Arena of Valor – 24th January 2019 patch notes

Arena of Valor (AoV) 24th January patch notes, updated with commentary about changes.

Oh boy, do we have a treat! It looks like Tencent/Timi Studios ware working really hard, providing us with patch after patch of good balance changes. It is a rarity in today's marketplace of video game publishers and developers to see one that is actually able to keep an eye on community and ears to the ground. Last two patch have taken down those overpowered champs, while at the same time buffed those in dire need of help. 

All interface and cosmetic changes are more than welcome, we love when stuff gets refreshed. However, we will discuss only core gameplay changes, stuff that will affect champion picks/bans, playstyle, and other game aspects.
However, one interface option we must point out and celebrate:
-ability to lock heroes to the top of Hero Menu.
We waited a long time for this, no more scrolling through 50 different champs till we get to the most recent acquisition.
Now, onto core changes:
1. Abyssal Dragon Lane minion waves will accommodate one enhanced melee minion (increased HP and gold reward).
-Looking forward to seeing how much is the difference in gold. If DS lane doesn't receive these minions, expect to see more demand for Abyssal Drake lane.

2. Gold reward for minions that die within Tower 1 (outer tower) range will be reduced by 10%.
-This will have a huge impact on meta-game, basically wave clear and strong pushers type-champions will increase in value, while poke-champs that clear waves slowly (like Raz) will drop in value.

3. EXP requirements for level 2 has been reduced by 8. This change is done to ensure mid lane champions gain lvl 2 upon clearing the first wave.
- Champions like Kahlii and Aleister, that are able to clear minion wave in almost one skill rotation, will surely benefit this change and will slightly increase in value (further increasing the value of the wave-clear type of champions.)
4. Abyssal Dragon and Dark Slayer buff duration have increased from 90 to 120 seconds.

Hero Changes:
1. Annette
Skill 1: Gust Force
-Base Damage reduced by 10 (65 >> 55
-Cooldown increased by 1 sec across the board (9/8.5/8/7.5/7/6.5 >>> 10/9.5/9/8.5/8/7.5)
Skill 2: Wubd Cuffs
-Passive effect, cooldown: 45>>>60
(Large portion of Annette’s power came from strong harass coming out of powerful Gust Force ability, this is significant nerf to Annette. The power of her harass is not  so great anymore).

2. Ignis
Passive: Sacred Flame
-HP recovered by triggering mark: 120 (+8 x LVL) (+30% AP) >>> 100 (+5 x LVL) (+15%)
Skill 1: Fire Crash
-base damage 340>>>300 (scaling per lvl and AP remains the same)
Skill 2: Rain of Fire
-Stun duration reduced by 0.25 sec, from 1sec >>>0.75sec
(This is a solid nerf to Ignis, the largest one being in his sustain and control department, and slightly nerf to damage. This nerf will probably knock Ignis’s place on tier lists by one, thou remains to be seen).

3. Kahli
Passive: Powerful Hymns
-Bullet speed: 20m/s >>> 25m/s
(slight buff to normal attack-projectile speed. Among other changes and probable meta-game shift, we expect Kahlii to rise in power as it seems she fits nicely in this patch overall direction.)

4. Natalya
Skill 1: Arcane Spirit
-increased range by 1m (9>>>10)
Skill 2: Arcane Nova
-increased range by 1m (8>>>9)
(11-15% increase in range for the first two skills makes Natalya positioning a lot easier to pull-of. Same as Kahlii, she is a good fit for this new kind of “pushing” gameplay, which is only good for her as there are very few champions able to clear the wave faster.)

5. The Flash
Ultimate: Cyclone
-Slow on yourself is reduced by 10% (50% >>> 40%)
-damage dealt after 2 sec scaling per AP increased by 10% (60% >>> 70%)
-Cooldown reduced by 10 sec across the board (60/55/50 >>> 50/45/40)
(These small buffs will enable The Flash to remain viable as a good pick in mid, thou not enough to rise tier above. His main problem (being a melee champ) still remains, this only slightly compensate for this "drawback").

6. Astrid
Skill 1: Spin Slash
-base damage increased by 50 (150 >>> 200)
-scaling per LVL reduced by 10 (50 >>>40)
-scaling per AD increased by 10% (110% >>> 120%)
-attack speed increase 10% base+ 2% per lvl (20% base, 4% x lvl >>> 30% base, 6% x lvl)
Skill 2: Fearless Charge
- [Added] bonus to attack speed will be applied to the next normal attack charge speed.
Ultimate: Dire Blow
-”Stun” conditions changed: Target HP percentage higher than yours >>> You have less than 60% HP.
-”Slay” conditions changed: Target HP percentage equal or less than yours>>>Target has less than 60% HP, maximum damage to monsters is increased to 2000.
-”Mechanic that reduces the cooldown of passive ability when it hits enemy heroes: Cooldown of passive is refreshed >>> Cooldown of passive is reduced by 3 sec.”
(By the looks of things one more hero that is going to fit in new meta. Expect to see an increase in Astrid’s presence in the pick/ban phase. We are still not clear how the mechanic that reduces the cooldown of passive is going to exactly work, because the wording is not exactly clear, but never-the-less she received some much-needed buffs. On a side note, it looks like her ultimate got a specific role to do, to clean up the battlefield when everyone is low).

7. Ormarr
Passive: Gut Punch
-chance to trigger stun increase by 20% ( 20% >>> 40%)
-stun duration fixed at 0.75 sec ( 0.75-1sec >>> 0.75 sec)
additional damage changed scaling ( 10–16% of target’s current HP in physical dmg >>> 3-7% of your max HP in magic damage
-internal cooldown increased by 2 sec (4sec >>> 6sec)
Skill 2: Swagger
-Fighting Spirit stacking changed (1 stack per target hit >>> 1 stack per hero hit)
- cooldown increased by 1.5 sec (4.5 sec >>> 6 sec)
Ultimate: Walking Tall
-[Added] Recover 2% of your maximum HP whenever an enemy hero is hit.
-[Added] Skill 1 can be used during the duration of the Ultimate.
-Cooldown increased by roughly 50% (28/24/20 sec >>> 40/35/30 sec)
(With changed scaling and some added effects on ultimate, Ormarr moved toward more tank oriented builds. By reading this data, it is obvious developers wanted to make Ormarre more stable and straight forward tank/support and little less RNG based, damage oriented warrior. The change is good and I look forward to taking him out for a spin).

8. Zuka
Passive: The Chi
-attack damage increase reduced by 15% on all levels (30/35/40/45 % >>> 15/20/25/30 %)
Skill 1: Pain on a Stick
-enhanced next normal attack scaling changed (50% of AD >>> 60+20xlvl+25%of AD)
Skill 2: Panda Chariot
-shield base amount and scale per level increased (150 (+30xLVL) >>> 250 (+50xLVL))
-[Added] When the shield disappears or is destroyed, Zuka gains a recovery effect that recovers 30(+10xLVL)(+10% of AD) per second for 3 seconds.
Ultimate: Skyfall
-enhanced normal attack scaling changed ( 50% of AD >>> 70(40xLVL)(+25% of AD)
(On the one hand, Zuka got nerfed (attack damage scaling) but he gained significant boost in both base, and "per lvl" increase in damage and shield. Overall we are going to see a shift toward more bruiser like playstyle instead of that of a melee assassin).

9. Arduin
-Attack Speed growth increased by 1% (2% >>>3%)
Passive: Bloodlust
-Cooldown reduced by 15 sec (60sec >>> 45sec)
(Slight buffs to his passive. We don't expect to make it significant impact, however, we will keep our eyes on Arduin. It feels like he should perform better than he is currently, maybe this will tip the scale)

10. Roxie
Passive: Fire Spirit
-buffed HP to AP conversion ( gains 1 AP for 50 HP >>> 40 HP)
Skill 1: Wild Fire
-Magic Damage AP scaling increased by 2% (14% >>> 16%)
Skill 2: Blazing Shield
-Haste percentage increased by 5% (20% >>> 25%)
-Duration of slow increased by 0.5 sec (1.5sec >>> 2sec)
-Cooldown reduced by 2 sec (12/10sec >>> 10/8sec)
Ultimate: Agnie's Grasp
-cooldown reduced by 5 sec (40/32sec >>> 35/27sec)
(After the last Roxie's nerf, now we see some buffs in her damage as well as in her ability to stick to the target, plus reduced cooldown of her ultimate, which is massive. There's good chance she will rise back on her Tier List status, remains to be seen for now).

11. Riktor
-Max HP growth increase (237.5>>>262.5)
Skill 1: Jungle Strike
-Charge base damage reduced, while per-lvl and AD scaling got buff 60(+15xLVL)(40% of AD) >>> 50(20xLVL)(50% of AD)
-Slash base damage reduced, while per-lvl and AD scaling got buff125(+30xLVL)(80% of AD) >>> (100(+40xLVL)(+100% of AD)
-Knockup time reduced by 0.25sec (1sec >>> 0.75sec)
-Damage ratio based on target's HP changed when in brush mode (10% >>> 5/10%)
-Cooldown reduction introduced for lvling this skill up (9sec >>> 9-8sec)
Skill 2: Retaliate
-Cooldown increased by 2 sec (3sec >>> 5sec)
(Overall Riktor has been rebalanced to reduce some of his early game power and transfer it to late game. Riktor's game got slightly more punishing and looking at how effective he is, it seems like a correct move on part of Timi Studio Group).

12. Amily
Ultimate: Enrage
-Magic damage growth increase by 50 (300/400/500 >>> 300/450/600)
-Magic damage per sec growth increase by 10 (60/80/100 >>> 60/90/120)
(Slight nudge toward more end game power, a welcomed buff but nothing significant).

13. Taara
Ultimate: Steeled Focus
-Cooldown reduced by 5 sec (40sec>>>35sec)
(Seems like developers like where Taara sits right now so this is just fine tuning her strength. Players maining Taara are going to welcome this change, but overall it is just slight buff).

14. Arthur
-Armor increased by 5 (98 >>> 103)
(minor buff, not going to make difference outside of LVL 1 trades versus physical damage champions).

15. Skud
Skill 1: Furious Charge
-Base damage rebalance (210/240/270/300/330/360 >>> 200/250/300/350/400/450)
-Cooldown fixed at one value (7/6.7/6.4/6.1/5.8/5.5sec >>> 6 sec)
(minor rebalance).

16. Y'bneth
Passive: Natural Affinity
-Recovery of HP reduced 45(+18xLVL) >>> 32(+15xLVL)
-Recovery of Mana reduced 14(+2xLVL) >>> 10(+2xLVL)
Skill 2: Branching Out
-Base damage nerfed by 45, but xLVL scaling got buffed by 25 (285(+55xLVL >>> 240(+70xLVL))
(A minor in a string of nerfs for Y'bneth. Traded some of the early power for a little bit of late-game potential. Probably not going to change too much for now).

17. Airi
-Base HP/5sec increased by 6 (45 >>> 51)
(a buff, not worth mentioning)

18. Marja
-Base HP/5sec reduced by 4 (46 >>> 42)
-Armor reduced by 4 (88 >>> 84)
(minor nerf, looks like just keeping Marja's power in check)
19. Lu Bu
Skill 1: Red Stallion
-Movement speed of 3rd stage and movement distance increased by 0.5m (3m >>> 3.5m)
(This may seem like just a minor buff, but we shall keep a close eye on this one. We might witness The Great Warlord gets to become more regular appearance in lower ranking games).

20. TeeMee
Skill 1: Pooty Poots
-[Added] When an enemy hero is hit, the cooldown of Skill 1 is reduced by a maximum of 40%.
(Ring the bells, the boys are back! This is a huge buff, and we are bound to see much more of this dynamic duo).

21. Quillen
Skill 2: Decimate
-Both base and AD based contribution got nerfed (350(+100% of AD) >>> 300(+80% of AD))
Ultimate: Assassinate
-HP regeneration nerfed (100(+50xLVL)(+25% of AD) >>> 70(+35xLVL)(+15% of AD)
(A welcome nerf to the Quillen, currently one of the more dominant junglers. It is not large nerf, but with time passed gamers will find the ways to deal with this guy).
Equipment changes
1. Water Stone
-Mana regen nerfed 10 >>> 8
-HP regen replaced with movement speed 20 HP regen >>> 5% movement speed

Unique Passive - Devotion
-You are included for bonus gold (Only increases Gold and EXP for allies >>> Increases Gold and EXP for yourself and allies)
-A maximum number of stacks increased by 1 (2>>>3)
-The bonus gold you and your allies receive increased by 15 (15 >>>30)

2. Windrider Talisman
- Armor reduced by 25 (175 >>> 150)

3. Ring of Gale
-crafting recipe change (Spell Tome >>> Light Armor)
-Ability Power changed for armor (60 AP >>> 150 Armor)
-[Added] +5% Cooldown Speed

4. Crystal Talisman
-Armor increase by 30 (120>>>150)
-Mana regen reduced (20 >>>15)
-[Added] 5% Movement Speed

5. Stream Bracers
-Recipe change (Magic Ring >>> Light Armor)
-Cooldown speed reduced by 5% (10%>>>5%)
-Mana regen reduced by 5 (20>>>15)
-{New} added armor (150)
-[Added] 5% Movement Speed

6. Ring of Fiend
-Recipe change (Spell Tome >>> Ring of Vitality)
-AP replaced by Armor (90AP >>> 200 Armor)
-Mana regen reduced by 10 (30 >>> 20)
-[Added] +600 HP
Unique Active [Tornado Eye]-[Added] Gain the vision of illuminated enemies for 4 seconds.
-[Added] After activation, nearby allies within 8m receive a 50% increase in movement speed for 2 seconds.

7. Tidecaller's Mark
-Armor increased by 50 (200>>>250)
-Mana regen reduced by 5 (20>>>15)
-[Added] +5% Movement Speed
-[Added] +40 HP Regen

8. Purifying Bracers
-Recipe change (Ring of Vitality >>> Magic Ring)
-HP increased by 100 (500>>>600)
-[Added] +200 Armor
-[Added] +5% Movement Speed
Unique Active [Purifying Spell]-Now works on ALL nearby allies.
-[Removed] Increase movement speed of friendly units by 30% and gain immunity to slow effects for 2 seconds.
(There is a large number of changes in the Support-item department, most are significant but we will not mention them all. The sheer number of combinations in which these can affect the game is immeasurable. Suffice to say Windrider Talisman won't be the only viable support item around. Now we have a choice and an important one. A most welcome change and even more power to the support role, Gj Timi Studio Group).

9. Jungling Items
[Added] Even before the purchase of jungling equipment, the stacked layers of passive ability Wild are recorded. After purchasing level 2 or level 3 jungling equipment, the buff corresponding to stacked layers will be received.
10. Mr. Stabby
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to attack damage reduced by 1 per stack (3>>>2)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by 5 (15>>>20)
11. Monster's bane
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to ability power reduced by 2 per stack (8>>>6)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by 5 (15>>>20)
12. Gnoll Cleaver
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to maximum HP reduced by 20 per stack (70>>>50)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by 5 (15>>>20)
12. Whispering Wind
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to attack speed reduced by 0.5% per stack (2%>>>1.5%)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by 5 (15>>>20)
13. Soulreaver
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to attack damage reduced by 1 per stack (3>>>2)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by additional 10 (15>>>30)
14. Loki's Curse
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to ability power reduced by 2 per stack (8>>>6)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by additional 10 (15>>>30)
15. Leviathan
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to maximum HP reduced by 20 per stack (70>>>50)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by additional 10 (15>>>30)
16. Scorching Wind
[Unique Passive - Wild]-Increase to attack speed reduced by 0.5% per stack (2%>>>1.5%)
-Maximum number of stacks increased by additional 10 (15>>>30)
(Slight buff all junglers across the board, but not only in terms of stats. With a new system of stacking buffs, there will be a lot more freedom in build order for junglers. There will be players who will squeeze every min-max ounce off of it.)
17. Shuriken
[Unique Passive - Vital Point]-[Added] Internal cooldown of 0.3 seconds after the passive effect is triggered.