Riot Games has spoken about League of Legends 2022 pre-season, with its planned changes including new dragons, items, systems and more.
Update (October 19th): Riot has revealed more 2022 pre-season info including specific item info, changes to the rift scuttler and more. We’ve updated this article to include these, and there are more specifics on Riot’s website at the bototm of this article.
New Hextech and Chemtech dragons
Riot is adding two new drakes to the game: the Hextech Dragon (left) and the Chemtech Dragon (right).
Defeating the Hextech Dragon will grant additional ability haste and attack speed (5 Ability Haste and 5% Attack Speed per stack), and spawn portals around the map, allowing players to teleport to different parts of Summoner’s Rift after a brief channel.
Getting Hextech Dragon’s soul will grant the team with ‘a chain slow, that works kind of like Statikk Shiv’s passive’, it slows enemies basic attacks and abilities ‘with a moderate cooldown’.
Killing the Chemtech Dragon will let players deal increased damage against enemies with more current health than them (up to a 5% increase in damage per stack), and ‘create camouflage gas zones in four jungle locations’ across the map.
Gas zones camouflage any champion within the zone. Camouflaged enemies are not revealed by regular vision wards, but are revealed by Control Wards, Scryer’s Blooms, and other things that reveal invisible units.
Getting the Chemtech drake’s soul will grant players with a Sion-like passive when they die, bringing them back to life momentarily where they are able to use their abilities for a few seconds before dying.
Jeremy ‘Brightmoon’ Lee, Riot’s lead gameplay producer for League of Legends, explained: “These dragons might seem more impactful than the current ones, and well, they are. Our goal is to add more unique encounters and unique strategy to the mid and late game.
“That said, these are some pretty big changes and we’re ready to adjust if they’re making too much or too little impact. You can expect to see all of these changes on the PBE in a couple of weeks and we’ll be looking for your feedback in the months ahead.
You can see more in Riot’s pre-season 2022 video here. There’s been a mixed reaction to the update, with 24k upvotes and 12k downvotes on the YouTube video.
New items for tanks, mages and assassins
There are two new mythic items – first is a support tank item ‘perfect for champions that want to get aggressive and charge into the middle of a fight’ called Evenshroud.
Riot Brightmoon said: “When you immobilize an enemy champion, all nearby enemies will take increased damage from your team for a short period of time.”
Evenshroud’s stats are as follows:
- 200 Health
- 20 Ability Haste
- 30 Armor
- 30 Magic Resist
- Repentance: After Immobilizing champions or being immobilized, cause that target and all nearby enemies to Repent increasing the damage they take by 12% for 5 seconds
- Mythic Passive: Grants all other Legendary items 5 armor and Magic Resist
The other new Mythic item is for mages who are looking for a bit more survivability: Crown of the Shattered Queen.
“It grants damage reduction that lingers for a few seconds after you get hit, and while the protection holds, you’ll also get ability haste,” Riot Brightoom added. “We think it’ll be particularly good for longer range mages who need a Mythic that helps them survive a dive rather than pile on extra damage.”
Here are its stats:
- 70 Ability Power
- 250 Health
- 600 Mana
- 20 Ability Haste
- You are Safeguarded, reducing incoming damage by 50%. Safeguard persists for 1.5 seconds after taking champion damage.
- While Safeguarded, gain 10-40 Ability Power (by level)
- (Regain Safeguard if you haven’t taken champion damage for 40 seconds).
- Mythic Passive: 1% Move Speed & 50 Health
Riot said it’s also improving other Legendary items for mages, assassins and tanks. There are more specifics on Riot’s website linked to at the bottom of this article.
Assassins will get a new Legendary item that gives them ability haste and also refunds a portion of their ultimate’s cooldown with enemy takedowns.
Tanks will get an item that grants bonus health based on total mana, and also burns some of it to create a shield whenever they immobilize an enemy.
The new mage Legendary will grant magic penetration against recently shielded enemies.
Rift Scuttler changes for pre-season 2022
The first Rift Scuttler of a game will now have 35% reduced health and give 80% reduced XP upon being defeated, and has been slightly reduced in size ‘to match its lower value’.
Riot explained: “We believe that the first Rift Scuttler spawn is too impactful in deciding the outcome of the early game, so we’re reducing its importance and resolving the encounter more quickly. Now that it’s squishier, you or your enemy can defeat it more easily and, in short, back off to safety sooner.”
Rune update and objective bounties
The Inspiration rune tree is also getting some tweaks, including changes to Glacial Augment, and Lethal Tempo is getting tweaked too.
A new rune has been revealed in this tree: First Strike. This will replace Omnistone.
The blurb for First Strike is as follows: “Damaging an enemy champion with an attack or ability before they do so grants 5 gold and First Strike for 3 seconds, causing your attacks or abilities to deal 12% extra damage against champions, and granting 100% (70% for ranged units) of that damage dealt as gold.”
Riot is adding a new type of bounty too – objective bounties. These offer extra gold to the team who is losing when they take map objectives like turrets or the Baron. Gold will be split between the whole team.
Riot said: “Objective bounties are calculated based on four factors: XP lead, Gold lead, Dragon lead, and Turret lead. The base amounts of additional gold gained by taking an objective with an active bounty are as follows:
- Baron/Elder Dragon – 500g
- Dragon/Rift Herald – 500g
- Outer Turret – 250g
- Inner Turret – 400g
- Base turret – 400g
As the losing team falls farther behind, Riot says these base amounts can increase by up to an additional 60%.
Objective Bounties have a 15 second warning period when coming online and a 15 second lingering duration when falling off. This time can be extended if the losing team remains in combat with an active Objective Bounty.”
New Challenges system aims to help LoL players better ‘express their progress’
Riot also said it’s adding more ways for players to ‘express their progress’ beyond ranked borders, champion mastery and Eternals stats, with a new Challenges system.
“Challenges rank up over time, showcasing your increasing mastery and legacy across a bunch of different systems, modes and gameplay, making it a little different than just a standard achievement,” added Riot Brightmoon.
“We want to highlight not just your rank and champion mastery, but also your inventiveness, breadth of playstyles and everything else in-between.”
For example, if you’re an ARAM god or great at CSing in the first ten minutes.
Challenges hits the PBE (Public Test Environment) in November 2021 and the full system will launch in 2022.
Riot also said the Ultimate Spellbook mode did well, so that will be coming back and with a bigger ulimate pool than before.
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.