Patch 12.5 Update

With another two weeks before the next patch drops, another round of balance updates have come through mainly focused toward ADCs; let’s break them down.

Patch 12.5 Update

With another two weeks before the next patch drops, another round of balance updates have come through mainly focused toward ADCs; let’s break them down.

Jinx, Aphelios and Zeri

These two have been dominating pro play and solo queue for several patches now so it’s been surprising how they have managed to dodge nerfs for so long. That time has finally come, but the nerfs don’t appear to be too impactful:

  • Aphelios base armour reduced to 26 (was 28)
  • Aphelios base health reduced to 510 (was 530)
  • Jinx Q Fishbones mana cost increased to 20 at all ranks
  • Jinx Q Fishbones range reduced at earlier ranks

The Aphelios nerfs will certainly make him more vulnerable in the laning phase and susceptible to ganks, but Aphelios isn’t particularly strong in the laning phase anyway and these nerfs can be mitigated by pairing him with a protective support (such as Thresh or Lulu). Similarly, the Jinx nerfs are also targeted toward her laning phase but as you will always be maxing Q first and playing for Jinx’s late game power, these nerfs aren’t particularly noteworthy. However, they may inhibit her kill threat in the laning phase and reduce her chance of snowballing early.

Zeri has already proven to be a difficult champion to balance, and has received another round of changes including:

  • Base AD - 53 (down from 58)
  • Q total physical damage - 10/15/20/25/30 (+110% AD), up from 9/13/17/21/25
  • E cooldown - increased to 23 seconds at all ranks
  • E pierce damage - 60/70/80/90/100%, down from 80/85/90/95/100
  • Ultimate - 4 stacks per champion hit by initial cast, up from 3
  • Ultimate - bonus movement speed per stack - 1.5%, down from 2%

The changes to Zeri’s ultimate will make landing a multi-man ult even more powerful, as you will now gain more initial stacks to gain stats much quicker. However, this is offset by the reduced movement speed gained by each stack. The changes to Zeri’s E will make her weaker in the mid game as its cooldown is higher and the pierce damage is lower, so it may make maxing Zeri’s W second more viable.

ADC buffs

While 3 of the strongest ADCs on the patch received some nerfs, some weaker champions have received small buffs to shake up the ADC champion pool. Lucian’s AD growth has been increased and the Vigilance passive damage has been increased based on AD, meaning he now deals more damage in the late game. Though Lucian thrives in the laning phase when paired with Nami, he can struggle in the mid/late game compared to other ADCs, so these changes should smooth out his power curve. Meanwhile, Ashe and Draven have received small buffs:

  • Draven base AD increased to 62, was 60
  • Ashe W mana cost reduced to 75/70/65/60/55, down from 70 at all ranks
  • Ashe ultimate cooldown reduced to 80/70/60 seconds, down from 100/80/60

The Ashe changes will allow her to spam her W more often and poke away at the enemy, while creating more pick opportunities with her ultimate. The last AD to receive changes is Varus:

  • W - passive bonus magic damage on hit - 7/10.5/14/17.5/21 (+30% AP), up from 7/9/11/13/15
  • Ultimate - base magic damage increased to 150/250/350, up from 150/200/250

These buffs are geared toward on-hit Varus builds with items like Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Runaan’s Hurricane, and will reward players for being more accurate with their ultimates.

Master Yi

Finally, the 12.5 Master Yi nerfs completely ruined the champion as he struggled to eclipse a 45% win rate. Consequently, he has received some small buffs and some reverts to the nerfs he received:

  • Base health - increased to 599, up from 550
  • E - true damage increased to 30/38/46/54/62 (+30% AD), up from 30/37/44/51/58
  • Ultimate - cooldown reduced to 85 seconds at all ranks, down from 100/90/80


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