All the dragon effect changes coming in League of Legends’ 2020 preseason

Drakes will never be the same.

Image via Riot Games

A lot of changes are hitting Summoner’s Rift in League of LegendsPreseason 2020: Rise of the Elements⁠—one of which involves fans’ scaly, winged, fire-breathing friends.

Dragons are receiving a facelift for the upcoming season, according to yesterday’s Preseason 2020 reveal. While some drakes will grant the same Dragon Slayer bonus, others are being tweaked to better balance the meta. And a new Dragon Soul feature looks to reward objective control with an elemental buff.

Here are all the dragon changes coming to League next season.

Elemental buff changes

Each drake a team takes out grants them with a game-long buff. Players tend to prioritize Infernal Dragons due to the increased attack damage and ability power, which leaves other drakes as an afterthought. Riot seeks to change that with changes to the Cloud and Mountain Dragon bonus.

In its current state, a Cloud Drake grants bonus movement speed while players are out of combat. The upcoming season’s new Cloudbringer’s Grace buff will give a team cooldown reduction for their ultimate ability. The change might make Cloud Dragons more of a contentious objective rather than leaving it for whichever team is in the area.

The Mountain Dragon, which gives bonus true damage to epic monsters and turrets, will also be adjusted. Next season, the Mountainous Vigor buff will give a percentage increase of armor and magic resistance to the team who slays it.

Dragon Souls

Image via Riot Games

League is introducing a new feature called Dragon Souls that seems to reward a team for controlling the drake for the majority of the game.

“When a team kills their fourth Elemental Drake, instead of stacking their elemental buff, they’ll gain a powerful Dragon Soul from the dominant dragon,” Riot said. “Dragon Souls persist through death and last the remainder of the game.”

The Infernal Dragon Soul will award players’ attacks or spells with an AoE explosion every three seconds. The Ocean Dragon Soul gives health and resource regeneration when dealing damage, and the Cloud Dragon Soul will lower cooldowns of base abilities per attack. The Mountain Dragon Soul gives players a shield after not taking damage for five seconds.

These buffs are huge and will likely provide a team with all the ammunition they need to put the game away.

Elder Dragon

Although Elder Dragon previously favored the team who accumulated more drakes throughout the game, it’ll now provide a short-term combat buff that executes enemies.

“We’re removing Elder Dragon’s scaling with Elemental Drake buffs (which favors the team that’s ahead) and replacing it with a new execution component,” Riot said. “If Elder’s burn damage affects a low-health enemy champion, they’ll be consumed by a searing Elder Immolation—killing them instantly.”

Teams playing from behind now have even more of a reason to contend for the Elder Dragon, whose new buff will be devastating against low-health targets.


The dragon changes will likely debut on the Rift in November with Patch 9.23.