Three Keys in League of Legends Patch 9.6

Wyatt Fossett,

March 25, 2019 9:30 PM

On the cusp of the playoffs for both North American and European League of Legends, Patch 9.6 is set to enter pro play.

The final weeks in League of Legends pro play have been wild. With teams like Echo Fox (LCS) punching well above their weight class, and Fnatic (LEC) looking like their true final form, we can't wait for the playoffs to begin. Before we can get there, we've got to look at the patch they will be playing on. 

Most importantly, can we talk about these amazing cute animal skins coming in 9.6?
Most importantly, can we talk about these amazingly cute animal skins coming in 9.6?

According to Riot Games broadcaster Phreak, we know that the upcoming playoffs in both the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) will be played, for the most part, on new game Patch 9.6. This patch has been available on public servers for a few days now, which means it’s about time we take a look at the details and figure out which are our three key changes. 

Note: the LCS may still begin their playoffs on Patch 9.5, however, patched re-work Kayle will be unlocked for the first time in competitive play since the champion got a complete rework almost a month ago.

Kayle Lives

After Patch 9.5, the world took to the reworked Kayle like hot Teemo shrooms in the river. Players from all regions were walking away with impressive win percentages on the seemingly overpowered champion - so much so that Riot disabled the champion for both LCS in Week 8 and the LEC in their final week. 

In order to bring the champion back into a “playable” space, Patch 9.6 tweaks a lot of her abilities which seems to have done a good enough job. Though, current stats show that the win-rate is still above average. Riot has also stated that they will enable Kayle in the pro leagues prior to playoffs. 

(graphic courtesy Riot Games)
(graphic courtesy Riot Games)

“Kayle is looking quite strong, especially as players learn how to play her, but her W and E can feel awkward since she typically builds a lot of attack speed. We're fixing that as well as buffing up her W to be a better reactive defense in lane (instant haste = easier dodging). To compensate, we're hitting her late game power in ways that make her a bit more item dependent” writes Riot Aether in the patch notes. 

Both Kayle’s Attack Damage and Attack Speed Growths over time have been scaled back by .5 stats, which could show the biggest difference post-patch. Other tweaks include cast times for her 'E' and for Kayle's 'W'. The latter of which also got a 2% nerf to the given movement speed ratio per level.

Hopefully, we will see some decent Kayle picks as we get into the first weekend of League of Legends split playoffs for both the European and North American leagues.

Marksman Revival?

In order to spur on more marksman picks in the bottom lane, Riot has given a pretty significant buff to Caitlyn’s ultimate ability Ace in the Hole. 

Caitlyn ‘R’ - Ace in the Hole

Damage Change - 250/475/700 ⇒ 300/525/750

Also with the same goal in mind as the Caitlyn buff, Xayah’s ‘W’ ability is getting an attack speed buff of ten points or more at every stage of the upgrade. 

Xayah ‘W’ - Deadly Plumage

Bonus Attack Speed 30/35/40/45/50% ⇒ 40/47.5/55/62.5/70%

There has been a large gap of time since marksman champs like Xayah and Caitlyn have been played or meant much in pro leagues, and hopefully, these two small (but impactful) tweaks will see these two popular champions picked more. Xayah gets picked quite a bit, but Riot is trying to figure out, through time and small changes, how to make her more of an impact. 

Overheal Nerf

As Aether states in the patch notes, players in the carry role have been almost exclusively using the Overheal Rune, because it’s great. But that has left all the other runes, that could be worthwhile, dragging far behind. 

“Overheal is currently a must-pick with pros on ADCs. We want players to have more flexibility with rune paths, so we're nerfing it so other runes can keep up.”

The nerf opens up the bottom end of the level spectrum. Changing the way things go in the early and mid game. Instead of beginning at 40% it drops down to 20%. This may do as intended, but the Overheal Rune is still going to be the most popular kid at school.

These three key changes that came in League of Legends Patch 9.6 could have huge effects on the pro leagues moving forward. Especially the “normalizing” of Kayle. There are some pretty stellar top-laners playing in the LCS and LEC right now, and the re-introduction of Kayle could shake things up a bit in the pick and ban phase. 

The playoffs begin this weekend, and we will be going over the full schedules and how you can watch them later in the week. For now, looking forward to Friday morning (PST), we'll be on the rift getting used to the new 9.6 game patch.


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