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Riotchun Patch 4 point 9 Forecast Banner

Riotchun has shared on the forums what we can expect from Patch 4.9 in terms of balance.



Hi guys, here is Chun with 4.9 Patch Forecast, where I’ll be talking about the major issues we’re looking at in League of Legends. Keep in mind that the forecast is more about identifying problems that we’re looking at, and not promises of changes to come in each patch. Some changes might take longer than others!


Khazix New Portrait


As Jag mentioned in last forecast ( ), we have been working on Kha’Zix. Currently Kha’Zix is being played and built like a brute-force fighter who can initiate a team fight while also being able to survive to clean it up. Assassins in League need to rely on fighters or tanks to initiate fights before they take the opportunity to engage, but Kha’Zix is able to do it all by himself, which gives him a lot of free power. We’re looking at highlighting Kha’Zix’s assassin powers over his fighter abilities.

As a side goal, some of Kha’Zix’s evolutions are really powerful and certain ones are really weak (hello W), so we want to make all 4 of his evolutions compete with each other (maybe not equally, but situationally), so you can choose the evolution to adapt what you need it in certain phases of games.


Kassadin New Portrait


As a rework follow up, we’ve been keeping track of Kassadin as he continues to become a more and more dominant force. We think we released Kassadin in a good state but then gave him a little too much strength as we saw players struggling with the new kit. The buffs taught players how to play the updated Kass, so we’re peeling back the layers we added to get him back to a correct power level.


New Portrait Kayle


Kayle right now is being played as an AP-scaling supportive mobile ADC because of her consistent burst, her high ramping damage and her high utility. What this also does is give her very few weaknesses as she can shred everyone in the fight while staying just out of range to use her Intervention on a teammate. We’re looking at ways to give Kayle some real weaknesses to compensate for her high strengths so she needs to think about how she gets into the fray.


LeBlanc New Portrait


As mentioned in 4.7 forecast, we’re continuing to look into LeBlanc. Some of the things we like about LeBlanc are her high precision, her skill requirements, and her trickiness. Unfortunately she’s doing all of this along with having crazy high burst damage without any counterplay for the enemy. LeBlanc has so much damage that in competitive play she doesn’t even need a Deathfire Grasp to burst down enemies (and DFG is potentially overboard at doing this). This tells us that LeBlanc is scaling very well (too well?) as a burst champion, and we’re trying to find a way to balance her tricky / precise burst while making her fair to play against.


Braum New Portrait


As a follow -up to a newly released champion, Braum is a little too powerful at this point. We are happy with what he can do for his team in team fights as a shield man, but meanwhile he is getting very tanky too quickly and he’s a strong lane bully at same time. When we release champions we have to think about how players will get used to their playstyle, but people were mastering Braum very quickly so we’re keeping an eye on his performance across all levels of play.


New Portrait Pantheon


Grand Skyfall was always intended to be a high risk, high reward – a high damage global ability that’s inconsistent. We’ve never been a fan of Pantheon’s ability to cast spells while landing (which made his ult very reliable), but as he’s gotten more into the spotlight, we finally decided to make the fix (and then forgot to document it, which was a big mistake). Either way, we’ve fixed the bug with Pantheon’s ult where he could be affected by AoE abilities before he lands, but we’re still trying to find a good way to make Grand Skyfall feel good to use without directly buffing its power levels (Pantheon has actually been pretty stable from some of our internal statistics).


Jungle XP New Portrait


We have bigger plans for the jungle, but currently we’re seeing problems where junglers are getting really far ahead of the game, especially if they have a strong start. We think it might have to do with lane EXP versus monster EXP, as lane minion EXP doesn’t scale with average champion level, but jungle monster EXP does. Basically a snowballing jungler gets his teammates some kills, they get levels and bring up the average level of the game, and then the jungler gets even more experience as he clears camps for additional rewards. No other lanes get this kind of bonus, and we’ve always been aware of strong junglers controlling the pace of the game, so we’re looking for ways to tone that down.



Q: Isn’t the lower Jungle XP a nerf to tanky support junglers, who are already weak in the current meta?


SmashGizmo Button Rioter SmashGizmo: I get your concern here and just wanted to offer up a couple responses.

The first is that while it’s true that this will also be a slight nerf to jungle support tanks, the relative nerf is much lighter on them than it is on fighter/assassin junglers. Basically, this XP scaling ramped up as the game ramped up, meaning that it has a very minimal impact on the first 6 levels of the game and was mostly impacting the XP from camps in the mid to late game. During these later phases of the game, not only are Tanks slower at dedicated jungle farming, but they’re also spending more time ganking, assisting lanes, and donating camps to teammates than their damage dealing counterparts. So all in all, yes, their strength is slightly lower from this change than it was prior to this change, but they lost much less than the class that they are trying to compete with and thus get relatively stronger (slightly).

The second response I’ll offer up is that we’re still working on larger jungle projects aimed more directly at bringing Tank junglers back up to par with Fighters/Assassins. The change for XP in this patch is merely a response to a problematic trend we’re seeing, it’s not nearly large enough scale to be aimed at solving the larger issues that are causing Tanks to suffer in the Season 4 jungle. As I said above, I believe the net result of this change is a small relative benefit for Tank junglers, but this change is not aimed at the problem you’re stating and rather, we have a larger on-going project that is working towards the issues you’re seeing.



Q: Do you think these changes will solve the current issues with LeBlanc and Kayle?


RiotChun Button Rioter RiotChun: At this point, we are just doing experimental changes to LeBlanc/Kayle and there is a good chance that we will not release those changes for 4.9.

To be more specific, I personally believe LeBlanc’s damage is a little too high as she has above-average base damage and very-high AP ratio (3.7 ap ratio for a QRWE combo -_-). Changing the Mimic damage is a good direction to try but we are still trying to find a way to balance her tricky / precise burst while making her fair to play against as I mentioned in the OP.

For Kayle, it is not the case you are afraid of. There are high strengths of Kayle and she just needs some real weaknesses. Range reduction would be effective but we are still exploring.



Ymir Chat Restriction Banner

Chat restriction has been a hot topic this week, with thousands of players expressing confusion as to why they were suddenly punished. Ymir steps on the forums to clear some of the misconceptions about labeling people “toxic” in-game.


Relevant Red Post Collection





Q: Why are you chat restricting people who flame with the intention of showing a teammate what they did wrong?


Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: What we want is to let you know other people don’t like playing with someone who is a constant critic. You’re not actually improving the game or the individual and that means anything you type is entirely negative.

If you can just let your flame end at your fingertips then, like the vast majority of players, you’ll be 100% fine and never experience a Chat Restriction or anything else.



Q: What should we do if we’re not allowed to critique a bad player / intentional troll ?


Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: What I wouldn’t do is get down to his level because there are still eight other people in the game who want to play the game and getting into a fight with someone who quite obviously isn’t thinking straight or is just confused is always a recipe for a disaster.

It’s quite obvious that dude made a bad call and is probably more angry with himself than with you.

I’d mute the guy and encourage the rest of my team before dropping a report. It doesn’t need to be an extreme and most people who play League of Legends have never encountered any form of punishment or warning. They constantly give advice, but they’re not critical in the way I tend to see people talking about their restrictions here are. 

If you’re using words like flame or witty to describe your critiques then you’re looking to own someone and not make them better players and that is a key difference.



How do Chat Restrictions work?


Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: Chat Restrictions actually have a lot going on, a misconception I’ve seen here is that it’s simply a set number of reports = punishment. There is more to it than that and you don’t have to worry about that guy who reports everyone because the system is elegant enough to pick it up.

The reason some of the higher numbers of both people with these and also 40+ games is down to the Tribunal changes and not the everyday system. We may have more going on with that in the future so we may not be done with waves just yet. One thing we can’t do and it’s a bit of a pickle for us is go into depth about numbers and levels of the system as if we talk too much about it the effectiveness is lessened as people attempt to game the system.

This has always been the case in any Player Behaviour initiative and it sucks because where we need transparency we can’t bring it as it has the potential to break things. This is far from just a Riot concern.

The main thing with Chat Restrictions is they are fast and have been in game for close to a year now. They are not a new feature and they’re pretty much proven through speed of action and having players think about where they allocate their communication to educate and make rapid improvements. Which has long been a request and long been a goal of ours.

We’re constantly monitoring this and one thing we have most definitely not seen in Chat restriction experiments is that they cause games to be lost. What we have seen is people with Chat Restrictions receiving less reports and improvement that makes the game a far better experience.



Q: Isn’t going alone in fights a sign of intentional trolling?


Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: As someone who everyone in the office can vouch does this with some regularity it isn’t about ruining the game it’s a weird barbarian complex where the opportunity for something epic is dangled like a carrot and I can’t help but chase it.

‘YMIR NO!’ Is a common shout on Skype or across the office.

Sometimes it pays off and I cackle madly, sometimes I get my ass kicked. The main point is the followthrough on this, I’ll never blame anyone else and I’ll make sure that if I’m in a game with strangers I halt myself from going too crazy. That said I have sympathy for people who make a questionable play, they’re genuinely not trolling to them at that time and on their screen they saw a BIG PLAY and tried to take it.

Whether it’s inexperience, greed, bloodlust or Teemo Hate something drove them to do it beyond trolling or feeding. A reaction against the rest of the team afterwards is them venting at themselves most of the time and the key thing there is not to engage on it as it just gives them an outlet to continue venting.



Q: Have you ever considered adding a self-chat-restriction buttons for players who can’t control themselves?


Ymir Button Rioter Ymir: This is an interesting one.

What we found was that actually allowing players to mute themselves did not have any real effect, or the potential for effect. It became a crutch and they didn’t actually learn what they were saying was wrong. If you do this then it becomes a system where any change is reliant upon tools to change whereas the system now puts it on you to change.

For very few people it may work, but for most it’s an option that doesn’t really work out the way it should and if they need a Chat Restriction they’ll end up with one through the system.



BelligerentSwan New Audio Engine Banner

League of Legends will be getting a new sound engine in a few patches time. Senior Sound Designer BelligerentSwan has stepped on the forums to answer community questions regarding the upcoming feature.



Reporting bugs with the new audio engine


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: As always, if you find a bug (with the current or new audio engeine) let us know! If it is an audio specific issue, feel free to report them directly on the Audio Section, or for general issues the Bug Reports Section. Also, if you have a PBE account, stay on the lookout for periodic PBE tests where the engine will be activated.



Q: Will this allow me to mute character voices without muting the entire game’s sound?


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: You can currently do this already! When in game, open the settings menu, select sounds, and click the small speaker icon at the end of the “Voice Volume” slider to mute the in-game voices.




Q: Will the new audio engine be supported by Windows XP?


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: If you can run the game, you shouldn’t have an issue with this new audio engine! If you run into any problems though, feel free to report them over in the Audio Feedback section, or the Bug Reports section.




Q: If you are in fact aiming for the camera being the listener, as we were told here, then why not just put the microphone at the camera?


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: This was actually more involved than just moving the listener (microphone). When you move the listener, it affects all the sound levels in game. It has a big impact on how things sound at a specific distance based on your current position. We essentially had to go back in an re-mix all the content to match this new position without having a negative impact on the gameplay feedback that sounds deliver. However, fixing the listener was just one part of the changes with the New Audio Engine, and not the only reason we are changing Audio Engines.



Q: Will the new engine fix the delay in voice responses when emotes are requested?


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: For some VO that is processed (added effects to make it sound a certain way like Thresh, Blackfrost Anivia, Lissandra, etc…), they will usually have long “tails” where the sound might not be immediately audible in some cases, but has reverb or something that adds to the overall quality of the VO. You are correct in the fact that a new line of VO won’t trigger in some instances if a previous VO line is already playing.



Q: Will we be able to change the language pack without messing with the game files?


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: We won’t be changing anything regarding how you select the language packs.





Q: Will the new engine have an option to lower both Champion Select sound and in-game sound at once?


BelligerentSwan Button Rioter BelligerentSwan: The New Audio Engine is separate from the champ select screen. You can adjust these volumes separately. For Champ Select music, I believe you can select the Gear looking icon in the upper right corner and adjust the sfx and music volume there. For in game sounds/music/voices, open the opens menu in-game, and select the Sound page.



Single Posts banner



Q: Is Irelia’s rework still underway?


 Button Riotermorellovatar Morello: Irelia would be easier than Soraka – but I think we gotta stare down Sion and Poppy before that 🙂





Q: Is Soraka’s ultimate in need of changes?


 Button Riotermorellovatar Morello: We actually like Wish, it’s one of the most strategically good spells she has.





Q: Any chance you can update Taric’s visuals?


morellovatar Button Rioter Morello: I don’t think Taric’s in the immediate priority, but we agree he’s on the “ugh” list of badness. 🙂 I’d have to ask artists on their thoughts of VU and how that relates to gameplay update.

In this case, we’d be waiting to add Gameplay until a VU, since we can easily piggyback on the new VFX and animations (which lets us release more reworks when we do this!)



Bug Report: Purple splash particles missing from Koi Nami’s taunt animation


RiotNurseFlan Button Rioter RiotNurseFlan: Oh dear, water shortage crisis!
The water particles should be there on Koi Nami, thanks for pointing it out :]





Q: Do you plan on updating older Legendary skins to the quality of current ones?


Riot jXe Button Rioter Riot JxE: I think they will definitely consider it, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t know if they’ll do it or not, because there’s a lot of variables and trade-offs that go in to making these decisions.




Q: Why was I Chat Restricted?


Riot Moonleaf Button Rioter Riot Moonleaf: We have pre-announced that chat restrictions are coming here. If you want more information on why your account received a chat restriction please send a ticket to Support and the Support team will provide more information. Obviously we can’t discuss account details over the forum.



May 24 TLDR Banner


1. The forecast for Patch 4.9 has been shared on the forums.

  • Kha’Zix is too tanky in teamfights for how well he deals with priority targets and this is something the balance team will address. Evolutions will also be evened out so all 4 are viable options and dependent on the flow of the match.
  • Kassadin was buffed in response to players struggling to counter his kit. Now that they’ve adapted, his power will be toned down a bit.
  • Kayle is currently lacking big weaknesses, while bringing a lot of up-front damage and utility for her team. The team is exploring ways of adding counterplay to her kit.
  • LeBlanc‘s damage is simply too high for the amount of mobility and utility she brings in high-level play. This will be nerfed in an upcoming patch.
  • Braum is currently becoming too tanky with little effort. The team is still monitoring his performance.
  • With Pantheon‘s recent bugfix leaving his ultimate severely weakened, the team is exploring ways to make Grand Skyfall feel satisfying while maintaining its high-risk global skill factor.
  • Jungle XP currently scales with average Champion level, which means snowballing junglers can greatly pull ahead in terms of XP on the map. Experience from monster camps in the mid- and late- game is going down significantly.

2. Ymir has answered some of the community’s concerns regarding the recent chat restriction wave. Recommend you read through it if you’ve been affected or you’re just interested to see how this punishment is distributed.

3. Morello has confirmed Soraka‘s ultimate is in a good place and that long-cooldown heals are a fun mechanic in League.



If you have any questions, feel free to ask me at @NoL_Chefo.



New Lee Sin Changes

The community agreed that Lee Sin’s recently proposed rework had major issues. So now that the balancing team went back to the drawing board, let’s see what they’ve come up with.



RiotChun Button Rioter Riot-chun: Hey everyone,

I read through all your replies / feedback on our Lee Sin retune, and I have made some changes! But before I get to them, I think there’s some misunderstanding to why we’re making the changes to Lee Sin and how these changes will impact him. Some of you read my posts and responded (good feedback!), but a lot just saw lower numbers and got angry (not good!). So a few things:


• From our changes, it felt like Lee Sin’s ‘identity’ was under attack (assassin early > utility tank late / strong early > weak late)

Changing Lee Sin’s identity was never our intention! If it seemed like that, then your feedback is good in checking us.

 From our own understanding (and your feedback), we see Lee Sin as a risky, high-skill champion who makes really cool plays in the early game and gets rewarded for that playstyle (especially in the early game where small-scale skirmishes take place). The problem was that he had very low risk because of his raw strength in stats and abilities that even if he made a misplay, he could always recover. We are absolutely fine with early game Lee being strong and late game Lee being weaker than most, but we wanted to create real risk for Lee in the early game and, if he succeeds, give him a path forward to play in the late game. This is more true (but not absolutely driven by) competitive play, which is more focused on early power champions. Speaking of competitive, early game Lee Sin (for teams that can play him) is so strong that he often crowds out any alternative choice (because there’s very little he can’t do for the demands of competitive junglers).

 Late game Lee Sin is the opposite – the most frustrating part was that he lost a lot of relevancy late game no matter how well he did early game (this is important!). Late game Lee has no prolonged threat to give him a presence except his initiation (which can be very unreliable), so he has to pull off an extremely mechanically difficult play to be considered “successful,” and then he’s almost completed his job. If Lee can’t pull off that kind of play, he gets punished for “misplaying.” Even if Lee makes a lot of successful ganks and goes into the late game with a lot of kills, he often loses because he has no strong way to take advantage of it (unless he’s really, really far ahead). We wanted to give Lee Sin some options while staying true to his perceived power curve of being strong early and weaker late.

 A summary here would be that we like champions who are strong early or are strong late, but at least part of those strengths should come from player skill and not all the champion being picked. I know Lee Sin ‘feels’ very balanced because all of his abilities are skill shots, but he keeps a lot of his power even when he fails, which isn’t true of a lot of champions.


• Nobody appreciates the attack speed buffs on Flurry.

 I made a mistake in communicating this the first time, so I’ll say this: this isn’t a buff to how Lee Sin is played right now, but it’s a buff to how he can be played when he has a real late game presence. I wish I could show you how much smoother Lee Sin feels to play with these changes because it lets him get his energy back from Flurry so he can use more spells. He’s also a lot ‘stickier’ in following opponents because he can get a few attacks out in between his abilities (and much faster).

 In late game team fights Lee Sin is very weak so he could only use his spells for damage. The attack speed buff to Flurry means he can finally deal sustained damage at all points in the game so he’s not trapped in only finding the ideal initiation window (insec play).


• Ward Hopping was too punishing.

 Once again, we like the play pattern and think it’s cool, but it was giving Lee tons of frustrating mobility without real offensive / defensive tradeoffs. We’re very firm on that belief! But from your feedback, it was clear that energy cost increases on Safeguard would make Lee no longer able to perform his best combo, so we’ve reverted it. We still need to make some kind of tradeoff here, so he’ll be giving up the safety of the self-shield if he jumps to minions / wards.

 We also think it’s important to reduce a little bit of Lee’s frustrating mobility moments so we’re also sticking with the increased base cooldown that gets reduced when you cast it on an allied champion. This also rewards / incentivizes Lee to cooperate with his team instead of being a self-sufficient monk.


• The change to Dragon’s Rage was too different from what Lee currently has.

 Agree. With so many changes in this retune it could be easy to see this change as just a damage nerf. In the early to mid game, Dragon’s Rage is mostly used as a high damage execute and in the late game, Dragon’s Rage is mostly used as a positioning / ‘insec’ play to isolate a target. We made this change to add more consistency in the choice while also reducing some of Dragon’s Rage’s really high early game power. So you would choose to either isolate a target from his/her team, or you would choose to kick someone into the enemy team for massive damage. This would be a choice you could always take throughout the game rather than one you’re forced you take because your power fell off.

 Still, it’s a lot of change so we’re going to keep it like it is on live (but we’ll still need to reduce the damage on it because it deals really high base damage, especially when Lee is ahead). I still think it’s important that there be a tradeoff between isolating a target or dealing maximum damage, but we’ll think of that in the future.

 Now that I’ve written so much… you can have the changes! I really hope you take the time to read through the above so you can understand the changes below. I also noticed some misunderstanding behind total attack damage versus bonus attack damage. While it does seem like some values are much lower than their current live values, the scaling with total attack damage means Lee Sin will scale better into late game but will snowball less when he gets a bunch of AD items in the early game.


   FlurryFlurry [ Passive ]

  • Attack Speed bonus increased  from 40% at all levels to 40/60/80/100% (at levels 1/6/11/16)


Sonic_WaveSonic Wave [ Q ]

  • Damage changed from 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.9 Bonus AD) to 15/35/55/75/95 (+0.5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 Total AD)


Resonating_StrikeResonating Strike [ Reactivate Q ]

  • Damage changed from 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.9 Bonus AD) to 15/35/55/75/95 (+0.5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 Total AD)
  • Now deals up to 50% bonus damage (150% total damage) based on the target’s missing Health, changed from 8% of the target’s missing Health


SafeguardSafeguard [ W ]

  • No longer grant shield on himself if dashes towards non-champion unit
  • Cooldown increased from 9 seconds to 14
  • Cooldown is now reduced by 50% if cast on an allied champion (excluding self)


TempestTempest [ E ]

  • Damage changed from 60/95/130/165/200 (+1.0 Bonus AD) to 20/40/60/80/100 (+0.6 total AD)
  • Now deals physical damage instead of magic


CrippleCripple [ Reactivate E ]

  • Slow decay now updates more quickly (every 0.25 seconds instead of every 1 second)
  • Slow decay now correctly takes into account disable reducing effects such as Tenacity (if the slow duration is being reduced, the slow will now decay more quickly)


Dragon's_RageDragon’s Rage [ R ]

Damage changed from 200/400/600 (+2.0 Bonus AD) to 150/300/450 (+2.0 Bonus AD)

Comment from user Xero:

Reading through the comments, you guys actually really need to realize this is actually more of a buff than it is a nerf – it’s just that his pre3 isn’t as strong as it used to be, and that’s still hardly by much. His mid game potential has been boosted dramatically.

Here’s some math with just base stats:

r>q>e>w skill path

q 1, 4, 7, 8, 9

w 3, 14, 15, 17, 18

e 2, 5, 10, 12, 13

base: 55.8 +3.2

old 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.9 Bonus AD)
new 15/35/55/75/95 (+0.5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 Total AD) = 42.9/76.16/109.74/140.12/171.14

old 60/95/130/165/200 (+1.0 Bonus AD)
new 20/40/60/80/100 (+0.6 total AD) = 57.32/83.08/112.68/136.52/158.44

r>q>w>e skill path

q 1, 4, 7, 8, 9

w 2, 5, 10, 12, 13

e 3, 14, 15, 17, 18

old 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.9 Bonus AD)
new 15/35/55/75/95 (+0.5/0.6/0.7/0.8/0.9 Total AD) = 32.9/76.16/109.74/140.12/171.14

old 60/95/130/165/200 (+1.0 Bonus AD)
new 20/40/60/80/100 (+0.6 total AD) = 59.24/100.36/122.28/146.12/168.04

skills at lvl 18
q old: 170
q new: 197.06

e old: 200
e new: 168.04

While, yes, Tempest looks like it’s been nerfed, you also have to take into account that that total AD scaling will outscale the bonus AD scaling at some point (too lazy to find out when that point is.) It shouldn’t take much AD to outscale it though. The only thing actually nerfed in terms out damage is his ult.

Guys, Riot is actually helping you out. They’re sacrificing a bit of his early game – which again hasn’t really even been scratched that much – to give Lee Sin an even better mid game and less of a falling off at late game.