Patch 9.17 came in a very delicate part of the season, preceding the big, international phenomenon in which all eyes of the esports world are turned to see who gets crowned the best team in LoL: Worlds Championship. For this reason, it is clear that in LoL 9.17 patch notes, we won’t be seeing incredibly big updates, but rather some adjustments and small changes in preparation for what will come next.
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Two champions, however, need our attention the most: Aurelion Sol and Kayle have been modified quite a lot, and therefore we will be dedicating specific paragraphs to them to be able to explain in detail what these changes are about. We will then cover the rest of the champions that received some interesting nerfs or buffs in order to be balanced and, to conclude, devote the last part of the article to more general changes and new skins and cosmetics. Let’s get right into it.
Aurelion Sol received in patch 9.17 some buffs as well as nerfs, which is surprising considering how fairly bad the champion was doing until now. He was rarely picked and almost non-existent in pro meta, but perhaps these changes will make the situation for our beloved dragon a bit different.
All of Aurelion Sol’s abilities are now different except his R, Voice of Light. To begin with, the Center of the Universe (Passive) lost damage dealt by 20% at early levels compared to before. The ratio also changed from 0.18 to 0.35 ability power to 0.25 ability power. These nerfs are countered by a buff thanks to which CC (crowd control) cannot interrupt or nullify this Passive, making damage output more consistent.
Starsurge (Q)’s cooldown now scales and goes from a flat 10 seconds to 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7. The movement speed granted by the ability also received a buff and goes from the previous 10% to now 20%. The patch also introduced a new effect, Catch Me Catch You, which means that if Aurelion Sol is traveling faster compared to his star, the latter will speed up and catch up on the dragon.
Aurelion’s Celestial Expansion (W) also gets a new effect called Let it Rip: when the champion pushes his stars out the Outer Limit, their damage will increase as well as their speed, even though it will decay over time. The ability’s cooldown got reworked so that it is higher early and lower late compared to how it previously was, and mana is changed too, so that is now 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 on the cast.
Finally, Aurelion Sol’s E ability, Comet of Legend, received some changes. The extra movement speed gained if moving in the same direction is now removed completely from the game, while the range and cooldown of the ability, as well as the speed granted by it, have all been increased.
Kayle has been greatly changed as well in this patch. Before 9.17, it was widely known how our champion could be nearly unstoppable in the late stages of the game at the cost of not contributing much during the early game. Now things will be different: Kayle updates mean that she will be a bit stronger (and less useless) since the beginning and that her power late has now been significantly balanced.
Through her Passive, Divine Ascent, Kayle was able to ascend to two forms, Aflame and Arisen, at, respectively, levels 6 and 11. Now things are reversed, since the champion reaches the Arisen form first, at level 6, and the Aflame one later on, at level 11. Bonus movement speed and cast range have both been nerfed. Kayle also received a new effect, Transcendent Attack Range, which gives her, while in this form, 50 additional range.
Radiant Blast (Q), too, has a new effect, Mana Refund, and it is quite literally that: for each time a champion is hit by Q, 50% of the mana cost is refunded to Kayle. Missile speed and range have been reduced (from 2000 to 1600, from 950 to 900). Resistance reduction is now lower by 5% (from 15% to 10%), and the cast delay has decreased as well.
To conclude with Kayle, we have to talk about her E, Starfire Spellblade, which now has a reduced bonus magic damage: from 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16% (+ 0.01 per 100 ability power) of the target’s missing health down to 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12% (+ 0.01 per 50 ability power) of the target’s missing health. The on-hit ratio also changed, from 0.1 total attack damage and 0.2 ability power to 0.1 bonus attack damage and 0.25 ability power.
And finally, Divine Judgment (R) mana cost is reduced and can even cost 0 mana when maxed out, while the AoE (Area of Effect) is increased by 25 units (from 475 to 500).
We can now turn our attention towards some smaller changes that some champions undergo in patch 9.17. They still bring something new to the table, so it is interesting to mention them.
- Galio. The patch tries to bring Galio back into the meta through some buffs. Winds of War (Q) cooldown decreased, Shield of Durand (W) minimum and maximum damage increased. Will these changes be enough? Probably not, as the champion will still struggle to compete against top-picked mids right now.
- Kalista. She sees some changes to her base stats; meanwhile, her abilities stay the same. Base attack damage, mana, and mana growth have all been increased.
- Leona. Very simple buff to our holy warrior. The cooldown of her Shield of Daybreak (Q) is now lower, going from 6 to 5 seconds.
- Lucian. The champion received a base stat buff, as his attack damage is now 64 instead of 61. Quite important since the champion heavily relies on auto-attacks.
- Neeko. A new interesting feature has been added to her Passive, Inherent Glamour. Neeko can now deactivate this ability without taking damage and deactivate her disguise, putting the Passive on a cooldown lasting 2 seconds.
- Pantheon. Following the major rework received in Patch 9.16, Pantheon has to go through a series of smaller tweaks to render him balanced. His Comet Spear (Q) now has a new effect, Thrusts, which in some circumstances, increases the physical damage dealt to enemies below 25% of max health. In contrast, Aegis Assault (E) no longer applies a damage reduction to non-epic monsters.
- Qiyana. It has been pointed out for a while how she is quite OP, so in this patch, both Quiyana’s E and R received some nerfs. Audacity’s base damage went down from 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 to 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200. Supreme Display of Talent does not scale anymore but stays at a flat amount, from 120 / 100 / 80 to 120 at all ranks.
- Ryze. The champion undergoes just a small buff, as his base magic resistance is now 34 instead of 30.
- Zyra. It feels great to end our review of LoL 9.17 patch changes in champions with a nice buff. Zyra’s Stranglethorns (R) now stays at 100 mana cost instead of scaling up 100 / 120 / 140 as before, and its cooldown decreased to 110/100/90 seconds from 130/120/110 seconds.
Players and fans have been asking for a while for an expansion of the weekly free champion rotation. Devs listened, and now the pool of champions they can choose from is finally larger, including 14 champions and not just 10 anymore. Riot promised to keep working on this and to include even more champions as time goes on.
Other changes include bug fixes to some not-intended interactions of some champions, and of course, the introduction of new skins and chromas, always anticipated with much interest by gamers. The 9.17 patch will release these cosmetics for Ahri, Veigar, Nocturne, Varus, Shen, and Galio.