League of Legends: 5 Key Takeaways from the Preseason Item Changes

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

Riot has teased some of the item changes players can expect for the coming preseason!

It’s insane to think that Season 10 of League of Legends will be coming in just a few short months. But while most of the rest of us need to start focusing on our climb to Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Diamond, Riot is focused on preseason. Today, Riot dropped its first preseason roadmap, which lays out the direction that they are looking to take the game in Season 11, specifically the vast range of item changes that will be coming to the game.

Riot has already teased us that they would be looking to re-work the item systems in the preseason, but today they showed just how much they’ll be changing. This includes the introduction of a new stat that will replace CDR, new items for forgotten classes, and a big change to jungle items. Here are the five biggest changes Riot announced for preseason.

1. Ability Haste Replaces CDR

The biggest change everyone is talking about is the decision to remove CDR and replace it with a new stat, ability haste. Riot’s reasoning is that CDR is an exponentially-scaling stat (that is to say, you get more benefit from CDR the more you have) because it scales the percentage of your cooldown reduction.

More from Blog of Legends

Ability haste, on the other hand, will be linear scaling, meaning that your cooldowns will scale based on how many ability casts you can get in a certain amount of time. If this sounds like basically the same thing as CDR, you should know that Riot laid out the math that 10% CDR is 11% more casts, while 40% CDR is 66% more casts, and 50% CDR is 100% more casts. By contrast, 10 ability haste will be 10% more casts and 50% ability haste will be 50% more abilities cast. I’ll break down the math in a separate piece, but in general this means that ability haste is less effective than CDR.

As a result, though, Riot promises that more items will have ability haste on them and they’ll be able to create new, specific ability haste items. In addition, unlike CDR, ability haste is uncapped, meaning you can stack as much as you want. From the math above, that means that 66 ability haste will be roughly equivalent to the current 40% CDR, so keep that in mind when the item changes drop.

2. Jungle Items are Getting the Support Treatment

At the beginning of Season 10, Riot dropped a massive change to support items that vastly improved their power level. Supports now did not need to spend gold to upgrade their support items other than the initial purchase price. Now, that same identity is coming to the jungle.

This is a great change, in my opinion, because it gives a fair chunk of income back to a role that typically is second-lowest in terms of gold per minute. This means junglers can get to key items quicker and be more impactful early (exactly what every laner wants to hear).

It’ll be interesting to see if the jungle items upgrade in a similar fashion to the support items with quests to be completed and unlocked. I hope that we’ll get to see some unique starting jungle items ala the support items, similar to the old Spirit Stone items from way back in Season 4.

3. Tenacity Applies to Knock-ups

This has always been somewhat counter-intuitive because knock-ups are one of the few types of hard crowd control in the game and yet tenacity does not apply to them. Riot clarified that knock-backs and pulls (aka displacements) will not be affected by the change to tenacity, but I’m glad that knock-ups now have a counter.

4. Tailored Items for AP Assassins and Fighters

Riot noted that AP champions tend to simply borrow from the mage item roster in their build, so they’re looking to make more items that would be ideal for AP assassins (like Leblanc, Fizz, and Akali) and AP fighters (Singed, Mordekaiser, and Lillia). Riot noted that these champions tend to want the same types of items at the start of their build (pure damage as opposed to mana regen), while they diverge late game. So we can expect to see some more high-damage items for the early game (maybe a mana-less Ludens or something).

In the late game, however, Riot appears to be fine letting the AP fighters follow the same path that AD fighters do: transitioning from those bruiser items into pure tank. AP assassins, on the other hand, would just go back to those diverse, late-game mage items for their extra power button.

5. Reduce the Need for Healing Reduction

This is a two-parter because Riot is trying to make healing reduction a less-important stat to build while also making the stat itself more efficient. To this end, they have announced that healing reduction will be a “sharper” stat, by which I assume they mean that healing reduction will be more powerful when you get it, to reduce those annoying champions like Mundo and Soraka that have healing baked into their kit.

Next. Is League of Legends a Dying Game?. dark

On the other hand, and perhaps most importantly, Riot will be reducing the amount of healing that is available in the game. I would expect that this means they will take a look at the lifesteal items like Deaths Dance and Blade of the Ruined King, but I wonder if they might also take a look at some of the runes like Bloodline and Grasp that provide champions a lot of extra healing.