Huge changes are coming to the rift, as Patch 12.7 introduces a slew of changes to champions and items; let's break down the biggest talking points.
Despite being in a relatively stable spot in solo queue and pro play, Gangplank has received huge buffs this patch:
- Passive (Trial By Fire) - damage increased to 55-310 (levels 1-18), up from 55-225
- W (Remove Scurvy) - mana cost reduced to 60/70/80/90/100, down from 80/90/100/110/120
The buffs to his passive damage are huge, particularly in the later stages of the game when Gangplank has reached higher levels. This increases his one-shot potential, especially with the new Prowler's Claw build that been emerging which GP can use to get in range to basic attack enemies. Additionally, GP was sometimes unable to eat his oranges when running low on mana, so the cost reduction may help him get out of tricky situations. These changes will likely make GP an S+ pick this patch, and should be picked or banned at every opportunity. Wukong has also received buffs that should make him another S+ pick in top and jungle:
- Q (Crushing Blow) - cooldown reduced to 8/7.5/7/6.5/6 seconds, down from 9/8.5/8/7.5/7
- W (Warrior Trickster) - cooldown reduced to 20/18/16/14/12, down from 20/19/18/17/16
- New - Wukong can now use W to dash through terrain
- E (Nimbus Strike) - damage increased to 80/110/140/170/200 (+100% AP), up from (+80% AP)
- Bonus damage against monsters - increased to 80%, up from 50%
Wukong has struggled to be an impactful pick in the meta for a while, but these buffs are quite strong. He will be able to trade more often in lane, have much more mobility by using his W to dash through terrain, and a quicker jungle clear. Just like GP, keep an eye on Wukong this patch.
Gwen has been really struggling after some harsh nerfs a few patches ago, so has received some compensatory buffs:
- E (Skip 'N Slash) - cooldown refund upon first basic attack increased to 60%, up from 50%
- Ultimate (Needlework) - cooldown decreased to 100/90/80 seconds, down from 120/100/80 seconds
Zeri has been near impossible to balance for Riot ever since her release. Despite continuous nerfs, she remains as a potent pick in pro play and the higher ranks of solo queue. Consequently, she has received another round of extensive changes, including:
- Attack damage reduced to 50-75.5 (levels 1-18), down from 53-87
- Q (Burst Fire) - 7/9/11/13/15 (+110/112.5/115/117.5/120% total AD), changed from 10/15/20/25/30 (+110% AD)
- Now only applies on-hit effects once per cast
- Zeri now only gains 1 stack of ultimate and 1 instance of E cooldown reduction per Q cast (excluding crits)
- Crits now grant Zeri an additional stack of ultimate and an additional E cooldown reduction (max 2 procs per cast, once for hitting a champion and another for critting a champion)
- Ultimate (Lightning Crash) - cooldown increased to 120/95/70 seconds, up from 100/90/80
These are another round of nerfs for Zeri that should hopefully make her feel more fair to play against, though she is able to mitigate some of these changes by building more crit items. We may see some changes to her build to include some standard AD crit items, as opposed to the common Tri Force and Titanic Hydra rush we've been seeing.
Several items have recieved changes this patch. Galeforce's cooldown has been increased to 110 seconds (up from 90) to limit its mobility, and Moonstone Renewer has had its heal and shield increase reduced by 1% per stack (6% per stack, max 30% at 5 stacks).
The most notable change is to Umbral Glaive:
- Total cost reduced to 2300, down from 2400
- Combine cost reduced to 500 gold, down from 600
- Cooldown reduced to 35 seconds, down from 45
Umbral Glaive is already an incredible item for lethaility supports (like Pyke and Senna) and was often built as a first item due to its cheap cost and unique vision power. The reduced cooldown means you will be able to clear wards much more often and be able to establish complete vision control; if you're ahead, this can help snowball a lead and completely lock out opponents from coming back. It can also be combined with the Ingenious Hunter rune to reduce the cooldown even more.
After Riot's 2-week hiatus and a fairly quiet 12.6 patch, 12.7 will undoubtedly shake up in the meta in time for MSI on 12.8. Keep an eye out for Gangplank, Wukong, and any lethality support, as they are likely the biggest benefactors from the latest changes.