League of Legends: Previewing the item changes in Patch 9.23

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

Lethality Items

The lethality items are, for the most part, remaining the same in Patch 9.23, save for some stat changes and tweaks. For instance, Serrated Dirk is losing the Headhunter passive while its cost and base stats are going unchanged, meaning it is going to be simply worse. However, lethality items will now no longer have a unique lethality passive, allowing them to stack up to two times and thus making two lethality items significantly more powerful.

As to the items themselves, Duskblade of Draktharr losing its Blackout passive. On the other hand, Youmuu’s Ghostblade is now going to allow the user to move through units while it’s active effect is going.

One big change, however, is coming to Edge of Night so that the spell shield will no longer be an active. Instead, it will act more like Banshee’s Veil, recharging if 40 seconds have gone by without taking damage. I think that, although this removes some of the skill expression of the item, this is a net positive because it also makes it a bit more predictable for the user (because there’s no risk of mistiming the channel or getting it interrupted) and opponent (you’ll know when it’s down or not).

There are also two new lethality items coming to League of Legends in Patch 9.23. First, there’s Umbral Glaive which is getting the Blackout Passive that Duskblade dropped, but at the cost of 10 less AD and 13 less lethality. The second new lethality item is called Sanguine Blade, which has life steal along with lethality and the Blood Pursuit passive that grants 8 lethality and 50-120% attack speed when near one or fewer enemies, making it great for splitpushers.

These lethality changes seem to be geared towards making assassins spike very hard at one or two items before falling off while also opening up non-assassins to buy a lethality item or two for the first time. However, the fact that Serrated Dirk will be so much weaker early in the game is going to be an issue for roaming, snowball assassins.

Who this helps: Splitpushers who want to abuse Sanguine Blade (Jax, Renekton, Tryndamere) and lethality ADCs who like the safety of a Banshee’s-type item (Varus, Lucian).

Who this hurts: Assassins who liked the lane dominance of the early Serrated Dirk and who might not like losing the Blackout on Duskblade to allow them to roam easier (Zed, Talon).