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League of Legends

League of Legends Patch 12.8 Highlights: The MSI Patch

Zakaria Almughrabi

League of Legends Patch 12.8 is set for release on Wednesday, April 27. This is the final patch before the first international League of Legends tournament of the year, the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). As such, Riot has put together a massive patch full of champion buffs and a couple nerfs to meta bot laners. Here are all of the most important changes of League of Legends Patch 12.8 heading into MSI. For the full patch notes, click here.

LoL Patch 12.8 Swain

Swain's kit has been overhauled, resulting in a much stronger early game and team fighting champion. (Image Credit Riot Games)

Champion Nerfs


Base Stats

  • Base Health: 610 ⇒ 560

Jinx has been the premiere ADC for the entirety of this season so far. Cutting her HP pool by 50 will have definite consequences early on. Aggressive 2v2 lanes will have a much easier time shutting down the hyper scaling threat. If Jinx can survive however, expect the same levels of late game power out of her.


Passive – Second Skin

  • Bonus Magic Damage Upon Consuming Full Plasma Stacks: 15% (+2.5% per 100 AP) ⇒ 15% (+5% per 100 AP) of target’s missing health

W – Void Seeker

  • Magic Damage: 30/55/80/105/130 (+ 130% AD) (+70% AP) ⇒ 30/55/80/105/130 (+130% AD) (+45% AP)

R – Killer Instinct

  • Shield Strength: 75/100/125 (+100/150/200% AD) (+75% AP) ⇒ 75/100/125 (+100/150/200% AD) (+100% AP)

AP Kai’Sa has been terrorizing players in all game modes. This nerf targets her W spam playstyle, which is oppressive when Kai’Sa is ahead to say the least. These changes heavily decrease the AP ratio on a single W hit, but increase the damage on her passive procs. Kai’Sa may opt to not build full AP anymore and go back to AD items, but could include a Nashor’s Tooth to take advantage of the extra ratios elsewhere. Overall though, this is a power down for the Void Marksman.

League of Legends Patch 12.8 Kai'Sa

The terror that was AP Kai’Sa has definitely been taken down a peg. Her build might even swap back to AD and Crit focused. (Image Credit: Riot Games)


W – Astral Infusion

  • Heal: 100/135/170/205/240 (+70% AP) ⇒ 100/130/160/190/220 (+65% AP)

Soraka is an incredibly strong Support pick who thrives in the mid game where she can sustain multiple teammates with her spammable W. This 20 base healing nerf at max rank will put a damper on Soraka’s overall effectiveness, but she will still be a very strong pick nonetheless.


Q – Double Daggers

  • Damage Per Blade: 45/65/85/105/125 (+50% bonus AD) ⇒ 45/60/75/90/105 (+50% bonus AD)
  • Cooldown: 10/9/8/7/6 seconds ⇒ 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds

Lethality Xayah is one of the most consistent damage dealers in the bot lane right now. Her Q max took over for this build since it allowed her to both poke and long range, and output more feathers for her E. Both of those aspects have been slightly cut down on here. Xayah can deal with a 20 damage loss per blade, but it is noticable.

The bigger hit is a two second cooldown increase on what was a spam spell. This will certainly affect Lethality Xayah’s pattern of throwing out and pulling back feathers off cooldown. Still, its unlikely that Xayah will swap builds, since her low auto attack range is not favored in this meta.

Champion Buffs


Passive – Ravenous Flock

  • Healing From Soul Fragments: 4/5.5/7% of maximum health ⇒ 4/5.5/7%/9% of maximum health (at levels 1/6/11/16)
  • Maximum Health Increase Per Soul Fragment: 5 ⇒ 12
  • Swain can no longer use Passive – Ravenous Flock to pull and rip out Soul Fragments from immobilized enemies (see E – Nevermove)

Q – Death’s Hand

  • Damage: 55/75/95/115/135 (+40% AP) ⇒ 60/80/100/120/140 (+38% AP)
  • Bonus Damage Per Additional Bolt: 8.25/15/23.75/34.5/47.25 (+6/8/10/12/14% AP) ⇒ 12/22/32/42/52 (+8% AP)
  • Maximum Damage (5 Bolts): 88/135/190/253/324 (+64/72/80/88/96% AP) ⇒ 108/168/228/288/348 (+70% AP)
  • Cooldown: 9/7.5/6/4.5/3 seconds ⇒ 7/6/5/4/3 seconds
  • Mana Cost: 65/70/75/80/85 ⇒ 45/50/55/60/65

W – Vision of Empire

  • Mana Cost: 70/80/90/100/110 ⇒ 60/65/70/75/80
  • Pinging W – Vision of Empire now displays a list of visible enemies within range in team chat (similar to Twisted Fate and Nocturne ults)

E – Nevermove

  • Can now be recast to pull all champions rooted by E – Nevermove, ripping out 1 Soul Fragment from each of them
  • Swain’s pulls no longer deal damage
  • Now grants vision of all rooted targets
  • E – Nevermove’s cooldown is reduced by 20% during R – Demonic Ascension

R – Demonic Ascension

  • Cooldown: 120 seconds ⇒ 100/80/60 seconds
  • Drain Damage Per Second: 35/50/65 (+14% AP) ⇒ 20/40/60 (+10% AP)
  • Drain Heal Per Second: 20/35/40 (+16% AP) ⇒ 15/40/65 (+25% AP)
  • No longer grants Swain 125/200/275 bonus health
  • ACTIVE DURATION: 12 seconds ⇒ Based on Demon Power
  • Activating Demonic Ascension grants Swain 50 Demon Power, which decreases at an initial rate of 10 per second. After 5 seconds of Demonic Ascension, Swain’s Demon Power decreases faster, at a rate of 15 per second
  • Swain gains 20 Demon Power per second while draining enemy champions
  • After 2 seconds of Demonic Ascension, Swain can recast his ultimate as R – Demonflare. R – Demonflare can only be cast once and does not end Demonic Ascension

R – Demonflare

  • Damage: 100/150/200 (+50% AP) ⇒ 150/225/300 (+60% AP)
  • Demonflare now slows enemies by 60%, decaying over 1.5 seconds
  • Demonflare no longer deals additional damage based on health drained from enemies

The Swain “mid-scope update” has arrived with Patch 12.8. The Noxian Grand General has a new set of weapons in his arsenal. Every one of his abilities has an update and they bring more power to Swain overall. The removal of his passive pull on crowd-controlled targets is technically a nerf; however, the pull and Soul Fragment rip has been re-added on his E, so Swain can still take advantage of it.

Swain has been given a spike in the early game power department on his Q, his most important damage and wave clear spell. The mana cost buff on W is some nice quality of life, and Demonic Ascension is now able to keep running as long as Swain is in range of enemies. The fact that you can recast Demonflare without immediately leaving Demonic Ascension is also a massive buff.


Passive – Traveler’s Call

  • Bonus Magic Damage On Attack: 30 (+12 per 5 chimes) (+30% AP) ⇒ 35 (+14 per 5 chimes) (+30% AP)

W – Caretaker’s Shrine

  • Maximum Heal: 55/95/135/175/215 (+60% AP) ⇒ 60/105/150/195/240 (+60% AP)

Bard is already a phenomenal champion that gets underused simply because players aren’t comfortable playing him. These changes are some nice bonuses for Bard that will definitely increase his win rate at least a little. The bigger result, however, is the fact that more people may try to play Bard thanks to the attention.


W – Deadly Flourish

  • Root Duration: 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds ⇒ 1.25/1.5/1.75/2/2.25 seconds
  • Damage against monsters no longer reduced by 25% (damage against minions and summons unchanged)

E – Captive Audience

  • Trap Recharge Rate: 28/25/22/19/16 seconds ⇒ 24/21.5/19/16.5/14 seconds
  • First Lotus Trap damage no longer reduced by 35% against monsters (damage against minions and summons unchanged)

Jhin hasn’t exactly been thriving in a meta run by scaling carries like Jinx. These buffs to his W and E help double down on Jhin’s niche of being a reliable supporting ADC champion who can play the game with lower resource requirements. An extra quarter-second of root duration on Deadly Flourish is actually a very strong buff that Jhin will gladly take to help set up his team.


Q – Null Sphere

  • Magic Shield: 40/70/100/130/160 (+30% AP) ⇒ 60/90/120/150/180 (+40% AP)

E – Force Pulse

  • Magic Damage: 80/105/130/155/180 (+80% AP) ⇒ 80/105/130/155/180 (+85% AP)

Kassadin is known as a niche counter pick into certain AP mid laners that can’t shut him down hard enough early. These buffs to his Q help Kassadin take advantage of these spots and even gain more of them. A 20 extra damage shield plus 10 percent AP will certainly move the potent anti-mage into prominent territory, especially when used for his best case scenarios.


W – Steadfast Presence

  • Cooldown: 24/22/20/18/16 seconds ⇒ 20/18/16/14/12 seconds

R – Keeper’s Verdict

  • Uncharged Knock Up Duration: 0.75 seconds ⇒ 1 second
  • Charged Missile Speed: 2000 ⇒ 2500
  • Charged Knock Back Distance: 2400 ⇒ 3400
  • Cooldown Refund Upon Canceled Charge: 30 seconds ⇒ 15 seconds

Poppy is already one of the strongest tank champions in League of Legends. Even though she is overshadowed by Ornn, these buffs help propel Poppy into a must-pick against high-mobility comps. A 12 second cooldown on Steadfast Presence when maxed is very oppressive to champions who need to move around in fights. Poppy should now get two casts off per fight very often.

League of Legends Patch 12.8 Poppy

Poppy is now even stronger in her niche of shutting down high-mobility champions. (Image Credit Riot Games)


R – Hijack

  • Cooldown: 100/70/40 seconds ⇒ 80/55/30 seconds

Sylas has been a lackluster pick for most of this season. He’s been struggling quite a lot against the ranged meta mid laners who shut him down easily. Riot have doubled down on his identity with this buff, decreasing the cooldown on his Hijack. There are now shorter windows to punish Sylas early. In addition, a 30 second cooldown (further decreased by Ability Haste) on Hijack at level 16 will make it so Sylas can almost always steal two ultimate in late game fights.


Base Stats

  • Base Armor: 23 ⇒ 27

Vladimir is one of those champions that is hard to get out of early laning. If you do, however, he can turn into a mid and late game menace, able to one shot entire backlines by himself. Four armor may not seem like a lot, but it will greatly help his survivability early, especially against AD matchups. Something to note is that Vladimir trades and sustains in lane by using his Q on enemy champions. This draws minion aggro, so four extra armor actually provides him with much more sustain.


Q – Paddle Star

  • Mana Cost: 50/55/60/65/70 ⇒ 40/45/50/55/60

R – Portal Jump

  • Mana Cost: 50 ⇒ 40

Much like Bard, Zoe is already a pretty good champion that just sees a lack of attention from a general solo queue audience. She may not be as generalist as Bard, but Zoe can still shine against low range and poke susceptible team comps. These mana buffs will make it much easier for Zoe to manage the early game before shes ramped up into a half-HP-chunking monster.



  • Stopwatch will no longer be purchasable if you already own Guardian Angel or Zhonya’s Hourglass

Finally, the days of five consecutive seconds of invulnerability are over. The double stasis tech was heavily utilized in professional play for quite a while, which caused it to drip down to the rest of the game. The result was constant frustration whenever a champion became a permanent statue in front of your team, or when a Guardian Angel got used, followed by Stopwatch which caused many a missed spell. Good riddance.

Those were the major changes of League of Legends Patch 12.8. Overall, this patch is massive. This is typically not the case for the patch an international tournament is played on. We won’t have to wait long to see pros try out any number of the recently buffed picks, as MSI begins in two weeks. The question is, which picks will we see there?