League of Legends: Summoner’s Rift Patch 9.20 breakdown – Is Shaco back?

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Garen. League of Legends.

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

New month, new patch! The first League of Legends update of October will be hitting live servers tomorrow as Patch 9.20 makes it’s way onto the Rift! Here’s our breakdown of all the important changes:

With Halloween on the horizon, what would be better than reworking League of Legends’ only clown champion? Shaco joins Garen and Viktor in the list of champions receiving small gameplay updates on Patch 9.20 in an attempt to “freshen up their kits”.

Meanwhile, five other champions and one item will receive small buffs/nerfs. Following the mammoth that was the Worlds patch (Patch 9.19), it’s no surprise that the playerbase has been handed a much more easily-digestible list of changes to get their hands on over the next few weeks. Here’s our breakdown of every update in Patch 9.20:

Blitzcrank

Base Stats
Armor: 44 -> 40.
Armor Growth: 4 -> 3.5.

Blitz received a 100 range buff to his Q – Rocket Grab on Patch 9.19, as well as a nice buff to his ultimate Static Field. As a result, he’s shot up to the top of the solo queue support tier list with a scary 53.61% win rate, while also showing his face in pro play.

After this nerf, Blitzcrank will have 4 less armor at level 1, and 9 less at level 11. By no means does this kill the monster that has recently taken over the bottom lane, but it makes him much more punishable by ADCs dealing physical damage. Expect to see the Steam Golem rolling over his bot lane opponents throughout Patch 9.20, but potentially with a 1% or 2% drop in his win rate.

Garen

Base Stats
Attack Speed Growth: 2.9% -> 3.65%.
Health: 616.28 -> 620.
Health Growth: 84.25 -> 84.

First of all, Garen will be getting a lot more attack speed in the later stages of the game, which ties in with his new E – Judgement. As for the health changes, they sort of cancel each other out, but overall make Garen the tiniest bit beefier in the early game.

Passive – Perseverance.

Regeneration: 2/8% (based on level) of his maximum health per 5 seconds -> 1.5-10.1% (levels 1-18) of his maximum health per 5 seconds.
[Removed] Empowered Regeneration: Garen no longer passively doubly regenerates health while below 25/50% (based on level) of his maximum health.
[Updated] Regeneration Interruption: 9 seconds when hit by non-minions before level 11; 4 seconds when hit by epic monsters, towers, or champions after level 11 -> 7 seconds when hit by epic monsters, towers, or champions.

Garen’s passive regeneration, one of the most annoying aspects of his kit, is receiving a hefty nerf on Patch 9.20. While the base regeneration is more-or-less untouched, the ability to regenerate health twice as fast when below a certain threshold has been removed, reducing his sustain by a significant amount.

Q – Decisive Strike
[New] Cast Time: Now scales with Garen’s attack speed, behaving more similarly to a basic attack.

W – Courage
Resistances per Kill: 0.33 bonus armor and magic resistance (max of 50 at 150 unit kills) -> 0.25 bonus armor and magic resistance (max of 30 at 150 unit kills).
[Updated] Grants 30% extra damage reduction and Tenacity for the first 0.75 seconds -> Grants a shield for 10% of his maximum health and 60% Tenacity for the first 0.75 seconds.

Sacrificing 20 armor and 20 magic resistance for a 10% health shield is a fair trade, losing the 30% damage reduction is not however. Garen’s W will now be a much weaker ability on Patch 9.20 onwards and heavily reduces his tank stats throughout the game.

E – Judgement

Spins: 5-10 (levels 1-16) -> 7 (+1 per 20% attack speed from items and levels).
Damage per Spin: 14/18/22/26/30 (+0.36-0.4 attack damage) -> 8/12/16/20/24 (+0-8 based on level).
Bonus Damage: 33% to a single enemy -> 25% to the nearest enemy.
Spins before Shred: 4 -> 6.
[New] Now grants stacks of Conqueror on each spin.

Spin to win? Not anymore. Garen the Beyblade has become Garen the Fidget Spinner with the absolute destruction of his E – Judgement. Less spins, less damage, less bonus damage, less shredding. But hey, at least it stacks Conqueror now!

R – Demacian Justice

[Removed] Passive: Garen no longer marks enemies with the most kills in the last 5 minutes as the Villain.
[New] Grants vision of the target for 1 second, preventing it from cancelling if the target breaks line of sight.
Damage: 175/350/525 (+0.286/0.333/0.4 of the target’s missing health) as magic damage -> 150/300/450 (+0.2/0.25/0.3 of the target’s missing health) as true damage.

Fortunately some of the earlier nerfs have been offset by the removal of the annoying and often ineffectual Villain mechanic on Garen’s ultimate Demacian Justice. On top of that, magic damage has been changed to true damage, and it can no longer be cancelled if vision of the target is lost. Although the damage numbers have been reduced, this change can be viewed as a positive one, mainly due to the upgrade to true damage.

All in all, we’ll have to see how this mini rework plays out over the coming weeks and months to assess Garen’s true power level. From the first look at the changes, it looks likely that Garen will be a much weaker champion on Patch 9.20, but we’ll have to wait and see how top lane mains utilise the Might of Demacia on the Rift.

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