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Galio's generic splash art in League of Legends.
Image via Riot Games

Riot hits Galio with massive gameplay identity changes on LoL PBE

No more one-shotting nearly every champion in the game.

League of Legends’ giant stone colossus has long had issues with the sheer amount of damage he does, and Riot Games is now stepping in to place his offensive prowess behind his defensive capabilities.

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Riot surprised League fans by pushing significant changes for Galio onto the PBE yesterday, impacting nearly the entirety of the champion’s kit that, should the tweaks make their way to the live servers, will completely alter the way he’s played. It’s currently unclear if these changes will remain in testing to see how they feel or if they’ll be making their way into the game at some point soon.

Galio, Lux and Garen facing Sylas in one of the game's cinematics.
What do you think about these potential changes? Screengrab by Dot Esports

Galio’s appearance is incredibly deceiving. Though he may be a massive, magically-attuned stone statue, on Summoner’s Rift, his implied bulkiness was pushed to the side upon his rework in place of high burst magic damage—all the while having decent supportive tools as well. This has resulted in a fluctuation of the champion in and out of the mid lane meta, but has mostly led to frustration among players regarding what niche Galio was expected to fill in the first place.

These changes seem to be the first step in Riot pushing Galio back into a pseudo-bruiser position that, while he certainly can and will deal damage, is better suited for soaking up damage in the frontline of fights. The flat damage and ratios associated with Galio’s passive, Q, and E have all been reduced slightly, though their cooldowns are also now lower in compensation. His passive in particular underwent a rather strange overhaul, having its cooldown reduced by three seconds every time he hits a champion with abilities as well as granting him 45-percent attack speed.

Galio’s W, acting as his main way to defend himself in combat, has also been changed slightly to shift it away from being an offensive tool. Instead of scaling better with his AP and magic resist, Galio’s W now favors how much health he has, with his W’s damage reduction scaling one-percent per 100 bonus HP. Like Galio’s other regular abilities, his W cooldown is also lower, specifically at later ranks.

Dragon Guardian Galio splash art in League of Legends
Dragon Guardian Galio turns the stone colossus into a protector of legends. Image via Riot Games

Galio currently sits around a 51-percent win rate as a mid laner in all Elos, according to League stats websites OP.GG and U.GG, and he’s remained in this position for a number of patches. This stems from a near-complete AP-focused build for the champion, with defensive items rarely ever making an appearance in build paths. Should these significant changes make their way to the live servers in the near future, Galio is likely to undergo fluctuations to this win rate as players rediscover what runes and items synergize best with his identity changes.

Since these adjustments are all currently in testing on the latest PBE cycle, they may be altered further as Riot monitors how they land with players, as well as takes their feedback into account. It’s unclear what patch these changes are scheduled for, though Patch 14.6 is expected to reach the live servers on March 20.

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Ethan Garcia
Ethan Garcia is a freelance writer for Dot Esports, having been part of the company for three years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and specializes particularly in coverage of League of Legends, various Nintendo IPs, and beyond.