League’s keystone masteries are about to be gutted

The biggest, baddest masteries are going to see some drastic changes.

Image via Riot Games

Some of League of Legends’ most popular keystone masteries are being completely redone for the next patch.

Riot briefly touched on some of the changes in a post on the Dev Corner of the official League forums, mentioning that the changes are currently up on the Public Beta Environment (PBE). The PBE is League’s player testing environment, where they can try out upcoming features, report bugs, and giving general feedback. Most big changes find themselves on the PBE before they go live, and this is certainly a very big change.

The three keystone masteries getting hit by changes are Warrior’s Bloodlust, Deathfire Touch, and Bond of Stone. It’s no secret that Warrior’s Bloodlust and Deathfire Touch are top-tier choices for the current meta, but that may just be because they’re simply too strong. Both masteries are getting hit with significant nerfs as a result. Bond of Stone, on the other hand, is quite weak, and the changes aim to bring it up to snuff with other popular mastery choices.

Warrior’s Bloodlust

Currently, Warrior’s Bloodlust grants across-the-board lifesteal to the wielder, and the amount of lifesteal increases as the wielder’s health drops lower and lower. After the change, the mastery will allow the wielder to become “energized” as they move around and attack. When the energy reaches 100, the next basic attack will give the user 1 to 50 percent lifesteal on their next attack (depending on level) and a burst of movement speed for 0.75 seconds. The mastery’s energy charges at the same rate as Statikk Shiv.

Not having a steady stream of lifesteal bonus will remove a significant chunk of reliable sustainability in fights, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Fervor of Battle rise up to the meta on several champions that used to use Warrior’s Bloodlust.

Deathfire Touch

Warrior’s Bloodlust is getting a complete makeover, but Deathfire Touch is just getting a big, fat nerf. This nerf will only affect AD champions though, because the AD ratio for bonus damage is being lowered from 60 percent of the wielder’s bonus AD to 45 percent. That’s a significant nerf, and champions like Varus and Miss Fortune will take big hits to their harass damage because of it.

Bond of Stone

Bond of Stone, unlike the other two on this list, is currently way too weak. Right now, Bond of Stone grants the wielder a slight overall damage reduction and causes them to take a small percent of nearby allies’ damage for them. It was a good idea for tanky support champions, like Braum, but when lategame rolled around the wielder would be sharing damage for their whole team in teamfights, causing them to be melted down much too quickly.

The new Bond of Stone won’t even be called Bond of Stone. It’s being renamed to Stoneborn Pact to more accurately reflect the mastery’s new effects. It will now grant the wielder 5 percent more total health, which will obviously help very tanky champions. The other effect of the mastery, however, is where it really shines.

When the wielder causes any kind of crowd control on any enemy champion, ally champions will heal themselves when attacking the impaired enemy. As it stands on the PBE right now, this effect has no cooldown whatsoever. Imagine a Gangplank taking this and landing a good ultimate, suddenly turning the entire enemy team into a healing fountain? This mastery certainly sounds like it could be scary in the right circumstances, and it could quickly rise to the top of the meta for the already-strong tank class in League. Tankier supports may rise with this mastery as well, like Braum, Alistar, and Thresh.

Including these huge mastery updates, we’ve seen some pretty drastic changes already this season, and the meta has been flopping all over the place as a result. Hopefully, following this patch and the big mid-season tank update, players can finally expect a more stable game with smaller, more subtle patches. The key word there is “hopefully.”

With patch 7.5 currently in the PBE for testing and patch 7.4 going live just last week, 7.5 will likely be released in the next couple of weeks.