Earlier this week, a series of changes came to League of Legends’ ARAM game mode, with the mode’s longstanding map, the Howling Abyss, receiving its first major set of changes since it was introduced in 2013. The historic map gained several new features, including the growth of an extra bush in the middle of the map, as well as the addition of Hexgates, which were initially brought to Summoner’s Rift last preseason.
Additionally, outer turrets on the Howling Abyss will now fall over when defeated, leaving half a lane’s worth of debris in their wake for the remainder of the game. These changes cause the Howling Abyss to make for a much different battlefield than players may have been used to.
As one might guess, the changes that came to ARAM earlier this week indirectly altered dozens of champions on the League roster. Whether you’ve already seen these changes on display in your ARAM games, or are looking to pick up a new secret weapon on the map, here are some of the champions who received the biggest indirect buffs thanks to the map’s changes.
Ivern’s Brushmaker (W) has always had value on the Howling Abyss, a map with very few places to hide. The addition of an extra brush in the middle of the map has given Ivern the chance to create even thicker hiding spots, while the combination of Brushmaker alongside the map’s newly added fallen towers can create a nearly impassable line of defense for teams on the retreat.
Maokai received boosts to two of his most potent abilities—Sapling Toss (E) and Nature’s Grasp (R)— thanks to the ARAM changes. An extra bush now gives Maokai even more room to set up his army of smaller trees, while the fallen towers will leave enemies with little room to run while trying to outsprint the grasping roots of his ultimate.
Anivia is a newly born ARAM menace. Her Wall of Ice (W) can keep enemies completely locked into one side of the map when placed alongside a fallen tower, while her Glacial Storm (R) will entrap and slowly whittle down anyone looking to sneak through the little sliver of lane that remains after a tower goes down. And with the champion’s core item, Rod of Ages, back in the game after a three-year hiatus, Anivia is back like she never left.
Qiyana received plenty of indirect buffs on ARAM thanks to the additions of fallen towers and an additional brush. The extra brush gives her another target for a green Terrashape (W), while the fallen towers give Qiyana more terrain to claim an orange one. Additionally, Qiyana players will definitely feel the effects of the fallen towers when they cast Supreme Display of Talent (R) and produce the now-widest possible stun radius on the map.
Zeri has always had a notoriously tough time on the Howling Abyss, as two of her abilities, Ultrashock Laser (W) and Spark Surge (E), interact with walls. The addition of fallen towers gives Zeri more angles to extend her Ultrashock Laser, while also supplying her with more walls to slide over during the course of a teamfight. Although she’s still a much better pick on the far-more-angular Summoner’s Rift, the changes to the Howling Abyss have given Zeri a much-needed boost in ARAM.