.

We quickly identified that dropping zones and forgetting about them leads to super defensive kits that often make not engaging with the champion the correct choice. This is why you have to right click to access the soldiers’ power (this and it feels super cool to point at someone and have your minions skewer them).

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Can Azir be a viable Support

Squad5 New PortraitAzir support is definitely an interesting way to play him. I do think he can be played there (I also just like to play lots of random supports) but in general he will bring more to the team if taken as a mid laner. A lot of his power is tied up in scaling, so if you don’t mind losing out on that his other abilities can be useful as a support. I’ve seen tankier builds succeed, but in general I find an ap centric build on him much more exciting. I will say that slightly more than others he relies on his team to succeed if you do go down the AP path.

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Zenonthestoic New PortraitWe did a lot of work to make sure Support isn’t Azir’s strongest role. Azir support probably works as a gimmicky off build, kind of on par with, say, Ahri support or Karthus support; like, yes, you can poke in bot lane, you bring some CC, but by not scaling as well as you would mid lane you give up a lot. Vel’Koz conversely has such great base damages that he doesn’t need to build scaling items to be effective. This is why support became his main role.

The levers we identified for support Azir (and correct me here if I’m wrong, Squad5) are:

  • Soldier attacks drawing minion aggro to Azir
  • Turret damage of the sun disc scaling with Azir’s AP
  • Relatively low slow amount on Q
  • Hard CC requiring ult or all-in
  • Low base stats, particularly armor

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How did you decide to make Azir an

Zenonthestoic New PortraitI kept joking that even though ADCs are my weakest role by far (never ask me to play Lucian–I SUCK) I can’t stop making them. But you’re right; in some ways Azir is MORE of an ADC than Lucian, in that his right clicks are so much more important than his spells. The decision to make his auto attacks so central to his kit came when we played around with different ways of ordering soldiers to attack. Basic attacking (even outside of range) felt like the most natural fit. The bugs this created though, oh boy. Sometimes I wished I could travel back in time and slap ambitious, naïve past me around the head.

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What was your main inspiration for Azir’s design

Zenonthestoic New PortraitPrimarily we wanted to have the archetype “sand mage” in the game–we always thought this was a cool thing we should do in league. We tried a lot of different kits, but only when he became the Emperor of Shurima and the soldiers entered the picture did we feel we had a cool enough dude to release.

For myself, I was always driven by the question of “what does it feel like to be the emperor?” Consequently a lot of my gameplay design was focused on creation and manipulation of underlings. Even if you have a bad game, even if you struggle to win your lane, I want you to come out of the game saying, well whatever else happened, I felt like I was an emperor, ordering my troops around.

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Azir QA Creative Banner



Was Azir the kind of ruler that people flocked to

Riot Opeli Final PortraitHEH

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Why does Cassiopeia want to serve her family and having Kat, Talon and Darius come after her

Jaredan Final Portrait Cass has very little interest in serving Azir or Shurima. She is certainly still Noxian and loyal to her family; she went into Shurima searching for wealth and power for her, her family and Noxus. As seen from the video today, she just didn’t get what she bargained for.

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Why would an emperor dash to his lowly soldiers

HiddenAce52 Final PortraitThe dash, to me, is a more aggressive skill that just so happens to double as an escape. Using E on a soldier that’s near a champion knocks the champion up briefly and grants you a shield, great for initiating and closing gaps. So, I see it as an Emperor coming to the aid of his soldiers, soldiers scouting an area for him, as well as him using them as a means of escape.

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Were his legs always bird-looking

Riot Opeli Final PortraitNo, he was human originally. But I also think he has fabulous legs. :P

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Tommy Gnox Final PortraitNope. When he was human, he had regular old legs that bent the normal way. :-)

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Are there other ascended Champions we’ve yet to see

Riot Opeli Final PortraitEntirely possible! They haven’t shown their faces lately, though, if there are others out there.

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How long has Azir been in the works

Riot Opeli Final PortraitFor three years, I believe. I think it started with a kit. Someone might have to correct me on that, though. He became the bird emperor you know today about a year and a half ago.

EDIT: NOPE I was wrong. Runaan corrected me. She pitched him as a character over three years ago. It wasn’t a kit, first.

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Runaan Final PortraitTo clarify, he started out as a really loose idea of a “sand mage” – Ezreal and I liked the idea of a sand dude who could sort of “envelop” people with the desert itself. The emperor idea came out of this, but the original kit/art direction weren’t working, so we went back to iteration town. We really knew what we wanted to do when the idea of “Ascended” Azir came about (yes, we were the most excited when we decided to make him a bird guy). :) From there, it took a lot of iteration to capitalize on the personality of an emperor as well as the game play – and here we are today!

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Will Azir receive lore other than his character description

Riot Opeli Final PortraitHe has a full story coming, but it’d spoil the rest of the Shurima event. So we’re waiting to reveal it until you guys see the full story.

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What was the original art direction

Runaan Final PortraitHe was kind of just a dude that happened to be made of sand (a bit Brand-esque; replace fire with sand). It was a decent start, but we knew we could push it further. :)

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What does Azir think of Yordles

Riot Entropy Final PortraitAzir would welcome their furry enthusiasm, provided they directed it toward expanding Shurima’s greatness. 

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Does Azir know Anivia at all or have any relation to her

Riot Entropy Final PortraitAzir was once human, so he’s a great deal younger than Anivia. Nasus on the other hand…

Birds soar to great heights, I can’t help but think Azir would admire that.

Also, Anivia X Azir OTP. Take that Valor.

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Did Azir rule alone, or would there have been a

Riot Opeli Final PortraitIt’s safe to say he was… popular with the ladies.

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Did Azir recognize his Soldiers’ equipment when he first summoned them

Riot Opeli Final PortraitYeah, he forms the image of them, so he wasn’t surprised.

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Did Azir suspect Xerath would betray him

Riot Opeli Final PortraitHe was blind to it. He totally trusted Xerath. :(

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Are Nasus and Renekton’s ults their Ascended powers

Riot Opeli Final PortraitTheir kits/characters were created before Ascension was something we discussed, so, maybe they were designed with a similarity in mind back in the day.

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Does Azir sleep in a bed or a nest

Riot Opeli Final PortraitI don’t think he sleeps! At all!

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Xerath’s betrayal seems uninspired and predictable

Tommy Gnox Final PortraitI wouldn’t say so. Keep in mind we may not know everything there is to know about Xerath just yet.

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What brought you to the concept of controlling soldiers

Riot Opeli Final PortraitThe fantasy of being an emperor. As an emperor, you have soldiers fighting wars for you, and you’d command them – so we went with controlling soldiers. :)

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Is it intended that all sort of animal features appearing on them

Riot Opeli Final PortraitYes! It’s intended. They were all human before Ascension. Because Xerath corrupted the ritual, he turned out, well… different.

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What sort of data influences your Champion design

Tommy Gnox Final PortraitIt’s not so much data as inspiration. The initial idea can come from anywhere — often it starts as an artist’s sketch — and gets ideated and iterated on by pods of gameplay designers, artists, and narrative writers over a period of many months. The strength of this approach is that all three aspects of each champion are developed in concert and constant dialogue with each other, so the end result hopefully feels thoroughly integrated and whole. To some degree we also look at evident gaps in our champion roster when conceiving and slotting upcoming champs (not enough tanks, not enough beasts, etc.).

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Azir QA Art and Sound Banner



Why did you choose a bird figure for Azir

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitI’m not sure if the concept artist will be stopping by so I’ll try to answer this as best I can. We knew we wanted to create a new Shurima Champ. The 2 main Shurima Champs, Nasus and Renekton were both very beefy muscly dudes and the animals that they take the form of support that. We knew that we wanted to do something different, specifically make a Shuriman mage. Obviously a Hippo or an Elephant doesn’t really fit the bill in this case.

A bird was the best fit for a lot of the qualities that represent a mage. Birds are often associated with wisdom, magic, cunning, and charisma. They are also agile and sleek while at the same time being fragile. All of these qualities are things that seemed to fit really well for the mage emperor of Shurima.

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Lonewingy Final PortraitHi! Concept artist here! Good question! :)

When we want to make another Shuriman Champion, we decided to go through the idea that is something instantly relates (visually) to Renekton and Nasus. Just like what the other gentleman says (Blood91Raven) Nasus and Renekton are inspired from Egyptian iconic figures, Anubis and Sobek :)

Azir is inspired by the God of Radiance, Ra. It fits the puzzle perfectly for these Shuriman Trio, because it easily relates to both Nasus and Renekton, especially as the Emperor of Shurima.

We never meant to base these characters through real wild life :3

Hope this helps :D

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Will we see an Azir skin where he’s in his daily dress

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitThere were some cool concepts of “pre-ascension” Azir. I think that could make a pretty sick skin. Maybe someday : D I would also like to see what this dude looks like in his bath robe smoking a cigar in front of the fire. R&R Azir anyone?

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How about a parrot skin where he summons pirates

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitHaha I love this idea. Rito Plz!

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Was Galactic Azir inspired by StarCraft’s Protoss race

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitI actually think the Galactic line of skins was mostly inspired by the movie/tv series “Stargate.” Azir’s skin obviously moves a little toward a high tech direction, but we really tried to give it a unique look/feel that felt like our own. We actually tried a bunch of crazy color schemes to try and make it feel even more unique (I think at one point he was sort of purple with glowing orange energy) but in the end the blue/gold/silver scheme seemed to read the best with the new color scheme on the updated summoner’s rift so we went that way.

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Have you taken steps to make Azir with 1not look absolutely weird

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitAs for the soldiers, their attacks were just recently redone (last week) to accommodate some of the max attack speed situations we were seeing. I made some changes that helped them not feel quite as spastic. As for Azir’s pointing motion, I’m not super happy with how it looks at high speeds, but I also don’t currently have a great solution to make it look better. In that case, I’m hoping that most of your focus will be on the soldiers, so that’s where I put the most effort. If I come up with a better solution down the road for Azir’s command animation, as always, I’ll try and get it in the game.

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Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitI actually agree with you that it gets a bit wonky at high speeds. I do like the feeling of him “commanding” the soldiers as opposed to just sort of magically gesturing at them. He is after all their emperor. However if I get the chance at some point in the future I’d love to try and go back and figure out a solution for high attack speeds. At lower speeds I think it looks ok but at high speed it starts to look a little wonky.

With champs that have widely varying attack speeds it’s a big challenge to find an animation that works well for all cases. Azir has so many assets, Azir/Soldiers/ult soldiers/sun disk, so I really had to prioritize where I’d get the most bang for the buck. In this case, I spent more time focusing on the soldiers’ attacks instead of Azir, since most of your focus will be on the soldier’s location.

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What design motifs did you use to sell him as an emperor

Reach4theSkylar Final PortraitAs an animator I can speak to the movement. (I did talk about the staff design in an above comment so check that out). Azir is obviously has a lot of hawk or avian themes so I tried to queue off of things that would help him feel birdlike but at the same time regal. One of the big ways we accomplished this was by keeping his motions very conservative. Most of his motions are concise and efficient. A lot of the feeling of stoic power comes from a lack of motion or flourish.

On top of feeling regal and powerful, I also wanted him to also feel birdlike. To accomplish this, I tried as much as possible to give his cloth “feathers” the feeling of wings. This meant hand shaping them in every animation. I also wanted him to feel light and agile as if at any moment he could catch a gust of wind and lift off the ground. One of my favorite animations in his set is his home-guard run because I think it accomplishes both of these goals fairly well.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Champion Skin Sale 12 09 15 09 Banner

The following Champions and Skins will be 50% off until September 15th:



Lucian Final Portrait

Tryndamere Final Portrait

Wukong Final Portrait


Fiddle Me Timbers – 375 RP



Shockblade Zed – 487 RP




Thunder Lord Volibear – 260 RP



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at


Shurima Event Banner



Shurima Event Contents


Legends of hubris and betrayal swirl around the ancient empire that made the desert bloom. Whispers speak of treasure and power buried away when the city sank beneath the dunes.


Riot have released a promotional website to unveil the Shurima event, which brings a new Champion (Azir) to the League, a new game mode – Ascension, a free rotation and 20%-off skin sale, and lots of lore to tie Shurima’s characters in one plot that leads to Xerath becoming a villain.




Azir New Portrait

  • Damage: 43 (+ 2.8 per level)
  • Health: 390 (+ 80 per level)
  • Mana: 280 (+ 42 per level)
  • Attack Speed: 0.6 (+1.5% per level)
  • Movement Speed: 330
  • Armor: 14 (+ 3 per level)
  • Magic Resist: 30
  • Health-Per-5: 6 (+ 0.55 per level)
  • Mana-Per-5: 6.5 (+ 0.65 per level)
  • Range: 525

Will of the Emperor [ Passive ]

ar-passiveWill of the Emperor: Azir gains 1.25% Attack Speed for every 1% Cooldown Reduction he has.

Disc of the Sun -Azir can summon the Sun Disk from the ruins of a turret once every 3 minutes. The Sun Disc behaves like a normal turret but disintegrates over 1 minute. Click the ruins of a turret to activate Disc of the Sun. The ruins of an enemy Nexus and Inhibitor turrets are immune to this ability.

Conquering Sands [ Q ]

ar-qCost: 70 Mana || Range: 800 || Cooldown: 10/9/8/8/7 seconds

Azir sends all Sand Soldiers toward a target location. Sand Soldiers deal 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.5 AP) magic damage to all enemies they pass through and apply a stacking 20% slow for 1 second.

Arise! [ W ]

Cost: 40 Mana || Range: 450 || Cooldown: 1.5 seconds

ar-wAzir summons a Sand Soldier for 9 seconds. When Azir attacks an enemy in a soldier’s range, the soldier attacks instead of Azir, dealing (+0.7 AP) magic damage to enemies in a line. Soldiers attack even if Azir himself isn’t in basic attack range.

Azir can store up to 2 Sand Soldiers at a time. A new soldier becomes available once every X second. Moving too far away from soldiers deactivates them. Sand Soldiers expire twice as fast when near an enemy turret.

Shifting Sands [ E ]

Cost: 60 Mana || Range: 1100 || Cooldown: 19/18/17/16/15 seconds

ar-eAzir dashes to one of his Sand Soldier, damaging enemies hit for 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.4 AP) magic damage and knocking them up for 0.5 seconds. If Azir hits an enemy champion, he stops and gains a 4 second shield that absords 60/100/140/180/220 (+ AP) (+15% of bonus Health) damage.

Emperor’s Divide [ R ]

Cost: 100 Mana || Range: 250 || Cooldown: 140/120/100 seconds

ar-rAzir summons a wall of armored soldiers that charge forward, knocking back enemies and dealing magic damage. The soldiers then remain as a wall for 5 seconds.

Enemies will be stopped by Emperor’s Divide, even if they attempt to dash over the wall, butAzir and his allies can pass freely and gain 20% movement speed for 1 second when they pass through the wall.

Emperor’s Divide does not interact with Azir’s basic attacks or spells.





Azir is a mid-lane mage who summons Shuriman soldiers to control the battlefield and basic attack for him. The soldier’s piercing basic attacks furnish most of Azir’s damage potential, making him an outlier amongst mages as a right-click-focused champion. Azir’s spells, on the other hand, manipulate his and his soldiers’ positions to keep him safe and establish dangerous no-go zones for his enemies.

Azir establishes shifting zones of power through soldier placement, gaining control of the lane and farming with their assistance. For instance, a soldier placed near the enemy’s caster minions dares a lane opponent to harass or farm through the piercing spear. When the opposing laner missteps, Azir commands the attack, repositioning soldiers with Conquering Sands to make the most of the opportunity. Once a favorable trade or two unlocks kill potential, Azir utilizes Shifting Sands, knocking the enemy champion up and setting himself up to compel a Conquering Sands and finish them off. When the (ancient) coin is flipped, a quick Arise! and Shifting Sands rushes Azir out of danger.

Add Azir’s ultimate to the mix and the Shuriman leader exercises even more zone control. To go for the kill, start off with Arise! and Shifting Sands to position Azir behind his opponent. From there, Emperor’s Divide drives the foe deep into Azir’s side of the map. Pushed so far into Azir’s territory, the opposing champ’s sure to meet their end at a spear’s tip. If offense proves temporarily unwise, Azir’s ult provides safe passage from a fight, building a wall between Azir and his pursuers.





As in lane, as in teamfights: Azir shines in battles tied to one physical location, where he can safely order his soldiers around and dispatch adversaries from afar. In that vein, Azir dominates Baron and Dragon fights, using his ultimate to lock enemy teams into (or out of) the pits. If teamfights take a roadtrip, Azir must be judicious with Arise! and Conquering Sands, moving his zone of control along with the combatants. Post-initiation, Azir’s an expert at punishing uncoordinated enemies. Shifting Sands—combined with Azir’s ultimate—separates enemy front-liners from their damage dealing dependents, dividing the enemy team for methodical conquering. With the baddies split, Azir charges his soldiers in for the kill, pumping out marksman-level sustained damage until none challenge his rule.

Azir dominates Baron and Dragon fights, using his ultimate to lock enemy teams into (or out of) the pits.

In jungle skirmishes, Azir sets up nasty ambushes with Conquering Sands, transforming convenient exits into spear-guarded gauntlets. Similarly, Emperor’s Divide wholly closes a jungle entrance, sealing Azir’s foes in with him. Trapped, they’re surely short work for Azir, his soldiers and their allies. If a fight goes south, Azir reliably disengages with his ultimate or beguiles baddies with Arise! and Shifting Sands, spiriting himself over a jungle wall.

Disc of the Sun doesn’t raise a turret quick enough to be of much use in teamfights, but sieges are a different story. When attacking enemy inhibitors, Azir can resurrect their inner turret, trapping the enemy team inside their crumbling base and making counter-engages a dangerous proposition. Conversely, when Azir’s base is under assault, Arise! and Shifting Sands help him jump the base wall and sneak around the siege to rebuild his own inner turret. Caught between the inhibitor turret and the Sun Disc, the enemy team can either scatter or be crushed.




Shurima Story


The story bits of the Shurima event detail Azir’s lore and the events that led to Xerath becoming a traitor:


“A thousand years ago, the glorious empire of Shurima shone like a second sun across the desert. Its emperor, Azir, was young but ambitious – and thus easily manipulated. Azir’s magus, Xerath, whispered in his ear that the ancient rite of Ascension would give the young emperor the power he craved. But Xerath stole Ascension’s power for himself, obliterating Azir and reducing the gleaming capital city to ruins in the process. Nasus and Renekton, brothers and legendary Ascended heroes, stopped Xerath – but the cost was high: at Renekton’s urging, Nasus entombed his beloved brother with the mad magus, to keep Xerath doubly contained in the buried ruins of Shurima for all eternity. Or so he believed. For now two adventurers seek the legendary Tomb of the Emperors…”


And here’s the event’s cinematic labeled “Descent into the Tomb“:


Scroll after scroll in Noxian libraries chronicle the power buried within Shurima. Now Cassiopeia thinks she’s found the key. Learn how the saga began.









The sands of Shurima have shifted the Crystal Scar, rendering the outer circle of the map impassable. You’ll need to use the Golden Transcendence trinket to teleport into the fray. Victory is earned through points and the first team to 200 wins the day.


Earning Points




Claim Ascension by taking down Ancient Ascendant Xerath in the center of the map, but be careful, you’ll need your whole team to battle him and claim the buff. The Ascension buff yields awe-inspiring power:

  • AD & AP

But the gifts of Ascension come with a price, as healing and regeneration effects are halved and the other team always retains vision of you. Once the Ascended falls, Ancient Ascendant Xerath will respawn shortly afterward, reigniting the struggle for Ascension!




Ascension RewardsClaiming one, three and five victories in Ascension will each earn you exclusive Shurima icons showing your battle prowess. For the mightiest amongst you, we’ve added the Perfect Ascension challenge, where your team must claim victory, earn the Ascension buff at least once and never allow the opposing team to hold the Ascension buff. For your flawless victory, you’ll earn the Perfect Ascension icon that won’t be available any other way. All of the icons will only be earned through matchmade Ascension games, custom matches will not count toward the unlocks.







As the battle rages on, choosing the platform you teleport to becomes increasingly important. If the enemy team is a marauding death squad with an Ascended Rengar bounding after your team, teleport away from the baddies and nab a Relic of Shurima to put some numbers on the board.




Corralling your allies into a roving kill team is an excellent way to rack up points and keep the momentum headed your direction, especially when you control the Ascension buff.





Think of Ancient Ascendant Xerath as a big blue Baron, except even stronger. You and your teammates should almost always contest Ancient Ascendant Xerath when the opposing team moves against him. The five points and buff are too powerful to ignore. Best of all, managing to steal the kill away from the enemy team will knock everyone away and restore your health, making for an easy escape and an utterly satisfying play.





Shurima Rewards




wardskin_27 wardskin_26 wardskin_25




Sun Disk Ward




Armordillo Ward Skin




[ Note ] Amumu’s ward skin makes a sighing noise when you place a ward.

Sad Mummy Ward SKin




250 RP / 1500 IP 






Win one game of Ascension






Win three games of Ascension






Win five games of Ascension






Win a game of Ascension where a member of your team ascended at least once and the enemy team never ascended.







An ancient obelisk overlooks the desert, its shadow dancing across the sand as day melts into night. At its pinnacle, a lone sentinel stands watch, its eyes igniting in the fading sunlight. The glow spreads as darkness seizes the sky, spilling across jade-pierced shoulders and down a pair of whetted claws. Centuries-old dust showers the monolith as the creature unfurls its wings and screeches into the night. Guardian of the Sands Kha’Zix still stands watch.



Patrol the desert with Guardian of the Sands Kha’Zix or collect the Shurima Crest Icon, available now in the League of Legends store for 975 RP and 250 RP (or 1500 IP until September 21) respectively.

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Amumu New Portrait
Cassiopeia New Portrait
Ezreal New Portrait
Nasus New Portrait
Rammus New Portrait
Renekton New Portrait
Sivir New Portrait
Skarner New Portrait
Xerath New Portrait
Zilean New Portrait


The following skins will all be 20% off until September 21st:


Chrome Rammus



Desperada Cassiopeia



Explorer Ezreal



Pharaoh Amumu 



Pharaoh Nasus



Sandscourge Skarner



Scorched Earth Renekton



Scorched Earth Xerath



Shurima Desert Zilean



Warrior Princess Sivir




Rewards F.A.Q


Q: Why Do I need to sign in?


Signing in lets us know who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve earned. Remember, when you play Ascension, you’re earning rewards that you redeem on the Shurima site!


Q: How do I earn Shurima rewards?


Sign in, play (and hopefully win) Ascension mode. By fulfilling these criteria, you’ll earn exclusive Shurima content:

  • Win one matchmade Ascension match to earn the Shuriman Acolyte icon
  • Win three matchmade Ascension matches to earn the Shuriman Master icon
  • Win five matchmade Ascension matches to earn the Shuriman Ascendant icon
  • Win an Ascension match wherein your team earns the Ascension buff at least once and the opposing team never earns the Ascension buff to earn the Perfect Ascension icon


Q: How do I redeem my rewards?


Well, first you need to sign in. If you’ve fulfilled the listed in-game criteria, head over to the tracking section of the Shurima site. Note that you’ll need to hit the buttons in order. For example, if it’s your first visit to the site, but you’ve already won five Ascension games, you’ll need to click the buttons for one win and three wins before unlocking the fully restored icon you earned for winning five.


Q: There’s a fifth icon, the Shurima Crest, how do I get that?


This one’s only available to purchase. For the length of the event, you can buy it for 250 RP or 1500 IP. It’ll remain available after the event ends, but will only be purchasable for 250 RP.


Q: When does the Shurima event end?


September 21, end of day in your territory.


Q: I clicked redeem. Where’s my stuff?


Your icons should show up within a day or two, but we have a feeling there’ll be a lot of ascending over the course of the Shurima event so you may have to wait just a bit longer.Q: What if I earn the rewards, but never click “Redeem”?
A few days after the event ends, we’ll do a sweep, rewarding everyone who’s earned the goods. You should definitely click the button because you’ll get your icons faster. Plus, clicking buttons feels good.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



News 10 09 Banner



TL;DR in featured comments.


Recent News

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Stale Meta Banner



If Melee is so problematic, why is the Marksman class the only mandatory role in pro-play

Ghostcrawler New PortraitIt seems apparent to me that League wasn’t designed with melee carry as a viable alternative to a Marksman. We have melee carries in the game, but they fill sort of a questionable role at the moment.

I’m not saying that’s how League should be, but in terms of why there is a must pick Marksmen in most games, the answer is tradition.

If you ask me how League should be, that’s a much larger question that requires a big discussion. For starters, maybe it would be nice if players picked positions (top, middle, bottom, jungle) but not roles for those positions. Would players be ready for something like that? Is there benefit in having the tacit agreement that if you pick a Marksman, she’s probably going bot? Would you want to see games with two Marskmen or none at all? Does that sound exciting or destablizing?

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The meta has

Ghostcrawler New PortraitRight, something like that. The current melee = top etc. setup has been in place for so long that teammates will call you out if you’re “doing it wrong” and they will certainly report it to us as something broken. (The pros are often more adventurous in trying what works rather than what is expected.)


But there are definitely benefits in having an assumed configuration. It’s easier to coordinate a pickup team for example because you can infer a lot of position intent just from their role choice. The question is whether those benefits outweigh some amount of fatigue for every game ending up melee-top, mage-mid, ADC-bottom.

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Follow Up
Ghostcrawler New PortraitI’m not saying players are ignorant and choose ADCs because they don’t know any better and cling to tradition. I’m saying Riot has ended up supporting ADC mandatory bottom because it’s a relatively stable configuration of the meta. There is no reason that has to be the only configuration. It’s just the one we have traditionally used for at least the last couple of years.

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Support means a team role, a Champion type and a position

Ghostcrawler New PortraitWe have discussed whether we should rename the role of support to something else (“utility?”) just to avoid the potential confusion there. So “support” would be a position, as you describe, when you share a lane but don’t go for CS, and could conceivably be performed by a melee like Alistar or a mage like Annie or a “role-formerly-known-as-support” like Sona.

It may cause more disruption just trying to change it though.

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LoL over the years has lost some of its replayability

Ghostcrawler New PortraitYes. This is exactly the sentiment we’re trying to improve for next season.

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Promo Series Banner



Promo Series should not exist and here’s why

Originally Posted by Lil Soybean View Post
Before we go on, let me ask you guys something honestly.
Recall the last time you reached a Series. Whether it be from Bronze IV to Bronze III, or Diamond II to Diamond I, it doesn’t matter – just think back to that time.

Now tell me, honestly – which of these two feelings were you leaning more towards?

1) Super excitement at how important these next matches are!
2) Extreme frustration at the possibility of feeders/trollers/AFK’ers in your following promo matches.

As I recall, it has been Riot’s stance in the past that they have Promo Series between divisions because it makes certain games feel more important and more exciting.
But with the end of the season coming up, I feel like one of the big changes for S5 should be removing the existence of Promotional Series.

Please, hear me out.

I honestly think the existence of Series is at the core for a lot of the games major issues. Trolls, feeders, AFKers, etc. would not be as harmful if Series didn’t exist, simply because they couldn’t completely ruin your work by forcing you to lose that one important series match. Toxicity and raging would be lessened in a similar way – if you’re super-anxious and frustrated because you’ve proved you deserved to be a rank up, but have to win a select few specific games in a Series just to actually go up that rank, then you’re more likely to rage/be toxic to people who don’t do well in that game. Why? Because the stakes are so much higher, for no good reason. Because you’re not just losing more LP from that one feeding botlaner, you’re losing your entire series. You’re not just losing more LP from that one ‘Diamond I Smurf Warwick Mid’. You’re losing your entire series.
While much of the player base is capable of handling these situations without resorting to toxicity, if a player is going to rage, it’s liable to be in that moment; when all of their hard work is crushed by one other allied player, because of the way Riot’s ‘Series’ System functions.

Another benefit of removing series is that it’d help destroy the concept of ‘ELO hell’, whether it exists or not, by making transition between divisions much smoother. Currently, a player could effectively win almost every single one of his games, but still be stuck in Bronze V because he had 1 or 2 AFKers on his team in each series. This situation is highly hypothetical and unlikely, but it isn’t unlikely that players are often screwed out of ranking up because of a troll/feeder/afker in their Promos. In fact, I’d say this probably happens a lot.

Last but not least, lag. Lag is obviously a major factor in winning or losing in a game like this, especially lately with all of the apparent DDOS attacks and major server lag spikes. The Loss Prevented system is helpful but we all know how unreliable it can be. Lose a game due to lag, lose full LP – win the next game, have your LP cut in half because of loss prevention? Those sort of issues. The biggest problem is that Loss Prevention doesn’t actually apply to series. Correct me if I’m wrong, but even if everyone in your game lags out and the servers are being DDOS attacked and Riot turns on Loss Forgiven, you’re STILL counted as having a ‘loss’ for that game in your Promo Series.

Basically, Promo Series increase the excitement of the game on a small scale, by making certain games more important. I believe Riot has specifically said this is their reason for wanting series in the game.

But that increase in ‘excitement’ comes at the cost of;
  • Increased stress & anxiety
  • Increased punishment from trolling teammates
  • Increased punishment from AFKing teammates
  • Increased punishment from feeding teammates
  • Increased toxicity
  • Increased rage
  • Increased belief in & rage over the concept of ‘ELO hell’
And finally, 

Increased factor of ‘random chance’ in determining your placement, rather than skill.

How is it worth it?

EDIT: An excellent compromise has been suggested. Keeping Promo Series only between ranks, but not between divisions. 
So, for example, there’d still be the increased stress & excitement of going from Platinum to Diamond, or even just Bronze to Silver – but you wouldn’t have to go through that stress for every division, between Bronze V, IV, III, etc.


Socrates New PortraitThanks for the feedback. A few of the reasons you called out for removing promos are issues that should be addressed across all ranked games and not just in promos. For example, whether you’re in promos or not, having somebody rage or AFK on your team isn’t a great experience. Also, lagging out in the middle of a ranked game whether you’re in promos or not totally sucks. 

We’ve been working with the player behavior team to create a more robust system to address behavior related issues in ranked. For example, we’re testing a feature on PBE called Ranked Restrictions that blocks players with a consistently negative behavior from playing ranked games. We will have more details to share on this in the coming weeks.

I’m not able to speak to lag issues in a super educated way, but I do know there is a team at work to address those issues. When we see connection issues, we enable compensation mode which forgives lost promos and lost LP, but still counts wins. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it does help shield players from a situation outside of their control.

One of the reasons you called out I disagree with. That is making ranked a more smooth experience. There is a bit more to series than just making the matches feel important and exciting. Division promotions reinforce the value of achieving competitive milestones. If we removed promotional series it would be easier to climb. In ranked easier doesn’t mean it’s strictly better though. Ranked play is about accepting the challenge of being measured by your skill. This is really what separates it from normals. Every change to make the system easier undermines what the accomplishments mean. What separates you from the players in lower tiers is not only the LP gains, but the series you fought through where you proved yourself and came out on top. 

If you consider the example you gave where a player is at the top of Bronze V and wins consistently, then fails to win his promos repeatedly, should he really qualify for Bronze IV? Probably not. If he’s going 1-1 assuming equal gains and losses he’s at 100 LP still. If he’s going 1-2 he’s lower than 100 LP, which is why LP can be lower after failing a series (especially in the case of going 0-2). There are a also number of safeties in place to ensure if you’re more than qualified to move on to the next tier you can either skip two tiers after completing your promos, or skip them entirely. If you’re in promos and not skipping it’s because the system isn’t confident enough in your skill to move you to the next tier yet.

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You can climb the ladder with winrate as low as 52

Socrates New PortraitThere is a misconception around this being true. In reality promotion series win rates are about ~47%.

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Win Streaks are counter-logical in SoloQ for a team game

Socrates New PortraitRanked solo isn’t for everybody, this is why it’s an opt in experience. Some players want to know how they measure up to the competition as an individual. It exists to serve this purpose. I challenge your assumption that solo queue position doesn’t reflect skill because it’s a team game though. Players consistently climb or fall to an accurate position on the ladder even after resets or when playing on alts. 

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Cass Rework Banner

Not familiar with Cassiopeia’s rework? Here’s the changelist.



If Twin Fang E lands on a dead target, will you be healed

STASHU New PortraitYes it should function in the improved way you describe here. If it’s not as forgiving as it needs to be, we can make it more so or less so as necessary. But yes, this problem was in the scope of these changes ;D

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You’re reversing Cassiopeia’s power curve and changing her

playstyle, when Cass players only wanted bugfixes

STASHU New PortraitGreat thinking here, you bring up a lot of interesting points. The ones I’m most interested in talking about are 1) 180 degree shift in play pattern , 2) that her damage is no longer reliant on her skill shots, and 3) that the update was just tacked on to bugfixes/reliability changes.


1) We tried to pay very careful attention to this one in our brainstorming. The reason the passive grants LOTS more stacks when hitting champions than minions/monsters is to preserve a lot of her old play pattern. That is, in order for lane bully Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently, and in order for scaling Cassiopeia to be successful, she needs to land her abilities on her lane opponent carefully and frequently. In terms of actual play pattern, not much has actually changed. The outputs (or, what her opponent notices) has changed a bit– Cassiopeia is less of a threat early in the game but more of a threat late game.

2) While her damage (number wise) will mostly come from her Twin Fang, she is entirely dependent on consistently landing Noxious Blast for both poison application and the movement speed to stay in range of Twin Fang. Miasma also helps her here, in much the same way.

So, where her damage is coming from in particular and at which points of the game her damage will be high arechanging, I think we’re preserving much of the traditional Cassiopeia play pattern.

3) So, I can definitely see how this update comes across as a misguided attempt at making a character ‘better’ for no good reason. I assure you, this is not the case! There were problems on Cassiopeia’s kit that, while not on the level of some other champions in the game, still needed to be addressed. Shurima and her texture update provided a great opportunity to do all of these things. I wont go deeply into the problems here, but they generally involve non-interactive lane bullying patterns, game-stalling, and problem with unsatisfying or under-appreciated DoTs (though, not by all people).

I hope all of this makes sense/seems fair. I also don’t seek to invalidate the concerns you expressed, as they are all certainly valid. I just wanted to provide some context on the changes and hopefully explain that there was a reason for everything. It’s true that all of this comes at costs, and as you explained, it may have left “her feeling like not-Cassiopeia for some people.” This is probably true for some people, and I’m sorry for that . However, in the end, I think Cassiopeia will still feel a lot like Cassiopeia in many of the ways that people love, express less problems than she has historically, and have a stronger identity overall. Time will certainly tell, and I promise to be around to make right anything that goes wrong.

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You’re turning Cassiopeia into a 2

STASHU New PortraitI could definitely see how some of the changes come across like this, but I’d have to disagree on a few points. Primarily, I think she has more of a kite pattern now than before, with her kiting tools having more power in their movementspeet related aspects and with her ult being more reliable.

I the end, it’s true, a lot of the math and comparison points for this update were ADCs, but I’m very confident that there are enough defining and distinct features in Cassiopeia’s gameplay (i.e, the way her kit comes together) to make her feel significantly different than ADCs.

As for mana, maintaining the mana to cast spells in lane should be very doable with some practice on priming minions with poison/basic attacks and last hitting them with E. If this turns out simply not to be true, then we’ll have to retune things accordingly.

I think we landed on a coherent kit that flows well, especially when you invest time into mastering it, so I encourage you to play around with it a bit. I really do hope that you enjoy it, as it definitely makes me sad to disappoint Cassiopeia players 

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Will Cassiopeia’s passive stack additively with Deathcap

STASHU New PortraitSo this is a little unclear, but the way these stack is as follows:

Base AP.
Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Archmage on top of Aspect of the Serpent AP boost.
Deathcap on top of Archmage and Aspect of the Serpent AP boosts.

So, the way the numbers break down, when both Deathcap and her passive are both giving 30% amped AP, Deathcap will actually be giving more, numerically, because it stacks on top of her passive.

Does that make sense?

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Why are you focusing her passive around farming

STASHU New PortraitIt’s not a farming passive D=. Well, it does include farming but…

The minion/monster farming part of the passive functions almost entirely as a fallback pattern. Though, it does come across as being the primary stacking mechanism. I found this very difficult to solve through messaging, but I assure you, if you crunch the numbers or just play enough games on her you’ll quickly realize that farming minions/monsters in hopes of stacking your passive is MUCH less efficient than hitting enemy champions with your abilities.

The minion/monster part of it is just so that when you can’t find any champions to fight, you have something to do to work towards your end goal. If this wasn’t the case, enemy champions could just play keep away all game and you’d get reallllly frustrated. That said, this is still an effective way of slowing down Cassiopeia, but at least she won’t be full-stopped.

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Suggestion Cassiopeia’s passive to evolve her spells

Cassiopeia gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent 
for each second that an enemy champion is poisoned, 
for each poisoned unit that she kills and when she 
hits an enemy champion with Twin Fang, 
up to a max. of 400 stacks.

  • 75 STACKS: 5% increased ability power.
  • 150 STACKS: 10% increased ability power.
  • 225 STACKS: 15% increased ability power.
  • 300 STACKS: 20% increased ability power.
  • 350 STACKS: 25% increased ability power.
  • 400 STACKS: 30% increased ability power.

At start of the game, and for each milestone she will also get 
an evolution point. These points can be spent on 7 
different upgrades. She will eventually get every 
upgrade, but the order is completely player dependent.
(Sort of like how Kha’Zix evolves)

  • Twin Fang now heals for 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 16 (+ 10% AP).
  • 25% bonus cooldown reduction.
  • 15 (+ 2% AP) bonus flat movement speed.
  • +15 HP/lvl (+ 25% AP)
  • 150 bonus range to Noxious Blast
  • 3 second lower cooldown to Miasma

Latent Venom – 5% of the damage from her basic abilities will be
added as Latent Venom, which will then burst 4 seconds after
the last damage taken from these abilities, refreshing with every new
instance of damage. (Imagine a refreshing Zed ult)


STASHU New PortraitI have to say, this is super exciting. However, if the passive we landed on had complexity costs, boy does this one haha. It would be fun to try something more like this, but it would require implementing all sorts of new systems to work with evolving a trait from a pool of 7 and all sorts of stuff like that, which the game currently doesn’t support. Maybe this could be a cool project some time in the future, but seems unlikely for now.

That said, I like the way you think!

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Why did you give her power spikes at

STASHU New PortraitWe actually had a version like you describe in testing, and the first version of Cassiopeia to hit PBE did this smooth scaling for the AP bonus. However, neither tested well, as the incremental increases were simply unappreciable, and other bonuses are intended to come into effect at specific points in the game and not until then. The stack mechanism and numbers that we landed on solved all this pretty well.

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In teamfights, Cass will be using

STASHU New PortraitIt’s true, things might be overtuned. However, itemizing one large many item (seraphs or RoA, say) allows you to over come this pretty handily because of how valuable they make the mana restore. As you grow your mana pool, you grow the rate at which you recover it, which should mean that both Cassiopeia has more ‘ammo’ and takes less time to ‘recharge’ as the game goes on. 

But it’s true, we’ll have to see if the numbers are just a little off.

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Her ability icons should be updated as well

STASHU New PortraitTotally agree here, but sadly they are on the backburner for now (they are there, though).

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You should be responding to criticism of the rework

STASHU New PortraitYeah, this seems to be how everyone is reacting. I see that I replied to one particularly positive one, and can see how that drew some suspicion. Though, I believe the rest of my posts have largely been in response to dissenting opinions. Maybe I’m wrong here. If that’s the case, I’m really sorry, that wasn’t my intention =[

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Is her new passive adjusted for Dominion

SSTASHU New Portraithe has not been adjusted on alternate maps. We could take an awkward stab at the numbers and hope they are close, but we simply don’t have enough data on how she would perform on those maps to make an accurate guess. The levers are in place to adjust her accordingly (namely, the number for her breakpoints changing based on the map), so we should have an easy time adjusting her for the different maps as we get more information.

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There should be visible particles for her passive stages

STASHU New PortraitI totally agree with you on clarity. There should be some particles in to more accurately represent this, like a poison explosion around her when it happens and snakes spiraling around her for each tier she has hit.

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Dominion Banner



If you don't want to support alternate game types, why did Twisted Treeline get a Ranked queue

Lyte New PortraitA lot of players have mentioned that “indication of improvement” and Ranked as a measurement of skill might be key drivers of player growth, but I haven’t found that to be a compelling argument for a few reasons.

One, when we look at Normal Summoner’s Rift versus Ranked Summoner’s Rift, we can see that most players prefer to play Normal Summoner’s Rift (and that the queue has done really well over the course of time).

It may surprise some, but Ranked is not the the mode the majority of players play! Although I agree that some players would play Dominion more if there was progression and a measurement of skill in something like Ranked, to say that it would drive general player growth is a stretch because most players prefer not being faced with high-intensity, high-stakes games every time they play League.

In fact, depending on how you slice the data, it’s possible that removing MMR in Dominion/Normal Summoner’s Rift actually increased the engagement of these modes because you’re removing the constant “stakes” in each match. 

Regarding Twisted Treeline Ranked, in retrospect, it’s hard to say whether it was the right choice. As a games studio, I think it’s OK sometimes to admit mistakes, and try to learn from them. Game design and game development is really hard, and it’s pretty difficult to predict exactly how players will receive a new feature, system or queue. In the old days, it seemed obvious that we should open a Ranked version of Twisted Treeline, but did it actually damage the overall growth of Twisted? Did players get frustrated with the queue times and lopsided matches, and quit Twisted altogether? These are key questions that help us learn from the choices we make.

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ARAM succeeded because it was heavily advertized

Lyte New PortraitI intend on reading the full post, but am curious about this point. How do you explain the growth of ARAM when it was a Custom Game? This was before the blog post, before being able to queue for it, before any support at all.

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How about replacing Normal Draft Dominion with Ranked

Lyte New PortraitThis is another interesting data point. If there was a large number of Normal Draft Dominion players, you might be able to argue that most of these players would be interested in Ranked Dominion and that would be the “starting” playerbase of Ranked Dominion plus some additional group of incoming players. 

However, Normal Draft Dominion is completely unplayed and has never had any engagement. In fact, after reviewing the data, we should probably close Normal Draft Dominion completely.

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Has Dominion's population ever drastically

Lyte New PortraitI didn’t see any times when Dominion’s population drastically rose. However, the official release of Howling Abyss did reduce the numbers on Dominion. This could suggest that players that enjoy “alternative” maps that have different pacing prefer Howling Abyss to Dominion, and that these maps fill the same need for these players. I understand that some players might think of Dominion as a competitive map, but it might not be the majority opinion. For example, I bet there are some players that think Howling Abyss is a competitive map and would prefer to play Ranked Howling Abyss too–but, it’d be a far stretch to say the majority of players think that way.

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How has ARAM's popularity fared over time

Lyte New PortraitHowling Abyss has done really well over time. 

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How many players prefer Normals to Ranked Games

Lyte New PortraitUnfortunately, I can’t release the exact orders of magnitude, but the vast majority of players still prefer Normals compared to Ranked.

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How has Team Builder affected queue populations

Lyte New PortraitInterestingly, Team Builder hasn’t pulled much from the alternative maps like Dominion and Twisted Treeline. Team Builder has mainly split the Normal Blind Pick population, which is something we’re very sensitive to. We have some key design choices we want to make in Team Builder to make the queues as fast as Blind Pick, and want to see how these changes play out before discussing the replacement of Blind Pick. For example, we may run some experiments where we do have players only select Position and see if the experiences are just as positive, but queue times are much lower.

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Are players not punished after being reported in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitThis is false. Players aren’t immune in any mode.

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Any short-term solution to Bot accounts in Dominion

Lyte New PortraitYes, we’re working on a few short-term things to combat Bots in Dominion. Drevarius is a designer that has been working on that problem. As you might know, we usually don’t discuss anti-hacking or anti-botting measures because it typically is an arms race.

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Ranked gives legitimacy to modes and ups their popularity

Lyte New PortraitIntroducing Ranked Dominion might translate to an increase in the population that plays Normals, but the question is what the increase might be? Secondly, would the increase in Normal Dominion players be enough to compensate and overcome the pull that Ranked Dominion would have on current Normal Dominion players? 

As an aside, realistically, turning on new queues isn’t as simple as flipping switches. Rioters might have trivialized this in the past, but as someone directly involved in Team Builder, new queues require continuous monitoring and maintenance by a team.

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Single Posts banner



Master Tier now live on NA

Socrates New PortraitHey all, with the launch of Master Tier Diamond players may notice some changes to their LP gains and losses. Here’s what is going on in these cases:

* The top 200 challenger spots were protected by a concept called ‘clamping’ before Master Tier was introduced. This ensured the top 200 dudes on the server had both the highest LP and MMR. This greatly slowed gains and losses, making small gains appear normal. Removing clamping means gains (both up and down) are more fluid now. Since in some cases clamping was actually protecting players from falling down too quickly, these players will see some larger losses and smaller gains until they’re back where the system expects them to be.

* In other tiers (bronze – plat) league standing is a very accurate mapping of player skill, but there is a buffer to slow players LP losses temporarily if they start to go on a losing trend. Since clamping was removed, but challenger and master must contain the very best players, the loss shielding is thinner in diamond than other tiers. In other words, gains and losses can feel more swingy.

Gains should become more stable over time. We’ll be monitoring how LP changes stabilize over the next few days and evaluating if we need to make adjustments or not based on the results.

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Patch Rundown – 4 16

Want to check Patch 4.16′s notes? Here’s a link:






If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Skin on Sale New Banner


An ancient obelisk overlooks the desert, its shadow dancing across the sand as day melts into night. At its pinnacle, a lone sentinel stands watch, its eyes igniting in the fading sunlight. The glow spreads as darkness seizes the sky, spilling across jade-pierced shoulders and down a pair of whetted claws. Centuries-old dust showers the monolith as the creature unfurls its wings and screeches into the night. Guardian of the Sands Kha’Zix still stands watch.



Patrol the desert with Guardian of the Sands Kha’Zix or collect the Shurima Crest Icon, available now in the League of Legends store for 975 RP and 250 RP (or 1500 IP until September 21) respectively.

[ Link to Post ]


Guardian of the Sands Kha’Ziz Video Preview



Sorry, I wasn’t able to cover this skin, so no extra PBE screenshots from me.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



PBE 09 09 Banner


PBE 09/09 Content:


Reminder: The PBE is a testing ground for changes. What you see here may not reflect what you see in Patch Notes. Remember that developers want your feedback so if you disagree with a change, you can always submit your thoughts on the PBE Community Forums.



Order of the Lotus Karma Skin


[ Note ] Karma’s new skin is priced at 975 RP.

Lotus Karma Model


Lotus Karma Mantra State

Order of the Lotus Karma in her Mantra‘d state.


Lotus Karma Recall

For her recall animation, Lotus Karma fans herself and a string instrument plays.


Inner Flame Lotus Karma

Inner Flame [ Q ]


Focused Resolve Lotus Karma

Focused Resolve [ W ]


 Inspire Lotus Karma

 Inspire [ E ]



Soulflare 1Soulflare 2 Souflare 3Soulflare 4

Soulflare [ Mantra Q ]


Lotus Karma Mantra E 1

Lotus Karma Mantra E 2

Defiance [ Mantra E ]


Viktor Rework


Viktor New Portrait



  • Basic attack frames sped up


Evolving Technology PassiveGlorious Evolution [ Passive ]

Viktor starts with a Prototype Hex Core that he can upgrade 3 times for 1000 gold each. Each upgrade grants +25 AP, +150 Mana and +1 AP per level, cumulating in +75AP, +6 AP per level, +500 Mana for the Perfect Hex Core.

Each upgrade will allow Viktor to augment one of his basic abilities and when Viktor has upgraded all 3, the Chaos Storm will be augmented also.


Power Transfer New IconSiphon Power [ Q ]

Cooldown10/8.5/7/5.5/4 seconds || Mana Cost: 45/50/55/60/65 || Range: 700 

Viktor blasts an enemy unit for 40/60/80/100/120 (+0.2AP) magic damage, granting him a 30/50/70/90/110 (+0.2AP) damage shield for 2.5 seconds. Viktor’s next basic attack deals 15-250 (scales with Viktor’s level) (+0.5 AP) bonus magic damage. 

Augment – Turbocharge: Viktor gains 30% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds.


Gravity Field New IconGravity Field [ W ]

  • Same spell, except for: 
  • Range increased from 625 to 700
  • Particle starts playing as soon as Viktor starts cast, time between start of cast and enemy being slowed is unchanged
  • Stunned enemies are no longer affected by the slow

Augment – Implosion: Enemies stunned by Gravity Field are dragged to the center.


Death Ray New IconDeath Ray [ E ]

  • Augment: Explosion  Instead of a DoT damage, an explosion now follows the laser, dealing 70/115/160/205/250 (+ 0.7 AP) magic damage to enemies caught in the AoE. Enemies already hit by the laser will take 40% damage from the explosion.



Chaos Storm New IconChaos Storm [ R ]

Cooldown: 120/110/100 seconds || Mana Cost: 100 || Range: 700

Viktor conjures a singularity at target location, dealing 150/250/350 (+ 0.55 AP) magic damage and interrupting enemy channels.

Viktor can redirect the singularity for 7 seconds, causing 30/60/90 (+0.2 AP) magic damage every second to nearby enemies. The singularity will move slower as it attempts to move farther away from Viktor.

Augment – Velocity: Chaos Storm moves 20% faster. 

  • Cast time reduced from 0.33 seconds to 0.25
  • Radius of initial impact increased from 250 to 325
  • Radius of DOT zone reduced from 350 to 325
  • Storm always moves at maximum speed when moving towards Viktor
  • DOT damage interval increased from 0.25 seconds to 0.5
  • No longer silences on impact, interrupts channels instead



New Viktor Icons


From left to right: Passive, Q, W, E and R. Bottom row are the “augmented” versions of Viktor’s abilities.

Viktor_Passive (1)

Viktor_Q1 Viktor_W1 Viktor_E1 Viktor_R1

Viktor_Q2 Viktor_W2 Viktor_E2 Viktor_R2



Soraka Rework


Soraka New Portrait



  • Base HP reduced from 405 to 400 (lvl 0)
  • HP-per-level increased from 76 to 80
  • Mana pool increased from 240 to 250
  • Mana-per-second increased from 1.36 to 1.56
  • Base Movement Speed decreased from 340 to 325
  • Base Magic Resist increased from 30 to 32
  • Base Armor increased to 18 from 17
  • HP-per-second decreased from 0.9 to 0.7
  • HP-per-second per level increased from 0.11 to 0.16

Luminary New IconLuminary [ Passive ]

Salvation: Soraka gain 70% Bonus Movement Speed when running towards allies who are below 40%.

Touch of the Cosmos: Soraka converts 20% of her Bonus Magic Resist and Bonus Armor into Ability Power.


Starcall New IconStarcall [ Q ]

Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds || Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 Mana

Calls down a star at target location. Enemies standing in the explosion radius take 70/110/150/190/230 (+0.35 AP) magic damage. Enemies standing in the center take 150% damage ( 105/165/225/285/345 (+0.52 AP) ) and are slowed by 20/25/30/35/40% for 2 seconds.


Soraka New Q


Astral Infusion New IconAstral Infusion [ W ]

Cooldown: 4 / 3.5 / 3 / 2.5 / 2 seconds || Cost: 10% of Max HP  + 20/25/30/35/40 Mana || Range: 450

Active: Restores 110/140/170/200/230 (+0.6 AP) Health to target ally. Cannot be cast if Soraka is below 5% Health.
Passive: Each enemy Champion hit by Starcall heals Soraka for 20/30/40/50/60 ( +0.4 AP) – 40/60/80/100/120 ( +0.4 AP ), depending on Soraka’s missing HP.


Equinox New IconEquinox [ E ]

Cooldown: 18/17/16/15/14 seconds || Cost: 80 Mana || Range: 925

On Enemy Cast: Creates a zone at target location for 1.5 seconds. Enemies standing in the zone are silenced until they leave. When the zone disappears, all enemies still standing on the zone are rooted for 1/1.3/1.5/1.8/2 second(s).


Soraka New E


Wish New IconWish [ R ]

Cooldown: 160/145/130 Seconds || Cost: 100 Mana || Range: Global

Calls upon divine powers to restore 150/250/350 (+0.55 AP) Health to all allied Champions. Wish’s power is increased by 50% on each Champion below 40% Health.




New Splash Arts


Classic Viktor




Viktor_0 Viktor_Square_0



New Summoner Icons


profileIcon693 profileIcon694



Champion Changes


Rammus New Portrait


Powerball New IconPower Ball [ Q ] 

  • Activating Defensive Ball Curl while in Power Ball will now continue the Power Ball for one second instead of canceling it instantly (doesn’t add extra duration to Power Ball).


Defensive Ball Curl New IconDefensive Ball Curl [ W ]

  • Activating Power Ball while in Defensive Ball Curl will now continue the Defensive Ball Curl for one second instead of canceling it instantly (doesn’t add extra duration to Defensive Ball Curl).



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at



Patch 4 16 Notes Banner


Patch 4.16 is coming tomorrow; here are the changes listed:


Patch 4.16 Notes:


Schedule for Patch 4.16 Maintenance:

Patch-4-16-Maintenance-Banner (2)

Scarizard New PortraitHey y’all,

Welcome to patch 4.16! We’ve got a sizeable Gameplay Update to everyone’s favorite snake lady Cassiopeia, but aside from that we’re going pretty light on the balance side. Similar to 4.15, a lot of the changes you’ll see below are focused on smoothing out some champion interactions, or just plain ol’ bugfixin’ goodness (Check out the context below for what’s happening with Wall-Slams!)

For all things non-balance though, we’ve got a little more meat for you. First up, in addition to her Gameplay Update we mentioned earlier, Cassiopeia is joined by Renekton for updates to their visuals! Follow that up with new base splash arts for the desert-dwelling duo and Akali and Orianna, and this patch is set to delight all the art fans out there.

As we mentioned last patch, we’ve started patching some finished pieces of Summoner’s Rift to the live environment in order to minimize the size (and download times) of the eventual Summoner’s Rift launch patch. These pieces aren’t usable and we don’t have an official release date – for now these pieces will just be preemptively sitting on your hard drives.

That’s it for me! Check out the full breakdown in the notes below, and be careful out on the Rift – there’s been a lot of sandstorms recently…

[ Link to Post ]

Ascension, our next Featured Game Mode, is coming shortly after the release of patch 4.16! More information soon – keep an eye out for all the details!


[ ANNOUNCEMENT VISUAL UPDATE ] In-game announcements (killing sprees, map objectives, etc.) have received a visual update!
[ SHIELD CLARITY ] Minion and turret health bars now display shield strength


New Champion - Azir, The Emperor of the Sands


Azir Model

Azir All Emotes

All of Azir’s emotes. He does a fitting chicken dance for his joke.

Azir Passive

Will of the Emperor [ Passive ]

Azir Basic Attack

Basic Attack

Azir W

Arise! [ W ]

Azir Q

Conquering Sands [ Q ]

Azir E

Shifting Sands [ E ]

Azir R

Emperor’s Divide [ R ]


Azir New Portrait

  • Damage: 43 (+ 2.8 per level)
  • Health: 390 (+ 80 per level)
  • Mana: 280 (+ 42 per level)
  • Attack Speed: 0.6 (+1.5% per level)
  • Movement Speed: 330
  • Armor: 14 (+ 3 per level)
  • Magic Resist: 30
  • Health-Per-5: 6 (+ 0.55 per level)
  • Mana-Per-5: 6.5 (+ 0.65 per level)
  • Range: 525

Will of the Emperor [ Passive ]

ar-passiveWill of the Emperor: Azir gains 1.25% Attack Speed for every 1% Cooldown Reduction he has.

Disc of the Sun -Azir can summon the Sun Disk from the ruins of a turret once every 3 minutes. The Sun Disc behaves like a normal turret but disintegrates over 1 minute. Click the ruins of a turret to activate Disc of the Sun. The ruins of an enemy Nexus and Inhibitor turrets are immune to this ability.

Conquering Sands [ Q ]

ar-qCost: 70 Mana || Range: 800 || Cooldown: 10/9/8/8/7 seconds

Azir sends all Sand Soldiers toward a target location. Sand Soldiers deal 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.5 AP) magic damage to all enemies they pass through and apply a stacking 20% slow for 1 second.

Arise! [ W ]

Cost: 40 Mana || Range: 450 || Cooldown: 1.5 seconds

ar-wAzir summons a Sand Soldier for 9 seconds. When Azir attacks an enemy in a soldier’s range, the soldier attacks instead of Azir, dealing (+0.7 AP) magic damage to enemies in a line. Soldiers attack even if Azir himself isn’t in basic attack range.

Azir can store up to 2 Sand Soldiers at a time. A new soldier becomes available once every X second. Moving too far away from soldiers deactivates them. Sand Soldiers expire twice as fast when near an enemy turret.

Shifting Sands [ E ]

Cost: 60 Mana || Range: 1100 || Cooldown: 19/18/17/16/15 seconds

ar-eAzir dashes to one of his Sand Soldier, damaging enemies hit for 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.4 AP) magic damage and knocking them up for 0.5 seconds. If Azir hits an enemy champion, he stops and gains a 4 second shield that absords 60/100/140/180/220 (+ AP) (+15% of bonus Health) damage.

Emperor’s Divide [ R ]

Cost: 100 Mana || Range: 250 || Cooldown: 140/120/100 seconds

ar-rAzir summons a wall of armored soldiers that charge forward, knocking back enemies and dealing magic damage. The soldiers then remain as a wall for 5 seconds.

Enemies will be stopped by Emperor’s Divide, even if they attempt to dash over the wall, butAzir and his allies can pass freely and gain 20% movement speed for 1 second when they pass through the wall.

Emperor’s Divide does not interact with Azir’s basic attacks or spells.


Azir Voice-over (full credit to SkinSpotlights)



Login Screen Animation




New Splash Arts


Classic Akali


Akali_Splash_0 (1)


Classic Cassiopeia


Cassiopeia_Splash_0 (1)


Classic Orianna




Classic Renekton


Renekton_Splash_0 (1)



New Summoner Icons


profileIcon692 profileIcon691 profileIcon690 profileIcon689 profileIcon688



Extra Shurima Lore


Several Champions have received extra lore to indicate their connection to the desert plains of Valoran.


Amumu New Portrait


Amumu is a diminutive, animated cadaver who wanders the world, trying to discover his true identity. He rose from an ancient Shuriman tomb bound in corpse wrappings with no knowledge of his past, consumed with an uncontrollable sadness.


Cassiopeia New Portrait


“Cassiopeia is a terrifying creature – half woman, half snake – whose slightest glance brings death. The youngest daughter of one of Noxus’ most influential families, she was once a beautiful and cunning temptress capable of manipulating the hardest heart. Transformed by the venom of an ancient Shuriman tomb guardian, she continues to serve Noxian interests as she always has, just in a more… visceral way.”


Ezreal New Portrait


The intrepid young adventurer Ezreal has explored some of the most remote and abandoned locations on Runeterra. During an expedition to the buried ruins of ancient Shurima, he recovered an amulet of incredible mystical power. Likely constructed to be worn by one of the Ascended, the enormous talisman nonetheless fit snugly upon his arm, amplifying his raw sorcerous skill to such an extent that he’s gained the reputation of a hero, much to his embarrassment.


Nasus New Portrait


To some, Nasus is a demigod who walks among the ruins of an ancient civilization; to others, he is nothing more than a myth. Legend speaks of his dominion over death and time. Millennia ago, he stood at the apex of Shuriman society as curator and guardian. He now roams the arid wastes, seeking to release his brother Renekton from the grip of madness.


Rammus New Portrait


The mysteries that surround Rammus are numerous. How did a simple creature of the desert suddenly become able to reason? How did he craft his vaunted suit of armor? What is he searching for as he crosses the Shuriman desert? One thing is for certain: trying to stop the inexorable Rammus is a fool’s mission.


Renekton New Portrait


Renekton was once a staunch gatekeeper of ancient Shurima, but in the centuries since the fall of that once-glorious empire, he has been consumed by madness. Now, he is little more than a rage-fueled beast who seeks to kill his brother Nasus, who he believes is to blame for his current state of mind.


Sivir New Portrait


Known as the Battle Mistress, Sivir is a mercenary with a ruthless reputation. Combining unflinching bravery with endless ambition, she has garnered great fame and fortune. Faced with the revelation of her mysterious heritage, Sivir must weigh her desire to continue on her own path, or accept the burden of a greater legacy.


Skarner New Portrait


Skarner, the crystalline guardian, defends the entrance to a realm deep beneath the Shuriman wastes. The few who survive trespassing his domain describe a creature of terrifying intelligence, anger, and precision. What this merciless creature protects, no one knows.


Xerath New Portrait


Powerful beyond reckoning, the ascended being known as Xerath was once a mortal of flesh and blood. He is now something vastly different – a being of writhing arcane energy. Having emerged from millennia-spanning imprisonment, he is now ready to unleash his power upon Runeterra, and utterly destroy any who oppose him.



Cassiopeia Rework


Cassiopeia New Portrait


  Deadly Cadence New IconAspect of the Serpent [ Passive ]

New passive: Cassiopeia gains a stack of Aspect of the Serpent for each second that an enemy champion is poisoned and for each poisoned unit that she kills. Her ability power is increased by 1% for every 25 stacks, up to a max of 375 stacks. (Old Passive removed)

  • At 50 stacks, Twin Fang now heals Cassiopeia for 6/8/10/12/16 (+0.1 ability power)
  • At 150 stacks, Cassioepeia gains 30% CDR
  • At 375 stacks, the AP bonus from Aspect of the Serpent is doubled.


Noxious Blast New IconNoxious Blast [ Q ]

Provides Cassiopeia more movement speed later in the game but, in turn, deals less damage overtime.

  • Damage: 75/115/155/195/235 (+0.35 ability power)
  • Movement speed: 10/15/20/25/30%
  • Cooldown: 4 seconds
  • Mana cost: 40/45/50/55/60
  • Delay increased by 0.05 seconds


Miasma New IconMiasma [ W ]

Now a notably more powerful slow tool but has a higher cooldown and deals less damage overtime.

  • Damage per second: 10/15/20/25/30 (+0.1 ability power)
  • Cooldown: 14/13/12/11/10 seconds
  • Mana cost: 40/50/60/70/80
  • Slow: 15/22.5/30/37.5/45%


Twin Fang New IconTwin Fang [ E ]

Is now MUCH more reliable when checking for poisoned targets and has a higher AP ratio later in the game. Also, now grants mana upon killing a unit.

  • Damage: 55/80/105/130/155 (+0.4/0.45/0.5/0.55/0.6 ability power)
  • Mana cost: 30/45/60/75/90
  • Utility: Now refunds its mana cost plus an additional 3% of Cassiopeia’s total mana when it kills a unit.
  • Usability: Now has additional checks in place to see if target was poisoned.


Petrifying Gaze New IconPetrifying Gaze [ R ]

  • Damage: 150/250/350 (+0.5 ability power)
  • Cooldown: 120/110/100



Cassiopeia Texture Update


Cassiopeia Model

Cassiopeia Model 2


Renekton Texture Update

[ Note ] The lower polygon count is done to preserve clarity and mesh better with the art style of the new Summoner’s Rift.

Renekton Texture Update 2

Renekton Texture Update


Upcoming Ward Skins

Following the release of the new Shurima-based game mode – Ascension – and the extra Shurima lorea lot of Champions got, here are some thematic wards.


wardskin_27 wardskin_26 wardskin_25


Sun Disk Ward Skin


Sun Disk Ward


Armordillo Ward Skin


Armordillo Ward Skin


Sad Mummy Ward Skin


[ Note ] Amumu’s ward skin makes a sighing noise when you place a ward.


Sad Mummy Ward SKin



Match History

  • The graphs below the scoreboard have been collectively labelled as the Match Overview tab.
  • We’ve added a tab for Player Builds. This tab will retroactively populate for all matches played since the release of patch 4.14, displaying:
    • Item Purchase Order (including item selling)
    • Ability Order (including Kha’Zix evolutions)
    • Runes
    • Masteries
  • The Match Data section has been moved into its own tab, labeled Statistics.
  • The advantage graph in the Match Overview tab now shows point advantage instead of gold advantage for Dominion (as well as the upcoming Ascension featured game mode). This change will apply to matches played from 4.16 onward.



  • Fixed various bugs with the patcher and landing page update
  • We’ve made a number of adjustments and fixes to the reskinned chat system based on your feedback:
    • Private chat windows once again display online presence
    • Group chat rosters now indicate online presence as well
    • Increased the size of group chat windows
    • Both private and group chat windows can be minimized by clicking the chat window header bar
    • The friend list scroll bar is now easier to click and drag
  • The Reconnect button should now always display for players who crash out of a game
  • Fixed a bug where dragon was dealing more damage than intended
  • Fixed an issue that caused enemy item purchases to sporadically never update on the scoreboard
  • Fixed a bug where, for a given trap ability, the in-game model of some (not all) placed traps permanently disappeared for players who reconnected to a match



Guardian of the Sands Kha'Zix Skin


Khazix_Splash_2 (2)



Galactic Azir Skin


Azir_Splash_1 (1)



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo or e-mail me at