After a lengthy holiday break, Riot Games is readying to release the next major patch for Teamfight Tactics. Patch 14.1 is still a little over a week away, but game design director Stephen Mortimer (aka Mortdog) has offered a bit of a preview of what players can expect when it arrives on January 10th.
As it's been weeks since the last patch, we can expect some big changes as Riot attempts to balance the current meta. There are also some new additions to the set as well.
Previewing these changes on social media, Mortdog confirmed that patch 14.1 will introduce 11 new portals. This will be a mix of returning fan favorites, like Radiant Blessing, and Treasure Dragon, as well as some new ones like Crab Rave. Portals were first introduced in Set 9 as a way to give players a chance to shape their gameplay experience. The mechanic proved so popular that it returned for Set 10. Mort also posted some of the most popular and least popular portals being selected by the player base so far this set.
In addition to the new portals, 14.1 feature balance adjustments. Among them is a nerf to the True Damage emblem, which is basically a free top four if you can land it. The power of the True Damage emblem has resulted in a meta that sees many players open fort (intentionally lose) early on in the game to build up a win streak (and more gold) and, in some case, get first pick in the carousel which could let them grab a spatula to make a True Damage emblem.
He actually addressed open forting in the same post, but confirmed that this patch won't address this particular system. He confirmed that 14.1 won't radically change player damage as this sort of large system change requires a lot of testing and they don't want to rush any changes.
Mortdog has also teased "a lot of buffs" to hopefully result in more playable comps. He didn't get into specifics, but Viego and Karthus feel like some of the least powerful 4-cost champions who could get a buff.
While he didn't specifically mention this in the post, 14.1 will also contain the long-awaited Spectator mode, which is currently available on the PBE. It will also implement the new Heartsteel changes, which may be for the better or worse, we just don't know right now.