League of Legends: Patch 9.5 notes breakdown

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

Patch 9.5 has arrived, to League of Legends bringing some big changes to overlooked champions like Vi and Skarner. The question is, will these buffs be enough to shake up the jungle?

Now that the dust has settled on the ADC meta after all the crit item reworks, it’s nice to see the League of Legends balance team giving some attention to the neglected champions like Skarner and Vi. Both of them have been towards the middle or bottom of our tier lists, but maybe Patch 9.5 will spring them back into the meta!



Passive – Assassin’s Mark

"EDGE OF RING MOVEMENT SPEED DURATION: 1.25 seconds >>> 2 secondsOUTSIDE OF RING MOVEMENT SPEED DURATION: 1.25 seconds >>> 2 seconds"

Nice bit of extra slipperyness to Akali, which will allow her to more easily proc her mark and get off more damage.

"W – Twilight ShroudSTEALTH FROM TURRETS: Akali is now only revealed by turrets within a turret’s attack range, rather than its sight rangePEEK-A-BO: Akali now only needs to exit and re-enter her shroud once to extend the shroud’s duration by the maximum 3 seconds, rather than extending it by 0.5 seconds six times"

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So this is a semi-revert of Akali’s nerf on her shroud from  Patch 9.4. Now, she will maintain stealth when in range of turret aggro, but not sight (which is slightly larger and gives true sight). Honestly, I don’t know how much this will affect her win rate, Riot needs to just determine if they want Akali to be able to towerdive with impunity and gut her numbers or just remove this stealth mechanic. The extension to the shroud duration is a nice bonus for her.

"E – Shuriken FlipFIRST CAST DAMAGE : 60/90/120/150/180 >>> 70/105/140/175/210SECOND CAST DAMAGE : 60/90/120/150/180 >>> 50/80/110/140/170"

Straight damage buff to her first cast, nerf to her second. Ultimately, she does 20 more damage hitting both procs at max rank, and same damage for both at level 1, so it’s an overall buff.

"R – Perfect ExecutionCOOLDOWN : 120/100/80 seconds >>> 100/85/70 seconds"

Yeah giving Akali extra mobility does not sound like something fun.


"E – Tangle-BarbsROOT DURATION : 0.5 seconds on all enemies except the last champion hit; 0.7/0.9/1.1/1.3/1.5 seconds against the last champion hit, increased to 1.8/2.1/2.4/2.7/3 seconds if Tangle-Barbs hit at least two enemies >>> 0.7/0.9/1.1/1.3/1.5 seconds on the first enemy hit, 1.8/2.1/2.4/2.7/3 seconds on all other enemies hitBUGFIX : No longer disarms enemies"

Increase to the root is not what’s keeping Neeko from being meta. She just doesn’t have enough damage for how immobile she is to compete with champions like Lissandra or Zoe.


"W – Grand EntranceDAMAGE : 70/115/160/205/250 (+0.7 ability power) >>> 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.7 ability power)DASH SPEED : 1400/1445/1480 (based on type of boots) >>> 1500"

Rakan has been really hindered in term of playmaking abilities by the previous nerfs of Patch 9.2 (which I said at the time was unnecessary). Reverting these (at least to some degree) should help, but Rakan won’t suddenly become S tier due to these buffs.


"Passive – Crystal Spires[REM] INTRUDER ALARM : Spires no longer appear on the minimapSPIRE RADIUS : 1150 >>> 1600[UPD] PORQUE NO LOS DOS? : Red buff Spire now in range of both Krugs and Raptors"

Extending the spire radius for Skarner is pretty big, considering it allows him to clear those two camps (krugs and raptors) more quickly, and he is going to have an easier time pathing without alerting the enemy team which spire he just took. However, Skarner still has a lot of issues that prevent him from being a top tier pick in the jungle, including his lack of early ganking and deuling power.


"Base Stats:ATTACK SPEED GROWTH : 2.5% >>> 2%Passive – Blast ShieldCOOLDOWN : 12-8 seconds (levels 1-9) >>> 16-12 seconds (levels 1-9) (see Denting Blows below)SHIELD RATIO : 10% max health >>> 15% max healthQ – Vault Breaker[REM] QUARTER POUNDER : No longer deals 25% reduced damage to non-championsRATIO : 1.6 bonus attack damage >>> 1.4 bonus attack damageW – Denting BlowsATTACK SPEED : 30/35/40/45/50% >>> 30/37.5/45/52.5/60%[NEW] PASSIVE COOLDOWN : Blast Shield’s cooldown is now reduced by 3 seconds whenever Denting Blows procsE – Excessive ForceCRITICAL CONES : Damage cone can now critically strikeRATIO : 1.15 total attack damage, 0.7 ability power >>> 1.1 total attack damage, 0.9 ability powerR – Assault and BatteryCOOLDOWN : 110/85/60 seconds >>> 120/100/80 secondsDAMAGE : 150/300/450 (+1.4 bonus attack damage) >>> 150/325/500 (+1.1 bonus attack damage)[REM] QUARTER POUNDER : No longer deals 25% reduced damage to secondary targetsSECONDARY TARGET KNOCKBACK : Vi knocks back enemies she passes through by ||| 250 range over 0.25 seconds >>> 350 range over 0.75 seconds"

This is one of the cases where any one of these buffs could be enough to vault (heh) Vi to the top of the tier list. Let’s go through them one by one.

First, the attack speed growth is probably going to hurt her clear a bit, but it’s easily offset by these other buffs. The increased cooldown on the shield on her W, compensated by extra health scaling, makes her early game a lot worse and gives her less initiative to gank early or contest scuttles.

The bonus damage scaling boost on her Q is nice, but not as big as the fact that it no longer does reduced damage to non-champions. Considering most Vi players will max this first, this will enable Vi to clear the jungle much easier.

Adding crit and AP scaling to her E ability really does nothing, but the extra damage done with her R is actually quite interesting. First, the cooldown goes up at all ranks, presumably to offset the damage buffs that are coming. But given Vi is fairly reliant on her R for ganks, this will probably end up hurting her a bit in that early game.
Adding to her base R damage late is also likely an overall nerf, because she really wants to be more impactful with those first few ganks. By the time those damage buffs actually hit (when she will be getting less scaling damage with her bonus AD), she’s likely more interested in initiating and surviving as opposed to straight-out bursting the target. Giving her R more damage on subsequent targets hit, however, does help her presence in teamfights, which I’m sure is not exactly what Riot wanted for her.

Overall, I don’t think the nerfs will outweigh the buffs she’s getting. She’ll be stronger late game, but in all honesty she still suffers because she doesn’t excel in that early game like most of the meta junglers in League of Legends.


"E – Vorpal SpikesDAMAGE : 20/30/40/50/60 to 22/34/46/58/70"

Baby buff to Cho’s E might let him rise a bit in the tier list, but I doubt it will be much more than a slight boost to his win rate. Unfortunately, he’s still in a tough spot of being easily kited.

Dr. Mundo

"E – MasochismMAGIC RESIST : 2% per stack, up to 6/12/18/24/30% >>> 3% per stack, up to 6/15/24/33/42%"

With Sion out of the picture, it’s up in the air who will become the premiere League of Legends tank in the top lane (especially with ADCs having such massive impact). I don’t think this will put Mundo ahead of tanks with that easy “go” button like Maokai, Malphite, Sion (still), or Ornn, but this could make him more viable.


"E – Powder KegBONUS DAMAGE TO CHAMPIONS : 60/90/120/150/180 >>> 80/105/130/155/180R – Cannon BarrageMAGIC DAMAGE PER WAVE : 35/60/85 (+0.1 ability power) >>> 40/70/100 (+0.1 ability power)MAX DAMAGE : 420/720/1020 (+1.2 ability power) >>> 480/840/1200 (+1.2 ability power)"

Adding some more mixed damage to his ult is going to make the Saltwater Scourge harder to itemize against, especially as he scales to the late game. The powder keg bonus damage to champion nerfs helps his early trading pattern in the early game, for sure, and because you max Q first these buffs will really start to hurt around the end of laning phase (levels 7-10)


"Base StatsATTACK DAMAGE : 63 >>> 66"

Graves has certainly fallen like a rock in our tier lists, as have a lot of scaling champions. I don’t think giving him a bit base AD back is out of line.


"Q – Dancing GrenadeRATIO : 0.4/0.475/0.55/0.625/0.7 total attack damage >>> 0.45/0.525/0.6/0.675/0.75 total attack damage"

Ditto for Jhin, who feels a bit left out after the crit item rework.

Nunu & Willump

"Base StatsHEALTH : 590 >>> 570Q – ConsumeHEAL : 75/120/165/210/255 >>> 75/110/145/180/215"

Nunu & Willump have been among the strongest champions in the game for awhile now in the jungle. They weren’t top tier because of that inability to contest scuttles and duel early, and this will surely hurt them in that regard.


"Passive – Battle FuryCRIT CHANCE CAP PER FURY : Up to 35% >>> 35/40/45/50% at levels 1/6/11/16"

Oh wow this is big. Considering Trynd isn’t getting a ton of crit chance early, he’ll have more innate crit abilities much earlier on. With one or two items (especially Infinity Edge), he’ll basically be critting on every hit at max fury. Yasuo might have a competitor.


"W – KingslayerHEAL : 50/80/110/140/170 (+0.35 ability power) >>> 60/80/100/120/140 (+0.45 ability power)DAMAGE RATIO : 0.55 ability power >>> 0.65 ability power"

I really love this. The W heal was too big for how easy and frequent it was to proc, but I like that the League of Legends balance team is giving him back some damage to offset. Makes him more defined as an all-in, mage duelist.


"R – Eulogy of the IslesMAIDEN DAMAGE : 10/20/40 (+0.5 Yorick’s total attack damage) >>> 0/10/40 (+0.5 Yorick’s total attack damage)MARK DAMAGE : 5/7.5/10% target’s maximum health >>> 3/6/9% target’s maximum health"

Yorick was a top-tier top laner, which really indicates that his numbers were a bit overtuned given the simplicity of his kit. Taking some damage (especially % max health damage) off his R was needed.


"Mid-Patch 9.4 updateReminder: This change has been live for a while already.BUGFIX : Fixed a bug where R – Void Rush could deal damage twice if Rek’Sai’s target Flashed away the instant Void Rush’s damage was dealt"

Nice mid-patch bugfix, but Rek’Sai is still going to be at the top of the food chain, especially now that she’s been so prioritized in competitive. I’d expect she’ll stay S or A tier going forward.


Relic Shield Line

"RELIC SHIELD HEALING : 15 (+2% target’s missing health) >>> 5-30 at 0-100% target’s missing healthTARGON’S BRACE HEALING : 40 (+2% target’s missing health) >>> 10-60 at 0-100% target’s missing healthREMNANT OF THE ASPECT HEALING : 50 (+2% target’s missing health) >>> 15-90 at 0-100% target’s missing health"

An overall nerf to tank supports, who have been dominant moreso in pro play than SoloQ (where burst mages, engagers/catchers, and enchanters reign supreme). Expect to see a lot more Nami, Lulu, Janna in pro League of Legends play with less tanks to deal with.


"ATTACK DAMAGE : 55 >>> 60ATTACK SPEED : 25% >>> 30%"

They’re buffing Stormrazor to be more of a late game (4th or 5th item buy) item, which makes sense because most champions aren’t making much use of the passive until later on. Once you have a few items that give you more energized attacks, champions will make better use of the passive, but I doubt it will crowd out the standard Zeal items for a 1st or 2nd slot.



"RESIST DURATION : 3 seconds >>> 2.5 seconds"

Settle down, this isn’t a nerf, it’s a bugfix. Unfortunately, Riot still doesn’t think it’s incredibly problematic for tanks to get a bunch of free stats.


"ADAPTIVE FORCE : 2-10 per stack (10-50 at max stacks) >>> 2-6 per stack (10-30 at max stacks)Mid-Patch 9.4 Updates(Reminder: These have been live for a while already.)ADAPTIVE FORCE : 3-15 per stack (max 15-75) >>> 2-10 per stack (max 10-50). This change is overwritten by the line above.RANGED STACK DURATION : 3 seconds >>> 2 seconds (melee stack duration still 8 seconds)"

Along with the mid-patch nerfs, Conqueror is now getting far less adaptive force at max stacks. This rune was massively strong on release, so credit the League of Legends balance team for not waiting around to nerf it. It will be interesting to see if this decrease in raw strength the rune gives will be enough to put its power level in line with all the others.

Cut Down

"BONUS DAMAGE : 4-10% >>> 5-12% (still vs targets with 10%-100% more maximum health than you)"

Riot wants this rune to be more competitive with Coup de Grace and Last Stand, but the problem is that, whereas the other two are going to be of use all the time, Cut Down only “works” when you’re fighting a higher health champion. Conditional runes are always going to be outclassed unless they are plain overtuned.

What do you guys think about the changes Riot is making in Patch 9.5? Let us know in the comments!