League of Legends 5.22 MEGAPATCH Yeas and Nays
Posted: Nov 11 2015
Holy mother of God. Reading the 5.22 patch notes made me feel like I was back in grad school. What a behemoth patch, which you can check out here. Rather than try to analyze it or give a TL;DR that would still be 25 pages long, I'm going to list the major yeas and nays from the perspective of a casual but dedicated LoL player. Whether you're on the fence about returning to the game, you're a normal person who doesn't want to read Riot's mangum opus, or you're just looking for someone's opinion to disagree with, hopefully this can help a little.
1) Marskman Update Hype
Seriously channeling my inner Lil Jon on this one. As an ADC main, Season 5 sucked big time. Yes, yes, you could still carry and you still do a ton of damage at the post-game screen, but being the weakest player on the map for the first 30 minutes while getting repeatedly buttfucked by 5 man ganks, as well as being forced onto hypercarries was no bueno. All Marksmen basically got buffed in some way, mainly Quinn (Who honestly is pretty OP now), Graves, and Caitlin. ADC items all got reworked BIG TIME, with many cost reductions, new effects, and entirely new items.
My favorite changes are definitely the new Quinn. You become a roaming monster since your ultimate now has no cooldown, allowing you to easily roam around the map to help gank lanes, get to objectives quicker, and get back to lane easily. I almost want to try her mid with her new kind because of the amount of insane map presence you can have, and she does feel like more of an AD caster now that her Aerial Assault scales well and does a ton of damage.
2) Rift Herald
Gone are the days of the snoozefest wet noodle tank fights in top lane with the addition of the Rift Herald, a new neutral monster that spawns in the Baron pit that provides allows the last hitter to gain a pretty significant pushing bonus. Finally there's a neutral objective on the top side of the map to add a bit of diversity to early game strategies, and ADC mains everywhere are breathing easier knowing the entire enemy team isn't waiting to gang bang you in bot lane to take dragon.
This addition is one of many that Riot has introduced this patch to encourage shorter laning phases and more splitpushing. It seems an honest effort to reduce game length and discourage passive laning in top (I recently played Cho'Gath vs. Garen in what was probably the most boring experience of my life for 20 minutes). Additionally your jungler now has more reason to hold down the top side of the map, other than tilting the hell out of that Riven that's furiously pinging ??? while you're trying to take a jungle camp.
Rift Herald should introduce some interesting new gameplay, which is always good, and the fact that it goes away after Baron spawns means it's the perfect addition for extra early game diversity.
3) Jungle Nerfs
Riot finally decided not to compeltely rework the jungle for the first time I can remember, so mostly nothing changed here. However, all the camps die much quicker, which opens up a lot more jungle champion picks. Season 5 felt a little too restrictive and encouraged essentially the same 4-5 junglers in every game, which to be fair, has been the case for a long, long time. While I don't think Season 6 will suddenly have 50 viable junglers, it's a nice change to encourage champions who have a weak level 1-3 not to be scared shitless of the Lee Sin level 2 invade.
Also it means I get to probably try out my Lissandra jungle again, which despite what all my friends say is actually really...decent.
1) Minions Wave Changes
Look, I hate 50 minute games as much as anyone, but I don't know if we needed this change. Riot basically changed the way minions waves work by doing more damage or taking less damage based on how fair ahead you are (Levels and Towers destoryed). While it seems like an anti-stall mechanic, it's just so convoluted. There are 4 different scenarios that determine how fast your wave pushes, but ultimately if you're ahead all that matters is all three waves are going to push very quickly.
I'll wait to test it out more and give it a chance but not being able to freeze a wave if you're ahead is a major blow to the game. One of the best feelings was denying CS and zoning enemies because you traded better or got an early kill, but now you'll likely be trying to take the Rift Herald and relentlessly pushing, which is less punishing to the player that would normally be getting zoned. Of course because all three lanes push if your team is ahead, it's more punishing to the enemy team as a whole, but that feels more like Heroes of the Storm to me than League of Legends. Wave management was a great tactic which I fear I'll sorely miss.
2) Removal of Mana Pot and Flask
I'm not quite sure what was wrong with mana pots. Some champions really need them to survive laning, and as an avid Lucian player I don't really want to play without them. There aren't enough compensatory buffs for people that don't have the mana regen to stay in lane. I can imagine this is going to suck for AP champions with horrible base AD that need to use spells to CS effectively as well. This is just one of those changes I don't understand.