Janna, perhaps one of the most hated support champions in ranked for a variety of reasons, will receive a nerf in patch 7.17. Meddler writes that the balance team is looking to add some more skill expression to her kit, as most of her abilities are pretty easy to utilize. Right now, giving her abilities higher cooldown timers is in the works, while her W will receive some cooldown reduction or mana returns when used on an enemy champion.
Draven will also receive nerfs in the next patch. Capable of dealing an explosive amount of damage in the early game and amplifying a lead with the extra gold income thanks to his passive, Riot is looking to take more of his stacks away when he dies.
On the other side of that coin, the hyper-aggressive support Leona is set to receive some buffs. Her passive, Sunlight, might deal some more damage upon consuming a stack. On top of that, her Q might have its its cooldown timer lowered.
Hecarim will receive a buff, with Riot currently testing the “fear” effect of his ultimate scaling with the distance he travels on cast. In other words, the more area he travels with his ultimate, the worse the fear, creating more room to secure kills. The fear might be scaling from 0.75 to 1.5 seconds instead of the current live value of one second at all ranks.
Zed will receive a buff too, with Meddler writing that the champion has been under-performing except when his core items are over-balanced. The core issue isn’t in damage, though, as his numbers are staying the same, but his W is getting a small boost to allow his shadow to last for five seconds instead of 4.5.
Lane Kayn adjustments
Although Kayn was designed from the ground up to be a jungler with a unique transformation mechanic, he’s been seeing some play in lane. That is mostly due to an unintended effect of damage-over-time stacking toward his transformation, accelerating his transformation timing by quite a bit. The keystone mastery Deathfire Touch — which applies a four second bleed to a single enemy champion when ability damage is dealt — synergized nicely with this effect, quickly becoming popular among players.
As a result, Patch 7.16, which goes live Wednesday, removed that particular interaction, which will most likely take away power from specifically lane Kayn. Meddler writes that the team might add some more power to laning Kayn in some other way, depending on how much the new change impacts Kayn’s laning power.
Azir is still in the ether
The focus on Azir’s new kit seems to be on reducing the range of his abilities and giving him a more exploitable weakness. That would take some power away from his laning phase, with the ultimate goal of taking that power to somewhere else. The direction is sound, but Meddler mentioned it might not be enough. Further experimentation will take place to see where the extra push should be placed.
Talking about Ornn’s item upgrades and how some synergize better than others
The list of items that the new champion, Ornn, can upgrade has been released, with a couple of support items and a handful of offensive ones. As the item list is set, the prevailing thought is that Ornn works better with some champions than others. Meddler says that is an effect that was intended, creating a kind of inter-champion synergy that exists between champions. Some small changes and tweaks to the upgrades aren’t out of the question, but it won’t be in the interest of making them viable for every champion in the game.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games