League of Legends Previews Big Preseason Item Changes

League of Legends players got their first look at Preseason 2021 plans for items on Friday in a preview that revealed some pretty significant changes coming in the future. Some off those changes apply to specific items while others will broadly affect how stats granted by items are calculated and the effect those stats will have on games. The items affected encompass every single role players could possibly fill, so it seems like everyone will have a lot to learn in the preseason when these changes are tested.

Riot Games unveiled its first look at the proposed item changes in a lengthy blog post on Friday. It’s divided into different sections for tanks, mages, and other roles so that you can find what you’d typically gravitate towards to see what’s happening, but two of the biggest changes that stood out had to do with cooldown reduction and the jungle role.

Cooldown reduction, an essential stat regardless of what champ you’re playing, it being totally reworked. It’s being turned into something called “Ability Haste” which has a similar function but is calculated differently. It’ll stack linearly now, and it doesn’t have a 40% cap like cooldown reduction does.

“Currently, CDR’s power stacks exponentially so the more CDR you get, the more valuable it becomes,” Riot said about the new version of cooldown reduction. “For example 10% CDR is 11% more casts, while 40% CDR is 66% more casts, and 50% CDR is 100% more casts. Ability Haste will provide a linear power scaling model for more ability casts. So 10 Ability Haste = 10% more abilities cast, 20 = 20% more, 30 = 30% more. This makes it so every amount of Ability Haste you buy has the same impact, rather than an exponential one.”

While there’s nothing insignificant in the post, the second of the biggest changes has to do with jungle items. Just as support players are able to pick up their starting support item and watch it level up without any additional gold investment on their part, junglers will be able to do the same during Preseason 2021.

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“Last preseason included a successful update to starting items for the support role that allowed them to immediately focus on the wider shop for more satisfying options and more choices,” Riot said. “We’re applying the same treatment to junglers: Jungle items will be a starting item that requires no additional investment. Junglers should get the stats and resource bonuses they need from this item so they can immediately start working on the rest of their build. We’re still working out the details (like how you can acquire a champion-targeted Smite), but early testing of this direction has been exceptionally positive.”

Those who’ve been around for a preseason or two will know that these sorts of major changes are to be expected between the seasons, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all ship as planned. Things will inevitably change between now and the time the preseason changes come to live servers, but we’ll certainly see more item and preseason discussions before then to preview what’s planned.