Pre-Season Changes From a Supports Perspective
The utility tree is made specifically for support, with such masteries as Scavenger (+1 gold each time an ally kills a minion near you) and Inspiration (+5 experience every 10 seconds while near a higher leveled champion). The only issue with this is that they made the masteries themselves extremely underpowered, most notably being Inspiration, which gives an extremely low amount of experience compared to the old experience masteries (which were notably never taken). This makes it so that it is often correct to go deep into the defensive tree for supports. I don’t believe that buffing the utility tree would be beneficial, as it would reduce the choices available for support masteries. I do wish the weaker masteries, such as Inspiration, Expanded Mind (5% increased max mana for 3 points), Scout (15% trinket cast range), and the melee part of Bandit(+15 gold on champion kill or assist) be buffed up to more comparable to the rest of the masteries.
The removal of Oracles has been a very good change to the game in my opinion. It has made the vision control game much less about only supports, and makes you rely on your team for vision control. This is fine for competitive, where you can rely on your teammates for vision control, but in solo queue it is rare for anyone to buy pinks or upgrade their trinkets. This means you can have basically guaranteed vision with just a few wards. This is a significant contributor to the length of games going so long. Without vision denial it is much harder to be able to force objectives or teamfights that will end the game. It becomes almost necessary to get slowly farther ahead until you can actually tower dive the losing enemy team.
Length of games:
Due to the reduction of snowballing effects (such as lower gold on first bloods in the early game, and lower gold from dragon early, and the removal of vision denial), the average game length has been signficantly increased; for better or for worse. I personally have been having more fun with the long games, but I could see it being a drain on people who have more limited schedules.
The Three gold items:
Ancient Coin: On average gives the least amount of gold throughout the game. Makes up for it by building into the extremely OP talisman item. It is also the easiest item to get used, as it requires no extra thought during laning phase.
Relic Shield: Gives a significant amount more gold than Ancient coin. Also gives a decent amount of stats for laning phase. Builds into a decent item in Face of the Mountain.
Spellthief’s Edge: Gives around the same amount of gold as Relic Shield, will be more if you can consistently proc it. Once you upgrade it to Frostfang is starts to generate gold extremely quickly due to double procing with spells and auto-attacks. Builds into the worst item of the three: Frost Queen’s Claim.
I really like the addition of the items, and the way they change how your play during laning phase depending on the item you choose. I feel they are extremely well thought out, especially Relic Shield.
The only change I would make to these items is remove 10% cdr from Talisman of Ascension, and add 10% cdr to Frost Queen’s Claim, making them all equal in CDR. This would help balance out the choices significantly.