Midseason update: The new Rift Herald is absolutely terrifying
Each year Riot Games uses the Midseason update as a catalyst to make large scale changes to League of Legends. Over the next few days, we'll be highlighting the most important changes from the Midseason update. This year, Riot's design team sets their sights on the vanguard tanks- Sejuani, Maokai, and Zac. The update aims to improve many core tank items, as well as the Rift Herald and some AD items. It's unclear how the meta will be affected by the update, but all of the proposed changes were made to improve the health of the game as a whole.
The Rift Herald's upcoming update should do well to fix her issues, and let’s face it, she has some big issues.
When the old girl was introduced about a year and a half ago, no one expected her to be so useless. It seemed like a good idea at first. Killing it grants a huge buff to whichever lane wants it, and that should have been enough to get teams to focus a little more on top lane instead. Unfortunately, the mutated scuttler was never powerful enough to get teams to put pressure around it when things like elemental dragon buffs are around. The only thing that might keep people away from her now is how downright frightening she is.
When the Rift Herald is slain, instead of granting her killer a buff, the killer will now receive an item called Herald’s Eye. The item only lasts for a few minutes, and while it does, it grants the holder the same Empowered Recall that the buff from Baron gives its slayers. That’s only the beginning.
If the wielder of the Eye uses the item before it expires, the Rift Herald is summoned back to Summoner’s Rift. But this time, she fights for your team—immediately finding the nearest lane and sieging towers. She starts by charging at the structure from a distance and deals massive damage when she hits. After that, she’ll work on pummeling it into tiny, little bits until the tower is merely a memory. Once her first structure is claimed, she moves down the lane from tower to tower until she is defeated once more. Scared yet? You should be.
The new Herald might be threatening, but she isn’t invincible. She’ll only focus on destroying towers, meaning you can unload attacks on her while she sieges, as long as you stay away from her AoE attacks. As her massive health pool is lowered, she deals less and less damage, so attack her whenever you get the chance and focus on her big eye. You can also stall her from hitting your tower with crowd control, because unlike attacking her in the Baron Pit, when re-summoned she’s susceptible to knock-ups, knock-backs, stuns, snares, and everything in between.
While we don't yet know if the changes will be enough to make teams prioritize her over things like the dragons or even the First Blood on a tower, don’t be surprised if everyone starts rotating towards top lane in between dragons for a shot at the Rift Herald.