Riot pushed brand new buffs to three popular League of Legends junglers on the PBE last week right after the new patch cycle began, and with the arrival of Patch 8.17 this week, those buffs are finally here.
Master Yi, Rengar, and Kayn are the targets of those buffs, and they’re about to be much, much stronger. None of them are getting straight damage increases, but the newfound utility they’ll have will allow them to exceed their previous capabilities. Let’s take a look at what that means for the current jungle meta.
The jungle meta is going through a very slow transition at the moment. With nerfs to damage runes and gradual buffs to specific champions, damage-oriented carries are sliding out of favor ever so slightly. And in their place? Tanks.
Tanks such as Gragas, Maokai, and Sejuani are being played more often than they were a month ago. If the same trajectory continues over the end of the season, eventually they’ll take their spots back at the top of the ladder. As you can pretty easily tell, Rengar, Yi, and Kayn are not tanks, so that doesn’t exactly fit in with that transition. These buffs are significant enough, however, that they may slow things down a bit, but only maybe.
Rengar’s buff allows him to use his extremely powerful ultimate more often early in the game, which is where he lacks the most power—as a fresh level six. So, obviously, this buff really helps him out. Unfortunately, though, out of these three champions, Rengar has the hardest time dealing with tanks. Yi and Kayn, however, can excel in a tank meta if they need to, and these buffs can possibly help them get there.
Rhaast, Kayn’s Darkin form, is one of the best disrupters in the game. He can halt a tank’s advance dead in their tracks with a well-timed W, which makes him pretty scary. His buff allows him to keep his Shadow Step going longer, which means even more mobility for this already extremely mobile champion. If he goes Shadow form, he gets a larger speed bonus, too.
Yi has some of the highest sustained damage in the game, so he does well melting through tanks, and this buff, which increases the damage reduction on his Meditate and lowers its cooldown, will only help him survive.
So, if the tank meta really does come around over the course of the next couple months, Yi and Kayn should be fine. If the meta doesn’t ever fully move that way, though, they’ll do even better as damage dealers—especially Rengar, who really only excels against squishy targets and low crowd control.