With MSI just around the corner, 12.8 finally nerfs Jinx and buffs a slew of other champions in an attempt to shake up the meta; let’s break down the biggest talking points.
Jinx has been dominating the meta for a while, and has somehow managed to dodge meaningful nerfs. She has excelled since the pre-season buffs to Lethal Tempo, and has been using her long range, high attack speed and reset potential to stomp team fights. Therefore, she has received a large nerf to her health:
- Health reduced to 560, down from 610
This is a meaningful nerf to her early game, and will make her much more vulnerable to jungle ganks or aggressive lanes. Jinx will still be a menace in the late game, but enemies will be able to shut her down by taking advantage of her weak early game and preventing her from reaching her late game power spike. Xayah, another potent ADC, has also received some nerfs targeted at her lethality build:
- Q (Double Daggers) - damage per blade reduced to 45/60/75/90/105 (+50% bonus AD), down from 45/65/85/105/125
- Cooldown increased to 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds, up from 10/9/8/7/6 seconds
These nerfs are primarily targeted at her late game damage, so she will still remain a powerful poke threat in the laning phase. With large nerfs to Xayah and Jinx -- two of the strongest ADCs in the meta -- Jhin has received some large buffs to his W and E and may take their place as a top tier ADC:
- W (Deadly Flourish) - root duration increased to 1.25/1.5/1.75/2/2.25 seconds, up from 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2
- Damage against monsters no longer reduced by 25%
- E (Captive Audience) - trap recharge rate reduced to 24/21.5/19/16.5/14 seconds, down from 28/25/22/19/16 seconds
- First trap damage against monsters no longer reduced by 35%
The increased root duration from his W will make his CC chain even more dangerous, making it more important than ever to dodge when playing against a Jhin. Additionally, Jhin will be able to steal jungle camps and clear waves quicker with the changes to his E.
Poppy has received some large buffs this patch:
- W (Steadfast Presence) - cooldown decreased to 20/18/16/14/12, down from 24/22/20/18/16 seconds
- Ultimate (Keeper’s Verdict) - uncharged knock-up duration increased to 1 second (up from 0.75 seconds)
- Charged missile speed - 2500, up from 2000
- Charged knock back distance - 3400, up from 2400
- Cooldown refund upon cancelled charge - 15 seconds, down from 30 seconds
Poppy’s greatest strengths have always been accessing squishy carries on the back line and locking them down with her multiple CC options. The ultimate buffs are versatile, as the instant-ults will keep enemies CCd for longer, while the charged ultimates will knock back enemies even further to keep your team safe. In addition, the cooldown reduction to her W means Poppy will be able to prevent enemy dashes and increase her movement speed even more.
Some other top lane champions have received smaller buffs. Mordekaiser’s passive movement speed now increases by 3% at levels 6 and 11, augmenting his target access potential, and Vladimir’s base armour has been increased by 4 (now 27, up from 23) to help with his early game trading.
Ever since its introduction, Stopwatch has been difficult to balance and constantly lamented for its power to single-handedly win games for such a cheap and accessible item. Therefore, you are now unable to buy it if you already own Guardian Angel or Zhonya’s Hourglass in an attempt to limit its late-game strength.
However, you are still able to double stopwatch by purchasing a second stopwatch before upgrading your first to Zhonya’s or GA. It’s unclear whether this is an oversight or deliberate choice, but if Riot are attempting to remove the interaction completely, more thorough changes are necessary.
With so many buffs across multiple roles and nerfs to some of the most successful champions in the meta (Jinx and Xayah), the latest patch will undoubtedly shake up the meta in time for MSI. It will be interesting to see which picks thrive in pro play once MSI begins on May 10th, so watch this space!