Spellcasting Shake-Up: League's Patch 14.5 Revamps Mage Items and Balances Gameplay

In League of Legends' fourteenth season, mage items have shown considerable strength, prompting Riot Games to gradually reduce their dominance. The upcoming 14.5 patch will bring significant modifications to these items.

Riot's lead gameplay designer, Matt “Riot Phroxzon” Leung-Harrison, shared on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) that the patch, slated for release on February 28, will dial back the potency of Lich Bane, partially restore Stormsurge's strength, and recalibrate the item progression for mages, especially impacting AP assassins such as Evelynn, Akali, and Ekko.

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The adjustments are aimed at balancing the item selection for AP Assassins. Lich Bane, Rocketbelt, and Ludens are all viable first-item choices, but disparities in their effectiveness are prompting a reshuffle. The goal is to position Stormsurge as a more appealing second-item choice, while tweaking Lich Bane and Rocketbelt to achieve a more balanced first-item selection.

Specifically, in patch 14.5, the Spell Blade AP ratio for Lich Bane will be reduced from 50 to 45 percent. Stormsurge will see an increase in its movement speed bonus from five to eight percent. The Hextech Rocketbelt will offer a higher AP bonus of 70 starting from this patch, but its cost will be slightly increased from 2500 to 2600 gold. Despite feedback on Stormsurge's proc damage, Riot has decided to maintain its damage values to avoid exceeding the 200 damage threshold.

Spellcasting Shake-Up: League's Patch 14.5 Revamps Mage Items and Balances Gameplay 1

Furthermore, patch 14.5 will also bring adjustments to tank and support items, with tanks potentially seeing an increase in damage for Sunfire Aegis and Heartsteel. Support items are set to receive changes that weaken them early on but allow for more significant scaling in the mid to late game.

The patch is poised to be extensive, not just for mage items but also for League’s broader item ecosystem. It will also include updates to Smolder, the beloved dragon character that has been a dominant force on Summoner’s Rift. Riot aims to refine Smolder’s performance, especially for builds that lean towards tankiness.