Patch 5.6

Overall: Makes Aatrox feel a little better to play. Instead of having to spend a while charging up his passive to full, he can now get it maxed out with a good use of Massacre. Bring a little clarity to his play style and makes use of skilled play/decision making.

Overall: I’m kind of on the fence with this one. It’s more or less a nerf, primarily hitting her early game and slightly buffing her late game. It’s simply a way to scale back a little of her power early in lane (as a support) and make her a little more manageable. She’s still a burst/stun mage and changing Tibbers’ AoE damage doesn’t really change much of that. Makes it less obnoxious to have Tibbers zoning an opponent just by standing around. Reduces a little of her invisible power.
TL;DR: Just hits her power slightly in early laning, making her slightly more manageable in lane.

Overall: Well, I said he’d get buffed a little. It’s mostly just bug fixes here and there, but increasing Q’s damage makes his lane dueling a little stronger and reducing the cooldown of his magical journey increases his ability to chase down opponents that attempt to run away.
TL;DR: Small buffs, make him a little better in lane duels and chasing people.

Overall: Big nerfs to Cass, but only in the late, late game. It’s kind of rare a player ends up at that point, so it’s not too big of a deal I suppose. I think it would have been interesting to allow her to keep it, though, because I think it gives her a pretty unique ability that no one else has. As the situation is rare, I wouldn’t have minded seeing a tiny, tiny nerf to her laning if it allowed her to maintain the hyper scaling later in the game. I can understand the desire to prevent her from auto winning a game if it goes too late though.
TL;DR: Hit something unique about Cass, but it’s relatively understandable why. Would’ve preferred a nerf in another area, though.

Overall: Movespeed changes focus on the difference between her ranged and melee forms (I like that). Cocoon changes just makes it easier to land the stun, as it’s her only crowd control ability. The jungle changes hit her pretty hard at the start of season 5, and these changes focus on her ability to gank well with easier use of her Rappel and Cocoon.
TL;DR: Makes her better at ganking, more or less. Just better at getting into a fight and making things happen.

Overall: Amplifies her most important aspect, stealth. Also gives her more short bursts of speed, as opposed to continuous small amounts of speed. I like the changes to her passive by making it easier to stealth, and I’m pretty indifferent about the movespeed change. It makes her a little worse at chasing, and pushes her to focus a little more on cooldown reduction in her build (anything that reduces cd of an ability by a flat amount always requires high levels of cdr, i.e. Ryze, Ez). Because it’s any spell hits, she can hit it the cooldown pretty hard pretty fast, making her grab continuous bursts of speed pretty often, as opposed to a flat small increase. There are benefits to both types of movespeed, but it kind of seems like a nerf to me.
TL;DR: Stealth is better, trade long, weak movespeed buff for short, strong one. Stealth change is good.

Overall: It’s a nice buff for Galio, but he still has a lot of problems inherent in his kit, first and foremost being his passive. His passive makes him want to build MR, but in most games an absurd amount of MR isn’t going to do much for him. However, because of the times when he is powerful, his ap ratios have to be kept smaller to keep him from utterly overpowering opponents. He’s basically “you’re good at this one thing and because you’re good at that thing we have to keep everything else about you weaker to compensate.” I know people love niche champs and all that and I think they help point out champion diversity – and there are certainly scenarios where you get 3-4 heavy magic damage champs where Galio can wreck face – but those are few and far between. In a game like League of Legends, a niche champ can never be popular because solo queue exists and far too often that niche champion cannot he used simply because it’s too weak. This is counter to something like Ahri, where everything she does is strong regardless of what she’s playing against. Ahri is scary in nearly every setting, while Galio is only scary when going against a number of magic damage champions.
TL;DR: It’s a nice buff that fits his identity, but he’s still pretty meh all around and needs a lot of work.

Overall: Reduces the power on her E, which is pretty significant. She’s always been pretty strong because of her auto attacks (Hiten Style and Bladesurge), so this makes her E more about the utility than the damage (as it probably should be). Her E has always hit like a truck, and making it a little weaker goes a long way as she now has to make more meaningful decisions about when she wants to use it – use it now for damage, or hold off and wait for the stun.
TL;DR: Focuses the ability as utility over damage.

Overall: Gets a nerf, everyone starts playing her. Then gets nerfed again. Basically just makes her percent of damage dealt stick to her a little better – basically hitting her with a spell reduces the percent of health she has left to a larger degree now. For instance, if a spell does 90 damage it will only take 6 rotations to kill her, while before it would have taken 7. It makes a difference. Still has about the same health at 18. Health regen nerfs hit her laning pretty hard. It’s pretty much all around a nerf to her laning, and that’s about the only way to handle a snowball champion like Kat, even if the play style then becomes even more feast or famine.
TL;DR: Makes her more susceptible to getting blown up, reduces her laning power. Makes her more feast or famine.

Overall: Hits her late game more than anything. Basic abilities are still as strong as normal, meaning she still bursts things pretty hard. As Leblanc is a early game burst mage, this is a pretty good nerf if they feel this is about where they want her to be (which they said).
TL;DR: Good nerf, hits her weak point. Keeps at good at what she’s good at.

Overall: A bug fix, but a big bug fix. 20% extra ap ratio damage on her ult is pretty significant.

Overall: Nocturne’s ult is really his most iconic ability. Reducing the cooldown at early levels makes him capable of dishing out some early ganks more often, which is pretty significant. This will make his counter gank ability pretty nuts, as the ult will be up more often to assist laners that gets in trouble.
TL;DR: Just makes Nocturne capable of doing what he does more often.

Overall: Ryze is just a mess, honestly. He’s extremely difficult to balance because he either dumps on everything or just dies. He eventually just reaches a point where everything dies in front of him. His top lane harass is obnoxious. The range is still really low, though, so a small increase in damage shouldn’t be horribly bad. Basically, if he wants to apply his damage he has to put himself in a dangerous position because his range is so low. This opens up windows to counter attack, so although it’s a buff there’s still at least some semblance of counter play inherent in his kit during laning phase.
TL;DR: It’s a buff, but previous nerfs have hopefully opened up enough counter play to give opponents a chance.

Overall: Just reduces power. Makes it worse if she completely whiffs her ult.

Overall: Power increase, lets him duel a little better.

Overall: Hurts his ability to jungle. I’m kind of on the fence about this because I like the idea that Sion can jungle. My issue is that Riot said they were hitting his damage because he should bring tankiness to a composition, not damage, yet they primarily nerf his clear speed, not his damage to champions. Why hit his clear speed and push him back into only top lane, instead of hitting his ratios, for instance?
TL;DR: Just questioning the choice made for Sion.

Overall: Small buff to his early game, making him better at early trades. Although his identity is primarily shredding entire teams with AoE auto attacks, a small buff to his early game lets him reach that position without being rolled over in lane. There are points in time where buffing a weakness is a necessity (or nerfing a strength), and I can understandably see this one.
TL;DR: Early game trading buff.

Overall: All around buffs. Makes his wall pretty neat and unique, which is good. Lets him farm a little more effectively as well, with the mana regen buffs and increased range on his Q. I like giving him something that makes him more unique.
TL;DR: Uniqueness, yay!

Overall: Biggest weakness was mana costs and that just got changed – so we’ll see. I don’t think the change was great, but at least it makes him a little more fun to play as (even if the increased spam is more obnoxious to play against).

Overall: Huge mana cost changes, basically making him not awful at doing things in mid and bot lane. Mana costs are decent as a limiter, but they just generally aren’t very fun. Not one likes trying to do something and completely running out of mana when attempting to do it.
TL;DR: Still does what he does, just costs less to do it (aka can do more of it).