With Worlds just around the corner, the latest League patch focuses on balancing the pro meta. Some of the most popular champions over playoffs have been nerfed, alongside one of the most influential items in the game.
Since the durability update, games have been slower and lasting much longer. With teams having time to scale into the late game, ADCs have been in a fantastic spot and have been outputting high amounts of damage.
Lucian and Nami have been one of the most potent bot lanes, bursting down enemies with Lucian's combo + Nami's E. This duo has been drastically nerfed in 12.17 because individual procs of Nami's E will no longer count toward Electrocute. Therefore, the duo's burst damage has been majorly reduced.
Considering Nami has only been paired with Lucian, this change may push both of these champions out of the meta.
Sivir has been another strong ADC ever since her mid-scope update, so her late game damage has been nerfed:
- AD growth reduced to 2.8, down from 3
- W (Ricochet) - bonus damage AD ratio reduced to 25/30/35/40/45% total AD, down from 30/35/40/45/50%
Miss Fortune has seen some prevalence in playoffs with her E spam lethaility builds. Her latest changes have nerfed this build, but buffed her crit/attack speed build:
- Q (Double Up) - damage increased to 20/45/70/95/120 (+100% AD) (+35% AP), up from 20/40/60/80/100
- Cast time now matches basic attack time
- W (Strut) - mana cost decreased to 35, down from 45
- Attack speed increased to 50/65/80/95/110%, down from 40/55/70/85/100%
- E (Make It Rain) - cooldown increased to 18/17/16/15/14 seconds, up from 18/16/14/12/10
- Full damage decreased to 70/100/130/160/190 (+100% AP), down from 80/115/150/185/220 (+80% AP)
- Slow changed to 50% (+4% per 100 AP), changed from 40/45/50/55/60%
The last bot lane change is to Rell, who has been largely invisible for the season due to her clunky kit. She has received some welcome QoL buffs to make her more viable while dismounted:
- W (Ferromancy: Crash Down) - movement speed while dismounted increased to 280, up from 250
- E (Attract and Repel) - cooldown decreased to 13 seconds, down from 18/16.25/14.5/12.75/11
Just like Sivir, Ahri has been a very popular pick since her mid-scope update thanks to her mobility, flexibility, and burst damage. Consequently, the duration of her Charm has been reduced to allow enemies more time to escape her clutches:
- E (Charm) - charm duration reduced to 1.2/1.4/1.6/1.8/2 seconds, down from 1.4/1.55/1.7/1.85/2
Sylas has been another great mid laner in pro play with his durability and versatility. His base health has been nerfed to make him a little more vulnerable, and the CD on his Q has been increased to weaken his wave clear:
- Base health reduced to 575, down from 595
- Q (Chain Lash) - cooldown increased to 11/10/9/8/7 seconds, up from 10/9/8/7/6
Just in time for Worlds, Twisted Fate has received several buffs to push him back into the meta:
- Q (Wild Card) - AP ratio increased to 80%, up from 70
- W (Pick A Card) - mana cost reduced to 30/40/50/60/70, down from 40/55/70/85/100
With a lower mana cost on his W, TF won't have to cast as many blue cards so can CC enemies with red/gold cards instead.
Ever since its introduction, Stopwatch has been the most game-changing item in pro play across every role. In the hands of such phenomenal talent, it can be used to completely flip the outcome of a game at the low cost of 650 gold. Consequently, its gold cost has been increased to ensure players are making a meaningful investment when purchasing such a strong item:
- Cost increased to 750 gold, up from 650 (the Perfect Timing rune will still only contribute 250 gold towards a Stopwatch item)
These changes may result in pros not having enough gold to purchase Stopwatch for pivotal fights, such as around the Baron or Dragon Soul. It may also reduce the number of Stopwatches bought on the lower income roles like support and jungle.
With the price of Stopwatch increasing, the price of the items it builds into (Guardian Angel and Zhonya's Hourglass) have also increased. However, their stats have also been buffed to compensate for this higher gold cost:
- Guardian Angel - total cost increased to 3000 gold, up from 2800
- Combine cost increased to 150 gold, up from 50
- Attack damage increased to 45, up from 40
- Zhonya's Hourglass - total cost increased to 3000 gold, up from 2600
- Ability power increased to 80, up from 65
- Ability haste increased to 15, up from 10
The Zhonya's changes are the most notable, as carries will need another 400 gold before securing it. This makes the time between using Stopwatch and purchasing Zhonya's much more punishing, as carries will be extremely vulnerable during this window. The increased stats are good, but not good enough to make up for the higher cost.
It's clear this patch is directed toward the pro meta, and it's likely we won't see the full extent of the changes until Worlds is played on 12.18. Keep an eye out for how the pros react to the Stopwatch changes, and punish enemies during the windows when Stopwatch and Zhonya's aren't available.