Even more nerfs and some juicy buffs! Blitzcrank and Ezreal take yet another hit, along with some major meta changes.
- Summary of patch 1.1
- Final Thoughts
December sees a hotfix for patch 1.1, and some major balance changes to champions. Most ADCs take another hit while Akali receives a huge buff.
No more Mr. Weak Varus. Time to bring this— blight boy more in line with the other marksmen.
- Move speed: 325 → 330
(2) BLIGHTED QUIVER
- Cooldown: 30s → 25s
- Buff duration: 4s → 6s
- Damage: 3/3.5/4/4.5% max health → 3.5/4/4.5/5% max health
Varus has never been in the Wild Rift meta ever since the release. The ranged poke is a high risk ability with relatively low reward. Before we fully delve into the buffs lets learn more about this ability in particular. Let’s be real most of you aren’t maining this champion, one of the reasons he is receiving the buff.
Passive: Varus’ basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight. Varus’ other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage based on the target’s maximum Health. Active: Varus empowers his next Piercing Arrow.
So this does boost his poke and damage over time quite a bit. Before even if you hit all your snipes, it did not seem to do enough. The change will fix it. The time duration increase is also a step in the right direction. He still doesn’t seem S tier per se, but definitely more playable than he was before. varus has some interesting build variations that you should try out. He also does a cool mix of mixed damage. Along with the duration of blight buff, the magic dps he dishes out will increase as well.
So if you happen to have a good Braum with you, be sure to try him out. The mix of stuns, magic, damage and physical damage is sure to surprise your opponents.
Akali has been especially weak since her release. We’ve given her some better ways to survive the laning phase and capitalize on outplays like the rogue assassin she is.
- Armor: 30 → 35
- ASSASSIN’S MARK (P) Bonus movement speed: 40% → 50%
(2) TWILIGHT SHROUD
- Cooldown: 20s → 18s
- Bonus movement speed: 25/30/35/40% → 30/35/40/45%
(3) SHURIKEN FLIP
- Missile range: 7 → 7.5
A pretty significant buff. Starting with the movement speed buffs all across the board. Although they do not seem too high and it won’t be outright visible to the new Akali players but it will definitely make her combos that much smoother to use. Mobility is the lifeblood of most assassins, and any buffs to that is sure to improve the overall performance. With the cooldown of the second ability reduced, you might be able to use it twice in a team fight.
The increase in the range of her ult truly helps her against poke mages during the laning phase whom she did not do too well against in the early to mid-stages of the game.
For me, Akali was already in the S tier. These buffs just make her stronger. I don’t think she is broken by any means, nor does this make her high skill cap any lower, but the good Akali players will surely feel rewarded with this.
It’s play time! We are giving Eve a little more range on her (1) Hate Spike so she can more easily land charms and contribute to long fights.
(1) HATE SPIKE
- Range: 5 → 6.5
- AP ratio: 40% → 50%
Note that the video is shown for the purpose of showcasing her ability and was recorded before the patch. the range is now slightly more.
That’s a major AP ratio and range buff! She did seem lacking in Wild Rift especially when compared to her PC counterpart. Blowing up single targets and escaping is mage much easier with this. Her first ability makes it so that the rest of her abilities can land more easily.
This will definitely put her in a better spot given that her current place is the jungle is dominated by other picks like Lee Sin. Won’t say she is S tier still, but we’ve yet to see more of her.
Jhin has been over-performing in every phase of the game so we are reducing some of his power in general. His traps also gave him too much guaranteed utility when he should be using them as a combo with (2) Deadly Flourish.
- Starting attack speed: Reduced from 0.75 → 0.66
- Attack speed growth per level: 2.2% → 3.2%
- Attack speed at level 15: 0.94 (unchanged)
- Attack damage growth per level: 5.5 → 4.55
- Attack damage at level 15 without items: 196 → 177
(3) CAPTIVE AUDIENCE
- Slow: 45% → 30%
(4) CURTAIN CALL
- Cooldown: 80/70/60 → 95/80/65
The attack speed early game is nerfed, but the attack speed growth is buffed. What this means is that his attack speed is lower early game but intact late game, so you can still go about bursting down squishes while pretending to audition for the opera.
The slow on his second makes it very easy for his other abilities to hit, but that has not taken much of a hit. He does not heavily rely on his second ability to deal majority of his damage anyway. His ult has seen a major nerf in terms of cooldown especially early game.
To sum it all up, he isn’t nerfed to the point he is unplayable. In fact, most beginner Jhin users won’t even notice a difference. His playstyle also remains more or less the same, with the exception that his early game is significantly weaker and any mistakes with his ult or autos will hurt a tad bit more. Most ADC mains are already used to playing carefully early game so this will be no problem for them.
An early guardian with the 10 percent extra damage rune is a cursed build. It was never supposed to be a thing. Riot has sealed the deal for that one with these changes.
Ezreal has been dishing out strong damage while staying safe—a little too safe. We’ve pulled back his damage a little more and increased his (3) Arcane Shift cooldown so jumping into a fight is riskier.
(P) RISING SPELL FORCE
- Attack speed per stack: 12.5% → 10%
(1) MYSTIC SHOT
- Damage: 20/55/90/125 → 20/50/80/110
(3) ARCANE SHIFT
- Cooldown: 19/17/15/13 → 25/22/19/16
So our dear old twinkleshit getting another nerf. The nerfs seem huge, and are sure to hit even the most seasoned of Ezreal players. But I don’t think he will be unplayable even after these; just not a one shot machine with ridiculous mobility.
The Sad Mummy’s meltdowns are getting a little out of control. We wanted to tone down his damage a bit and offer some breathing room to opponents that get caught in his curse.
- Damage: 20/25/30/35 → 10/15/20/25
(4) CURSE OF THE SAD MUMMY
- Stun duration: 2 → 1.5/1.75/2.0
Riot just gave him another reason to cry about. Not cool! Although I do believe the changes on his ult are justified, the nerf on his Despair seems a bit too much. It is reduced by half early game! His jungle clear will be much slower due to this. He did not have a spectacular early game to begin with. I think with this we might be seeing a bit tankier Amumu, with a secondary support kind of playstyle.
You can always count on Blitzcrank to lend a hand. But lately he’s been a bit too reliable as a source of engagements for his team. We tuned his reliability down a lot so opponents can punish him when he makes a mistake.
- Base mana: 345 → 300
- Base mana regen: 15 → 9
- Mana regen per level: 1.1 → 0.7
(P) MANA SHIELD
- Cooldown: 50s → 80s
(1) ROCKET GRAB
- Projectile width: 1.5 → 1.0
- Damage: 80/140/200/260 → 60/120/180/240
- Self-slow duration: 1.0s → 1.5s
This one is a major change. Again, blitz getting hit all across the board. let’s start with the mana changes.
So one thing to remember is that his passive shield scales with mana. So any nerf to the total base man numbers is a nerf to his mana shield and this is an insane nerf to his shield! To add to that, even the passive cd is nerfed. You will have to be much more careful before engaging a fight. Hooking the wrong champion won’t mean you can proc your shield and run away scot-free coz, because it will have a higher cooldown now. Also, the engages you can take are very reliant on this shield and the cooldown is up by almost half. 30 more seconds!
But all that will not scare most seasoned Blitz players in the least. Let’s talk about the only thing all Blitzmains care about.
Yes, the hook width is getting reduced by over 33 percent. You now have to be that much more accurate with his hooks. To top it all the mana regen is much lower than before, making it so that every missed hook will resonate through your soul. The damage is also slightly reduced but it was never that much to begin with.
So you might ask what’s all the noise about his third ability. It is one of those abilities that comes with a price more than mana cost. In this case it reduces Blitzcrank’s mobility once it ended. This was done so that he could use his mobility burst to make plays not switch lanes that fast. Also, missing a hook after using this ability will cost him that much more. So it was supposed to be a high-risk high-reward ability. But most players just spammed it to switch lanes quickly or even chase and the slow at the end was very little and almost not noticable. This will definitely put a stop to all that.
For high elo seasoned players, the major nerf is the hook accuracy. They have to be even more careful with it. The mana changes and the passive shield changes is not going to bother you, coz you are already used to only engaging when it is up and know your way around the engages.
For beginners and low elo players, there are many things to take into consideration. You can no longer spam the third ability carelessly. Every hook missed in lane, or every wrong hook is going to cost you in some way or the other. Blitzcrank is no longer “Easy” as the official Riot page promises. he is definitely in the moderate to hard zone now.
To know more about Blitzcrank check out our in-depth guide.
Lee Sin should fall off more as the game progresses, so we’ve scaled back the mobility and survivability he gets in the mid-game from maxing (2) Safeguard. Even a blind, fighting monk needs a weakness.
- Cooldown: 15/14/13/12s → 15s
- Shield value: 80/160/240/320 → 60/120/180/240
- Damage: 55/100/145/190 → 50/75/100/125
- Physical and magic vamp: 40/60/80/100% → 35/50/65/80%
Lee Sin was always supposed to be a champion who was snowball reliant with a strong early game and a highly skill-intensive late game. The W- Safeguard more or less made him a braindead killing machine at all points of the game, be it early game, late game, team fights, or solo 1v1s. Reduction in his brawling capabilities is the right way to go if you want to bring him down from the high S tier he has dominated for so long.
Ever since we adjusted his (4) Explosive Cask missile speed, Gragas has really turned his life around and become a reliable champ. But we’d rather have him disrupting the enemy team than blowing them all up instantly. We reverted some of our prior buffs to keep him in check.
- Health: 690 → 650
(1) BARREL ROLL
- AP ratio: 80% → 70%
(2) DRUNKEN RAGE
- Cooldown: 4s → 4.5s
(4) EXPLOSIVE CASK
- AP ratio: 80% → 70%
Couldn’t let the guy breathe on S tier for a week :( That being said, he did seem to overperform in every role he was put in. Be it top, mid, jungle or support. He has received slight AP, HP and some cooldown nerfs. Gragas will still one shot the AD carries, but you might feel the dmg difference on beefier champs. All in all, his bar brawls are a bit weaker than they were before.
Tank items have felt a bit weak lately, and we noticed that Last Whisper and Mortal Reminder were making it too easy to counter such builds. We are tuning these two down for now and will keep an eye on how tank builds perform.
Armor penetration: 20% → 15%
Armor penetration: 35% →30%
We’d like to see more active-item diversity, so we’ve made some changes to buff new strategies and nerf those that are too easy to pick up.
Cost: 1000g → 800g
Cost: 1000g → 800g
Cost: 500g → 800g
They just made the costs equal for every enchant.
We’ve seen your feedback (thank you!) that the game has felt too dependent on the duo lane snowballing. We’ve tuned down the amount of experience champions can share to draw some focus to the other lanes.
Shared experience: 150% → 140%
XP gained from minions (in duo lanes): 75% → 70%
This is really bad for supports as they refrain from last-hitting as is. So while they are buffing tank items they are also increasing the time supports take to acquire them. Some support items to buff support gold would be better instead.
We’re all for wild, creative strategies, but taking Smite as a laner is something we’d like to discourage for the health of the game (it skews the jungle meta and can lead to less interactive laning). For those reasons, Smite now reduces XP gained from killing minions by 20% for the first 5 minutes of the game.
This does not affect much of the high elo gameplay as laners strictly do not take smite. Although many low elo players had found success with this and Riot wants to rightly discourage such behavior.
More ganks! More picks! We’ve increased respawn times on some jungle objectives to give teams more time and opportunity to outplay their opponents before hustling off to the next objective.
Respawn time: 180 → 210 seconds
The late-game usually revolves around the Baron. With this the fights will be scattered around the Elder dragon as well. It might make things interesting late game.
Respawn time 120 → 150 seconds
This might actually give enemies a chance for comeback once behind. Especially in lower elos, you could just keep taking the scutler of you were fed and roam freely take both objectives or gank without risk.
There are some major hit to both, the S tier heroes and the C tier ones. We are definitely moving in the right direction here, with some well-deserved buffs and nerfs. Riot is slightly closer to the goal of becoming “most balanced mobile MOBA ever.” Balance changes will be rolling out every two weeks and we will be breaking down all of them(even the hotfixes) on the day they release.
Agree or disagree with any of this? Let us know what you think about these changes. We would love to hear your thoughts!