Patch V. 18.104.22.168
This article goes through some of the Preseason Balance Update 2 patch notes and their implications towards the jungle and jungle champions. Although there has been many fixes, changes, nerfs, and buffs, I will be going through major changes with implications towards the jungle only. Albeit, I am glad to say that AD assassins, with the rise of Black Cleaver, have now all been nerfed. I did enjoy all the free ELO I got from snowballing AD assassins though.
Check it out, after the jump!
Base movement speed increased to 330 from 325
Range increased to 650 from 600
Alistar has recieved buffs to his movement speed and range on his headbutt. Although at first glance, one may assume that this will bring Alistar's popularity in solo queue back to its former glory of the monster he was it is safe to say that Alistar will remain unbanned and in the support role. The primary issue that Alistar jungle faces is that he is much more effective as a support as his ultimate lets him be extremely tanky without building items when compared to other support junglers. Moreover, Alistar relys on early ganks to feed him allies gold in order to snowball a game. With the introduction of sight-stone and laners starting wards more often with Crystalline Flask, which is still viable, and the nerf of Oracles, Alistar will remain a cow outside of the pen that is the jungle.
Fixed a bug where the tooltip incorrectly stated that Lee Sin regained energy when the shield was broken
No longer grants armor while active
Life steal and spell vamp increased to 5/10/15/20/25% from 5/9/13/17/21%
Slow amount reduced at earlier ranks to 20/30/40/50/60% from 30/37.5/45/52.5/60%
Range reduced to 600 from 800
I am saddened. Lee Sin was my champion that really exploded my ELO in season 2 and has remained one of my favourite champions of all time. These nerfs, albeit unnecessary for the jungle, were necessary for top lane. As a result, Lee Sin has been influenced in the jungle as well. Removing the armor from Iron Will will make Lee Sin weaker in the early game jungle. Initial testing would show that taking the second point in Safeguard / Iron Will only allows Lee Sin to retain his current HP in the jungle without using Smite to spell vamp, only when a third point is added to this ability does Lee Sin regain his ability to gain HP when doing camps. Also, Cripple slow and range reduction will make ganks noticeably weaker; furthermore, there is a "hidden nerf" that reduces the attack speed reduction of Cripple possibly aimed at top lane trading.
Now grants +5 Attack Damage
Fixed a bug where Rengar could leap while rooted
Attack speed duration increased to 4 seconds from 3
Fixed a bug where Savagery could be used three times consecutively
Empowered Battle Roar now heals for 60-400 (based on champion level) instead of 10% of his Rengar’s health
Thrill of the Hunt
Initial delay reduced to 1 second from 1.25 (still can be delayed up to 3 seconds)
Stealth duration increased to 7 seconds from 5
Although I never played much Rengar as I personally did not like the feel of the champion, I feel like he needed these buffs. Rengar, post-nerf, had one of the lowest win ratios in the game. He is a champion that deserves to be on the higher end of the scale and the nerfs have obviously hit him too hard, along with Diana. Originally, Rengar had too much base damage and became too tanky too quickly with upgrading Battle Roar and building a ton of health. Assuming a level 18 Rengar will have an Aegis and Warmogs at 3300 HP or he will have under 4000 HP, these changes will positively effect Rengar. Rengar used to heal ~500 HP with a 15% base HP heal, then he was nerfed to heal ~ 330 HP with a 10% base HP heal, now he will heal ~400 HP with a flat 400 HP heal at level 18. In conclusion, Rengar has been buffed to become an allusion to his former glory.
Now additionally increases Udyr's armor and magic resist by 4% per stack
Following the removal of Dodge, champions who relied on Dodge like Jax were remade in order to keep them relevant. However, Udyr did not recieve any buffs until this patch. When Riot removed Dodge they took away one of Udyr's innate features without giving him anything back. With the buff to his passive now, I feel like Udyr is receiving something he deserves although it did take forever. I would not call this an "udyr buff" instead, I would call it an "udyr update change." Although this buff makes him more innately tanky, he still has the problems of being kited for days. However, now he can be the peeling, damage soaking machine he was meant to be more effectively.
Base gold increased to 30 from 25
Base health increased to 1000 from 750
Base health reduced to 150 from 250
Base gold increased to 55 from 40
Base health increased to 1100 from 900
Base health reduced to 200 from 300
Base gold increased to 55 from 45
Base health increased to 1200 from 1000
Base health reduced to 300 from 500
There are two serious implications that are derived from the camp changes. First, overall gold has been increased. Large jungle camp monsters have an increase of gold ranging from 5-15 with the wolf camp gaining the most. This could result to favour Nunu-esque counter jungling (Kill the big minion and nothing else); however, they have been made more difficult to kill. big wraith now has an initial HP of 1000. As was seen in the Season 3 Patch, wolf camp was made a little more worthwhile to do and this patch seems to head in the same direction. Second, Health from the small minions has essentially transfered over to the large minions. This change helps AoE clearers like Mundo, Sejuani, and Shyvana, although most AoE clearers did not have problems killing the small minions with abilities while focusing the large minion to begin with.
Spirit of the Elder Lizard
Now grants +10% cooldown reduction
This buff was made to fix the arguably worst jungle item in the game. It is still a poor item choice with little incentive to get when compared to other options junglers have. The problem with this item is that it fits in such a small niche of champions that it has still not become viable.
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
Ability power increased to 50 from 40
Cooldown reduction is no longer UNIQUE
AP Junglers are well and dandy if you want to play something that fits a certain team composition or out-of-meta style. However, this item buff is not strong enough to bring AP junglers to the front page of competitive play.