Breaking down the changes from the upcoming mage update


The mage update will be here very shortly as the mid-season patch is right around the corner.

When the mage update was first announced, Riot made it seem as though it wouldn’t be that big of an update. Their definition of a big update must be different from everyone else, because the mage update is filled with a lot of changes.

Riot announced their mid-season changes yesterday, and it came with all the information on the mages that are getting updated. In total, there are six champions who are getting major changes and eight champions who will receive minor ones.

Here is a simple breakdown on what you need to know.

MAJOR CHANGES: Brand, Cassiopeia, Malzahar, Vel’Koz, Vladimir and Zyra

Brand’s change comes from his passive as it now stacks. After he gets three stacks, a delayed area-of-effect (AoE) explosion will set off that applies the passive to everything in the area.

To be completely honest, this change is quite underwhelming. Brand was always one of the mages that were getting a “major” update, but this seems like a minor tweak if anything.

Cassiopeia, on the other hand, is actually getting some cool changes. Her new passive gives her a lot of movement speed, so she no longer needs to use boots. Also, her W has been changed to a poison field that does damage-over-time (DoT) and champions cannot use movement ability when on it.

This is more like it. Her new passive of not needing boots seems really fun and should make her interesting. It means that she will be even more powerful late-game since she will have an extra item when everyone else will have boots. Having an ability that will do a decent amount of damage while not allowing champions to quickly dash out of it is also a neat addition that could prove to be very powerful.

Malzahar is also getting a lot of changes, and that starts with another new passive. If Malzahar doesn’t take damage for a while, he will get a shield that blocks damage and crowd control. The shield will last for a few seconds even after being hit. His W has been changed so that he will spawn a voidling, but he will spawn more voidlings when his current one attacks. His E has received a small tweak of now restoring two percent of his max mana. Finally, his ultimate is the same but will now spawn his old W (DoT area) under the enemy he is ulting.

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It seems like this update had turned into a monster buff for Malzahar. Everything about this update for him is incredibly strong: great passive, crazy W and an even stronger ultimate. He is going to be a top champion once the mid-season hits.

After hearing about Cassiopeia and Malzahar, Vel’Koz’s update seems very minimal. He doesn’t have a new passive, but it does have an ability power ratio to it now. Vel’Koz’s Q has been changes so that only he can see the range of it, and it will cost half the mana needed if it kills a unit. Finally, his ultimate will now do true damage if he has recently popped his passive on the target enemy.

There’s nothing to write home about. These weren’t major changes like everyone was expecting, but they are nice little buffs.

Vladimir was another one of the updates everyone was looking forward to, but he came out quite underwhelming as well. The first change is to his Q: using it back-to-back will make his third Q do more damage and give him movement speed. His E still costs health, but it will now create a large AoE around himself that will slow him and everyone hit by it. Finally, Vladimir’s ultimate will now heal him for each person hit.

His Q buff seems nice and the ultimate change is whatever, but the change of his E doesn’t seem good at all. If anything, it looks like a nerf for Vladimir. Most Vladimir players would probably rather have his old E.

And for the last mage in the major change category: Zyra. She has been given a new passive that randomly spawns seeds, and she can have a max of eight of them out at a time. These seeds will turn into plants for her to use when she activates either her Q or E. Speaking of which, her Q is now a delayed AoE damage that can be compared to Malzahar’s Q. If she has seeds around her when she casts Q, it will create plants that will do ranged damage. The cooldown reduction has been taken off her W, and her ultimate will now have greated plant damage rather than attack speed.

This could be a nice buff for Zyra. Her new passive makes for an interesting dynamic with her other spells, and it sounds like it could be powerful if used correctly.

MINOR CHANGES: Annie, Anivia, Fiddlesticks, Swain, Syndra, Veigar, Xerath and Ziggs 

Annie now has a stun resource bar (similar to a Jhin reload bar) and her E now lasts three seconds and give Annie percent damage reduction. However, her ultimate will be her biggest change. It will do less damage and to a smaller area, but Tibbers now becomes enraged (either when he is summoned, stuns a champion or dies) which gives him 275 percent bonus attack speed and 100 percent bonus movement speed that decays over three seconds.

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Anivia’s ultimate will now grow in size and will have more damage the larger it is.

Fiddlesticks’ passive is that he now gets bonus movement speed after standing still.

Swain’s Q has been changed to a target location rather than a target unit.

Syndra’s passive allows her to spawn and use more orbs.

Veigar has a new passive that gives him ability power from hitting people with spells, killing minions and takedowns. His ultimate does less damage and doesn’t scale from enemy ability power anymore, but the damage is increased based on the enemy’s missing health.

Xerath will now get more shots on his ultimate when he successfully hits one, but it has a limit that scales with the level of his ultimate.

Finally, Ziggs’ W will now execute turrets below a certain amount of health.

Annie probably could have been switched with Brand as far as major and minor updates go. Having a stun bar on her will be a huge, huge change. It will make playing against Annie a lot easier when you know when exactly she has her stun available. It will also be interesting to see how her new ultimate plays out. It could be strong, but it could also be a nerf to how it was before.

The other changes aren’t that big of a deal as they seem like at least a small buff for everyone.

All of these mage updates are currently on the Public Beta Environment, but we still have to wait for the next patch for them to be live everywhere.

Visit our Patch Updates section to follow all of the mid-season changes.