Chemtech Dragon and Hextech Dragon


Is Riot Games Going to Rework League of Legends’ Chemtech Dragon?

Sadakshi Kalyan Ramun
Updated On: 
Preseason 2022 in League of Legends saw the addition of the Hextech and Chemtech dragons to the elemental dragons lineup
While the Hextech dragon has been received with open arms by the community, its sister the Chemtech drake has been a subject of constant criticism online
Riot said it was open to exploring bigger options like reworks if the changes to the Chemtech dragon and the rift still don’t bode well with the community

Riot Games introduced two new elemental dragons to League of Legends during Preseason 2022 in Patch 11.23. Much like the other dragons in the game, the Hextech dragon and the Chemtech dragon also bring in significant changes to the rift and grant a unique passive when their souls are captured. While the community at large seems to be accepting of the Hextech dragon, that grants portals to traverse the lengths of the map, it has been fairly critical of the Chemtech dragon.

In a recent blogpost, Riot acknowledged the frustration around the Chemtech dragon and announced that it was nerfing the dragon. It also said it was ready for “higher scope changes” including reworks if the nerfs don’t work well.

Screengrab of Riot's thoughts on the two dragons

What is the Chemtech dragon and what does it offer

Chemtech Drake is all about playing on the edge, taking calculated risks, and fighting for every scrap. The Chemtech Dragon Soul encourages you to go big or go home, and trade your life for high-value plays"
Riot Games

The Chemtech dragon essentially pollutes the rift with poison-like clouds that obstruct vision across the four jungle quadrants. Normal wards do not come in handy in these chemtech zones as they offer no vision and players will have to use a control ward or walk closer to try and spot the champions that are camouflaged within these zones.

The dragon also grants players increased damage against opponents with higher health than them. Capturing the chemtech soul resurrects champions who die in combat for a short period of time and allows them to jump back into the action.

Backlash around the Chemtech drake

The players have been voicing their dissatisfaction with the Chemtech dragon ever since its release and have been demanding Riot to make changes to it. They have been pointing out that controlling vision around the gas zones and fighting as a team in the jungle quadrants right before neutral objectives were proving to be extremely difficult. On top of this, Riot has also been criticized for granting players an option to come back to life from the dead for a brief period of time through the Chemtech soul.

In a Reddit thread on whether Riot would accept its mistake and remove the dragon, Kevin “Beluga Whale” Huang, associate game designer, said, “If we come to the conclusion something is bad, we assess the priority to change or remove it, as with everything in League. While I personally am offended that someone would suggest pride would impact my decisions, it should also be noted that pride in a game well made and players having fun would likely be the primary source of pride for a game dev.

When one Reddit user asked what metrics, apart from the community feedback, would be looked at while deciding if the dragon change is ideal, Lead Gameplay Designer Bryan “Axes” Salvatore replied, “We're fielding a survey. It'll be a bit before we get results. The Reddit and English-speaking social media backlash is clear, but that hasn't always meant players overall disliked a feature in the past. (This does NOT mean that Reddit feedback is worthless, just that y'all are a subset of players and we want good data).”

Prominent community figures and pro players have also voiced their concerns about the dragon. Marc “Caedrel” Lamont, an analyst and a caster, pointed out that it could potentially ruin pro play.

During a Twitch stream, former-pro player Peng “Doublelift” Yilang also explained why the chemical-spewing dragon should not exist in the game and why the chemtech rift is a bad experience for the players.

Funny enough, teams that secure the Chemtech soul have a win rate of 89.7% in Patch 12.1, according to League of Graphs. Whether or not this dragon will be removed from the rift is something we can only wait and see. But for now, Riot is all set to nerf the potential it offers in the upcoming patches.

Subscribe to AFK Gaming’s Newsletter

Get a weekly recap of all the latest developments in the global esports industry with our esports business insights newsletter: AFK Weekly

Subscribe for free to receive insights, analysis and opinions on the biggest developments in esports business, provided by our team of experienced journalists in collaboration with thought leaders across the industry.

Published On: 
author profile picture

Sadakshi is the newest addition to AFK Gaming. As a passionate gamer and an ardent League of Legends fan, she brings her journalism experience to the esports scenes of LoL and Valorant