Riot Games is taking a number of liberties with changes in the upcoming League of Legends preseason, with a particular focus on adjusting one of the game’s more infuriating mechanics—Stasis—but at the cost of a few omissions to the item’s identity.
As part of the extensive updates to League’s item system and Summoner’s Rift itself coming in 2024, Riot confirmed in a developer blog post today that Stopwatch will be completely removed from the game—but its presence isn’t leaving entirely. Instead, Seeker’s Armguard, a component of Zhonya’s Hourglass and an efficient item for mages dealing with assassins, will now be updated to include the Stasis effect that Stopwatch once provided, completely reworking the item and making it much more valuable than it previously was.
To compensate for this new effect, Seeker’s Armguard will have its price raised from 1,000 to 1,600 gold, now being built from two Amplifying Tomes, a Cloth Armor, and 500 additional gold, all while remaining a piece of the Zhonya’s Hourglass build path. Like Stopwatch, Seeker’s Armguard can only be used once before losing its value and turning into Broken Armguard, which players can keep in their inventories for the 40 ability power and 30 armor it provides but no longer have access to its active effect until fully completing Zhonya’s.
The controversy surrounding Stopwatch stemmed from the ability to purchase it and Zhonya’s Hourglass at the same time, providing two instances of Stasis. This interaction was removed in League Patch 12.8 and is not likely to return with the changes to Seeker’s Armguard, though the item itself remained an important piece of most players’ kits, particularly in coordinated play.
Notably, the deletion of Stopwatch coincides with the removal of the Perfect Timing rune in the Inspiration tree, which provided players with a free Stopwatch after a certain amount of time passed. Due to the cost of Seeker’s Armguard and the additional stats it provides, all of which differ immensely from the initial iteration of Stopwatch, it’s unlikely that it will simply be added to a rune, though no information has been revealed as to how exactly this rune will be changed.
This change, alongside a plethora of others, is expected to be available for testing on League’s PBE today as part of the first time players can get their hands on the upcoming preseason. As part of the PBE patch, players will also be able to try out League’s newest mage champion, Hwei, who brings an arsenal of paint-based spells to Summoner’s Rift.