Aphelios proves himself to be a bad game design once more when Riot has to tune down his power curve again in Patch 10.15 – after a series a nerfs coming before this.
Another cycle of balance changes for the upcoming patch 10.15 has just arrived. Mark Yetter, or Riot Scruffy, Lead Gameplay Designer for League of Legends tweeted about the impending adjustments on his Tweeter.
According to the infographic for patch 10.15, current dominant picks – which have been shaping the meta for a tad bit too long – will receive some hammering, in an attempt to ensure that other champions can have their places in the meta as well, diversifying the League environment. Champions who are slated to be recipients for the tentative power strip are as follows: Aphelios, Ornn, Lee Sin, Fiddlestick (tanky build), Twisted Fate, Thresh. These are household names that have been seeing picks and bans games after games in both solo Q and pro play.
A perennial balance issue
Aphelios, ever since his introduction to the 11-years old game, has been always a menacing issue in both pro scenes and casual plays, thanks to the absurd amount of gimmicks within his kit, and the fact that the champion, while seemingly complex at the first glance, is not really complicated to learn. He was supposed to be a champion of high mastery curves, yet it has been proven by players that he is not the Invoker of League of legends.
To combat this, Riot decided to increase the turret’s wind up time before attacking enemies. While it is not specified how long the additional windup time will be, it is certain that after this adjustment, players will have a better time to react to his turret emplacement after patch 10.15 is released. To illustrate the reason why the windup time can be a hard nerf to the Lunari marksman, he can no longer simultaneously chain up a surprise Crecendum Sentry + Gravitum Binding Eclipse for a surprise root or combining it with Severum for massive heal.
A long-awaited nerf
Lee Sin’s rampage through all levels of play is finally brought to an end in patch 10.15, as Riot decided to give the Blind Monk some “love” he should have deserved long ago. After a gigantic buff to his Q’s scaling back in season 8 on patch 8.15, and a few quality of life changes along with further minor buffs, the game’s most popular jungle pick of all time has been defining the meta by making other junglers have headaches coming up with picks that can survive the early game phase against one of Riot’s favorite champion.
While specific details about the nerf hasn’t been officially announced, it seems that Lee will receive some adjustment to his ability scaling. The bonus attack damage ratios on his Q and his R are deemed too high for a jungler who is supposed to excel only through the early part of the game by League players. With a pick rate of 28.67 %, Lee has always been a reliable first pick to climb Elo – or to win tournaments.
In specific, the scaling on his Q – a basic ability – is 200% bAD. That did not count for the fact that the scaling can go up to 300% bAD depending on the missing health. This allows him to build any AD items without fearing on losing damage while being tanky, thanks to the health and resistance bonuses from items such as Black Cleaver and Maw of Malmortius, alongside his shield and lifesteal on his W. His R deals massive damage as well, while also possesses a variety of functions, including disengaging, displacing the enemy carries into his own team, or just be used as a massive single-target nuke, or even worse, massive team knock up and massive AOE physical damage.
The Crystal Vanguard’s return
Skarner, one of the hardest champions for Riot’s balance team to handle, will receive some much-needed support from the most controversial staff in the gaming company. The major problem with him is, he is either too weak outside the vicinity of his Crystal Spire passive and only useful as an ultimate bot whose job utterly fails once Quicksilver Sash is built, or he becomes god-like death machine inside the aforementioned element. That’s said, the unpopular scorpion will receive some augmentation to his kit, probably for his upcoming skin release – either within or after patch 10.15.
His Q will receive percentage damage in exchange for reduced AD ratios, and the empowered damage buff duration will be increased. This will improve his DPS significantly, even when he builds mostly defensive items. E travel speed no longer gets dwindled down after hitting the first target – this is a sizable buff for lane Skarner, where he has to launch the spell through minions. We forecast this as a major strength update for both top lane Skarner and jungle Skarner for patch 10.15.
Swain’s major kit overhaul
The Noxian Grand General will receive a minor gameplay update in patch 10.15 to improve his reliability and to strengthen his identity as a Battle Mage who wreaks havoc in the middle of the fray.
His movement speed is slashed a bit, his passive mana restore removed, his Q cone gets narrower, but his Q cooldown is only 3 seconds long at max rank and now passes through champions, his passive has lower cooldown at earlier levels and do not decrease with level but will now scale with Cooldown Reduction stat. His W has massively increased range (3000 to 7500 at max rank) – for scouting, damage – slow – zoning potential – or just to “secure” kills while having lower mana at later ranks, in exchange for a small reduction in damage. His E cooldown is also reduced to 10 seconds at all rank to match his passive cooldown, not to mention the vastly cheaper mana cost at 50, from 60-80.
These changes improve his early game safety greatly, while his teamfighting prowess and objectives scouting are absolutely powerful. Swain can potentially make it to the list of must ban or pick champions after patch 10.15 is released.
Aside from those tentative major adjustments, Orrn, Tank Fiddlesticks, Twisted Fate, Thresh will also be nerfed. Orrn and Tank Fiddlesticks have been dealing damage despite building pure defensive – and that is deemed not healthy for the gameplay. Yuumi will get some power back in the form of a few extra mana restore on her passive after her E got hit with a tremendous mana cost increase last patch. Twisted Fate will get nerfed after several buffs in a row, and since Irelia is underperforming despite the current overpowered state of the Blade of the Ruined King, she is slated to be given some power back after getting repeatedly nerfhammered several patches ago.
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