Patch 8.23 Breakdown: Champion and Item Balance

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
Lissandra. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Patch 8.23 released today and it reveals wide changes to the state of the game. Champion and item balancing may seem trivial in comparison to some of the far-reaching changes this patch brings but there is still potential here to shake the meta up.


A few champions fell under Meddler’s watchful eye in this Goliath preseason patch. Riot is looking to shake up certain champions ever so slightly with these changes. Some champions are being weaned off the meta and others have become cemented in their role.

"Aatrox WORLD ENDER (R):Duration: 12s ⇒ 10sHeal on Revive: Once blood well reaches 80%, Aatrox will revive at 50% health (the maximum)."

A slight change but by no means inconsequential, Aatrox will lose a full two seconds of tearing through his opposition but is somewhat compensated by filling his blood well faster. Overall, I believe this will be a slight nerf but certainly will not take the World Eater out of the meta.

"EzrealESSENCE FLUX (W):Base Damage: 75/125/175/225/275 ⇒ 80/135/190/245/300Ratio: 0.7 ability power at all ranks ⇒ 0.7/0.75/0.8/0.85/0.9 ability powerTRUESHOT BARRAGE (R): Damage is no longer reduced by enemy hit but minions and epic monsters now take 50% reduced damage."

A change, as Riot themselves stated, that is clearly geared for AP Ezreal builds who utilize the ability power scaling on his whole kit but especially the W and R. Ezreal is still finding his footing in the current meta since his minor rework, he’s not performed particularly well as an AD Carry as of late but perhaps these buffs will trigger a resurgence in the Ezreal mid of old?

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"TaliyahTHREADED VOLLEY (Q)Cooldown: 11/9/7/5/3 seconds ⇒ 7/6/5/4/3 secondsCost: 60/70/80/90/100 mana ⇒ 50/60/70/80/90 manaWorked Ground Duration: 120 seconds ⇒ 45 seconds (and is no longer affected by CDR)Everything now takes 50% reduced damage from every stone beyond the first (rather than just enemy champions previously)."

This is a clear attempt by Riot to move Taliyah out of the jungle and back into her original mid lane position. Minions now are also affected by Taliyah’s Q damage drop-off which will make it a lot tougher for her to clear the jungle. However, lane Taliyah has been compensated with CDR and cost reductions on the Q. Finally, reducing the duration of worked ground significantly (something that only marginally affected jungle Taliyah) is a huge buff to lane Taliyah as she can trade more. With these changes, we’ll likely see jungle Taliyah stop being an S-tier jungler but expect her to make a resurgence in the mid lane.

"YorickMistwalkers and the Maiden now draw turret and minion aggro onto Yorick if they damage an enemy champion."

This minor change simply means Yorick may not be able to force down towers while ignoring his opposition as effectively as before, as the Maiden will draw turret aggro if it attacks an enemy champion.

"LissandraBase Stats: 5% bonus attack speed at level 1, Mana Regen growth of 0.8Basic Attacks: 2000 missile speed  ⇒ 2200 missile speedICEBORN SUBJUGATION (New Passive):“When an enemy dies near Lissandra they become a Frozen Thrall. Frozen Thralls seek out living enemies, slowing their speed when nearby. After a few seconds, Frozen Thralls shatter from the intense cold, dealing magic damage in an area”Thrall Duration: 4 SecondsBase Damage: 120-520 (lv 1-18)Ratio: 0.3 Ability PowerSlow: 25%ICE SHARD (Q):Cost: 75 mana at all ranks  ⇒ 60/63/66/69/72 manaRING OF FROST (W):Cost: 50 mana  ⇒ 40 manaBase Damage: 70/110/150/190/230  ⇒ 70/100/130/160/190Ratio: 0.4 ability power  ⇒ 0.3 ability powerGLACIAL PATH (E):Claw Speed: 850  ⇒ 1200 decelerating to 640FROZEN TOMB (R):0.7 ability power  ⇒ 0.6 ability power"

Lissandra has undoubtedly received the most changes this patch. First of all, Riot has gifted her with a unique new passive. When an enemy dies near Lissandra their bodies become thralls that slow nearby enemies and after 4 seconds explode to deal damage. Almost like a more explosive (and murderous) Twin Shadows.

To compensate for her old passive (which allowed her an occasional free ability cast) being removed, her mana costs have been adjusted accordingly. To cement her identity as a bursty pick mage, her E has been changed to allow the Ice Witch to close in on her prey faster. Lissandra is already a strong meta pick, often picked as a counter to mobile assassins such as Irelia and Akali and these changes only serve to benefit her. Her new passive will provide her with more teamfight disruption, slowing fleeing enemies as their allies fall. I imagine we’ll see Lissandra continue to occupy her niche spot in the meta.


"Doran’s Shield(After taking damage from an enemy champ) Regenerate 20 health over 10 seconds  ⇒ regenerate up to 30 health over 10 seconds based on missing health (cap at 25% missing health)."

Changing the health regeneration of Doran’s Shield from a flat number to scaling still allows people to negate some poke but no longer allows them to negate larger engage skirmishes. I can’t imagine this changes much as it is already a conservative first buy.

"Guinsoo’s RagebladeCost: 3300 gold  ⇒ 3100 goldOn Hit Damage: On hit damage no longer scales and is instead a flat 15 magic damage.Penetration: Now grants 6.5%-15% (lv 1-18) total armour and magic penetrationAD/AP per stack: No longer grants +2.5% bonus attack damage and ability power per stack (still grants attack speed)."

This change really hurts those who have been abusing Rageblade such as Kog’Maw and Kai’Sa. Kai’Sa will likely opt into a dedicated crit build from here on which will make her much less versatile. As they pointed out, Riot is trying to make Guinsoo’s more of a first item power spike rather than a late game shredding machine.

Teleport Changes

"Channel Duration: 4.5 seconds  ⇒ 4 secondsPlayers can no longer cancel teleport"

A slight buff to the channel time does not make up for what is likely going to be a very impactful change. Being unable to cancel teleport makes attempting to make teleport plays much riskier so players will now have to be completely sure of the situation before they commit.

Next. Minion/Monster Changes. dark

What do you think about these changes? Are you rushing to try out the new Lissandra? Or perhaps painfully trying to clear the raptors on Taliyah…