League of Legends patch 8.15 released yesterday, and though it is a smaller patch, there are still some important changes. There are no game-changing adjustments, as this patch focuses more on buffing and nerfing certain champions and items. It will most likely shift up the meta for both professional play and solo queue. Along with this, Riot added the reworked Akali!
Akali’s rework is an exciting one, but it’s too early to decide her potential impact on the meta. In pro play, there aren’t many Assassins, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see Akali for a while. In solo queue, its much too early to assess her relative strength with people learning her mechanics. She looks like a fun champion and much more skill-oriented than before. Because it’s too early to judge her fairly, she will be omitted from further discussion here.
Syndra is receiving a base damage increase on her Q, Dark Sphere, which is tailored to her early game. This ability did laughably low damage before, and with Syndra sneaking back into the meta, this buff may make her a higher priority pick. Olaf is receiving Attack Speed buffs on his W, Vicious Strikes. The buff is significant, giving 15% more attack speed on the first three levels of the ability. This should give him the clear speed he needs to Reckless Swing himself right back into the Jungle meta.
Fizz, who received a mini rework to his Seastone Trident (W), is getting some needed buffs too. For an Assassin, his damage was too low. Now, he is getting large base and scaling damage increases to his W and Chum the Waters (R). Solo queue enthusiasts should beware: these buffs could make him a serious threat. Next is Thresh, who had his Dark Passage (W) cooldown reduced late game and his Flay’s (E) auto attack buff damage. This will allow him to have some more lane pressure and to make those critical life-saving plays more often in the late game.
Riot also gave small buffs to some Marksman items. These include Essence Reaver, Rapid Firecannon, Statikk Shiv, Runaan’s Hurricane, and Phantom Dancer. Essence Reaver gained five more Attack Damage. The rest of the items had their total costs decreased by 100 gold. Because Marksmen were having trouble reaching important item power spikes, this change will certainly help. Riot is slowly buffing ADCs, but is very careful to not overdo it. This won’t bring them back to the state they were before 8.11, but will make them feel better for those who still play Critical Strike ADCs.
Two champions who have ravaged professional play are seeing nerfs. First up is Fiddlesticks, who is infamous for his laning power. His Dark Wind (E) mana cost is increasing while the damage is decreasing. He’ll still probably be paired with Heimerdinger for the pushing strategy, but may not see much more than that. Second is Kindred, who recently reappeared as a strong power pick. The Attack Speed on her Wolf’s Frenzy (W) is being cut from 50% to 25%. Along with this, the cooldown on Lamb’s Respite (R) is increasing by 20 seconds at all ranks. For pro play, where she is a clear top tier Jungler, this will hurt her. She may move to a counter pick option, rather than an easy first/blind pick.
Morgana’s base mana regneration is lowered from 15 to 11 per 5 seconds. Her Black Shield (W) mana cost is being raised by 30 mana too. This will give opponents an easier time playing around her abilities. Quinn, who has terrorized solo queue, had small nerfs. She lost four base armor and five damage on her Harrier passive. Many think this won’t be enough, even for a champion who hasn’t seen much pro play.
Items received the most significant nerfs. Stopwatch’s cooldown is increased back to ten minutes. This is because pro players have brought it back into the meta, and Riot thinks too many players are abusing it for tower dives and surviving fights. All of the first tier support items’ costs have been raised by 50 gold. This will alter the way Supports play heavily. They will be less inclined to trade aggressively due to less health regeneration. At the same time, though, this will make trades much more impactful.
Adjustments came out for two champions, the first of which is Lee Sin. His Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike (Q) is altered in a few ways. The base damage was slightly decreased while the scaling ratio was slightly increased. The major change came to the execution damage. It no longer does 8% missing health as damage. Instead, it “deals up to 100% increased damage based on missing health.” This should allow him to snowball more effectively when he has a lead. Irelia, has a list of changes, but summed up Riot took damage away from her abilities and moved them to auto attacks. This will make her more reliant on auto attacks in prolonged fights, instead of being focused on burst.
Two marksman items are being adjusted as well. Infinity Edge now has a better build path and lowered gold cost of 200. As a trade-off, it now has less True Damage and Attack Damage. Stormrazor had a similar treatment, losing Attack Damage and Attack Speed but having a better build path. It also costs 400 less gold altogether, which will give ADCs the early power spike they desperately need.
Monster Hunter, the debuff enabled in 8.14 to stop the funnel strategy, was changed. Previously, it punished snowballing Junglers unfairly if they had the most gold on their team. Now the debuff inhibits a player with a Jungle item when they have the highest minion score, not gold. While not a meta changing adjustment, it will help players get ahead and stay ahead.
Because of patch 8.15, Marksmen (especially Critical Strike reliant ones) will feel a little bit better to play this patch. They keep getting small buffs as Riot tries to feel their way out. They may almost be at the point where they are more viable, especially with gold costs lowered. The aggressive picks that have dominated pro play are being brought down, which should free the way for more new picks.
Overall, this patch won’t be as game changing as some of the past ones this season have been. That will relieve a lot of people who have found this season hectic, but it still does an adequate job fixing big problems for the pros and general player population.
Featured image via Riot Games.
From Our Haus to Yours.