Patch 11.17 Overview
With a slew of changes to the Jungle and bot lane, the latest patch is bound to shake up the meta.
After causing havoc in solo queue and competitive play, Viego has finally received more nerfs:
- Attack range has been reduced from 225 to 200
- Passive (Sovereign’s Domination) now heals Viego for less every time he possesses a target
- The detection range on his E (Harrowed Path) has been increased, meaning he will be easier to spot whenever camouflaged
- The slow duration on his ultimate (Heartbreaker) has been reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.25 seconds
These changes have drastically weakened Viego’s reset potential, as he will not gain as much health back when possessing multiple targets in a fight and will not be able to slow them for as long with his ultimate. He will also be detected much quicker whenever he is hiding in the Black Mist, and less likely to catch you off guard when coming in for a flank or a gank. However, it’s difficult to determine whether these changes will keep Viego in line given how much strength lies in his ability to possess multiple targets in a team fight and become invulnerable during possessions. These changes may not be enough, and systemic changes to his passive may be needed.
In addition to Viego, Shadow Assassin Kayn (Blue Kayn) has also received a nerf to his passive (The Darkin Scythe) with the bonus damage being reduced from 12-44% to 8-30% magic damage. This nerf, alongside the Serpent’s Fang nerf (providing 12 lethality down from 18), should help prevent Blue Kayn from blowing up a target before they get the chance to react.
Several other Jungle champions have been buffed, including Ekko whose passive (Z-Drive Resonance) now deals an extra 50% damage against monsters, and Evelynn receiving a cooldown reduction on her ultimate (Last Caress). Amumu has also received some drastic changes:
- Q (Bandage Toss) now has two charges
- W (Despair) damage has been increased in the early game, but decreased in the late game
- The stun duration of R (Curse of the Sad Mummy) is now a flat 1.5 seconds, rather than a scaling duration with each ability level
- Health and armour growth have been decreased
Overall, these changes may be enough to push Amumu back into the meta. The two charges on his Q will make ganking much easier and dangerous while the increased W damage will make his clear quicker, though it will be important to snowball early game advantages as Amumu may not be as strong in the late game. Nevertheless, being able to Q into an ultimate in a team fight will remain as a very potent start to a wombo-combo.
Leona has been one of the best and most consistent picks for years, thanks to her plethora of engage options and beefy stats. Eclipse (W) now provides 5 less armour and MR, and though this will make her slightly more squishy, it’s unlikely to drastically affect her power and she will likely remain as a top tier support. Conversely, one of the worst supports in the meta has received some buffs: Nami’s base health has been increased, and her W (Ebb and Flow) mana cost has been reduced at later levels. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful these changes will make Nami any more viable as she is most mana hungry during the early stages of the early game, which these changes don’t target. Moreover, her forms of CC are still quite slow and easy to dodge, and she doesn’t synergise with the strongest enchanter mythics particularly well (Shurelya’s Battlesong and Moonstone Renewer).
Finally, Lucian has been a staple in the mid lane for a while, and Riot have made some controversial changes to push him back into the bot lane:
- Attack damage has been reduced by 2
- New passive effect (Vigilance): Ally buffs now empower Lucian’s next 2 basic attacks to deal bonus magic damage; this can also be proceed if an ally damages a target marked by W (Ardent Blaze). Up to 4 empowered basic attacks can be stored at one time
- W has had its mana cost reduced by 10
- The number of shots from his ultimate (The Culling) now scales with crit chance rather than the ability level
Lucian will now be particularly strong with any enchanter who can enhance his auto attacks, and he will be more inclined to build the standard AD crit-build in the bot lane (Phantom Dancer into Infinity Edge). However, these changes mark a noticeable change from how Riot balances champions, as they are explicitly buffing an ADC if paired with a specific style of champion (in this case, an enchanter). It will be interesting to see whether future balance changes follow this same philosophy.