League of Legends Patch 9.7 Three Keys: Kayle, Sylas, & Lissandra

Wyatt Fossett,

April 4, 2019 9:50 PM

LoL Patch 9.7 is here, and we're going to pick apart the three biggest key takeaways from all the changes coming in the MSI Patch.

We’re one round into both the North American League of Legends (LCS) playoffs and the European (LEC) playoffs, and even though things won’t change in-game until the winners of the Spring Splits are decided, we’ve got the patch notes for 9.7. 

Dubbed the “MSI Patch”, 9.7 will be the version of the game that the world’s best teams play on during the Mid-Season Invitational. The display of global League of Legends talent will be on stage in May at the Heping Stadium in Taipei. But it’s the patch that has our attention today, so let’s take a look at the three biggest keys from League of Legends patch 9.7.

Too Much of a Good Thing

As if the collective excitement from League of Legends fans all over jinxed it, we’ve lost the Kayle we were gifted just a few patches ago. 

Almost immediately after the rise of a refreshed Kayle, some things were tweaked to hopefully bring down the win-rate of the reworked champion. But it wasn’t enough. In what LCS caster Phreak calls an “Ai Nerf”, the champ was flagged for an update due to pick rates, and win percentages. 

(courtesy Riot Games)
(courtesy Riot Games)

Not to say that this nerf will completely strike her from the pro league, it’s going to greatly change who will be playing Kayle. Namely, those with a vast pool of knowledge and critical practice will still keep her in their champion pool. But with nerfs to her ‘W’s Bonus Movement Speed, and the Bonus Magic Damage gained from her ‘E’ ability, Kayle’s havoc is bumped from the top tier. 

A bunch of small changes have accumulated to a rather large nerf to Kayle in their current state. 

Sylas’ Chains Come Off

It’s been pretty standard practice to auto-ban Sylas in most forms of play. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing draft regulars, or solo queue grinding your way out of silver III, or you’re a pro on the LCS mainstage. If you’re not playing Sylas, you’re banning him. His ban rate in 9.6 peaked at over 50%. 

(courtesy Riot Games)
(courtesy Riot Games)

So, patch 9.7 is going to nerf almost everything in his kit to see if the balance to the force can be brought upon the rift. His base health regeneration is getting a 20+% nerf. The damage dealt by his ‘W’ in both regular and empowered (level 6 and up) forms is nerfed completely across the scale. His ‘E’ cooldown has also been raised in the early game and matches the old ‘E’ scaling at max level. 

This will most likely not knock Sylas off his pro league throne, but it sure will give cause for poking around in your champion pool a bit more. 

A Queen Removed

If Sylas is the King of the pro scene, then Lissandra is by far the Queen. Picked in almost every single pro match, Lissandra is a go-to or any mid-laner worth their salt. Unfortunately, the stats folks at Riot weren’t happy with that off-set balance, and they’ve tied one of her strongest hands behind her back. Which, if you read our rundown of the entire patch notes, you saw coming. 

(courtesy Riot Games)
(courtesy Riot Games)

Lissandra’s best tool in lane is (or was) her ‘Q’ ability, the Ice Shard. It’s essential for wave clear, and even Riot didn’t beat around the bush when talking about the nerf to the ability. 

“We're hitting Lissandra's waveclear so she can't consistently out-shove her opponents.”

The cooldown timer for her wave-clear almost doubles in the early game and is 25% higher than before coming in at max level. That’s a huge difference. In relation to prior cooldown stats, Lissandra will now be able to cast her creep-killer a staggering 1/3rd less often. 

Out of all the tiny adjustments, this may be the one that affects pro play the most. We may just see Lissandra left off the priority pick list altogether. But we don’t have to worry about that just yet.

Ivern gets a Wilt Chamberlain inspired skin in 9.7 (courtesy Riot Games)
Ivern gets a Wilt Chamberlain inspired skin in 9.7 (courtesy Riot Games)

These changes won't hit professional league of legends in either the LEC or LCS until after the Spring Split playoffs. Which means we’ll most likely continue to see the Sylas ban, and priority Lissandra picks for mid-lane. 

Afterwards, however, as we head into the Mid-Season Invitational, we will see those pick and ban rates greatly change thanks to the implementation of patch 9.7 in the pro leagues. If you missed our Three Keys from patch 9.6, you can catch up on what's happening within the pro patch. 

What do you think is the most impactful change in Riot’s League of Legends Patch 9.7?


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