Hello and welcome to the first installment in an article of series looking at how Support champions are affected with each new patch. With a new patch come changes for champions who need a little tweaking. In this article we will be taking a look at the support champions affected by the 5.24 patch and how that impacts their play. This article specifically will be taking a look at Bard, Brand, Soraka, and Tahm Kench and how changes to their kit will affect their play.
A champion known for his play-making denial abilities as well as a taste for the color purple (sorry lulu), Tahm Kench has maintained one of the highest ban rates over the last few patches and for good reason (59.53% on patch 5.24). With a high base damage on his Tongue lash (Q) and the ability to slow for 2 seconds, this catfish puts out more damage than average while still maintaining tank status. Once he hits three stacks of An acquired Taste on you, he can Devour even the biggest of enemies and put them right into the heart of your team, and you’ll be nothing but a small snack for this big appetite. His ability to eat teammates and deny the damage from abilities like Zed’s Deathmark, or Karthus’s Requiem, also creates an infuriating, albeit, ideal disengage champion. However, changes to Devour does invite some counterplay, Tahm Kench no longer gains movement speed when running away from enemies while carrying a teammate. So while he may be able to save his team by spitting them out a distance away from others, he is now more likely to sacrifice himself in the process.
The renowned healer who gained the most benefit from the mastery changes in terms of supports. The addition of Windspeaker’s Blessing, which increases all healing and shields by 10% and increases armor and magic resist, has made for a resurgence for Soraka.
When the preseason was first released she was far too powerful and made games feel very one-sided, but recent changes have helped tone her down.
First off, decreasing the range on her Starcall from 950 to 800units was not a large change as it does not alter her playstyle much, but the big change in her kit was the increased mana cost for Astral Infusion. Prior to 5.24, Soraka could build health items and not worry so much about her mana problems, but doubling her rank 1 cost was a huge hit to her early game power. This nerf allows for enemy teams to now trade more effectively due to Soraka’s inability to spam heal now. Finally, Soraka’s ultimate, Wish, no longer removes grievous wounds, which in a time where Morellonomicon has been replaced by Frost Queen’s Claim, does not make a large difference.
BrandAn off meta support pick that has seen a huge spike in play over the last couple patches, notably due to the changes in masteries that reward burst potential. Add to that his early to mid game damage output and the ability to stun enemies for 2 seconds on a relatively short cooldown, it’s no wonder why people have picked him back up.
However, in patch 5.24 we see a small increase in cost to his Pillar of Flame, which for many people would dissuade them from playing him. When you look at where the increases occur,
you can see that his early game presence has not changed.
Meeps on Meeps on Meeps is the story of this champion’s patch update. Bard’s Meeps respawn faster, which means his damage output is higher and his crowd control effects can be more consistent especially as the game progresses.
Additionally, Caretaker’s Shrine is getting some serious increases in AP ratio, meaning the base healing on his Shrines is increased as well as having some major increases once they pass the threshold of increase.
With these changes you’ll be sure that your ADC is safe and taken care of while you’re off on a Magical Journey collecting your chimes. These changes have drastically increase the amount of play that Bard has seen,
but has not drastically increased his winrate.
As a whole, the 5.24 patch had pretty minimal changes, but to these 5 champions, it will be enough to influence their pink and ban status (looking at you Soraka). For others, like Brand, the changes to his mana costs will unlikely alter how much he is played in the support role and will likely make him a stronger pick due to the changes to Soraka and Tahm Kench. Brand will not be a mainstay support champion, but he will solidify his secondary role in the bottom lane. Bard will likely become more prevalent across all Elos due to the lower respawn rate of his Meeps and will become picked and banned more often especially when it comes to competitive play.