League of Legends is poised to receive a huge update this week when Patch 9.23 releases to kick off the start of the experimental preseason period. Amid reworked Elemental Drakes and other parts of the patch which were previewed during Riot Games’ big 10-year celebration, Riot also took this preseason time to remove several items and the Kleptomancy Keystone rune. Some of the items’ removals won’t matter as much since it was easy to forget about some of them anyway, but the absence of this Keystone Rune will leave a few champions looking for backup options.
Changes that showed Kleptomancy being removed were tested on the PBE for a while before going their time to go live, but if you haven’t been keeping up with the in-progress changes, seeing these patch notes for the first time might be a surprise. Once you work your way through the many changes to get to the sections about runes and items, you’ll find the reasoning for removing Kleptomancy, Spear of Shojin, Zz’rot Portal, Ohmwrecker, and Raptor Cloak.
Riot’s explanation for removing Kleptomancy in place of the new Prototype: Omnistone rune basically said the rune was a pain for anyone who was going against it. Those who laned against Klepto Ezreal will no doubt know the pain of getting shot with Qs as Ezreal benefitted from free poke and extra income. Riot explored different ways to fix Kleptomancy but ultimately decided it was too out there even for a rune that’s found in the Inspiration tree.
“Removing gold as an incentive only left the moment-to-moment dynamic changes as Klepto's design core, and League's consumable item system isn't deep enough to carry an entire keystone on its back. Sorry, Klepto—even for an Inspiration rune, you were too weird,” Riot said in its patch notes.
The items that have been removed won’t be missed nearly as much as the Kleptomancy rune. Spear of Shojin was the most dominant pick among the four items which were removed, but even it found niche homes with picks like Jax and Renekton and hardly anyone else.
“When wielded by its most synergistic users, Shojin's unique passive reduced the downtime of their CC, mobility, and immunity spells beyond what we think leaves healthy room for counterplay,” Riot said.
Zz’rot Portal, Ohmwrecker, and Raptor Cloak have all been removed entirely in Patch 9.23, but Spear of Shojin will still be available in ARAM. Malzahar players will notice that the champion’s W will be renamed accordingly to make the Zz’rot Portal’s name live on after this update releases.
League of Legends’ big Patch 9.23 goes live this week, and you can read through all the patch notes here.