Riot Reinboom here with an update for the Abyssal Scepter rework.
To the short of it: We're iceboxing the changes (holding them until a much later date). It will stay on PBE but won't release.
We're still interested in the new Abyssal design and continued testing is enticing but we don't feel "soon" is the right time for the change.
**What was the original goal with the new Abyssal Scepter:**
We've had difficulties in the past with making aura items as satisfying as they are impactful.
Abyssal Scepter has been one of our worst cases for the aura satisfaction issue (more on this in a sec) and so it was selected (at the very start of the season) as an opportunity space.
The pulse mechanism is an attempt at concentrating the power an aura brings in these smaller windows. In order to work in this space more easily, we deliberately narrowed the potential champion use pool intentionally (e.g. cutting it away from mages).
Passive auras have tended towards low satisfaction due to most players not actively tracking the fluctuations in their stats, especially once in combat. For many ally-supportive auras there are other types of assistance to help combat this effect. You travel with your team more than the enemy team, so noticing aura changes is more likely. Auras tend to be somewhat of an expectation from supportive or utility-centric characters and so they are easier to expect. We also call out in chat whenever a teammate purchases an ally-supportive aura item.
For aggressive auras, such as Abyssal, these tools break down and make the problem exceptionally hard to read. As it's an effect that ultimately contributes to "more damage", it also tends to be lost in the high number of damage amplification sources in the game. The result is that, even if it's personally satisfying, the actual impact it has for the output of an entire team tends to be significantly undervalued. We wanted to fix that both for the sake of Clarity and so players can actually understand the power it brings.
**Why it's going on ice box:**
Though we like the new Abyssal directionally, changing it does pry open a lot of holes it's acting as a bandage for. Having a good mage magic damage defense item, for example.
We also believe now is not the correct time for the item and would like to do more work in supporting the spaces around it first.