The new League of Legends patch, 8.4, has hit the rift with a bang. It brought with it not only the usual host of balance changes, but also a huge rework to the game’s AP items. With the dust settling and people scurrying to work out what’s strong in the new meta, here are some ideas for things to try in 8.4; some of which are less obvious than others.
Some Important Items:
This item is, in many ways, a throwback to the days of Deathfire Grasp. Spellbinder gives a small window of movespeed and, most importantly, a huge AP increase. While this could make it good for many mages to perform a bit better in tough teamfights, the real beasts hiding here are champs that can use their entire combo in that 4 second window. Champions like Annie, Lissandra, Vladimir, and Syndra are definitely going to be worth trying with this item. Played like burst mages, they can use the active and unload their entire combo instantly for an insane damage increase. This alone might bring them to the forefront of the meta as pesudo-assassins.
As of 8.4, Liandry’s Torment causes your spells to deal 1% of the target’s maximum health as magic damage every second for three seconds. This is a massive blow to the tank meta, and brings a lot of old names back into the limelight. Mordekaiser, Rumble, Malzahar and Brand are all looking to be extremely solid tank shredders in the top and mid lane. While those names are worth taking for a spin, be wary of hard tanks like Maokai and Mundo; itemising against the new AP mages is going to be very rough.
The Mastery Changes:
Bone Plating: A more innocuous change that may have slipped past many people, Bone Plating has arrived to shake up trading in lane. Causing the next three attacks received to deal reduced damage, Bone Plating has a lot of potential to help out some suffering champs in the top lane. All-in traders like Kled and Poppy are likely to be a lot more comfortable to play now, whilst bruisers like Tryndamere or Jax can farm more safely against their ranged harassers. With that in mind, be careful picking lane bullies in the top lane this patch, as Bone Plating will go a long way to making those champions much less effective.
Stopwatch: You might have easily fallen into the pattern of just taking Stopwatch whenever within the past few weeks, as it was good enough to warrant choosing into almost any matchup. With Stopwatch now only commencing (becoming usable) at 10 minutes, though, it’s going to be more of a niche pick for building Zhonya’s or against champions with later powerspikes (e.g. Irelia). Make sure you don’t just blindly take this rune anymore.
These are just some of the high-impact changes that really stand out in the notes. If you’re interested in seeing the entire list and working out what other things are worth trying or avoiding, check out Riot’s website for the full list of patch notes. If you want to hear more insights into the influence of these changes, check out LS’s patch rundown.