All changes coming to League’s 2022 preseason

There's lots to unpack.

Image via Riot Games

New items, dragons, and more surprising changes are coming to League of Legends in 2022.

Starting in November with the preseason, Riot will be testing a series of features. Instead of the usual overhaul or revamp, the preseason will improve on foundations laid over the past few years. 

“For this year’s preseason, we’re sprucing things up with our existing systems, like items, runes, and the elemental rift,” Riot’s director of gameplay production Jeremy Lee said on Oct. 7.

Here are all the proposed changes coming to League’s 2022 preseason.

Items

Image via Riot Games

Riot plans to add new items and make some adjustments to others in the 2022 preseason. This will include two new Mythic items, according to Lee. The first one is suited to mages that are “looking for a little more survivability.” The item grants damage reduction that “lingers” for a few seconds after you get hit. While the protection holds, you also receive ability haste. 

Riot thinks this item will be particularly good for longer-range mages who need a Mythic that could help survive a tower dive. Xerath and Ziggs are two examples of champions that might use this item. 

The second is a support-tank item that’s “perfect for champions that want to get aggressive and charge into the middle of a fight.” 

When you immobilize an enemy champion with this item, all nearby enemies will take increased damage from your team for a short period of time. A few champions that could make use of this item include Sejuani and Leona.

“When we updated League’s item system, we wanted to give every champion strategic choices in every game,” Lee said. “We still think that’s the right goal for Mythics but our thinking has changed when it comes to Legendary items.”

Riot thinks it’s fine for some champions to build the same Legendary in most games if it’s the “perfect fit.” But the devs also want players to have plenty of options, which is why they plan to improve Legendaries for mages, assassins, and tanks.

Assassins, for example, can look forward to a new Legendary item that grants ability haste and refunds a portion of their ultimate’s cooldown with enemy takedowns, according to Lee.

Tanks, who are reliant on mana, will receive a new Legendary item that grants bonus health based on total mana and also burns some of it to create a shield whenever they immobilize an enemy, and mages will be able to make use of a new Legendary item that grants magic penetration against recently-shielded enemies. 

Crown of the Shattered Queen

  • 70 ability power
  • 250 health
  • 600 mana
  • 20 ability haste
    • You are Safeguarded, reducing incoming damage by 50 percent. Safeguard persists for 1.5 seconds after taking champion damage
    • While Safeguarded, gain 10 to 40 ability power (by level)
    • (Regain safeguard if you haven’t taken champion damage for 40 seconds)
    • Mythic passive: One percent movement speed and 50 health

Evenshroud

  • 200 Health
  • 20 Ability Haste
  • 30 Armor
  • 30 Magic Resist
    • Repentance: After immobilizing champions or being immobilized, cause that target and all nearby enemies to Repent increasing the damage they take by 12 percent for five seconds
    • Mythic passive: Grants all other Legendary items five armor and magic resist

Frostfire Gauntlet

  • 350 health
  • 25 armor
  • 25 magic resist
  • 20 ability haste
    • Immolate: Taking or dealing damage causes you to begin dealing 12 + one percent bonus magic damage per second to nearby enemies (increased by 25 percent against minions and 150 percent against jungle monsters) for three seconds
    • Snowbind: Attacks create a frost field for 1.5 seconds and deal magic damage to all enemies in the area. Enemies that move across the field are slowed
    • Mythic passive: Grants all other Legendary items 100 Health and six percent size

Turbo Chemtank

  • 350 health
  • 25 armor
  • 25 magic resist
  • 20 ability haste
    • Active – Supercharged: Grants 40 percent movement speed towards enemies or enemy turrets for four seconds. Once near an enemy (or after four seconds) a shockwave is emitted that slows nearby champions by 50 percent for 1.5 seconds (90 seconds cooldown)
    • Refuel: Moving and dealing damage fills up the Chemtank. At 100 stacks, your next basic attack deals magic damage to all nearby enemies (increased by 25 percent against minions and 175 percent against jungle monsters)
    • Mythic passive: Grants all other legendary items five ability haste and 50 health

Winters Approach

  • 400 health
  • 500 mana
  • 15 ability haste
    • Awe: Gain bonus health equal to eight percent mana
    • Mana Charge: Strike a target with an ability or attack to consume a charge and gain three bonus mana, doubled if the target is a champion. Grants a maximum of 360 mana at which point this item transforms into Fimbulwinter

Fimbulwinter

  • 400 health
  • 860 mana
  • 15 ability haste
    • Awe: Gain bonus health equal to eight percent mana
    • Everlasting: Immobilizing or slowing (melee only) an enemy champion consumes three percent of current mana and grants a shield for three seconds, absorbing damage. The shield is increased by 80 percent if more than one enemy is nearby

Axiom Arc

  • 55 attack damage
  • 10 lethality
  • 25 ability haste
    • Refresh: Whenever a champion dies within three seconds of having a damaged them, refund 25 percent of your ultimate ability’s total cooldown

Shadowflame

  • 80 ability power
  • 250 health
    • Damage to champions benefits from 10 to 20 magic penetration based on the target’s current health. (Max value at 1,000 or less health, minimum value at 2,500 or more health)
    • Gain the max penetration if the target was recently affected by shields

Cosmic Drive

  • 60 ability power
  • 250 health
  • 30 ability haste
  • Five percent movement speed
    • After damaging champions with three separate attacks or spells, gain 30 percent movement speed decaying to 15 percent) and 40 ability power until leaving combat

Horizon Focus

  • 110 ability power
  • 150 health
    • Now also includes slows to trigger Horizon Focus. (Rylai’s Crystal Scepter also works)

Demonic Embrace

  • 60 ability power
  • 450 health
    • Dealing ability damage burns enemies for 2/1.2 percent max health magic damage every second for four seconds.
    • Convert two percent of your bonus health to ability power

Seraph’s Embrace

  • 80 ability power
  • 860 mana
  • 250 health
    • Gain ability haste equal to 1.3 percent bonus mana
    • Restore Health equal to 40 percent of mana spent, up to 25 to 50 + 10 percent ability power per cast
    • (Toggles can restore the same amount per one second)

Force of Nature

  • 350 health
  • 70 magic resist
  • Five percent movement speed
    • Absorb: Taking magic damage from enemy champions grants a stack of Steadfast (max six). Enemy immobilizing effects grant an additional two stacks
    • Dissipate: While at six stacks of Steadfast, take 20 percent reduced magic damage and gain 10 percent increased movement speed

Knight’s Vow

  • 400 health
  • 10 ability haste
  • 150 percent base health regen
    • Active – Pledge: Designate an ally who is Worthy
    • Sacrifice: While your Worthy ally is nearby, redirect 10 percent of damage they take to you and heal for eight percent of the damage dealt by your Worthy ally to champions. If they have less than 30 percent health the damage reduction is increased to 20 percent

Abyssal Mask

  • 400 health
  • 30 magic resist
  • 10 ability haste
    • Unmake: Curse nearby enemy champions, reducing their magic resist. For each cursed enemy, gain seven magic resist

Runes

Riot has “continued to monitor” the rates of use and power levels of runes across the game and thinks there are some “good, targeted changes” it can make to the system in the 2022 preseason.

“Most of all, we feel the Inspiration tree’s identity has been pretty unclear,” Lee said. “We’d like to broaden its keystone use cases [in the 2022 preseason].”

The devs are reworking Glacial Augment to “double down” on its “fantasy” of slowing down enemies. They’re also making some adjustments to Lethal Tempo to “lean into its attack speed fantasy” and give it a more “distinct use-case” in the Precision tree.

Lethal Tempo

  • Gain attack speed for six seconds when striking at least one enemy champion with each attack. This effect stacks up to six times
  • While this effect is at its cap, also gain attack range and increase your attack speed cap to 3.0

Glacial Augment

  • Immobilizing an enemy champion will cause three glacial rays to emanate from them towards you and other nearby champions, creating frozen zones for a few seconds that slow enemies for 40 percent and reduce their damage by 15 percent against your allies (not including yourself)

First Strike

  • Damaging an enemy champion with an attack or ability before they do so grants five gold and First Strike for three seconds, causing your attacks or abilities to deal 12 percent extra damage against champions, and granting 100 percent (70 percent for ranged units) of that damage dealt as gold
  • Cooldown: 25 to 15 seconds (based on level)

First Strike is a new Inspiration Keystone that will give players a big advantage when they strike an enemy champion first. As well as the extra damage, the extra gold it gains will allow players to reach item breakpoints at unexpected times, according to Riot. The rune is designed for players who want more “strategic, long-term output” from their runes.

Objective Bounties

Champion bounties act as a way to “even out” the game by rewarding players with extra gold for killing enemy champions that have gained a lead, according to Riot. While the devs don’t plan on making changes to this system, they think they can give players additional ways to get back into the game in the form of something called Objective Bounties.

Objective Bounties will work like champion bounties, except they’ll be cashed in when players take map objectives like towers or the Baron. “They ramp up slowly when the enemy team lead grows,” Lee said. “And the bounty is shared with your whole team, regardless of who claimed it.”

Taking objectives is generally the best way to make a comeback when you’re behind, so Riot wants to make that a “clearer” and “more rewarding” strategy in the 2022 preseason.

  • Baron/Elder Dragon – 500g
  • Dragon/Rift Herald – 500g
  • Outer turret – 250g
  • Inner turret – 400g
  • Base turret – 400g
  • As the losing team falls farther behind, these base amounts can increase by up to an additional 60 percent
  • Objective Bounties have a 15 second warning period when coming online and a 15 second lingering duration when falling off. This time can be extended if the losing team remains in combat with an active Objective Bounty

Dragons

Image via Riot Games

The original goal of dragons in Rise of the Elements was to increase “game-to-game” variance by “creating a variety of distinct and memorable environments for players to master,” according to Riot. In the 2019 season, this included map terrain transformations, new and powerful Dragon Souls, and a game-ending Elder dragon buff.

While these changes largely succeeded in making the game feel more unique, Riot still thinks there’s room to expand upon the unique environments in Summoner’s Rift. “We really like how each dragon creates unique terrain, grants power buffs, and adds more strategy to the mid and late game,” Lee said.

In the 2022 preseason, Riot is adding two more dragons to the game. The Hextech dragon grants additional ability haste and attack speed. When players claim the soul, they’ll receive a “chain slow,” similar to Statikk Shiv’s passive. When this dragon takes over Summoner’s Rift, it creates “hextech gates” that can transport players to set locations across the map.

The Chemtech dragon grants additional damage when players’ health bars are low. The soul provides players with a “second chance” at life. When they die, they’ll enter a “zombie state,” where they can cast abilities and continue fighting for a short period of time. When this dragon takes over the Rift, it creates “camouflage zones” in fixed locations.

“These dragons might seem more impactful than the current ones,” Lee said. “And well, they are. Our goal is to add more unique encounters and meaningful strategies to the mid and late-game.”

Chemtech dragon

  • Standard buff
    • Grants bonus damage against enemies with more current health than you (up to a five percent increase in damage per stack)
  • Dragon Soul
    • When a team obtains the Chemtech dragon soul, they receive a buff that grants them a brief second life after they die
  • Terrain
    • When the terrain transforms for the Chemtech dragon, gas zones emerge in four jungle locations. Gas zones camouflage any champion within the zone. Camouflaged enemies are not revealed by regular vision wards, but are revealed by control wards, Scryer’s Blooms, and other things that reveal invisible units

Hextech dragon

  • Standard buff
    • Grants attack speed and ability haste to the team that delivers the killing blow (five ability haste and five percent attack speed per stack)
  • Dragon Soul
    • When a team obtains the Hextech dragon soul, they gain a unique ability that adds a chain lightning slow to their basic attacks and abilities, with a moderate cooldown
  • Terrain
    • When the terrain transforms for the Hextech dragon, pairs of Hex-gates appear across the map which allow champions to quickly travel from one location to the paired counterpart. Hex-gates are activated with a brief channel (that can be interrupted by stuns or damage) before rapidly transporting a player across the map to the corresponding Hex-gate

Challenges

Riot is adding a new system called Challenges to the game in the 2022 preseason. Through the system, players will be rewarded for all the “challenging, unique, and fun goals they achieve through their games,” according to Riot.

Challenges rank up over time, showcasing players’ increasing mastery and “legacy” across several systems, modes, and gameplay. “We want to highlight not just your rank and champion mastery but also your inventiveness, breadth of playstyles, collection, and everything else in between,” Lee said.

With this system, players will be able to track their general mastery and investment in the game, visualize and compare a variety of accomplishments, and have different types of goals to progress and strive towards.

The full system is expected to launch early next year.


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