League of Legends: Patch 9.7 Breakdown

Transcended Kayle. League of Legends.
Transcended Kayle. League of Legends. /
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Riot Games.
Riot Games. /


Eyeball Collection

"Max Stacks: 20 -> 10 Stacks: 2 per champion kill, 1 per champion assist, 1 per ward kill -> 1 per champion takedown (kill or assist) Adaptive Force: 1 per stack (20 total) -> 2 per stack (20 total) Completion Bonus: 10 adaptive force (unchanged)"

Max stacks have been halved, but the amount of adaptive damage you gain is doubled, so the total damage you’ll get from this rune is unchanged. Getting more damage per stack is obviously a net gain, since it’s easier to stack it fully quicker.

However, Riot has sharpened Eyeball Collection’s identity by taking away the ward kills to grant stacks, making it more about champion takedowns. In addition, it puts each takedown (kills and assists) on equal playing field, giving one stack for each. I ultimately think this makes the rune better on the champs that are going to have higher kill participation but not necessarily on assassins who might be racking up solo kills.

Ghost Poro

"[Removed] Haunted Trinket: Standing in brush no longer converts your trinket into a Ghost Poro. Placing a Ghost Poro in enemy territory no longer grants adaptive force. [New] Spooky: Your wards now spawn a Ghost Poro when they expire, giving vision in the area until it’s scared away be enemy champions. Wards killed by enemies don’t spawn Ghost Poros. [New] Boo: Spawning a Ghost Poro grants 2 adaptive force up to 10 times (max 20). At 10 Ghost Poro spawns, gain an additional 10 adaptive force."

So, this is actually a really cool change. Now, you don’t have to fumble to place a Ghost Poro before it switches back to your trinket. Instead, this will give you a permanent Ghost Poro after your ward expires, lasting until it’s scared away.

One question I have, though, is whether the adaptive force you gain remains even if the Ghost Poro is scared off. I would assume so, but if not, this rune would be extremely hard to get max value out of. This is particularly true since it doesn’t count wards the enemy kills via (I’m assuming sweeping the brush). This also means that control wards won’t grant a Ghost Poro when they are killed.

The other problem I see is who can best use this rune? Junglers won’t want it because they’re going to switch to sweeper early, ADCs don’t place enough wards to justify this, and solo laners probably still want Eyeball Collection more since it might be easier to stack (and they might swap to sweeper as well). That leaves supports, and really this would only be good on mage supports and kill supports like Pyke. That said, this rune would be excellent on those champions.

Zombie Ward

"[Removed] Touch of Death: Damaging a champion after clearing a ward no longer deals bonus damage [New] Ward Graveyard: Clearing a ward grants 2 adaptive force up to 10 times (max 20). At 10 ward clears, gain an additional 10 adaptive force."

Another cool change, kind of on the flip side of the Ghost Poro update. This one grants those same stacks for wards cleared (unclear if it will apply to killing control wards), and unlike Ghost Poro there is no conditional nature to it (you don’t have to wait for the wards to expire and become Poros, just killing a ward grants the stack).

This is definitely a rune that will be taken by AD junglers, who want to swap to sweeper early. It would also be great on assassins in the solo lanes who are going to swap to sweeper too. In any case, I’m glad that now there are two runes that are going to encourage more vision clearing, and not make Eyeball Collection mandatory.

Cut Down

"Damage: 5-12% -> 5-15% (still at 10-100% max health difference)"

Riot says it was bad even after the buff it got in 9.5. I would agree, but I think this rune is just too conditional and they need to rework/change it.


"DAMAGE: 100 (+30% max health) -> 100 (+35% max health)"

I don’t think Demolish was lagging that far behind, considering how important taking the early tower plates can be. That said, a 5% max health buff isn’t going to be that impactful early.


"Completion Bonus: 2.5% max health increase -> 3.5% max health increase"

Health stackers (Volibear, Mundo) really haven’t had their stack health rune since Strength of the Ages was removed way back many seasons ago. I don’t think adding the 1% max health increase to completing this minor rune quite fills that missing link.

Ultimate Hunter

"Ult Cooldown Reduction: 5 (+2% per stack), max 15% -> 5 (+3% per stack), max 20%"

No one was really taking this when better runes like Relentless Hunter or Ravenous Hunter are on the same tree. Maybe this becomes more desirable on ult-dependent champs like Rengar, but I still think you’d rather have the constant MS or healing.

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Have any complaints, issues or problems with the League of Legends Patch 9.7 notes? Let us know in the comments!