Protobelt or Hextech Protobelt-01 was a League of Legends that was eventually replaced by Hextech Rocketbelt. It could be utilized on numerous ability power champions, especially those that rely on mobility for effectiveness.
The magical object had a very fun, active unique called Fire Bolt that would propel your champion forward while blasting bolts in a cone in front of you. The effect was especially great against minions, allowing you to clear wave after wave and even defend against super minions.
In this Hextech Protobelt-01 guide, I will analyze the item’s stats, all the changes, and why it was ultimately replaced.
Key Info Up Front
Protobelt was an item that increased champions’ ability power, cooldown reduction, and health. It had an interesting active unique called Fire Bolt. The item didn’t last for long; it was ultimately replaced/upgraded to Hextech Rocketbelt.
Hextech Protobelt-01 Basic Info
This item had a mediocre gold efficiency of 87%. It was similar to Hextech Gunblade and Hextech GLP-800 but also shared common traits with Rod of Ages, Morellonomicon, Liandry’s Torment, and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter.
Due to the nature of the item, it was optimal on slow AP characters but would become popular among assassins. To make the most out of active, a player was forced to take risks and come close to enemies. This effect was also good for escaping.
It had a price tag of 2,500 gold, and you could sell it for 1,750 gold. To assemble Protobelt, a player had to buy Kindlegem for 800 gold (400 gold for Ruby Crystal and 400 gold for a recipe), Hextech Revolver for 1,050 gold (required two Amplifying Tomes at 435 gold each, and a 180-gold recipe), and a 650-gold recipe.
Hextech Protobelt-01 Stats and Uniques
The item provided 60 ability power, 300 health, and a 10% cooldown reduction. Its unique activity was called Fire Bolt, and it was great for increasing the character’s mobility.
The unique would propel a champion forward, causing from 75 to 150 magic damage (plus 25% ability power) to all the units along the way. Once you reach a destination, you would create seven bolts in front of you. Fire Bolts would spread in a cone shape, and each one of them would cause magic damage to opposing units.
Once a bolt hits a unit, whether it’s a monster or a champion, every subsequent bolt would deal 90% less damage to that target. The unique active had a 40-second cooldown, which was a mutual cooldown with other items from this category (Hextech magical object).
How did Fire Bolt work?
It is worth noting that the active unique would reset your auto-attacks. By properly positioning yourself, you could fire the entire set of rockets into an enemy champion, quickly nuking them down.
Fire Bolts couldn’t traverse through structures or terrain obstacles. They also couldn’t deal damage to turrets and other structures. If you managed to connect with the dash magical damage as well as fire bolts, you could do a total of 127 magic damage to 255 magic damage (depending on the champion’s level) plus 42% extra ability power magical damage. In other words, up to 360 magic damage in total.
The damage was even higher against minions. Your champion could dish from 600 magic damage to 1,200 magic to a single target plus 200% ability power magic damage. This was especially important in situations when your inhibitors are down, and you need to defend against powerful super minions.
As for the dash speed, it was capped at 1,150 while having a range of 275. During the dash, your character couldn’t do anything else, whether it’s casting abilities or using unique actives from items.
While Fire Bolts unique active was great for fleeing from enemies, it couldn’t help you in all situations. For example, the effect was disabled if your champion was rooted or grounded. Naturally, you also couldn’t utilize the ability while disabled by a stun.
Hextech Protobelt-01 History of Changes
Unfortunately, Hextech Protobelt-01 didn’t last for too long. Fire Bolt active simply had too many issues, and it required a significant rework. Although Hextech Rocketbelt has a similar unique that also fires bolts, the new version of the item is more expensive and with weaker bolts.
The magical artifact was introduced in version 6.9. It had exactly the same formula and price, requiring Kindlegem, Hextech Revolver, and a recipe. In fact, all of its base stats were the same. You would get 300 health, 10% cooldown reduction, and 60 ability power.
Fire Bolt was also very similar. It had the same mechanic throughout its life, dashing forward and firing bolts at a target. It would deal from 75 magic damage to 150 magic damage, depending on the character’s level. You would also deal extra 35% ability power on top of that.
If you manage to land several bolts on a target (monster or champion), each subsequent bolt would deal 20% of the original damage or, in other words, there would be an 80% magical damage reduction per bolt.
Due to the fact that the item didn’t last for long, there were many alterations to the original formula. For the most part, the developers would deal with minor bugs. For example, in version 6.12, they fixed a huge issue regarding Ekko’s Phase Drive, an ability that greatly empowered the bolts while giving the champion enormous mobility.
The first iteration of Fire Bolts allowed you to cast abilities mid-dash. You could even channel spells, which led to some ridiculous combos. The feature felt overpowered and was removed in patch 6.13. Given that the item still felt strong, the developers nerfed its Fire Bolts AP bonus, bringing it down to 25% (previously 35% ability power).
They also reduced the damage for subsequent bolts from 20% to 10%. This was a major nerf as some players would abuse the active to quickly nuke anything on the map. Version 6.23 dealt with a bug allowing you to utilize Recall during Fire Bolt ability.
Ultimately, the item was completely removed.
Why Was Hextech Protobelt-01 Removed?
At first, this magical object looked like something that could assist squishy, vulnerable mages. Not only would Hextech Protobelt-01 put them in a position to kill fast targets, but it would also allow them to escape dangerous situations.
As it usually goes, creative players found a different purpose for the item. They would start making it on assassins, giving mobile champions even more mobility. What’s even worse, the item would exponentially increase nuking power of a character. So, if you already had a good source of mobility, you could combine it with Fire Bolts dash to easily land as many bolts as possible. This would result in enormous damage to an opponent.
In that sense, your innate damage from abilities would almost become irrelevant as you would get enough nuking power from just the item. This was especially noticeable with the first version of the item, which dealt 20% for the second bolt and every bolt after.
While the item was still purchased on characters such as Annie or Kennen, it became a must-have on Katarina and Fizz to a point where it changed meta. In other words, the characters that the Protobelt was built for wouldn’t get the most out of the item.
The Differences Between Hextech Protobelt-01 and Hextech Rocketbelt
In many ways, Hextech Rocketbelt remedied some issues pertaining to Fire Bolt active. The new artifact is much more focused on mobility, although you can still dish nice magical damage with it.
In terms of the base stats, Hextech Rocketbelt provides 90 ability power (compared to Hextech Protobelt’s 60), 15 ability haste (a bit more than 10% cooldown reduction that Protobelt gave), 250 health, and six magic penetration.
Given that this is mythic, it will get stronger with every legendary. You get an extra five magic penetration with every item from this category.
Of course, the main difference between the two pertains to its active unique. The new version of the active is called Supersonic and has practically the same basic effect. You would dash up to 275 units in a direction and fire seven rockets in a cone. However, unlike Protobelt’s Fire Bolt, Rocketbelt’s Supersonic would also give you an extra 30% movement speed for 1.5 seconds after firing bolts. You would need to move towards enemies to gain this buff.
The damage numbers were also slightly altered. Fire Bolt’s bolts dealt from 75 to 150 magic damage plus 25% ability power compared to Supersonic’s 125 magic damage plus 15% ability power. This made the item a bit stronger early on but weaker in the late game.
It is also worth noting that Rocketbelt doesn’t do damage along the dashing path, unlike its predecessor.
Question: What is Hextech Protobelt?
Answer: Hextech Protobelt was an item that was designed for mages with low mobility. It allowed you to dash in a certain direction and fire bolts upon arrival. After connecting with the first bolt, every subsequent spell would deal just 10% of damage. However, if you connected with all seven bolts, you could quickly nuke the majority of the opponents.
Question: How do you use Hextech Protobelt?
Answer: Hextech Protobelt’s active does two types of damage. As you dash forward, it will engulf all the enemies in flames. Upon arrival at the destination, the champion would fire seven bolts in a cone shape. Ideally, you should be as close as possible to the target so you can connect with all of them. The first bolt will do 100% damage while all subsequent would do 10%. In other words, you could potentially deal 160% of its damage.
Question: Why was Hextech Protobelt removed?
Answer: Hextech Protobelt didn’t last for too long. The developers had an issue with the fact that it didn’t serve the intended purpose. Instead of being utilized by mages, it became popular among assassins. It was especially troublesome when used by fast-moving characters, as they could easily get into position to nuke enemies. Although the item was replaced by Hextech Rocketbelt, which has the same mechanic, this item is much more focused on mobility and less on the damage.
Protobelt Guide: Last Considerations
Hextech Protobelt-01 was a very strong item on certain champions. However, its main issue was the fact that people used it on the wrong characters. Instead of serving slow-moving mages, it quickly became popular among mobile assassins allowing them to roam the map uncontested. The Fire Bolt ability felt so broken on many occasions, allowing you to nuke frontline tanks with a high health pool and squishy backline mages.
Eventually, this item was replaced with its mythic version called Hextech Rocketbelt. This item would still give you high damage bolts, but they wouldn’t scale as well. Instead, the new belt would give you much more mobility.