League of Legends Preseason Item System Overhaul

It's August of 2020 already! It's one hell of a ride for both of our gaming and personal life and another period is approaching its end. Well, Riot's League of Legends Summoner's Rift Team could say and feel the same way. The 2020 World Championship is yet to begin but, I guess, Riot is excited to enter 2021 with a huge update for the community.

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Image Credit To Riot League of Legends
Riot is preparing a 2021 preseason item system overhaul. You already have the idea after looking at the photo above for 2 minutes. But, it's not as simple as adding and tweaking items. Their main goal here is to create "CLASS ITEMS" and huge stat changes. I'll keep the explanation as simple as I can so everybody will get it properly. Well, let's get into it already.


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Healing and Grievous Wounds - Healing or sustainability is important in every role in League. Basically, it's the only way to get back any lost health from damages without going back to base. Grievous Wounds, on the other hand, is the status to counter heavy healing abilities or items (including lifesteal and spellvamp).

Healing, specially extreme healing, sometimes becomes so annoyingly broken that Riot decided that it's time to trim it down to reduce the necessity to build Grievous Wounds items. They're looking at runes, items, and champ kits where they think healing is unnecessary. As for the Grievous Wounds, the developers decided to "make it sharper" and more effective against extreme healing in exchange for its upfront power. Just look at that guy above and combine it with Soraka or Yuumi.

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Cooldown Reduction Rework - CDR is important for champions that relies on casting abilities often like mages. Well, say goodbye to CDR and say hello to Ability Haste. Besides from changing its name, they tweaked its use to make it more flexible. While CDR is capped at 40% (45% if you're running Cosmic Insight), Ability Haste is NOT.

Unlike CDR's percentage equation of reducing the timer, Ability Haste will have the same linear scaling as MR, Atk Spd, and Armor. The equation is not very clear as to how it will work in-game, but the devs clearly stated that the ratio is not 1:1. The power stacks "linearly" such as 10 Ability Haste will give you 10% more abilities cast. I guess we'll see its real effect once it hits the PBE.

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Tenacity - There are two things that comes first in my mind when I see this word - Garen and Mercurial Threads. Tenacity is a unique stat that gives you the ability to reduce the duration of certain CC (crowd control) EXCEPT for displacements, drowsy, nearsight, stasis, and suppression. That much of exceptions, huh? Well, that's not the team's point.

What they're tweaking here is one of the strongest crowd control in the game - knockups. Everybody knows the terror of flying to the air and never comes back down alive. Riot is trying to make a change "so that tenacity will reduce the duration of knockups". No other CC included, just knockups. Due to this change, they'll will tweak some ultimate spells such as Vi wherein they'll add suppression to her ultimate so that Tenacity won't affect its potential and functionality.


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Just as the Summoner's Rift Team said, the update for the starting items of the support role last preseason allowed them to create better build choices. This time, the Junglers will be the one to get this sweet update. Jungle items will be a starting item that requires no additional investment. Yep, that's exactly what they said. How does it work?

Vaguely, it's like getting a 3 in 1 coffee or Stalker's Blade. You'll get all the necessary stats and resource bonuses in your first jungling item so you can focus on your primary build immediately. They're still working on other details, but the early test shows promise.

This is the highlight of the preseason plans. To get the idea, here is the basic concept - Riot decided to create a new set of items for different roles including the rare combinations AND tweaked some of the existing items already to match the roles who can use them. Phew! Well, let's break it all down in the simplest way we can.

MARKSMAN - First off, marksman role. They will a "
more contextual item choices" and add damage stats across other existing items to give the marksman flexible choices rather than sticking to must-build items. Let's just say that we'll soon get a new set of items for the marksman role. It also includes items called Agency Options that the marksmen can opt-out to survive when not supported by the team in exchange for trimmed DPS.

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This might be the solution against assassins who fishes marksmen for a living. They're also looking at tweaking the late game potential of marksmen by adjusting its early game in exchange for impactful gameplay after one item. It's like the feeling of getting Infinity Edge as your first build except, this time, it's more powerful.

Lastly, sometimes, in the middle or late part of the game, it feels like you're missing an item that you really need such as Armor against assassins. Similar to Agency Options, they're looking to "offer appropriate options like an AD Armor item, more spellcaster marksmen options, and maybe others".

MAGES - This mage items update will be exciting. Even now, mage suffers from first item builds that aren't clear on what purpose they'll serve and, ultimately, the strongest meta becomes the standard of every mage's build. Riot wants to give them better options to have a better early to mid gameplay. We might be looking at a new set of items here again.

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Artillery mages such as Lux and Zoe will be getting a "fantasy item" that will emphasize their unique range and skills. And lastly, the addition of Ability Haste will give mages another new option of what set of build to make. Since it is uncapped, mages can now create full-Haste build.

AP FIGHTER AND AP ASSASSINS - Here comes the rare combinations. Well, the basic idea is to give them their own kit. Champions such as Akali at Evelynn are borrowing mage items since the very beginning. It's good to see Hextech Gunblade as an item in between two power stats but it's not compatible to every AP Fighter or AP assassin.

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Another thing that they're looking at is the late-game adaptability potential of these champions. We might see items that will bridge them into tank, or pure heavy AP later. This might be the start of Ekko's broken tank transition reign once again (hopefully not).

AD FIGTHER - You'll usually see an AD Fighter use two standard items - Sterak's Gage and Death's Dance. It doesn't matter what the enemies build. And most of the known meta fighters such as Aatrox won't be able to utilize Frozen Heart or Iceborne Gauntlet since they're not using mana. In order to fix this, Riot will provide new defensive items that will fit the role of a fighter.

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As for the core items, there are also two items we usually see - Trinity Force and Black Cleaver. They provide good stats and armor penetration which are useful until the endgame. But, it also means we can get stuck to the pattern of rushing Phage or Sheen in the early game without any situational, defensive, or offensive options. And, yep, we're getting new items for that. Hooray!

TANK - It's good to hear that Riot clearly knows what we feel when playing certain roles. And playing the role of a tank is really needs their attention. They're right in terms of prioritization and adaptability issue. You can't do multiple tasks at once specially when your carry is getting all sorts of threats from the enemy's assassin and another guy is pushing your other lane. A necessary sacrifice is needed.

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Well, say no more fam. Riot will provide a build option for all your worries. Nothing is revealed yet, but this seems interesting. They're also providing more Magic Resist items to better combat AP poke and bursts. They're also looking at enhancing the utility perks of Tanks as a meatshield. Lastly, they're planning to give one or two late-game items that can fulfill or "complete" your build. Well, that's another surprise.

ENCHANTER - This might be your first time to hear this specific role. But, this is just another, better, name for support casters such as Yuumi, Sona, Karma, and Soraka. If you look at the items being used by these champs, you'll notice that, just like AP Assassin and AP Fighters, they don't have their own personal item kit. After buying the initial support item, they'll begin to make a decision on which items they'll borrow.

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In some cases, you'll have a standard build which you'll use every single game. And, to also address the overloaded active items, Riot created a solution. You guessed it - NEW ITEMS. They're planning to upgrade some of the existing items already in order to make them shine once again. Riot might also release new items that has clearer purpose rather than the an all-in-one item such as Frozen Heart that gives armor, huge CDR, and mana.

Well, that's it for League of Legend's 2021 Preseason update. Take note that all of these are still subject to changes and haven't hit the PBE yet. If you want to read the whole update directly from Riot, here's the link. What do you think of these possible changes? Is this enough to spice the Rift? Tell us below.