League of Legends champions Zac and Yasuo could soon be nerfed, and LeBlanc might also undergo changes in the near future.
Riot Games has been busy in the past couple of patches. Large scale changes such as a new skin with Pulsefire Caitlyn, skin touch-ups for Pulsefire Ezreal, champion reworks with Maokai, Zac, and Sejuani, and new features like Ping Muting have been dominating the conversation for some time in the community.
According to an update from Riot’s Andrei “Meddler” van Roon, Riot will look to tone down some of those changes in the coming patches. Here are some of the more interesting potential changes in the works.
Zac gets a nerf
Zac sits at second place in terms of win rate of 54.98 percent in ranked games in Platinum and higher as a jungle choice, according to op.gg. Ever since his rework as part of Riot’s large scale “Vanguard” rework, his Q and Ultimate skills have changed significantly, and on Patch 7.9 he was rather underwhelming in a lot of ways.
His skills were complex, which meant it was bug prone, and compared to some of the other more aggressive junglers, Zac’s clear speed as well as damage — even as a tank — was rather lacking. As a result, 7.10 boosted his Q damage to scale with 2.8 percent of his maximum health, which put his damage output significantly higher than before. Already getting a lot of benefits for stacking health, Zac was able to wreak havoc despite having a health-oriented item build, giving him a rather high win rate. The buggy nature of his kit also got fixed, which means a smoother, more reliable game play and makes him a monster in skilled hands.
As such, he’s set to be knocked down a peg or two, though exactly how is still unknown. Meddler hypothesized a hot fix might be coming for 7.11 as the solution isn’t clear yet.
Yasuo is set to be more team-reliant
Yasuo jokes aside, he has been a loved and hated champion for a long time. Whether users ban him because he’s an unstoppable force on the enemy team or just feeds on their team, Riot seems to be intent on nerfing him, despite leaving him largely untouched in the past two patches.
The possible solution that Meddler suggested was the reduction of time during which he could hold a buff after successfully landing his Q, making his laning phase significantly weaker, as well as forcing Yasuos to either use their knock-ups quickly or not at all. Meddler also said that they’re looking into a way to make Yasuo be more reliant on team knock-ups instead of his own, though exactly how was unclear.
LeBlanc is set to change, we just don’t know how
So LeBlanc is strong, and Riot’s been apparently “missing the mark” since her rework in the preseason, so the developers are determined to change her somehow. They just have no idea — or at least they’re not totally confident enough to share — how they’re going to do it.
LeBlanc has gone up and down in terms of her power, as she was a top-tier contended pick in competitive play during the earlier points of the season. Then she became nerfed so much that she dropped significantly in tier lists. She’s still a menace in the right hands, and the fairly recent changes to Hextech Gunblade gave her a much needed boost in her ability to gain sustain, previously one of her greatest weaknesses. Most recently, she was still seen in competitive play during the Mid-Season Invitational.
Her wave clear in the late game is still monstrous, and her burst damage used with her high mobility means she has a good chance of popping any high priority targets with the right item build. Although she has been taking a back seat to champions like Ahri, Syndra, and Orianna that offer large burst, Riot seems to be intent on giving her some kind of new tool that better fits their vision of her.
Guardian’s Angel needs to be toned down a bit
Probably one of the most controversial item changes (up there with the new Banshee’s Veil during its initial run), Guardian Angel is no longer a suit of armor that offers higher defense stats. Now it’s build out of cloth armor and a BF Sword, which means it’s now an offensive item that’s built out of most AD Carries’ prioritized attack item choices, as well as a cheap defense option thrown in.
Although the defense stats are mostly gone, it still brings the owner back to life, which means the AD Carries are able to make more daring plays with more confidence. As long as they win the fight, they can come back. Like Banshee’s Veil, it became a popular pick among carries with a number of complaints from users, as taking out someone rushing the new item is a lot less rewarding game-wise.
So Meddler says they’re going to fix it with some well-placed nerfs that are being tested on the PBE. They played around with giving the item death-procs, which increase the cool down times between deaths depending on how many times they die, but “It’s not clear enough GA’s a problem, rather than just really popular but overrated” according to Meddler, so more experimentation seems to be in motion.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games