I finally tested the new changes out a bit for pre-season 4 so I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some of the changes and voice my opinion.
Greetings Summoners! Just gonna get straight to the point here. I’ve been playing around with the preseason patch for the past few days and I’m ready for an initial preseason analysis. So let’s take a look at some of the new changes made for Season 4.
So one of the changes made was the brushes on Summoner’s Rift. The brushes have all been scaled so that you only need one ward to have vision of an entire brush. I think this change is a quality of life thing, especially for supports and warding in general. However it makes juking, ganking and escapes harder to perform.
The jungle “catch up” mechanism to allow for junglers to keep up with solo lanes is quite good. That is if you can keep up in the early game because right now is really bad. REALLY bad. I’ve been using Shyvana a lot more oddly enough (she has great jungle clear) before the changes even rolled in. My usual 21/9/0 setup had to be modified from full damage and a bit of tankiness to a bit more for clearing and reducing damage from camps. Even then, I had to optimize my damage output for my first clear for each camp (line creeps for E skillshot, hit biggest monster with Q, use W when in range of all camp creeps) so that I would have a reasonable amount of health in case I get counter jungled (which would be an awesome feat for anyone to pull off well early game right now) or if I wanted to gank. Mind you this is if your team is doing moderately well. If you’re losing, your team starting poaching your jungle which means you’ll be way more behind even if you were farming well early on and you lose out on Conservation stacks on your Smite (so no extra gold).
Wriggle’s Lantern isn’t a decent pick up for any jungler anymore in my opinion. The passive gold gained over time from killing jungle monsters isn’t worth it. Junglers are much better off with the machete into Spirit Stone start. I understand that junglers were going to get nerfed because they’re so influential for the early game in Season 3 but jeez. Hopefully Riot will lower some health or damage on jungle creeps or give back a bit of power in the items to jungle fairly well without being near death after a clear. Right now only champions with good camp clear like Shyvana, Vi, Nocturne and Olaf are really good options for preseason jungling.
I think these changes are probably one of the most interesting ones. First off, Riot introduced new items to make gold income favorable for non-last hitting roles (aka Support). Also, game flow was modified to increase gold income for champions with a lot of assists. Both of these major changes allows supports to buy more offensive items. The new support items are quite nice. However, one item, Relic Shield (which builds into Targon’s Embarce then into Face of the Mountain) gave duo lanes an insane amount of income. It was so good that some people, at the start of preseason, started running duo top lane with no jungler but grabs jungle buffs every now and then. With the jungle being less favorable, gold income wise, it’d made sense to run a duo top lane. Of course, Relic Shield and its’ successive items will get nerfed.
I like the idea of being able to do damage as a support but utility mages like Morgana and other AP casters like Annie and Fiddlesticks have been outshining a majority of the actual support champions largely due to the Supports getting ratio nerfs and utility buffs that aren’t really all the hype just yet. The idea behind the utility buffs are reasonable but not too relevant for players right now since you’ll probably need a decent amount of AP to see a difference. In addition, some players are upset at the ratio nerfs to Supports because some people like to play support champions in other roles. Hopefully Riot will return some power back to Supports. Maybe revert the ratios and scale down the numbers at higher ranks on abilities.
These are the changes that I’m most worried about. Let’s go over them first before I go into why I’m worried.
So all champions get a free trinket that allows for an ability to control vision. There are three options: placing a ward (like Wriggle’s), a mini clairvoyance or a mini burst for true vision and ward/trap disables.
All champions can only lay a maximum of 3 stealth wards (recently name changed from sight wards) aka green wards and one vision ward. When you go over that maximum the oldest stealth/vision ward disappears from it’s location, just like how Sightstone works. Also, vision wards has 5 hit points from 3, cheaper and are always visible.
So one problem I have is the number of wards one champion can place. I’m the type of support that wards almost every vital place. I feel like having a limit set like this, even when you have sight stone is kind of painful. I guess this is a personal thing I have to get use to.
Another problem is stealth champions like Evelynn who can pretty much get off the ideal ganks most of the time due to the vision ward changes. It may require a stealth rework to champions like her or maybe better positioning of vision wards from now on but there’s got to be a way for a lane to know when stealth champions like Evelynn will gank you that won’t be insanely costly to the lane. Mid lane has this the hardest because there’s no real good place to put a vision ward where it won’t get killed off. Maybe a bit into the middle of the lane close to your turret but that will require you to be in lane for a decent amount of time for the ward to pay itself off.
What I fear the most starting out this season is the dependence on teammates for warding. Supports literally can’t ward the entire map anymore, they’ll need help. It’s going to be such a pain to get others to ward sometimes. Even if they have a free trinket because that might be the only ward they have for the entire game and to them that may be enough, even when down to tower inhibitors. Players will eventually learn to ward which is the primary goal of this change.
This all being said, it IS preseason. Not all of these changes are permanent. Some changes have been made on PBE already. Relic shield was nerfed and the jungle camps health/damage has been modified a bit for easier jungling. I’ll come back to review all of this again once the season starts. Till then, enjoy the One For All mode while it’s still around and the preseason as best as you can!