Riot Games has released the notes for Patch 9.18. The update brings a number of smaller changes, leading up to the bigger 9.19 Patch — the one that will be used at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship.
The current patch focuses primarily on meta-dominant heroes, including Aatrox, Akali, and Xayah, all of whom have been slightly nerfed.
Aatrox has suffered a nerf to his laning stage, especially in the later laning phase. He doesn’t heal as much from hitting minions through his passive Deathbringer Stance and also deals flat 40% damage to minions with his Q (previously scaling 50-100%). This tones down Aatrox’s lane sustain and trade capabilities when fighting between minions and it should be easier to get him out of lane now.
Akali is getting her early game nerfed. The first cast of her ultimate, Perfect Execution, no longer mini-stuns the target and the second cast now deals less damage. The cooldown has also been increased dramatically for the first level of the ultimate.
Xayah is also receiving some stat nerfs because she is “an extremely safe and reliable choice due to her damage and safety in the early game,” Riot explains. Xayah will now have less armor and the cooldown of her R Featherstorm (one of Xayah’s primary escape mechanisms) has been increased with +20 seconds on all levels.
It’s not just nerfs, however. Lee Sin’s R Dragon’s Rage has had its early game damage buffed, so he can burst down targets more quickly; Ekko’s W now costs less and stuns for longer; and even Teemo has received a lot of love, even if it’s unlikely the champion will become viable for pro play again.
There is still no details when we can expect Patch 9.19 to hit, but it should be any day now. Worlds is starting in just over 20 days, and the teams will need at least a couple weeks to test the new changes and try to figure the meta for the year’s most important event.