Play the Nexus Blitz alpha

By SpaceNorth

Starting sometime in patch 8.16, we'll be live playtesting a new experimental mode: Nexus Blitz. The test will run for four weeks and everyone can participate—no invitation needed. If the community loves Nexus Blitz, we'll keep developing it after the alpha ends, but we need your input to make that call!


Welcome to the (double) jungle

Nexus Blitz is a fast-paced (~15 minutes) experimental mode designed for those of you seeking fresh ways to play League and low-pressure fun. It emphasizes exciting and surprising moments over intense competition, while still rewarding the skills you've learned from other League modes, like Summoner’s Rift.

In this 5v5 mode, each team consists of a duo jungle who share gold/XP along with three laners who flex across two halves of a split lane. The compact map makes for constant action, and a roulette of map-wide, mayhem-inducing events—like King of the Hill, snowball fights, or Bardle Royale— amplify the frenzy even more.

Winning an event unlocks one of several powerful team-wide rewards, like a base cannon that shoots you halfway across the map or a one-time Guardian Angel.

Additionally, racking up killstreaks lights you on fire, giving you tons of damage and shorter cooldowns but making you more vulnerable to damage in return. Champs on fire are worth a TON of gold to their enemies if ever they're shut down.

Nexus Blitz also brings back some classic items from League's past. Jump to the primer below for a list of those, or keep reading for some more info on what to expect from the alpha (and experimental modes in the future).


What exactly does alpha mean?

It means Nexus Blitz isn't a polished, complete game mode. As a work-in-progress, you can expect reused models, textures, and music from elsewhere in League. At this stage, even the gameplay is up for iteration and development!

Don’t take that to mean we won't be paying close attention to the state of the game. In fact, it's the opposite. Lots of champions and runes have had their numbers tuned to fit Nexus Blitz's pace of action—in particular, stacking mechanics on abilities like Nasus's Siphoning Strike and activation timers on runes like Magical Footwear have been sped up.

We'll be aggressively patching Nexus Blitz across the four-week test to keep up with you and the global community of players who will define the first ever meta. These mid-patch updates could run the gamut from balance adjustments all the way up to new events and rewards, so make sure to check our weekly dev corner threads on the Boards every now and then.

Which also means your feedback is crucial. We need you to play and tell us what you think about pretty much everything, from the core game loop to ideas for additional mechanics to map visuals and theming. If you see potential in Nexus Blitz, this is your opportunity to help shape its development!


Beyond Nexus Blitz: Experimental Modes

Nexus Blitz is the first of its kind, but it won’t be the last. An experimental mode is basically a gameplay prototype designed to deliver a different kind of experience than Summoner’s Rift, Twisted Treeline, or ARAM. We're looking for something that could last a while—maybe even as a permanent addition to League. By sharing experimental modes with players early on, they’re also a great way to test the water and get an initial community response before delving into additional months of development for a final version.

Experimental modes won’t happen super frequently. At most, you’ll see a couple in a given year. We’re designing them from the ground up instead of customizing and modifying existing modes, and the vast, vast majority of the League team is still focused on SR, with a much smaller group working on experimental prototypes.

We’re very excited to share the first of these modes with you, and hope you have a blast playtesting Nexus Blitz.


Nexus Blitz Primer

Starting Items

We've tuned up our starting items for Nexus Blitz. You can pick one (and only one) of the items below. Once you patch up to 8.16, head to the Items tab in your Collection for details!


Doran's Items

Doran's Lost Blade (higher lifesteal than Doran's Blade)

Doran's Lost Ring (higher mana regen than Doran's Ring)

Doran's Lost Shield (higher health regen than Doran's Shield)

Doran's Lost Idol (New item for enchanters! Ability Power, Mana Regen, Heal and Shield power, on-hit damage to minions)



Gold Generation Items

Heart of Targon (replaces the Relic Shield line. No upgrades, no Warding quest.)

Philosopher's Medallion (replaces the Ancient Coin line. No upgrades, no Warding quest.)

The Spellthief's Edge line isn't in Nexus Blitz



Jungle Items

Pridestalker's Blade(combination of Hunter's Machete and Hunter's Talisman, replacing both)

Returning Items

Nexus Blitz brings a number of throwbacks to the shop. Once you patch up to 8.16, head to the Items tab in your Collection for details!


Spear of Shojin (last tested patch 8.12, unreleased)

Atma’s Reckoning (last tested patch 8.12, unreleased)

Ghostwalkers (last seen patch 8.12, Butcher's Bridge ARAM)

Spectral Cutlass (last seen patch 8.12, Butcher's Bridge ARAM)

Bloodletter's Veil (last seen patch 8.12, Butcher's Bridge ARAM)

Zephyr (last seen patch 5.21)

Deathfire Grasp (last seen patch 5.1)

Wriggle’s Lantern (last seen patch 4.19)

Force of Nature (last seen patch 1.0.0.151 in Season 2)

Heart of Gold (last seen patch 1.0.0.151 in Season 2) spiritually returns as Heart of Targon. Only Season 2 kids will remember.

Philosopher's Stone (last seen patch 3.13) spiritually returns as Philosopher's Medallion

Jungling

This jungle is a little different than the wilds you’ve encountered before. Here’s what you need to know:


Camp clearing

  • Each team has two junglers who clear camps together
  • Monsters grant more overall gold and experience (150%) if you bring a friend. Last-hit rewards are split across all nearby allies.
  • Red and Blue buffs are about twice as strong as the SR versions. Two champs get buffed per clear, so no need to Smite-steal each other!


Spells & Items

  • Junglers are automatically assigned Smite in champion select, while laners are unable to take Smite.
  • Junglers should start with Pridestalker's Blade, a combination of Hunter's Machete and Hunter's Talisman (neither of which are in Nexus Blitz)
    • Pridestalker's Blade doesn't have the jungle item XP and gold mechanics of the Hunter's items
  • Completing a Pridestalker's Blade enchantment converts Smite to Chilling Smite


Buff camps

Nexus Blitz has three total buff camps that spawn along the center-line of the map.

  • Red buff at the top of the map
  • Blue buff immediately above the split lane
  • At 10 minutes, Rift Herald spawns in the hollow between Red and Blue buffs
    • In addition to the Herald's Eye, Rift Herald grants the minion-empowering effects of Hand of Baron to its killer's team (but not its bonus AD or AP)

On Fire

Champions that accrue large killing sprees light on fire, granting the following effects until death:

  • +20% attack speed
  • +20-200 adaptive force (based on level)
  • TONS of cooldown reduction, which can exceed the CDR cap
  • +100 mana or energy regen / 5 seconds
  • +25% damage taken from champions
  • At least +800 gold granted on death to your killer and +200 gold to each of their allies—the bounty keeps climbing as you rack up more kills.

Other stuff


Global aura

  • +10% Friendship
  • +30% Summoner Spell CDR
  • +4 mana regen per 5 seconds at level 1


Teamwide minion & monster gold

  • Lane minion deaths (regardless of last hit) and your team's monster kills grant ~30% of their gold value to every ally who didn't receive last-hit gold
  • Champion kills and assists don't grant teamwide gold


Consumables

  • Control Wards have been removed


Surrenders

  • Games can be surrendered with a 4 -1 vote after the 8 minute mark

Rune balance

In a perfect world we'd say "we did some rune tuning" and suggest you look through tooltips, but... it's an alpha and the tooltips are bugged to still show SR values. So, here's a list of rune balance stuff.


Domination

Taste of Blood

COOLDOWN 20 seconds 10 seconds


Inspiration

Kleptomancy

Switchover to late game drops 15 minutes 6 minutes
Early game loot curve steepness First 8 drops First 4 drops

Magical Footwear

Time available 10 minutes 6 minutes

Perfect Timing

Time available 10 minutes 4 minutes

Minion Dematerializer

Time available 4 minutes 3 minutes

Biscuit Delivery

Time between biscuits 3 minutes 1.5 minutes


Resolve

Grasp of the Undying

Health per proc (melee) 5 10
Health per proc (ranged) 3 6

Conditioning

Time Available 10 minutes 6 minutes

Overgrowth

% health per stack 0.2 0.3


Sorcery

Scorch

Cooldown 20 15

Gathering Storm

Rank-up time Every 10 minutes Every 4 minutes

Transcendence

Level Available 10 6

1 month ago