Lethality items are being hit with an onslaught of changes—again

Changes from Duskblade to Youmuu's, and everything in between.

Image via Riot Games

Lethality items in League of Legends have had a rough year. Despite just being introduced in the fall, only to undergo several large-scale changes early in the season, they’re not out of the woods yet.

More changes are on the way to balance the power between lethality items, according to last week’s post from Riot on the official League forums.

The world of lethality has been problematic for a while now. Since the last round of lethality changes earlier this year, items like Blade of the Ruined King, Black Cleaver, Death’s Dance, and the newly price-reduced critical strike items have been outshining lethality items at every turn, aside from on a select few champions. Both ADCs and ADs get harder hitting damage when they opt to build outside of the realm of lethality, and with how snowball-oriented lethality is, why would they ever build it outside of a few niche cases? It’s plain and simple—they wouldn’t.

More damage, less speed

To give some more burst damage to lethality items without changing the formula for lethality itself (for the third time), there will now be a proc of 50 bonus damage added onto your next damaging attack or ability after killing a large minion, monster, or champion. This bonus damage will be added to the Serrated Dirk and Poacher’s Dirk items, and it will replace the out-of-combat movement speed boost that the items provide. Youmuu’s Ghostblade will now be the only item that provides the ooc movement speed, and the stat is actually getting buffed even more on the item to solidify it as the niche item for AD champions that really need more mobility. The AD on the item will be lowered a bit to compensate.

Duskblade of Draktharr

The Duskblade of Draktharr is getting a huge buff. The damage from the Nightstalker proc will now be a flat amount of damage no matter what, making it way more reliable to buy as a first item. The proc will also slow the target you hit similar to how Trundle’s Chomp slows, and the item will be getting cooldown reduction as an additional stat. On top of the better proc damage, a slow, and the CDR, the item’s cost is also being reduced. With the newfound power this item is receiving, don’t be surprised to see it rise to the top of the meta rather quickly, especially on AD assassins and casters.

Cleaver? I hardly know her

Finally, the Black Cleaver is getting a major change that will end up being a nerf on a few AD champions. The stacks of the Cleaver’s passive will have an internal cooldown so that a new stack can only be applied 0.5 seconds after the last one. This would mean that Graves, Miss Fortune, Kha’Zix, and other burst champions that can apply all of the stacks at once will be majorly restricted.

Graves’ auto attacks will now only add one stack, even at point blank range. Kha’zix’s entire burst will only apply two, and Miss Fortune’s ultimate will apply two or three less stacks. Champions like Darius and Riven that have long, extended damage windows will not be affected by this nerf very much.

These changes are significant, and will probably affect the meta for building items on AD champions. Expect to see a lot more Duskblades, a lot less Cleavers, and about the same amount of Yomama’s Ghostblades. The goal for these changes is to arrive in Patch 7.14, so they should hit the PBE within the next few days.