League of Legends' tenth year marks the beginning of Season 10, and this deserves celebration. Along with the start of the new season comes key changes to Summoner's Rift such as the addition of new map features and the Elemental Rift changes. Today, we're talking about one of the most critical updates to the game: Season 10 dragon changes.
Season 10 Dragon Changes - The Rundown
For those who want a quick overview of the new changes to one of the game's most contested objective, here's a basic rundown of the update:
- Elemental Dragon buffs have been reworked to bring them up to par with Infernal Drake
- Infernal and Ocean Dragon buff remains mostly unchanged
- Cloud Dragon buff now reduces the cooldown of ultimate abilities
- Mountain Dragon buff now gives extra percentage-based armor and magic resistance
- There is now a new buff called Dragon Soul
- Dragon Soul applies to the entire team after four elemental drake kills and persists even if a champion dies
- The Dragon Soul's element depends on the strongest elemental buff active for the team
- Infernal Dragon Soul creates an AoE explosion on your next attack or ability
- Ocean Dragon Soul improves health and resource regeneration after attacking an enemy
- Cloud Dragon Soul reduces the cooldown of basic abilities for every attack or ability
- Mountainous Dragon Soul grants a percentage-based shield that regenerates after a few seconds
- Killing Elder Dragon now grants Elder Immolation
- Elder Immolation deals execute damage to an enemy champion with low health
- Unlike Dragon Souls, Elder Immolation is a temporary buff.
That's a lot of big changes to Season 10's dragons, but what's the purpose of these changes? Let's take a closer look at Riot's reasoning behind these updates.
Elemental Dragon Buff Reworks
Elemental dragon buffs provide permanent bonuses to the team killing an elemental drake. Here's what each buff does summed up in a few words:
- Infernal might adds a percentage-based bonus to your attack damage and ability power.
- Ocean dragon buff increases your health and resource regeneration
- Cloud dragon buff adds a movement speed bonus
- Mountain dragon buff lets you deal bonus damage to towers and epic monsters.
One look and it's easy to see that elemental dragon buffs aren't equal. The bonus you get from killing an infernal or an ocean drake yields better benefits than the other two. A movement speed buff doesn't matter much when late-game damage and durability is more important. On the other hand, the buff you get from a mountain dragon buff doesn't benefit teammates that don't put out a lot of damage in the first place.
Because of the power imbalance among the elemental dragon buffs, some teams don't even bother contesting the dragon if it's not an infernal or ocean drake. Think about it; would you risk getting into a big team fight for something situational?
To address this issue, Riot reworked the less popular dragon buffs to make sure they offer something worth the trouble:
- Cloudbringer's Grace will now reduce the cooldown on your team's ultimate abilities.
- Mountainous Vigor now adds a percentage-based armor and magic resistance bonus.
- While Infernal and Ocean dragon buff remains the same, their buff names have been changed to Infernal Might and Oceanic Will, respectively.
These new changes accomplish two things. First, it ensures that all possible buffs are useful to all members of the team. Second, it makes every elemental drake a desirable target, which means more action-packed games that are more entertaining for players and spectators alike.
New Buff - Dragon Soul
Season 10 dragon changes also include a new buff to the game called Dragon Souls. Prior to this change, a team's fourth dragon kill simply means an extra stack of their dragon buffs. With Dragon Soul, the fourth dragon buff stack is replaced by a completely different effect depending on the element with the biggest stack:
- Infernal Dragon Soul - Creates a small area-of-effect explosion when you hit an enemy champion with a basic attack or a damaging spell. This effect deals adaptive damage and can happen once every 3 seconds.
- Ocean Dragon Soul - Dealing damage to enemies increases your health and resource regeneration for 3 seconds. Damaging enemy champions provide stronger regeneration than damaging minions.
- Cloud Dragon Soul - Successful hits (whether basic attack or abilities) on enemies reduce the cooldown of your basic abilities.
- Mountain Dragon Soul - Avoiding damage for five seconds grants you a shield that scales with your attack damage, ability power, and bonus health.
With the new buff, there's really no more reason to give away dragon spawns. The sheer power and utility you get from having a dragon soul and the elemental stacks are too good to pass up. This is especially true since the effect from a dragon soul persists even if your champ dies and only one team can gain a dragon soul per game!
Elder Dragon Rework - Elder Immolation
Unlike the other season 10 dragon changes discussed earlier, the Elder Dragon rework doesn't necessarily favor the team with more dragon stacks. The extra burn damage is still there. However, instead of doubling the effect of previous dragon buff stacks, the reworked buff now adds a threshold indicator on an enemy's health bar. If the champion's health goes below that bar, Elder Immolation triggers and executes them. The effect has a small wind-up time so marked targets have a small window of opportunity to heal back up or shield themselves.
This change is especially good for assassin champs that may have trouble getting a but more damage to secure kills. However, it's true value lies in its ability to speed up some games while still serving as an effective comeback mechanic. The fact that it's always possible to get an Elder Immolate means that you will always have the chance to catch up to your enemies... or further secure your lead.
Season 10 Dragon Changes - Conclusion
That wraps up our discussion on Season 10 Dragon changes. Check out more LoL related content!