Unlike last patch – which was the Dreamhack Valencia Tournament Lock patch – and next patch – which should be the Mid-Summer massive patch – this patch is some minor buffs, a few item changes, and a smorgasbord of skins. The next in the chibi skins is upon us, once again featuring a mage. Unlike the others, you might feel bad about killing this one, as it is a cute birb – or not, I don’t know your life.
We are treated to five skins the patch – a chibi skin, yet another Hou Yi skin, an Aphrodite as Venus skin, Izanami’s T2 skin, and a team skin for Elevate. It’s a shame Hou Yi is getting another skin so soon after his last – and before the community makes him have the T5 skin for this year’s Odyssey. Let’s put on our tinfoil hats for a moment. Earlier in the year, the community managers released a statement saying the company (or possibly just the CMs – let’s not get bogged down in accuracy since we are spinning a conspiracy theory) voted Hou Yi and Awilix as the hottest gods. The community skin this year ends up being Awilix, and there is every indication Hou Yi will end up with the T5 skin. COINCIDENCE?!?! Ok, let’s take off the hats – yeah, it’s probably just a coincidence or a case of the community reacting to the statement and agreeing. Still, it’s fun to do harmless conspiracy brainstorming from time to time.
- Beamy Chibi Ra: Let’s get one thing straight: stop calling these skins heebee chibi skins. The reason the Hades skin was called that was a plan on heebie-jeebies – an idiom used to express discomfort or nervousness. Anyway, this skin is a little cutey of a bird boss. His laugh is ridiculous and it’s every bit as cute and obnoxious as you could ask for. This skin is going to be crazy popular. This is almost certainly in a chest – as was the Breezy Chibi Kukulkan before it.
- Heaven’s Arrow Hou Yi: A holy-warrior-with-a-bow skin for Hou Yi. It looks good, it sounds good, but it’s another skin for a dude that has a ton of skins. This is probably direct purchase, but it could also be in a chest.
- Venus Aphrodite: A sorta-Ying-looking skin for Aphrodite, this skin will be obtained through Hand of the Gods in some as-yet-to-be-announced manner. This will be the second time a god has received a skin based on the interpretation of the god from a different pantheon – Enyo Bellona was the first (Greek interpretation of the Roman Goddess) and is also attained through Hand of the Gods. It looks good. Honestly, it is my favorite looking Aphrodite skin.
- Bloodthirster Izanami: Continuing the trend of good-looking T2 skins, Izanami’s newest skin goes for kind of a kinkster or edgy look. It’s pretty cool, and the first case of Izanami not being dramatically altered for a skin. I like Dread Doll and Plaguebearer, but her face and body are very different for those. This is a neat skin, and will run you 250 gems.
- Elevate Ares: Thanks, Dardez. This is a team skin for Elevate. You know how those go.
Dance your emo heart out, Izanami. You’ve earned it.
Like other SPL team bundles, the Elevate bundle will come with a team ward.
Trials of King Hercules
In a move to help more people complete the trials, the efficacy of the church blessings have been greatly increased. This is a good move, as completion rates for many people are still very low.
- Blessing of Might: Now grants 40% increased damage (up from 20%).
- Blessing of Protection: Now grants 40% increased damage reduction (up from 20%).
If you are still having trouble getting through the hard mode, I found success running the following: Anhur, Aphrodite, Cernunnos.
- ADCs: Asi, Bloodforge, Deathbringer, Hastened Fatalis, Malice, Wind Demon (Cernunnos can perform well with Odysseus Bow, but you need to stay in Spring more often)
- Aphrodite: Sovereignty (swap for Heartward Amulet after Nemean Lion), Shogun’s Kusari, Rod of Asclepius, Gauntlet of Thebes, Shoes of Focus, Pythagorem’s Piece (You can also swap out Rod of Asclepius for Rod of Tahuti, and Gauntlet of Thebes for Chrono’s Pendant).
Cú Chulainn gets two achievements to complete.
- Berserker: Use your ult to hit two gods, and then transform into your Berserker form.
- Strategist: Use your Barbed Spear ability and then kill a god within 2 seconds.
Like most achievements, they are pretty basic and easy to obtain.
Bug Fixes – Gods
- Sun Wu Kong – Somersault Cloud: The correct radius added to the description
- Xing Tian – Skycutting Axe: The correct radius added to the description
Bug Fixes – Items
- Stone of Binding – Banishes should now interact correctly with this item
Changes – Gods
These changes are all buffs. Just buffs across the board. Most of the changes are incremental – which I have stated multiple times as being a great shift in approaching design – and many hit gods who need the help. Though the He Bo change is a bit suspect. In all honesty, it will help him across various modes where he might need it, and will make him slightly better at already being a pub-stomper in other modes. That’s not the worst outcome.
- Athena – Reach: A combined bug fix and buff, this change addresses her clear and poke potential. It also impacts her place as a fantastic guardian choice for the jungle role, making her even stronger. This is a serious increase to her power, but the guardian situation needs some more top options, and this is one way to start that conversation and experimentation.
- Reach‘s scaling increases from 5% to 15%, and the description is now updated with the correct formula.
- Artemis – Base Scaling and Suppress the Insolent: These changes are meant to make Artemis more viable at all levels. She has a reputation as an incredibly powerful late game hunter, but the meta changes have meant she needs to build differently to compete, which has altered her identity. These changes make her a bit beefier, and help her basic clearing potential. This should give her some additional pressure within the current meta, and allow her to stick around better later. I love some of the hunter builds we been seeing this season, and a chance for more variety is good. I don’t think these changes are enough to really get her rolling and more popular, but it will hurt the team less when she is chosen, and can be a viable option here and there.
- The base health per level of Artemis increases from 72 to 75.
- Suppress the Insolent has had its mana decreased by 20 at every rank.
- Cú Chulainn – Core mechanics, Passive, Vent Anger, War Cry: Remember when I said Cú Chulainn needs his numbers tweaked? These are number tweaks. It is also a shift to help him get into Berserk form faster, as that is where he really does damage. By necessity, his scaling was kept on the low side in human form as to not make it be a case where you never wanted to shift out of it. This should help with some of his issues in several modes, but still doesn’t really address the overall problem with the way his rage generation works or the fact it’s nigh-impossible to transform in some game modes. Still, this should make him work better in conquest – which is understandably the core focus.
- Core Mechanics: Rage is now calculated at the end of abilities, meaning you don’t lose the rage bonus as you use the ability, but rather after it ends. This should help consistency and intuitive play.
- Passive: Rage should generate correctly from allies taking damage – which should help modes like Arena and Clash, as well as making team fights and grouping in conquest more meaningful. Additionally, the mana to health conversion increased by 5% base, moving from 10% to 15%.
- Vent Anger: A bug fix that ensures it only ticks 12 times rather than edge cases that resulted in 13 ticks.
- War Cry: Big ol’ number changes. Big, beefy, muscle-bound number changes. The scaling increases from 50% to 65% and the base damage moves from 100/165/230/295/360 to 175/250/325/400/475. Beefy.
- He Bo – Water Cannon: This change address the post-fire time of the ability. This is akin to the global cooldown of mana games, and is the amount of time before you can cast another ability after using it. The time has been changed to match the animation, which cuts the functional post-fire time in half.
- Kumbhakarna – Mighty Yawn: A mana cost to a CC ability to address some early sustain concerns. The scaling will help later, but this is an early pressure change. Let’s be real about it. Mana has been reduced by 20 at every rank.
- Tyr – Power Cleave: Tyr hasn’t had much success or play in season 4. Other warriors just allow for more pressure, and Tyr’s role as a disruptor can be almost matched by other options. As such, this change addresses that early aggression and sustain, giving him a better lane presence, and allowing him to transition to that back-line madman more fluidly. This is an exciting change, as Tyr plays are so damn hype.