Riot revealed League of Legends pre-season with the release of Patch 9.23 on November. 19. and released an updated Patch 9.24 shortly after. The new patch reveals some major updates to Summoners Rift and major changes to champions and items. In the meantime, players can practice normal and ranked before season 10 arrives.

When will League of Legends ranked season 10 start?

Season 10 will be live January 8, 2020, and players will be required to play 10 placement matches (as in previous seasons).

Changes to the Rift

League of Legends Elemental Drake
Image via Riot Games.

Summoner’s Rift, the 5v5 PvP map in League of Legends, got some major changes with the new pre-season patch. Riot has introduced a new Elemental Rift mechanic that shifts the entire map, dependent upon the second Elemental Drake slain (and when the 3rd is announced). This means that the Rift Element will also be the same element as the 3rd dragon spawned. Once the map transforms, all future Elemental Drake spawns will be of that element only.

League of Legends Patch 9.23
Image via Riot Games.

Each elemental shift will alter the map in many different ways. The Infernal Rift burns away the brush nearest to Blue and Red buffs (as seen above). The Mountain Rift will create tighter spaces around the dragon pit. Ocean Rifts increases the size of the brush in the jungle and new Honeyfruit will spawn near buff camps. The Cloud Rift spawns pockets of movement buffs around Blue and Red buffs, and dragon pit also becomes a speed-boosting wind tunnel.

League of Legends Season 10
Image via Riot Games.

In addition to all of these elemental changes, both side lanes are also expanding with new alcoves to use to your advantage. Each new alcove promotes new play-making opportunities for players.

Changes to Dragon Souls

Dragon Souls were a pretty big deal before the pre-season changes, but Riot has made a few minor tweaks to make a bigger impact on new end-game payoff for the team who scores the most elemental dragon kills.

The first team to slay four Elemental Drakes gains a Dragon Soul matching the Elemental Rift. The Elder Dragon begins spawning after one team gains a Dragon Soul, meaning only one team can have it. Like Elemental Drake buffs, Dragon Souls are permanent and persist through death. Additionally, every Dragon Soul obtained comes with its own unique elemental buff. 

Elder Dragon

Elder Dragon always favoured the team that was already ahead in scoring dragon kills, so Riot removed the Elder Dragon buff that increased pre-existing dragon buff effects. Instead, burn damaged has changed from 45 true damage (per Elemental Drake stack) to 90-270 true damage. Elder Dragon’s burn no longer reveals enemies and taking Elder Dragon a second time no longer increases the Elemental buff multiplier to 100% or the burn damage to 135 (+90 per Elemental Drake stack).

Baron buff duration was decreased from 210 seconds to 180 seconds.

Item changes

League of Legends Patch 9.23
Image via Riot Games.

In addition to the plethora of changes in the Rift, Riot has also introduced multiple item overhauls and a ton of keystone adjustments.

One of the newest additions from Patch 9.23 is a keystone called Omnistone that will replace Kleptomancy. This keystone will periodically give the player a new random keystone. Once a keystone is rolled, it can’t be rolled again until only three options are left, at which point the table resets (you won’t get the keystone you just used, though). You can gain a new keystone every four to eight seconds for melee champions and eight to 12 seconds for ranged champions after you use your last keystone. These numbers scale with level as well. You can also gain a new keystone if you stay out of combat after 40 seconds of not using a keystone.

New Champion

League of Legends Patch 9.23
Image via Riot Games.

League of Legends’ next champion is Aphelios, the pretty-boy marksman from Targon. According to his biography on the League of Legends website, he is mute and is guided by his sister, Alune, who prays to the moon and channels its powers that she gives to Aphelios. Aphelios uses 5 different weapons, each with a different passive and active ability, and players must equip a main-hand and an off-hand weapon. Each weapon has limited ammo that is refuelled with basic attacks and abilities and is replaced with the secondary weapon equipped. All weapons have different abilities, and players must choose which is best for their lane partners and their enemies in-game.  Riot has revealed a new HUD being made for this champion, which displays his currently equipped weapons, how much ammo they have, and their corresponding active abilities.

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