We've already seen the meta change due to big patches in 2019. Patch 9.8 looks to continue this trend.
Patch 9.8 is one of the more generous patches we've seen in a while, bringing love to several champions that have fallen out of favor, and even some still in the limelight.
Let's get to the biggest changes.
Crying mummies everywhere will be happy to see some unexpected good thrown Amumu's way. A niche pick at his best and utterly invisible at his worst, Amumu has seen a steady decline in play for years. This patch might switch things up.
Cursed Touch (Passive): Enemies will now take 13% of magic damage (pre-mitigations) as true damage, up from 10%.
Amumu's passive gets a healthy extra bit of damage to help him compete. There's not much to say about this change, other than it helps ambitious AP Amumu's and more standard tank players alike.
Bandage Toss (Q): Cooldown reduced from 16/14/12/10/8 to 12/11/10/9/8 seconds. Ability now pulls Amumu beyond his original hit if the target moves before he arrives.
I'm not sure which of these two Bandage Toss changes are more exciting, but both are very good news for Amumu players. The extra cooldown reduction in the early ranks will allow Amumu to engage more frequently which is something he lacks, and the extra movement will help Amumu stick to targets he hits despite escapes or effects like Cleanse.
Fiora has always been landed right on the edge of utterly unstoppable and too big a risk. As one of the best champions for potential outplays, balancing this side lane menace is tricky. Riot have decided to give The Grand Duelist some buffs that just might bring her back to competitive champion selects.
Riposte (W): Stun/Slow durations increased from 1.5 to 2 seconds. Damage increased by 20 at all ranks.
Riposte is one of the most backbreaking abilities in League of Legends, and it just got even more devastating. A nice flat damage increase is nice, but longer crowd control effects for when Riposte does and doesn't block a crowd control ability is a big deal.
Bladework (E): Mana cost reduced from 60/55/50/45/40 to 40 at all ranks.
Much less exciting than Riposte's changes, Bladework's mana cost becoming more manageable is still worth mentioning. With this 1-2 combination, we might just see the return of Fiora.
Gnar has seen eras of complete dominance in the top lane, but he's fallen a bit out of favor in the recent meta. Riot brought a pretty bold change to the table to see to this downward trend.
GNAR! (R): Cooldown reduced from 120/100/80 to 90/60/30 seconds.
Mega Gnar is always a terror to see, but players will now be able to engage with his incredibly impactful ultimate much more often. What was once a one-and-done aoe game changer now can reasonably be cast twice in longer teamfights in the late game at just a 30 second base cooldown at max rank.
While the changes to Kayn in 9.8 only effect the Shadow Assassin path, this buff may just be significant enough to make the choice much more appealing.
Shadow Step (E): Cooldown reduced from 21/19/17/15/13 to 8 seconds at all ranks.
As a step toward bringing Kayn's two forms closer together in power level, this change allows for Shadow Assassin (or blue Kayn) to feel much more mobile and sneaky. It's hard to overstate how big a change this is, with the cooldown for rank 1 being more than halved, and rank 2 exactly halved. Being the last ability Kayn maxes in most situations, this change will be very noticeable even in the early to mid game.
Along with these bigger changes come minor tweaks to champions Camille, Cassiopeia, Jhin, Kayle, Master Yi, Nautilus, Ornn, Renekton, Sejuani, Singed, Trundle, and Zed. Patch 9.8 also brings some minor changes to items and runes. While these are less important, they are still things you'll want to have an idea of to be prepared for patch 9.8.
- Camille received a very minor increase to her base attack speed.
- Cassiopeia received a slight mana cost reduction for later ranks of Twin Fang (E).
- Jhin received a minor buff to trap durations and recharge rates for Captive Audience (E), and a small buff to top-end damage from Curtain Call (R).
- Kayle received minor nerfs to her base damage, armor, and attack speed ratio. Mega Evolution (passive) is now based on level and skill points.
- Master Yi can now move through units during Highlander (R).
- Nautilus received a decent buff to damage and scaling on Dredge Line (Q), and can now root for slightly longer with Staggering Blow (passive).
- Ornn received buffs to some items from Living Forge (passive) including Forgefire Cape, Frozen Fist, and Infernal Mask.
- Renekton received some very slight buffs to base health, attack speed, and attack speed growth, as well as buffs to healing from Cull the Meek (Q) against champions (both empowered and not).
- Sejuani received buffs to the damage ratio of Winter's Wrath (W) for both casts.
- Singed received minor buffs to base health regen, the slow from Mega Adhesive (W), and mana cost reduction for Fling (E).
- Trundle received buffs to the bonus damage from Chomp (Q) and a cooldown reduction at all ranks for Subjugate (R).
- Zed received nerfs to damage from Razor Shuriken (Q) and the cooldown of Living Shadow (W) at earlier ranks.
- Bilgewater Cutlass and Blade of the Ruined King are slightly more expensive.
- Hextech Gunblade is cheaper to combine.
- Bramble Vest and Thornmail give Grievous Wounds for longer.
- Enchantment: Cinderhulk now correctly deals the extra damage its tooltip has said since patch 9.7.
- Stormrazer applies Slow Burn for slightly longer, and energized effects are increased.
- Coup De Grace no longer grants adaptive force on takedowns, deals slightly increased bonus damage to champions below 40% health.
With all of these changes entering the game soon, there will be some solving to do in the offseason. There are certainly some changes with the potential to shake things up in all levels of play, but it remains to be seen what looks better on paper than on the rift.
Now that you're all caught up, queue without fear, and get those ladder points with or without the help of Patch 9.8.