The preseason patch for Season 11 finally hit the live servers a few days ago. A whole bunch of new items has been added, while others said goodbye to the Summoner’s Rift (RIP Hextech Gunblade). Whether you’re a casual League player or even a professional one who wows fans through mechanical outplays, one thing remains constant — this is the craziest part of the year.
The introduction to mythic items (a category of items that can be built just once per champion, but carry enormous firepower) has changed the game quite a bit. Not only did it affect the itemization for all of the champions, but it also amplified every champion’s damage (ADCs aren’t the only ones getting one-shot by assassins).
Mark Yetter (pictured), the Gameplay Design Lead for League of Legends, stated that “the first patch of preseason is definitely a stabilization period. We know there will be OP champs, OP items, bugs that slipped through and a few rough edges. We're going to be full on polish mode in the next few weeks to get everything stable and tuned the way it should be.” As such, there have been some hotfixes to items (tanks are OP) after the preseason patch hit, and balance changes continue to slowly shape the landscape of Season 11.
It’s a time of rampant experimentation and these new items can change the way some champions are played. In this piece, I’ll be showcasing some of the innovations that came alongside the preseason patch.
Sett can Insec combo now?Combo: AA - AA - Q (empowered double AA) - E - Stridebreaker - Ult - W
The mythic item that enables Sett to pull off this combo is the new mythic called Stridebreaker. The raw stats that come with this item are +10 ability haste, +50 attack damage, +20% attack speed, and +300 health. Its unique passive, Heroic Gait, offers 30 bonus movement speed for 2 seconds upon dealing physical damage, and it’s mythic passive empowers other legendary items with 3% bonus movement speed.
The bread and butter option of this item comes with its active ability. It allows a champion to dash up to 200 units to the target location (but not over terrain), and deal 110% AD physical damage to enemies in a 400-unit-radius circle centered around 100 units in front of the champion, slowing them by 60%, which decays over 2 seconds.
The demonstration of Sett's combo starts @8:35 (Source: TV헤이스트)
When Sett wanted to bring an enemy towards his allies with his ult, he needed to proc his Phase Rush to walk behind the enemy to ult them. However, with Stridebreaker, it puts Sett just behind his enemy to be able to ult his foes from behind. This combo isn't that hard to pull off either so building Stridebreaker on Sett could be a viable option in the meta. While items such as Prowler’s Claw and Galeforce provide more mobility, stats-wise, Stridebreaker seems to be the best option.
Amumu can solo Baron Nashor?Sunfire Aegis + Demonic Embrace = one very OP mummy (or any other champion for that matter)
During the preseason, Amumu has been on the rise as a jungle, mainly due to the tank items being overtuned. In the following clip, Fnatic's jungler Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek takes down Baron Nashor all by himself at around the 20-minute mark, with just a Sunfire Aegis and Demonic Embrace in his inventory.
Now, let’s talk about the mythic, Sunfire Aegis. A rework of the good old Sunfire Cape, it offers +15 ability haste, +30 armor, +450 health, and +30 magic resistance, and the burn damage is on the unique passive of the item. Demonic Embrace is an AP item that also does percent health damage, so with Amumu’s (W) Despair doing percent health damage to his targets, the Mummy can solo-kill Baron easily.
Source: Youtube (Shizzle)
The fact that a long-forgotten champion can achieve this with just two items is refreshing, to say the least. Although hotfixes were implemented to balance the tank items, the fact remains that tank champions are still OP.
Prowler’s Claw is an active mythic item that offers mobility and stickiness. It gives +10 ability haste, +60 attack damage, and +21 lethality, with its mythic passive empowering other legendary items with +5 lethality. The active part of the item, Sandswipe, allows a champion to dash in a line through the target enemy’s location, dealing 100 (+ 30% bonus AD) physical damage to the target and increasing your damage dealt to them by 15% for the next 3 seconds.
While this item was designed for AD assassins, it did not stop pros, streamers, and casual players alike from building it on all sorts of champions. The most notable build was on AD Sion, best highlighted by former pro/streamer Thebausffs. As an OTP (one-trick pony) challenger AD Sion main, he uses E, Roar of the Slayer, on a minion to push a great distance. While it’s traveling, he uses Prowler’s Claw’s active on the minion to dash a great distance.
Source: Thebausffs Youtube
Preseason is always a hectic time but this year's feels even more so. Obviously, there are more cool things you can do with other items in the game, and the body of this article is just a sneak peek of some of the innovations by players all around the world. If this is just the tip of that iceberg, I'm very excited about how Season 11 will shape the landscape of the game, and even in competitive play.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports