League of Legends’ Patch 8.11 & Curse of the Drowned Event Brings Big Changes to ARAM

By tomorrow Riot Games and Garena will open the floodgates to a new patch for all SEA servers, as well as an event to herald the arrival of its latest champion, Pyke, the Bloodharbor Ripper.

You can check out the main patch notes here but today, we’ll be taking a look at the event including all of the changes to League’s ARAM mode, most notably in terms of gameplay as well as updates to how champions are selected.


Curse of the Drowned

First on the list, the event itself. Alongside the launch of Pyke, there will also be a couple of new Dark Water skins launched for both Diana and Vladimir. The skins fit with Pyke’s thematic style, and they look extremely slick and dark. The skins will both be priced at 490 RP on Garena servers, and each skin will come with a purchasable set of 5 Chroma palettes. New emotes as well as a new loot bundle will also be available for a limited time for the duration of the event.

Dark Water Diana [Source: Riot Games]
Dark Water Vladimir [Source: Riot Games]
If you were planning to pick up any of the old Bilgewater Legacy skins, you can also do so during the event. The skins for Rumble, Twitch, Fiddlesticks, Ryze and Katarina will be available to purchase until June 18th.

With new events, comes new missions. There will be a total of 9 missions, and both Summoner’s Rift and ARAM players will be able to complete them. These missions range from simply winning a game of ARAM, to winning matches with specific champions on your team. Completing all these missions will grant you:

  • 1 Serpent Crest icon
  • 2000 Blue Essence
  • 1 Hextech Chest & Key
  • 1 Masterwork Chest & Key
  • 1 Bilgewater Emote
  • 1 The Ripper Ward

There will also be 2 new loot tokens and a loot capsule. Both loot tokens are available from opening the Cursed Capsule, and if you’re lucky enough to pick up a Golden Kraken token, you have an easy way to obtain a free Legendary Skin.



For 8.11, the ARAM changes will look to be the biggest shakeup that the game mode will be receiving this season. For this patch, the developers are looking to solve some problems that have plagued ARAM for quite a long time in terms of balance.

The Bench

One of the biggest changes happens before the game even begins. Champion select has always been a coin flip when it comes to getting a champion you like, and rerolling might lead to a worse option. The new champion select looks to remedy this by adding the Bench. Now when you reroll a champ, the new champ gets sent to the Bench so you could choose whether you’d like to stick with your current selection or pick a new one. Your teammates can also send a champion to the Bench for you to choose.

[Source: Riot Games]
This makes the selection process more enjoyable for your team since you’re not forced to play something you don’t enjoy. Because of this, the rate at which you receive rerolls has also been increased, relative to the amount of champions you own.


More Playable Champs

Another change to the ARAM champion selection is the expanding of the Free to Play pool. To discourage ARAM-only accounts from getting the more useful champions most of the time, and to stay true to the “random” aspect of ARAM, the available free champion pool for ARAM will be increased to 42 champions. The champions will consist of the Summoner’s Rift free champ rotation over the past 3 weeks. Pyke will also be part of this pool, so everyone can get a chance to play him.


The Return of Butcher’s Bridge

Gameplay-wise, Butcher’s Bridge, a highly requested map returns to the game, with some tweaks. With the addition of Base Gates, players will all have a fair start, regardless of how quickly they load in or purchase their items. Base Gates will only open 15 seconds into the game.

Players will receive more experience at the beginning of the game to shorten the time between level 3 and level 4, while the surrender time has been changed to 8 minutes for an early surrender vote, and 12 for a normal surrender.

For balancing purposes, the Dark Harvest rune will be nerfed, so that it doesn’t remain a must-take for certain champions. Warmog’s Armor will also be removed for ARAM. These changes will only apply during this patch, but time will tell if they become a permanent mainstay.

3 new items have also been added to the mode, with some pretty cool item effects. Ghostwalker are boots locked to only melee champions that will allow them to walk through walls, just like Kayn.

[Source: Riot Games]
Spectral Cutlass is an AD and Lethality item that allows champions to get out of danger right after jumping in by leaving a mark on the ground beneath the user, then automatically returning the user to the mark after a short time.

[Source: Riot Games]
Lastly, we have Bloodletter’s Veil, a close relative to Banshee’s Veil that provides the user with a spell shield every time they do damage with an ability.

[Source: Riot Games]
Health relics will also be changed. Now every time someone picks up a health relic, a large area-of-effect heal will hit the area, healing every champion inside it, friend or foe. The relics will also heal for a percentage of your missing health and mana, in exchange for an increased respawn timer.

[Source: Riot Games]
With these new changes, ARAM looks to be an extremely enticing and fun game mode to relax and have a few games on. Personally I’m very excited to see where these changes lead, and I’ll see you guys on Butcher’s Bridge soon!

Images courtesy of Riot Games

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