Comprehensive Summary of the Mid-Year Mage Rework (Brand, Cass, Malz, Vel, Vlad, Zyra)

Riot has been making threads that help elucidate the way that the mid-year mage update will play out. I've collected those posts here. *** #[The Goals]( Distinct - offer a unique reason to be picked Cohesive - deliver on their core thematic and gameplay fantasy Healthy - balance-able and fun to play as and against at all skill levels [Anivia](, [Fiddlesticks](, [Heimerdinger](, and [Xerath]( are considered to fit all three criteria. [Syndra]( was almost considered for the Mid-Year update, but was passed over. Low priority project. [Galio]( and [Swain “\(highly unlikely this year\)”]( considered for significant reworks. [“Galio and Swain are both seen as out-of-scale for these kind of batch updates]( (Juggernaut, Marksman, Mages), and more reserved for individual VGU updates (like Poppy and Sion)” *** #[Brand]( ##[Playstyle]( Still able to burst squishies AOE mage Less of a lane bully [Balancing around support along with mid.]( ##Passive - Blaze Likely identical; “[% max health damage means he kills anything eventually]( -- a strength that goes well with his low mobility and moderate range.” ##Q - Sear No specific information given. Difficult to tell if it will be changed much. ##W - Pillar of Flame Unlikely to be changed. [“I 100% agree that Pillar of Fire is core to Brand and an awesome spell”]( ##E - Conflagration Is considered the primary reason Brand is too much of a lane bully. Tricky to tell how much it will be changed; [“serves as glue to hold the rest together. On top of that, every time we try making E more awesome it gets mandatory to cast it in teamfights”,]( ##R - Pyroclasm Likely becoming less random [“The damage Brand deals should not require luck.”]( *** #[Cassiopeia]( ##[Playstyle]( Does not intend to make Cassiopeia a "Poison Mage; Cassiopeia is a mage that utilizes poisons” Less reliance on Twin Fang Less sameness for Miasma and Noxious Blast (often cast for the same reasons in the same spot) “Cassiopeia's poison spells will feel like they stand alone rather than feeling like slaves to Twin Fang.” [Will have a brand new form of CC, a type that hasn't existed before.]( Thanks /u/PeteSoSweet! ##Passive - Aspect of the Serpent Unnatural power curve makes it feel bad. [“We’re not thrilled with how the passive has played out”]( [“I imagine her power curve will still skew toward late game, but probably not quite so drastically. If anything, it would be great if her power curve felt more natural or less forced following the update.”]( ##Q – Noxious Blast [Will be made to have more situational use with W.]( [Unlikely to become a linear skillshot]( ##W - Miasma [More emphasis on the zone control aspect]( Similar to Noxious Blast, [Will be made to have more situational use with Q.]( [Unlikely to become a linear skillshot]( ##E – Twin Fang Likely made much less powerful so the playstyle is less dependent on it. Will still revolve around hitting poisoned targets for maximum power. [Significant less punishment for missing a spell.]( “Imagine that Twin Fang does 65% of Cassiopeia's damage at the moment, with 35% elsewhere (making these up). [We're probably looking at pulling things closer to 50/50.]( I think a good sweet spot would be if felt like it was still going in for to really amp up the damage, but that you weren't completely zoned from effectiveness if you couldn't.” ##R – Petrifying Gaze Likely only slight changes, perhaps to the facing mechanic. [“Despite facing gameplay not being perfect, Petrifying Gaze provides some really cool high moments.”]( *** #[Malzahar]( ##[An auditory format]( ###[Playstyle]( Significantly less reliance on the slam-keyboard combo. Much less a burst mage in general. AD playstyle will remain. More focus on Voidlings. Will not become much more mechanically demanding. “[Because if this character needs to be played like an assassin in order to win, he's probably not healthy for the game.]( His only options are to walk up to or Flash up to someone and combo them, or to catch someone off guard (like in brush or something) and combo them. There are champions that are much better suited to do both of these things, and given Malzahar's kit, if that's what it took for him to succeed, he's probably just overtuned.” AD Malzahar remaining is a huge focus of the update. “[one of my intentions for Malzahar is that AD Malz remains a viable build for players to currently enjoy.]( I'd say it's likely to remain distinct from AP Malz.” ##Autoattacks [Will be more responsive]( ##Passive – Summon Voidling More focus on voidlings, but not a playstyle revolving around them. “After a lot of consideration into that path and how it might work, [we've mostly decided against \[a playstyle revolving around micromanaging voidlings\]]( Will will be [possibly scaling with more stats than just AD]( May be possibly [more numerous than currently]( Will [not be controllable like a ghost/revenant/clone.]( ##Q – Call of the Void Silence will remain. ["Malzahar's Silence is both defining of the Call of the Void, as well as probably the fairest Silence in the game."]( ##W – Null Zone Almost no information given at all; likely going to be changed drastically. ##E – Malefic Visions [Will remain almost identical, considered core.]( ##R – Nether Grasp Much less of a guaranteed burst button. [Still impactful and feels less bad when it’s down.]( Very likely to remain point-click to shut down mobility [“We're aiming to keep Nether Grasp pretty similar mechanically.]( Functions well as a reliable anti-mobility/anti-assassin via Nether Grasp (R).” *** #[Vel’koz]( ##[An auditory format.]( ##[Playstyle]( All-in pattern/burst likely to stay. Will have much less waveclear, especially at mid lane. “Up play research and geometry thematics”. Will still be able to poke and kite tremendously well. "[Our current plans for Vel'Koz might literally be the smallest scope changes we've ever done in a class update.]( In fact, I could understand how some people may not even really perceive it as a significant update and more of a "patch note." ##Passive – Organic Deconstruction [Research-through-disintegration thematic going to be enhanced.]( Very little information provided beyond that. ##Q - Plasma Fission Considered core; unlikely to have much change. Well, except now “Vel'koz now must list out increasingly longer Taylor Expansion derivates of randomized functions to casts his abilitys. [In order to level,]( he must also first solve for various problems defined with the scope of: Navier-Stokes, Conservation Laws, Michaelis-Menten, Maxwell and Kirchhoff, and Eigen space and Characteristic Polynomials.” ##W - Void Rift Will have significantly less waveclear. “The majority of players (and win rate would suggest this as well) would unquestionably [max W for mid Vel'koz, which is generally a less enjoyable playstyle](” ##E – Tectonic Disruption Though a change would be nice, [“Unfortunately scope on this project isn't large enough to do that large of an adjustment”]( ##R – Lifeform Disintegration Ray Considered core; unlikely to have much change. *** #[Vladimir]( ##[Playstyle]( Will be one of the best sustainers still, but health costs to remain Needs more emphasis on the stacking on Tides of Blood due to lacking windows of strength. [Though spell vamp is considered a cool stat, may have less synergy especially against minions to allow spell vamp to be functional on more than just two champions.]( ##Passive – Crimson Pact Unlikely to have much change. “Stat Affinity -- [Vlad has always been the AP + HP guy, and we think that’s pretty cool.](” ##Q – Transfusion Will not turn into a skillshot. [“Not everything has to be a skill shot](, and we think retaining the old paradigm here is important to the spell’s feel.” May have some mechanism where [an opponent is able to contest the health loss]( ##W – Sanguine Pool Considered core; unlikely to be changed. [“An iconic ability that should be preserved.”]( ##E – Tides of Blood Candidate for the largest amount of changes. May have proportional health spending “we want the ability to [enable him to pay a LOT if he wants to, or a little if he doesn't/can't, offering him a proportional reward to the amount spent.”]( Will [still be an AOE spell]( ##R - Hemoplague Won’t have very much change. “[Though it's not perfect, R has a unique effect and makes for some cool moments]( (I always enjoy getting those delayed POP!! kills), so we decided we'd look elsewhere first and tackle that one if there's some room at the end.” *** #[Zyra]( ##[Playstyle]( [Being balanced around support, but mid-lane is significantly stronger]( Still an extraordinary amount of damage. [“During playtests, Zyra's damage to champions at end of game has been consistently bananas.”]( Will have even more emphasis on counter-initiating. ##Passive – Rise of the Thorns [Considered the worst part of the kit with a nearly total reconstruction.]( [Will likely not involve death anymore.]( ##Q – Deadly Bloom Feels unsatisfying that it only does damage. [Likely will have a secondary effect, possibly making it create even more plants.]( ##W – Rampant Growth There will be more plants, and more ways to play around the plants, likely for even harder counter-initiation. “Take the basic combo case of, "I want to E+Q this guy with 1 plant of each type and then ult". There's side stuff in there is about maybe casting E from brush, or hitting extra people with E, where the R is centered, etc. [We'd like there to be bits about getting more from your plants because of doing X differently, or getting extra plants because of doing Y, that type of thing.”]( Additionally, [“Some kind of health scaling as the plants reach lategame is pretty likely.”]( Plants will have [better AI to focus down champions better.]( ##E – Grasping Roots [Feels satisfying; unlikely to be changed.]( ##R - Stranglethorn [Distinctive and satisfying; unlikely to be changed.]( *** Hope you enjoyed!
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